Question of the Day: Did you read Fidel’s Reflection yesterday? Perhaps the commander should have a blog, on Blogspot of course, a public site, of the people, democratic, just like he’d like. I’m convinced he would stoically accept the negative comments, insults, people who never seem to understand what he’s trying to say… this way we wouldn’t have to comment on our impressions strictly among ourselves and might add compañero Fidel to the ranks of the incipient Cuban blogosphere.
But it’s not on his Reflection that I’m going to concentrate, since nothing I read surprised me, more of the same, more of what I’ve seen for some time and it seems that I will continue to see: totalitarianism, militarization, nothing about freedom of expression, or of human rights, nothing about measures to make our lives easier, nothing about an opening.
What did surprise me, however, was the front page article (the Reflection was on the second page). I can say that this time the newspaper Granma without a doubt exceeded all my expectations, I think it even exceeded the expectations of the editorial board in the movie Brainstorm… ladies and gentlemen, when Raúl Castro speaks of dialog, of political prisoners, of human rights and civil rights (albeit in a figurative sense, of course), when President Obama lifts the sanctions, when the issue of whether Cuba will re-enter the Summit of the Americas is being analyzed; Granma gives us an exclusive: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, an exceptional man.
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.