Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is the media killing Trinidad and Tobago's folklore?

By C. Felix

Gone are the days of old when granny used to put us to sit in front of her while in her old creaking rocking chair, with either a pipe or a whip in her hand, to tell stories of old tradition to life.
What ever happened to
Papa Bois, La Diablesse, Mama Dlo, the Soucouyant with her fiery flamboyant skin, Ligahoo and Douens? Miserable little tricky back footed, faceless bastards who used to lead children into the bushes till they were lost.
Many of the young people who may be reading this would be lost as to who or what I am referring to. However, before the advent of reality shows, internet, play station 2, I pods, cell phones, social media etc, this is how we ‘old folks’ used to intrigue our imagination.
It’s a shame that the dominant media have taken over our culture to such a huge extent that our valuable old time stories are being swept under the carpet with very little hope of return. In addition to the imagination, fascination and scariness those stories brought. They also brought a sense of togetherness amongst friends and family alike who would listen attentively to granny speak while a bake roasted on an opened fire.
This was how families used to interact no so long ago. Even though people might complain about the alleged demonic influences accompanied with our local folklore, the fact of the matter is, these stories opened the door way for discussions and conversations amongst family members. I dear you to have an intellectually bonding conversation with someone chatting on Facebook, Twitter or BBM. 

What is the local media doing to keep the flames of folklore burning? Definitely not enough, because the media hardly ever bother to do a feature story on Trinbagonian tales from long ago by interviewing the last remaining elderly souls that actually remember a good local
Soucouyant story. No one even bothers to do docu-series on proposed titles like “The search for Papa Bois” or “I think my neighbor is a La Diablesse” to cement some sort of culture and imagination in the minds of our youth. Coincidentally, thanks to the media, our Trini youngsters can clearly  identify a Zombie, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Boogieman to name a few; all of which by the way are conjured from foreign folklores brought to us by the media.   
Sad to say Uncle Papa Bois and Aunty Mama Dlo that your time has unfortunately passed and you are hardly remembered in the fragile fading minds of those like me. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is the media condoning lawlessness?

By K. Johnson
The topic of Lesbians, Bisexuals, Gays, and Transgenders (LGBT) has been a very sore topic in Trinidad and Tobago for a number of years. People are afraid to discuss the issues that surround LGBT’s in our society mainly because they are afraid that they are going to offend some people. The ones who are more on the fearful side are the LGBTs. The reason for that, aside from blatant discrimination from the general public, is that the law is not on their side.  
The laws of Trinidad and Tobago view Lesbianism, Bisexuality, Homosexuality and Transgenderism as criminal acts punishable by imprisonment.  “Trinidadian criminal code prohibits sex between two people of the same sex, as is the case in much of the English-speaking Caribbean. Section 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1986[1] criminalises "buggery". This section, strengthened in 2000,[2] states: (1) A person who commits buggery is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment: 
a. If committed by an adult on a minor, for life;
b. If committed by an adult on another adult, for twenty five years; 
c. If committed by a minor, for five years."
Even as the law is expected to be common knowledge to all, some of our local T.V. Stations and Newspapers  broadcast and publish content that are not in accordance with our laws. The Ellen Degeneres Show, Will and Grace and even America’s Next Top Model, are just a few of the shows that encourage what our law is against. I personally have no issue with LGBT’s, they are human beings just like the rest of us and should be treated as such. The question here is whether or not media houses have a responsibility to broadcast content that upholds the law of the land? Or is it okay to adopt the copycat syndrome even if it goes against what we as a nation are supposed to abide by?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WTF…Halloween Party! Is the media aware of what they are promoting?

By S. Elie 

All last week I heard ads on the radio and saw several on the television pushing Halloween parties and movies.  Since when do we celebrate Halloween? Where did we get it from?
Yes the media is to inform and entertain us, but can they change our traditions? What happened to All Souls or All Saints when we pray for those who have departed? We have thrown this away for Halloween. Do we know the origins of the festival? Why do they wear masks? What is the purpose of the “trick or treat”? But we have people counting down the week … Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… Halloween Party!
What is going on with our media houses? Our television stations advertise and air Halloween shows during the final October weekend, our radio stations play and endorse Halloween party ads. It’s one thing to look at running the ads as a business venture but how come our media houses do not endorse All Souls or All Saints (which is originally celebrated November 1st) so that we light candles and pray for the souls of those who have passed - the persons who were killed on our roads, on the job, the victims of crime. Instead we have Halloween stories and Halloween sales.
Let’s look at the facts – according to the Colombian Encyclopedia, Halloween, Oct. 31, the eve of All Saints' Day , observed with traditional games and customs. The word comes from medieval England's All Hallows' eve (Old Eng. hallow = "saint”). However, many of these customs predate Christianity, going back to Celtic practices associated with Nov. 1, which was Samhain, the beginning of winter and the Celtic New Year. Witches and other evil spirits were believed to roam the earth on this evening, playing tricks on human beings to mark the season of diminishing sunlight. Bonfires were lit, offerings were made of dainty foods and sweets, and people would disguise themselves as one of the roaming spirits, to avoid demonic persecution. Survivals of these early practices can be found in countries of Celtic influence today, such as the United States where children go from door to door in costumes demanding "trick or treat."  To read more…  
The media does not tell us what to think but what to think about. But, they should not promote things because everyone else (country) is doing it. Is the profit from advertising more important than the messages being fed to citizens?
On behalf of T&T Bloggerzine, to all the families and friends of those who have passed away, accept our condolences.  
Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them
May they rest in peace. Amen. X3 
May the souls of all the faithful who have departed rest in peace. Amen.