The unyielding in their principles and their dignity
Handing out discs on G street is now part of my summer nights. I’m a little shy so I barely speak and deliver the disc in silence and try not to interrupt the conversations. I’m not the only one handing out things: people come from the churches, techno party promoters, Rock fanzine creators and young pollsters (it seems to me we form a good slightly monolithic fauna together).
My disc is called Voces Cubanas and almost everyone thinks it’s music. But last night a frikie thought it was a disc of religious songs, he destroyed it with his hands and stomped on it several times with his boots, slivers of plastic flying everywhere. It seemed awful to my friends but to me, first it made me laugh to see someone act like that with information media, I imagine that the security people have the same impulse with the all flash memories, memory cards, external hard drives and the CDs. One of them soon returned to find out what it was that was broken, we answered, “Don’t worry, God loves you.”
They remained a little ways off and we laughed our heads off, they never understand anything. Such an attitude toward people who believe in God is shameful and a typical of the politics of concrete. However, I’d love to know if this man has such an aggressive attitude when his CDR president knocks on the door to demand he pay the annual dues for that organization, if when he was a student he refused with the same intensity to cut his hair, if he ever stood up to an abuse of power by the police, if he breaks all the banners along all of G street telling him to stop “lazing around” and “get to work”, if he has ever been able to record his dissatisfaction with the system.
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.