Here I am watching The Lucas Awards... how revolting! Always the same, it would seem that there are only 5 pop groups, 4 rock groups and 2 salsa bands. The directors of the video clips, coincidentally, are always the same. I think I said in my previous post that they call me “the radical. For some time I’ve lost hope in Cuban intellectuals and artists (those based on national territory). Fear and accommodations are worth more than art, solidarity and any kind of activity that might threaten small business. But after what happened with Gorki, it makes me nauseated. But the other day Ciro, always so sympathetic with his compañeros (an evil intention it won’t be and vice versa), said to me: Look, Claudia, the good thing about Porno Para Ricardo is that we’ve raised the bar so much and the level of censorship we’ve seen has been forced down; now other groups can sing things that maybe if we had not already done “El Comandante” and “El General” they couldn’t do it, and they go through official channels and do critical lyrics and it’s fine. We are the black sheep. So I get to see Nassiry (of Hard Currency) singing “Why your evil intentions” and I feel good. I can’t deny that Ciro’s right, even if it’s painful for me to see them become the black sheep for the government and the musicians as well. I don’t know how they even have the desire to do a study to help the underground scene which has demonstrated that it will never help them… but in the end, I have to recognize that I’m also a victim of this spirit of the “evil intentions.”
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.