By GHK Lall
I read the latest development in the ongoing soap opera of selecting a chair for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in the predawn hours of Tuesday.
The coalition’s list is synonymous with a sewage system. An untreated, overflowing sewage system.
I gagged. I can’t be awake; this is a nightmare, and the worst kind: one where my eyes are open and my head is still screwed on in the right place. My immediate reactions are best articulated in the raw creole street tones of Guyana. As Guyanese would say when they have choice and colorful words to utter: expressions.
The government’s list first left me in stunned amazement (this thing can’t be real; these folks are not serious); and then reduced to belly laffs; I wanted to roll around on the ground (what else is there left to do in this godforsaken country). I mean the darned process is so humorous that it reduces one to tears, with the government’s list being the latest rib-tickling, in one compulsive and convulsive laff track after another, compliments of a stable of ignorant politicians. This is Benny Hill, Monty Python, Habeeb Khan, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy all rolled into one, with Chris Rock thrown in for good measure. My God! What a list! If anything, the government has outdone, outshone, and just plain outed the opposition with this caricature of a concoction. I am so busy laughing that I can hardly think straight; I am wondering whether to denounce or applaud.
It is as if the government’s list is intended to convey several high-volume messages. First, ‘ayuh tink ayuh stupid wid dem list dat ayuh keep pushin and shuvin in people face; den tek dis one. Tek dah!’ Second, ‘if ayuh tink ayuh hed ain good, wee own mo wuss; wusserer’, in fact. In sum, this is hardball for hardball, utter foolishness for original foolishness. I never thought I would be so glad to retreat to the safe harbor of the Queen’s English. God bless the British (and of course the Americans). I must wonder what those civilizations think of this latest exhibition of the pathetic and irredeemable insanity (high comedy) of this low society. Like dis is a real jokey country. I told someone that this is gangster territory; and the conclusion was that it is worse than such a description. Guyana is so far gone; that gangster country would be many a step up from where it is.
But enough about that; it is now time for a partial look at the list itself. Truth be told, it has something for everyone, especially hardliners, fanatics, and damn fools. Like the movie of the same name, this Guyanese political version of Butterfield 8, possesses irrefutable elements of a one-night stand. The thing cannot hold up to any scrutiny. Which cat dragged this list through the door? Remember cats have nine lives, so there is sure to be more lists of this caliber. It totters with the doddering and tottering. In that list, there are so many ancients that it makes the History Channel look like MTV. And, for the racial watchers and purists, it is almost BET. The government has matched the color scheme of the opposition. This is going mano a mano and not for the jugular, but much lower down, as in below the navel-string (more creole). It is one mess of a pepperpot and thick with flavoring.
The list sizzles with people from the PPP, no slouch itself in this department. One is bound to see immediately irrepressible extremists, and with no saving graces. There are some there who would trash it (the opposition) even before the bell rings: foul play. It would be goodbye to calculations about relevancy and validity of any list; casual dismissal of concerns about a date; the later the better. I just love the savage irony of it all: Duh fuh duh nah obeah.
Talking about love, there is hope for the PPP. Now if the party is real smart, it should know that there are those there, who have an unremitting affinity for money. To be very clear: love of money. Ha, ha! In God we trust. Forget about Bank of Guyana paper. Play cards right, and this thing can still be salvaged. On the other hand, there is in that list, a couple who could not make a decision to save their own lives, if things came to that. Yes, they are that bad; good people by Guyanese definitions, but real baaad fuh dis country and that role of Chair. If Guyana is not careful, that particular Gecom chair could become its electric chair; 30,000 volts and counting to incinerate the surges of incomparable and unprecedented national stupidity. Perhaps, it is deserving. Yes, lightning does strike. What a racket this country is. It is not a country, but a real full-blown, heavyweight racket.
I can’t wait for the next list. Careful what is asked for. Yuh want a list from de preezedent? Tek dah! Try dah fuh size. Mo comin…
Mr. GHK Lall is a Guyanese author, columnist and former financial analyst on Wall Street.