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All-inclusive steelband disrespect

Friday, February 3 2012

THE EDITOR: I write this to register my amazement and anger at what is to take place on Sunday at the National Semi-Finals of the 2012 Panaroma.

It is my understanding that there will be an area called the Greens, with an entrance fee of $350. My contention is why is there a need to have somewhat of an all-inclusive party complete with DJ etc on what is the day for the national instrument, the Pan. To me this shows utter disrespect and contempt for our culture.

Last year there was a problem of feedback from a DJ behind the North Stand. Isn’t the North Stand enough of a party? If PanTrinbago sanctions this move, then heaven help us.

It signifies that PanTrinbago has no respect for the Pan and is only interested in making money and that one cannot expect citizens to have any respect as well. The time may be appropriate for us to give up our patented right of being the country where Pan was born and give it to the wider world where it is more revered and respected for what it stands for, than here in the land of its birth Trinidad and Tobago.


Gloria Francis

via e-mail

© newsday.co.tt - www.newsday.co.tt 

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I must say the problem here is with the Steel Bands. If they were a United Body, they would have been able to stand up to Pan Trinbago and demand that this nonesense stop immediately. But because of the "Me eh care bout dem" attitude the disrespect will continue.There was a problem last year with Renegades which was never addressed: and again this year Steel Band Men And Women are getting ready to accept the same disrespect that is being forced unto them year after year by the "World Governing Body" for Pan. Musicians are you not ashamed of yourselves? when will you realise your value. This is YOUR show and you have given endless time and enegry (just for the love of it)  to make this show a World Event;  only to be insulted by this uncaring so called governing body.  Pan Men and Women when are you going demand respect? 

Hey Mike, Forget about pan, it's about the handouts. All panmen have done is sell their souls for $800.00. Gypsy knows how the pan fraternity works and thinks, so he buys out their mentality......for a few dollars more..... 

I also endorse what Gloria had to say. All the others who have added their comments have hit the nail on the head when they describe Pan Trinbago's planned actions as showing DISRESPECT. This is disrepect of the highest order. But, you know, I'm not surprised because Pan Trinbago NEVER had respect for pan and the steelband movement. The executive of Pan Trinbago has only and continues to only look out for the individuals in the executive. They pay lip service to STEELPAN when it serves their purposes. To expand on what TigerTnT has said, I don't think Pan Trinbago had a soul to sell in the first place. The steelbands, players, arrangers, tuners and all those involved in taking the instrument further do what they do because they love it and they survive IN SPITE OF Pan Trinbago. There is no accountability nor any transparency in anything that Pan Trinbago does either, but that will have to the subject of another post. 

Well said !

What Pan Trinbago? Another set of money hounds who don't give a rats ass for the Men and Women who slave every night in the Panyard for what? $ 800.00. Gimme a break.  Who's going to stand up to them cause everybody greasing palm.  Sad for the music and for us Die Hards who contunue to put up with the shit.  Maybe we should form a Pan Lovers Association to deal with those shithongs and pressure dey ass.


I'm game.  Any takers and not talkers?

Debbie, good idea, but ask Prim or Belize, who tried that with the "Pan Players Association. I like that name better, but the name, to me, is irrelevant, for without a knowledge of its past, an understanding of its present, and a vision for its future, an organization, like a ship without a compass, wanders aimlessly, hoping it will "hit land". Without a leadership committed to serving the needs of, not some, but ALL of its membership, it is doomed for failure. And without unity, which usually results from the failure of its leadership to effectively produce results, thereby losing credibility and trust, it soon fragments into smaller clones of ineffective spin-off organizations. Keep that in mind, as this will make any group more relevant. (And, again, it's a sister putting forward an action plan. RESPECT!)

I think on behalf of the Panmen because they have no control over their leaders and for the future of Pan we really shoild organize a protest.  It might be too late for this year but we could still picket Pan rinbago's offices with our views.  A dignified protest with placards et al.  I'm willing to go. I will do this in honour of my Father who was a true patriot of pan as I grew up in South and lived next to a panside which my Father managed.  The old Sundowners. Funny he died last year on the Monday before Panorama finals. I remember at four years old crying because they wouldn't take me on the Bus when they qualified for the finals.  I born with two panstick in meh mout.


Well may be nothing has changed from the days when police use to raid pan players and mashup the pans.

Insanity truly is the ability to do the same thing and expect different results (i.e. "change") People forget to realize that when a "body" speaks of "change", they are calling for "revolution". Many have violent images of what that means, however, in contrasting his "militant" positions with Dr. King's "non-violent" approach, Kwame Ture (Stokley Charmichael, in my opinion, one of the GREATEST Trinidadian's) pointed out that MLK's boycotts of the bus transit system, is one of the most effective acts of resistance. You would observe, by comments on WST, what is important to its membership, and in that observation, you would note the overwhelming amount of comments are related to "the show". Thus the "movement" is a non-issue. I always believe that those who do nothing (toward "change"), are parcel and package to the "status quo", for as MLK stated, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”. So even if you are "good", your inaction and apathy help keep the wheels of oppression turning. Another issue has to do with our knowledge and "education", and I'm not talking college here, for even if you send a donkey to college, you will never yield a horse; all you'll wind up with is an "educated" jackass. To simply place pan in a musical mindset, is doing its history a disservice, in a socio-political context, and until we ALL educate ourselves about the "movement" in that framework, we will continue to see the death of pan, not the "instrument", but the one who invented it. And we ALL know what they look like and where they come from. Of course, they will allow you your annual "traditional cultural expression" as you provide (for them), entertainment and opportunity to capitalize financially; the MASTER has always enjoyed being entertained by the SLAVE. That "master-slave" relationship, will continue to exist between "powers that be" and the steelband body, until we unitedly take our own freedom. I know this is Panorama time (again, I have boycotted it for years), and I know most of you just want to enjoy the show, but after the season is over, you ALL are welcome to include me in any mobilization effort, toward positive change for the local artiste. That is who the old guards (Steelbands Association and NATTS), under George "Sonny" Goddard's leadership, represented and fought for, and who Pan Trinbago was established to politically exploit and marginalize. Enjoy the "show". (I'll be working on the "movement".)


Gloria...when I first heard about this AGAIN - I was horrified!!!  After the fiasco of last year - you would have thought that the lesson was learned.  We the pan fraternity online have to do something positive....lets lead the way for the actual players and their supporters in Trinidad to gather the courage to do something concrete about this.  Lets stop agreeing with you and complaining with you and come up with some ideas of what the bands can do independently of those thieves in PanTrinbago to stop this total disrespect.  Maybe WST can set up a forum where we can all go to to get together and give out ideas and form some sort of core group to lead the way for the bands to become united and stop this total disrespect.  I would be there in a flash to help whereever I can.  We have to stop de talking and start with some ACTION...cause if we go on just talking here on WST then we are as bad as the pan men and women in Trinidad who also only talk and do nothing to stop PanTrinbago from this assault and battery every year like a battered woman who just takes abuse and takes it until she is KILLED.  I do not want to see steelband killed. 

True dat Char... But last year we learned from the petition Salah ran that Trinidad pan people may not want to be free.  It was the outside community that was kicking up a storm.


You may be right, Bugs. As Harriett Tubman stated: "Today, I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more, if they knew they were slaves". It's all about controlling an ignorant, uninformed/under-informed mass. We must first educate them (again, not about school here); "friends don't let friends stay ignorant". To know ourselves is to love ourselves, and to love ourselves is to collectively do for ourselves.



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