These are the last two charges that the Cuban Authorities have decided to level on Gorki Águila, leader of the band Porno Para Ricardo, only this time he was joined by the bass player, Hebert Domínguez. Now they have a fine of 30 pesos each for sexual insult, the charge pertaining to Article 1, Law Number 141 in the penal code. What this means, more or less, is that if your clothes are sexy, i.e. there are sexy drawings on your shirt or trousers, or there any sexual references on your clothes, you’re guilty of an offense (which of course includes the logo of the group).
In the case of Claudio Fuentes Madan, his crime was minor: public nuisance, which refers to the scandalous images he captures with his camera at Maxim Rock or on G Street; his fine was 20 pesos.
Although my feelings towards the organs of State Security and the authorities involved in drafting and implementing the laws are not the best, I can’t avoid at least advising them to glance at the penal code: the criminal record of Gorki has come to seem a promising curriculum vitae for a punk artist.
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.