Friday, November 30, 2007

Respuestas....

He recibido una copiosa lluvia de e-mails en español, ingles, y spanglish, condenando a Porno Para Ricardo de un modo que solo he visto en Cuba, con aquello del diversionismo idelogico y los discursos represivos de la Asociacion (antes Brigada) Herman(astr)os Saiz, y las amenazas y demas vociferaciones de Raul Castro y los ogros de la censura y testaferros del Partido.
¿Qué tienen en común los que me escriben y los que reprimen a Porno Para Ricardo en Cuba?
Las guayaberas. Y la idea de que ellos y solo ellos representan el discutible concepto de lo cubano, la cubanía, y Cuba.

De esta andanada solo se salva un tal señor de cierta edad que me ha preguntado por qué Porno Para Ricardo no hace música bailable estilo cubano.... sea lo que sea la famosa música bailable estilo cubano. Me imagino que usted tendrá que desempolvar sus discos de Gloria Estefan y otros similares, si eso es lo que desea oir. Porno Para Ricardo lucha contra una dictadura con las armas que tienen en la mano, sus instrumentos musicales, sus pingas y sus cojones. No están para bailes y romanticismos los muchachos.

Para el resto de los que se han molestado en escribirme, bueno.... Porno Para Ricardo son sucios, anarquistas, e indecentes porque estan simplemente reflejando la oposición a una sociedad y a un sistema que ha destruido la nación, la cultura, y la decencia. Y como se imaginarán a una dictadura no se derriba con paños tibias o sonsas musicalizaciones de poemas de amor mierderos y cursis.

A los que miran -o pretenden mirar- hacia aboajo cuando hablan de Porno Para Ricardo, les dire solo una cosa, miran hacia abajo porque no tienen la hombría de esos cuatro muchachos que pagan muy caro día a día por su valor. Una nota bene en este punto: ustedes hablan por si mismos, pero no por los cubanos de la isla. Los cubanos de la isla hablan por si mismos, y se oponen a la dictadura con una valentía que consiste en algo mas que tomar una taza de cafe y de arreglar en mundo en una esquina.

A la persona que cree que Porno Para Ricardo debe sufrir un lavado de boca colectivo, usted, señor, estoy seguro que nunca se a atrevido a llamar a un comunista singao chivaton y menos aun, ha llamado comepinga al comandante y maricon a raul mientras estan al alcance de sus manos.

Verguenza les debia dar, y si el dia que los Castros desaparezcan ustedes pretenden imponer silencio y censura a los artistas, esten entonces preparados, porque Porno Para Ricardo y tipos como KillCastro y Charlie Bravo estaran tan en contra de ustedes como estamos en contra de Castro.

Lea la version en ingles aqui.
No hay version en spanglish, afortunadamente.

Monday, November 26, 2007

comunista chivaton!

Oh well.... Alpidio Alonso, the guy for whom this Porno Para Ricardo song was written, has been tapped by no other than Raul Castro (for whom the band wrote another song very recently) to leave his job as "policia de la cultura" and become a the director of the latest addition to the commie propaganda machine in Cuba...

Alonso would have been hand picked by Raul Castro to be the head editorial honcho of his personal newspaper, which is scheduled to see the light on January. There are rumors that it would be a daily belching of "news" while some of our sources have heard about a "weekly" supply of alternative toilet paper.

In any case, this is a hell of a gig for that rat, and our friends from Porno Para Ricardo will experience more repression (still, if that's possible) as a result. We would like to say that we hold both Alpidio Alonso and Raul Castro responsible for anything that might happen to the members of the band or their families.

So far, no title for the newspaper has transpired yet, but for those of you who do not know who Alpidio Alonso is, I leave you this biographical attempt of a song for you to know more about the guy:

Comunista Chivatón

El singao chivatón Alpidio Alonso
no quiere que los Porno toquen mas
Alpidio Alonso dice que no que no
que el no está en na'
y cuando le dicen
que quieren invitarnos a tocar
Alpidio Alonso
no deja que vayamos a quemar

Alpidio Alonso
no es mas que un comunista chivatón
que se hizo una casa
con el dinero de la asociación
y escribe unos versos
que nadie quiere oirlos porque son
muy malos muy malos
le va mejor el rol de chivatón, chivatón

(estribillo)
Es Alpidio el comunista chivatón
Es Alpidio el comunista chivatón
El singao comunista chivatón
si algun dia fue poeta yo ese dia fui escultor
Es Alpidio el comunista chivatón
Es Alpidio el comunista chivatón
El singao comunista chivatón
porque el tipo es comunista y ademas un chivatón

Alpidio Alonso
el jefe al mando de la asociación
el quiere botarnos
y eso es lo mejor que se le ocurrió
no nos hace falta
estar en tu mierdera institución
adios imbecil
que sepas que esta banda es la mejor

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dream

I have some weird dreams.... I mean, I dream every night, as I recall, and I know that y'all shrinks reading this are gonna have a field day with me. I daydream, too, but that's another story.

After exchanging Thanksgiving stories with my partner in crime in the U.S of A., KillCastro, and phone calls with my partner in crime in Cuba, Gorki, I had to have some dreams. To cap it off, I watched the "liberation of Turkey" on TV. No, the G.I.s didn't kick the Turkish government to kingdom come, if you were thinking of that. I was referring to W pardoning the life of two huge white turkeys (not of two huge white Turks) and sending them to live in a secluded location. Maybe with Dick Cheney as their guardian, but I doubt it. Why? Too many turkeys in a corral, I guess.

No, seriously, because W. named the birds May and Flower (Mayflower, you devoid of imagination people) and Mr. Dick wanted to call them Lunch and Dinner -W's joke, I am telling you, the guy's not good as Prez of the USA, but he'd be phat as late night show comic-man. Hey, W.... I heard that Conan O'Brien is taking Jay Leno's spot, this is your chance dude!

So, I went to sleep.
As peacefully as one guy who writes KillCastro and the Black Sheep of Exile can sleep. How peacefully is that?
Well, that's your guess!

I dreamt that I was on the phone with KillCastro and that he was coming down to my ranch (me, in a ranch, that's gotta be a very wild dream) with his wife and his cousin the doctor -is he a damn shrink? Because now I need one.

The ranch was in a state I love, Texas. The place looked like a finca in Cuber (as they refer to the place I was born in the Big T X) and of course it was full of chickens, turkeys, oxen, you name it. I had a few buildings in the Charlie Bravo compound, which was kind of built a la Ted Nugent. In one of those ancillary buildings I had a rehearsal space for a rock band. I was really excited about the visit of KillCastro -was he damn coming on those black helicopters for good?- so the guy could sit at a huge drum throne and thunder life away from it. I mean, huge. Two base drums, and I have no idea how many tom toms, sneer drums, high hats or cymbals.

Then there was Gorki.
He was driving a pair of oxen, by the names of Flor de Mayo (Mayflower anyone?) and Tomeguin (a little bird from Cuba).
He was screaming their names away, walking happily with the huge animals. Then I got out of a from a sugar cane patch where I was conducting some "very personal" business (get the hell out of my dream, Jimmy Smits) and drove my own oxen up the path too. They were Ala Corta (little wing, for the Jimi Hendrix and Steve Ray fans) and Limoncillo (little lemon or lemoncello for the Danny de Vito fans).

We were getting a new pair of oxen delivered by KillCastro, and the three of us met and named them Comandante and General. Yeah, after those guys you're thinking of.... Can you really imagine Mrs. KillCastro allowing her husband to transport those animals in a black helicopter? Very unlikely. Maybe his cousin the doctor thinks that it's funny....

The funny thing is that you have not met three types more urban than Charlie Bravo, KillCastro, and Gorki. We get goose bumps when people mention the word "campo" and suburbia is for KillCastro and myself the result of some sort of conspiracy to get city boys to settle in the countryside. Gorki, well, he doesn't even know what suburbia is. He's holed up in Marianao, and you will need the help of the marine infantry to get him out of there.

I better call Gorki and tell him of my dream.
I know that KillCastro is calling all shrinks to come here with the ambulance and the straight jacket!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Straight from La Paja Records....

An exclusive from Porno Para Ricardo, the premiere of their last video!



And there will be more to come, later on during the day.....

The General

Just hung up the phone after speaking with Gorki for a good time… We talked about all the new material that the band has put together… It’s incredible, taking into account the mediaeval conditions on which they work; they have composed and rehearsed ten new songs for the new album that will be hitting the streets at any time now.

They already have eleven songs ready with their video clips for the new dvd that will see the light at an undetermined date next year. The work is going really well, with all the images recorded in high resolution video and now the band is working on the gritty part that is the edition and montage of the clips and the guts and blood of the synchronization between sounds and images, for more or less half of the themes.

They sent us one of those videos to whet your appetite.
It was done by a friend of Gorki, with some old copies of those classics of our generation in Cuba, the Russian cartoons. I am sure you will love it, so enjoy!

And what about the music?

Ah, we have an exclusive for you…. Or three!

The songs are really newsworthy, there’s one dedicated to that alcoholic general who was always behind the pants of his older brother. Y’all know him very well, and I know you know his brother very well too… that bearded guy who’s losing his teeth. Big brother’s tripe exploded one day and when the shit settled down he passed the power baton to this effeminate general… and the guy who was hated by his own ugly mother has settled in power since that day.

One of these days even the pioneros will get tired of watching the damn Russian cartoons and instead of being like che they will be like Gorki and the guys from the band, so the cultural police can earn a living chasing them all around, if you know what I mean.

The song remains the same down in Havana… with some that worship el comandante some that worship el General, and a huge majority who simply take a healthy dump on them both and their thuggish police.

And these were the news!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hi Tech books

Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, is talking about the Kindle, which is a gadget that will change the way people relate to literature forever.

This new invention will allow you to read anything that was ever printed, in any language, since in future releases of the Kindle a whole library could be stored in one of these devices.

Is Jeff the new Gutenberg?
That's to be seen....

Will I part with my beloved books?
Don't bet on it!

Update:
There are all sort of possitive and negative comments about this thing, and also, Newsweek publishes an article on it.
As with anything that introduces a change, or that attemps to bill itself as progress, it has very well defined camps of lovers and detractors. As I say, don't trust those instincts of seeing me throwing my books away, even if this contraption happens to be a great thing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let's say you're into rock...

Then you do what I do, and you delve into this and you will step into rock music's history. Beware, once you're in, there's no going back!

Rock n' roll!

Rock down the house with Julio Rey!

The Concert

This story does not need any comments from my part.
I lived through several of this events, and managed to survive them all.
Thanks, Jose, for this illustrative article.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bol'e Teipe y Tinta Rapida.

El Gallego Ambrosio, from a lost hamlet in the Galician geography was the only white man in his Cuban family.
He arrived in Cuba as a kid, to join the family of his uncle, and when he showed up at their bodega he found out that his whole Cuban-Galician family had perished in a fire, when he was still on the seas.
Not being able to return, he was "adopted" by a Cuban family, and he went to work at another bodega owned by one of his connationals from el terruño.
Ambrosio was a man of imposing presence, tall, heavy, with pale skin, jet black hair and blue eyes.
When I met him he lived in a small solar, he was already in his eighties, and he was the only white man in his Cuban family. He married a mulata, and they had a son, Antonio, who in turn married another mulata.
They had two children, Jose Manuel y Teresa.
But Antonio, who was amused that the children were black and with no trace of the Galician ancestry other than the eyes of their grandfather -against all genetic rules of thumb- gave them two very politically incorrect nicknames:
Jose Manuel, a rotund kid, was called Bol'e Teipe (as in a ball of black electrical tape) and Teresita was called Tinta Rapida (for the ink used to dye shoes, Antonio was a cobbler -he never worked for Castro, as far as I can tell)
The kids grew up with me, practically, and Jose Manuel grew into an accomplished man, he became a physician. Teresita became a rather successful French translator, and we saw each other very often.
Jose Manuel defected in Spain coming back from Iraq, when they used to send Cuban doctors there, under Satan Hussein's rule.
He went to live in the same town his grandfather was from, reconnecting with the long lost family members, to whom he told all the Cubans stories of el Viejo Ambrosio. He married a girl from town, and he's a successful country doctor in that area of Galicia, which is much less isolated today that it was in his grandfather's time.
Having defected, he could not visit Cuba, for obvious reasons.
He started telling about Cuba to all his acquaintances, most of them happened to have some old relative who either lived in the island of have lived and died in Cuba. One of this new-found friends went to Cuba periodically, with whatever goodies Jose Manuel could send to his father, mother, and sister. This man married Teresita, eventually, and he's the one who was able to take Antonio and Lazara, his in-laws, out of Cuba.
My friends are the only black people in that town -which they do not want me to name.
The townsfolk get pretty amused when the respectable doctor is seen with his elderly father, who calls him with his particular endearment term "Bol'e Teipe" in public. They told me that one man in the town's only bar -where one can also have great coffee- asked him why "Bol'e Teipe"..... Antonio, without missing a beat, said "because Bol'e Nieve was already taken!".
Teresita brought the remains of their grandfather -along with the grandmother's- to be interred in Galicia, thus completing the cycle where it begun.
This story could not be possible without Cuba.
Cuba would not be a reality without Spain.
Gracias Bol'e Teipe y Tinta Rapida for allowing me to share your story with our readers.
Esa es mi España.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Havana Deco

I just went in and out of Barnes and Noble in a hurry.
I needed a fix of caffeine, and the girl at the counter knows exactly how I like my double shot of espresso.... while I was paying, I saw a young lady reading a book called "Havana Deco", and when I finished my espresso -didn't seat, and stealing a few minutes from myself I went to check out the book.
The collection of photographs of Art Deco buildings are worth the price....

Notes to Cynthia Cidre




Re: Last night's Cane episode.

1- It's very difficult or almost impossible that a Cuban would name his horse Benny More.
They are more likely to give a poetic name to the horse, like Lucero, Diamante or something like that. Or maybe Palmiche like the horse of Elpidio Valdes, or maybe they would give the horse a name from a historic horse, like Babieca or Rocinante.
An ironically inclined Cuban would certainly call a donkey Raul and a horse Fidel, but that's it. Being a city boy, I used to have a frog called Vilma for Vilma Espin and a turtle called Dorticós for the "president". My grandfather from Mantilla was another story. He had a cow called Haydee (for Haydee Santamaria) and a skinny yellowish dog called Che, for being so cowardly. Coming from a guy who was almost executed at la Cabaña, that was no compliment to the Argentinean.

2- Coppelia opened its doors to the public on June 4th 1966, offering 26 flavours of ice-cream.
It's located on the corner of 23 and L, catty corner with the Havana Hilton, and across the Street from the Yara movie theatre, old Radio Centro, on the terrains of the old Reina Mercedes Hospital.
Repression against youths and gays going to Coppelia was rampant since day one, but still the public loved the gardens and the avant garde building, whose style I call Neo Taino Tardio, rather ironically.
Given Coppelia's inception date, it's very unlikely that the patriarch and the matriarch of the family went for a date there. They sound more like they came to the USA in 1960 or 1961 than in 1966 or 1967. That or they really aged very badly.

Recommendation:
For all things Cuban hire a Cuban who knows.
Don't pull an Andy Garcia on us! He's the one who said (on that stinker the Lost City) that the armed assault to the Presidential Palace occurred in 1958, when the date was March 13th 1957.

Will you entertainment types get it right even once?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mi balsa



Porno Para Ricardo rocks the waves...

Mi balsa.

Mi balsa -my raft- is a song by Porno Para Ricardo about a balsero who dies a solitary death and is eaten alive by the sharks when pursuing his dreams of liberty –broken liberty in his case.

A carpenter builds a defective raft for him, charged a pretty penny for it, therefore he’s betrayed since before his ill-fated voyage starts. The quest for liberty in life ends with the man dying in the high seas, apparently unaware of what would happen to him if he was detected by the forces of the bi-national Coast Guard that patrols the Straits of Death with the intention to keep escaping Cubans inside the Tropical Gulag.

I’ve been exchanging ideas with Gorki on how to do the audiovisual, in terms of graphics and drama. Even though we had some very literal images of an empty raft and two empty boats very generously given to us by Julio Zangroniz, I was not able to obtain any other images from other photographers. At this point, a decision had to be taken, and it was to use some old artwork of disasters at sea, and for me to work on some illustrations to express in images the drama of an unsuccessful flight for liberty.

I would like to one day do another version of this audiovisual with poignant, crude, and terrifying images of empty rafts, people who perished on the trip, people abused by both Coast Guards (even though is very unlikely that I can get any image on the abuses committed by the Cuban Coast Guard) and yes, the most important images, those of the survivors. All images –without copyright issues- are very welcome.

To Julio Zangroniz goes our deepest gratitude for his unflagging support and his very personal commitment to the project, even if (regrettably) his photographs were not used in this version of the audiovisual.

La nueva cancion....


Cortesia de Fantomas y la Casa Real Española

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I was Cuba

I was Cuba is the book made out of the photo collection amassed by Ramiro Fernadez over the years.
The book is a very complete survey of what was Cuba from the early republican days to the first months of 1959. Among the photographs taken during the dawn of the destruction of Cuba in those days, there's a poignant studio-photo of Che Guevara where the beast reveals his true nature through his body-language and facial-expression.
There's a photo of Castro and his impersonator Roblan, and many other images that I am sure will hold your attention captive for a few hours in a row.
Do not miss that book!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Flores carnivoras.


Foto cortesia de Al Godar

Eso es lo que Gorki y yo queremos llevar a Castro en nuestra visita....
Irlo a ver al hospital, cagarnos en su puta madre y darale un ramo de flores carnívoras para que le arranquen la nariz y la bemba de cuajo.... Y por supuesto, en el ramo tambien habria diez o doce flores de peo, para cubrir el olor del viejo asesino.

Claro, es una fantasia enfermiza.
No hay nada malo en soñar, y este sueño compartido aunque parezca una pesadilla no lo es. Es simplemente el resultado de haber vivido y sufrido en ese pais que se sigue llamando Cuba en los libros y que ha desaparecido del mundo, siendo sustituido por la pesadilla real que ese tipo y sus seguidores materializaron con la complicidad de tantos.

Esta vez, no voy a transcribir nuestra conversación.
A traves de una de las canciones del grupo supe de una mujer (en aquel entonces una bellísima joven) que trabajó en psiquiatría en Cuba y que mucho me ayudó cuando los mismos que declaran loco a Gorki hoy en dia me declararon loco en los años 80, despues que no me fui por el Mariel porque consideré que mejor que me quedara para joder al sistema desde dentro, a pesar de los mitines de repudio, las esposas y las detenciones constantes. Por supuesto, esto me trasladó a una epoca en que pintaba, y que mis cuadros poblados de agudos pinchos y paredes provocaron el acoso de los "funcionarios de la cultura" que se molestaban por mis representaciones del estar entre la espada y la pared.

Recordé tambien las multiples invitaciones a largarme de Cuba.
Y tambien vino a mi memoria el apodo que me puso un querido amigo: el principe de las tinieblas.
¿a quién si no a mi se le ocurria vagar en las noches por el cementerio de Colón, tomando fotos del habitat (vaya contradicción) de los unicos cubanos libres, los muertos? Si, era yo el que iba y vagaba a la luz de antorchas por el cementerio, despues de habernos ocultado hasta despues de las seis de la tarde, hora en que cerraban. Caía la noche y vagabamos, tomaba fotos con una vieja Zenit, esa copia rusa de la Leica. Después saltabamos la cerca por la calle San Antonio Chiquito, y nos ibamos a Jalisco Park, a beber un poco de ron y vagamos tambien por el cementerio chino. Era un freak, demonios, un freak.

Al fin, un dia no pude mas y me largué. Todavia me pregunto como no enloquecí, aunque muchos dicen que si.

Claro que quiero llevarle flores carnívoras a castro. No tiene nada de sorprendente.

Los Aldeanos, condenados al ostracismo.

Tenía que suceder.
Los Aldeanos fueron "desinvitados" de todas partes y actividades futuras y su actuación en la Madriguera desautorizada, debido a su colaboración musical y relación personal con Porno Para Ricardo.
Ha comenzado una nueva etapa de silenciamiento y persecucion contra ellos por la sola razón de que los Aldeanos no tienen la menor intención de vender sus almas al regimen. Pero carajo, alguien tiene que llamar las cosas por su nombre.