Excellent read by Colin.
I was amused to discover that one of the original recordings of the circa 1915 saccharine American song we all learned to parrot as children about the mother with the “heart of purest gold” and “eyes with lovelight shining” featured as its vocalist Eva Tanguay. Tanguay was a sexually suggestive Canadian vaudeville performer who made newspaper headlines for adultery, and took part in a cross-dressing marriage ceremony with fiancé #3.
Our enduring approach to primary education (to which Thursday’s annual waterboarding examination of the nation’s 11-year-olds is testimonial) made me memorise those verses rote with a class of tuneless, snotty brats at Miss Richie’s primary school, next door to the cemetery where my grandmother and premature brother lie buried.
The Mother’s Day we celebrate, a turn-of-the-last-century American invention, has turned into a soulless market for greeting cards, florists and restaurants, much like Lent here has for fast-food chains.
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I’ve admired her since the Clinton administration and she’s certainly proved her strengths. My fingers, as before, remain crossed.
So I’ve been thinking (which is always a dangerous thing). I am not entirely convinced that Carnival should be considered an economic value to T&T. Some of the figures I am seeing suggest it generates $100 million US in revenue, but government is spending over $50 million US on Carnival which is a 100% ROI on the face of it, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
I suspect the amount of taxpayers money spent is a lot more when other things like police overtime and other subventions are included. Nowadays, much of the costume work is contracted out to China, and I am pretty sure much of the markup ( after band expenses) ends up in offshore accounts. Similarly, I am assuming some of the ticket revenue from Carnival events, such as the big fetes and ‘competitions’ is undeclared and also ends up in offshore accounts. Most of the big hotels are US managed, and obviously the lion’s share of the revenue ends up being sent abroad.
Then consider the disruption to normal commerce that occurs as a result of a lack of productivity and the country being shut down for several days. I haven’t seen that being quantified.
Finally, there is the opportunity cost . If the T&T government invested that money in some other venture it could easily make more money than a mere ROI of 100% ( which I think is an exaggeration) .
My conclusion is that Carnival is an investment in keeping the population distracted, and claiming it is an economic boost to the economy is really not true.
(As a contrast, Toronto’s Carnival is estimated to attract over 1.3 million visitors and generate over $400 million in revenue from a combined Toronto and Province investment of $1 million. That’s a respectable ROI in terms of taxpayers money.)
Some pretty amazing shots.
By Internet standards, a perfectly timed photo occurs when two of the following three conditions are met:
1. Perfect Place
2. Perfect Time
3. Perfect Angle
Sometimes the holy trinity of perfectness is achieved and you get an Internet classic like so many of the photographs below. There are countless galleries of these images floating around. I tried my best to compile the most representative of this concept. If you’re craving more, the following links are a good start: r/PerfectTiming on Reddit; Bored Panda (here, here and here); BuzzFeed (here and here)
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Aired December 2014 on ieTV, Trinidad,