Monday, April 30, 2007

Qva Libre

Via the excellent music blog Rock Cubano operated by Emilio from Miami.

Tendencia

Infamia

Naciendo Vivos

some people lack the required cojones

And el Gusano points out that some people lack the cojones that are the minimum requirement to live up to one's compromises.
He describes how, in a public act in Miami of all places, the three Republican representatives from South Florida didn't have the guts and balls to ask President Bush to immediately denounce and eliminate the dry-foot wet-foot. I told el Gusano that they don't give a shit about any rafters, any body in Cuba, and that their only concern is to keep their political careers going. Now that I am in DC they will hear from me....
Of course, the poor rafters don't vote.
But many of us do.
And it's our duty to let them know that we notice how their don't use the oportunities (golden oportunity, this time around, Miami Dade Community College student body sports VERY ACCOMPLISHED balseros) to denounce a crime against their own people -or the people they are so fond of calling their own.
Of course, their actions talk to us very differently. They don't give a damn.
Your body gets toasted and crispy under the sun, the sharks circle you, and then the Coast Guard (at the service of the tyranny of kasstro) showers you with high pressure water, shots a few machine gun rounds in your general direction and pepper sprays you, beats you, handcuff you, and throw you on the hot deck of a vessel, all before sending you back to Cuba, and I AM SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING FINE WITH THAT??????
Because some fucking politicians don't act on it?
They don't have the cojones to confront the president.
I do.
My presence in this town will include sending letters periodically to the President about this matter.
I won't write to the politicians because I don't write to traitors to my people.
Let them go and be kissy kissy with the Estefans in a function....
Fuck'em.
I have no peace and respite until that fucking Clintonian monstrousity is erased from the books.
And just as a reminder, W is the one who having the power to eliminate it has chosen to keep it in the books and to apply it.
What the fuck is he doing for the Cuban people?
Sending them back to the Gulag?
Thanks so fucking much!

Cuba rebelion

This is the trailer for a documentary by Flattraqs a music company from the Netherlands.
We have aired parts of it in KillCastro, but it's important to show that Gorki is not alone in Cuba.... there are many others who are not that vocal, but the feeling is there.
Today it comes straight from Porno Para Ricardo to our readers....

material subversivo!


The punksters from Guajiro gave us the news! Their new album Material Subversivo is a reality!

This is their press release:
1. RECORD RELEASE DATE – Material Subversivo – Debut Full Length
May 15th – ON I SCREAM RECORDS
PRE ORDER YOUR COPY NOW AND GET A FREE GUAJIRO T-SHIRT !

And they are going to have a recor release party in Downtown Miami....
2. RECORD RELEASE PARTY -

June 16th – Saturday – 8 pm -
Studio A – downtown Miami -

60 NE 11th st
Miami, FL

MORE DETAILS FORTHCOMING -

3. VIDEO RELEASE DATE -

The video for the clip “Santa Fe” will be released the last week of May -
More to come. - WWW.MYSPACE.COM/GUAJIRO
Tell them that you read it on the Black Sheep of Exile!

Los Musicos de Bremen


-sorry for the quality of the video, but this is a great song!
Did you like the song? Then support Porno para Ricardo and buy their CDs!
And leave a note at info@cubaunderground.com saying that Charlie Bravo and KillCastro from the Black Sheep of Exile and KillCastro told you about it!

Educate thyself

Education is a great treasure, an incredible treasure that goes with us everywhere and that nobody can take from us.
I was a free man in Cuba. Yes. Inside my skull, in my soul, I was free. The tyrant couldn't control what I thought, and even in my darkest day my inner freedom saved me.
In my formative years I read a lot, everything that I could get my hands on. I read all the books favored by my enemy, fidel castro, even when those very same books were forbidden. I knew my enemy, therefore, I could beat him at his own game, I was immune to his propaganda as many other young Cubans. We knew what we were dealing with.
Today, Gorki Aguila is free too, his soul is free and fearless.
But we cannot afford to put him on harms way, as proven with Dr. Biscet, whom was almost put in harms way by people whose intentions were the best and who by no way meant any harm. One needs to be very careful, because a faux pas by any of us could be the difference between being in the "penal exterior" or the "penal interior" for one dissident or one source in Cuba.
As all of the readers from KillCastro know we are working in getting Gorki some questions for a future interview (when conditions allow and common sense and safety permit). We plan to publish the interview in English on KillCastro and in Spanish here at La Oveja Negra.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read Corgi Guy, a very interesting blog, dealing with philosophy, art, and culture from a very interesting perspective. I know y'all will enjoy it.
And now that I got y'all in a reading mood, don't miss Mr T's blog, always sharp and dangerously refreshing.....

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Back to the action

Well, it seems to be that I am finally able to spring back into action!
First of all, thanks so much to y'all that have been watching the videos and reading all the material in the archives during my absence.
I'll be broadcasting from our new location in Washington DC, and some new stories are in the works. Yes, some of them are going to be about the life in Cuba and of course, about rock'n'roll and rockers.
I also want to use this post to welcome a bunch of readers to this blogs, which always have great comments and ideas. One of them is Songuacassal, who mentioned Pitbull, the Cuban crunkmaster.
Song, I can envision a collaboration of Pitbull with two Cuban bands, Tendencia and Tribal, who play with elements of metal, rock, rap, and AfroCuban music, right up his alley I guess, I wish that one of these days they could get together and I am sure that music is going to be something to be remembered!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rocking your Sunday.... Black Sheep style!

Hipnosis


Tendencia

Escape


This music originates 90 miles from the States.
That's my 90 miles there!

Video hecho en casa.....

Who else, Porno para Ricardo....
Enjoy....

Photoshop

Via Penultimos Dias, a great new ironic video, "Photoshop", about the duplicity of the life in Cuba. This is part of the saga of Nicanor O'Donnell, remember Monte Rouge and High Tech?
Don't miss a che-cladded character, the lowest possible class of prick that populates the Cuban landscape of today. And how he is dealt with....
The film is a very accurate and comedic portrait of the harsh life of Cubans....
The music is great, penned by Eduardo del Llano who's also the director of the movie and Frank Delgado -who was not a rocker a few years ago. Carlitos Varela sings like no other in this movie too -off camera though.
Enjoy.
And don't tell us that we don't give you hints about the real life in the real Cuba!
PS
The video can be downloaded, it's in Spanish, so it would give you an idea of the Habanero inflexions of the parlance of Charlie Bravo & KillCastro.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Wonders of paleobiology, ancestral memory, and the internet.

Oh, well, I now know why a Cuban army captain who made my life miserable in the mandatory reserve services during my years in college was terrorized of chicken.
But I first have to tell you how I discovered this.
One day, in a remote camp, we were left with nothing to eat.
And a posse was formed to hunt some wild hens, which at the time were kind of abundant in the open fields of Cuba. Nearby there were a few hens and roosters, of that kind of indefinite breed that is produced when domestic chicken go AWOL and hide in the bush. What emerges from the groves after a few years is a lean chicken, fast, and capable of flying very low for a short distance, enough to get off the collision path with a predator. Of course, that's not very useful when the chicken has to deal with a human predator, hungry and in fatigues, who will put camouflage netting in a bunch of locations in his own determination to eat some deep fried bird. To catch them, all you need is an empty gas canister and a wrench, and use your last energies to bang a noise storm away, and the birds will fly right smack into the netting.
To the horror of that otherwise very sadistic captain, we arrived back into the camp with about 25 chicken, some to be eaten and some to be kept.
The guy went ashen, and started stuttering.... his arms and legs trembled as if some voodoo work has taken effect on him.
He was terrorized of chicken, he was even terrorized of the feathers of the chicken.... As per my high learning of today, I have to forgive the guy for what I thought at the moment that it was just plan old cowardice of the weirdest kind. It happens to be that a few paleobiologists have determined that the only living cousin of the much feared tyrannosaurius rex is the modern chicken!
So, apparently, what happened was that the ancestral memory of the captain kicked in and he remembered his past life as a lowly rodent in a prehistoric forest, with the spawn of a tyrannosaurius rex trying to eat him tail first. Or so I guess!
After his terror -which is scientifically called alektorophobia- was widely known and the guy was certified as alektorophobic it was just a matter of time to give a packet of cigarrets to the mess cook for him to drop a chicken head in his soup.
Then chicken feet will magically appear inside his boots, and in an instance, inside his gas mask. I swear that I had nothing to do with that. Not that you're going to believe me.
And what happened to the captain?
He got lost into an alcoholic fog, and now, poetic justice, he's just a drunken wreck who collects scrap metal and plastic bottles in Havana. I heard that his former victims give him wedgies, but I cannot confirm that, since I am not sure that he can afford underwear!
Ok, I know that I talked about paleobiology and ancestral memories, and you're thinking what does the internet has to do with this story. Stop playing chicken, that without this wonderful invention of Al Gore himself I would not be able to tell y'all the story!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Classic spy humour

Just type Spy vs Spy in Youtube.com....
And start watching cartoon after cartoon after cartoon.
To whet your appetive, watch this two:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kick ass Cuban Pop-Music

David Blanco and his band!

Rappin' in Cuban

El Gusano was rappin' in Cuba today and wanted to share with y'all.... he's got the crunk!
Addendum:
A friend and reader from Cuba sent me a copy of the article penned by Ziva, "Pregunta" appeared today in Babalu.
He knows of the friendship that links us to Ziva, and to be honest, the gentleman follows everything the lady writes, and he appreciate her insights.
Of course he cannot comment, he can read -risky enough- but he cannot comment lest you want the guy to appear in one political prisoner gallery.
I 'fessed to him that to me, it was interesting that the rapper wore a che t while speaking his mind against the government, and far from taking down the post, I left it because I wanted to illustrate the contradiction in ideological terms that life has become in Cuba. I wanted to see what people will say, specially after the controversy of Santana and the Estefans.
After a few e-mails, my friend retorted with one very sharp and barbed arrow that nobody in the States would pull out of the carcaj, just because we don't carry that one in our systems, he said: "oye, es que a ustedes no se le ocurre que nadie en este cabron pais tiene nada que ponerse?" (listen dude, what's with you guys that nobody gets that nobody in this fucking country has anything to wear?) That's so logic that we cannot think about it. Para el maricon de Santana el pullover es un simbolo, para este tipo el pullover es para taparse el pecho!
For the guy, the t-shirt is just a tool to cover his body. Whatever it has printed, that doesn't matter to him. For us, the meaning of the image goes beyond any material significance. As it should be. But they live in a non-reality world.
A couple of e-mails later, he comes with this other jewel: hey dude, the guy's no dummy, he knew that he would be on camera.... a t-shirt of el che saves his fucking life. He can say what he wants, and no one will dare to accuse him of being a counterrevolutionaryI Dig that!
And again, we would not think on those terms. We don't live in Cuba, and our idealism is such that we would never camouflage ourselves under such a hideous symbol. But they need to survive, and they need to make a buck and bring bread to the table everyday. I have to tell you, it hit me like a ton of bricks falling off an eighteen wheeler.
I then told him that Ziva was absofuckinglutely right in being worried about the re-education of the Cuban people, and that I think, like Ziva, that a long time will be required to undo the damage done by the dictatorship. He also agrees with that, and he also says something else.
There will be people who will yearn for the return of the commies to power.
He has a dire prediction: democracy will be intermitent in Cuba, and the ex-commies will be elected to power in many places, specially in the more destitute and poorest places as it has happened in the backwaters of Eastern Europe. I wrote back saying that I was not that happy with that prediction, but I have to take whatever information he has as gold from an open air mine, since he's there and I am here. He proceeded to tell me that there are dissidents in Cuba who are self-proclaimed socialists, and that there are even people who tell you that communism is great, but that fidelism is what's rotten. And I asked him: are those dissidents too??? What the hell???
His concise answer: yes, aqui tiene que haber espacio para todo el mundo. Lo que venga no puede provocar otro exodo u otro exilio, porque aqui lo que necesitamos es gente que quiera vivir y trabajar aqui.
Good thing that my meeting was delayed, because I shot back with another question: what about accepting immigration?
In his opinion, immigration will bring new fresh bloood to Cuba, it could be returning exiles of people from anywhere who want to risk it all (because, let's face, it will be a risk!) to establish themselves in Cuba and work in the reconstruction of the country. He also told me that in fact, immigration has started already. He knows at least one Chinese guy who operates a restaurant in Havana's own Chinatown, and the guy came from China in the mid-nineties. I was surprised, and I said but how's so??? Well, he's not the only one. He mentioned that he knows a few Americans who practically live in Cuba -not the fugitives mind you, but people who live in small coastal towns and so on, and a few Europeans who live in Cuba. married to Cubans, with Cuban kids, and living under the same conditions than any Cuban.
I had to go at that moment, but I told him that it was good to know that foreigners who don't agree with the policies of the government put thier love for a Cuban (and the Cuban people) before anything else and actually move to Cuba. He wrote a last e-mail that I read just a few minutes ago, where he said that those foreigners are foreigners no more, and that the education they give to the Cubans that surround them in terms of what the exterior world is like is invaluable.
I think so too.... so maybe the re-education of the Cuban people already started. I don't like the word re-education that much since it has a commie zing to it, I like better the training for life of the Cuban people already started.
We will have a lot of work in front of us to reconstruct Cuba and bring it forward to the place it deserves amongst the nations.

Spy vs. Spy

An animated conversation with my friend el Gusano took me back to the years in which I discovered the great American satyrical magazine, Mad. I was a fan of Spy vs. Spy, a comic series created by a Cuban cartoonist, Antonio Prohias. Another friend, Juan Paxety, found very interesting and entertaining that I enjoyed Mad (vintage issues from the fifties) while listening to Jimi Hendrix.
Now, Spy vs. Spy is a pop culture icon.
One can find several compilations of the comics, from their first incarnations (pre Spy vs. Spy) in the shape of El Hombre Siniestro, La Mujer Siniestra, Tovarich (a Russkie spy during the Cold War, pretty good) and La Dama Gris (who was the love interest of both the White Spy and the Black Spy)
I just sent the link above to el Gusano, who happens to be one hardcore fan of Spy vs. Spy. The link contain animated spots created from the original drawings by Antonio Prohias, now re-engineered as adverts for Mountain Dew.
Download and enjoy, que la vida es corta.

The Police to play in Cuba.

Following the lead of our friend el Gusano, we bring you today the news about The Police.
Well, as we announced back when on KillCastro they finally included Cuba in their world tour for a couple of dates on this upcoming Christmas. A great Christmas gift, I would say.
Sting, you only need to remember to scream at the top of your lungs viva Cuba Libre, and the public will do the rest. Remember that!
I hope Sting will keep it as dignified and as chivalrous as he kept it during his visit to Cuba, where he snubbed the official honchos and he had a great time with regular Cubans and Cuban rockers.
We confirmed all this information through anonymous sources in the entertainment industry here in NYC.
They also told us that the demo submitted by the Police was not of the liking of the music honchos at A&M/Interscope who said that it sounded too much like a Sting solo album soft-jazz-spiritual without the sharp cutting edge of the Police of yesteryear. My guess is that they got to get their old groove back, after these many years....
They will be playing the Giants Stadium in New Jersey (also known as Jimmy Hoffa Memorial Grounds) If they don't sound great here don't worry, they would be playing for a shinding organized by no other than Al Bore. Still, they will manage to kick the collective asses of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, who are a bunch of fresas as Cuban rockers say...

By Roger Friedman, FOX news

The Police Invited to Play Cuba

The Police may be giving their Cuban fans a free show this Christmas.

The super rock group, which recently reunited for a sell-out world tour, has received an invitation from the Cuban government to perform there in December.

The Havana show would be the last one in North America, ending the Police's massive tour that begins on May 28 in Vancouver.

The invite stems from a recent visit to Havana over the 2006 Christmas holiday by Sting and Trudie Styler where they met with many local musicians and poets.

"They were overwhelmed by the Cuban culture and the arts and the musicality," a source said. "The people were very generous to them with their time."

The couple evidently started out the vacation at one of Havana's large tourist hotels, but quickly moved to more intimate accommodations. Immediately, musicians started showing up every night, sources said, wanting to meet and jam with Sting.

Sting is not the only member of the Police who has been to Cuba and wants to go back. Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers each went there for a Music Bridges concert in February 1999 where they performed with an eclectic group including Bonnie Raitt, Peter Frampton, Gladys Knight, Lisa Loeb, the Indigo Girls, Joan Osborne, J.D. Souther and Burt Bacharach.

The Police's desire to play Cuba as an artistic message shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, since the group is very connected to the world music scene.

During their heyday in the 1980s, the group played many Third World countries. Sting, of course, is also the main force with Styler behind the Rainforest Foundation.

The group would not be the first to play Cuba. Audioslave was the first American rock act there, in 2005.

Several years ago, sources say, Paul McCartney was scheduled to give his own outdoor show in Havana, but his beer sponsor wanted to cover a historic statue with a huge plastic bottle. The show was summarily cancelled.

If the Police go through with their concert, they will not have a corporate sponsor, sources told me.

Meanwhile, rest assured that reports of a new Police album are untrue. Insiders tell me, as this column has reported, there are neither plans for an album of new material nor is there a demo of a new song.

The Police are currently rehearsing for their tour in Tuscany, Italy, at Sting's tranquil estate. Songs on the tour are and have always been just from the Police. No new songs and no songs from Sting's solo albums will be included.

"And the Police are and always will be signed to A&M/Interscope," a source added.

Addendum:
Our sources in Cuba actually saw him upclose and they reported at the time that Sting snubbed the party honchos and the culture bureaucrats, while favouring the musicians (rockers, trobadours, and Afro-Cuban percussionists, specially) He was in talks with poets (the ones that don't get published by the government) and he got a bunch of manuscripts from them, and demos from the musicians, he took classes of Afro-Cuban dance, and some informal drumming classes and he was seen all over Havana buying art, eating at paladares and taking photographs with a professional grade machine.
We touched onto this a while back at KillCastro, and we certainly hope that in his trip back to Cuba he would keep this contacts alive. I think that his presence in Cuba was of great significance for the humble musicians who put out work of world class quality, all while being under a brutal dictatorship.
For more on contemporary Cuban music our readers might want to visit Rock Cubano the work of Emilio, a Cuban kid who started his blog when he was still in Cuba.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

what the hell was that?

That's the last thing Mohammed asked Jamal, when robotic wasp bit into his neck....

Monday, April 9, 2007

Good-bye Mark....

Kiss former axman Mark St. John, 51, kissed the sky this past Thursday after suffering a brain hemorrage.
He was the third official axman for the at that point ex-heavily made up band, in which he was preceded in the post by Vinnie Vincent and Ace Frehley,
St. John's guitar work can be heard in the only album he ever played with Kiss, Animalize, and in the only Kiss video in which he appears the famous Heaven's on Fire, an MTV favorite.
St. John has to abandon guitar playing right after the album was recorded when he was diagnosed with a relatively uncommon form of arthritis, Reiter's desease that made his hands and arms swell to the extent that he couldn't even hold a guitar anymore.
He was replaced by Bruce Kulick, who took over after the first show -the only one played in its enterity by St. John, in the tour to promote the album.
Heaven's on Fire today.....

Sunday, April 8, 2007

El Viejo y el Mal

El Viejo y el Mal, la vida y crimenes de kasstro en tiras comicas desautorizadas y prohibidas por la tirania. Este es un regalo de las Ovejas Negras del Exilio a nuestros lectores en Cuba.

Year Zero

Listen to the last album by Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. Follow the instructions and enjoy.....
(this post is for Tocororo)

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Hot Rods


(the studio photo depicts the Holden Efijy, an Australian concept car built in the hot rod tradition)

I was talking this morning with a car nut friend of mine, who was asking me what about those old clunkers and jalopies were chugging up in Havana....
" Well -I told him- forget about restoring them. They are just so totally smashed up with Russian parts and other back-yard made contraptions that restore one of those car will entice a complete ground-up rebuilding of a new car.
I think that hot-rodding is the answer!"
Hot rodding also conveys the spirit of freedom that will be unique to Cuba.
I can picture in my mind clubs of enthusiasts who will cruise around the country in cars which will be a monument to liberty, each one of them.
Which reminds me of the drawings that I used to make in Havana.... I would trace over photographs of old cars and practically design a customization on them with a few lines done in technical pens and markers. One very fantastical idea was the "Spirit of Rock'n'Roll" based on a photo of a Cadillac hearse that was moored on four blocks at the northeastern corner of the cemetery of Colon. I snapped a photograph of it. It came out really bad, out of focus. Then I traced the photo on vellum and designed my own rock-mobile over the carcass of the old Cadillac.
Hot rods and rock'n'roll.... they will be among the most incredible symbols of a free Cuba!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Snow in NYC

We got some snow this morning up here.... I have talked in other occasions how do I feel about snow, I knew liberty in the middle of the snow for the first time, and I dreamed of snow in Cuba. So I hope that this morning snowfall brings hope and freedom to all the Cuban political prisoners. I know, I am talking about a symbol here. Freedom....

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

La frontera

The saga of a Cuban rafter, courtesy of Asha Nair's Primavera Negra TV. This is why the dry foot wet foot policy is a criminal abomination.

Goodbye, Saville Row (meilleur dit, adieu Saville Row)


This is what happens when a great nation is kidnapped by appeasers who are really good at the art of writing strong notes of protest instead of sporting the cojones of yesteryear and go around the world to let people know that the sheep in the Falklands or Malvinas were indeed sheep owned by Brits.
Today, instead, notes of protest are issued, handshakes exchanged, and the Iranians humiliate Britain and make the captive sailors wear Crosseyed Monkey from Tehran styled suits made of cheap cloth. And no ties, as the tie is perceived by the mullahs as something vain.
Talk about sartorial style. Or is it anti-style?
Shit, even Kim Song Il is more creative...
The worst humiliation came to the head of the only woman of the group, to whom they issued the typical headscarf and some sort of boxy pant suit. I really can't picture Margaret Thatcher allowing anything like this, but hey, now they even have an unwashed commie mayor disgracing the majestic city of London with his presence.
I feel for the British people who by no means, want to be mistaken by the French.
Whatever happened to Britain, the Empress of the Seas?
To top the humiliation, the Cross Eyed Monkey from Tehran says that he "freed" the kidnapped troops to celebrate the birthday of Mohammed and as an Easter gift to the British people. I can hear a lot of appeasers applauding. What a shame.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Disgusting wrinkled monkey

Its' no secret that I have been a lifelong fan of the Rolling Stones.
Well, I have to say that Keith Richards never measured up to Mick Taylor or Brian Jones, but hey, you don't decide on the line up of your favorite band or your favorite blog for that matter.
Today, I read the news that Keith Richards acknowledge that he consciently snorted the ashes of his father, in a cocaine binge, which renders him as one of the most despicable beings I have ever seen.
I have a personal crusade against drugs, because I have seen many people destroyed by them, and I have been blessed by seem some great people coming back from the dark pits of addiction.
My liking from the Rolling Stones has been reduced to a liking for the work of Mick Jagger.
The article follows:

Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all. In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.

"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said. "... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."

Richards' father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84.

Richards, one of rock's legendary wild men, told the magazine that his survival was the result of luck, and advised young musicians against trying to emulate him.

"I did it because that was the way I did it. Now people think it's a way of life," he was quoted as saying.

"I've no pretensions about immortality," he added. "I'm the same as everyone ... just kind of lucky.

"I was No. 1 on the `who's likely to die' list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list," Richards said.

Keith Richards, you actually should have died a rock'n roll hero, but you will die a dredge of a human being.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Ink, of every color....

So the kids from Guajiro pass me some good inside information...
Tomorrow, Tuesday April 3rd, at 10 pm, only on your TLC channel you can see watch the new chapter of Miami Ink, "Yoji's Dilemma" which will showcase the debut of Big Deal, the band fronted by Yoji.
"And what's so special 'bout it?" you might ask... Well Doug from Guajiro will be there lending a hand to Yoji to rock down the house.
You watch for me, since I am going to be on the road -as it happens very often lately!
Somehow, I found that this post had been truncated for an unknown reason.
This is the link for the clip. Also gone was the sentence in which I said that I liked the fact that kids from my old neighborhood of Miami Beach were rocking down the house so successfully.

Ethanol and other gas pains

Oh, well....
An octogenary called fidel kasstro has gas problems.
After all, with two anuses and a very chopped off tripe lenght, he's probably producing gas at a rate that is making Al Gore's carbon fotprint look smaller by the minute.
Now, while wearing his ambientalist toga, Mean Mr. Kasstro goes on a mad rampage acussing George W. of literally wiping off the maize farms to produce ethanol and, in the process, taking the proverbial tortilla out of the mouth of your next door illegal immigrant neighbor.
Strangely, while sugar cane alcohol is produced in Brazil to fuel about 90% of the cars of that country all's fine and dandy. No problems. There's a bunch of hungry people in Brazil but that's not due to corruption, instutionalized thievery, the burning of the Amazonian rainforest to evict native tribes or anything like that. You, me, and my monkey know that it's all Georgie's fault. Or at least, that's what kasstro writes as part as his new role of evangelist for the environment.
C'mon, Cuba's natural environment's destroyed, the land is ravaged, but that's Georgie boy's doing. Or so sayeth kasstro.
The reasoning behind Mean Mr. Kasstro's tirade is as follows:
a- he's back from the gates of Hell and is getting bored with hospital food. He's missing his usual fare of exotic foods that the regular walking-to-work Cuban cannot even dream of, much less afford. That he's doing better has a good slant to it though, maybe he doesn't die in his bed and one day will have to face justice, think about it.
b- his worse nightmare after the one on which he is judged and taken to the shooting squad for his crimes, is that the U.S. weans off the tits of Saudi Arabia. It would elminate the possibility of energetic blackmailing so favored by him, el Mico Putumayo Chavez, and the Moors.
c- he needs Al Gore as an ally. One never knows if Al Gore wins Florida in 2008. At least kasstro doesn't know. If that happens, well, he maybe will annex the Cuba and the United States as the Union of Socialist Republics of America. And Chavez will be vice president of empty boxes, blank papers, and raul will be the minister of meaningless affairs.
d- his propaganda machine has fed him some good intelligence: he's still the favorite of one too many a liberal professor and one too many liberal politician in the States. So, they need him to defend the caribu, the low fat maize tortilla, to keep the oil dependency of the United States when from the teeth out they scream "oh, bloody oil, oil for blood, the bearded toad of the creek behind my house is almost extinct", and believeme, who's better suited for the job than the Adidas cladded almost extinct bearded toad of the Caribbean?
In my not so humble opinion, we need to get rid of that oil addiction.
We need to welcome alternative sources of energy, electric and ethanol cars, eolic farms, electricity generated by the tidal movements, geotermal energy and so on and so forth. This will be also great for a future green(er) Cuba, which will need to be independent from any oily bastard. After all, that will happen when the bearded toad of the Caribbean is totally and forever extinct.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The switch


Everybody knows, or should know by now, that Cuba is a car crazed nation.
Without the imports of regular stock cars, and much less, the import of exotics, Cuban mechanics and customizers do a great job building and rebuilding cars out of nothing. By nothing I mean old parts, cleaned of rust with a rag and gasoline, and custom made parts which are made in backyards and kitchens, and used parts pilfered from cars used by the government. There are people who make a living out of erasing serial numbers and engraving new ones of your liking.
Some other people did marvels, like adapting a ghetto-blaster to work inside a regular dashboard of a '50s yank tank, concealing it behind the radio, so to put a cassette in -this was before CDs- you had to insert it vertically behind the edge of the dashboard.
One of them was the Electroloco, from Avenida de Acosta, just in the section of the avenue when the neighborhood becomes Lawton. The gentleman passed away, but the legend is alive. One of these days I will start a series of illustrations honoring these guys, for y'all to download to your heart content and print T-shirts with them. Those are the real heros of the "revolution" -which is different from the robolution.
"You've gotta make a revolution to live under *this* robolution" as one of my grandfathers use to put it.
Well....
Back to the title -the switch.
I had an old 1953 Ford. Huge thing. It ran very well, thanks to the incredible amount of adaptations, changes, repairs, alterations, and metric and imperial bolts, pieces of washing machine hoses, plastic bottles, coathanger wires, and all sort of foreing elements which coexisted in not such a peaceful environment under her hood. Yeah, I know. I am refering to the car as "she" and "her". Just like mariners refer to their vessels as "she" or "her".
I used to get stopped by the cops for late night speeding on Malecon. Time after time, I would get slapped with a ridiculously low speeding ticket. Until the day that I had the epiphany that the Electroloco could help me to install the switch.
It was a simple Ostereizer switch, as you already guessed, gotten from an old blender. The on an off thingy. As one says in Habanero, un chucho.
Well the Electroloco installed it in just by the radio, and it controlled the brake lights. Illegal? you bet.... but I was living under kasstro, which should be also illegal and apparently it's not considered that way in Capitol Hill, DC.
At this point, I know that y'all can picture me in one of my late night cruises in Malecon looking for a police cruiser to test the switch. The Ford was painted in a generic matte gray color -ugly but anonymous, since a bunch of people had that color in Havana, navy paint anyone? diez pesos la lata!- and I had changed my license plate by transforming a C into a G, a 1 into an L and a 3 into an 8 with strategically placed pieces of electrical tape.
Right around the Riviera Hotel I saw one cop inside a Lada cruiser, and another one walking to the car. I just took Paseo up for one block and circled the hotel, turned off the lights, in order to bait the cops and screeched my tires as bat out of hell. They bit.
They came out screeching their tires too, in their souped up Lada for which evidently my gas guzzling souped up Ford was a force to be reckoned with.
I turned on the lights, and started speeding kind of making the Malecon slight curves straight. They were already tailgating me flashing the "blue eyes" (did you know that the cruisers were called in Habanero la putica de ojos azules, because "she" would blink her "blue eyes" before catching you?)
I suddenly put the switch on the "on" position, and footed the car to the metal.
The cop must have stepped with all his weight on the brakes to avoid what seemed to him an unevitable collision.
The cruiser made a few 360's in the wet surface of the Malecon and I was already going up 23 Street, from the Hotel Nacional towards Coppelia, with an amused friend on the passenger seat.
I know that y'all are looking now at this screen and it looks like my Ford's rear view mirror, and that you're listening to the mix in my tape deck, which was playing "born to be wild" (Steppen Wolf) the whole time the episode lasted.
Time to go to 23 and 12, to the cemetery of Colon and take some eery black and white photos with torchs and a flash....