Thursday, April 5, 2007

Drums Are Beating at Babalú

Gods of the Congo,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you.

Vachel Lindsay (1871-1939)

The readership of Babalú appears to have had enough of Val Prieto and Henry Gómez's attempts to limit speech there by enforcing bans on what can be discussed or not, and who can be criticized or not in their domain. These strictures have always been in place at Babalú to one extent or another, but lately Val and Henry have been particularly draconian in their application, although not very consistent. Consistency, however, would not be a virtue either.

Since Val announced last week that no criticism of the Estefans would be brooked on his blog upon penalty of summary expulsion, the unwillingness of his subjects to tolerate his dictates in that respect or any respect has increased proportionally both in degree and frequency. Indeed, when Henry, always a step behind Val in matters draconian, attempted to extend this edict to the Babalú Radio Hour by declaring it "Estefan-Free Radio," the much put-upon denizens of Val's blog revolted under the imposition of yet another yoke on free expression. Towards Henry, at least, they did not show their usual obeisance to the great leader; on the contrary, they were more than a little miffed.

Pototo offered the first dissent:

Would not discussing santanagate cause new developments and the not discussing do just the opposite? Should we not discuss castro and Cuba until new developments arise? Just an honest question.
Posted by: pototo at April 4, 2007 08:13 AM

What pototo means, I think, is that discussing santanagate might bring to light new developments, whereas not discussing it would have the opposite effect of burying it. What he fails to see is that burying it is Val and Henry's object. Pototo then asks a cogent rhetorical question, which bears repeating: "Should we not discuss castro and Cuba until new developments arise?" Indeed, the predations of a tyrant do not require "timeliness" for discussion, because they are forever an open question, which will not be resolved or cease to be topical until justice has been done, and perhaps not even then.

Paxety next joins the discussion with a humorous but pointed barb which references Henry's other great blogging passion, sports:

It means Henry will be discussing the rumors Billy Donovan is leaving Florida to coach Kentucky or the Heat, whether the health problems of Corey Brewer's father will force him to go to the NBA, whether Tito Horford will talk Al into staying for his senior year, and what is the strange relationship between Joakim Noah and his supermodel mother. And maybe a word or two will slip in on how the Marlins are 2-0 for the first time in history. You know, the important stuff.
Posted by: Paxety at April 4, 2007 08:34 AM

Ouch! That's known in sports jargon as a technical.

Pototo comes up with a pretty good rejoinder:

Oh my mistake. So it's [now] the Cuban American Sports Fan Radio Hour. What if we said that the Estefans were buying into a sports franchise?
Posted by: pototo at April 4, 2007 09:09 AM

Even George L. Moneo, Babalú's resident dry wit and the smartest among its contributors, can't help having some good fun at brother Henry's expense:

It's going to be renamed the "Over-Gloating Gators Hour"...
Posted by: George L. Moneo at April 4, 2007 09:51 AM

Henry Gomez now has an important decision to make. Is he going to take all this criticism seriously or brush it off as good-natured ribbing? Henry is thinking. Henry is thinking. Henry is thinking. Alright, he's ready now. The long-awaited "inspiration" has come to him (as Henry confessed recently, he must first be "inspired" before he can write):

Coño como joden.

We have a format to the show:

News Items
Guest (if any)
Musical interlude
Listener Calls

Last week we threw the format out and talked about Santanagate for an entire hour. We took 30 minutes of calls on it.

Now, Val and I always feel that the hour goes by real quick, so to spend more time on this is to me a waste of our precious few minutes. Besides I don't have anything else to say until something changes and I'm pretty sure Val doesn't either. So it would just be so the callers could say something. Of course the callers have every opportunity to say something right here on the blog where it will be permanently stored.

Not only that, I just confirmation on a guest for tonight and don't want to cheat him.

Ahora dejen de joder.
Posted by: Henry "Conductor" Gomez at April 4, 2007 09:54 AM

The Cuban colloquialisms which Henry uses to deflate the situation don't quite do the trick, especially since he reinforces the original restriction: Val and Henry have nothing more to say on estefangate (unity in silence), so nobody else will be allowed to say anything about it on "Estefan-Free Radio." But he does offer the dissenters a bone: they can leave their remarks on the superannuated threads devoted to the Estefans which have now "gone cold" under the threat of censorship and expulsion. No censorship is necessary there anymore. Comment to your heart's desire in the Babalú morgue. Finally, he throws out an enticing hint about the scheduled guest on the Babalu Radio Hour this week. No doubt someone whom they recruited at the last moment and hope will override the commotion about the Estefans.

George Moneo, again, is still having fun with Henry, which is not very difficult to do:

Al Gore? Bill Clinton?
Posted by: George L. Moneo at April 4, 2007 10:08 AM

Pototo then offers a needed lesson in Spanish semantics to Henry:

no es joder es chivar
Posted by: pototo at April 4, 2007 10:14 AM

Robert, another Babalú editor, seeing that Henry is in trouble, comes to his rescue with a timely diversion and love pledge:

Over-Gloating? Gators? Isn't that redundant?

We still love ya Henry!
Posted by: Robert at April 4, 2007 10:19 AM

Well, the writing is on the wall (and in crayon). The next posts are devoted to sports. Henry, thinking he's home safe, even takes up his bullhorn:

What can I say except:

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!
Posted by: Henry "Conductor" Gomez at April 4, 2007 10:36 AM

And even Val makes a cameo, insinuating what a wild and crazy guy Henry is:

Oh man. It's gonna be a long day...
Posted by: Val Prieto at April 4, 2007 10:45 AM

More sports inanities. Even pototo joins in with a crack about some guy named Noah (presumably on the Gator's team), whom he observes "looks like a girl" (i.e. is uncomfortably good-looking for pototo's taste).

And again Henry chimes in:

I said it's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

It's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

it's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

it's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

it's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!

it's great to be a FLORIDA GATOR!
Posted by: Henry "Conductor" Gomez at April 4, 2007 11:03 AM

Val Prieto again follows Henry, this time with homophobic remarks about this guy named Noah wearing green slippers. (The homophobic remarks nicely balance the earlier homoerotic remarks).

After all the shenanigans (and I have spared you most of it), José Aguirre attempts to return the conversation for a minute to its original focus — estefangate and Babalú's "Estefan-Free Radio:

I agree with Pototo that discussion of the E$tefan$' Santana scandal should NOT be curtailed. Our voices could still have an actual positive impact on how the E$tefan$ move forward on this matter.

Oh, and GO GATORS!!!
Posted by: Jose Aguirre at April 4, 2007 11:18 AM

Henry, who has obviously been getting "inspired" even as he was cheerleading, sees the error of his ways and relents. He will no longer continue his efforts to stem the tide of estefangate with "Estefan-Free Radio," as he dubbed it in his post (before deleting that reference when I ridiculed it on the Review of Cuban-Americans blogs). The new conciliatory Henry tells José:

If you call in and want to talk about it, fine I won't have anything to add to the conversation. But if you call in and talk about the campaign to raise the profile of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet I'll have a lot to say.
Posted by: Henry "Conductor" Gomez at April 4, 2007 11:26 AM

Oh yes, Henry's ill-fated campaign to draft the imprisoned Dr. Biscet to run against Fidel Castro in Cuba's next presidential "elections" in 2008, which Biscet's wife had to preempt before Henry got the man killed. Oh yeah, "Go Gators"...

At least Henry can't hurt Noah by proposing him for president.

1 comment:

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Invariably I find that no comments are ever left on posts that expose the foibles of Val and Henry, although these, judging by page views, are the most popular. The explanation is that their "friends" love to see them taken down a peg or two, but are too afraid of breaking ranks with them to express their own opinions. Such a situation bespeaks more than it says.