Two calypsos keep bouncing around in my head while trying to come to terms with Keith’s comments. David Rudder’s “Mad Man’s Rant” and Bro. Valentino “Barking Dogs”. The words sounded like mad men in bags, madmen in rags and madmen in their velvet gowns and suits also.
Bro. Keith, the Rasta man have ah saying, “Idetate to utter”. Are you trying to take us back sixty years? Your position is the same as in the colonial days when pan was seen as a noisy instrument produced by rouges and vagabonds with no ambition, and must be curtailed by all means. The pan players stood their grounds then to make the Steelpan into the industry that it is today with all the potential that pan lovers like you are seeing and believing that we are not trying or capable to exploit.
Rome was not built in a day, as the saying goes and the Steelpan organization has its challenges like every other institution in this country: some by design, because of people who share your sentiments.
You have me wondering if it is that you are looking for soft targets or low hanging fruits to stay relevant as a journalist. The veteran in you should see that this country is ripe and bursting at the seams with issues affecting the lives of every citizen, where none of our institutions are working to our benefit, yet you find time to attack the Steelpan institution, spouting allegations of every kind, none of which you have evidence to present in a court of law. Yet you are trying to paint Pan Trinbago as the worst managed institution in Trinidad and Tobago for reasons best known to you and your set agenda.
Taking a hint from you, the Queen of England should nullify our republican status, take away independence and re-establish the colonial secretary to administer our national affairs so that we the citizens can once again see the light of day, because the local politicians have corruptly mismanaged and made a total mess of the present system. But I guess it is much easier to blame Pan Trinbago and be happy. Why don't you recommend that we put professional administrators and big business in place of political administrators?
Keith, the Nestor presentation is nothing new. He was a member of the administration of Pan Trinbago for many years, and is quite aware of the volume of plans and papers on the way forward, presented to various regimes, only to realize that a number of influential people in this country believe that Pan Players should not be controlling the commanding heights of a potential billion dollars industry that they have developed from discarded oil drums.
So, the plan is to frustrate the process of development and continue to vilify them to this day in order to achieve the desired results of taking it away from them.
Disrespectful as you are by describing Pan Players as blood-sucking specie preying on the Government's annual subvention, I still see the likes of you making a bee line to the office of Pan Trinbago, or having their phones busy off the hook, to secure complimentary tickets for Panorama year after year without fail. Yet you keep making adverse comments about the organization’s low profit margin coming out of the same show. And may I remind you that the subvention is a small token towards the Steel bands participation in our national festival, that attracts visitors from across the globe to our shores, and above all, Pan Players’ contributions demand compensation.
I don't know the difference between a veteran journalist and an investigative journalist, but common sense would demand some clarity on pronouncements. There is this false notion that the Steelbands outside of this country has gone so far ahead of us, and we have to act like tomatoes and play ketchup. This is plain old propaganda.
I am saying this knowing full well that the Steelbands in America, England, Canada and all those major countries where the grass root bands exist are going through a struggle for survival. The only area that the Steelpan are making some strides is at the universities that have invested in research and development, where funding is provided by the state because, they have a different approach and appreciation for all things cultural. But that is a different subject matter altogether.
Trying to take Pan from Pan Players is not the way to go my friend. Sitting down and engaging in meaningful dialogue is the best option available.
Michael L. Joseph
Public Relations Officer
Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C.
The REAL ENEMY of PAN and PAN PLAYERS and the PAN TRINBAGO EXECUTIVE in THE MECCA OF PAN: a number of influential people in this country [who] believe that Pan Players should not be controlling the commanding heights of a potential billion dollars industry that they have developed from discarded oil drums.
As much as I am a proponent of all things relating to the steelpan , i am always a bit taken aback at this talk of the steelpan as a "billion dollar industry" in an era where there is limited appeal for instrumental music world wide.
To be honest , I am more inclined to see the steelbands of T&T as part of an intensified emphasis on culture as the economy changes , and the need for tourism increases as a national source of revenue , in which the steelbands could share.
Glenroy spoken like a man who is in tune with the music industry.
I see steelbands as an intrinsic part of their communities,and they must be included in any/all dialog on the much needed social change.Government after government have thrown billions of dollars at the crime scourge,with little or no result,while the steelbands,their communities and facilities have not been seriously engaged as part of a national plan. I also think the steelbands can be used to develop all arms of a vibrant entertainment industry.
I cannot lay all the blame at the feet of our governments,because though the idea of having a written proposal to present to government,have been suggested to the present Executive,they have not seen the wisdom of doing so. Panorama and it's resultant 10% and the opportunities for persons making from small to large fortunes,may be reasons why this is not a priority.
Maybe the way to look at the future potential of the steelpan industry is through the lens of the automobile manufactures, tobacco manufactures or even a music company like Yamaha. The paramount interest of these groups is to increase the overall size of their markets. Automobile manufactures want everyone in the world to have a drivers license. The more people that can drive, translates into more people potentially interested in their products, now and in the future. Tobacco companies want everyone to be a smoker. The less people that smoke, the less chance that they would be interested in their brand. Yamaha wants everyone to learn how to play the piano. The logic here is that since they make the best pianos in the world you eventually choose them. If you don't play there is no chance of you ever choosing their products. Which is why they invest so much in music education. They are investing in their future.
A similar argument could be made for Pan. The more people you help finding the sound of the pan pleasing or the culture of Pan attractive the larger the market will be for a Pan industry. It is ironic that outside of the Caribbean the market appears to be growing steadily. And Pan Trinbago has done much in recent years to damage the growth of that potential market.
The current explosion of Pan throughout the world is direct result of the seeds planted decades ago by the early pan practitioners who traveled abroad.
I'm not sure how the PRO came up with the billion dollar industry. What we do know is that he is a slimy chameleon and may be the most dangerous of this current gangsta class of Pan Trinbago execs. The damage that these creeps have don to the image and interest in Trinidad & Tobago pan globally and locally maybe irreversible.
I'm not saying that there aren't business opportunities out there ; there will always be work in entertainment and the arts - movies , tv commercials etc. - for talented individuals and small groups.
And there will always be work for tuners , though local tuners may suffer from foreign competition and modern automated methods of creating pans.
And the push for electronic pans will definitely hurt traditional tuners , especially locally , since if successful , most of the profits will probably go to Asia anyway, as they could easily dominate the (technology) market.
But "a billion dollar" industry?
What does that even mean ?
The ability to generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually ?
I have my reservations.
Bro Scobie,I agree with many of the facts you have stated in this article.Like yourself, I strenuously disagree with with Mr Subero's solution,but I agree that things cannot continue as per usual.
Sadly I see this discussion as having it's genesis in this present Executive flouting the strongest constitutional edict (AGM,2016) given to any Executive, since the vote to boycott Panorama 1979.If you can remember, this vote came about because the Executive reported to the membership that PanTrinbago was under threat of "take over" by forces within government and the NCC,and the Executive needed the bands support to defend the body.
The AGM responded with overwhelming support of the Executive,but the Executive betrayed that trust and placed the membership into further jeopardy .......the resulting actions showed a total lack of management skills and and the continuing disregard and disrespect of the membership and the Constitution.
These are traits that members of the present Executive still holds dearly today, and have placed the movement in it's precarious state.
I join you in saying to Mr Subero "Trying to take Pan from Pan Players is not the way to go my friend. Sitting down and engaging in meaningful dialogue is the best option available."
Claude, which part of the following you don't understand?
"The AGM responded with overwhelming support of the Executive,but the Executive betrayed that trust and placed the membership into further jeopardy .......the resulting actions showed a total lack of management skills and and the continuing disregard and disrespect of the membership and the Constitution."
So after Oswald Alexander "point up his finger in Forteau's lawyer's face", challenging an order of the court (notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Alexander may be a legal luminary himself) he is now advocating, "I join you (Scobie) in saying to Mr Subero "Trying to take Pan from Pan Players is not the way to go my friend. Sitting down and engaging in meaningful dialogue is the best option available." Lyrics of a traitor, fellatious in nature.
Considering the following factors:
Dear Mr. Alexander,
So while some men put everything on the line, their careers, their livelihood, their bread and butter, instead of furthering the cause that they, you (collectively) are fighting for, a cause you so passionately (purport to) promote, you come on a public forum to agree with Scobie? What kind of fool does that when the battle is raging, and the enemy seems to be in disarray sir? Shouldn't you be asking Scobie why is it only now that his back is against a wall that he is requesting dialogue? Why not push to consolidate whatever advantage you may have, by reinforcing your troops and artillery, instead of condescending to an agent of your enemy, who continues to be your enemy as he now opposes Diaz, while you are now displaying tendencies of not being sure of whom to support?
Mr Alexander your behavior brings to mind Cecil Hume's classic...
I kinda agree with most of what yuh saying, Mr. Joseph, but this thing about complimentary tickets, and the difference between 'veteran journalist and investigative journalist'.....totally irrelevant.