You know things bad when you stand dumbly at the entrance
of an all-inclusive fete waiting to be frisked, searched,
patted, spun around and scanned, and the security not even
worrying with you.
Youd swear T&T suddenly became crime-free, that
the blimp round up all the criminal and them under the spotlight
of that helicopter that does wake me up every night.
Dont doubt: Carnival today is utterly all-inclusive,
in as much as it excludes as many as it can. Every corporate
body, NGO, government arm and residential area has some all-inclusive
This weekend alone, three different Rotary Clubs are throwing
separate all-inclusive fetes. Hell, families and celebrities
throw parties themselves at their houses or ranches (yes,
some people have ranches).
But dont doubt: I all up in the all-inclusive scene.
You may know by now, I like my grub, and I like my grog. I
find it miraculous that one can get all one wants to eat and
drink, wine and grind to performers galore, and hobnob with
the rich and famous all in one place for one price (until
everybody eat out the geera pork).
Price, of course, is a painful point. At $300 to $1,000 a
fete, youd think theyd up the ante from geera
But all-inclusives serve particular social functions indicative
of not only the countrys wealth and its peoples
materialism, but also T&Ts immoderate and ubiquitous
That financially capable Carnival lovers have overwhelming
opportunities to party to the same soca singers in safety
as do those without such means is, for the burgeoning elitist
crowd, comforting. Destra could go from the stadium, where
three people were stabbed/shot to death a week ago, to the
country club, where, it is assumed, the only crime that can
take place is a fashion one.
But crime permeates all and everything.
How come at some all-inclusive fetes you could just walk through
the place without even emptying a pocket? At Blue Range, there
was a camera and two laptops. And at OFarrells
fete (on his ranch, in the bush), there was barely any light,
much less a metal detector.
Theres enough security at the National Library, where
children (presumably) go to read storybooks, to rival JFK
airport. And yet, at places teeming with drunkenness and disorderliness
where grown men stumble around like they now learning how
to walk, where the heat can rise in ones system to the
point of violence at the simple stub of a toe, there was none
of the security checks Trinis have come to expecteven
Granted, the apparent lack of security did somehow create
a good feeling among party-goers: that we were all here to
have safe, clean fun together; that none of us was a criminal.
But how contrary. I was discomforted by it.
not expecting that kind of crowd, said a friend of mine.
cant even afford to come to this fete.
Thats taking a helluva lot for granted.
There was a drive-by shooting at Movie-Towne in 2003, security
shot two men at the Hilton last month, and a man was gunned
down after partying at 51 Degrees two years ago.
The image of gaping holes in the windows and windscreens of
every other car parked along Long Circular Road outside the
country club two Carnival Sundays ago, including the car that
took me there, will never escape my memory. It was an all-inclusive
fete, that went until JOuvert morning, which lacked
sufficient parking, and had no security on the street, where
most of its patrons parked.
With all the noise of the fete inside and music trucks on
the road, who would hear a thousand car alarms go off? Who
would even be sober enough to care?