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By Neil MarksYou know there is something definitely wrong with Calypso in Guyana when the Minister has to import foreigners to “spice up” things.He is doing that for the national Chutney competition this year also and probably has good reason to do so. The competitions, more so Calypso,Authentic Kyle Korver Hawks Jersey, have hardly managed to draw the crowds of long ago, as was the case with Calypso.Calypso comes around once a year – at Mash – the celebration of the Guyana’s Republic anniversary. This year is special – it is 40 years since the country said goodbye to the Queen.But even that isn’t special enough for the Minister in charge, Dr Frank Anthony, to give a clear commitment to this year’s 25 contestants that their songs will get air time on the national radio station.Why not? Dr Anthony has had his experience.  He was ready to throw his weight behind a TV programme, but admitted “quality content” could not be found. It was a strong reprimand.“Calypso in my mind is not what it used to be,” Dr Anthony laments.Calypsonians, both old and new,Authentic Jimmy Butler Bulls Jersey, pleaded for extra support when they met Anthony on Monday afternoon before rehearsals at the Carifesta Sports Club in Georgetown.One-time Calyspo monarch, Winfield James, says one of the “deadliest things” for calypso is the fact that the radio station does not play calypsos.“After Mash, all the calypsos dead,” said James. It is one of the reasons there is Calyspo fever only at Mash. Well,Dwight Howard Hawks Jersey, maybe, it’s the prize money and not so much Mash. This year the winner gets $550, 000.Minister Anthony admitted that the calypso competition has been found wanting, and the audience doesn’t get “the spirit” of the competition.Maybe if the songs are played on the radio people will become familiar with them, and also the artistes, and therefore come out to show their support for a song or an artiste, and hence get “the spirit?”Veteran producer Bonny Alves, who has managed to get a few Guyanese calypsos on foreign airwaves, doesn’t agree with the Minister that Calypsonians don’t deliver. Alves,Authentic Wesley Matthews Mavericks Jersey, who twice served as convenor of the competition, also clamoured for calypsos to be played on national radio. He feels this will make the calypsos more viable, win recognition for the Calypsonians, and draw crowds.But Anthony did not give a definite yes or a definite no. Some Calysonians have had the good fortune of their songs being aired, such as Bartician, Michael Pertab. But he is livid that the tune was censored. His song encourages young people to “wine” but the radio station has edited out “young” from the version it airs.Pertab sees nothing wrong with his song.“In my song,Authentic LeBron James Cavaliers Jersey, I encourage young people to ‘wine’,Dwyane Wade Bulls Swingman Jersey,” he says bluntly. “Mash is a celebration. There is nothing lawless about ‘wining’. If they can’t play my original song, they should take the whole song off the air,” he demands.But the Calypsonians want more support.  Pertab, for example,Dwyane Wade Bulls Jersey, says for all the trips he has to make to Georgetown, it will cost him a hefty $125,000 when the appearance fee for the semi-finals and the finals will add up to $25,Kobe Bryant USA Jersey,000.But Minister Anthony doesn’t feel that he should provide every contestant with a “pants or a shut” to compete.  He is providing a platform for competition and the contestants should come ready to compete and put on a show.Five-time calypso monarch “The Mighty Rebel” also agreed that more support should be given to those who have passed the auditions. He told the Minister that he had applied to get funding from the Regional Administration in Region Three, but it doesn’t look likely.“They put a ‘swar’ pun meh,” he said.When Anthony announced that his Ministry usually gives funding to every region to help support Mash activities, some Calypsonians were surprised; none more than Pertab, who exclaimed: “True to gad?”Anthony said that his Ministry is spending an estimated $9 million on Mash activities this year.He wants to strike a deal with Calypsonians to give them more. He suggested that if they could get more than the 300 to 400 people who pay to get into the competition,Nicolas Batum Hornets Jersey, maybe the proceeds could be divided.There is more wrong with Mash. There has been heavy criticism that the judging criteria are flawed, and there has been a commitment to change this.However, less than a month before the finals, all Lennox Canterbury, the Mash Coordinator, could tell contestants is that the criteria were still being worked on.Does this really help to bolster confidence that there is a genuine move to revive the art form?
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