Thursday, June 28, 2007

Locos libres

"Gastaron su dinero
En enseñarme lo que quisieron
Hacerme pensar lograron
Y hoy mi cabeza es libre por lo menos"

He estado tan loco, by Gorki & Ciro (Porno Para Ricardo)

Ah, el diversionismo ideologico.
What a phrase.
It was used in Cuba to tag people like me, who liked rock, who rejected the musical pamphlet we were fed by the government, who would read the books we wanted -the more forbidden the better- who would not "respect" the authorities and who would grow into cynic observers of reality while doing ONLY what we wanted, the way we wanted, and when and where we wanted, without -and mainly against- the consent of the tyranny.
It felt good to be called a rebel.

Remember when I told you that listening to Porno Para Ricardo was like having my life projected as in an old Super 8 movie in a slide show of black and white, sepias, or Lomographic images before my eyes, and that I would see that even with my eyes closed?

This was my high school:

Trova con Distortion by Gorki & Ciro (Porno Para Ricardo)

"Pero le falta bomba a ese sonido
le falta un toque mas agresivo
te falta haber nacido oyendo a Hendrix,
a Morrison, a Sex Pistols
te falta haber pintado a Kiss
en la escuela, en las libretas,
en los pasillos,
y después rezarle a Elvis
que no te paren en el matutino".

It all came from the rejection of the propaganda you're force fed in Cuba.
If one has an ounce of brains, the picture painted by the communist dogma is perceived as bleak, and I will give you some examples.

In the future, we will be much better off, and we will be better as people.
(well, misery increases day by day, the good people either leave or are sent to prison, and today they are sent back to Cuba by the dry foot wet foot)

In the future, there will be no money.
(not that we have any money now)

In the future, all property will be shared by all.
(what property? we don't own a thing!)

Trova con Ovation, by Gorki & Ciro (Porno Para Ricardo)

"No quiero ser como tu mamita,
que me cantas la misma cancioncita,
no quiero ser como tu compañero
que levantas la mano y aplaudes el tiempo entero.

No quiero ser monigote de un rey ciego,
me meo en su sopa y le doy cuero,
no quiero ser cosmonauta del año 2 con tres ceros,
no quiero mas fé no quiero tu maldito futuro nuevo.

Pero no sé,
no, no sé lo que quiero.

En el futuro seremos mejores,
en el futuro no habrá dinero,
en el futuro creeremos en Dios,
en el futuro seremos ateos,
en el futuro nos informaremos tanto,
en el futuro nos informaremos menos.

Pero no sé,
no, no sé yo no creo"

The rejection of such concepts, gets you a badge of honor, which is the labeling and tagging by the government as a "rebel", a "rocker", a "gusano", or whatever else they want to call you because you reject their model society and you're hellbent on being free inside your head, at least.

Then I left Cuba.

And I found myself in another situation where I was required to show allegiance and militancy and behave on a certain way....
I didn't like salsa. So I was almost called to task for that as much as I was in Cuba.
I didn't toe the party line, I didn't do whatever people wanted or expected, I didn't think the same way, and I spoke my mind.
I didn't do any of that in Cuba, under a tyranny, so I don't do it here either, in a free country.
I call a spade a spade, and will keep on being that way.
It's good to beat one's own drum. And march to it if one wants to, or just drum away without marching.

And yes, I have been dragged and punched in Cuba, handcuffed and pushed.
And I have been called names, also here.... anarquista, ñangara, etc. Just because I use my brain, and I don't follow leaders, and I don't adore idols of any kind.

"Yo que me he criado, entre comunistas
A veces soy un equilibrista
uno mas que esta en su lista
de anarquista

Yo que me he criado, entre anarquistas
A veces soy un equilibrista
uno mas que esta en su lista
de comunista"

La Internacional, by Gorki & Ciro (Porno Para Ricardo)

Now, how do you translate diversionismo ideologico?

(answering to e-mails about my hair and my choice of clothing)
Yeah, I got that famous phrase: Cortate ese pelo, que no pareces un cubano!
(have a haircut that you don't look like a Cuban) Needless to say that it was a reminder of what I heard all the time in Cuba, in the name of the ideological purity, now, I had to have a haircut to "look Cuban"!!!!
Also, the person who wanted me to start wearing guayaberas. Had I had a haircut and worn a guayabera, well, I would have looked exactly like a fucking seguroso!!!
If there's something I won't wear is a guayabera.
As I told the person:
I didn't come here to have someone "minding me" and telling me that what music should I listen to, what should I wear, and how long my hair could be. He was upset, and he barked at me: go back to Cuba! To which I said, why the fuck didn't you stay back, you would have made a great Party member or a CDR President!
Blows ensued....
Too many bad memories.