FUCK TROUYA, SELL THE DAMNED PITONS
Trouya Beach? People are protesting because the government is approving the sale of Trouya Beach? Nobody goes to fucking Trouya Beach, but now all of a sudden, they care.
Looks like the dog doesn’t want the plantain but doesn’t want the damned chicken to eat it either. But people are like that. They don’t really appreciate what they have, but they don’t want anyone else to really appreciate it either. And so they defend their position with all kinds of pseudo-religious crap that they, themselves, believe, but never actually act on.
In the late 1980s, when John Compton proposed to sell Jalousie Estate to foreign investors, to build an exclusive hotel with no local access, everyone but the money-changers and lawyers were against it.
How could you do that? You’re selling the patrimony of the island. You can’t sell the most valuable parts of a small island when its own people are not developed enough to own themselves yet, far less their land. Blah, blah, blah…
They brought out their big guns…you know, philosophers and pseudo-spiritual types, tropical hippies who were born with tans and that troublesome Nobel Laureate poet guy, what’s his name? Who cares? Nobody reads that crap anyway.
In the end, the hotel got built, locals were practically gated out except by special invitation and the land that everyone thought was so damned sacred became a high class hotel that provided jobs for Soufriere, even though it fails as a business, over and over and over again. In fact, Jalousie’s repeated failures were such a success that now, government has approved the building of Freedom Bay in the same area, hoping to achieve…um…the same result, I guess.
The fact about Jalousie, St Lucia’s first truly controversial apartheid tourism project, is that while most Lucians feel like they lost something when the hotel took over the so-called ‘sacred land’, most St Lucians have never been anywhere near a Piton and have no actionable interest in doing so. Valuing the Pitons is no different than believing in Jesus. People swear by it, but when you look at their actions, it’s more like, ‘Hey, whatever.’
From the beginning of time, humans have made themselves believe in complete bullshit. Even the best and brightest of humanity has been, at times, completely full of crap. Pythagoras, the brilliant Greek mathematician was practically a cult leader who made a rule that you couldn’t eat beans, break bread or eat from a whole loaf. Plato was a sexist who thought that a man who didn’t use his brains would be reborn as a woman. Aristotle, Lao-tse, Hobbes, even my partner Spinoza, all full of bullshit beliefs that assigned spiritual and religious beliefs that amounted to nothing more than a hill of beans.
Luckily, most people don’t act on their bullshit beliefs unless they’re getting paid. Even when there is a penalty for going against the bullshit, people generally act in ways that fill their bellies, shelter them in bad weather and make them feel special, by fiddling with their genitalia.
Perhaps that is what really pisses people off about the selling of St Lucia’s beaches to spurious foreign investors who have no intention of building successful, sustainable businesses. They’re not on the payroll. They do not stand to benefit from the sale of a beach that they never went to anyway. Isn’t that what it comes down to?
Isn’t that the real hill of beans at stake?
It’s not about nature and conservation at all, is it? If St Lucia’s hotel plant would collectively decide to make local arts, crafts and agriculture an integral part of their tourism product and started paying the local producers first world prices, how many of the ‘nature lovers’ would still be out there agitating against the touristification of Trouya?
The preservation of St Lucia’s natural beauty is very much a tribal tradition in St Lucia. The nostalgic yearning for driftwood and seaweed does not cause most nature lovers to stop using plastic, ditch gasoline vehicles for diesel engines that fill up on coconut oil or install solar panels on their roofs. Like Holy Communion, baptism and other religious rituals, fighting for the environment is just an occasional thing that people do to make themselves feel good about themselves, feel like they are better than other people and as a front for not being one of the corrupt and lazy types who make a lot of money facilitating the destruction of the island.
Most nature lovers wear clothes, practice birth control and cook their food on fire. Most nature lovers are just as intrinsically knotted in the wires of technology and technics as anyone else. The hypocrisy of standing for the patrimony of an island which was taken from another people and given to you by people who didn’t belong there is stupefying. The hypocrisy of standing up for nature, whether you are a gasoline guzzling Bobo Shanti or a creepy, leering leader of church and state, you have to make up a new word for that.
Lucky for us, our leaders of church and state have no illusions about selling the so-called patrimony. If Allen Chastanet, Kenny Anthony and their acolytes are to believed, then there is no such thing as patrimony. There is only the economic reality of having to turn things into money in ways that would make Sir Arthur Lewis roll over in his grave.
Which is why it is odd that our leaders have not come around to selling the Pitons yet. I mean, if you’re looking for a big pay day from selling off the most valuable immoveable assets on the island, why wouldn’t you sell a Piton? After all, you sold Jalousie. You sold beaches in the north of the island, denying locals the legal use of them. You sold Fregate Island and Black Bay for no good reason and for no benefit at all. And now, you’re selling Trouya.
Might as well just sell the damned Pitons for a couple of billion and look for a buyer that Dantean butthole called the Suphur Springs. That would solve everyone’s problems. With the amount of money that we could get for a Piton, politicians could embezzle more money than ever and still have enough left over so that the rest of us can have good infrastructure and social services.
Without it, we’re just another Third World country with no food security. So fuck Trouya. Sell the damned Pitons and let’s get it over with.