Le Cernéen reborn

My curiosity today had its fill. Whilst doing some research on the internet, I discovered the rebirth of Le Cernéen. Yes! Indeed the news paper which was created in 1832 and disappeared a decade or so is back. I could feel again the same spirit that used to glow the flame of the soul of this paper which has taken the modern digital medium for publishing. Le Cernéen in its last days as a daily newspaper was edited by Jean Pierre Lenoir who was in a way the mouthpiece of the Franco community or at least he then defended the opinions of the community. He is a very interesting outgoing person, very independently minded, creative and quick-witted and more importantly writes very well in French. I had the opportunity to have spent some of my teenage years rubbing shoulders with him. Together with Denis Piat, another critical author of Le Cernéen, we were juniors working for the same boss. Jean Pierre took from his father who was a very cultured man who used to run and owned “La Libraire le Trefle” in my younger days.

I am all for the multiplicity of opinions, of ideas and of perspectives. It is important to confront the reading of my reality to the realities of others, to enhance my vision of things. After all, is not my reality only an illusion of true reality corrupted with my blindness and my imperfect knowledge or understanding?

Living in Mauritius, in such a diverse society, we are blessed to be able to see, if we so wish, in multicolour shades through the eyes & understandings of multi-social norms. It would be wasteful not to draw benefits from “la societé Arc en Ciel”.

The story which retained my interest today was:



Psst! Wanna make a fast buck whilst doing next to nothing? Read these instructions carefully and if you follow them to the letter, you too can become a millionaire many times over and simultaneously add a thin veneer of intelligence to what is essentially a dull and insipid personality. The instructions are very easy to follow, so easy in fact that government advisers who, as we all know are not blessed with the greatest intelligence or wit, have no problems at all to implement them fully whenever the need for personal advancement that is not based on merit or qualifications becomes necessary.
First of all, physical looks do not seem to matter at all as it is generally assumed that even the ugliest person will somehow compensate for his shortcomings in the appearance department by projecting the aura of authority and commanding physical presence that he believes automatically follows any job provided by his political master. Some people will venture the rather cruel opinion that personal advancement based entirely on political patronage is inversely proportional to physical looks and intelligence, and the uglier and dimmer you are, the higher the chances of finding yourself parachuted into a position that provides no great benefits to the country but which is guaranteed to enrich you immensely. I do not subscribe to this uncharitable view as I am sure there must be some rare exceptions (oh, all right then, some very, very rare exceptions)that somehow struggle to be the exception to the rule…
So, armed with a face that only a mother could love and an intelligence level that consistently fails to register anything of note on numerous I.Q. tests, the next step on the road to riches and faux grandeur is to embark on a symbiotic relationship with a politician who seems destined for high office after a general election. Here again you must choose a politician who matches you in the looks and intelligence department, i.e. as ugly and as stupid as you are. One note of caution though : never, ever allow your monstrously huge ego to overshadow that of your political partner in crime. This is an absolute no no, as apparently no Mauritian politician will ever tolerate the possibility that there may be numerous people out there who are far more intelligent than the specimens we regularly send out to servi nou pei. The cardinal principle that you must never deviate from is simply this: the politician is never wrong and any pronouncement by your master, irrespective of the new depths of inanity that are reached with every successive statement, must always be met with an innocent look of astonishment at the sheer genius of the man; if, for example, he tells you that he has a son who is a medecin and a daughter who is a medicine, you must suspend disbelief and marvel at the surprisingly procreative abilities of such a stupid man.
Now that the basic qualifications of intelligence and good looks (or lack of) have been met, you must learn to match bullshit with bullshit. That is not as difficult as it seems. You must always assume that the politician will voice rubbish of the bovine variety every time he opens his mouth, and therefore all you have to do is have a small number of made to measure replies to anything that he says; as long as you remember to say ‘Yes, minister, that is such an intelligent move on your part’ to any crackpot ideas that emanate from a febrile head soaked in last night’s booze at the almost daily manz boir event that is a must for anyone proclaiming to serve the nation, you will be ok, and that may even add another 10% to the mandatory 25% annual salary gratuity that is given to any lick spittle irrespective of actual performance.
The only other qualification that is most prized apart from arse licking is the ability to stab friend and foe in the back; this usually manifests itself in telling blatant lies to your ministerial godfather about the political affiliations of friends, rivals, and enemies. The minister is, of course, too stupid to differentiate between a bare faced lie told solely to deal with deep, personal, psychological problems and genuine information that will help the minister to do his job with a modicum of efficiency. The robin has a natural ability to flaunt its red breast of jealousy and innate inferiority complex and will do anything to worm its way into any position that it believes will serve its purposes exclusively, and will therefore forego any of the notions of loyalty, friendship, and faithfulness that binds most ordinary mortals into a common bond of shared purpose and sincerity.
Of course, you must make the potential minister believe that you ‘carry’ a large number of votes, and this is best achieved by appealing to the nasty, casteeist,communalist instincts that unfortunately still afflicts so many of our citizens in this apparently civilised democracy. If, for example, you happen to be a Rajput, you convince the minister that you can guarantee him the votes of all the Rajputs at election time; it does not matter that everyone apart from the putative minister know that this Rajput represents only himself and nobody else. If you happen to be a Moslem, then claim complete allegiance to the Holy Quran and vociferously condemn any proposed legislation on anything to do with the private sex lives of our citizens whilst spending every Friday and Saturday evening getting blind drunk in the distinctly ungodly atmosphere of our nightclubs. The crucial tactic to maintain here is to feed the ministerial delusion that his political future lies in your hands which contains the votes of all those who happen to share the identity conferred on them entirely by the accident of birth.
Finally, when the votes are counted, make sure you are there when your man is hoisted on the shoulders of his supporters to welcome his victory; it will help if you have one or two nephews shouting your name within his earshot so that he is now convinced that his good fortune is entirely due to your hard work and your influence within his constituency. When he hugs you in public to show his gratitude for your so called hard work, whisper gently the magic names of any of the numerous parastatal organisations that litter Paradise Island and look forward to an astronomical salary and expenses package that has no bearing whatsoever to your qualifications, experience, or aptitude for the job; and you will also get a 25% gratuity of annual salary irrespective of your performance, and which is paid whether you work well or to the abysmally low standards that have characterised your work record so far. This should guarantee you a salary of around Rs1 million for the month of December alone and a total annual salary package of between Rs 3 and Rs 4 millions a year. Not bad for someone who could barely write his name before polling day…
But if you want to be really clever, you should capitalise on an atmosphere of friction between yourself and the Board of directors; if you are really lucky, you will be invited to resign and you will be able to go home with a cheque for around Rs2 millions which astonishingly contains a gratuity payment for a future performance that cannot be evaluated as you no longer work for that organisation! If your name is Dan Maraye, you must look at yourself in the mirror every day and thank your lucky stars that you live in Paradise Island where your political masters are experts at creating paradise for the chosen few.
Of course, if you had a conscience, or if you really loved your country, you would not follow the route planned above and will instead do whatever you can to create the wealth that this country desperately needs. But how many of us are willing to take that road?