I’ve decided to subscribe to the newspaper Granma, every time I happen to see one I have the feeling that it raises the stakes. Today, for example, I discovered that the obituary was dedicated to Kim Il Sung under the ridiculous and disconcerting title of “Dear love of the people” with a small summary of his life that, when you read it, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Here in Havana they are showing two documentaries: “North Korea, access to terror” and “You love the leader above all things” which leave everyone dumbfounded. When you see them you can believe that Ramiro Valdés has emotions, that Randy has an iota of dignity, and that Fidel and Raúl are a couple of “little old men.”
After finding out that I was born on the same day Kim Il Sung left this world, I realized that he also shared his death with the first nine sites of the “People’s Camping Plan.” Any similarity to surrealism is pure reality.
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.