Friday, March 30, 2007

Henry Gomez Is No Machiavelli


"Let's not give them [the Estefans] credit for being so smart, if that's the case. They should be represented by some real folks that know about reputation management, not some kid that sounds like he just got out of Miami-Dade Community College. " Henry Gomez, comment on Cuban American Pundits, March 29, 2007


Henry Gómez, who splits his time on 5 or 6 blogs, and has performed a great public service on one [Herald Watch], is principally in residence at Val Prieto's blog, where he exerts more influence over the volatile Val than any other non-Val valalusian. From the time Gómez wrote the original post on the Estefans and Carlos Santana precipitating this controversy, Henry and Val have admitted publicly on the Babalú Radio Hour to having engaged in shouting matches over the phone. Henry, who once met Santana and was scarred for life, cannot overlook or forgive Emilio and Gloria's "faux pas" and takes Val to task often and forcefully for his chronic and incurable estefanphilia. Still, it is Gómez who always seeks common ground, finding it perhaps uncomfortable to challenge the uber-colleague on his own blog. Indeed, when anyone challenges Val on Babalú, the hordes of the faithful immediately commence an auto-da-fé, where staffers and fans pledge their unconditional loyalty to him. This is the closest that anyone has ever come to a personality cult on any Cuban-American blog.

It was, therefore, up to Henry to seek consensus on this issue and pull Val Prieto's ass out of the fire where Val had comfortably sat because it had been lit by his friends the Estefans (Emilio phoned him personally, or haven't you heard?) It ocurred to Henry that perhaps all this dissension could have been avoided if only the Estefans had offered a more deceptive explanation of their acts than was originally profferred. Now that's quite a challenge that Henry undertook, for which his background in advertising and public relations should have served him in good stead. So here is Henry's version of what he thinks the Estefans should have said and would have said if Henry Gómez were their head PR guy:

"Carlos Santana has been a friend of ours since long before the 2005 Oscars. While we were saddened, at the time, by his decision to wear Che Guevara t-shirt to that awards show we forgave him because we don't think Carlos necessarily understands what Guevara actually did, as opposed to what he is believed to have done. When Mr. Santana learned of our project, 90 millas, he asked if he could participate. Of course we jumped at the chance to have a musician of Carlos' stature participate on our project. And our friendship had always remained in-tact despite the incident at the Oscars. We simply didn't realize that Santana's appearance on 90 Millas would inspire such a visceral reaction among our friends in the Cuban-American community and, for that, we are truly sorry. But the fact is that Santana is going to be on this album because to remove his work now would be a betrayal of an old friend. We understand that this will alienate some of our fans, and again we are truly sorry. The only thing we ask is that we be judged by the whole of our actions in public life and not by this decision that was based on personal friendship and not intended to be a slight to anyone in the Cuban American community."

My reaction after reading Henry's "explanation" of the Estefans' actions is that they definitely should not hire him as their PR guy. He would be an even worse representative than me (though better than Val). I think that in order genuinely to represent somebody else's position one must have at least a modicum of sympathy for that position and Henry clearly (and rightly) does not. Henry is without guile and I am sure believes that he did the best that he could by the Estefans. But it is impossible for anyone to write convincingly against his own convictions unless one has apprenticed at Granma.

Henry's hypothetical "apology," which should keep uppermost the Estefans' concern about losing their fan base, begins instead with an affirmation of their friendship with Carlos Santana, which would be calculated to enrage rather than placate their Cuban-American fans. It states that the Estefans were "saddened" to see their friend wearing a "Che" t-shirt at the Oscars. "Saddened?" Not hurt, incensed or offended, just "saddened." "Saddened," no doubt, because they love their friend so much that it grieves them to see him make an ass of himself (his natural condition). Their concern, then, is not for those whom Santana offended or misled by his shameless public adoration of "Che" Guevara and implicit support for what Guevara did, but, rather, their hearts bleed for what may befall their friend Santana because of his unredeemable stupidity, which the Estefans accept as innate and incurable.

Henry next proceeds to explain how their collaboration on the album 90 Millas (90 Miles) originated. Supposedly, Santana approached them, and, of course, who could turn a friend away? Their community they could dismiss out of hand; but a friend, never! In fact, it was not just friendship that they were upholding but their personal interests (which happily coincided with Santana's): "Of course we jumped at the chance to have a musician of Carlos' stature participate on our record." More talent, more sales, more money. Now that would hardly seem the kind of confession that the Estefans would make however true. By now, Henry feels that the Estefans should re-affirm their friendship with Santana once again and so they do: "And our friendship has always remained intact despite the incident at the Oscars."

Next Henry has the Estefans express their total bewilderment at the Cuban community's "visceral reaction" to their collaboration with Santana. If you are trying to placate somebody, you definitely don't call their reactions "visceral" (not intellectual, unreasoning). But that's not the worst of it: Henry has the Estefans address their fellow Cuban exiles as "our friends in the Cuban-American community." So the Estefans no longer consider themselves part of our community; they now only have "friends" in that community (he must be thinking of Val). And the Estefans are "very sorry" because their disconnection from those people led them to misjudge how they would react to this open provocation. Still, they don't give a damn about what their "friends in the community" think, as they make clear in a third and unconditional affirmation of their friendship with Santana: "But the fact is that [he] is going to be on this album because to remove his work now would be a betrayal of an old friend." So Santana is "an old friend" and their fellow Cuban exiles are just "friends" and betraying Santana is inconceivable, but betraying their Cuban friends is not. They do this fully conscious that it will "alienate" some of their Cuban-American fans (who are already aliens to them), but they don't give a damn (although they are "sorry" for the record sales it might cost them, presumably).

Finally, the Estefans reaffirm yet again their "personal friendship" with Santana (as opposed to their impersonal friendship with their fellow Cuban exiles) and conclude with the affirmation that they did not intend to "slight" those whom they have just slighted.

Again, I do not think that Henry is a Machiavellian and I do believe he offered this prepackaged apology to the Estefans in all sincerity and in the belief that it would "do the trick" and restore the status quo ante. But, sadly, Henry fails abominably, because his personal repulsion for Santana makes it impossible for him to be a voluntary mouthpiece for the Estefans like his friend Val.





77 comments:

killcastro said...

Foist of all – Welcome to the jungle Mr. T (as CB already pointed out)
It has not been very long since we got acquainted and realistic our first encounters were akin to sparring bouts, but I DO admire a well turned phrase and especially a keen objective mind. I learn from those. They make me a better individual sharpen my vision and DO make me rethink my points of view. To your credit you were able to accomplish all of the above.

We have been at this game for what seems forever and I this is the first time I pay this compliment to anyone, so that may not mean much, but to me is the most honest compliment I can give you as far as your ability to discourse and do it in such surgical and exemplary manner. For that which I have learned from you, *I* thank you.

Now, this welcoming introduction has another purpose and that is the danger of fanaticism, whether in your own convictions or by idolizing ideas and/or people to whom you have personally not given the slightest thought as to the value or their TRUE intentions.

I have not followed the Estefans saga at any other blog but KillCastro and (I BELIEVE) we were the first to point out the travesty of this situation.

Perhaps the Miami Deities just rub me the wrong way because they are allowed to get away with so much by the mere fact that they were born in Cuba and reside in Miami.
Much has been made about Santana’s participation in this venture. REALISTIC a CAPITALIST endeavor, but not much has been said about Arturo Sandoval, Sheila E. and Willie Colon. Why these names are being ignored from the debate is very surprising to me since they ALL (including Sandoval) have a DEEP dark history of KaSStro sympathy. Sandoval “escaping” the island when it was clear that his manipulations and abuses of his post as head of the Musicians Union (or whatever the fuck they call that in Kuba) were getting him in DEEP SHIT.

Beginning with his “couch auditions” , his well known musical purges , his censorship and black listing of musicians and his background deals with foreigners interested in signing Cuban acts for work overseas. There was MUCH money to be made overseas and all of his past abuses were being gathered to make a government case against him that would’ve probably gotten him 20+ years in jail.

Sandoval was desperately tring to get out of Kuba because the offers from Dizzy Gillespie of MULTIMILLION $$$$$ contracts outside the island – the bling-bling-is-blinding and like any other good mercenary he tried to go with the money. But the noose was closing (you only make money in KaSStroKuba if KaSStro says you MAY make money!) Going through regular channels ,Sandoval was denied visa in the USA twice as a well known communist agent with a list of abuses the length of which would’ve never have gotten him USA asylum were it not for the intervention of Dizzy Gillespie and our then semi-literate VP Dan Quayle. It seemed that Quayle thought it would be a good PR move against KaSStro, I am sure he knew he was giving a free pass to a WELL KNOWN CONSUMMATE SON OF A CUNT!
And Sandoval gets welcomed in Miami as yet another favorite son! Absolution in the Cuban community is the most incredible of phenomena. All you have to say is “I am sorry I hate KaSStro now, and VOILA “All sins are forgiven my son” come and partake of our next Cuba Nostalgia shing-ding!

Sheila-E ,a NOTORIOUS left winger who is constantly parading her semi-notorious figure denouncing Yankee imperialism. Willie Colon … well we all know about THAT!
So why are we surprised that the Estefans absolved Santana? He is a bigger draw than any of the other “musicians” . Why are we surprised that Cuban-Americans are so ready to accept Emilio Estefans piss-poor excuses and actually UNMANLY at that!
Cuban-Americans especially in Miami do it ALL the time. They welcomed Juanita KaSStro with open arms until she showed her true colors. They were wrong there but by god they will stick to the Estefans like dandruff on black velvet , And THIS is a VERY dangerous behavior on the part of ANY Cuban . Turn your head when one of yours fucks up because you loose ALL credibility!

The argument that we should not piss on our own is such a childish misguided and utterly counter-productive tactic that you must be either a cultist or a total MORON not to realize the damage you do to your cause. Where is your honor? Where is your sense of patriotism and fair play? How well balanced is your determination of right or wrong?

Santana’s “excuse” is good for Estefan so it must be good for ALL Cubans? Sorry bud, you are a fucking idiot or a sycophant expecting to become part of the inner sanctum and that is clear as day. But these are personal opinions and as assholes EVERYONE has one, just that some are cleaner than others.

As far as your incisive review of Henry’s post; I happen to like Henry a LOT , I think he is as fair in his thought process as anyone who has never lived under the KaSStro regime We had an altercation on Killcastro recently and CB & I were accused of being duchebags and not liked by a lot of people. Well ce la vie! You DO make some enemies when you CANTA LAS CUARENTA but regardless I STILL respect Henry’s point of view and I am quite pleased that he stuck to his guns on this issue (even though the pressure from above may be weakening his resolve.)

I do hope that he reads your comments and does it with the same willingness to learn with which I read YOUR comments raising arguments against some of my points of view.

Loyalty MUST have its limits. Playing devil’s advocate is a DANGEROUS proposition because eventually you become the devil himself.

I pray Henry is not a lost cause, because I have seen him grow and have seen his deep and profound interest not only about the TOPICAL items but of Cuban history in general. For a young man born in this country that is rather commendable. I always admired that.
Now as far as your “deconstructions”, what the FUCK can one say but just nod , giggle and envy your facility and clarity of language.
The Cuban-American blogs have a formidable watchdog in you Mr. T and I ONLY hope this will serve to UNITE us and the weed out simple fanaticism ( as dangerous as that given to KaSStro) from the reality of a pure and altruistic patriotism.
GOOD LUCK!

KC

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

killcastro:

Your comment will provide me with the opportunity for many replies and I shall be sure to use it to the fullest.

Since this post is about Henry Gomez, I will address first your observations about him. I liked Henry a lot too, once; even now I don't dislike him. He was essential in obtaining justice for the fired Miami Herald reporters. It was as much his victory as anybody's else's; the truth could not have prevailed without him. Then we were fighting on the same side and supported each other's efforts. I still agree 90% with Henry on Cuban issues but that is not good enough for him. For whatever reason — perhaps his voice that still cracks like a boy's — I regarded Henry as sincere and guileless and believed that he would never do anything that broke with his Boy Scout's oath. But he did: the part that says to help the helpless. He has turned his back — and more than back — on the Cuban refugee girl for whose custody the Castro regime is fighting in Florida Family Court. I am writing a post about this so I won't go into much detail here. Henry has volunteered that he has not blogged about her or said a word in her defense because her case doesn't interest him; and, later, because he has not yet received the "inspiration" to do so. Worst of all, Henry averred that "kids" should have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to return to Cuba.

In reality, Henry was profoundly embarrassed and even ashamed of the coverage which the Elián case received from the MSM and is determined to throw this child or a thousand like her down a well if he could just avoid the evil stares and harsh words of his Anglo neighbors and judges. He believes that nobody cares about the girl's case but me and has even commented on SotP to that effect. Henry is determined not to be "duped" by The Miami Herald into supporting freedom for this abused 4-year old lest our efforts receive the same derision from the media as attended Elián case. Henry's mission (and Val's too, though he is not so shameless about it)is to preserve the good name of Cuban-Americans, and if that means sacrificing a little girl's freedom in the process, it's just "collateral damage" to him.

I am sure, though, that Henry will regret his actions and words one day. He is misguided but not evil.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

killcastro:

You are right about the Estefans and many other Cuban entertainers(popularizers/prostitutors of Cuban culture). You or Charlie said on your blog something that had escaped my attention but which must be true: this idea did not necessarily originate with Emilio but was the likely brainchild of some record company executive who believed that if one Latin artist was good for sales then a dozen must be even better. When presented with the idea, Emilio readily embraced it with thoughts of his fifth palazzio floating in his head (Note to Val: palazzio rhymes with fellatio). Perhaps as an afterthought the executive may have mentioned to Emilio that the album was about Cuba, but he had already taken the bite, thinking not of Cuba but that palazzio. A man needs more than one palazzio if he's going to live Emilio Estefan's life.

killcastro said...

Well that is what happens when you stop reading blogs you miss on people's latest change of heart.
The case of the little girl I thought was a no brainer for ANY Cuban with an ounce of humanity but I guess I was wrong ( I guess I may be changing opinions on how I feel about some people)
If a child should be allowed to choose where to live then Elian would be in the USA since that was HIS choice !
I actually had the FREAKY pleasure of meeting the segment director of the Elian interview with Diane Sawyer . Call it serendipity to the 1000 power ! She asked if she could sit next to me in a booth in a very crowded SoHo night spot , during introductions she told me she was from Miami , I said "well I am Cuban so you should know a LOT of us" Her eyes sparkled and she just pushed her face against mine and asked .. what did you think of the Elian's case?. I told her "a FUCKING travesty !"
Then she asked , did YOU know when you were that age you did NOT want to live in Cuba? I said "I knew within a 18 months of Castro walking into Habana I wanted to get the hell out of there"
She asked me "for political reasons"?
"hell no" I said .. "for CHILDHOOD REASONS!" I wanted a a NEW Bike , I wanted new toys , I wanted Corn Flakes , I did not want my parents worrying about going to jail. If you are not a moron you KNOW at 6 years old what it is that you want!
She got very serious and teary eyed and said:
"I must tell you something..." that interview was edited to the HILT because Elian was so adamant about staying in the USA , the exec producer said "No one is going to belive that kid was not coached, NO 6 year old kid has such strong feelings"
SO... they butchered the interview and made Elian look kindda dazed while the family looked like a bunch of monsters.
So Although I admit I have not kept abreast of the girls plight (and I will now read as much as I can about it) I will have a post about it on Killcastro. This is just enough yielding . At this point I do not even CARE about the circumstances you just do NOT send a child to a prision , however guilded it may be for THAT particular child.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Killcastro:

There is one wretched soul that surpasses even Henry in his disdain for this little but much-abused 4-year old child.

Alex of Stuck on the Palmetto has actually called for her return to her "father" in Cuba (you know, the one that wants to destroy her life even more than when he let her insane mother in Cuba beat her every day). Now that little girl is her fisherman father's trophy. If he can reel her back to Cuba, he gets the same sweet deal that Elián's ogre of a father did).

Alex also supported Elián's repatriation at gunpoint. But even worse: such was his approval for Janet Reno's actions in the Elián case that he worked for her gubernatorial campaign.

I have taken him to task for this many times, but never got him to admit that he acted despicably as a Cuban and a human being. Because he has mentioned on his blog a young daughter, I asked him whether he should like to see her raised in Cuba and endure his own "idyllic" childhood there? He always refused to be "tricked" into answering that question when I put it to him. Then recently, thanks to the prodding of nonee moose, who is more adept than me at weeding-out Alex's hypocrisies, he admitted that he would not want to see his daughter raised in Cuba yet was perfectly happy to see Elián and this little girl returned to their "fathers" there. It seems that Alex wants Fidel to have a matched set.

Henry and Alex, by the way, are best friends despite their (usually) differing viewpoints on Cuba. They like to take long walks together in strange cities (as Alex wistfully recalled in SotP) and once actually followed the Freedom Trail in Boston. Henry once called Alex "the best read man [he] ever met." That's only because he's comparing Alex to his other friend Val.

Alex said...

Listen Manuelito, if you are going to quote me, at least do it properly: I said my daughter belongs with me, whenever I live.

And I'll tell you more, if it had been me instead of Juan Miguel, I would not had needed Reno or agents to get my son back. Some things you just don't mess with.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

Your daughter goes where you go? Does that include jail? What is the difference between jail and Communist Cuba? The difference is that people are actually released from jail. No one is released from Castro's island-prison except at a very great price and that price is often death.

But you have made yourself very clear: your sympathy is with the father. Mine is with the child. There is no compromise between those positions.

Although you have embraced Val and have always been close to Henry (who appears to be everybody's best friend), I know that you more than anyone else derives the greatest pleasure from this blog, even though you don't dare say it.

I am surprised that Rick hasn't offered his best wishes after all I did for his now moribound blog. Well, some people are very thin-skinned and Rick's is almost translucent.

Alex said...

Maybe you have been in jail, but you haven't been in Cuba. So how would you know the differences?

"Moribund". And while we are at it "cringe" not "crinch", pseudo-professor.

Rick said...

Maaaaannnnnnnnnnyyyyyyyy!

Mi amigo!

How are you doing, buddy? Listen, I am crazy about your new digs and I'm mulling over announcing this place to everyone over at SotP. I'm lovin' the wacko extremist CA (that's you, Manny!) criticizing the hard-line CAs (that's them). I'm not really sure who to root for!!! ROFLMAO!!

But I'm wondering: when I introduce you to everyone, do I say that you're some 90 year-old exile with one foot in the grave or do I tell everyone the truth? Help me out here, Manuelito.

Anyway, keep up the great work. I really do miss you over at SotP (shhhh, I'm lying!) but I'm glad to see that you've finally found a hole you can finally call your own.

Got a megaphone?!!?!?!? Ha HA HA. It's a joke. Get it?????!!!!!!

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

My old Anglo friend! And do you know that you are my only Anglo friend? I kid you not. Nearly half a century in this country and you are the closest that I have ever come to an Anglo friend. Frankly, it surprises me. Frankly it must surprise you too. William F. Buckley devotes a chapter to me in one of his books. Others have praised me extravagantly and even sought my friendship. They have received in return my civility and forbearance; never my friendship. To be frank, I really don't know what this says, Rick. Frankly, I don't. Well, at least I am not like those bigots who are always saying that they they have black or Jewish friends.

I wonder if threatening to write about me is simply your way of saying, "Come back, little sheba. I need your springs to water my garden." Well, Rick, no. I took you as far as I could. Let my residence at your blog forever be your glory days. I shall always cherish your reference to me as "the much loved Manuel A. Tellechea, Stuck on the Palmetto's favorite." I bet you really do regret writing that, don't you?

In future days, I will be publishing my well-researched biographies of my fellow Cuban-American bloggers. I really must know, frankly, if you consider Stuck on the Palmetto a Cuban-American blog. Very important. A lot hangs on it, amigo.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

F??????:

It is April Fools' Day, isn't it, Alex pretending to be Rick?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

Thank-you for volunteering to serve as my proofreader. Not the best I could hope for by a long shot, but you are cheap. I'm afraid I can no longer offer you reciprocality. I'm too busy attending to the more urgent needs of your hardline Cuban friends. But, I'm serious, please point out any typos or anything that you suspect is not a typo.

In the past, when I used to reproduce other people's texts (including yours) I would always correct anything that was amiss. I don't do that anymore. "Let every idiot shine by his own light" is my motto now.

No, I have never been in jail, in Cuba or here. And I am quite sure you were never in jail in Cuba. Get along to get along, right?

Give my regards to your buddies, Val and Henry (yes, I hear the new friend has eclipsed the old) and tell them they are always in my thoughts now and that I am depending on them for the future success of this blog.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: Alex, as for the professor crack, it is the professors in the U.S. and Cuba who use my books. (In Cuba, they pirate them). Details gladly supplied on request.

Rick said...

So lets do this right now.

How old are you, Manny?

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick

Not as old as the calendar says.

And what is it exactly that you propose we "do right now?" You worry me Rick.

Rick said...

We're sorting this out right now, Manny.

How old are you? Simple question, isn't it?

.

killcastro said...

To make up for my unforgivable lack of information in the case of the 4 year old girl I have finally sat and given this some thought and ... to those who feel she should go back to the "dad" I ask:
Is she going back to the father or is she going back to just a different foster parent home? this being KaSStro's government!
Does anyone here think for a second that if KaSStro wishes Elian (and/or this girl) to appear in an anti-American rally, the fathers of these two children will have the power to deny KaSStro their appearance? Or if KaSStro decides to send Elian to go study nuclear physics in Iran the father will be able to put any objections? Are WE loosing track of the fact that we are dealing with a government which has absolute and total control over EVERY ONE OF ITS CITIZENS?!
So in fact this is a case of deciding WHICH foster parent (the American family or the KaSStro Government) is more qualified or deserving to serve this little girls life needs.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

I am old enough to have known your mother in her prime.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

But did not.

Rick said...

What's the matter, Manny? You're usually never at a loss for words.

You had no trouble telling us before, did you? C'mon now. The truth will set you free, Manuelito.

Give us a number, amigo.....

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

killcastro:

You have again cut to heart of the matter with a deft stroke. The father is an irrelevancy which is striving to rise to the level of an afterthought. The choice confronting Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen is: the Florida Department of Children's Welfare or the Castro Government as the girl's Guardian. I hope that expert testimony will be allowed about what befell Elián on his forced repatriation to Cuba. And let no one suppose for a second that a different fate awaits this little girl. In fact, she might be a get-well gift for Castro, and with Elián a matched set of children wrested from the Empire.

But Val and Henry are convinced that it is a trick and are willing to sacrifice a child's life to spite the real culprit — The Miami Herald.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

A name will set you free, too. You tell us your name (which is not Rick) and I'll tell you my age. Let us both be set free. And Alex, too. And, after that, some personal facts about our lives would be good too. I am sure there are no skeletons in our closets.

Alex said...

Hmmmm, why so coy Manuelito? It's just a number, isn't it? There's no house of cards that will fall upon hearing the number, is there Manuelito?

Alex said...

Ah, fathers are an irrelevance. Got it. What's relevant is sticking it to Castro, no matter the cost.

If you regret what happened to Elian in Cuba, it's because you know it was you who molded him into the perfect propaganda tool for Castro. For that yeah, regrets are in order.

Rick said...

Well, that one's easy, Manuel. My name is Rick. I'm sorry to disappoint you.

But, maybe this will help you some, Manny....

The first time he read Jose Marti's Simple Verses, Manuel Tellechea was about 5 years old.

Should I go on, Manuel? Or would you like to share? Because, you know, I'm really just getting to the good part. It's a really good story.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

Continue as you please.

Then I will.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: Your story is much better.

Rick said...

Being that you think my name is something other than Rick, Manuel, it's apparent that you have nothing. You continue to bluff your way through life.

It really is tough living a lie, Manuel, especially when that lie can be exposed at anytime.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick and Alex:

You are going to have to find somewhere on the blogosphere where I give my age. And not other persons' conjectures or suppositions (much less your own). With your carping you are trying to divert my attention from Val and Henry to yourselves. It's not going to work. At least not for now.

killcastro said...

I apologize for MY intrusion in this charming debate regarding ages and real names (Someone should bring this up to TV execs as a possible game show – FASCINATING. REALLY! )
But, going back to the matter at hand.
Yes! when you speak about CUBA the father *IS* irrelevant! And if that is not known to you, then you do NOT know present day Cuba and I am not one to proselytize, enough has been written about the subject and GOOGLE *IS* your friend.

Alex said...

"A gnat cannot bring down an elephant. On July 11, I will mark 9 decades. And this "viejo" is still more lucid than you, Jon. So don't hold your breath. I intend also to outlast the youngster in Cuba who has caused all the mischief and write his epithet."

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

If you know something, then don't ask me about it. As killcastro points out, this is just a distraction. I will focus my attention on Val and Henry. You can focus your attention on me if you want. And when the time comes to focus my attention on you, I will.

Whatever happened to Longfellow, do you know? He spent a little time on SotP and then disappeared forever. He would have flown to this blog like a man possessed (well, he always was).

Alex said...

Missing Longfellow or hungry for readers?

Oh, here's another:

"And I certainly hope that I've reached the "point of laughability on this blog" at least on a few occasions, since I have not yet lost my sense of humor, which is the surest sign that old age has reached the heart."

I'm just following KC's advice and using Google.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

KC's advice is always useful. I follow it myself and I thank him for it. Of all the Cubans on the blogosphere his word inspires in me the greatest confidence and I owe him much.

Alex said...

Yeah, such useful advice. Including the one in his moniker -why don't you man up and do that as well?

So getting back to the point, why is it that you don't want to answer Rick's question?

Rick said...

Manny's Achilles heal is his age. To reveal his age is to reveal a phony. He is, indeed, a boy who could never be the man he pretends to be.

.

killcastro said...

An advise to "MAN UP", precious! This from 1/2 of the couple who is needed to debate a man who you consider to be NOT the "man he pretends to be"

So what does THAT say about the fullfilment of YOUR manliness? Skippy.?

'Cause I tell ya man , you two are fucking embarrasing loosing a battle of wits with someone you claim to be 90 !

Alex said...

Are we going to go down that road again KC? Last time you didn't fare so good.

We are not claiming Tellechea is 90, he is. I'll advise you to posit that question yourself and avoid "loosing" face along with him.

killcastro said...

Last time? Didnt fare well?
Whattafuck are YOU talking about?

Let's put it this way; it is YOUR call, let's try again cause I do not recall any LAST TIMES and I am not opposed to have it out again if there WAS a last time !

And if he IS 90 (which is actually NOTHING to be ashamed of; on the contrary) and you still need 2 of you to take him on as far as wits are concerned; there's not much to say here, is there ? MY point has been proven !

Agustin Farinas said...

To all on this thread:
What a damn shame we are wasting our energies zinging each other to death when there are more serious issues to talk about.
Who cares what age Manuel is? My personal comment is this: if Manuel is 90 God bless him! I am 64 and love every day of my life. But for a 90 year old he surely has a great command of the English language if he was born in Cuba, and assuming he came to the USA after Castro, that would put him at about 45 years old at the time. Wow! for someone that age (45) he sure learned the King's English very well.
Why don't we all lighten up and concentrate on the real enemy: Castro and his gang. WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE!! (I hope!)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

agustín fariñas:

According to Alex, my English is not very good. I make many spelling mistakes and even commit the occasional malapropism. I even confused "moot" for "mute" once, so Alex alleges.

Rick said...

All you have to do is answer the question, Manny, and then we move on. Such an easy thing to do to put all this behind us...just your age, Manny.

Just your age.

Tell us.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

I don't know what you mean by "moving on." Where exactly are we going to "move on" to?" I am comfortable enough where I am already. I hope you are, too. You are always free to do whatever you want to do. So am I.

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel,Rick and all:
I am saddaned and at the same time angry at some of the comments I read on all of our Cuban-american blogs. We seem to spend our time bickering, nitpicking and zinging each other over penny ante issues when the real fight is somewhere else.
For exapmple: what the hell is so important about Manuel's age?(noticed I wrote Manuel and not Manny, obviously he is proud of his Spanish name, as it should be, so Rick stop calling him Manny) What is the issue here? Who cares if Manuel is 90 or 60 or 50 years old for that matter?
Manuel, at the risk of stepping on your toes also, it is my humble opinion that the term "cocksuckig" was a poor choice of words for that post. You, of all people who seem to have a great command of the English language could have found a better term to refer to Val's actions if you disagree with them as you do. I am sure that in your vast repertoire of words in English, you could have found something a little more gentle to refer to another Cuban, and still get your point across and without offending. By the same token I also read on the Kill Castro blog someone refering to KC and CB as "douchebags".(I can't remember who it was now) Gentlemen, this kind of language belittles all of us in the Cuban American community and certainly is far from what I call civil discourse to discuss and air our differences. We need to put a stop to all of this offensive language and take a breather and again concentrate our efforts to discuss in a civilized manner the most important issue for us Cuban Americans: Castros' tyranny and how to bring about its end by our modest efforts whatever they might be. But we need to stop the fighting amongst ourselves. Let's concentrate on the real enemy: Castro and his misgovernment and see what we can do to bring and end to it. I will take a step down from my soap box for now to have another beer. Thank you for listening.

Alex said...

Wait, I found another one. From Critical Miami's epic discussion of Pinochet, out Manuelito writes:

"Alex:

If I “acted my age” I would be room-temperature and then you could actually hope to win an argument.

And, yes, still you do not dare."

Besides the fact that I'm still waiting for that "sobriquet" he threatened me with, that would be a pretty cold room, no Manuelito?

Are those pants made out of Nomex?

Fariñas, you are late on this discussion and don't know the history.

Rick said...

Agustin:

The reason why Manny's age is so important is that Manny, who prides himself on being this high-brow intellect, is nothing but a fraud. Oh, he may be an intellect of sorts but he has consistently misrepresented himself to the blogosphere to be something that he isn't: a cerebral old sage from Cuba. People trust his word and place credence in what he says, in part, because of this.

The importance of this is also evidenced by his refusal to answer the simple question of how old he is. This is part of his online persona that would be destroyed should the truth ever come out.

C'mon, Manny. A number. How old are you, amigo?

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

I will tell you my age if you tell me the name of your employer. A confidence certainly deserves another confidence.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

I am surprised by how many people people have e-mailed me your identity. One even posted it today and I had to take it down (against all my principles) because it would have deprived me of my only defense against you.

Rick said...

Oh, Manny. Do you realize how pitifully desperate you appear? Threatening me because I'm merely asking you your age? It really is that important to you, isn't it?

The problem with your strategy, Manny, besides the above, is that even if you do know my "identity," revealing it on your obscure little blog is totally useless.

You, on the other hand, stand to be exposed as the fraud that you are. Your internet character that you have been parading around these parts would be totally destroyed. And you know it.

So how about it, Manny. Just tell us your age.

Pretty please with a cherry on top?

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

Reciprocality is the glue of civilized society. It is very rude to ask me something while you refuse to reply to my question.

Either we both respect each other's privacy or neither of us does.

I respectfully request that the best course for us would be to respect each other's privacy.

Here are a few numbers that will help you to respect my privacy:

443

15511

You may take either of them as my age.

Now, let's embrace like good friends and never bother each other again with such intrusive questions or innuendos.

God bless.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.: Rick, you know what you can do with your cherry.

Agustin Farinas said...

Alex,
regardless of how I arrived at this blog, or when, the important issue here is : we need to stop bickering and fighting amongst ourselves and concentrate our efforts for the fight on the real enemy: Castro. Everything else is just a needless diversion from the real issue. Let's focus the fight where it belongs. About Cuba and its tragic recent history and how we can bring an end to it. Who cares where Rick works or how old Manuel is? This peanuts compared to the big picture. That was all I was talking about. I don't think I am too far off the mark.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

agustín:

You are very right. I trust that with the information I have just provided to Rick this little game will end here and now and never be played again.

Rick said...

Please, Manuel. Cryptic numbers with no decoder ring? You make me laugh, my worrisome friend.

Of course you want this conversation to end. If I were in your shoes, I would be hoping for the same thing.

To think this is all about just your age. Makes one wonder, doesn't it?

Actually, you are still in control, Manny. Because here's the deal. You can take this opportunity to come clean, tell the truth and put any spin on it that your heart desires. Lie about the reasons, because you do it so well. I don't care. But come forward on your own. Heck, your admission would be buried in the comments section of a post. Hardly anyone would notice.

Or the other choice is to let me reveal the truth. Maybe a poll. Something like, "Guess how old Manny is." Something fun that will be up on the blog for a week after which the answer will be announced. You, of course, would not be allowed to play. I hope you understand, Manny.

It's all up to you. Just to show you my good faith, let me provide you with something else you might find familiar....

The fruit of his 20-year effort is a nicely textured set of verses, a work that is more an interpretation of Marti's essence than a strictly literal translation.

Surely you remember, Manny.

Now tell us your age, compadre.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

I have no need to make any deals with you, nor will I. If these numbers are "cryptic" to you, then you are not as quick as I thought; for I am a lot clearer than you are.

I have no control over what you choose to do. Nor, for that matter, have you any control over what I choose to do. Therefore do what you think is best and I so will I.

I could also run a contest to guess your name or Alex's and publicize it beyond the bounds of my "crummy blog" but it would serve absolutely no purpose since I already know the answers and every day I know more, because you and Alex have injected me with the same curiosity about you that you appear to harbor about me. In fact, today I almost phoned you but relented, not wishing to get closer to you but farther from you.

As Alex has already pointed out on more than one occasion, I am a "leech," that is, I am loathe to act but quick to react. That's where a certain someone made his mistake recently. I hope you will know better, but I doubt it.

Rick said...

What is it that you fear so much, Manny, that you have to make these types of threats to expose me or Alex? I mean, all we're talking about is your age. It's just a number. But yet you're treating it like some state secret.

Why would that be and, like Agustin asked, why would anyone care? Why would you be so afraid of just simply stating your age?

You know why, Manny. And now it's more than clear to those few who read this blog that you are not who you pretend to be.

Maybe it's better that I post the link to the article as part of a Detour of the Day type thing. It's certainly an interesting read and something that helps people get to know you better.

I'll actually be doing you a favor.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

Threats? This is what you and Alex specialize in, not me. Anyone reading this thread will not see anything in it but a failed attempt at blackmail on your part.

I do not see the reason that you must know my age. It is, as you say, an insignificant fact, but clearly an assault on my privacy, much, as for example, if I were endlessly asking personal questions about you.

Your name, which you choose to conceal for a very special reason which we have discussed in the past, is your concern. No one is forcing you to share this hardly insignificant fact with your readers. Neither should you try to compel me to share anything of a personal nature with anybody else.

I have never been able to understand how anyone can emit an opinion and not subscribe to it with his own name. Your "Rick" is no better than or different from anonymity. You, who conceal everything about yourself, want me to reveal everything about myself. Of course, I have already revealed the most essential thing — my name. The very thing that now allows you to harass me with impertinent questions, unconcealed threats and innuendos. But be very clear about this: If a masked man attacks me behind my back, the first thing I will do is unmask him. It would be more important to me to unmask him than even to save my life.

You may have been able to conceal your identity (thus far) because others have accepted your subterfuge and abetted it with their public silence. I would have been content to do the same. But your personal attacks upon me have made it incumbant upon me to inquire your identity, for it is impossible to fight a concealed enemy. And an enemy is what I now believe you to be.

It was not difficult to discover Alex's identity; there are not many degrees of separation between Cubans and we are all notoriously garrulous and very prone to turn secrets into "confidences." It was much harder to learn your identity. I had very few clues to guide me, since you have covered your tracks well. However, persistence will always gain its object, and other bloggers, in their innocence, left here and there enough clues on your blog and theirs to unlock the enigma of Rick.

I am content to leave you and Alex to attack others anonymously; but if you attack me, it will not be anonymously.

So decide, then, where lie your interests and act accordingly.

Rick said...

Manuel: It is true comedy when I am "attacking" you by asking how old you are. The importance you place on this little detail is shown in your extreme response to an inquiry on your age. And it's easy to understand why when you consider that you consistently represent yourself to be in your 80's or 90's.

But I have tired of this playful banter and your refusal to share this information with the rest of your audience.

The fact that you are half the age you claim to be is not in dispute. Liz Balmaseda, then writing for The Miami Herald, "revealed" your age in a column entitled "Jose Marti's 'simple gifts'" back in 1998. It's on the web and available for everyone to see. FIU has graciously saved it in their archives.

You can claim to be 90 all you want. But the facts are the facts and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit here and let you lie to my face.

If I observe you doing it again, I'm not going to ignore it and will continue to make sure that your readers understand that a misrepresentation is being made.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

I have never considered the foregoing as "playful banter." I had always believed that the hostility that you and Alex professed towards me in the past was simply part of a game and one at which we were all pretty good; a game, I may add, played for your benefit. Nothing more. I see now that, from your end at least, there was nothing "playful" about it.

I should like to know who appointed you the master of me, Rick. It's not a rhetorical question. Kindly answer it if you can.

My age is no concern of yours. By providing my real name I have already revealed everything that anyone can ever hope to know about me. Why don't you do the same, Rick? Is there anything you are hiding? Well, it's certainly not your age; that much you acknowledge: 45 (turning 46 in July) and born in 1961. But nothing else.

But is there more to you than your age? Of course there is. And the answer can be found in Hialeah (at least that's where I found it).

Rick said...

Well, it's certainly not your age; that much you acknowledge: 45 (turning 46 in July) and born in 1961. But nothing else.

But is there more to you than your age? Of course there is. And the answer can be found in Hialeah (at least that's where I found it).


Haaaaaa haaaaaaa. El stupido. You can't even get my birthday right, you moron.

Show me what you got, Manny. I dare you. No, I double dare you. You got zip. Nada. Nothing.

You're a fake, but then we've known that for quite sometime.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

And you are so real, Rick.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Another hint: Hialeah and a cousin (of mine) who works for the city.

Rick said...

Manuel: I give you permission to publish any and all information you may have regarding my identity.

Go ahead. Don't waste your breath on playing games. If you have something go ahead and put it out there.

If you don't then just STFU and go back to your masquerade.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

Do you really? And why would I do that? Wouldn't that be like giving the store away, so to speak? And what's up with your friend Alex? Is he on holliday again with his friend Henry? Oh, look, I misspelt "holiday." It only has one "l." I am sure Alex will take me to task for it.

This discussion is now at an end.

Rick said...

Manuel,

Don't ever take up poker 'cause you bluff like shit.

Poser.

.

Alex said...

I thought you had given up a couple weeks ago manuelito, so to my surprise I got an email today (I get those as well, you know) saying that no, you were still at it.

Seriously dude, no poker or domino. It's embarrasing.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

It is not my fault that you don't understand me. I could not have been clearer without being explicit. The problem is that you want me to show you my cards, which I will not do. Unlike you, I keep mine tight to my chest.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

I have tried on numerous occasions to end this charade, but Rick will have none of it. Like you, I claim the right to the last word on my own blog.

Even if your friend thinks I am bluffing, you know better.

So, for the last time, let me say that this little game is at an end and will only resume at your instigation or Rick's.

I have nothing more to say.

Rick said...

Okay, Manny, so since you know so much, tell me the first 2 letters of my last name. Doesn't reveal anything but it shows me that you know my name and I'll give you new respect and shut down this banter right here and now.

Just the first 2 letters of my last name, Manny. Go ahead, poser. Tell us.

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

Why this obsession with seeing what cards I am holding? Is it not enough for you that I already know Alex's name and his position? It is obviously not my privacy or Alex's that you care about. Only yours.

You don't have to do anything. Continue as you are. Everything is as safe with me as it would be in the keep of your best friend. Ask Alex.

Alex said...

Manuelito, like I told you before, many people know who I am and what I do. I certainly give plenty details about myself. I hosted a party at my house for crying out loud.

So if you are hoping to use me to stop Rick from houding you, think again. Quit stalling. You know you don't have shit.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Alex:

So you say that many people know who you are. How remarkable and unprecedented! I suppose that these many people are known as your relatives, friends and acquaintances. Your readers at Stuck on the Palmetto and anywhere else on the Cuban-American blogosphere don't know your name because you have punctiliously concealed it from them. They do know your aliases "Alex" and "gansibele." Obviously, you treasure your anonymity for the uses you make of it and feel no pangs of conscience at all attacking others anonymously. Well, if you are so well-known and your parties covered by the local rags, why don't you tell everybody who you are? I know at least one person in yours and Henry's acquaintance who would be awfully surprised to learn who "gansibele" and "Alex" really are. Right, Alex? Right, Henry?

Would you like to know how I learned your name? I have no problem telling you. I think that it would do you good to know. But not here, of course. Should I e-mail you at the company, or would you prefer to e-mail me? Let me know.

Rick said...

My obsession isn't with the cards you are holding, Manuel, because you hold none. My obsession is to make sure that you stop pretending to be someone you aren't.

You aren't the 90-year-old erudite old man that you represent yourself to be but a guy half that age who uses that other identity to help convince others of his enlightenment.

You refused to tell me your age. You refused to tell me the 1st 2 letters of my last name. And because I know how much of a weak spirit you are, Manuel, the third thing that you're going to do is refuse to let this comment thread die.

Right.

Here.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

"Pretending to be someone I am not?" Are you serious? My name is everywhere here. Yours and Alex's are not. I have never written one word to which I have not subscribed my name. You have never written one word to which you subscribed yours. In the honesty and openness department I have you both beat by a mile.

And now this discussion ends.

Rick said...

BWAAAHHHHHHHH.

You are so predictable, Manuel. You just can't help yourself.

Okay, so we continue.

In the honesty and openness department I have you both beat by a mile.

A mile, of course, representing a middle initial and a last name. Your age and your credentials, well, not so much.

So then tell us your age, Mr. Openness and Honesty. It's just a number, after all, isn't it? No one is following this tired old thread except a couple of us. Your secret would remain here, Manny, don't you worry.

And if you shared with me that number, we could actually say that we had something in common! Wouldn't that be fun, Manny?

.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rick:

Actually, you are wrong. Quite a few people are following this thread. In fact, it has the most page views of any thread on this site (and not just from you and the Bunker Hill boys).

I also have quite a few things in common with you, Rick, and a great deal more in common with Alex. And I am not talking about age. I am in fact older than you by any reckoning. The only thing we could share in common is a birthday. But you were you born in June and I was born in July. Still, we are both Cancers. Oh, that's funny: Cancers both.

"What's in a name?" you asked. Oh, everything. Who knows my name knows everything about me. I cannot reveal more than that. You and Alex, however, conceal everything about your yourselves because you conceal your names.

You have been visiting me here with such regularity that you are making me feel ashamed of having neglected Stuck on the Palmetto for so long. Shall I return, Rick? Am I still "the much loved Manuel A. Tellechea, South of the Palmetto's favorite" (to quote your famous words)?

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