Wednesday, 10 July 2013


No, there was no one at Tourist Board who offered to get Akon for US$175,000 less than what BET charged. No, SLTB did not pay $80,000 to a local entrepreneur to do passes – something which they used to do themselves. Something would cost you ten grand, if you had to buy new equipment for it.
You're right, we're wrong and the truth is buried in the catacombs. Correct?

No, SLTB is straight shooting. But no, they will not tell the real cost of Akon, or the contract for the passes or anything, because that’s just unprofessional. Or whatever. Never mind that it’s your money paying for their bullshit.

No, everything is on the up and up.

So, John-boy, if what you say is true, what’s that stink coming out of the SLTB offices? Why is it that employees, associates and friends are confirming what Warner and Lewis categorically denied as absolutely unfactual? (By the way, Mr Lewis, 'unfactual' is not a word.) And why is it that SLTB continues to suck Paxton Baker’s bejeweled golden phallus even after BET abandoned St Lucia and left us a dying festival with no international year round exposure. It’s like they’re making bom with Baker. And he’s the one getting paid. But we’re the ones getting screwed.

Paxton Baker: Pimping IS easy (with SLTB on your side)
SLTB pays more to BET and Paxton Baker  than the St Lucia government spends on Carnival every year. In spite of the fact that Carnival has clearly overtaken Jazzfest as St Lucia’s premiere/signature festival, the geniuses at Tourist Board persist in doing it year after year. In spite of the fact even Allen Chastanet  has recognized that the damned thing has run its course, SLTB just continues to shell out taxpayer dollars to BET, as though Baker was their dealer or their pimp or something.

It cannot be that they are stupid. Anyone who knows Director Lewis or Deputy Director Warner knows that in spite of their failings, they are intelligent people. So what conclusion are we supposed to come to when we see SLTB begging to be BET’s bitch year after year, long after BET done told them that it don’t love them no mo'?

How,  John-John ,  are we supposed to justify a continuing relationship with BET when they don’t do anything for us that Dwayne Mendes couldn’t do from the SLTB office with a goddam phone and a wifi connection?

Why is it no one at SLTB has asked  the critical question: What’s the point of the Jazz Festival without the exposure we used to get on BET Jazz? How  is it  that we (and by we, I mean you@SLTB) neglect to seek out new media  partners in both North America and Europe, big and small, people who are more  ready than BET to find an interest in St Lucia and to splash our beautiful, sunshiny ass all over their media? These people exist.  Some of them have already confirmed their interest in St Lucia. A few have confirmed being denied media passes, despite being willing to take care of their own accommodations.

St Lucia: Simply Stupiful
Do you see what it looks like from the outside, John? It looks like you’re deliberately talking crap on behalf of people whose motives must be questioned because their abilities are adequate and their faculties are intact. It looks like you guys are talking about everything else except  the thing that costs millions a year and brings diminishing results. It looks like what it smells like. Vichy France. Batista’s Cuba. Collaboration. I'm not saying that's  what it is. I'm just saying,  something stinks and it's coming from your direction. Someone farted and you're the ones who are most  filled with hot  air.

Do you know or are you too blind to see?

It’s one thing to spend $8m on a loss-making festival when you’re going to get free publicity on BET for the rest of the year. Eight million EC is not a lot to spend on year round free publicity. It’s a pretty good deal, actually. But if BET is not giving us the exposure, then we are not getting the benefit of the Jazzfest. Might as well give Lucian artists the whole damned $8 million and let them entertain us and the cruise ship  passengers all year round. (Don't get excited felluz. Nobody but Ti Chas would do that and he is no danger of going to Parliament.)

If there is one legitimate reason left why we should not delete BET’s number , you need to say it. And furthermore, the cult of secrecy in there has got to go. Someone at Tourist Board has remember that the People of St Lucia own this motherfucker and when we ask for the truth, we ought to get it.

Without year-round international media exposure, like BET Jazz used to deliver, the Jazzfest, as we know it is pointless. And wasteful. Without major (and minor) media partners who profit from working our publicity angles, all this is vanity.

Ask Allen Chastanet. He invented the jazzfest (in the same way that Al  Gore invented the internet). And even he thinks this is bullshit.

This is not going to go away. Not until something changes for the better. Or until the shit hits the fan. Or both.

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