What is the price of pa­tri­o­tism?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - FRONT PAGE - By Toni Ni­cholas

Pa­tri­o­tism is de­fined as the qual­ity of be­ing pa­tri­otic; vig­or­ous support for one’s coun­try; love of and de­vo­tion to one’s coun­try. Pa­tri­o­tism is not a com­mod­ity to be bought and sold. So I’ve al­ways be­lieved un­til this week, after I re­ceived a gov­ern­ment com­mu­niqué that of­fered mon­e­tary re­wards for the most pa­tri­otic ra­dio sta­tion and ra­dio an­nouncer.

The re­lease de­scribed the gov­ern­ment’s lat­est brain­wave as “a de­lib­er­ate strat­egy” on the part of the holder of the “cre­ative port­fo­lio” to part­ner with the Na­tional In­de­pen­dence Com­mit­tee for the ex­e­cu­tion of In­de­pen­dence ac­tiv­i­ties.

From the of­fi­cial van­tage the contest of­fers the sin­gle great­est na­tional op­por­tu­nity for the dis­play of cre­ative works “in a man­i­fold of ex­ploits, at a time cen­tered on na­tional en­deavor and a spirit of pa­tri­o­tism.”

Ac­cord­ingly, ac­tiv­i­ties have been “con­cep­tu­al­ized in or­der to add value to the hu­man re­source base of the over­all cre­ative sec­tor”—con­ceiv­ably the most im­por­tant be­ing “a com­pe­ti­tion for the Most Pa­tri­otic Ra­dio Sta­tion!”

Mean­while, a team pooled from the var­i­ous min­istries will mon­i­tor par­tic­i­pat­ing ra­dio sta­tions to es­tab­lish the win­ner of the du­bi­ous award.

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment press re­lease: “Un­der­stand­ing the vary­ing na­ture of ra­dio sta­tion for­mats, brands and con­sumer au­di­ence bases, the time frame was set so as to al­low a na­tion­al­is­tic fo­cus rel­a­tive to our In­de­pen­dence date that would not com­pro­mise any sta­tion sig­nif­i­cantly. More­over, the sheer un­prompted and undis­cov­ered va­ri­ety of mu­sic con­tent of high qual­ity may well prove serendip­i­tous to all.”

As for be­ing pa­tri­otic, even if only un­til In­de­pen­dence, the win­ning DJ will re­ceive EC$1,000 with EC$1,000 also go­ing to the most pa­tri­otic ra­dio sta­tion. Does that mean the win­ning DJ could come, say, from RCI, while RSL takes the prize for be­ing the na­tion’s most pa­tri­otic sta­tion?

I, for one, would like to know the scor­ing cri­te­ria. How do you de­ter­mine whether Juk Bois, for in­stance, is less pa­tri­otic than, say, Shel­ton Daniel?

Doubt­less, Ja­dia JnPier­reE­manuel will keep the na­tion in touch!

I am also as much op­posed to the leg­is­lat­ing for more lo­cal air­play as I am about pay­ing for pa­tri­o­tism. If at any­time those re­spon­si­ble for the ra­dio sta­tions and the an­nounc­ers can­not come to the re­al­iza­tion that the eco­nomic ben­e­fits of en­gen­der­ing a na­tional mu­sic in­dus­try, as well as the in­trin­sic value of hav­ing na­tional pride, should tran­scend all else, then I am sorry, maybe they are in the wrong po­si­tion and pay­ing them to think straight is like

pay­ing a crook to keep out of jail. One more thing: is this the way of the gov­ern­ment sanc­tion­ing “pay­ola”, some­thing which is il­le­gal in the rest of the civ­i­lized world? In the mean­time we wait on Dr. James Fletcher and the long awaited na­tional broad­cast act.

And so I re­turn from whence I started: true pa­tri­o­tism for me must be rooted in an ideal that tran­scends self and lies not in mere phys­i­cal ideals of the beauty of one’s coun­try, but ideals that re­vere what gave birth to this na­tion. Rev­er­ences too, for those who put their lives, for­tunes, and sa­cred honor on the line for this coun­try and those like Wal­cott who con­tinue to stand up for Fair He­len, through thick and thin, from year to year. And this to me, dear reader, can never be bought nor sold.

An­dre Paul

DJ Iwa

Mr. Jor­dan

Su­per­man

Sam Flood

Mike Rogers

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