Contro-rama

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Controversy and Culturama. They go together. Just like the love and marriage and horse and carriage of old.

Deli-Ranks sang his way into Culturama and Soca history by winning three crowns at a blow. Except that he did so with a song that was already sang! That he was able to win the groovy soca competition with an old Lord Nelson song is a testament to the ability of the artist to camouflage the song with a bit of improvisation from the string band. That he was able to fool the judges is a condemnation of them, the judges, and the culturama committee. It tells us that neither the judges nor the committee know enough about soca and Caribbean history to properly run the festival anymore.

Dis and Dat’s MBE worked. He wrested the crown from King Astro. In the process he informed that Astro isn’t a calypsonian because he cannot compose a song, rather he depends on writers and composers; that makes him just a singer. Dis and Dat won with a tune that sounded hauntingly familiar and reminiscent of, well, Dis and Dat. In other words, with a recycled tune, Mr MBE denied Astro more history, by preventing him from winning back to back Calypso Monarchy. “Form is temporary but class will last” sang the 2016 champion. The truth is though, that the King was really the best of a bad lot!

How did Ms Culture 2014/15 manage to be the representative at the 2016/17 Ms Jaycees Caribbean, a full two years after her reign? What happened to the outgoing 2015/16 Ms Culturama that prevented her from enjoying her just deserts? Oh sure, we congratulate Ms Fergus on her performance in Antigua, but the process of her selection is shrouded in controversy. Does this mean that Ms Thibou will go to Antigua next year? Meanwhile, here at home, the queen show results say that two of the three best looking girls in Nevis for 2016/17 are from St Kitts!

Why do we still refer to the parade as cultural? Why do we give them such a long route but so few judging points? The end result is that the troupes straggle along in no particular formation with huge noisy speakers that drown out the real cultural music. The young excitable children gather for a 3 o’ clock start and the adults come for 5 o’clock. Poor tired hungry children. Next year, take back the stage to Cultural village, let’s have a night parade and stop the pretence.

Bring back Culturama. End the controversies.