Wednesday, April 23, 2014


There is in circulation around the internet right now a joke that (like most jokes) has a lot of truth in it. It says "it's only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you realize that there is always a way to solve problems without using violence." I was reminded forcefully of this joke this morning when I read the Guardian story about the mother who beat her teenage daughter for posting most inappropriate pictures of her in various stages of undress. The mother posted the beating of the daughter on the internet because she wanted the daughter to be suitably embarrassed at the humiliation of the beating (as if the reported 63 or 69 blows were not enough!)

Now,  I was in my car close to lunchtime and had tuned into I95.5fm radio which had a live on air discussion about this video, the punishment meted out to the girl, and whether or not it was appropriate. To my great chagrin  what little I heard of the radio program (I had tuned in very near the end) suggested to me that not only were all the callers in agreement with the mother beating her daughter, but the radio host also felt that the beating was in order. Certainly, I did not hear the host disagreeing with all the callers who made it clear that they saw nothing wrong with the beating and in fact condoned it. One female caller even invoked the old saw about sparing the rod and spoiling the child!

So? What's wrong with this picture? Go back to the top of this post and read the rather crude joke. Then pay attention to its deeper meaning. Look past the more than slightly explicit crudity and understand the point that it is making. If I have to explain that point then you obviously haven't got it and never will!

But, what does this attitude tell us about our society? The answer, unfortunately, is a lot! If the average person in this society believes that it is all right to beat a child for any infraction ... serious or otherwise ... then why is the average person in this society so surprised at the levels of crime here in good old T&T which every right thinking person in the society condemns? All violence does is to breed more violence.

In order to succeed as a nation we must look at ourselves as honestly as we possibly can. And when we do so we must admit that just about everything in this society that is wrong is not really the fault of the politicians (although I would be the first to admit that a lot of them on all sides seem to be doing their level best to make things worse) but is really our fault. We are the ones to blame. We are the ones to blame for the lousy health service, the terribly inefficient police force and the worse than useless system that tries to pass for an education system. We are the ones to blame for the corruption that seems to pervade everything. It is us and nobody else. To paraphrase William Shakespeare on his 450th birthday, the fault, dear friends, lies not in our stars but in ourselves that we have almost gleefully ignored and avoided all the hard decisions that would have let us build that "shining city on the hill."  We really do not have a right to complain about anything! We have brought it all on ourselves!


  1. I agree totally with Mr. Montano here. I don't see the need to beat a child to this extent ........As my mother says "never beat a child out of anger".........Its disgusting and shameful on the mother's behalf !!!!!

  2. Senator,
    You are right but you also missed a point. The girl is reported to have apologised for her behaviour. Okay. This was proper, but the mother hasn't apologised. Now, when the girl's future husband/man puts a beating on her she will accept it because women are "supposed" to be beaten when they do something wrong!!

  3. The fact that most people think that it is okay to beat a child and is sometimes even necessary just shows why this country is in such a mess. I wish that i could disagree with you, but I can't!

  4. The fact that the majority of people in T&T believe that beating a child is acceptable does not make it right. Didn't the majority howl for Jesus to be crucified? You are right, Mr.Montano, and this matter calls for strong leadership.

  5. Why do people wait for 12 years before teaching the child a lesson? You are very right!!

  6. Mr. Montano, I totally agree with you on the subject of this barbaric mother beating her child. That video was posted to my page three times and I am totally disgusted! Is Trinidad & Tobago such a sadistic society that they take pleasure in watching this woman use obscene language and beat her 12 yr. old? She is telling her daughter how she should dress when her own breasts are hanging out of her clothing?? Did she think she was looking sexy while making a video to embarrass her child? I am surprised at the number of folks who agree with her, shows how much ignorance still exists on parenting issues. Here in the States this woman would have been charged and her children taken out of that home by Social Services! The video is evidence of her brutality, the police should get on this case.