Some Trinis who make it big abroad openly and loudly bless their good fortune in having got out of here, but our insecurity is such that we cling to their coat-tails in the delusional belief that we will look good in reflected glory.
The reality is that we gain no glory. Right beneath the coat-tails to which we are clinging is the exit of gaseous expulsions, which cover us with grit not glory.
I liken the output of the harsh words of the likes of Naipaul, and now, Nicki Minaj to gaseous expulsions because of one of the opening lines in Dr Johnson's The Alchemist, which is followed by a boisterous tirade against a lack of thanks for assistance in advancement.
With apologies to the great Dr Johnson, I turn around the dialogue of the first scene in order to summarise what the scornful achievers in foreign, to whom we pathetically cling, think of us: "I have taken myself out of dung, sublimed myself, exalted myself and fixed myself in the metropolitan region, put myself in word and fashion and made myself fit for more than ordinary fellowships and I give you no thanks.
"You remain in the menagerie of scoundrels and murderers. I have moved on and I live in the superior metropolitan minajerie, which is obsessed with big bucks, busts and buttocks."
The late Christopher Hitchens, the formidable writer and thinker, to whom I have referred before, described delusion this way: "When I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so'. I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick."
The scornful celebrities are not helpful to us. They are not obliged to be. It is delusional to believe that either celebrities or fetes are permanent happy pills for Trinidad and Tobago. We should break the habit of clinging to them in the face of harsh realities. We must honestly confront what is broken in our land and deal with it.
National security is badly broken. Changes in Government have made little difference. We have the piles of murders and other violent crimes committed with impunity because the police hardly apprehend and successfully prosecute the perpetrators.
Our concern about the state of national security has been heightened by a number of troubling machinations in national security which have come to light. Let's be clear that the perversion of legitimate intelligence gathering to spy on political opponents and perceived dissidents is not new but there has been a paranoia sweeping through recent governments about who can be "trusted".
The current Government sees PNM shadows in every corner just as the PNM perceived UNC party groups within the professions. Now there is a suggestion that members of the security services lose their jobs merely by being denounced as "a PNM". The danger of staffing the security services on the basis of political affiliation cannot be overstated.
We should be no less troubled by persistent attempts by both political sides to have units of field security services, particularly police work operate parallel to the constitutionally recognised and constitutionally safeguarded police service. Under the PNM we were concerned that the Special Anti Crime Unit (SAUTT) was operating without legal authority. Now we have the controversy regarding whether the establishment of a new Flying Squad was being covertly encouraged.
A few days ago in this newspaper, in response to a journalist's questions, I analysed the troubling aspects of the statement of Mr Heerah, an official of the Ministry of National Security, concerning the contact between a former flying squad and the ministry. Whatever twists and turns the explanations of the ministry take, on the information currently available, we must be forgiven for thinking that there was at least tacit encouragement for a field role for former flying squad personnel.
It is not clear that the activities of the former Flying Squad evolved into actual police activities. For this reason I have also advised caution regarding who has jurisdiction to investigate this issue.
Much sensible popular sentiment regards the official Police Service itself, although in dire need of reform, as the special anti-crime unit and that therefore there is no need to thrash around to find a parallel and unconstitutional unit or to provide army support, which once it goes beyond joint patrols, becomes legally questionable.
Sadly therefore as much as we dislike our Trini-born, now foreign celebrities ratting us out, there are several grounds for concern about getting out alive from our present predicaments.