An overdose for my grandchildren: Popularity and Best Blog
This first Cuban blog contest has been avant-garde in many things, but one of the simplest and yet the most exciting, is that it is the first time that a blogger laureate within the island can participate in the awards ceremony (without having to ask permission to leave). I refer of course to Yoani Sanchez, who has been denied the right to get on a plane five times in only two years.
Her prize for Best Blog in Spanish in the Bitácoras contest, a laptop, was the prize I received yesterday for Best Blog. Luckily Orlando Luis spoke first at the end of the ceremony and my impulse to cry passed. When I came to say a few words which I don’t remember at all, at least I didn’t pout even though later that told me I was “as red as a beet.”
A Virtual Island has been made possible thanks to the perseverance of the organizers and the solidarity that exists within the Cuban blogosphere, to all these people my thanks and admiration.
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.