You know things are bad when it’s budget day and nobody in your taxi particularly cares to hear the speech.
It is no longer just good old Trini inertia. The mere sound of the droning speech elicits a chorus of steups, long watery ones, too boot.
Your taxi driver is bored. The people in the taxi are nodding. It is Petit Carème heat in climate-change times. Sweat is everywhere. Your taxi driver switches off the drone. Switches to Busy Signal. Up in ar belly belly belly belly. The music is an assault. But you’d rather take the daggering from the dancehall than the daggering from the Government. The violence with which every decision stabs at your core. Sounds like noise in your ears. You try your best to understand what the hell they are saying. It is offensive. It is antiquated masculinity. It is a government gone man. Take your stabbing like a woman. Take your stabbing like you like it. You can’t ask the Government for a refund if you think they’re doing crap with your money. You can’t ask to see their supporting documents, you can’t ask what possesses them to fund this and not that.
Up in your belly belly belly belly. Every point is a stab to your core. Leaving you weak and too tired to protest or even cry out in anguish. So what’s the point of the budget? What purpose does it serve when I have no say in one red cent of that money? What’s the point if it’s tagged to a future vision that is at the very least ill-thought and at the worst blind?
Busy Signal comes out ahead of Karen Tesheira. At least the music is seductive. At least there is some minor pleasure to be derived. Even if it disguises the ugliest sentiments. Even if it is a dirty, filthy object of mass media brainwashing. You can have some emotional detachment to it. In another stewing traffic jam, in another endless waiting at the side of the road for the river that has come rushing down your city’s main street to subside so that you can get to the other side. At least Busy Signal is trying to entertain. The budget is like the Abu Ghraib of speechifica-tion.
What is the point of this pretense? You can see this dancehall vileness in a context. There is no context for the budget daggering. There is no sense in the inane table-banging by Red House yes men and women. There is nothing even remotely sexy about their wining on your future. Busy Signal is addling your brain. Busy Signal is making you crazy. You keep asking the driver to change the track. He doesn’t understand why you are so uptight. I mean everybody likes a lil daggering every now and then. Public or private is immaterial. You feel exposed. He turns on the radio again. It’s the budget again. And the dirty feeling remains. The assault on the ears never ends. It changes cadence and accent but there is that same familiar note of contempt in the delivery. The same disdain for your life, for your humanity. The same underlying threat that you better like it, or else.
Up in your belly belly belly belly. You want to run screaming from the two horrors. You want to turn off all the ugly voices, all the unnecessary platitudes about love and commitment spliced in between violence and fluff.
But you take it. You don’t want to be impolite. Again. You don’t want to get out and walk in this heat. Everything is just too much. Up in your belly belly belly belly. Everything is overdone. Everything is wibble wabbling nonsense. The music reflects the crass stupidity of the politicians and their daggering ways. The musician knows that this is madness. The people in the Red House would like you to believe that they believe that they are making sense. Who gives a damn. They do it because they think they have to. We endure it because we have no choice. Up in our collective belly belly belly belly. So take some more daggering. This is your lot in life. This is your destiny. This passa passa politics is all that we need. Up in your belly belly belly belly. Nothing but empty words. Bend over Trinidad and take your essential government dagger. Bend over Trinidad and take your standard issue stabbing from the roughest winer. Pon de edge pon de edge pon de edge of disaster.