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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Caribana to do list


Hi Everyone, this is an article written by one of our expat Trini authors living in Toronto, she writes in Trinidad dialect and goes by the name of Queen Macoomeh. She is very humorus, and doesn't pull any punches with her opinions. Enjoy...

Caribana To-Do List
Queen Macoomeh
Copyright Commess University May 2009

Gorme ah doh know where to start nuh. Ah have to colleck meh torts so ah could write meh epistle here today. Meh torts has been ruminating in meh head fuh years ever since de firse day ah went to meh firse Caribana back in 1492. Back den we did have 2 bands wid 4 people in each band fuh a total of 12 people.

De crowd plenty bigger nowadays doh. Ah remember 2 years aback ah was stannin up by de judges' tent in Exhibition Stadium an as ah look back, ah see some henchmen bus de railin an people evermore storm into de stands an into de las few bands who was tryin to make dey way onto Lakeshore. It was frightening to see people like a twosammi wave descennin on yuh. Crowd control was a joke. Pohlice stan up in a daze. Even de pohlice-horse back up as if to say "all yuh go troo, ah not able!".

Now, ah know yuh going to say how I farse an outta place again. How I knows nuttin about de business. An is troot. But dat never stop a Caribbean person from talkin ent? In fack, de less we know is de longer an louder we does talk, so ah comin troo brave.

Caribana 2009 reachin. Plans startin to start. Media gettin press release, contracks signin, han shaking. De bobolists puttin dey mark on what commess dey going to try dis year. Bands start to launch awready, designers drawing up plans, big costume start to design. Winter leavin we - an oh gorme dis winter had blight eh? We festival wakin up. We going an paint Toronto in all kine-ah large colour.

So please Mr. an Mrs. FMC, CAG, CCC, OSA, TMBA, OCPA an all de ressa de alphabet, listen to meh good. Pick sense out meh nonsense an see if we could improve a few tings.

First to begin.
In dis age of Twitter an Facebook an MySpace an WeSpace an DemSpace, why we doh have a BanaSpace or someting so? Why we ting doh have a livestream right troo from de Calypso Monarch show to de Island Picnic? Everybody an dey brudda have nice website. Why we ting have a website wid outdated information an missin or misspell text an links? One year it had some links sayin "To Be Updated" de whole season! De website should remain current troo de whole year not jes July an August. Have big nice snaps of de winners - all angles, all how! Put captions! Ah tired see a nice costume or person an doh know who it is, what ban, name of costume, nutting! Oh shims man.

Ah not callin name eh, but if it have people teefing de Caribana name on de internet to run a bobol website dat looking official, put de brakes on dem! Or, bring dem into de official ting - whichever make more sense. All like me so would trow dey backside in jail fuh copyright fringeyment, but dais jes me. To me dem mamaguy sites is level foolishness an greed.

We need to put de internet to good use for we business an stop teefing from we own pocket!
King and Queen Show.
Now lemme pause here an bow meh head in grace because all yuh done know dais meh ting self. Dat show to me, is de crong jewel. Ah does take it personal when anyting go wrong.

So yuh see dat stage? I watch las year how much costume pitch awf it. Ah see people back nearly break as de costume slide awf or how it was hard to get de wheels onto de platform.

Please, as a favour to me an all of we who pay homage to dat competition, FIX DE BLASTED STAGE!! Doh say yuh din hear eh?
Every year it comin like a surprise package. Get a civil engineer to design de stage! Jes because yuh aunt-in-law have a neighbour who cousin living dong de road from a outside chile yuh fadda have, does not mean de person dey recommend could make a competition stage! Is not no donkey cart crawsin de stage! Is thousand of dollars of mas! Is people blood, sweat an tears crawsin dat stage! People pay money to see a spectacle of delight. Dey din pay to see men racing up on de stage to help pull a costume back on it wheel.

Also, Mr. Costume Designer. Make yuh costume sturdy fuh meh please. It should not be fallin apart on stage. Yuh using spit to glue it? If two fedda drop awf, fine, we could understand dat, but las year a man nearly had all he family jewel expose to de night dew! De costume was fallin apart an takin he pants wid it. Is a strip tease or wha? Year before a nex one pelt backwards, all we see is she two leg bicycling in de air.

An Mr. Masquerader you self! Dance yuh mas nuh man! Some of all yuh does come troo lookin as doh yuh take a dose of senna an cah fine de latrine. Oh shims man! Smile! Dance! An when ah say dance, ah mean dance in time to de blooming music! But if yuh cah wine doh wine, jes chip! Yuh does look chupid going so when de music going over so! Spit out de ching-gum before yuh come on stage. Yes de costume heavy but doh make it look so. Still move light, use yuh stage. Come early an study it. See where de edge is, where de ramp on an off is, where de announcer an DJ is, so yuh could move to suit. Doh be stannin up in de middle of de stage winnin outta time when de music stop. You should be headin awf-stage by den. Check yuh time, watch de exit area to see dem guiding you. Mark where de judges is an doh forget to turn to de cameras too. Is dem camera go make you a star! Is simple tings but it does real help yuh in de competition.

Now ah have a boof fuh who in charge of media. Yuh give out media badge, nice. Have it ready fuh we on time nuh? Give we a liss wid de names of de costumes, portrayers, bands an band leaders nuh? Yuh have a separate entrance fuh we, nice. Open it nuh? Why we have to stan up outside waitin like vagrant till people fine you to fine we media pass? An las year yuh had we chook up in a bad position. Retink dat nuh. Put we back on de sout' side of de judges please? Akse dem to move de VIPs over on de nort' side or someting nuh? Las year was real bad. Is media who takin de festival an bringin it to de worl. Doh treat it slight.

Pan Alive
Ah not going to say one word about who win, when an how. All I am aksin is dat yuh start on time an have good judges, dais all. If ah only open meh mout any wider, ah go make a jail.

Lemme take a minute in between to give all support and big love to Mr. Salah Wilson on de major loss to he and he family in a fire in May. Meh heart bleed fuh yuh eh compere. Doh mine we doh see eye to eye on Pan Alive. Yuh is still meh people. Keep yuh chin up. All will come out right, Inshah-allah.

Parade of the Bands
Crowd Education and Control. Repeat after me. Crowd Education and Control.

People have no sense when dey in a crowd. One by one, yes, we smart, we know what not to do but when we in a crowd, de herd mentality does kick in an we does get on like a packa wildebease. If yuh have a sign sayin doh park dey, we go park dey den 50 udda cars go park nex to we. If yuh have ah sign sayin doh pass here, we go pass dey wid 900 of we no-neck, greazy-face frens. If yuh say come 10am, we comin 12 noon an cussin you. Dais someting yuh have to deal wid.

What have me confuse doh, is how we could see dem big macko music trucks an want to stop it wid we foot. I tort self preservation was a deep instink but it look like some of we en have dat instink at all or we feel we name Pothong, de new X-Man. One time ah see a man trying to climb on de truck wid a cup in one han and a plate’ah pelau in de nex. Maybe de cup had dotish koolaid in it, ah doh know. He bus a fall but save de cup.

Getting people to respeck dem truck en go be easy. Try yuh bes. Educate we, put up a page on de site. wid such warnings. Sen a official letter to de band leaders to get dem to talk to de drivers to explain dat when de rum hit we an de sun hot, we does get chupid. It have people ah notice who does guide de truck, get TMBA to sen an explain de importance of keeping dem wheels clear. It not easy. We does really get chupid dat day in troot an yuh could only do so much. Ah know.

Band leaders, doh slow dong. De big bands does tie up de route an by de time de last two bands come awf de stage, is real ole mas by de gates. Many a time, bands never make it to de Lakeshore before de overseer shut dong de proceedins. Dat not fair. Dais selfishness. Respeck yuh mas family nuh?

Ah hear de new Festival Manager say he promise dat de backup eh go happen. Well Mr. Manager, I will buy you a roti, a Carib beer an a piece of pone if you could get dat do. Ah saying it right here in public. On de Sunday after, I will fine you where ever you is an take you by Ali’s or Roland’s or where ever yuh like fuh, if you get people to MOVE from dat bottleneck. Ah does keep meh promises eh? An now ah have plenty witness.

Anyway, ah talk enough fuh now. Ah have more to say but ah go give all yuh piece piece.


To see more of her writing, click here

1 comment:

Karabana said...

I'm with ya Queen M on the livestreaming. And the official websites not being updated with current info! It's frustrating how many tourists planning on coming here see these sites & get the wrong info & wrong impression!
I wish all models at all events were told "Dance yuh mas nuh gyal!" It's not enough to have a pretty model, she must look & act like a masquerader.
"packa wildebease", lol, yes, that's what they seem like.
I also totally agree that something must be done about the problem when big bands don't get on with it & the last couple bands don't even make it onto the parade route. Imagine this: if the parade actually started on time, not WI time, what a big help that would be.
If this issue is resolved for Caribana 2KWine, I'll join you at Ali's for a roti!

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