KISSMOCRACIA

29 06 2012

#MUA(H)

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

What do the kisses of Communists taste like? Is despotism a clinical cause of halitosis? Does fidelity cause tartar build up? Is demagoguery a healthy source of sociopositive saliva? Is gingivitis a hygienic problem or perhaps a historical one?

Anyway, I’m going to tell you a story, my hetero-raggedy-readers.

Some ten years ago, one of the worst Cuban journalists (something hard to determine on the Island, given the predatory competition among the official guild), Guillermo Cabrera Álvarez, then afflicted by the childishness of the left, with his aggravating poetics of “The Dark Side of the Heart” (a kind of Benedettian uprising worthy of our dead poet Mario Benedetti) launched a full court press in the imprisoned Cuban press for a Kiss-in in the somewhat sinister shadow of the Plaza of the Revolution.

And off would go his typists with their halos of goblin-y readers even believing themselves free beings at least in a little news-paper (worse-paper) column in Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth (!)).

Ah, but 2004 (I think it was) was a time of imperialist war and the couldn’t-be-postponed danger of an Island invasion, as usual, and the political police their-very-own-selves had to surround and contain our naughty Guillermo Cabrera, to explain to him: we’re all among comrades here; and that such a spontaneous demonstration would be fine in cruel capitalism, to overthrow the exploitative establishment, but that in Cuba-of-forced-happiness it made no sense to show such affection in public, much less on Valentine’s Day, the Day of Love (that bourgeois remnant that should be displaced in favor of the Day of the Proletarian Wolf-Whistle, May 17th, for just one example).

And while you’re at it Guillermo (or may we call you Willy, you cunt), you aren’t new at this game, there could be provocations from the internal enemy, daddy, particularly from the independent journalists who weren’t already in prison since March 2003 (it’s just one more example).

The truth is that young committed Cubans were left with their lips in the air. Never knowing what hit them. They still don’t know. Cabrerapumpkin, Pumpkinalvarez (and all sorts of other untranslatable wordgames), the each go kiss in their own house, the sons of bitches. Or in fucking Caracas, but let them go slobber well away from the public space in my country.

Ah, but the truth is, what pulls a pair of divine lips more than a tank carrier from the war between MINFAR and MININT — the Army versus the Secret Police — so here we go again this afternoon of queer pride, sapphic, angelic, crude, whatever, beak-to-beak freely with devotion, with the anointing of knock-knock-who’s-there, open this Marxialistic wall of shit, man. Here we come to kiss whoever we like just looking at him, at her, or both, to laugh and hug in the first non-totalitarian territory of Cuba (the “Ramón Fonst” (fencer of great renown) Multipurposefullyhot Room, in front of the shabby National Bus Station, 5 pm), this time luckily without the tutelage of the faithful deceased Cabrera Álvarez, nor the spies of any press organ  flattened by the martial boot of power.

Today, among the thousand and one little Geely make cars of the ascetic political police agents, among their Chinese linen shirts and their useless cellphones, ready for mid-kiss repression, under the June rains with tongues outstretched or sucked dry by the sub-socialist sun of today’s post-Revolution Cuba, today I swear that the call of the Rainbow Project will reach its climax after having circled the Cuban blogosphere in 80 hits.

Today we will be one for all: even anti-capitalists, if you ask these LGBT activists. Because even though they insist on ignoring it, even anti-capitalism in Cuba is irreverently counterrevolutionary, such that the gardens of mouth-to-mouth will be fodder for desire and tension, for panic and tolerance, for wanting to kill each other pour out all our venom (and some other lies, of course: lie to me again, my heaven, behold thy wickedness today makes me happy), to look at each other face to ass, with faith and with phalluses, without evasion and without anxiety, and also to flee a bit, and hopefully also to play, and to wipe away the tears of feeling ourselves to be true citizens for the first time in five decadent decades of a city kidnapped by a pathetically sad set of puppeteers.

I have smoking hot keys, I know. Better I should shut up.

Just to warn you that I love you all, male and female, and both equally. That I will not stop loving you even though you turn your back on my, your back employed by the youth union. We’re better than them, and you know it, and you don’t act like men and women from another era. We’re alive and we are living life without inhabiting it. How boring and humiliating such a cold biography that we are dissolving in a retro and warped rhetoric that was screwed up from the start.

Muah! Kisses for you. I like you, you know. I like you a lot. You delight me. You’re communist but I love you. You’ll be an asshole, but I love you. I’m proud to be your contemporary, to be here with you, him, her, both.

Lind@, Genial, Bob@, Yours, always, Orlando Luis…

June 28 2012

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Of Capitalism and Other Silences

21 06 2012

Capitalism Is Going to Run Us Over…

It’s an evil phrase taken from a Cuban film of the dead and zombies. A phrase that is pure gag of no importance, one more political joke. Cubartoon network. A forgettable snack in the name of Juan With Nothing and his Five Hero scavengers in Post-Havana from the director Alejandro Brugués.

That’s why I emphasize this forced speech, in its highly significant insignificance. Because, after decades of official grandiloquence from the rostrums and the punctual courts presided over by the Premier, now he will have to learn to hear the slightest whisper, the click of a tongue, the misleading rumor, the vibration that threatens but never leaves the anonymous throat of Cubans (the national identity turned into a work of fiction).

With the miniaturization of the “Reflections of Fidel Castro Ruz,” that which was always scratched out in pen and not blasted from the loudspeakers, has finally mutated into muteness. From the bugle hear the silence… They are only the dying reflections of a despotic patient perhaps terminal. But, all the same, beyond our compassion as captive readers, it would be cruel to demand some sense from this system.

Today in Cuba, from any corner you might expect the surprise of a new way of thinking in our unpronounceable country. You skim the Stalinist headlines of the press and between the lines flourishes an errata of hope. There are cracks of conviction in the deadly wall of materialism. You try to enjoy an international sporting event and the country’s team, so solidly socialistic, melts in the air. The lines of flight converge from all sides and not precisely at infinity but in the pure present. The ministers last mere minutes in a cycle of autophagy-self-eating that announces the apoptosis-self-killing while the historic hierarchs are buried one-by-one. And if, in order to disconnect the collective fear of Change (it’s normal in children and the mentally handicapped), you will see a comedy of the living dead, welted with a philosophical machete-hacked phrase, to the delight of Nietzsche. In effect, it seems that capitalism was going to run us over.

But not necessarily in the manner of a settling of scores.

Capitalism could also be passing over our heads, well above them, floating very high, in the distance, over there, like an untouchable illusion, like another mirage of the State.

June 20 2012





VOICES MAGAZINE 15 in CLICK FESTIVAL

17 06 2012

On June 21, 2012, in the afternoon, at a special panel about magazines and digital portals in Cuba, we will launch issue number 15 of the freelance Cuban magazine VOICES, dedicated to the new media and technologies of the future island face, invisible garden…

It will be at the Click Festival at an Estado de SATS session.

June 12 2012





LORD ENZO GARCIA VEGA

15 06 2012

What might the United States be?

A little Chinese box, camera oscura of liberty, a crazy car.

A wholesale parking lot, something Publix, democratic boarding home where we can take refuge from the horror: that is to say, of the politics Made in Cuba.

Lorenzo Garcia Vega (LGV) has died.

This occurrence doesn’t warrant a single line more.

He will cease writing his zen paragraphs. Only that. It will remain a bit truncated, the Cuban folly of the Transition.

For everything else, it had already been centuries that he was a man of another time, of other barbarisms, of other anguishes that would disfigure his face in that Havana where Lezama would get cars. And ass (or would pay to give it, as if to publish prepubescent poets.)

Cuban poetry will show no awareness of the case of LGV, like it shows no awareness of anything else, just like it has not seen that the end of the Revolution is written.

In some official venues they will publish a respectful announcement, funerary spit without sense of draft, of the dirty trick, without the least bit of style of our dilapidation.

Homages. Dossiers. Idiocies of suit and tie, with almost a derby hat.

How outdated we are, how timid, how frail, what Originists.*

In waiting he left an unbuilt Disneyland in the Sierra Maestra, our albino Alps. Little Trojan horses and catacombs of props, pop-up “Castricos”, little friction rifles, tiny wind-up tanks, tinplate books in exchange for a good tip under the outrageous sun.

It had already been centuries, since the prick-severing decade of the seventies, LGV was already the last of his generation. No one survives him. At least not a witness.

A young writer friend, privileged reader and the only one to take notice in Cuba his death, desired to deliver a common ground, almost a headline of a Republican court, pronouncing through our telephones which are grossly spied on by the government: “each day we are more alone…”

From that constitutional isolationism, that balkanization at this point in the debacle, from that sub-socialist silence, from that insufferable un-solidarity, we populate the helplessness of our barren lot. From those bedbugs is the habitat of our mat composed.

Each day we are more alone because each day we are closer to those salaried by the Castro Klan, because there are no intermediaries left, nor survivors, because those uniformed in olive green will leave us no option but to emigrate and let us be exploited by a First World capitalist, pushing the groceries of another in a mall, turning into octogenarians in an illegible state of unediting, like babies who don’t yet know how to read (and much less how to write).

Each day we are more sordid. Lorenzo García Vega won’t learn of our gallows, will think nothing of our literature to come, untranslatable texts with which we ingratiate ourselves with no one.

We are condemned at the canon of the triumphant, of the erudite scholars, of the contributors with their integral work in the big editorial houses of Spain.

We were no more cunning than the political police. We did not know how to timely part with our biography . We panicked. We were cowards. We have left only swallowing pills and publishing.

Translator’s note:
*”Orígenes” was one of the most important Cuban literary journals of the 1940’s.

Translated by: Maria Montoto

June 5 2012





Rastafarians in Cuba

12 06 2012

Translated by: Rafael Gómez

April 23 2012