Friday, April 1, 2011

Comedy of Enquiry ... or Tragedy of Errors?

Entertainment at its best?
Government at its worst?
The serious business of the people treated like fanfare.

Yes, Jamaica. This is the Dudus-Manatt Commission of Enquiry. We've finally replicated an O. J. Simpson-type scenario. Take a front-row seat. Prepare for temporary amusement. Hear the absurdities. Roll back your head, widen your eyes, jut out your chin, and laugh.

"When you do that, you make my adrenaline flow like the waters of the Dunn's River Falls," says one man to another. A very funny statement. And so, we laugh. We laugh in gaiety at the folly – the insidious ineptitude and injudiciousness of our leaders. We laugh, swept up in a tide of incredulous hilarity. Laugh at the drama - the comedy. Laugh at the irony - the frustrating futility.

Then pause - deliberately - take a moment for mindful breathlessness. A titter here. A giggle there. And slow, painful realisation. With whom do we laugh? At what do we laugh? Why are you laughing, sweet Jamaica? Like a naked woman in a jeering crowd, have you been laughing at yourself?

And have you now, realising your nakedness, made no attempt to cover your shame? As the world  feasts on your vulnerabilities, why do you stand here still, and laugh?

Beware the permanent disgust - the nasty taste that will linger in their mouths, the sting of gall in the recesses of their oropharynxes, long after your commission is gone. Beware the sinking feeling that will nip at the hearts of your people. It will manifest in the next business transaction. It will reflect in the next general election.

But most of all, beware the moment when you stop laughing. When you stop laughing long enough to realise the hopelessness of it all. And then, Jamaica, let me hear you cry.

No comments: