Sunday, February 18, 2018

Death of calypso tents*

They looked pathetic, three of the leading calypsonians in the country—Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes and Pink Panther—as they begged the Government for a “mere half-a-million-dollars” to operate the Kalypso Revue tent over the three-week Carnival season.

Admitting that they had already received $100,000 funding that was woefully inadequate, the top bards invoked the name, memory and legacy of the great Lord Kitchener who founded the Revue 55 years ago. For Kitchener's sake, they pleaded, grant us the half-a-mil.

I was quite disappointed in Chalkie in particular, who, having been a pioneer of sorts in the art form, and a nine-time monarch to underscore his authority, ought to have seen the steady decline of standards in calypso over the past two decades or more, and the consequential demise of the tents as we knew them, hence the dire need for re-engineering the product to enable it to survive in the modern, electronically-driven, fast-paced world.


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