Monthly Archives: April 2010


Hot Bread n’ Butter appearing in The Thursday Voice Newspaper of April 15, 20010

“If you like me in this position you can tape it. on your video phone!”


            Have you seen my porn video? You know, like that hot Beyonce song, “You want me naked? If you liking this position you can tape it. On your video phone“. Haven’t seen it? Well neither have I; but I’m so scared it’s out there. 
            Even before all this technology, men would find ways to expose who/what they were doing. Usually women would not appreciate a boastful or vengeful lover exposing them with  stories, photos or video. But now for more women its, “Tape me on your video phone, I can handle you. Watch me on your video phone“.
                Unfortunately, while the males end up on top, these females get the short end and find that maybe they can’t “handle it” as society comes down hard on them.
                But cameras don’t shoot people. People shoot people. And before we salivate over the next video and gleefully forward it, we should turn the camera to take a good look at ourselves first.  Are we really better than them? If we were we would show compassion like the Christ we claim to follow instead of passing harsh judgement before we know anything about the people involved. 
               Whether we use technology to walk on the moon or wallow in the filth of porn and violence depends not only on individuals and the society in which they function. Our single parent 3-11 tourism industry society is riddled with cross-cultural values. 
                 If it takes a village to raise a child then in our Lucian village children are raised by violent lyrics in school buses, by Jerry Springer, soaps and music videos, by neighbours who ignore or insult them, by teachers who are frustrated, by aunts who abuse, by uncles who prey, by parents who leave them to the village because “money have to make”, by their peers who give all the time and (mis)information they need.
                So instead of asking “Wat causing dat for you?” We decide these people are just nasty; let’s take the camera phones away so our children don’t see it and we’ll have one less porn to do a next on.   
Instead of finding and treating the cause we eliminate a symptom.
                Are we satisfied to just see no evil?
                Shouldn’t we instead look to combat the multiplicity of negative influences that shape our children? Because arming your child with every caution will only be this effective against the arsenal of negative peer and adult pressure they face out there.
                   Sometimes we must mind other people’s business in order for ours to prosper. There must be laws restricting certain songs on public radio not just rules restricting them in our homes. We must ensure the law punishes those who provide alcohol to minors so children will not buy what you keep from them at home. We must call our elected representatives to demand stiff penalties not only for illegal guns and major drug dealing but for statutory rape, incest and spousal abuse as well, because those damaged people are the ones interacting with you, and your children.   
                 Saint Lucia draw the line, and keep calling for it to be reinforced because if we continue to let the little things slide we won’t need YouTube or a videophone to see the consequences.

© Maria Fontenelle



(Hot Bread & Butter. Appearing the St. Lucia Voice Newspaper of March 6, 2010)

The murder of Corporal Vincent Trevor Peters upped the ante on violent crime

“This is not a Masai (African tribe)belief,” he said, almost laughing, “this life after you die. After you die you are nothing. You return to the soil, that is all.”
“What do you say Francis?” Mauro asked.
Francis had been reading a small red bound Bible. He looked up now and smiled. “These Masai are brave men,” he said. (From Barack Obama’s DREAMS FROM MY FATHER)

The way we live and die is a consequence of our beliefs. Where do we go when we die? Heaven? Hell? Nowhere? Is there anything we can do to affect what happens to us after death? Is there anything we can do to better our lives tomorrow?
The murder of Corporal Vincent Trevor Peters during a bold faced attack in February has upped the ante on violent crime. However, instead of trying to determine the root causes of crime and reasons behind the recent escalation in violence here, we have reached for the same cruel cattle prods – kill them, let them kill each other, bring back the cat-o-nine, fire somebody.
That Saint Lucians are still psychologically underdeveloped is made brilliantly clear in the simplistic solutions put forward by the general public. We have not even mastered the proper construct to develop productive moral citizens – family and social structures that instil values of self worth and social responsibility above all else and set barriers to crime with clearly defined consequences that are enforced without fear or favour.
Are we born with a sense of self worth or is it instilled in us by our family and/or society? Was every man and woman born knowing they have the capacity to achieve anything? Does every person have a real consciousness of the repercussions of their actions on individuals and society? What makes one boy believe he can become prime minister or priest and another boy believe his only options are Bordelais or the grave? If our society continues to ignore these and similar questions and advocate mindless killing as a solution to crime, then we will continue to produce killers in greater and greater numbers.
Does death hold any threat for a man to whom life holds no promise?
The solution/s to halting our headlong tilt toward the law of the jungle, lies in opening our eyes to the belief system, the word and the deed, that has produced this kind of mindless, heartless criminal.
And as we deify the victim, who deserves every accolade lavished on him, let us spare a thought for the criminal and others like him languishing at BTC and Bordelais or taking the sticks and stones of abusive homes and uncaring neighbours with false bravado; boys who may live their entire lives without one word of praise or commendation except from the fellas on the block who will give them their own 21 gun salute; boys whose bravado soon curdles like stale milk and hardens.
There but for the grace of my mother, go I.