I have never really been one of those “lick ass to kick ass” people, I would not even know where to start on how to be fake nice and a fake friend to anyone. I am usually the blunt friend, the friend who will choose to stay silent rather than lie to placate your feelings. I am also the friend who will not enable or support your choices blindly if I think that you have not fully considered the ramifications of your choice; I basically want what is best for you as a friend and trust me I have VERY few friends to begin with. My candor has been the fuel of what drives Trinidad Carnival Diary, and it is the one thing that continues to resonate with my audience. To lose that in this generation where everyone takes offense of everything would be a real tragedy.
When I started this blog in 2006, there was a freedom in anonymity. I shared my thoughts, opinions and musings on Carnival, the Carnival industry and all the behind the scenes drama of the bacchanal that goes hand in hand with Carnival, and no one knew who I was or even how I knew so much. Now, let’s get this straight, I started this blog to express MY thoughts, it was MY view of MY Carnival experience. Trinidad Carnival Diary has always been Carnival from one woman’s perspective; Saucy (hey that is me!). So for people who think Trinidad Carnival Diary is supposed to be an unbiased beacon of light in the quagmire of Carnival politics, Carnival stagnation and Carnival culture killers , I do try my best to be but hey I am human and on some days my biases and pettiness are in full force. Like I said, this is MY personal space and I am not here to be used as a tool by anyone with an agenda; my loyalties are not for sale, nor is my own truth up for negotiation. As hard as it is , I do want to always keep the integrity that was the crux of my transparency in starting this personal journal of my Carnival 360 view.
Let’s fast forward to 11 years later, and the “butthurt generation” as I like to call it:
An inappropriately strong negative emotional response from a perceived personal insult. Characterized by strong feelings of shame. Frequently associated with a cessation of communication and overt hostility towards the “aggressor.”
Now that my identity is no longer a secret, and the word “offended” is synonymous with social media, everyone has an opinion of how I should run my page, what I should say and how I should say it. I get the ” it is your page you can write whatever you want” while the person saying this is accusing me of twisting words I wrote to somehow influence my audience, when the SAME words I wrote are basically the text of another article stating the same factual information. Or I get “the point of your blog is to share all” accusing me of bias , in the midst of outrage over what I posted about one person ( and subsequently taken down), yet dictating that I should post something about someone else that fuels their agenda. And worst of all I get the people who completely miss the point of anything written and their first reaction is to feel aggrieved because of course in their narcissistic world I am somehow deliberately targeting them, when the fact is there is a bigger issue of contention.
This is when my personal space is intruded and I get inundated with messages and calls with how irate everyone is because I did not 1. respond or react how they expected and wanted me to or 2. I did not consider their feelings, which of course supersedes MY feelings that I absolutely do not wish to be dictated to as to what I can and cannot post. The irony in most cases is that I do consider feelings, or it could have been MUCH worse than my carefully constructed and worded pieces if I decided to really vent ; I employ my own personal filter and censor because I understand that I can rise to the challenge of being tested to bring out a level of antagonism yet unseen by the masses and it is not pretty.
The one thing that struck me during this latest furor over my 100 words is this, I was told that Trinidad Carnival Diary is supposed to be ONLY positive and not post anything negative. In my mind I am thinking, what rainbow gumdrops unicorn filled utopia is this , disconnected from reality? In everything there is a positive and a negative, one cannot hope to achieve a true reflection of the world on the whole without both negative and positive existing in the same space. Though my content is mostly positive, there are times I do highlight the negative side of the Carnival industry, one that I hope forces us to ask ourselves hard questions about the future trajectory of this Carnival we all love so much. The commercialization of Carnival in itself breeds and brings negativity to the fore. I can write epistles on the death of real creativity in mas, costume stylists who cannot construct a headpiece or backpack to save their life and Monday wear “designers” who would be better labeled as Monday Wear project managers since they coordinate the construction of spandex and gems, making sure the seamstress gets the “design” done and that it is on time.
So, how do I navigate the future of this space, without tripping over egos, losing “friends”, being accused of being “bitter, jealous, a hater” by those who got butthurt when I didn’t play their version of “nice”? First of all, there are other blogs and pages that will sell their soul for popularity, freebies, money and being IN with the in crowd by allowing their content to be controlled and manipulated ; I am not one of those blogs. If you want carefully curated Carnival content, seek that elsewhere. However, I do understand the politics at work and those who have followed me from inception will notice that my tone has changed over the years as well as the quantity of personal opinion pieces. I rather go quiet than be controlled. The one thing I can promise you is that when I do speak, when I have something to say, I am going to say it and someone is going to be offended; that is life.