16 / CHRONICLESnAt Machu Picchunby Elizabeth MarionnIt’s winter in our hemisphere; brute darknsteals off with Hght at briefest intervals,nand bitter winds can blow out every sparknof passion heaped against inimieal,ndestructive forces which may separate,npropel us into chaos. If, dear, nownyou must leave me in order to placatena power we neither understand, may younnot be enticed beyond the limits ofncurved orbit binding both, but soon return,nintense with quickening warmth, give back our lovenits vernal strength.nFor this, I’ll gladly learnnto mimic priests at mountain altar here,nfling out toward you wide net of fervent prayer.naround braless and untidy and using drugs. It could be saidnthat yachtsfolk, equally dirty and barefoot, offered the samenspectacle, but one could add that the average West Indianndidn’t quite know how to deal with them sociologically,neither. Them, too, hate themselves.nNow, however, the local cane cutter or banana grower isnadjured to encourage this element, since tourism is vital tonthese islands. During the season, Barbados will get as manynas 800 tourist arrivals a day, nearly all of them American. Itnwould be bankrupt without tourism. So would Antigua,nwhich regularly imports water from Dominica. I would notnlike to think what would happen to either of those islands ifncut off by a war. For though the Caribbean has been callednAmerica’s backyard, it is strategically more like its frontndoor. Managua is closer to Washington than is California.nThe alien manners system introduced by Americanntourism carries further pressures behind it. The first dishesnhave sprouted in the islands—the video-cassette finding anready outlet in a world more or less devoid of cinemas orntheaters—and U.S. TV shows the good life coming downnfrom America. West Indians hardly had to be told this, sonmany of them having relatives in “the States.” ManynJamaicans are, in fact, on food stamps, and the other day Instood in line at my bank behind two locals cashing theirnSocial Security checks (both larger than my own). TV’snpressure, by being geared to the American way, is bound tonchange the balance of life in the islands. Already Trinidadnhas complained of saturation by U.S. programming, yetncan substitute nothing in its place. Beside the glossynlife-style on display, the British seem a drab and impoverishednlot when those few who do come step off their cheapiencruise or airline tours (moreover, they’re inferior at cricket).nIn fact, those English who build houses for themselves innthe region tend to be very rich absentee landlords, whichnonly exacerbates the situation (Lord Brownlow in Grenada).nFurthermore, to the emigrating West Indian middlenclass, England looks absurdly vulnerable to the latestnAmerican trend or fad. Even under Maurice Bishop, whonnnroared away about women’s rights, feminism never got anfoothold in Grenada. Also, the smaller islands must be thenleast homosexual places in the world (AIDS unknown). Butnno sooner have some Yale students dedicated a shanty tonWinnie Mandela than some London borough, like Islingtonnor Hackney, will leap-frog them with glorification of anneven more extreme and bloodthirsty revolutionary.nNevertheless, while evidently vulnerable to such trends,nThatcher’s England has at least tried to stop some of thennonsense; immigration laws have been tightened and thenGreater London Council abolished. The latter, incidentally,nhad no copyright on diversion of tax funds to supportnradical political advocacy and sexual deviation; the Americanntaxpayers’ pockets have been rifled, too, on the samenscurvy errands.nThis misled Yankee ingenuity could be summarized innthe case of the feminist founder of Aplex Corp. who wantsnto persuade women to stand up while urinating and is evennmarketing a device (Le Funelle) for them to do so. Onennotes here the instant respectability accorded to the idiocy;nthe good lady has incorporated herself. A put-on? Not at all.nNothing succeeds like excess, as Wilde had it—and least ofnall in America, one could add. There is more than onencongressman who has expressed satisfaction with the Sovietnoccupation of Afghanistan. Tim Wirth (now senator fromnColorado): “In the long run, the Russian invasion ofnAfghanistan will turn out to be a stabilizing influence in thenMiddle East” (Boulder, Colorado, Daily Camera, Januaryn18, 1980). America looks like a very permissive society,nindeed, to the average West Indian native. He may notnrespect it, but he can get something out of it, the reverse ofnhis attitude to England.nIn Grenada, when the Communist Maurice Bishopnseized power in 1979, the populace was subjected tonnonstop vilification of America and/or capitalism (its Politburoncode word), to say nothing of the filth hurled onnRonald Reagan (“eater of babies”). I listened to four and anhalf years of this at close hand. The schools and churchesnwere attacked. But despite the introduction of Marxistneducational lackeys, like the British Alan Searle, thesenelements remained remarkably resilient in the face ofnindoctrination. Children were made to chant revolutionarynsongs, attend the political rallies, paint slogans, so forth. Itnwas a full-blooded attack on the vertical society.nYet despite the lure of unpunished truancy, schoolchildrenndeserted the rallies, until they eventually petered out.nTheir parents left the island in droves, not for Africa, butnAmerica, or Babylon. For in a curious way the anti-nAmerican rhetoric rebounded on itself; it drew unusualnattention to the United States—I had more requests tonbring down a motorbike from the States than at any otherntime, and I doubt if a Russian model would have beennappreciated. Later, after Bishop’s deposition and murder,nthe drift to America was intensified. In October 1985 thenQueen paid Grenada a visit in order to open the firstndemocratically elected parliament since the 1979 coup.nAdmittedly it was raining, but her visit did not, frankly,narouse much interest, certainly not as much as had her firstnvisit in 1966, when friends put her up. On this occasion shenwent on to New Zealand, where eggs were thrown at her. InnGrenada there was the usual smattering of Anglophile civiln