…and irrational fears
Did you know about “triskaidekaphobia”? If the answer is “no”, then let your Eyewitness inform you that it’s the fear of “Friday 13”! Now, growing up in Guyana, that wasn’t something we knew about, much less feared. We had enough “jumbles”, “Dutchmen”, “Moon Gazers” and assorted “Ole Higues” to keep us in a state of heightened panic at nights! But, as with the rest of our culture, ever since the end of WWII, we’ve been invaded by a plethora of Americanisms, ranging from the psychological (think of young people “cutting” themselves) to the phobic (think Halloween and Friday 13!).
The latter received its greatest fame (infamy?) via the Freddy Krueger horror films and their sequels and spin-offs!! “Heees back!” took on a whole new connotation after Freddy’s refusal to die and be done with! So yesterday was Friday 13, and as not to jinx the occasion (or raise the sleeping dead!) your Eyewitness gave the topic a (very) wide berth! “Better be safe than sorry” has always been his motto. But he did keep his eyes and ears wide open for the inevitable “bad thing” to happen.
And he wasn’t surprised when he got news that one of the parties that had popped out of the woodwork like jumble umbrellas before the last elections was in the throes of a serious meltdown. From the very beginning, your Eyewitness had his doubts about a party that named itself, “The New Movement”. A new movement is supposed to be presenting a new vision for the country; in other words, it’s an act of IMAGINATION. And this was the very best name they came up with to present themselves to the people? It seemed pretty lazy to your Eyewitness.
Anyhow, back to the meltdown, in which six of eight “Executives” handed in their resignations. Now, it’s very clear that all these Executives are very important to the survival of the “Movement”. It had to have taken all of them to convince their respective relatives to vote for them and accumulate the grand total of 124 votes they got on March 2! Seems that the gist of the gripe by the departed Executives was that they didn’t get appointed to any Government board; or, more pointedly, to the board of an energy company run by the fella who’d financed them.
They accused the latter of being a dictator and wanting to control everything! So, what do these neophytes think lobbyists and financiers donate money to political parties for? Seriously, are these people for real??
Or was it a case of being haunted by Freddy Krueger’s ghost. Sort of a twist of “the Devil made me do it!” line that’s been used for millennia!
While Freddy and his cohorts like Jason might be stirring fear in the breasts of the present generation, from the beginning of time, man (probably even Neanderthal Man) has feared the darkness. And it doesn’t surprise your Eyewitness. After all, the things that could spring out of the darkness and devour them were all too real – like saber tooth tigers and such like!
So even when we formed societies and lived in cities with walls to keep out the feared creatures, the collective fears remained buried deep in our psyches. Then there was the physical darkness that increased and increased during the onset of winter, which stirred fears that they would never see the sun again. And, of course, we know these are the prosaic origins of festivals like Diwali – light a light to keep out the fearful darkness.
But isn’t it so much more enjoyable when all the legends – such as the return of Prince Rama after recovering his wife Sita – are retold?
Even though we know that, ultimately, the demons are within us!
…of a wet Christmas
With the rainy season supposed to be in December/January, the way the rains are coming down – and we’re only in November – it’s almost certain we’re going to have a very, very wet Christmas.
Get Santa an umbrella!