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May 09, 2007



Another excellent commentary, Larry, and perfectly timed. Just when you feel like you may need some duct tape to stop your head from exploding with all the serious accusations and over-zealous vitriol, you come along and remind us that there IS humour in all this. While I may not wish to see the insult-laden American style of humour, I can't wait for the day that we can see regular satire and sardonic commentary on our look-how-serious-and-important-I-am politicians and other community "leaders". Check this interesting article along the same lines, posted today:

larry smith

There's a lot more humour than most of us imagine - but a Bahamian satirist? I have yet to see such a creature.

Satire makes a point by making fun of people with power.


Larry, with all due respect to you and others, Bahamian satire is a major component of our culture. The very quadrille is satire -- the slaves' mocking of their masters' court dances. Figures like B'Rabby and Shine are avenues for satire, and Junkanoo used to be its main venue.

Its formal expression exists in our theatre. What do you call Michael Pintard's "Election 2002", for instance, or Ian Strachan's "No Seeds in Babylon"?

But politicians and other "true-true Bahamians" don't attend Bahamian plays, do they? The worst legacy of our father's PLP is the denigration of serious Bahamian cultural expression, and the near elimination of the power of Bahamian satire. That the only cultural expressions that we consider legitimate are feel-good ones, not the ones that make us think or question or criticize. We recognize music and dance, the party culture.

Literature and theatre -- the places where the people get to talk back to the politicians -- are nowhere on the map.

Don't get me started. The administration of culture has now been tacked on, as an afterthought, to education, youth, and sports. I shall be prosecuted under General Orders if I say any more at all.


Isnt it quite amazing as you noted that Mr. Christie does not know how to win-worst yet he does not know how to lose.

larry smith

I would never argue culture with the director of culture.

But I was thinking about satire that is easily accessible in the popular media, which in the Bahamas means newspapers, radio and TV.

I was thinking about satire as a tool to advocate a change in a social, moral, or political process. Or to register disapproval.

In this context I always go back to the 'Dis We Tings' performances that were so popular (on stage, at events and on TV) years ago.

In my memory, the author made fun of ordinary people quite effectively - but there was never any attempt to push the boundaries and attack the powerful - particularly politicians. Not the right protocol.


You're right about it not being easily accessible (or even being produced much these days), and you're right about Dis We Tings.

My point is that it's not foreign to us. We just have abandoned -- for whatever reason -- our roots.

Perhaps we're all just too timid.

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