WE DID NOT WANT TO KNOW – by Dave Martins + music videos

Dave Martins

WE DID NOT WANT TO KNOW – by Dave Martins

October 29, 2017

In an earlier comment about song-writing I made the point that while talent has to be there, the more critical quality is observation because that is almost always the ingredient that sets a song apart; the writer has turned a light on something in the society, or in an individual, that would have otherwise escaped the rest of us in the populace.

In fact, to look at the popular columnists or commentators in our local press – Freddie Kissoon, Ralph Ramkarran, Henry Jeffrey, Adam Harris, Christopher Ram, Ian McDonald, etc. – is to see this taking place as each writer brings us to something, or an aspect of something, that is new or revealing or thought-provoking.     

Furthermore, in the society at large, I have often said that we can be in advance of shifts in our society, wherever it may be, through this inclination to observation, leaving us aware of something before the most recent data or study or programme presents something to us as a condition we have reached.

An example of this came to me recently through my humble cell phone. I’m not into the various smart phone apps, and the constant checking for messages or updates, including even during a play at the Theatre Guild (I saw that one once), but I do notice the occasional faint beep on my cell phone when one of GT&T messages comes in, and I have noticed a definite increase, in recent weeks, in the number of these with discounts, packages, applications, and even promotion of events being sent to me. From that observation I have deduced that GT&T is likely improving customer outreach but, more likely, in our economic downturn, looking to increase revenue from its captive customer base. More specifically, this is confirming for me that the much discussed economic downturn is real – GT&T is quite properly cranking up in response.

Within the past week, as well, I received in the mail a very attractive four-colour brochure from my bank offering me an attractive rate on a personal loan. Understand that this came completely unsolicited. From my time at my mother’s apron strings at Hague and Vreed-en-Hoop I was made aware of the perils that can come from getting into debt, and it is something I am careful to avoid. The letter from the bank, however, told me two things: one is that I have a pretty good credit rating, so that although I don’t need a loan, the bank is confidently offering me one, and, secondly, the bank, like GT&T, has also identified a downturn of sorts. I don’t have to wait for the economic statistics; two entities in the marketplace are sending me a subliminal message saying revenues are down, brethren.

Another example involves the two dogs we own for whom we buy a fair amount of this or that dog food including chicken necks which we cook for them. The sources I have for the chicken are Toucan in town, Rambarran’s in Campbellville, and Bounty Supermarket in Kitty, but I have noticed in the past month or two, a definite drop in the usually ample supply. I asked a friendly Bounty employee about the reason for this decline, and he said with a smile, “Mr. Dave, it’s just my opinion, but with things kinda down these days, I believe some people, who didn’t bother with chicken necks before, are using it now for soup and things like that, so there’s more demand.” So to this young man, the situation in the economy is reflected in an item Bounty sells.

This week, as well, the media in the USA is in a huge uproar over the case of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein who is being accused by several actresses of being a sexual predator. In programme after programme, we hear persons expressing their “shock and utter disgust” at the man’s behaviour and their consternation at “how could this be going on”. One has to wonder if these folks have just landed from Mars. From the time history began, women have been subjected to these unwanted sexual explorations, and it is particularly prevalent in cases in the entertainment industry where women seeking a career interact with men who hold powerful positions in the industry.

In fact, the practice is prevalent; it is literally everywhere. Attractive women in very scanty costumes are regularly there to adorn the newest car model being introduced. Even on the stage of the weigh-in for an important MMA match, women in skimpy bikinis are part of the ceremony, not performing any function other than decoration; just standing there, simply displaying. Voices are not raised against it, and it must be conceded that often the women themselves are willing.

One of the points levelled at Weinstein in the media is that his predatory behaviour was an “open secret” in Hollywood and among many prominent politicians in America. In the first place, “open secret” is an oxymoron; if something is widely known, it cannot be also secret. In addition, persons who knew of Harvey’s behaviour were clearly not letting that affect their friendship or relationship with him. It is simply ludicrous that some persons have even commented publicly in the USA that they had no idea of the kind of transgressions Weinstein is now likely to end up in court for. They clearly knew of the behaviours, the instances were out there, but they simply chose to ignore them. Their lament, “We simply did not know”, just does not wash. “We did not know?” Rather it is, “We did not want to know.”






Bajanbloom Bloom-Published on Aug 11, 2010
There is no doubt in the pride of being a West Indian in such Tradewinds classics as “Caribbean Man”, “Boyhood Days”, “Where Are Your Heroes” and “We Are The Champions”. Other compositions such as “Cricket in the Jungle”, “Civilization” and “Copycats” make you step back and reflect on the Caribbean way of approaching life, at home and abroad. Other very popular songs, written by Martins, include “Mr. Rooster”, “Wong Ping”, “You Can’t Get”, “Not A Blade of grass” and the 1997 release “Gie Dem Shiv” which is a tribute to Guyanese-born West Indian Cricket star Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
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  • Gigi  On 11/12/2017 at 10:48 am

    Interesting read. Those who live to obscure, deflect and project fail to realize that people have developed a keen sense, call it a sixth sense, to alert them to when “tings na regula” despite being told so. Here in the US, retailers could barely wait for Halloween to pass so that they can start playing holiday music. I remember going out the day before Halloween to buy candy for trick or treat and decided to stop by some of my favorite browsing stores only to hear a Christmas/holiday song being snuck in to the overhead music. But I already knew that things weren’t regular for quite a long time.

    When my oldest daughter younger, she wanted to be a singer and actress. She has a beautiful voice and looks like Ann Hathaway. I did my all to dissuade her, even letting her drama teachers know of my feelings so as not to encourage her. So while she did participate in concerts and school plays, she was never pushed to go Hollywood. Now that she is older and all this stuff about Hollywood ugliness is out there, she is glad she got away.

  • albert  On 11/13/2017 at 11:06 am

    When my oldest daughter was young I had read B F Skinner conditioning theory and Ann Launders on women been condition at an early age for the kitchen and traditional wife role. I sat out to program my daughters for the bigger world. I never bought them dholls and girlie girlie toys as gifts but trucks, electronic devices, puzzles and things we normally buy for boys. i did the same with books in the home. The object was to control the direction of their growth by controlling the environment…..my wife let her crazy husband have his way.

    Did it work? maybe. The older girl was obedient and by 22 had her Masters in Engineering ( a predominantly male profession) but the other one rebel all the way and got a liberal arts education.
    What Skinner perhaps underestimated and I did not know was the inner force of the natural and maternal instincts, and the external environment…….school and friends. Fortunately my girls have done exceedingly well and love their crazy father.

  • Gigi  On 11/13/2017 at 5:32 pm

    @ Albert, you went the guy route. I went the girly route with cutesy clothes, dolls and stuff. But I also did some of the ‘boys’ stuff with them based on my childhood. I remember taking them fishing for the very first time. My husband was away and they had been bugging me for the longest while to take them fishing. So we got up early, packed a picnic basket, stopped by the local Wal-mart to purchase fishing rods and fake bait (I wasn’t ready for using earthworm bait and they weren’t either), and away we went. We arrived at a popular fishing spot, they set up our picnic blanket and stuff while I attended to the fishing rods. We were there for almost half a day but caught nothing until another family came by and offered us some shrimp bait. Shortly after, one of of my kids caught a fish on her rod. We reeled it in but when she saw the fish hook piercing through the fish’s mouth and that it was bleeding, she started crying. Soon they all started crying. Through her sobbing she kept saying “sorry fish, I’m so sorry fish. Sorry fish, I’m so sorry fish.” I decided that we were going to release the fish back into the water, but first I wanted to remove the hook to spare it the. I couldn’t get the hook out. Eventually, I had to throw it back in, hook and all. The worst moment of my life. And that was the first and last time we went fishing. They do like hiking, canoeing, bike riding and other non-girly/feminine stuff. And they do like their jeans, t-shirts and flannel shirts. They’re not into make-up and do not obsess over their hair except for when the occasion calls for it. I was raised a tomboy because of my brother, I was like his shadow growing up, so I guess some of the tomboy way was passed on to them.

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