¿DiSidimos todos ser disidentes? / Did we all "Disside" to be dissidents?
(A friend brought me this text, it seems my work is bearing fruit and my friends are beginning to get excited and give me posts. Even though they are anonymous, I know that bit by bit they’ll stop being so, we’ve already come a long way even with a pseudonym, which gives me hope they’ll continue writing.)
Photo: OLPL Text by: The White Salamander
There are journalists, almost always foreigners because the national ones are too “careful,” who pose “uncomfortable questions” to “our leaders,” more or less causing heart attacks in public. Just a few days ago they asked Raúl about dissent in Cuba and he almost had a heart attack, meanwhile answering “forcefully.” Sometimes you assume you know the meaning of certain words for many reasons, through reading, conversations and hearing them so often from the mouths of others. And so you don’t look them up in the dictionary because their meanings are “obvious.” But I wonder if sometimes they aren’t used badly, leaving us with a slightly erroneous idea of them. I have to share, even if no one has asked me to:
Dissidence: (ad. L dissidentia) n. 1. Action and effect of dissenting. II. Serious difference of opinion. Synonyms.: Disagreement, division, Anton.: Harmony.
Dissident: (ad. L Dissidens,-entis.) n. One who disagrees. adj. Disagreeing.
Dissent: (ad. L Dissidere.) v. To deviate from the common doctrine, belief or conduct. n. difference of opinion.
This word, dissidence, and all of its “derivatives,” in this country has, for all practical purposes, been banned as nearly every thought that is different from theirs is banned. And as a consequence they want “the masses” to look at a dissident like a social pariah. “EWWWW, stinking dissident!!!!” they seem to shout. Because of this some have already been separated from the their families, friends or acqaintances simply for being, or going with others who are, “disaffected with the Crown.” The fear instilled is great, I honestly admit that for me sometimes it is… (That’s why I write this as “anonymous.) In this country, the governemnt, on the few occasions they’ve done so, mentions dissidence (or “political deviants”) as a small percentage of people whom they believe they can “control” very well. Furthermore, they accept as a fact the belief that all of them are supposedly “paid by the Empire.” Knowing the full meaning, I wonder if the government is really so naïve as to believe that there are only a minimum number of people who disagree with its “Common Doctrine” (??) or who are “seriously in discord with the opinions” of the government. Because if that’s the case, I believe they’re seriously deluded or, one might say, total clowns, to not know that there is a great percentage of dissidents in this country, many, thousands. Too many people don’t think like “Them,” they want to change things, they are tired of everything, of nothing changing for 50 years. It’s only that lamentably we don’t all have the balls to do what some do, some of the wonderful very young people, bold, and though fearful, brave. And paid by the Empire? What Empire might that be that they’re talking about? Oh right, I’m sure it must be the “Foreign Empires,” because in this country a large share of the people live on what their families and friends send from “outside,” if not…
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.