By QUEEN MACOOMEH
De ole people use to say ‘plain talk, bad manners’ an if dais de case, ah coming troo wid plenty bad manners today.
I reach in Lamport Stadium wid all my coutrements – camera, tripod, notebook, a washrag to wipe mih greazy face. You could see I come to wuk, not lime. My job is to observe an document tings to help big up my community wedda here, abroad or on de people internets. We tired see we face in de mainstream media wid some foolishness, ent? So de more we could promote we talents, de better we all will be because jump high, jump low, is we to ketch.
So why I getting boof? Why I have to stan insult from people who I suppose to be wukkin wid? An is not me alone, eh, all accredited media was getting boof hard.
Move! Doh stan up dey! Go over so! Move back! Go so! Get out!
People talkin to you as doh dey ketch you dress up in a negligee interfering wid dey white fowl.
De media form de Festival Management Committee (FMC) akse we to full out have all we business:
Who we wukking for. Where we snaps endin up. Where we living. What we phone number is. You give we media badge to identify we from de ressa people. Yet still, when we reach, we getting rag up? When we akse wha going on, you telling we is not you in charge an walk away? But ent is you who accredit we? So what you in charge of den?
Caribana Media an Public Relations People. I listen to de talk among de media de night of King an Queen an Pan Alive. It wasn nice. When camera men cussing and saying ‘these people never have their act together’, it not nice. Media was dere to wuk an cah get chance to do it properly. Please explain to de volunteers dat we not dere to make dem vex.
A nex ting. Where you put de cameras in King an Queen show is a bad place. You know dat awready. You cah have we where de costumes coming onstage, chook up in a tight corner. For most of de 2-3 minutes de costume dancing, dey have dey back to we. Move we to de sout side of de judges. Why? It give we a view of de approaching costume an as dey turn to face de judges, we could get de kinda full frontal snaps all yuh like to see in de papers an magazines an internets de nex morning! We cannot take proper snap at dat 45 degree angle!
Even if you scratch awf my name from yuh liss fuh 2010, make sure an accredit TROO media who dere to wuk. Check dere credentials so dat is not Snow White an all ninety-nine dwarfs coming een as media. I see people wid camera phone jostling videographers! Oh shims, man!
Volunteers. I appreciate all yuh bad. Some of all yuh save my life a few times. I do dat wuk for a few years an get so much cuss my ears still ringing. Trying to control a crowd is a lesson in patience an grace eh, papa? Ah feel yuh. But ah beg yuh do. If you have a camera crew takin snap of we festival to carry it fuh de world to see, doh treat dem like ants.
Band leaders. I fully understand de need fuh dat net ting all yuh travelling wid. Toronto Revellers start it up an ah notice Carib Nationz pick up a string dis year too. But how is media supposed to take snap of yuh pretty band if yuh not letting we near de masqueraders on parade day?
We have de badge rong we neck, check it den leh we do we wuk. Once we know you heading fuh stage, we go move out yuh way. Give we up to 40-50 foot from de stage or jes past de stage so we could snap all yuh jumping up an making merry.
At Pan Alive, lawd, it was so much ro-ro dat I give to hell up, pack up meh camera an went to siddong in a corner to listen. I have no snaps of de winning band to help promote de ting – none! None of nearly all de bands. Why? Because dey want yuh move back. So unless I was going to snap de back of people head, I give up. One videographer try he bes to still do he wuk an a lady bawl behine he an try to shove away he equipment. Dey nearly come to blows. Ah feel so bad. Yuh could imagine how he report when he reach back in de TV station.
We need positive media. We have nuff negative media.
Nah man, all yuh. Ah does pride mehself on Caribana inspite de shortcomings but dis have me fretful. Dem big costumes corse how much? Tousands, not so? Ent yuh want some rememberance of it? Ent yuh want to see yuh costume on TV or on a newspaper or magazine cover? I for one cah help yuh out wid a orange net in front me. An even doh ah have a strong lens it cah see troo people an ah cah take a snap arong a corner.
We pans corse plenty. Is not as if we could go in music shop an rent two pan fuh de season. Is backbreaking wuk going into each an every one. Dat was tirteen Steel Steinways on de pitch in Lamport! An on de one day panmen get chance to exante deyself, you boofing media so nobody could take proper snap? How comes?
Caribana is not a simple ting. I understand dat. Dis festival bigger dan most people realize. De amount of organization an logistic is enough to make yuh whole head tun grey.
Caribana 2009 was a masterpiece from a artistic stanpoint. We calypso was strong – Red Man get my vote before he even finish he chune. Dem costumes had people reeling. Pan was sweetness self. We need de worl to know dat Toronto is a grand stage for all Caribbean art forms. De same way de bank plaster dey name all over we ting, is de same way we could promote we own festival an get some serious cacadah to boost we ting.
Togedda we aspire, togedda we achieve. Separated we does fall dong an bounce we head an somebody else does grab we ting an run away laughing. We know dat. Yet still we cah work togedda to avoid it from happening?
People take money out dey pocket an pay to see mas. So when de cock crow an we hear how we still in debt, we muss feel ahow. To know pan men play dey heart out an only getting a ‘Yuh play good!’, we muss feel ahow. To know you sing a bess chune but cah hear it on de radio, we muss feel ahow.
Get togedda an straighten out we business, nuh? Is forty-two years.
Copyright August 2009