Friday, October 24, 2008

The Lazy Press

Now before anyone gets their panties and speedos in a twist, let me begin by saying that the press in Belize enjoy a lot of freedom, and we must thank our democratic system for that. We enjoy the relative freedom to write and report what we want, when we want it, where we want it (except for on the occasional partisan blog).

It is what they do with this freedom is what troubles me. They do nothing. Except for the odd Jules Vasquez convenient expose, the press are very, very lazy creatures.

Time and time again, I hear on morning shows or news casts something like "we are waiting on a press release from the Police to give you the news". What? Are you kidding me? The press are supposed to be calling the police, they are supposed to be camped outside a politician's office. They are supposed to be following Dean Barrow for comment, or fact checking a businessman's claim. Instead, the just sit back in their comfy offices and wait for the phone to ring or the fax machine to beep to a halt.

Anthony Martinez even had to GO TO CHANNEL 7, to tell his side of his rambling "story". He was handled with mostly kid gloves, and his treatment was not unique. In other parts of the world, the press would have been roughing him up with headlines like "Money from Nothing!" and photos of him wiping his forehead with a hanky. 

So why is our press lazy? Well they are underpaid for the most part. Most of them have never really been to journalism school or been part of a foreign journalistic team. They don't seem to have the hunger except when their own paper / news organization is at stake (eg Ashcroft closing on KREM), and they surely don't know what it like not to have journalistic freedom in the first place. Had these folks grown up in China or Venezuela where their lives were at risk every time they wrote a word, I am sure their perspective might be different.

We must encourage a more tenacious press. Not a twist the truth Enquirer style of story telling, but a good, aggressive, no hold barred and fearless reporting of the stuff happening around us everyday.  They must search out stories, question everyone and trust no one.

With a more tenacious press, politicians might just start acting a bit better, and those upper class white collar criminals might be a bit less "breggin". If you think of the times the press has been hungry and on stories (Courtenay's $3mil, Said' endless debauchery )  those folks came to despise the evening news, often going in seclusion and hiding behind henchmen.

Maybe the bad apples in our society might actually start to behave if they knew that they might just be the topic of the next "7 on your side".

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Life occurs in cycles. Happiness, Sickness, Joy, Hurt, Sacrifice, Pain, and eventually Death will be known to each of us. Yet, despite how vulnerable we all are, we still manage to hold a "It won't happen to me and my family" mindset. You know what I'm talking about... until some incident of great import occurs in our own life, until the last second, we think, "It won't happen to me."

But things do happen. Cancer comes. Tsunamis come. Floods come.

I think this mindset of infallibility has been following the floods, from Cayo, to Orange Walk, and now into Belize District. And our fellow Belizeans deserve our compassion and help, not our judgement and denial. Logically speaking, if I lived by the river, and the weather forecaster was preaching imminent flooding, I'd move. But emotionally, how could I leave my home, my belongings, my memories? How could I abandon ship when I'd lived in that same house by that same river for 40 years with incident?

Part of me wants to shout, "Fools, unnu move!", while the other half understands their stubbornness. Home, after all, is where the heart is.

Just my three cents for the day... for those affected, my prayers. For those in unaffected areas, don't forget to help the less fortunate.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Idiots, Floods and Darwinian Principles.

What is wrong with people.

Starting last Thursday, the authorities have been telling people in flood prone areas to stock up and/or get out. In general, people were very dismissive..."we justt di ya di parti" or "we gaan tru lat a hurricane". Now these folks are calling for NEMO for help because they don't have any food, or are sitting on their roofs. Some are even demanding rescue because their boats have no gas.

The authorities should just let them be. They should do what New Orleans did this Hurricane Season. "You have been warned. If you do not heed our warnings, and get out when we give you the opportunity, then you are on your own and you may die". End of story.

It is hard but it is the only thing cruffy understand. 

We as humans are blessed to have a brain to make good decisions. But cruffy think that the government are their parents, lifeboats and grocery store.

The foolish individuals of a species are generally weeded out by nature. Well nature is attempting to do just that right now.

Only the fit and the smart survive.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rubber Boots

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words..”

I believe a lot of the problems we face in our nation can be fixed with an attitude change. Maybe I'm an optimist. Our parents constantly lament about the way things used to be; it's within our generation that radical change have been occurring. But are these parents not the ones who raised and socialized us? Did they not plant a seed, and are now alarmed at the growth of the weed? We need realistic dramatic action.
A human being with no fear is out of control. When we have no fear, we act on our most basic selfish animalistic instinct, with no regard for the other members of our society. By nature, we're a communal species; we have to have the well-being of our fellow man at heart for success and peace. As Belizeans, this used to be true. Now it is not.
There is no fear. A commuter has no fear, so she throws garbage out the window of a bus. A child has no fear, so he curses and back-chats the teacher. An adolescent has no fear, so he robs the Chiney around the corner. A gangsta has no fear, so he shoots his enemies out of beef. A politician has no fear, so he pours the national coffers into his pocket. There is no fear in our country.
Now me, I'm afraid. My mother put the fear of God into me... I fear, therefore I respect, the written laws of Belize, and the unwritten laws of common decency.
So put the fear into the little ones growing up now; talk to a child, and if necessary, discipline him or her. Remember the lessons you learned and home and in school and act accordingly. Clean your yard. Cut your grass. Don't litter. These little actions, my friends, they'll seep up like capillary action! It all starts in the little things.
Don't forget charity. Help people, when you can, if you can. Have a heart for the human condition. Don't forget your fellow man, and most of all, the generations to come. How then, my friends, can we as a people fail and be miserable? Without this attitude change, our Jewel will lose its sparkle. And I know none of us want that.