Eyewitness: One for the…

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…men?

Well, in case you didn’t know, yesterday was “International Men’s Day”. And if you’re now asking, “What’s that?”, you’re in good company, with your Eyewitness! As with these other esoteric “Days” that are sprung on your unwary scribe, he turned to the trusty Wiki for enlightenment. Turns out that it’s pretty recent innovation from the 1960, but which didn’t start to catch on till the 1990s. It doesn’t have the imprimatur of the UN, which is the usual suspect in pushing these “Days”.

What’s interesting is that some fella in TT named Teelucksingh played a big role in getting the day going again. And proved that what Naipaul said, about the WI not being able to produce anything, wasn’t true! And no, dear reader, the Trinis DIDN’T invent Carnival. That was around for centuries in Europe, and was brought to TT by the Frenchies fleeing Dessalines in Haiti. Anyhow this is the scoop, according to Wiki.

Seems there are six “Pillars” on which the Day rests: 1) To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen, but everyday working-class men who are living decent, honest lives; 2) to celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment 3) to focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual; 4) highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law; 5) to improve gender relations and promote gender equality; 6) to create a safer, better world; where people can live free from harm and grow to reach their full potential.

Now Your Eyewitness doesn’t have any problem with these “pillars”, but he just hasn’t seen any of them being erected. And he should know, since he’s a card-carrying member of the male Homo Sapiens. So, let’s take this “role model” business that “working class” men ought to represent – in addition to fellas like Tom Cruise and Virat Kohli. What exactly is being done to have your average cane cutter from the back dam (or your newspaper columnist!) featured on the cover of Time Magazine?

But about their “contributions” to society being recognized, your Eyewitness really believes that in Guyana these are being overshadowed by the “intimate partner” murders men are committing daily. He can remember that one instance where some fella was killed by his wife…but that sticks out because it’s so rare. And on the last one about men “creating a safer, better world”, the Day’s founders are really opening us open to a lot of blows!!

Which war in human history was caused by women?? OK…we know about Elizabeth 1,

But isn’t she the exception that proves the rule?

…training?

Your Eyewitness is quite pleased President Ali’s arranging with UWI to have some 20,000 persons be credentialised in the next five years. That’s 4000 persons getting degrees annually in addition to the 5000 or so that UG churns out! Roosevelt had raised America’s spirit with the promise of “a chicken in every pot” in the midst of their “Great Depression”, and it looks like President Ali will get us through our COVID-19 Depression with “A Graduate Cap on every head”!

Now this makes sense, doesn’t it? Surely you didn’t think the 50,000 jobs he’d promised in the next five years during the campaign were going to be in the three reopened sugar cane factories?? Nah…we’re going to be the new Singapore and that means jobs that demand skills and education.

The only problem your Eyewitness sees is that we Guyanese have too much of a stick-in-the-mud outlook.

Are we disciplined enough to hunker down in front of those computer screens to be trained?

…road

This wouldn’t be a Guyanese column if we didn’t end with “one for the road” would it? Now, before you jump up in indignation, remember the problem isn’t the alcohol.

Italians don’t cuss out and chop each other, though they drink so much, do they?