It’s surprising that in a secular society killing a cow is punished by eighteen years in prison, and even more absurd that to kill a man is only punished with ten; meanwhile an independent journalist can be looking at twenty-five.
Based on these absurd laws, then, we all live in the absurdity of everyday life: to buy meat on the black market can be more dangerous for a citizen than witnessing a murder, a person reading an independent blog assumes a risk equal to that of eating beef.
Could we say that a person who reads the international press – known by the official media as the enemy press – while putting a piece of red meat in their mouth is a reckless citizen? According to the law there is no doubt about it, and may the lawyers forgive my saying so, it is extremely hilarious to imagine it.
I don’t want to reach old age living this foolishness, I don’t want to die with a pension of two hundred pesos while my children break their backs as illegal immigrants in the world, I don’t want to turn on the TV and see the face of Randy Alonso on The Roundtable, I don’t want my neighbor caring about whether or not I vote, I don’t want my friends to tell me over and over on the phone: I told you in person that I can’t make it here, I don’t want to – I sincerely do no
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.