Dawn Ritch, Contributor
THE funeral of William Moore, alias Willie Haggart, was attended by three members of the PNP Cabinet, and held in the capacious National Arena.
A country under the gun, both literally and figuratively, was deeply shocked and wounded therefore, to see tribute paid and legitimacy given to a deceased garrison don by the second most important elected official in the country Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Finance. The deceased, shot in a gangland execution, was a member of the Minister's constituency, and the latter said he attended the funeral "without apology".
Accompanying Dr. Davies to the last rites were the Minister of Transport and Works Dr. Peter Phillips, who is tipped by the PNP hierarchy to succeed P.J. Patterson as president, as well as Dr. Karl Blythe, Minister of Water and Housing. Also present was Mr. Paul Burke, chairman of the PNP's Region Three. Both the funeral venue and the ministerial delegation were decked out in the PNP party colour orange.
Money, roads and water were therefore carried like gold, frankincense and myrrh to honour the life of Mr. Moore. The organisers of the funeral said it was to cost a million dollars, and would be preceded by 14 radio spots. Having rented the National Arena for $120,000, the promoters were determined to fill it to capacity. The National Arena is traditionally the site of official funerals. This is the place where Jamaica honours its dead who have distinguished themselves in life with selfless and notable service to the nation. "Hogheart" does not count among them.
It matters not that his family could afford to rent it. Honour cannot be bought nor coerced, it can only be given freely. And nothing comes free to a don. Everything is bought, even the air he breathes.
Money can't buy class either. Above all it can't buy class. Only a few can or should be honoured by a country, but most if not all people can have class because this at least is something over which we have personal control.
It's not the cost of the dress, but whether or not you took a bath before you put it on, and then rubbed baking soda or fresh lime under your armpits. It is puzzling that a man can pay $20,000 for a suit, but won't buy deodorant that costs less than $100. Thus at the Luther Vandross concert, once the ladies in their sequins got up to cheer and wave their arms, others had to reach for their fans. Money spent to impress others promptly went down the drain, if it indeed had ever helped.
None of this should come as anything new, because Jamaicans have always maintained that "when dawg 'ave money 'im nyam cheese". It seems, however, that in the last decade we've developed a terrible and obsessive fondness for cheese.
I am indebted to Joan Rivers for the information that Oscar Best Actor Russel Crowe stinks to high heaven. It seems that the heart throb of multitudes wears no deodorant. Miss Rivers said it was an "animal magnetism" thing presumably highly regarded in Australia, his place of birth. All that money spent on his personal security, but not even a few measly dollars worth of consideration for the comfort of others downwind.
Consideration is the bedrock of class, and "Willie Hogheart" and his mourners have none of that. A video of the funeral is now available at a price. There were a whole lot of very tough-looking women parading and modeling. Everybody wore dark glasses and was on a cellular. They came in threes and fours, and there was interminable quarreling over the seats.
Dr. Davies spoke at the funeral, and half his eulogy, since he again said that no meeting of his with the deceased lasted more than 10 minutes, was taken up with lecturing the mourners to behave themselves because the wider society was watching.
The mourners paid scant attention however, either to his arrival at the lectern or to what he said. After the quarreling in the National Arena, vollies of shots were fired at the graveside, and Beenie Man sat upon it weeping.
Father Mock Yen was accorded somewhat more respect than Dr. Davies, but none so great as that given to another, who arrived with a personal security retinue in numbers bigger than that of the President of the United States.
This bizarre video might well be of professional interest. Anyone without a professional interest, however, would be advised not to watch it because it is not for weak stomachs, and cannot be dismissed as fiction.
This was a serious lack of moral judgement on the part of the attending Government ministers. They have lent their names to honour a life that, the majority feels, lacked dignity and purpose, and perpetrate an unclean culture which worships money alone. This is neither a fitting nor worthy object of adoration.
It is a source of consternation, therefore, that three such highly educated men seem not to have a grain of common sense to share among them. They set a poor example and bring shame upon the sacrifice of their parents.