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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Express Opinions on Mas on the Streets

Interesting views on mas on the streets from the Express editorials today; as someone said to me recenelty, we cannot have progress without change and I sense the same sentiments in these excerpts:

Keith Smith:

Full circle wine for Carnival
Keith Smith

Wednesday, December 20th 2006

"I hear tell that Mr Hart has said that mas is for the road but I don't know if, like Archimedes or whoever, this is to be taken as a "eureka!" moment, meaning that next year's mas will now go not into but around the Savannah as the old John Humphrey has long suggested, the 'world's biggest roundabout' (Humphrey again) ringed with bleachers, the crowds (hopefully) cheering, steupsing or maybe just sleeping as MacFarlane, Trini Revellers and the rest make their way unimpeded (again hopefully) around the Savannah circle"...November 22

Well now we'll see, won't we? All those who have been arguing that the Savannah and, more particularly, the Savannah stage, was the biggest constraint to the free flow of the bands will be proven either right or wrong now that, as I sensed weeks ago, the mas is going to go 'round rather that through the Savannah. Let me say - up front - that while I am neither for nor against this new, well, design, I can hardly wait to see if it will make a sequin of a difference..........

but for me, and many (although not most, I suppose) like me, the real taste of this pulsating pudding of a thing is the free-spiritedness let loose in the Carnival air, some of my more enjoyable Carnival moments memorised in front of Doonie's Lucky Jordan recreation club not, mind you, that that was not a minor competition centre itself, only that the competition was not the major component, who win win, leh midnight meet we singing and dancing just like Trotman's drunken sailors, the Carnival now let loose from the Savannah providing a breather for the grass but only that since the plan is for us to wine back in due course to the old vintage, albeit in a new state-of-the-art bottle. So why worry, sister, eat, drink with this, the merriest of monarchs we have managed to conjure up, all ah we already knowing what they done say 'bout tomorrow meeting us done done.


Carnival changes and challenges
Wednesday, December 20th 2006

Carnival is an institution and, as with all institutions, it is resistant to any change not least because people like things to remain as they are, particularly those things that work to a greater or lesser degree. Whatever the criticisms in the past - and there have been some - the Savannah has long been the successful centre of the world-famous Trinbago Carnival....................

But challenge is also opportunity and one would expect, in the tradition of the Carnival experience, that the problems that arise will be met with the creative skill that has lit up Carnival for close to 170 years. In any case the move away from the centrality of the Savannah is temporary, so any ensuing hue and cry will be completely misplaced given that, in a year or two, all will be as it was before.

Indeed, the country may even grab the chance, as it confronts the shifts in the overall programme, to examine Carnival as a whole to see whether we are doing enough to ensure that it will retain the vitality that has made it the "Mother Carnival" for another 170 years what with the stunningly dramatic shows that today's generation has become accustomed to both here and abroad.

The most negative thing we could do is to become enslaved by the past. The very freeing of the spirit that Carnival epitomises should encourage us to venture into new arrangements while being self-confident enough to affirm those Carnival elements that have given it its distinctive character. Next year will not bring all that much of a change - just enough, perhaps, to give the country a refreshing taste for more change.

For the full articles, please click the highlighted links.

Brown skin gal stay home and mind baby!

I was reading Kevian’s “Theory of the Carnival Baby” over at her blog and it got me thinking of the supposedly higher birth rate in November. Seeing as I am born in November and consider myself a Carnival baby that gives credence to the argument of more sexual activity during Carnival not so? The thing is though, for someone who is passionate about playing mas this is actually NOT a bad thing. I mean, I am not talking about having indiscriminate, un-protected sex during Carnival, but planning your baby around the event.

When my girlfriend unexpectedly got pregnant in October last year, forcing her to eventually sell her costume, my first words were “so what happen to mas?” . Yes, I know it should not have been the first thing to come out my mouth, but I was actually concerned about what that would mean for Carnival before anything else. She held out hope for playing mas until January, sold her costume and spent Carnival in Tobago. After which she called me and said she was totally vexed when looking at mas on T.V. and seeing a pregnant Wendy enjoying herself in two bands. See, that is one of my greatest Carnival fears, especially when registering so early, an unexpected pregnancy coming out of the blue and disrupting my Carnival plans.

My co-workers have heard me make the statement that right after Carnival I am going to try and get pregnant so the baby can be born in November, giving me enough time to play mas in February the following year. When I say this I am not joking, though it always elicits a laugh from them. Thinking of it logically it does make perfect sense and truth be told I do know of one person who did plan her baby exactly like that; she had her baby in early December and played mas the following year with Harts.

I think it is an ideal plan so as not to interrupt my joy of playing mas. The biggest hurdle might be loosing the baby fat post pregnancy to be able to fit into the skimpy costume I would have to register for in August. But it can be done; if Heidi Klum can strut down Victoria’s Secrets runway in skimpy lingerie a month after giving birth, a mere mortal like me can hope to look decent enough in two months right? I think the key would be not to put on too much weight during pregnancy, you know some women go all out eating everything in sight, well that just cannot be done if the goal is regain your figure after the baby. All the “experts” have advised that it is not too hard to loose the baby weight if you eat healthy, exercise and breast feed.

So while it might seem like there are much more babies born in November, maybe those mothers are all part of this master plan to keep the mas going the following year. Or, it could mean they did have wanton sex during the drinking and revelry of Carnival and showed the result of their actions nine months later. The fact is, the more I think of having a “Carnival baby” the more it makes perfect sense to me; ironically the baby will be a Carnival baby in every sense of the word. Now all I have to do is convince my husband that I am not crazy and it is actually a well thought out plan. And even though conception may not occur on Carnival Tuesday night at least we can have fun trying for the rest of the month!

For the Bunji Fans

Get ready for a Global Musical Experience; on Carnival Saturday, February 17th, Bunji Garlin will be in concert.

This event adds to the roster of parties normally held on Carnival Saturday such as Amnesia, Dawn, Break and the Breakfast Fete. So for those looking for an alternative to the "norm" this one might be for you!

Click on the photo for a larger view
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