Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sourcing Souls from Idiotville

I had another 'I hate Barbados' moment yesterday when I attended a Town hall meeting on the upcoming Bathsheba Heritage Festival.

This is BIM

Legacy Barbados with World Cup 2007 have implemented a community project using Bathsheba as the guinea pig under the premise that tourists are not just looking for nice beaches anymore- they want to experience 'we culcha'... our culture. So- they've organized a festival for Independence Day in Bathsheba celebrating all that is Barbadianna. Nature walks, Food and Drink, Cultural Shows, Picture displays, Treasure hunts you get the picture. They've also pledged to make it green (good luck to them).

It is supposed to be an opportunity for residents in Bathsheba to have first dibs of stalls, jobs, etc... to which they(Legacy) are coughing up half of the bill to rent the stall, doing the set-up and the security and the clean-up and the marketing and the bussing in of tourists and the promotion of individual businesses and products. Sound Good?

To me it did. Ok. You make a few fish cakes and they bring in 1500 people to potentially buy them. Good money for one day- very little effort required.

Here's how it went:

A flyer about the meeting was sent to every house in the area. I say every house but really every adult 'cause I got two in mine. When the meeting started there were two people there. My sister and my self.

Ah Community Apathy how well I know you from the PTA.

But then, we did get a couple of residents in.

Angry as the fires in hell about copywriting of the name 'Bathsheba Heritage Festival' and exploitation of the residents and their culture and the ramifications of World Cup and "soon from now we won't be able to walk down the street" and you people want to come in here and take over and profit off of us and stomping foot and pointing finger and puffing chest and witholding names. It was so juvenile.

Poor poor dude who came to explain the festival- doesn't he yet know that when there's room for anything except apathy in this country it's contention, derision, jealousy and negativity?

The evening culminated nicely in the appearance of drunk asshole who came in to "bre'k up this meeting" because he has a beef with the Chair of Legacy over parking. (He doesn't own a car, mind) Upon seeing Michelle and I maternally comforting the wounded idealism of the Chair's protege, he bellowed out my most favorite Babadian argument for anything from cookware to cockfights:
"Those white bitches come from away and tink dey can come hay and slave 'bout de people dem. I born hay. I 100% Bajan. Dey want going to fuck long what part dey come frum."
(His father is a white foreigner, of course)

Ah Barbados...Why are you so hung up on sourcing your souls from Idiotville?
Will I ever be able to stomach the spiteful mentality of your offspring?


At 2:09 PM, Blogger LQ said...

hoooold UP. is that world cup soccer in bim 2007?
and was the drunk guy the same man in a white caftan who made me cry on the bathsheba bus?

At 9:38 PM, Blogger BIM said...

Cricket. It's a pretty big deal actually. And drunk dude is a "friend" about our age- if you can believe.

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Archer said...

You have my admiration for trying. Bajan are cultural suspicious... one could almost say paranoid and instead f seeing the glass half full, instead prefer to see the glass broken on the floor and it's YOUR fault. How different they are from other people in other countries I am not sure.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger BIM said...

I think I've been responsible for the beakage of whole glass buildings in my stint here but I too have mastered a reply which goes something like "You dumb fucks should be kissing my ass for supplying you with my genes and pushing out of my crutch one of the best born and breds this island has ever seen. When you push one out any let me know."
Seriously though I take things light. I've got my intellectual snobery to fall back on. :)
When are you coming down here anyway?

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Archer said...

hehe... I should be down for xmas and new years... can't wait to get some proper sun and to live in baggies and and possibly t-shirt for a few weeks.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger eemanee said...

sorry to hear the meeting went so horribly...

mid-way through your post i was thinking that maybe the people who attended were wary of festivals being created for tourists and passed of as "culture". i know i am.

By the time i reach the end of your post i realised that the title was quite appropriate.

was anyone from the press present at the town hall meeting?

At 9:09 PM, Blogger BIM said...

Oh yes... CBC arrived in time to find just the 2 of us there and set up camera to remain on the host to salvage some shame. The best was when the others arrived and started to attack the media with,
"Do you live in Bathsheba, sir? Just tell you live in Bathsheba?" to which CBC man replied,
"I live in Barbados-Bathsheba belong to me!"
I clapped.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Archer said...

Some times it seems as if there might have been a book "How to make enemies and antagonize people" was best seller several years ago and the population assiduously follows its edicts to this day. I love the country, but... ah well the price we pay for democracy.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger CG said...

I laughed my ass off but this is exactly why you need a soul of a saint to work along with any Bajan in a community setting. I suppose it's their turn to be superior since I think that the Town folk tend to look down on the Country folk. It's a vicious circle.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger BIM said...

And can you believe I've suckered myself into another year of PTA madness this time as secretary (who, by and by, has the most work)and another year of haunted house duty for the Canadian Women's Club? Sometimes I think I need my head checked.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger BarbadosInFocus said...

I am all for Government or whom ever trying ways a means to encourage the masses to visit Barbados, whether it be for World Cup Cricket or some other event. For crying out loud, I do it all the time with folks I meet or know. Personally I have sent over 50 plus folks to visit Barbados on my say so. So, I have done my part.

But back to topic at hand, this Bathsheba Festival thing seems ok. Black or White, Barbadians must understand the business of Barbados is business. And it has been for a while now. Any place or avenue to exploit the dollar will be given a chance. Tell me, how many festivals do we have now?

So as long as there is a hint of money, there is going to be some sort of festival, fair, or whatever. All I hope, whatever it may be, that it is always for the betterment of Barbados and its peoples.

Viva Barbados…

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff BIM just came across your blog will try and catch up with your past stuff ~Andy~

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