Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stella Says…I need to do some house cleaning with Freddie and Clement Rohee

by Stella Ramsaroop

(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 18 July 2006)

I have finally made my move to Texas, or as Glenn Lall calls it, Bush land. This is a very beautiful state with a far more inviting climate than those states that have long, harsh winters. There are palm trees here and a nice breeze in the evenings.

However, although I still haven't moved into my house as yet, it seems I have some housecleaning to do for this column. Freddie wrote a quick response to my column last week where I basically called him a scaredy-cat for not addressing the Khan saga with more of his typically insightful treatises.

Freddie let me know in no uncertain terms that he is not a scaredy-cat and asked what I wanted to know about the Khan saga. Although I did provide a list of specific questions for Sweet and Sensitive Freddie, I will be more than happy to reprint these questions for him.

Freddie, what do you think about Roger Khan? Was he a hero or a zero? Is this whole saga justice in action or politics in action? Why do you think the PPP has taken a hands-off approach to the "kidnapping" of a citizen of Guyana?

Freddie, is Guyana better off with Khan gone and in jail in a land far, far away? Or will the whole country now go down the drain with him gone? Is there any hope of restoring justice and proper law enforcement in Guyana or should we expect "unofficial" extra-judicial acts to continue?

Now that I have that bit of housecleaning done, I wonder if Freddie saw Clement Rohee's letter to the Editor of Stabroek News this past Saturday. His review of the nation's media performance was indeed interesting – and parts of it offered some comic relief I needed to break up the monotony of my long-distance move.

With all of this hectic activity in my life right now, I was glad to take a break from the craziness to read Rohee's take on the various media contributors, which included listing Smart and Sharp Robert Persaud's column as a political heavy weight. Isn't that just too sweet.

The best part of his review said that Freddie and I project ourselves to be "experts in politics, philosophy, history, sociology, psychology, sports, music, movies, literature, dress, architecture, dance, supermarkets, the environment, religion, footwear and even car parts."

I feel the need to clear the air about this statement because I have never claimed to be an expert on anything. It just so happens that I do have an opinion on quite a lot of issues. And it is usually a very strong opinion as well. I think Mr. Rohee was being too kind by calling me an expert.

For example, I do not know anything whatsoever about car parts. I suppose maybe that one was for Freddie. Footwear is a whole different story though. I think I could quite possibly be an expert on shoes since I wear shoes every single day.

I do like to listen to music, read a good book and watch a riveting movie. Does that make me an expert? Nah. But you can bet your bottom dollar that I will have something to say about it. Speaking of bottom dollars, I LOVE supermarkets. Where else am I suppose to get my shoes, music, books and movies?

How did Rohee know that I love to shop? I hope that wasn't a stereotype because I am a woman. Maybe he was jealous because I didn't take him shopping with Khemraj Ramjattan in one of my columns.

More likely he is talking about Freddie's rants on customer service and price gouging. Customer service is an area that I know a thing or two about, too. I'm a bit disappointed that Rohee didn't mention that one.

I do love studying history, as Mr. Rohee was so kind to point out. I have talked about being a huge history buff and it was so kind of him to notice. Perhaps my passion for history comes from my love of learning. After all, we have so much to learn from our past. Or perhaps it just feeds my real passions in life.

I have two passions that surpass all these others – politics and religion, both of which I have studied extensively and continue to learn more about daily. I wouldn't say this makes me an expert. I would say this makes me a person with a strong drive for justice.

Both of these subjects offer ways to implement a form of justice – one way is through the people and the other way is through a power higher than the people. I simply cannot tolerate injustice and seek to find ways to realise the most reliable form of fairness and impartiality, which is why I despise corruption among political and religious leaders.

For example, I think it is ironic that a politician uses the letter pages to whine about those who write for those pages. Regardless of its content, Rohee's letter received its place in the letter pages even after another political party was denied the opportunity to run an ad on Rohee's party's radio station.

This is quite ironic indeed, since that radio station should belong to the people of the nation as a whole instead of solely to Rohee's party.

I think this takes care of my housecleaning for the day and I need to get my exercises done before the sun gets too high in the sky. Since Rohee said my columns are predictable, I'm sure he knew I was going to write this and what I was going to say even before I did.

That's good. I'd hate to stir the PPP out of their comfy, cosy complacency on such a beautiful day.

Email: StellaSays[at]gmail.com

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