Death of the Wine

What going to happen
What going to happen
When the rhythm stop?
Nobody knows
Nobody knows
Wham Bam, David Rudder
Wining is dying art. Dying in the same violent senseless way as all the people who have already lost their lives in a year so young and a time so uncertain. Wining, that last bastion of abandon and freedom, has become a thing of instructions. Like trying to get into a fete. You are barked at and corralled. Someone jooks their pelvis at you, like a riot police officer with a big gun. You better enjoy it. You are under duress to take a wine. Your boomsie is a war zone. You could get killed for wining on the wrong one. At least for those of us schooled in a finer time, when the wine had lost some of its rough jamette edges and came to be an acceptable expression of freedom, something to be proud of one’s level of skill.

It has never before struck me how much wining was a thing of beauty until I am confronted with its recently acquired ugliness. Or perhaps it’s only now that things seem to be falling apart, the smiling mask of Trini tolerance slipping to reveal a selfish, scowling grimace, that the loss of simple things seems so stark. Perhaps wining always had the potential to be violent. To be not liberating at all. At Wasa fete, I watch the people exercise their criminal wining machinations. I hear about girls jamming fellars to pick their pockets, men beating their women senseless for wining on the wrong man. I see them get the set-up from outside so that on the inside they have no choice but to behave like leggo beast. Outside the police officers patrol in their riot gear.

They arrange the crowd into tight knots of people, bark instructions like tuneless soca artists who have no creative recourse but 10,000 repetitions of wine, wave, jook and other brutish monosyllabic orders. Move, stop. What is that in your pocket? Take it out. Step aside. Raise your hands.  I watch the people skittish like sheep, excited to get to the feting. But I must not really understand what time it is because I find this all very disturbing. There is more than fete feverishness here. I am feeling something else that makes me want to not be in that crowd. The noise of these several thousand people makes me want to run in the opposite direction.

Watching them wining. Watching them enjoying themselves. This is a jumbie dem moment, I am out of body and they cannot get back to themselves. I am not sure if this is the colour of enjoyment, but nothing can stop this jamming. Nothing can stop this stabbing wine. This association between sex and violence. This death of love on the dancefloor. This co-opting of defiance to a bizarre anti-woman chain up. A wine is a fight. Who can out-wine whom. A wine is no means to an end but a race to the end.  Part of me wants to romanticise a time when there was an innocence about everything. When you could find an iota of sense in an Iwer George song. Anyhow you wine, a wine is a wine. Not so anymore. Now a wine is a competition.

And an inane wining song becomes the most appropriate theme song for fast food. A fast and largely forgettable experience. No this is not a sweetest boomsie wine. Not for this generation of stabbers and daggerers. Who would stab you in the middle of a fete. Or shoot you normal normal afterwards. Just for so. There is no difference between lover and fighter, because even between men and women a war is raging.And the women are freer and fatter and showing more of themselves. And in the abundance of water the fool is tusty. The sweetness has gone from the wine. What is left in its place is a rank and rancid thing. Forced into tight white pants. This above all else disturbs me. This loss of winery is a fate worse than financial collapse. Surely the death of the wine is a dire and desperate indication of the weakness of our collective Trini backbone.

3 thoughts on “Death of the Wine

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Trinidad & Tobago: Dead Dead Wine

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