Internet Radio

OPINION Wanted: a leader of a different caliber

by GHK Lall

I look around and am forced to admit: it is the most boring of times. The normalcy of the most careful, sobering, and methodical kind of election imaginable that graces what is now the hands-down national pastime. Dilapidated, it is. Somebody has got to ‘bring back that lovin’ feelin’. Since there are no Guyanese Righteous Brothers in sight, who is here that can be so from doing so? Certainly not the current leaders of the political wolf packs in the hunt. Ah, the joys of the chase, of going all out without a care for tomorrow, tequila sunrise or not.

The leaders stand as poster boys (excuse me, aged canvases) of what should now be accepted as the unexciting, the uninspiring, and the unruffling, if not unfailingly stoic. Save for the usual disturbances about adding and counting and eliminating (a euphemism for voter suppression), there is only the usual humdrum of men watching their shadows, and apprehensive about stepping anywhere near to what may be considered out of bounds or unbecoming.

I confess that I thirst for an alpha dog ascending from over the horizon, surveying the coastline, and charging ahead to shake up the placidity and settled ways of things. Someone raging at the rottenness of it all. We get a procession of Mr. Clean(s). People are so squeaky clean around here in the elections race that the media has to settle for the same desultory stories: stories of Gecom, tales about lists, complaints about cards, leaks over who trying to pull a fast one. Those are no fun. How about something that spices things up around here this elections season? A li’l pepper ‘n’ salt in the jukebox.

That would be through radicals, who live in the fast lane, with a faster crowd, while enjoying the fastest of times. A little music would be helpful (not too loud, of course); a jug of liquid would come in handy (within the time limit, of necessity), and an armful of companions painted a certain style (all properly alluring, it goes without saying). Together, these would add an unseen rainbow of flavors to the predictable state of developments on the elections front.

I was about to suggest a returning to the old ways of painting the town red; then I came to my senses, regarding the heresy involved of just such a recommendation. Green might be good to some, but it is a shade tiring on the eye, don’t you think? I think that, like me, great sections of the populace have to be going off the deep end from being confined to seeking their thrills from the pedestrian elections fare that has been served to date. How long could one swallow, and keep swallowing, these ongoing babbles about article this and that? Or the spurious wisdom of rushing to the supposedly infallible judgment of the CCJ? Or the continual clamoring for intervention by the invisible hand (a historically dangerous, self-serving hand) of foreign bodies? This is all so pathetic, or as the kids would say, ‘soooo (like) yesterday. Sooooo ooold!’

Even though, it is a wide-open country, I am not embarrassed to say that I am going stir crazy with all of these well-known routines. Come on folks! Lighten up! How about some bright lights and show people, for a change! Let the hair hang down! and ‘all nite long’ a la Lionel Richie. That would be the day that the devil made. We need (I do) some deviltry around here. How about the hair of the dog for a change? Why not? Yes, I know: one is the closest thing to a teetotaler, while the other is so severe and querulous, as to make Dracula look lively, or Sherlock Holmes transform into a roisterer of the first water.

That’s what we need around here. Some firewater of Miami Vice dimensions. Some scalding rhetoric that rings the cobwebs out from the political rafters and send them plunging into extinction. As I mention that, a few plunging clothing styles just might be in order to keep political people on their toes, and with eyes fixed straight ahead. A scandal is overdue, a nice juicy political scandal involving high living, high heels, and higher hemlines. Those were the days, my friend (and I am not Mary Hopkin). Strange with all the political mudslinging in Guyana between the political parties, and yet none from either side has dared to break silence and point a finger. That alone is suspicious and confirms my firm belief that there is carrying on merrily, an unofficial coalition of self-protecting equals. Stranger how the mind may work, as I am certain that some have gotten so carried away that they may be considering reporting me to the, let me see what: The Broadcasting Authority? The Integrity Commission? The thought and expression police would not be a stretch.

That is how far things have progressed in this country, with all of its slavish devotions to things American. Like political correctness. Like being on p’s and q’s. I ask: isn’t it time that we grow up into independent adulthood? Be masters of our own universe? Take charge of the oil (just leave the contract alone).

I am hoping that somebody will emerge, who will put an end to this misery. Is there a doctor in the house? Anyone will do, except the regular quacks. I will settle for a spin doctor in the absence of any other candidates. I need the distraction, if only for recreational purposes. Some laughter would come in handy, and not a moment too soon. When all look grim and gloomy, I remember the trusted Bob Marley, “You’re gonna lively up yourself.” Yes, I am talking to me, but it is not about me. It is all those boring political characters out there. No wonder people and things are so glum around here.

Mr. GHK Lall is a Guyanese author, columnist and former financial analyst on Wall Street.