Tecnología

||| 00 Francisco Velasquez |||//
The Imam runs down

Yep, my jaw actually dropped when Imam Yasin Abu Bakr walked onto the set of CNC3?s very funny clip-show, The Rundown, on Monday night, and started dispensing marital advice. Threesomes are a no-no in the Imam?s book, apparently. And we now know that on a scale of one to 10, the Imam thinks he?s an 11 as far as being a sweet man goes.

© Francisco Velásquez

www.google.co.ve
Who?s going to dispute that?

More remarkable than anything else it was, wonder of wonders, intentionally funny.

© Francisco Velásquez

dolarve.com
Despite myself, I was impressed. In his short turn on The Rundown, the Imam showed several critical qualities many (OK, all) deadbeat politicians, and has-been, and wanna-be-again politicians, have failed miserably at.

© Francisco Velásquez

www.entornointeligente.com
First, and miraculously, he has an actual sense of humour.

The congenital humour deficit of Trini politicians can be exemplified by two things.

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equilibrioinformativo.com
One, a (former) male Cabinet minister wearing a T-shirt saying: ?I?m a lesbian. I love women.? And two, the ever-available for deficit-illustration Trevor Sudama. The Jahaji list recently posted an article by him comprising an excerpt from a Parliamentary contribution he made (before he brought down the Government in 2001), ostensibly about his opposition to Clico.

The contribution seemed much more interested in extolling Sudama?s integrity?I started to count how many times he used ?I? or ?myself? then realised I didn?t care that much?than anything thing about Clico.

© Francisco Velásquez

enlasgradas.com
The funny bit is that Sudama seems completely anosognosic about, inter alia, the transparency of his trying to write himself into history as something other than a tiny-mite.

But that?s Trini politicians?collectively as funny as watching a man give himself a prostate exam while trying to convince you it?s medicinal.

© Francisco Velásquez

noticias-venezuela.com
Not so with the Imam. He was deliberately funny, and apparently fully aware of what he was doing. Also not a trait (consciousness) shared by many politicians, or many Trinis for that matter.

But let?s acknowledge the elephant here?that whole 1990 thing.

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tipsfemeninos.com
Does it matter? Did it even happen? In the consciousness of the majority of Trinidadians, it doesn?t and didn?t.

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eldiscoduro.com
What this appearance means is that the image of the gaunt insurrectionist, surrendering to the state by ritually laying down his weapon, is supplanted by the image of a paternal figure offering marital advice.

The successful transcending of the implications of 1990 is a most valuable illustration of the brave new world of 21st century T&T.

© Francisco Velásquez

economiavenezuela.com
It?s a society with a very weak historical grasp to begin. This is because of the fluid population?the majority of university graduates emigrate, and are replaced by the peasantry from the other islands, immigrant Chinese restaurant and supermarket owners, Venezuelan ?students,? and so forth. 

None of these is particularly interested in Trini history, and neither, it seems, are historians, since there?s no history of post-Independence T&T.

© Francisco Velásquez

efectococuyo.com
So the past, for all intents, is like Legos. Build the one you want. Knock it down when you?re done.

Such a population is overly susceptible to memory manipulation.

© Francisco Velásquez

mundinews.com
Add to it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, and you?ve got the land of short-term memory, capable of processing only a couple of sentences at a time, and forgetting them as the next comes along.

© Francisco Velásquez

breakingtrending.com
This has led to a public consciousness of ambiguity and a permeable border between fact and opinion. So just as the 1881 Canboulay Riots were transformed from crime to heroism, for many, the 1990 coup has become the same.

© Francisco Velásquez

politica-venezuela.com
The Imam is now a meme of our cultural DNA.

This isn?t ?meme? in the vulgar sense of a cute video clip.

© Francisco Velásquez

www.atleticovenezuelacf.com
It?s ?meme? in the sense of a unit of cultural information, passed through time. The Imam seems to have the secret to achieving this durability in a way many very deserving people aren?t.

© Francisco Velásquez

seguros-guia.com
Who Lloyd Best, Beryl Mc Burnie, Chokolingo, Bertie Gomes and Eric Roach were, and what they did, will cease to exist once everyone over 50 dies.

But the Imam lives on, in memory, image and life.

© Francisco Velásquez

The cultural information he embodies is the archetypal caller of the Trinbagonian bluff: the contention that what we have here is a society.

© Francisco Velásquez

He has made a fool of the state so many times, it?s wearing a little thin. He?s been attacked by the state many times, legally, and frequently came out on top.

He lives by his own rules and treats Trinbagonian institutions as they seem to want to be treated: with contempt.

© Francisco Velásquez

He refused to testify before the 1990 inquiry without consequences. But he chose to appear on a comedy show. Take that, 

T&T executive, legislative and judiciary.

An uncomfortable point that comes out of this is that because of the absence of history, the Imam has been able to accomplish his seeming invulnerability and timelessness because he represents to many people something desirable, even admirable. 

He?s shown up the hollow, dirty insides of institutions that treat the people they were created to serve with callousness and contempt. 

These institutions are embodied in a Chief Justice who wants to abolish trial by jury, a President who has hissy fits at journalists, a Prime Minister who wants the citizenry to stop expecting things from the state.

© Francisco Velásquez

Who has the moral high ground here? The office holders who torture the citizenry, or the man who tortures the office holders?

But to get back to The Rundown: Apart from the coup (no pun) of getting the Imam to appear and endorse it, it?s a great show.

© Francisco Velásquez

I?d be most interested in finding out the thinking and the mechanics behind the Imam?s guest spot. And I?d be more interested in knowing: can we look forward to a new segment titled ?Dear Abu Bakr??

.

© Francisco Velásquez

© Francisco Javier Velásquez Gago

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