Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00032
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: September 17, 1972
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00032

Full Text
T -~ ~

SUDDENLY the dark
hues of the tropical rain
forest become an olive
green. The banana grass
mats line the roadside like
banks of fern. And where
there is no banana there is
balisier waving in the
wind. t IM AM rlI f rT%

You are in St. Helena,
Matelot, and after the rough
.cfbssing you might think you
are in a haven. But when you
hear the tale of woe that passes
for living in the area you come
around tothinkingthat the olive
green is a sign of a village em-
battled in a seemingly hopeless
struggle to survive.
You share the heartache of
.jhe villagers because you know
that it is a result not simply of
the deprivations, but also be-
cause like Tobago, a mere 30
miles away, they were led to
expect something better.


Two major blows have been,
thus, dealt this community.
One material, the other spi-
-ritual. There are no roads and
in spite of the Doctor's solemn
promise made in euphoria of
1956 the road to Blanchisseuse
has not been cut. So to reach
IMatelot from Port-of-Spain 40
s away you have to travel
7: miles.,
IThere are no lights and
,Ithere is not even water, almost
._s if the government in its wis-
.-mr has gone to great lengths
a'-hut this unhappy village
from the concerned eyes of the
yr who feel that these basic
L ilities are shared by the
r others everywhere in the
'lar id.
So very few come. Not the
igo' ds vehicles to bring in
isaipplies for the villagers or to
-carry out whatever produce the
villagers have managed to raise:
the roads are an obstacle to
-even the most enterprising of
businessmen, the risk of serious
damage to a vehicle or to a
.driver is enough to wipe out
Wany thought of profitable
business endeavour.


Many are leaving, though,
trying to escape the crushing of
the spirit that generations in
Matelot have known. Iri 1960,.
there were 1300 people living
in Matelot. Today there are but
\581. Most have come to town
. to add to the increasing
>7 umber of the frustrated un-.
$*;pployed. A few fish for a
S-nng in the sea. Because, for a
'an willing to work Matelot
ers even less than other dis-
;s in Trinidad and Tobago.
'nd three months ago the
ne Minister's Special Works
grammee closed down it
I served its purpose: some
; ple got a bit of money to
iy costumes for that govem-
::nt fetish called the Better
I lage Competition.
IBut Matelot has no pre-
hsions about its being a bet-
;, village. Gawd, women are
-tnaking babies on the road, the
nearest hospital is 45 miles
Saway in Sangre Grande, a nurse
comes once a week, a doctor
twice per month. A toothache
Sis an-enduring pain.
With the nearest secondary
school situated in Sangre
Grande, our people in Matelot

kvUK IVIAvlv U- Elm

have had no preparation for
life. And in keeping with the
joke that is education in this
place, one girl has been placed
in a secondary school in San
Fernando. Neither of her
parents are working.
It must be a calculated
thing. How else is one to ex-
plain the fact that Government
has made absolutely no use of
the presbytery given by the
Archbishop for use of a trade
school? How else is one to view
the situation as described by
young Scottie Mc Claren:
"Nothing in Matelot for a
young feller. Without second-
'ary education you have no-
where to go. Some of us would
like to enter a youth camp but
it is hard to pass the entrance
test. We get despondent and
most of us try to go to Port-of-
Spain and then the scrunting
and the hustling around the
city starts.
"You have to try to survive

in the city because you don't
even have the money to go
back home. Once you leave
yuh foot tie up."


So Matelot came to Port-of-
Spain, using their money to
pay for a government bus to
see their Prime Minister.
Before, they had tried another
approach. Just before the trip
to town the Secretary of the
St. Helena-Matelot Village
Council wrote to Port-of-Spain
about the road. An engineer
from the Works Department
turned up "to deal" with the
sender of the letter.
"What the hell all yuh
want in Matelot? a high-
The Doctor refused to see
them, so they went back home.
In time they will hear from
him. An overnight crash pro-
gramme, perhaps. Jobs for

some key people and he and
his government will sit back,
confident that Matelot has
been "fixed up."
But there are other
Matelots. Worse, if you can
believe it. Cacipha, Petite
Riviere, Tacaribe, all those
villages west of the Matelot
River where transport to
Matelot is by sea only. Villages
that, in truth, lie behind God's
And know how the govern-
inent will proceed. But the pro-
blem still is what to do. Only
radical solutions will suffice -
anything else is spinning top in
the Matelot mud.
There are some obvious
things that the area needs.
Among them.
A secondary school spe-
cialising in agricultural
science and fishing.

A branch of the Mar-
keting Authority to deal





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with the marketing of
produce in that district
with special emphasis on

Concentration on three
agricultural crops:
zaboca, citrus, hog plums
coupled with a plum
wine industry.

Re-afforestation and a
timber industry.

The white sand in the
area that is shipped away
can be the base of a
pottery and glass in-

But basic to all this is the
need to see the Matelot area as
important an entity as the rest
of Trinidad and Tobago, to see
that the area strong govern-
ment of its own so that the
people can play a decisive part
in lifting Matelot out of the
hole that it is in.
More than anything, work
ahead requires imagination. To
be able to visualize a new
.thriving Matelot a region
that with development can be a
top centre for local tourism.
The sea coast Salibia,
Balandra, Toco and then
there is the inland area how
long are we going to waste on
the birds the scenic walks -
Anglais Road the forests,
hunting ants for the hunters in
the country, the rivers, cool
after the heat and concrete of
the city, The people bound to


All this, however, presumes
a government that is prepared
to embark on real, not token,
development, a government
that is prepared to turn the
attention of businessmen to
local possibilities by cutting off
the host of unnecessary im-
ports that cruise their way into
this country inferior wines,
pear nectar, ribena, the various
brands of malt (nothing more
than watered down molasses) .

Yes, there may be yet time
to save Matelot, to give back
the people the spirit that they
have lost, by harnessing the
willingness to work hard which
is inherent in the community
and transforming it into revolu-
tionary action for the good of
the villagers, themselves and
the country at large.
If we pursue this view then
a re-reading of the scenic signs
is necessary. Then the banana
plants and the balisier, the
mats of olive green become
symbols of what might yet be.

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Since 1970 a sharpened
barbarism. The sense of
being beleaguered, the
sense of being set against
the population. The con-
flict inherent in popular
disenchantment with a
certain kind of authority.
The tendency to beat,
bully and pressurize is not
restricted to the police but
is common to all in posi-
tions of authority.
The question of training.
Unprofessional approach to
their work evidenced by way
people are treated. A certain
lack of cool. The absence of a
sense of being in command of a
situation wh i ch would elimi-
nate the need of being in com-
mand of a situation which
would eliminate the need for
aggressiveness, provocation,
Hence the real dependence
of firearms. The Tobbitt case
of 1970 for which one con-
stable was jailed for mans-
laughter. Why did he have to
take his rifle home with him?
The public does not have the
confidence that the police can
handle their firearms with due
cuation and certainty. The ac-
cidental shootings some of
The overkill syndrome.
Officers armed with sub-
machine guns on marijuana
raids. They never seem to
know just how much force is
required on a given situation.
The lack of subtlety and imagi-
nation prevents an appreciation
of the fact that a show of force
sometimes creates additional
problems in a situation.
It introduces tensions,
quickens anxieties, serves to
provoke untoward reactions.
Firearms are justified on the
grounds of an escalation in
criminal action, attacks on
police, etc. Surely there are
some seeking to settle scores of
one kind or another. Reactions
to arbitrary police action, the
sense of there being no redress
most of the time, the lack of
organised citizen-protection
groups. These force certain
anti-police feelings under-


The fact is, police are gen-
uinely afraid. The looks on the
faces of some of them in heavily
charged situations just bear this
out. The policeman has been
conditioned to feel a sampat is
always round the comer. So
far from being certain of his
position as the defender of law
and order, the policeman feels

personally threatened by the
public and is determined to
retaliate or to attack not in the
defence of law and order which
is an abstraction, but in the
protection of his own skin, hiw
own job.
In other words, the noble
figure of the policeman as the







protector of the citizen has
been reduced to that of a man
desperate to save his own skin
by any means possible. Hence
policemen could conceive of
pelting back bottles at people
- something that can only be
construed as an act of
self-defence as distinct from
the maintenance of peace and





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But hooliganism is hooligan-
ism whether or not the per-
petrator wears a uniform or
not. The police bottle pelting.
shows clearly that there is no
pride in the work. The ethics
of the profession are seen as
hollow. The concept of law
transcending morality which
has been propounded by the:
Government since 1970 in the
court martials, in the Clarkel
case and in all the other claim
morous examples of a cynical
use of the law and the institui
tions of state for political ends
has poisoned any appreciation
of what is right and just.
So that one could read on th<.
morning after the oval incident
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were charged for throwing .
missiles when the whole-..
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THINGS was bad my
mother cried the Christ-
mas of '43 in the house
in Joha-John. My father
had hit abadpatch-
whe-whe was a waste that
December. He wasn't
winning and as the day
came closer, my father
and mother became more
and more desperate.
Daddy's luck didn't im-
prove and the Christmas
of '43 was not a Christ-
mas at all.
But things must have im-
proved. In addition this
whe-whe, my father began get-
ting odd jobs and we subse-
quently moved to Laventille
where we had to pay a bigger
rent. We used to eat better,
too. I know that because.
although we had moved to
Laventille my sisters and I
were still attending the
"Pound School" in John-John.
And after school I used to go
to meet my father who would
give me bread, shark, pudding
or some such thing to carry

Naturally, my father re-
mained a John-John man.
That was where the whe-whe
was. He used to leave home in
Success Village in the morning
and go back to John-John to
lime with his friends and play
whe-whe. So that although I
was living in Laventille, John-
John still played the biggest
part in my life, particularly
since my mother kept up in
Laventilleall her prejudices. We
were forbidden to play vith
young people in the area so
that in Success Village, I had
no friends, initially with
young people.
So the move to Laventille
didn't change my Life-style
much. To get to school I still
went in Plaisance Street, went
through the track, pass the
bay leaf and samaan tree, that
led to the school building. :t
was along that track that I
first heard a pan being tuned.
I don't know whether it
was when I was going or
coming from school, or when
during recess I sneaked out
with fellers like Hugh Mulzac,
who later was to become a
big-time footballer for Colts.
But, I do know, that the
scene along the track was one
that I knew well.
Of course the teachers used
to warn us about hanging
around "Spree" Simon and
"Patcheye" andthem, but
these fellers used to be in the
track for the whole day. Big
bonfire, and whole day is a
pounding and a pounding. We

could hear the sounds from
the classes in which we sat.
So in spite of everything,
we hung around. And I came
to know "Spree," himself, a
feller they used to call Dog,
Big Drum and Lil Drum,
Andrew Beddoe, the same
Andrew Beddoe, Dudley,
Rugg and others. Plenty but-
chers, too. For across from
the John-John hill was the
Slaughtery exactly where it
is today and at lunch time
the butchers would come
across and while the fellers
were beating and looking for
notes ontheir pans, the but-
chers used to keep time with
their knives.
Spree was, undoubtedly the
boss. He used.to hammer the
pan outwards and not inwards
as is done today. The pans
were first punched outwards
and then punched inwards to
get a surfact to accommodate
the note.

That was during the day. In
the night, the steelband -
Spree, Patcheye and the boys
- used to come out on the
Never, because ofmy
mother, took part in any of
this. We used to hear the
sounds all the pans playing
only three notes B, D. E,
but plenty rhythm and people
jumping up and waving coco-
nut branches. All this we saw
while peeping through the
jalousie, and all the time my



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mother yelling:
"Move from the jalousie be-
fore they chook out all yuh
eye. Before all yuh say yuh

prayers and go to bed all
yuh looking at stupidness.
"And she would then turn
down the lamp low to make

sure that the neighbours un-
derstood on which side of the
steelband-line we stood.
It was during these night
sessions that the police made
their raids. They would swoop
down into John-John and men
would run through the night,
all of them dropping their.
pans. When daylightcame
they would be back at it
again, pounding and pounding.
And plenty, plenty gamble.

I don't want you to feel
that all this time the call of
pan was running through my
blood. I was about eight years
old and while the tuning of
the pan and the sessions and.
the police raids were exciting,
I don't think my interest was
any greater than that of the
average child at that time.
Surrounded by the excite-
ment and the daily activity
under the bay leaf and samaan
trees, I wasunmoved.I
understood that "Spree" and
the rest of the boys were
trying to make music from
pans, but it wasn't until much
later that I saw that I had a
definite role to play in the


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WE HAVE been seeing
how the Calypso has de-
rived from a rich rhetorical
tradition, which was itself
the product of the great
restlessness, and the interp
lay between peoples,
languages, classes and ways
of life in the immigrant
society of Trinidad. The
mixture of comradeship
and antagonism, of ego-
tism and group solidarity,
has been captured in the
changing form of the
The traditional call-and-
response form of the
kalinda, which is the basic
form of much Afro-
Caribbean folk music and
has its parallels both in
West African and Afro-
American music, was the
ideal form for expressing
the tension between indivi-
dual and group in urban
Trinidad. In the. constant
interplay between solo
voice and chorus these ten-
sions found formal resolu-
On a much more elabo-
rate level the same thing
was happening in the Sans
Humanite or Oratorical
calypsoes of the early
twentieth century. Picong
became a rite de passage
through which he new-
comer to the group had to
be taken, before he was
granted full acceptance.
The antagonisms of former
stickfighters were now
converted into the verbal
ritual of the Mi Minor
Oratorical melodies.

At the same time the final
phase in the struggle between
French and English cultures
was being, inevitably, reflected
in the Calypso. During the
Boer War and the First World
War, for example, calypsonians
were encouraged to sing loyal-
ist songs in support of the
British Empire.
This was bitterly resented by
some commentators in the
society, but some of the lead-
ing claypsonians in the first
quarter of the twentieth
century were loyalist, and,
fascinated by the more
romantic aspects of British
history, assumed the names of
historic British warriors, such
as the Duke of Albany, the
Iron Duke, the Duke of Marl-
borough, the Black Prince, and
Richard Coeur de Lion, (42)
This did not mean that Bri-
tish rule was accepted. Fully
aware of the hardships of life



in a third-rate colony, calypso-
nians had expressed their indig-
nation during the Water Riots
of 1903 (43) and Patrick Jones
who could sing after the first
World War ended in 1918:
War, War, War
We are glad we will fight no
War, War, War
We are glad we will fight no
Now the War is over we'll
sing "Rile Britannia" On
Carnival Day.
altered his tune considerably
two years later as the post-War
depression set in earnest. In
1920 he was singing:
Class legislation is the order
of this land
We are ruled with the iron
Class Legislation is the order
of this land
We are ruled with the iron
Britain boasts of democracy
Brotherly love and fraternity
But British colonists have
been ruled in perpetual
Sns humanite. (44)
Jones said that when he sang
that song "The Guardian wrote
an editorial saying I should be
charged with sedition." The
Calypso had certainly come of
age. Ii the nineteenth century,
newspaper editors and corres-
pondents had generally ob-
jected not to the political pers-
pective of the Calypso, but to
its celebration of scandal and
By 1920, however, a new
language was sounding
throughout the society. Btitish-
ers had egged Black colonials
into the war with a rhetoric
which was to backfire after

Two excerpts from Sir
Norman Lamont's speeches
indicate how close in sentiment
he was to militarists of the
Seeley/Wyatt school of late
nineteenth century British
Historians. (45) Lament inter-
preted the War, not as the logi-
cal outcome of nineteenth
century imperialism and inter-
national warfare, but as a great
cause in which the Allied
Forces were pure and just,
while Germany was the
allegorical representation of
Belgium, the most scan-
dalous exploiter of Black
people in Africa, was seen as
the victim of German
Barbarity. Russia, belatedly
emerging from a notorious
period of serfdom and de-
cadence, was called, "the
ancient friend of the Christians
of Armenia." (46) Lament
rejoiced "that at last the time
has come when the people of
the West Indies are to be en-
abled, are to be allowed to take
part in those great scenes them-
selves." (47)
Acknowledging the gener-
osity of the starving colonials


of Trinidad who had "given for
the first year a gift of
L40,000's worth of cocoa to
the mother country." (47) he
went on to provide the oddest
argument for a West Indian
Federation. If the islands had
been united, they could
together have supplied even
more men to fight in Britain's
"righteous", "just" and
"sacred" cause. (48)
White rhetoric, Black lives.
Lament, a big landowner in
Trinidad, was even more elo-
quent on the occasion of the
second anniversary of the War.
Repeating the sentiments of
Wyatt's "God's Test by War,"
and "The Ethic of Empire"
(49) Lamont concluded:
If the various races which
comprise the British Empire
come through these three
tests as, purged in the cruc-
ible of this great war, I be-
lieve they will then this
war itself will have been
worthwhile, and this nation
of ours will continue
worthy, far into the dim
and distant future of
history, to rule over that
large portion of the habit-
able globe on which the sun
never sets and the Union
Jack now flies as the perpe-
tual emblem of Liberty and
Justice. (50)
It was speeches such as this
one, quite normal during both
World Wars, which inspired

loyalty in the hearts of some
natives, and led to such bitter
rebellion in the years of depres-
sion and suppression which
usually followed Britain's ef-
forts in the defence of
"Liberty" and "Justice."
Cipriani became a patriot
partly in reaction to the
hypocrisy of some of these
same speeches.

Ralph Mentor, a trade
unionist in Trinidad, described
the process of Cipriani's con-
version, which was part of a
broader, deeper movement
within the society, and had a
profound effect on the Calyp-
so, and on the milieu out of
which the Calypso grew.
During the world war, we
were told that the allies
were fighting to make thy
world safe for democracy;
to preserve the sanctity of
treaties that were treated as
scraps of paper by Huns,

and other cant of a smiilar
Influenced by wartime
lying propaganda, Captain
Cipriani was, in a great
measure, instrumental in
organizing the BWIR which
was sent to take part in a
conflict in which they had
absolutely no interest. They
thought they were serving
the interest of king and
country. They were willing
to sacrifice their life for the

Contrary to expectation,
they were discriminated
against and treated in a
most brutal manner.
Appreciating the fact that
he had to discharge a great
moral obligation to these
men the majority of
whom were coloured -
Captain Cipriani stood up
against the injustices that
were being perpetrated. And
credit has to be given where
credit is due. (51)


Cipriani's attempts to
organize the working classes
received the full support of
even the older loyalist calypso-
nians, who now began to
exercise their verbal skill not in
celebrating the birth, death, or
marriage of members of the
royal family, but in pointing
out the real problems of
Talents which had formerly
been employed in treating
excerpts from British
"History", were now directed
towards a study of the develop-
ment of the British Trade
Union movement, and the evo-
lution of the Labour Party.
Hence, Patrick Jones
celebrated the first Labour
Party victory in 1924 with an
extremely optimistic calypso:

The political fight has
changed the constitution
And give us our right
The political fight has
changed the constitution
And give us our right
Mac Donald cabinet now is
Parliament is all Labour on
For in Parliament we have a
Labour government
Members and listeners of
this society
Listen to the history of the
Labour Party
The brotherhood of human-
Advocating the cause for
Instituted by Kier Hardie in
Great Britain
For the good of mankind,
you understand
He is dead and gone but his
work stands in Parliament.
When Baldwin started his
protection campaign
He was stormed by Labour
like a hurricane
He could not stand, he
could not resist

The opposition of the op-
Parliament dissolved to
come back again
Baldwin still failed to with-
stand the strain
For in Parliament we have a
Labour government .... (52)
The same forces of post-war
depression and proletarian
unrest which brought Mac-
Donald to his first brief period
of power, were propelling
colonial politicians like'
Cipriani to the forefront. The
cloth-cap image of the early
Labour Party had its counter-
part in the Khaki uniform
which Cipriani adopted in his
symbolic attempt to identify
with the "barefoot man."
Calypsonians understood the
link between the local move-
ment and the metropolitan
model upon which it was pat-
One year after MacDonald's
victory, Lord Executor (Philip
Garcia) was singing in support
of Cipriani, and raising the
issue of choosing a local leader,
rather than an Englishman -
an important' one in a Crown
Colony, where local talent and
expertise had always been
either underrated, or rejected.
Executor sang:
I know, and if you know
what I know,
Let's wait until the day
Who is for Johnson go down
in the law
Who is for Rust we must,
beat him, we must!
Who thinks as me will
give our vote to Cipriani
We don't want any English-
We want a Trinidadian...
Cipriani... (53)
This link between the calyp-
sonians and the slow emer-
gence of local party politics,
was to be steadily strengthen-
ed, until in the forties,
Quevedo who sang as Atilla the
'Hun, was able to use the Calyp-
so tent as a platform in his
campaign for membership, first
of the Port-of-Spain City Coun-
cil, and next of the Legislative
Council of 1946.
The link was to continue
throughout the era of Albert
Gomes, who had, in fact, been
championing the cause of




F. Gordon Rohlehr

calypsonians and steelbands-
men throughout the forties;
'and in the first decade of the
Eric Williams regime, when a
number of calypsonians sang in
support of the PNM and its
efforts towards self-govern-
ment and independence.
The effect of the political.
awakening in the twenties,
then, was to add a new dimen-
sion to the rhetoric of the
Calypso, by giving point and
shape to erstwhile sporadic nd

well, began by producing a
one-man calypso show, which
could last more than two
hours. This meant that he had
to develop a variety of styles.
Hill accredits him with having
added a new genre, that of the
narrative calypso, to the
Calypso tradition. (55)
Douglas's consciousness of
himself as an entertainer of the
respectable had imposed on
him the necessity of innova-
tion. Also, the growing indivi-




misdirected protest. This does
not, of course, mean that the
calypsonians developed a poli-
tical consciousness overnight,
or stopped singing loyalist
songs altogether, or desisted
from fighting among them-
SBut it did mean that a new
genre of Calypso began to take
definite shape, so that after the
1920's, periods of political and
social stress were to result in
elaborate protest calypsoes,
which sometimes indicated a
fairly sophisitcated grasp of
broad political issues on the
part of the calypsonians.


It was in the .1920's, too,
that calypso tents began to be
organised on a more profes-
sional basis. Errol Hill records
that Chieftain Walter Douglas,
a veteran of World War I, re-
turned to Trinidad in 1919,
and by,1921 had opened a tent
at 26 Duncan Street in East
Port-of-Spain. (54) Douglas,
according to Hill, was con-
cerned with attracting a respec-
table middle-class audience as
well as the traditional support-
ers of the Calypso, and did not
allow the kalinda (stick-fighter
music) to be performed in his
Douglas, accompanied by
flute, clarinet, cuatro, guitar,
bass, and sometimes a violin as

dualism in the Calypso, was
measurable in the fact that
Douglas could even think of
putting on a one-man show. In
the days of the kalinda this,
would have been impossible
since the very form of the
kalinda implied an interplay
between solo voice and chorus,
the individual and the group.
Even the Sans Humanite
type calypsoes required the
presence of at least two oppo-
nents, who, like kalinda sing-
ers, would boast about their
own prowness, ald compete in
the presence of an audience,
and with the help of a chorus,
to see who was better at rhe-
torical self-aggrandisement.
"Railway" Douglas, then, in-
troduced a new era in the
As his tent progressed, he
was able to organise a team of
singers. Picong was retained as
a tradition, and was generally
reserved for the end of the
show, when those who were
able displayed their talents as


Raymond Quevedo, Atilla
the Hun, has a rather different
version of how the Calypso
developed during the first quar-
ter of the century. Like Patrick
Jones, he notes the "reversion"
of the calypsonians to openly
sexual themes in the first de-

cade,but he does not attribute
this to the Church's objection
to certain aspects of Carnival,
and the withdrawal of some of
the major calypsonians. (56)
He rather interprets it as a
sign of the temporary failure of
Executor and Marlborough
(George Adilla), the accredited
"intellectuals" among the
calypsonians, to raise the tone
of the Calypso.
Calypso reverted to the
picong and the glorification
of sex symbolism. The
crude single tone calypso-
nians dominated the stage, a
position they were to hold
up the World War I and
right into the twenties. All
this time, Executor was
holding the fort. (57)
Atilla here is writing as a
man who had grown up in the
old oratorical tradition of sing-
ing where Executor was the un-
doubted master, and who was
trying to present Executor as
the forerunner and innovator
of the new era as well.
It is unclear whether he sees
Executor as one who was fight-
ing desperately to preserve the
traditional forms from the
"corruption" of the new breed
of entertainers, or as one who
was responsible for the formal
developments of the late
thirties and the forties.
Other sources of informa-
tion only serve to confuse the
picture a little more. Houdini
(Wilmoth Hendricks), for
example, who was born in
1895, says that hte first sang in
1920 in a Prince Street tent
which he erected called the
"Chinese Junk Yard".
Both stickfighter and
chantuel he was clearly in the
old tradition of the street
bands, from which Executor,
Marlborough and the rest
imagined themselves to have
been saving the Calypso. Hou-
dini says that:
At the time he started out
the leading kaisomen were
King Fanto and Mentor,
Nightingale, Chinee Patrick
and Senior Inventor, Baden
Powell (king of picong) and
of course, the ubiquitous
Lord Executor.
Atilla the Hun, Lion, Tiger
and Radio all came later.
Even the illustrious Douglas,
master of the ballad calyp-
so, was Houdini's junior by
some years. (58)

Yet it is clear that Douglas tent
was functioning in 1921, and
that Douglas himself had start-
ed to sing at the same time as
Houdini. What all this seems to
prove.was that the Calypso was
in a stage of transition, and
that then, as well as now, each
generation attached great im-
portance to what used to be
popular in its day.

This is the second part
of the feature "Forty
Years of Calypso" which
we began in our Inde-
pendence paper. The third
and final part appears in
our next issue with the re-
mainder of the list of re-
ferences. In it, the old
school Pretender,
Houdini and the rest is
met by the new:
Kitchener, Viking, Zebra.




IT'S A film about
football, which means
it's a film aboat vio-
Thus did a Prensa Latina
correspondent describe a
new film "Subterraneous
do futbol" produced by
Brasil's underground film
The unconventional view
of the world's most popu-
lar sport is typical of the
picture of Brasil presented
by a group of young direc-
tors who, over recent years,
and at great cost and
danger to themselves, have
sought to show Brasilians
the grim realities of their
Departing from the smug
complacencies presented by
the established com-
munications media under
Brasil's repressive regime,
the underground film direc-
tors try to present the un-
speakable truths about the
history and present life of
their country.


"Subterraneous do fut-
bol" far from glorifying in
the fame football has
brought to Brasil through
the great Pele, the Santos
Club and the international
successes, focuses on the
plight of the professional
footballer the ones who
strive to be but attain less
than the incomparable Pele.
Every pooryoung
Brasilian wants to be Pele
and many try their best.
There is only one Pele,

however, and the life of
the average professional
footballer is always hard
andusually ends in
Millionaire Pele, the film
star the wizard, the king,
than 30 scars on his

Interviewed in the film
he says: "The player ts a
slave." Another famous
Brasilian footballerex-
plains: "The footballer is a
worker with a short life; he
earn little and is the
source of riches for

The director of the film
says he aimed to focus on
the economic and political
structure of the football in
Brasil, and to show how
"the passion for sport leads
to madness and the
alienation ofmillions of

this GUQOO season

IF THE blood was
ketch-up, if the policemen
were extras and if that
policeman on the horse
was being played by Peter
Sellers, the evening would
have been hilariously
Through the gates come a
marching, running, band of
green-looking policemen. Ba-
tons whirling they wade into
the crowd sitting on the green
fringes of the Oval field and
the crowd scampers all over
the place.
Satisfied the police con-
tinue down the line, reaching
the north-eastern end of the
groundwhere, if anything,
congestion is worse, judging
from the fact that practically
all the fainters come from this
Back! Back! say the batons
and in answer a bottle comes
in a lazy curve from some-
where in the crowd. Finding
argument where none was ex-
pected, the police hazard a
step crowd-wards and then the
bottles start coming in earn-
That on the northern end



of the grounds. Nothing is
happening on the southern
end. Ii fact people are making
a joke of it in the Carib stand.
Two fell rs take off their
shirts and wave it in mock
surrender at the police down
below and some others follow
suit. In the north, a. war, in
the south, play.
More police sweep in. Some
criminal lobs a canister of tear
gas into the Carib stand
and the people are com-
pletely terrorised. The mood
has changed so quickly
that for some seconds nothing
happens only fear playing
across the faces of the people.
Then everything snaps and
everybody starts tearing down-
stairs. The gas is taking effect
and some go down under the
feet of the frightened mass.
Women are screaming and
toe more athletic young men
begin swinging down the
stand. Meantime the gentle-

men in the Members Box be-
comes empty in record time.
The police, forgetting they
are police begin pelting bottles
and where before everybody
was trying to get to the front
to get a view of the match,
everybody now starts to run
back to the gates and pre-
sumably to safety.
Chaos takes over here, too.
The Stands block the people
streaming in the back from
seeing what is going on in
front of the area they just
left,but everybody is still run-
ning some ducking behind
cars, some lying flat on the
ground not a bottle can
reach here but somebody
gets cut on a bottle on the
A siren screams acting like
a needle of electricity and
some of the people who have
reached outside scamper back
inside, to collide with people
scampering out.

"A man dead," somebody
says giving tangible proof of
what was considered to be a
life and death situation and
the eddying people become a
completely directionless whir-
pool. A man swears that he
will never set foot in the Oval
for the next 100 years, and all
around women are screaming
and children are crying.
Some hold on to their cool
and try to drag up people
who have fallen. One of them,
is so submerged under feet
that the only visible area is his
neck. Willing hands grab his
neck and he is dragged to his
feet :
"O God, ah could never
dead again," he screams and
joins the throng running out
of the Oval. People running
about asking other people
why they running. And
everybody pointed out that
there were more bottles on
the field after the cricket riot
in 1960. That, perhaps was
the last word in an afternoon
whose development was, when
you consider it, painfully logi-
cal. Fifty injured. One dead.

Get into the age of comfortable living


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Trinidadians realized for
the first time how drama-
tic and powerful a medium
television is. The picture
of the riot as relayed from
the Oval was graphic
enough to ensure that this
was one event that could
be discussed on the evi-
dence of the eyes and not
on a "dem say" basis.
As a result the Oval fiasco
has been the talking point of
not only the 50,000 who
crammed into the Oval but the
thousands who saw the action
via television. So that it didn't
take long for people to make
their judgments and in the
taxis and on the blocks con-
demnation for the administra-
tive negligence and police dis-

order was loud and clear.
That television played such
a useful role in this area has
nothing to do with the initia-
tive of TTT, of course. The
crew happened to be there to
cover the match and not even a
novice to television journalism
would have missed that event.

But the technical coverage
was so good that one simply
has to goad the television deci-
sion-makers into seeing that
they are wasting a medium by
using it to show junk. The
ready answer from TTT, of
course, is that they are showing

what people want to see.
The truth is that television
is a relatively new medium
here and people have no idea
of what it is possible for them
to see.
Ird a country that thrives
on sport controversy, it .is scan-
dalousthat the medium is not
used more to cover sport. Why,
for instance, aren't dashes like
Maple-Malvern, Paragon-
Regiment and others tha t have
a wide public appeal not tele-
vised? Why wasn't the Village
Olympics match between
Morvant and Tunapuna on the
To say that it is too costly is

not a satisfactory answer. TTT
has been making profits over
the years and if television can-
not be made to serve the real
likes of the community then
where are we going.
Because the corollary to the
cost argument is that the only
way TTT can make money is
by showing canned stuff ad
nauseam the Lord forbid!
Not that TTT shows any de-
gree of sensitivity in its selec-
tion of canned stuff either. If
they did, then Tom Jones
would not have been peddled
week after week to a popula-
tion that simply is not in-
terested in Tom Jones and
who, certainly, doesn't rank in
the top 20 of their favourite

T.T.T through the

eyes of the people



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6 New Street, Port of Spain Phone : 62-31040

And again, how does one
explain ITT's insistence that
the public be shown films of
English football and not that
of Brazil. Certainly we would
prefer to see Pele and Tostao
and Revellino instead of Best,
Ball and Banks.
The English are first class
footballers, but Brazil are the
champions of the world. And
too many people have been
saying that our football
temperament is more akin to
the Brazilians for us to spend
our Sundays looking at the
English teams alone.
TTT with its coverage of the
Olympics and its coverage of
the riot have set people
thinking. Either the bosses
must make it a serious medium
or thypeople will. We certainly
cannot let it go to waste.

PLEASURE is at a pre-
mium in the country these
days. As the population
and the regime move re-
lentlessly on a collision
course, as the few remain-
ing freedoms are whittled
away, a mood of frenzied
joylessness settles oppress-
ively over our nation.
Not even the fetes are
working. Where once they were
happy get-togethers, they have
become disorganised, boring,
serving only as occasions for in-
creasing numbers of our people
to blow their minds with mari-
juana, Mandrax, "lilies" and
LSD which already has a hard
core following. And it will not
be long before young people
find out how to get the heroin
that is already in the country.

The thousands that
thronged the Oval for the
Santos-Trinidad match sought
to use the occasion as a means
of recapturing some of the
vanishing joy. So we came with
our picnic baskets and our
cards and in the morning and
early afternoon periods it
lools d as if the Trinidadian
tokc-ance would triumph over
tu heat and the hopelessly in-
adequate facilities that Queen's
Park has historically provided
for its ground patrons.
But the imp was not going
to be so easily shortchanged. In
the space of a half-hour
tragi-comedy the violence that
is the making of the PNM over-
flowed from the blocks into
the Oval, an under-trained
police service almost caused a
tragedy of frightening propor-
tions and once again a popula-
tion that put its trust in the
management of the govern-'
ment, went home cheated.

With all the censure being
passed out, many people are
forgetting that some 15,000
people on grounds had to fight
to get water from the two
pipes that the Oval manage-
ment sees fit to provide for
those who couldn't get a seat
in the Stands; that toilet facili-
ties where they were provided
were worse than the latrines
with which most of the popula-
tion, even after Lock-Joint,
still has to make do.
As it was, most of the cen-
sure was heaped on the backs
of the police. And while we
stood in horror as policemen
hurled bottles into the tightly-
packed grounds and threw can-
nisters of tear-gas into stands
overflowing with people, we
-rtainly cannot allow the king
,'t his retinue to absolve
themselves from blame by
patting us on our shoulder,
citing our discipline and our
tolerance, and hoping that we
will not see that the Oval fiasco
was a logical development of
policies implemented by this
government in the much-
bandied name of law and
If anything the Oval inci-
dent showed that by increasing
and over-arming the police.
force, the government has cer-
tainly not worked in the in-,
terests of law and order. All
they have done is given sanc-i
tion to lawlessness and dis-
So that the riot squad in the
Oval. behaved as if they were

dealing with a bunch of looting
and burning anarchists and the
crowd in turn behaved as if the
policemen were the enemy out
to spoil the moments of fun
hardwon in the heat and
squelch of the day.
Indeed the indictment
against the police is that they
behaved exactly like the
crowd. The point is, however,
that a police service schooled
along lines laid down by the
regime was. powerless to per-
form any differently.
Without the training and the
insight that any civil service
needs to deal with situations
like the one in the Oval, the
police retreated to the old bad-
john behaviour if a man pelt
yuh, pelt him back. And if you
have guns and teargas and a.
uniform and a government that
will pick a former police
officer to investigate police be-
haviour on the day, then the
choice of action is a simple one
to make.
But this appointment like
others the government has
made is bound to backfire. Too
many people saw what
happened at the Oval for Carr
to cook up any report mathe-
matically apportioning blame
all around. For the riot illus-
trated to all those who feel
thatithisisaweak-kneed popula-
tion that the people ent taking
nothing from nobody. If the
regime performs violently they
will be met by violence ask
all the mothers and fathers
who sided with the actions of
their sons, ask the taxi-drivers
and the market vendors and
they will tell you that the
government too damn
And the ironic thing about
the riot is that the match'was
stage-managed by the
government and its Inde-
pendence Celebrations Com-
mittee to bring glory to the old

order. It was to be the latest in
a long string of circuses staged
by the government to lull the
population into believing that
everything was hunky-dory in
the state. But in the same way
that the Arab attack on Israeli
-athletes shattered the Olympic
dream of brotherhood and
focused world attention on
the reality of world tensions,
the riot in the Oval focused
our attention on the mood of
violence and disquiet that
pervades this land.
Wha really going on? Plenty
shit, is the answer. Elverytimek
this government embarks on
.one of its wand-waving
missions, ole mas ensues. Agri-
cultural Year, National Dia-
logue Year and this year when
we writhed in embarrassment.
over the bungling of the
German Scholarship, when we
didn't win a single medal in the
Olympics, when the only gla-
mour in our football is
supplied by three professionals
who are forced to make their
living in the North American
cold, when people who go to
marvel at Pele end up in hos-
pital you know what year
this is? The Year of Sports and
Culture! The thing is a kind of
cruel joke. And the joke iis
drawn out:

Having declared that this is
the year of sports and culture
the government made some ill-
fated, superficial forays into
the two fields that have
suffered so much at their hands
over the last 15 years. As usual
they began by stealing a Tapia
idea and trying to implement
it. TAPIA has been arguing
that sports should be deve-
loped on the level of the com-
The government interprets
this to mean the staging of a
Village Olympics. The whole.
thing is centrally controlled.
and naturally official bungling
sets in. The fact that the
villages have no playing fields is
ignored with the result that

most of the matches take place
outside of the participating
villages. All the "Olympics"
has going for it is the enthu-
siastic support the villagers
have for their teams a
support that has been there for
years. It is this support and en-
thusiasm that we argued should
be harnessed into constructive
organisation. Instead of which,
the PNM plans and the popula-
tion claps, or cries the latter
being the most apt recourse.
Like everything else the
government's ;public relations
exercise, using sport as the
medium, has gone sour. And it
is not merely that the king's
obeah has run out. It is the
people who have put him and
his Papa Nizas on the run.
Look at how we have behaved.
The regime soui tto pacify
one sector of the population
by raising salaries. We turned
instead to the rising cost of
living and listened to the
anguish of the unemployed. So
that didn't wuk.
They churned out an
Ame rican-style "Expression"
which turned out to be so soul-
less that the soul fans in the
limes stayed away. They
bungled Carnival, they persist
in trying to put culture on a
stage, they sending steelbands
abroad and the steelbandsmen
- those of them who do not
jump ship return more dis-
gruntledi than ever. That, too
didn't wuk.
But tradition 'weighs
heavily on the king so he says
he has another personality to
bring. Let him bring Kenyatta,
Castro, Angela Davis, anybody

he likes and he still will not
succeed in diverting our at-
tention from Laventille,
Matelot,Tobago%:edros, Port of
Spain, Diego Martin, Sangre
all the areas in the country
where our own personalities
are not being given a chance to
come into their own
Bribe ent wuk, the circuses
were complete waste down, so
the only thing left is rope. A3-
readythe police are questioning
the role they are being called
upon to play. They are
standing up to Bernard, even
threatening his job, so much so
that he cannot be sure who
really threw that bottle that hit
him. Villified by the popula-
tion, the police are asking
questions questions that are
sure to pierce through all the
brainwashing calculated to
make brutalisation appear a
thing of honour. Let the king
take note.

Already they say he and his
colleagues ,are getting ready to
Srun. Whopping salary increases,
back-pay for so more ingre-
dients in the pot of dissension
that is coming to the boil.
Meantime the king going funky
in his old age, stealing lines
from pop songs sung by tenth-
rate pop singers. Truly the gods
make mad those whom they
set out to destroy and this
bridge done fall down. But joy
will return with the new
building that is a-coming.




soft, light

S land delicious.



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