MARTÍ DE PÉREZ

30 03 2010


THE MOTE IN ANOTHER’S EYE (THE CANARY)

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Fernando Pérez finally launched his film about the childhood and adolescence of Martí. A golden age, like the creative mind of impact, the author of “Madagascar” and “Suite Havana” knew that in some way he would have to dismantle, unravel, demystify, to not end up filming another of those terrible patriotic poems once produced by the ICAIC (in one of them, at the time of the quasi-suicide in Dos Rios, Martí’s white horse was censored because no horse could be seen falling in the socialist Cuba of the seventies).

And I really don’t know whether or not Fernando Pérez manages to come through this lyrical launch through the premiere (by invitation) in the Chaplin cinema of “José Martí, The Eye of the Canary Islander,” photographed as usual by Raúl Pérez Ureta with a team (but not a budget) made up of all-stars.

Nor does the film, at this point, talk of cynicism. It is enough to talk of pleasure. The pleasure of the practical limit of a film whose critics in Cuba are sure to be timid; the pleasure of repair in that mediocre media that will be treated like dirt; the pleasure of even a bland sexual initiation by imitation, masturbatory lunatic who later will be an oratorical ace and world-class heart breaker (and crotch): so in the Metropolis as in the Monster, the women will reproach him with promiscuous letters, “Ay, Pepe of my soul,” “monster of iciness,” “all the evil you do to me,” and an epistolary et cetera.

In effect, the pubescent Martí masturbates live on a blank sheet of high resolution and surround sound. Fernando Pérez’s digitalized angel comes, and doesn’t come just once: the pixels of his fertile semen on the seats where the exhibitionists are struggling in the dark with their own fruition or friction, which is another type of fiction no less respectable. In fact, I don’t know a single Cuban woman who would risk, today, going alone to the movies in the capital (I have photos of vinyl generously drenched with the genome sperm of a “shooter”).

This precocious young Martí might give a heart attack to the frail ideal spread day by day through the Radio Progreso commentator Julio Batista. This boy who is delighted with a round black titty, bossed around by the college bullies or the barks of a lapdog, seeming to insinuate even a little homo-eroticism with his closest friend, unintentionally rewriting the most evangelized childhood in our History, according to the school books of the Repussycliba and the Revoillusion.

I think the interpreters of “José Martí, the Eye of The Canary” (like his performances, for now their surnames don’t say much): Rolando as Mariano, Broselianda as Leonor, Damián and Daniel in the respective roles of Martí and Martí. I think of their efforts to embody these trite moments in our hagiography as a nation. With such populist pressure I suppose it is very difficult to concentrate on earning their own salaries.

I also think of the opinion of one Magister Marti, as was the poet and essayist Cintio Vitier. Would he have been satisfied with this Martícaic, or, as happened with other heretical exegesis of the Apostle, would he distance himself in silence from another stain on our “sun of the moral world”? How much of the protected air of Martí did Antonio José Ponte breathe in this free version? How much inventory and how much invention will they take out, each on his own account, the antipodes essayists Rafeal and Fernando Rojos?

The truth is that perhaps none of this is of interest to anyone except me, nor do I care, but it stirs my curiosity as a client excluded from the Chaplin cinema by the political hordes of Hugo Pavón (I believe he now faces a legal demand from Octavo Cerco for his anti-constitutional action).

The truth is that perhaps everything is a pretext to shed light on a couple of little extreme scenes, resolved without much art, where the ego of the one who would be “the greatest of Cuban politicians,” at least during some planes, erases duty from his martyr’s body and homo-onanistically prioritizes pleasure.

I like this Martí de Pérez(for unexpected reasons of aesthetics), still being a Martí for pleasure, between stupidity and old age, with allegorical traces that try to be very critical in the Cuban context, like that little speech about the deficit of democracy…

In the end, “José Martí, the Eye of the Canary Islander” does not escape the pure symbolic representation of the great man of the upcoming movie: the passion of the patriot. Fernando struggled desperately, but it’s not easy to cut the marble statue of the Canary Islander to the level of our ordinary little Cubans on foot (and penis).





DEATH LIKE THE HOME TEAM

29 03 2010

http://www.diariodecuba.net/opinion/58-opinion/934-la-muerte-como-home-club.html





THE LAST OF MICHAEL LEAST

29 03 2010

SOCIALISM: A LOVE STORY

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Michael Moore is a lucky journalist.  He navigates a crosscurrent and earns millions with his anti-establishment media manipulations. His prose hardly seems that of an American commentator: he is a stateless person whom nobody kicks in passing and an intellectual fucker and at the same time a far from naive investor. He is fat and ugly and wears the cap of a drunkard or imbecile, but in the American Way of Lift this means that he has risen on the basis of his wit.

Michael Moore is a journalist whose Complete Audiovisuals have been projected from A to Z on Cuban television (no other young local filmmaker has this record). And last week it was the turn for the national premiere of Capitalism: A Love Story.

As much as I try, I never seem to miss the pamphlet films by this author. They are brilliant in their rudeness. They are a sign of the ideological idiocy with which he could be pulling the leg of his imperialist country. But, paradoxically, they are also the best defense of the democracy so demonized in this “absurd First World” and in turn so demonized here.

For some anguished or annexationist reason, the gospel according to Michael Moore always leaves me wanting to live in a country where it is possible to criticize, without opportunistically opposing the voice of the State being a cause of incarceration or crime at the expense of the critic.

And there is a lot of residual freedom reading between the lines of Mr. Michael Moore. His detailed descriptions of far-fetched defects are triviality for our black humor trained in totalitarianisms and tonfas. His Quixotic complaints don’t even register in Cuba: with the decades we have become accustomed to things as they are, and is better not to stir up too much shit in front of the fan, much less in front of the microphone or digital camera (silence is now our safe conduct).

After half a century or half a millennium of uncultured dialog, we Cubans have killed the Mini Michael Moore that once lived in all of us. We know that the clowning performer with his script of antics will soon end up in prison on this side of the political paradise. His obsession with sticking his obese fingers on the pulse seems to us a little obscene (technically silly). Like half civil citizens we find an inverisimilitude in a man making a living, beating on a tree if it has not fallen or is on the verge of falling.

And on top of that, Capitalism: A Love Story sins with its plot hanging by a thread: in the documentary there is no believable trauma, at least in the tropics. The decadence of his post-Cuppy Cuba is nothing more than pure capitalistphobia, complicated with jazzy rashes of The Internationale. Michael Moore sets himself up as a singer of My Cid against the emaciated democracy Made in the USA, and in this film demonstrates that the perfect word for his palate is Socialism, perhaps because “it’s easy to be number one when there is no competition” (the quote is his).      

Without an apocalyptic whiff of 2012, our Stupid White Man on The Roundtable television show (where they show this work twice a day) abuses the trust of workers, cops, managers, priests and people hurt to the point of resentment, and overwhelms the utter gullibility of his dis-informed third world viewers (excluding Cubans of course, who accuse him of boring them to death: I still cannot find a neighbor who saw the full first hour).

But, just as such freedom of action and creation is the most dangerous example of how to provoke the power, ripping to shreds justice, biting its edges, publicly scandalizing the face of eternity or the Internet: an entire leonine lesson for the most uneasy Cuban blogosphere (“I refused to live in a country like this and I am not going to leave,” says Michael Moore).

Moreover, it is nothing new in that other world (Woody Allen leaves him in the dust when it comes to being caustic). I hate election cycles. Ruminating on the ruins of the kingdom. Selling the pain of others as a synonym for sincerity. Flirting with flatulent lack of faith in the ass of the 21st century. Whoring presidents in exchange for the preachers certain lies (at times obscurantism of the casino or bowling alley). A Hollywood retouch of the Conspiracy Theory and the sputum of the plutocracy in the name of the first or the posthumous Amendment to the Constitution. Parallel Assemblies Proselytizing. An eye-of-the-camel type grudge against the rich. Infantile leftism in a phase not so incipient as insipid. And an et cetera populist who culminated with the calumny that “capitalism is an evil and you cannot regulate an evil: you must change it for something else, for democracy…” (without specifying adjectives).

These same Michaelmooreian components are the cartridges with which the Cuban writer doesn’t know how to draw a counter text (much less finish off a counter text). These same bile bullets are those that our authors shun so as not to be seen as pests in the face of institutionality.

Of course, so to deny my “mercenarianism” in-waiting, it’s possible that some rough Varela or an ubiquitous Ubieta will be sacrificed before the screen to type the Cubafilian review of Capitalism: A Love Story. Please, don’t shoot, against my star style: if you haven’t noticed, this review oozes Cuba-loving vengeance from its twelve apostate paragraphs.





LADY IN WHITE, RED AND BLUE

26 03 2010

DAMA DE BLANCO, ROJO Y AZUL, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.

Lawtonomar 2010 ProduXXIons





7 GLADIOLO AT THE CIVILTERY

20 03 2010

FLUSHED WITH A WHITE SPRING

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

“In what country are we living?”, asks my almost 75-year-old mother, facing our obsolete television set. “Welcome to the just human time that never was,” I say, and change the replay of the Roundtable show to the ninth inning of the baseball play-off. This tournament is ending and the star team of the Cuban capital seems inspired in the semifinal.

But my mother stays connected to the other channel and asks about these Ladies in White, that no one defends on the other side of the screen. She is a Sunday Catholic and of the “little houses mission”, but no believer in Lawton dares to explain to her what these ladies ask for from church to church. Neither a homily abounds on why the police or the people or both prevent them by pushing during each pilgrimage.

It’s late in Cuba, almost midnight, and with the last cold front falls a Nordic silence, which only the TV survives. We uninhabit a ghostly slum, of zombies watching but no longer expectant. The art of waiting here is pure fallacy of argument. Lawton languishes posthumously right along with the Pacific.

I do not feel like answering my mother at this time. She would be terrified if she finds that her only son has dangerous information about the subject. I just report that they are relatives of journalists jailed since 2003, so as mourners they have certain tacit moral immunity. Otherwise, for much less they would have been condemned with a thousand and one proofs for contempt, disorderly conduct or for just being dangerous.

“Politics is the business for the dead,” my mother unwittingly paraphrases another mother of letters in The Initials of the Earth*. I see her take her pills and sprays, and go to bed without further postscript to my little speech. Clearly I have stated more details than needed. I talk a lot during interrogations (as opposed to Jesús Díaz*, I am a frustrated novelist) and there are instances of power (paternalistic or maternalistic) to which any dialogue is just redundant.

Suddenly I am left alone in the living room, viewing the dull blue dye victory of the Industrialists. Then I clandestinely change the channel and I see them in snippets between diplomats and music of socialist suspense. Untamed ladies dressed in a white that survives the residue of this ridiculous and radical doggerel.

To add fuel to my photoblog, Boring Home Utopics, I once took photographs to the Ladies in White, on Fifth Avenue in Miramar. And when they started chanting “freedom, freedom” under the broken clock on tenth street, I almost hid my full body inside my digital Canon.

Behind that armor I kept firing without breathing for several minutes, until I overflowed the one gigabyte memory card. I could not believe that I was among that small group of women who resolved effortlessly the Gordian Knot of the Cuban Revolution: to demonstrate in public in a spontaneous way.

Be neutral, in favor or against, it is known that to not be able to depart from the government discipline is the totalitarian Achilles heel that undermines and weakens any authority.

During these days I hear about them again through sidewalk and corridor gossip, through text messages that bounce anonymously on my mobile, through the headings and pixels and tribulations of the officially accredited foreign press in Havana, and now they even resonate in the misleading nasal voice of Randy Alonso and on the brashed Reinaldo Taladrid either because of spite or assignment.

Cuba is then left, of course, waiting on the reflections of the ex-Premier in the Granma newspaper or as dessert on any given website. Everyone has something to contribute or stink up about this sacred fading color, a white that refers back to the respect for Afro-Cuban religions (while the remaining gladiators’ gladioli remain for now, less under suspicion).

Given the extreme domestic juncture and the hot international campaign, the Ladies in White, as in a political nightmare of Stephen Vincent Benét, mark a milestone of gender for the future of our very misogynistic history. So while men exterminate each other over idiocies, more or less ideological, the wise sap of females remains a guarantor of civilization: their X-X chromosomes still have the courage to give birth to a new kind of lucidity, to give birth to another home country, that is not so pathetically patriotic as the one from the XX century, and to not stop unless they are run over by the full rotten weight of the law.

With their daring adventures through the uptown neighborhoods and the marginalized ones of 2010 Havana, the Ladies in White stole during a week, the Promethean torch of action. In dramatic terms they are certainly an actantial force, agonizing protagonic stars of an ephemeral play of revolutionary citizenry. The eternal Cuban state or our people, according to their spokesman dressed in olive-green or in civilian dress, can only play the riposte, interpreting the supporting role of the reaction.

The alternatives do not appear to be other than understanding (that virtue negated before any attempt contrary to all opinion) or annihilation (that perversion that Cubans profess so lavishly against any enemy perceived or real). An oracle of the right would say that today there are too many institutional interests who insist that the odyssey of hatred lasts well beyond a return to the island of Ithaca. A leftist fortune teller would say that the nation is still in danger of barbarian invasions as it was half a century or half a millennium ago.

“In what country will we live?” I ask of the question from my mother nearly 75. “Welcome to the unjust human time that never ceased to be,” I say to myself, and the beep from the test pattern revives me amid the unbearable midnight silence.

Finally, I turn off the television and I too head off to bed, wishing good luck on this final stage to my industrial idols, begging that no couch negotiates with the dead during the next brawl over the ground of our soap opera of foolish national learning.

*Translator’s note: The Initials of the Earth (Las iniciales de la tierra), is a book by Jesús Díaz.

Translated by MRZ





Havanightmares

18 03 2010

POLITICAL DREAMS

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Sleeping badly. Late. In fits and starts. Tossing and turning amid exaggerated systolic and diastolic pressures. Snoring perhaps, with a very dry throat, as if hung-over from drugs withdrawn after half a century or a Millennium of revolution. Turning over and over in the same place. Goose-bumps, perhaps night sweats. Going from political nightmares to nightmare politicians. Until daybreak. And even then not being able fully to wake up.

They are repetitive dreams. Cynical, cyclical, clinical. Orlando-Ouroboros eating his own tail. Violent and nasty scenes drawn down along a neural thread from I don’t know which cerebral extremity. I see my friends and people I know arguing with the mob, given the once over by their families, stigmatised by a certain lunatic leader of Cuba or another, the mascot of the global left, being hit by the police in their olive green uniforms or by plain clothes soldiers in their oh so patriotic little jerseys, shoved into modern vehicles with air conditioning, branded by the corrosive seal of an official prosecutor who’s just about to pass sentence.

Impossible to rest. Lawton, Havana, the Americas, early morning, like this, over and over again, every day. The deadly days of March 2010. Getting up exhausted. With puffy eyes. Hoarse. With muscle cramps. Doddering. Caught between the endemic paranoia and the sick politics of this crocked up cocked up parody of a country. Please…I would prefer not to have go back to sleep, today, for example.

And yet, during the day, there’s nothing in my body to suggest any stress. I’m fine, or so it seems. I survived, it’s a fact. I even have the urge to foster a felicitous if fallacious future, and I never try to wallow in the mortified memories of our imperturbable preterit.

So where does the oneiric short circuit that drives me to distraction every night come from? What is the aetiological, or at the least, the ethical cause of those political dreams where it’s always our turn to lose, and we’re incapable of arguing in our own favour, choked up on our own words, and in the worst cases, roughed up?

It’s a mystery. I’m at the edge, not of the abyss, but of paralysis. The idea of ideas going on strike comes into view. As if something naive in my neurons refused to contemplate the notion of our reality reset from here. Zero connectivity. As if it were pointless to live a human life amidst so many buried ideals. Virtuoso socialistsolipsism. As if Cuba had been just a bad little terror story read in my infancy, a story of a broken rhetoric which even now keeps me on edge the length and breadth of the early morning Cuban silence.

I need someone to tell me a favourable fable, healthy, clean, and redeemable, among so much savage deceit and zoocial wretchedness. I need an account that’s an accomplice too, preferably one that’s told in a whisper and not in crude caterwauling, nor by the aphonic microphones of a spokesman here, and a spokesman there. This time I need a voice. I need to recover the suddenly rheumatic rhythm of my breathing; to open the asphyxiating atmosphere between heart attack and emphysema, to believe that it’s not completely ridiculous to create, to imagine ourselves less alone after decades of first letting them cut us adrift before allowing them then to cut off our hands.

Which way to look? What to read before sleeping? How to go on paying attention to so much press and media hate? What becomes of my friends and acquaintances who, in my nightmares, are always beaten to the ground and who punctually proceed to a paradise of phantom policemen? Who among you can cure me with a lullaby from before any of us was born? Early this morning, for example, who can save me by reading something from before any cowardly cock-up of a revolution took place?

Translated by RSP





MARCH 13 OF THE EVIL DEATH

13 03 2010

MARZO 13 DE LA MALA MUERTE, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.

SATURDAYS IN PD (PENULTIMOS DIAS)

www.penultimosdias.com/2010/03/13/13-de-mala-muerte