Thursday, October 17, 2002

In his column in today's Trinidad Express, Kevin Baldeosingh deplores the hold that superstitious beliefs & practices have on the T&T population (using recent press reports on "psychics" and "miracles" as examples). "I expect the average person to be taken in by such nonsense," he says. Our politicians & their ad agencies clearly agree. One of the UNC's full-page newspaper ads from this last election campaign consisted of a photograph of a balisier cluster with a snake coiled around it; the accompanying text asserted the photo was undoctored. This apparently was meant to convince us that a vote for the PNM was a vote for the forces of evil. When last did a political party in this country so blatantly insult the electorate?

Actually, this last UNC ad campaign set quite a few worst-ever records. (Who do we thank, Valdez & Torry or Ross Advertising?) The full-page ad with the 100-point headline screaming "PLEASE DON'T LEAVE" was to my mind a low point in our history: a major political party begging citizens not to flee the country in terror. But most disgusting of all was the ad showing a photograph of one of the WTC towers in flames, with the message that the PNM was in cahoots with terrorists, i.e. the Jamaat. I can't believe a decent person would use the memory of that horrific event in NY last year for such a petty political purpose—but we all know decency isn't often found in the ranks of the politicians, &, having spent three years in the business, I can tell you the same is true of advertising.

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