Put down the big stick, Mr Minister
Veteran promoter and Caribbean Prestige Foundation main man William Munro was evidently moved by an ulterior motive to express hope for the Government to take over the running of the annual Soca Monarch competition.
Apparently, Mr Munro wants the State to put its finger in the wound and experience the reality of the challenges he confronts every year. The State is neither willing nor able to take up the Soca Monarch challenge, though it did some years ago guarantee the prize money.
Anyway, Mr Munro cries wolf every year about the financial strain of putting on the Carnival Friday blockbuster and if he really wants to get out maybe he should just see if another promoter is willing to take up the mantle and reap the rewards...if there are any... if we listen to his sad song.
But definitely don't let the State take over the reins, if this year's Dimanche Gras show is anything to go by, because between the politicians and the technocrats they will find a way to spoil what is now a much-anticipated event.
To judge from Culture Minister Lincoln Douglas, though, the State is actually more interested in building a year-round market for Trinidad and Tobago music both inside T&T and abroad, and appears committed to devote resources to such an end.
In this respect, Dr Douglas has stirred curiosity and interest about his planned "incentives'' for local media to play more local music. The shape and form of such incentives are awaited far more eagerly than threatened legislation to require local-music quotas.
Because instead of using the "big stick'' attitude, implement laws that will force radio stations to adhere to strict guidelines when it comes to local content, it would be far more productive to work in tandem with the media houses, coaxing and encouraging them rather than beating them into submission.
So if a radio station wants to produce an hour-long weekly show on the origins of calypso or pan, it can be offered a tax break and the owners may consider even more such programming, which promotes the national art form so that children will know where it came from and, hopefully, never let it die.
And the same applies to the television stations when it comes to producing top-class, prime-time programming, making use of the many playwrights and actors and actresses whose talent can be beamed into our living rooms on a regular basis.
The incentives can also be extended to potential sponsors of such programming, financiers who will be encouraged to maintain a consistent presence in the local arts, whether on radio or television, at the same time taking it into the schools, where the next generation of artistes will be so inspired.
Such an all-out effort needs the co-operation of everyone in getting the "culture and arts factory" the Minister spoke of up and running.
But forcing something down someone's throat is not the right approach, and never has been, so Minister Douglas should think long and hard about enforced quotas and instead work in tandem with the media houses, setting a realistic target that they can all strive for.