The other morning I was talking about music -and the way it gets to most of us, in the form of a record- with Gorki and he asked me to please thank everyone who bought one of his records. He was very happy, since he had received a few copies of his band's records, and he hadn't seem them as a finished product until they were successfully smuggled into Cuba.
He was very gracious about thanking all of our readers who follow his and his band (mis)adventures through our blogs, and we spent time talking about technicalities such as graphics, the order of tracks in an album, the album as a collection of songs with an artistic purpose as a whole, and why is better for a musician to keep a day job to be able to enjoy independence from the record houses.
Which led me to remember -after many years of having it as a dormant concept- that the true artist has never cared for the marketing of his work. One poignant example was Van Gogh, whose purpose in life was to create art, not to sell it. We all know how he ended up!
Gorki is not about to slice off an ear, don't worry, but he was adamant in keeping his independence as a creator and an artist. If one takes into account that keeping that independence means to live in Cuba with nothing to put on the table, one needs to stop an look around our comfort and our "all's granted" life, take a deep breath and think what is the right thing to do.... is it to ply to those who are doing a lot of banging on their guayabera cladded chests screaming hysterically that every penny sent to Cuba helps kasstro or is it to break off from the peloton and declare indepence of thought and action and help a person with enough courage to tell castro fuck off, I am my own man and to tell the guayabera set fuck off, I am myself and I do not have to ingratiate me with you?
As a reminder: guayaberas are the "civilian" uniform of choice of the segurosos -the state security (SS) in Cuba. Ask me if I am gonna get caught wearing one of those uniforms of the Gestapo auf dem Tropics!