Given the obscurity of the Book of Revelation, the complexity of United States-Barbados-British relations, the minefield that intersects at gender, race and religious politics and other themes that I am pursuing simultaneously in this series of articles I think it is vital that I offer the following background and statement of Clinterests.
My unshakable conviction that Barbados’ Honorary Consul to India, Dr Philomena Mohini Harris, University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor professor Sir Hilary Beckles, former prime minister Owen Arthur, current Opposition, Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley and other crucially still alive Barbadians, are at the centre of life and death situations that require urgent, meticulously managed attention, also mandates that I communicate as forthrightly and forcefully as possible.
I am also mindful of what I consider former PM Arthur’s finest hour, possibly, when in 2005 he announced he would not be accepting a $33,000+ pay increase to which a public service pay review had deemed him entitled.
My awareness of how I may benefit personally from what I share here sparks a similar ambivalence.
But I break that tension and rise above that “awkward moment”, to use Arthur’s words, because I am motivated by a profound politics engaging and transcending duty of care to alert Barbadian, American, British, Indian, Nigerian and other citizens to the self-destructive, Talibank thinking that, like billionaire beast Donald Trump, confuses bullying cowardice with courage and equates glory-grabbing with the greatness that can only come from doing good.
This, incidentally, is also Hilary Clinton’s main challenge – as her male machismo mimicking, media courting, fictitious Bosnia bullets ducking ‘awkward moment’ of the 2008 presidential contest exposed.
Herein lies the tragedy of the Trump spectacle: his obvious oblivion to the fact that his campaign is a study in Al Queda approximating ‘Al Koh’l-ism’ (Read about the roots of alcohol in Arabian vanity here).
True greatness will not always be appreciated or celebrated, even when it is understood.
And greatness shouldn’t always be celebrated, because at our greatest we are still fallible.
This is why I have not given up on Clinton, a Christ-bride, church-like figure: a virtual “woman clothed with the sun”, whose fallibility is apt to be exposed in her most public moments.
It is why I maintain a fundamental goodwill toward Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley, though I remain critical of her ‘down low’ demagoguery and am not likely to ever support her prime ministerial ambitions.
My views on Clinton, Arthur, Mottley, Mohini and others reflects my acceptance of the complementarity between the divine and the human that fundamentalist evangelical atheists, with the best will in the world, will never be able to grasp.
And what hope have any of us of competently engaging with the divine ‘sense of humour’ that would bring together a tale of ‘three Hilarys’ (Clinton of the US, Beckles of Barbados and Benn of England) if we cannot navigate the alternating light and darkness behind all reality?
What hope have any of us of recognizing and realizing the vital cosmic relief that we need to survive the bestial, brutish routine of our daily communicating if we have no sense of the universe’s comic timing?
On Thursday, 29 November, 2007 at 13:00 hours local Caribbean time an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 shook Barbadians’ excessive self-reliance.
I was driving my ‘half-sister’ Yvette’s car along Howell’s Cross Road at the time and had just come adjacent to the Barbados Community College when I felt the effects of the road shifting under it.
I brought the car to a halt and then watched as utility poles lining that road swayed.
But another seven or eight years would pass before I realized the significance of where I was on that eve of Barbados’ 21st Independence Day celebrations.
I certainly had no inkling of the shadowy, shockingly superficial yet deeply destabilizing, Iago-like role played in my business affairs by poet-educator Esther Phillips, a former BCC lecturer.
It would be longer still before I sensed the numinous or symbolic significance of my relationship with the owner of the car I was driving: the sister who was ‘adopted’ by my father, as Nero had been by Claudius, and who has habitually been informing our other siblings and I that while she may have received the least formal education, she is the most intelligent “of all of mummy’s children”.
However, less than two months after that Barbados earthquake, on Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, at 00:56, I experienced the Lincolnshire earthquake while sitting in my home in Norfolk, a neighbouring English county.
Having been a student of the oracular and the obscure for several years by the time I experienced those ‘twin’ earthquakes, I was deeply affected by the experience.
So by the time Barbados was shaken by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, I was well placed to anticipate what would follow in England: the magnitude 4:1 earthquake that struck in the Bristol Channel two days later, on Thursday, February 20.
Since then I have been chronicling increasing, uncharacteristic seismic activity in and around Barbados with varying degrees of anxiety, optimism and fascination.
I have also been ‘mapping the coordinates’ of psycho-socially ground-shaking events within ‘Revelatory triangles’, typically linking Barbados, the UK and North America (including Canada) but also Barbados, the UK and India-Pakistan, the cite of Dr Mohini’s roots.
These biblical Book of Revelation-like events include:
- the tragic killing of Jamaican Khalil Campbell by Barbadian Rodney Beckles, son of current University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, on 4 January, 2007
- the subsequent staging of the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean between 13 March and 28 April that same year
- the shocking and controversial death during that World Cup of the Pakistani team’s coach, South African Bob Woolmer, in Jamaica on 18 March
- The death some months later, on 15 October of key Barbadian cricket administrator and CWC 2007 organizer Stephen Alleyne
- the election of beast-like orator Barack Obama as Americas first black president in 2008,
- the Campus Trendz inferno that ended the lives of five young women and one female toddler on 4 September 2010,
- the untimely death on 23 October 2010 of Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson, a close business and political associate of professor Beckles’.
- The ‘Malcolm in the middle’ medical-juridical media convergence event of 2 April, 2013, in which two doctors, one medical (like Dr Mohini), the other academic-juridical, but both named Malcolm Grant, were prominently featured on the same day, in two superficially unrelated news reports originating in Britain and Barbados.
- The deaths of the babies or small children of three leaders: Barbadian Rastafarian elder Iral Talma (in 2001 or 2002), the afore mentioned PM Arthur (in May 2007) and his British counterpart David Cameron (2009).
My study of the timing and related characteristics of these and other events has convinced me of the validity of the view of the world in which I and other oracles ‘live and move and have our being’, in line with the biblical teaching of Acts 17:28.
Pearl Bayliss-Woods of Elim Pentecostal church in Norfolk was healed of multiple sclerosis in 1998 and can attest to the reality of divine intervention.
As can my friend “K” (previously identified as ‘Steven’, if I recall correctly), a penitent homosexual healed of full-blown AIDS while on his deathbed in Barbados.
I believe that Pearl and K would affirm the perilous state of the human condition, and especially the threats to our children, born and unborn, that is encapsulated in the message of Revelation.
Standing with Karl Jung, albeit with qualifications, as I consider his alleged beast-like sexual over-familiarity with at least one female child reprehensible, I affirm and echo his concern that:
“Modern man does not understand how much his ‘rationalism’ (which has destroyed his capacity to respond to numinous symbols and ideas) has put him at the mercy of the psychic ‘underworld’. He has freed himself from ‘superstition’ (or so he believes), but in the process he has lost his spiritual values to a positively dangerous degree. His moral and spiritual tradition has disintegrated, and he is now paying the price for this break-up in worldwide disorientation and dissociation.”
Like Pearl of divine providence, and K, an oracle for those who have ears to hear, Jung’s life and work, like my own, attests to the divine-human concursus that transcends race, religion, gender, language and similar temporal-spatial classifications.
It attests to the access we can all enjoy to the mustard seed science that moves the earth.
When former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur speaks, I’m inclined to listen.
After all, it took exceptional survival skills for that former big beast of Caribbean and international politics to survive the minefield of Barbados’ fundamentally incestuous, cruelly colour-coded and otherwise complicated political landscape and firmament.
And as Barbados’ longest serving PM to-date, the former Barbados Labour Party leader Arthur didn’t just survive our island’s rough and tumble, Russia-entangled, American-stranglehold-mangled, declining-British-imperial-ties-testing political furnace: he excelled in it.
With a rhetorical subtlety and inclusive, soft power appeal that aligns him more closely with Clinton than Trump, arguably, Arthur rose above Barbados’ legacy of gender, racial and religious disunity and divisiveness as he preached a gospel of socio-political inclusion and cohesiveness.
As biographer James Manheim notes, Arthur was quoted in Current Leaders of Nations as saying “No country can ever truly develop unless it finds the means of engrossing everyone in the task of nation building, whatever their class, creed, colour or political persuasion.”
Like the apostolic church builder, the ‘Man from St Peter’ stood like a Colossus, bestriding the geopsychic landscape of Barbados’ dependent, independent and interdependent history.
Visibly and invisibly building on foundations laid for him by his prime ministerial predecessors Errol Barrow, Tom Adams, Bernard St John and, especially Erskine Sandiford, in whose political demise he played a key role, ironically, ‘King Arthur’ consolidated the multi-jewelled crown of their collective achievements: Barbados’, internationally admired and emulated “social partnership”.
As the literacy-limited, charisma-curbed educator Sandiford floundered under the weight of ideological and personal conflicts that emerged after he controversially assumed the leadership of the Democratic Labour Party, then Opposition leader Arthur seized the initiative, virtually hijacking the Sandiford crystallized social compact, the first ever tried and tested labour and capital reconciling national development preserving and perpetuating pact in the world, reputedly.
And for 14 years that shrewd beast Arthur, Barbados’ longest serving PM to date flourished.
Until his crown was lifted by another political big beast: a tough-talking-Trump-like, political stage monopolizing “woman clothed with the sun” (Revelation 12:1); his BLP party colleague Mia Mottley.
Aided and abetted by the truth subverting hubris of professor Sir Hilary Beckles, David Comissiong and other reverse racists (dubbed Negrocrats by Arthur), the connivance of Clinterest motivated male and female fundamentalist feminists, a number of religion manipulating opportunists and other dragon-driven allies in the Barbadian, Caribbean and international communities, Mottley undermined Arthur, amplifying his shortcomings and understating the good he had achieved.
Something I am sure many a good husband will understand: even giving our best may not be enough.
This is not to say that Arthur was blameless in his own eventual defeat.
As I have been careful to point out in the first article in this series, we are all fallible, being fallen Adam and Eve’s seed.
And this idea of ‘the fall’ is clearly as prominent a theme in the Apocalypse (Revelation) John received on the isle of Patmos as it is in the Genesis account of humanity’s creation and evolution.
So too is the principle of male-female interdependence that I have until now been dancing around.
But those familiar with my Woman-I-Zen project, in which the speech impaired Norfolk mystic and ‘oracle’ Janice Gurney is prominent will have some idea of the centrality of this theme in my life and work. As I argue in my 2005 essay Fundamentalist Feminism, a healthy recognition of male-female complementarity and interdependence is the indispensable prerequisite of all sound, sustainable social partnership: the indispensable basis of coherent, cohesive social interaction.
I also revisited this theme indirectly in a brief Twitter exchange about gay parenting and adoption issues with BBC broadcaster Kenan Malik, a non-identical thought twin of Sanders’ adviser Richard Sugarman, ostensibly.
That was on 21 July 2015.
I had not yet heard of Sanders, so far as I am aware.
And until 18 February, 2016, at approximately 20:00, I had not known of his child adopting background, as I had not yet read his Wikipedia page.
To be continued…