Letter: No New Year’s Eve music or dancing? Live with it

I could not help but get a chuckle out of the Dec. 20 front page (“No dancing or music allowed in Cayman on New Year’s Eve”). No dancing, singing, or any sort of live music on New Year’s Eve. This old, geriatric law is so outdated that it is actually (in my opinion) charming.

I am one musician who is more than happy to stay home on New Year’s Eve, and I’m very delighted that some old traditions still hold strong in these islands. We have become a land of copy-cats – just listen to the music played on our dozen or so radio stations. It’s all imported. If the USA Billboard Music Charts place 20 new songs on their website, it’s guaranteed that those same songs will be rotated endlessly on our local stations. On the same subject, visit most any hotel beach bar and what do you hear as background music? Imported rock, dancehall, or electronic space music where the tempo and key never change, all clashing with the visual panorama of swaying palms, seabirds and the barreling waves of the distant reef.

When Ralph Lauren tore up an old pair of jeans and resold them for $250 at a Miami mall, all of a sudden the rags showed up on our shores. Louis Vuitton handbags have replaced thatch baskets, and what gives with the run-of-the-mill wearing your ball cap in reverse? Just because some celebrity at a Lakers game is a trend follower, you do not need to mime that in Cayman. After all, the brim of the cap can be useful here when worn correctly – we have sun.

Have you noticed Cayman’s grocery stores recently? Half of the wall is devoted to “organic” this and “organic” that, at twice the cost of regular. I’m curious to know what people think about this whole organic food craze. Does it really make that much of a difference or are we being scared out of the extra change in our pockets? Or maybe if Publix in Tampa does it, why shouldn’t we? How did so many of us survive the days of Co-Mart and By-Rite, when a fresh apple was a rare sight?

I love the old Cayman traditions, especially the ones that still hold strong around Christmastime, like gathering of the crowd while some fat cow meets its demise for a Christmas beef feast. Or watching an old couple dancing to a fiddle and cow-skinned drum at the Rotary Senior Citizen Christmas party.

So this year there is no live entertainment on New Year’s Eve. Oh well, live with it. It’s the law of the land. Look on the bright side – here is a law that we have not yet cloned from America.

In Florida, there’s no dwarf-tossing allowed. Owners of commercial establishments where alcohol is sold may be fined up to $1,000 if they participate in or permit any contest of dwarf-tossing, since it was outlawed in 1989. A Florida state legislator tried to repeal the law in 2011, but was not successful. Little people are safe in Cayman.

Happy New Year.

G Nowak

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  1. Why is everyone, especially the proprietors of entertainment venues, so surprised? This law has existed for many years. In 2007 New Years Eve was on a Sunday. What happened then? NYE celebrations commenced at midnight. Have people forgotten?

    It behooves the proprietors of licensed premises to know the law(s) which govern their operations. For them to cry “foul” and claim they didn’t know is quite lame. Worse that some of them advertised celebrations for Sunday night and perhaps collected deposits from intended patrons!

    Perhaps many of the managers of such establishments are “new” to our island and didn’t know what happened the last time NYE fell on a Sunday. No excuse! They should be familiar with the statues and rules which govern their operations or they should not be managers. Simple! Perhaps, as I’ve suggested previously, there may be less “ignorance of the law” and more “let’s just ignore the law”. Personally, I’m not sympathetic to any established which “mistakenly” advertised NYE celebrations on Sunday night, nor for any patrons who may have pre-paid. They know better!