Sunday, April 15, 2007

Babaloo's Waterloos: Raiding the "Enemy's" Camp (A Continuing Series)


Dear Readers:

I know from your e-mails that many of you want badly to comment here but are afraid of incurring Val Prieto's wrath and the penalty of expulsion from Babalú, where you have made friends and forged a blog identity. Do not fear. Unlike Val I will never demand submission from you as the price of admission. I extend to each and every one of you an invitation to make this your blog home. You are welcome to change your moniker when you comment here, and in fact I would encourage it. I think you will find that liberating in many ways; and I am sure that, eventually, after becoming acclimated to the independence that you will be accorded here from day one, you will have little patience with the strictures which Val imposes on free speech at Babalú and will make your permanent home here among fellow independent spirits.



POSTSCRIPT (in response to Killcastro and Charlie Bravo):

There are two kinds of censorship. The least complex is that which others attempt to exert over us; but the most corrosive is that which we exert over ourselves. Self-censorship is usually preemptive: the person who censors himself does so to avoid being censored by others. He acts from the same motivation as the condemned man who commits suicide just before he is to hang in the morning. He spares the hangman the trouble of stringing him, which in turn spares his dignity and shows a certain noblesse oblige at a time when the quiddities of etiquette might well be dispensed with.

It is these people that must be emboldened, because, in truth, they do not depend on Val or any other blogmaster, but Val most assuredly depends on them. Once they can grasp and embrace this concept they will feel empowered to exert their independence.

This is the reason that I make it a point to tell every habitué of Babalú that they have other options; that it really isn't babalú or nothing else. On the contrary, it can be babalú and anything else they please. Or even killcastro or RCAB or anything at all and not babalú.

It is better, as I have said, for them not to migrate with their original monikers. Let them assume a new identity so that they will be free of all mental fetters associated with the old. Then they will be able to think with a wide scope and will doubtless become habituated to so thinking.

I have analyzed carefully on an individual basis the profiles of all visitors to this blog and have determined that they consist primarily of Val Prieto & Company, along with 60 percent of their usual "commenters." The number may actually be higher because I am working with fragmentary data.

Of course, this is hardly a revelation, because who else would as interested in a critique of babalú as those who already share a curiosity — and may even flatter themselves that they also share a stake — in the future of babalú. (Now, there's a vain conceit!)

The sad thing is that there are many people stranded on that island without a bearded dictator who would like to range to other domains and see what life may hold there; but they are constrained from doing so by the fear that they will be banished from their usual haunts because of it. This is not an irrational fear given Val's erratic behavior which is triggered by the least suspicion that someone might actually have a brain of his own and require neither his directions nor his guidance.

So, yes, look to your e-mails as the truest indication of your progress: these are the caterpillars which may someday become butterflies. And butterflies, as we all know, are so much more beautiful than caterpillers.

10 comments:

killcastro said...

This is kindda interesting.
Most of the comments WE get at KillCastro come in the form of EMAILS. ESPECIALLY from people who live in Miami. I never even thought it was for fear of reprisals from another blogmaster. (Silly me) I always thought that we just happen to be less than democratic in our way of handling the blog (I guess that admitting THAT would get us some demerits OFF our report card) and that our way of arguing typically ends with a GO FUCK YOURSELF, mainly when the reply to the post goes something like

“You two are such douchebags, no wonder a lot of people don’t like you”
(I SWEAR THAT was a comment left in our blog by ANOTHER blogmaster!)

Now what do you say to THAT?
I mean, you can hardly quote Keats or Dickens at THAT kind of sub-human mental intellect!

Charlie Bravo said...

Oh boy, now you got me thinking about that.... I am always telling people, don't fill up my e-mail box, we have a comment thread! But no, the e-mails keep on coming. I still don't believe that people will accept coercion, and as KillCastro I thought that it was our fault for just telling people to fuck off at some point. We are kind of rough around the edges sometimes, but.... maybe you're right. May it be possible that an embargo has been decreed on KillCastro, The Black Sheep, and the Review?
Still, I don't believe that someone can just issue a fatwa and people will just abide by it without at least revolting a bit.
If I am mistaken we are in trouble, because that's precisely the same they do in Cuba. They pressure and coerce people into doing things, but I know that in this case I am mistaken. Or I want to be mistaken....
So let's say that there's an embargo, I would have to agree with the travel restrictions though, we don't have space here for sleep overs!
Yeah, KillCastro, that comment was kind of funny. Especially because we don't go to other people's blogs to do the "red pencil thing" on them. And much less to tell them what to do and what we think they are. If we are such douchebags than a lot of people don't like us so be it. This is not a popularity contest. And as long as the gals like us, that fine!
Now I really feel bad, for the people who accept pressure and for the people who exert pressure.
Ok, keep on coming reading us, we don't really need the comments, we know what we know, and we put the knowledge out for all who want to read.... we don't eat comments, so don't worry.....

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

killcastro and charlie:

There are two kinds of censorship. The least complex is that which others attempt to exert over us; but the most corrosive is that which we exert over ourselves. Self-censorship is usually preemptive: the person who censors himself does so to avoid being censored by others. He acts from the same motivation as the condemned man who commits suicide just before he is to hang in the morning. He spares the hangman the trouble of stringing him, which in turn spares his dignity and shows a certain noblesse oblige at a time when the quiddities of etiquette might well be dispensed with.

It is these people that must be emboldened, because, in truth, they do not depend on Val or any other blogmaster, but Val most assuredly depends on them. Once they can grasp and embrace this concept they will feel empowered to exert their independence.

This is the reason that I make it a point to tell every habitué of Babalú that they have other options; that it really isn't babalú or nothing else. On the contrary, it can be babalú and anything else they please. Or even killcastro or RCAB or anything at all and not babalú.

It is better, as I have said, for them not to migrate with their original monikers. Let them assume a new identity so that they will be free of all mental fetters associated with the old. Then they will be able to think with a wide scope and will doubtless become habituated to so thinking.

I have analyzed carefully and on an individual basis the profiles of all visitors to this blog and have determined that they consist primarily of Val Prieto & company, along with 60 percent of their usual "commenters." The number may actually be higher because I am working with fragmentary data.

Of course, this is hardly a revelation, because who else would as interested in a critique of babalú as those who already share a curiosity — and may even flatter themselves that they also share a stake — in the future of babalú. (Now, there's a vain conceit!)

The sad thing is that there are many people stranded on that island without a bearded dictator who would like to range to other domains and see what life may hold there; but they are constrained from doing so by the fear that they will be banished from their usual haunts because of it. This is not an irrational fear given Val's erratic behavior which is triggered by the least suspicion that someone might actually have a brain of his own and require neither his directions nor his guidance.

So, yes, look to your e-mails as the truest indication of your progress: these are the caterpillars which may someday become butterflies. And butterflies, as we all know, are so much more beautiful than caterpillers.

Vana said...

I have e mailed killcastro in the past, I have always been afraid of posting in blogs at the risk of sounding stupid, but I tell ya, the first blog I read every morning is killcastro, they seem to know more about what's happening in Cuba, I read about your blog there, and am happy they link to you, cause after i'm done reading theirs I come straight here, I love it! keep it up Manuel

Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks Vana, for reading us. And don't be afraid of commenting!

Agustin Farinas said...

Manuel:
I browse all anti-castro blogs every morning because I am retired and luckily I have the time. I am far removed from the Miami area and the US so I browse them to read comments and news of interest to me regarding Cuba.
I visit yours regularly (actually daily) because I like the clarity and the language you use. You are sometimes mordant, a straight shooter and in my opinion "tell it like it is". I post very little only when the desire to do so comes over me. I am not afraid of posting anywhere and if reading your blog or posting here gets me banned from any other blog, so be it. No one tells me what to read or what to say. I thought it was wrong for Babalu to ban you from its blog, but hey, look at it positively now you have your own blog and are not restrained from saying anything you want and I see you do just that. I read Charlie B. and KC everyday also and always found them interesting and I really don't think they deserve the term "douchebags" . I find them intelligent and in my humble opinion they use the English language very well considering they have not been all their life in the USA. One only needs to be true to oneself. If others accept you, fine. If not, well then that is their problem not yours.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

I thank you for your kind words, but, more importantly, commend your refusal to run with the pack. If, after all these years of turmuil and sacrifice, having reached an age when one has, at last, the luxury of having one's time be entirely one's own, it should not be necessary for you or anyone to renounce your right to free expression in order to opine in any venue, much less one that narrows or cuts off discussion on certain subjects deemed unacceptable by the blogmaster upon penalty of expulsion. Not unless one is nostalgic for other times and other masters should one voluntarily accept such strictures upon free speech here or anywhere.

Killcastro and Charlie Bravo are a perpetual joy: the spontaneity of their writings, which can only be the product of a deep and comprehensive knowledge of all facets of the discussion, contrasts starkly with the tentative steps, vacillations and the desire to conform to the values of this society — so often at odds with our own values — which mars many Cuban-American blogs. I suspect that it is the same with you as with me: the more the accent falls on "American" rather than "Cuban" the less interesting the blog is. And when a Cuban-American blog is written with a view to impressing or assuaging the Anglos, with frequent genuflections to their prejudices, then nothing interests me there but the extent of the shamelessness, and even that affords me no pleasure.

Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks both of you, Agustin and Manuel for your words of commendation. Manuel knows that I grew up bilingual -in Cuba- even though such a thing is kind of unfathomable to many, that's why my English is somehow understandable! (my accent is another story altogheter!!!!)
I am humbled by knowing that people like Agustin takes time everyday to read my rantings, and also humbled to get the e-mails we get, some of them from readers who scath us really well, and believe me, we sometimes deserve it.
As per the Cuban American thing. I decided today to take the hyphen out of it, in a comment to a very passionate penned (keyed?) by KillCastro. I think that one becomes a Cuban American once one plants one's dry feet on these shores, no hyphens attached, because to me the hyphen doesn't unite, the hyphen puts a fixed distance between the two words and two worlds. In our case, we go from our American lives to our Cuban lives in such ways that the two lives become one.... And yes, we are as proudly Cuban as we are proudly American. After this disgression, I have to thank y'all again for your infinite patiente to go trough my early morning writings. And that's the reason I have to write so early in the morning, that free men and women are looking forward to read yet another rant by Charlie Bravo.
I am taking a particular interest in showing more of the live in Cuba, and of my experiences over there, in the Black Sheep of Exile, which is an extension of KillCastro.... thanks again!

killcastro said...

Oh gees – this is me shuffling my feet and going .. oh chucks.!
It is so utterly fulfilling to hear that THAT which we feel is important to CubanAmericans finds an audience that not only GET it , but that agree with it.
That was the whole reason behind KillCastro . From day ONE we have maintained the same positions NO SACRED COWS! And that will be the ethos of our writing until iur last post . We KNEW it was not gonna be easy , BUT although I have lived the majority of my life here in the states and I DO LOVE this country and I would giv e my life for this country , still man , my absolute and total dedication is towards Cuba. Perhaps because I have always rooted for the underdog. Perhaps because after living a life of utter ignorant bliss about Cuba I was able to see it with my own eyes and I was ASHAMED! ASHAMED of anyone who’s primary motive or agenda is to see KaSStro dead and in all reality do not give two fucks about the Cubans who live in the island.
As I have said in the past KillCastro is a dual sword . One of the edges is hidden ( sometimes even to ME ) and that edge is fully controlled by people IN Cuba MI TURBA as I call them . That is why we know more about what is happening IN Cuba , because we don’t wait to read it on the USA MSM we get IMs , emails text messages etc as it happens.
Our readers in Cuba like it and they are VERY vocal as to the disdain they feel for some other blogs , those which tilt towards the AMERICAN side of CubanAmerican .
It was always my ambition that when the day comes and we have a free country, I will step on that free soil with my head held high and at least a couple of hundred Cubans ( that is IT just PLAIN Cubans ) will see me as ONE OF THEM , one who never sold out to special interests , exile deities , hyphenated politicians or moronic regulations by the USA government . I will FIT IN, I will be embraced as one who NEVER defrauded them or calle them a nation of “Salsa, ron and whores”
I will still be an American because that is the passport I carry and I owe my LIFE to this country but deep down in my heart there’s TIERRA COLORA’ and mamoncillo trees , there’s a sunset at LA Puntilla and a dawn on top of El Pico Turquino. Those are MY values, those are CB’s values and we are DAMN proud we NEVER yielded to the path of least resistance .
To all of you who vist us THANK YOU , and please Comment .. I am really not the lunatic I seem to be :)

CorgiGuy said...

MAT

I just found your blog, and i want to wish you luck with it. You may remember me from STOP, your firned from the wine country on the LEFT Coast.

Though we are symmetrically opposed in our views, i always enjoyed the exchange with you. I hope you welcome opposing points of view and welcome civil exchanges.

Good Luck my friend!