by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 16 April 2006)
If you have not yet deduced my geekish tendencies, this article will definitely be the icing on the cake. Although I do not wear a pocket protector like the classic nerd or snort through my nose; I certainly do love books, I am completely fascinated with sci-fi and would rather have a lengthy conversation on the geological makeup of an area than the latest gossip.
There you have it – I’m a geek. However, don’t think for even a second that geeks can’t groove at the drop of a hat. I know it sounds almost paradoxical, but smart people can be groovy too. Well, except for Sweet and Sensitive Freddie. He might very well be one of the smartest people in Guyana, but his groove factor is highly questionable.
Perhaps he lost his groove about the same time he lost what little marbles he had left. I suspect this all took place around the same time as the UG fiasco last year. Whenever it was that he lost his groove, it was indeed a sad day for the nation, but I see no reason for everyone else to stop grooving.
As I was saying before, my veiled geekish tendencies will be evident in the reference I intend to use to make my point for today’s column. All of the other geeks will understand my example in no time at all, but I will go into further detail for those of you who spend more time grooving and less time watching stupid science fiction shows.
There are some episodes of a sci-fi show called “Star Trek – The Next Generation” that introduce a species of robotically enhanced humanoids called the Borg. It is the sole purpose of the Borg to assimilate every single human into its cube-like community.
The good people of the Federation (a universe-wide alliance of people) fight desperately to prevent their assimilation by this very formidable foe and in the end are able to scare it off. However, the threat of return by the highly intelligent and ever-evolving Borg constantly looms large and humans across the universe fear that one day they will be converted into a robot that is void of feelings and conscience.
Likewise, I fear that Guyana is being assimilated. Not by the Borg, but by a force just as cold and heartless. It seems as if one by one the people of Guyana are becoming acclimated to a brutal climate of murder, corruption and crime.
This devastating atmosphere is far more dangerous than any alien invasion because the destructive force is coming from within the nation in such a gradual process that it feels natural and few realise there is cause for alarm. If some alien spaceship landed in the middle of Georgetown today, every single Guyanese would fight tooth and nail to keep from being taken as a prisoner. This is not so with the force that is now assimilating the nation.
The enemy that is wreaking havoc on the nation’s morals lives next door or down the street. The enemy might even be in the mirror. Guyana has long lived with corrupt leaders – and that distorted leadership is now taking the rest of the nation down too.
When a dire situation forces the people of a nation have to violate their conscience to survive, it is truly a sad thing. However, when that situation continues for weeks, months, years and decades, desperation begins to set in and the conscience acclimates to the new environment – no matter how ghastly the circumstances.
I had someone tell me that the very next day after that horrid shootout in Agricola last month, life went on as usual. This tells me that Guyana is just as acclimated to such violence as war zones like Iraq.
The tragedy in all of this is that since this alien force of murder has slowly assimilated the people, there was no public outcry against such brazen behaviour. There was very little said about the lack of protection from the state and it is almost as if the entire episode has been forgotten even though justice has not been served on those murderers.
There are some things in life for which we should fight – like for life itself. However, it seems Guyana has resigned itself to this environment of murder, corruption and crime. Do you ever stop to wonder how the nation became acclimated to this type of atmosphere? Moreover, do you want your children to live in a country that accepts murder as a way of daily life?
The ironic part of this assimilation is that Guyana is such a religious country. I cannot help but wonder how these forces of evil took over the better senses of a godly people. How long will it be before the people start to wake up and realise they have been assimilated by an alien force of destruction?
We can only hope Guyana is able to react more quickly than the proverbial frog in a pot of slowly boiling water. The frog is being cooked and he doesn’t even know because the temperature is changing so slowly that he is adjusting to the incremental increases. He could easily jump out, but he doesn’t realise he is in mortal danger.
Will the people of Guyana realise they need to take some drastic action before it is too late? Or will they just keep adjusting to the incremental increases of murder, crime and corruption? One thing is for sure - Guyana is definitely in a pot of boiling water.