Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Babalú Radio Hour: A Review

Henry: I think that one of the things about this whole thing that tell us that we are doing well is how many enemies we make.

George: I think events of the last week bear that out and I think it's very flattering.

Henry: Not just people that might be, you know...

George interrupts with canned recording: "DON'T GET STUCK ON STUPID."

Henry: ... not just them but other people, too, when they start doing blogs writing about you, and they start analyzing everything you write that must mean that we are getting up there.

George: Well, some people... Those who can do, and those who can't decide to create review blogs.

Henry: Yeah, correct, correct. That's the way it is.

The Babalú Radio Hour #14, June 8, 2007

Transcribing this was hell, I will not deny it, and yet it is likely to be all that remains for posterity of this hideous exercise in so-called "blog radio," which, more accurately, should be called an extended party line, for it is not likely to reach many more listeners than the old party lines did, despite Henry's frenzied avowals earlier about The Babalú Radio Hour's increasing audience. From 17 to 23 is an increase but it won't ever chart on Albitron.

So why bother to even answer the little miscreants' attack on us on their make-believe radio show? Well, for one thing, I never leave any attack unanswered, and, for another, attacks like this do not diminish us but only serve to illustrate the stupidity of those whom it has been our unfortunate duty to expose as mountebanks time and time again.

If ever any man was unfit for radio, even blog radio, it is Henry Gómez. Henry is a much better writer than he is a speaker, and as a speaker he could not be worse. George Moneo did not exaggerate when he called this exercise "an hour of our ranting." He meant, of course, Henry's ranting, but I do not think that anyone, even Henry, could have failed to make the right attribution. Every week it's the same: Val & Henry sitting before a mirror, unbosoming themselves of all their puerilities and undigested facts, in a self-indulgent and -congratulatory haze, providing to each privileged listener in their most select audience a higher quotient of insecurity and hubris than even Larry King does, whose shtick has to be spread rather thin to cover his millions of lobotomized listeners.

In this 14th edition of The Babalú Radio Hour, George Moneo substituted for Val, which is always an interesting diversion. Moneo has presence and command of himself, which neither Val nor Henry do, but he sets his intellectual clock in sinc with his confreres', pleasing them rather than his listeners being his object. George is the smart kid who knows that he has to play the dolt in order to fit in with the other boys and having played the part so long it has become internalized, so that he has in effect become what he wanted to be. In any case, whoever Henry is partnered with on the broadcast, it is always better than listening to him solo (does anyone remember the catastrophic "Cuban-American Pundits' Hour" which preceeded The Babalú Radio Hour?)

George, in particular, exercises a powerful restraint on Henry, literally shocking him from time to time with the blog radio equivalent of a cattle prod. Does wonders for Henry's equilibrium and jump starts him when he gets stuck on a word (which is often). The "cattle prod" is a recording that blurts out a cocky "DON'T GET STUCK ON STUPID" at appropriate intervals (which could be every interval). It would be refreshing to be able to note that Henry himself had invented this device to quicken his prodding intellect. A man who knows his limitations is half way there to conquering them (and will probably stay halfway there forever).

I am glad that Henry feels self-important because of my criticism of Babalú. It really is the best spirit in which he could take it, that is, the least personally abrasive. Supposedly the fact that I point out all his foibles empowerers him, and it is my sincere hope that it might. So long as he profits from my advice I don't care a fig if he preens himself upon being the recipient of it. He is indeed fortunate so to be. Let him extract all the validation that he can from it.

Flattered that I take cognizance of him, Henry is loathe to mention me by name, or even in such narrow details as would indicate who I was without naming me. George feels no such compulsion, as he is infinitely more full of himself than is Henry. He cuts in on Henry's ecstasy about "other blogs writing about [him], analyzing everything [he] writes" — which to Henry indicates that [he] is "getting up there" in the world — with a remark that does George no credit, and, I believe, is meant more to take down Henry than me: "Those who can do, and those who can't decide to create review blogs." This from a man who delivers himself of a brief post every two or three weeks which usually has nothing at all to do with Cuba. Yes, George, those who can do, and those who can't should really try learning Spanish. If Henry can speak it (even atrociously) why can't you? It is not necessary to speak Spanish to feel Cuban, but you definitely do lose something. Aren't there some Berlitz records in your monumental collection?

There are some good writers at Babalú and even some good thinkers, especially now that the rolls have been opened. Hopefully they will have the good sense at some point to ask Antonio Rafael de la Cova, a great writer, thinker, historian and proven patriot, to become a collaborator. I don't think that I ever did a greater service to Babalú, not even by creating this blog, than when I forwarded Tony's e-mail address to Val years ago and asked him to get in contact with him. (I had hoped then that Val would pick up history by osmosis since he refuses to read books).


!Ya No Mas! said...

I mean, come on manuel, The Babalu Radio show..Hahahaha don't make me laugh Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite ,Hmmm "NOT" more like Pinky and the Brain..Henry does nothing, but Blah-blah, blah-blah, blah-blah, blah.Ever listen to someone who, long after you’ve spaced out, continued to blab on?that's Henry,he is very self-absorbed and interpersonally clueless.
and sidekick Benny Blowhard , after few beers he can't speak English, he can't be understood.They're not funny.You listen to the show,after 60 minutes of ranting and bragging."Go away. Really. It's time."get some fucking dignity.A rule of thumb. If, in any conversation, you're speaking more than 60% of the time, you're talking too much. If you care about other people, you'll make them part of the conversation. And if you tend to care more about yourself, know that you'll get further if you trade in your jibber-jabber self for someone who truly listens. Think of it this way: Big talkers learn little. Good listeners learn a lot.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

¡Ya No Más!:

What you say is on target in every particular. They have no manners. Self-indulgent people rarely do. And they are trying to recreate Martin & Lewis. Of course, anyone can becomec Dean Martin with a few beers, but Henry's imitation of Lewis is a thing of wonder for it is second nature to him. The adolescent timbre of his voice is a dead ringer for Lewis' as is the fact that he seems to get everything wrong on the show. Has any host ever lost more callers because he touched the wrong botton? Has any host taken more missteps than him, missing every cue, repeating announcements, confusing recordings? He is a complete mess, and, unlike Val, doesn't have the excuse of inebriation.

Vana said...

LMAO..Martin and Lewis, they wish they were that good,I'm gonna have to take the time and really listen to one of their shows, I can never stand to listen for more than 10 minutes, they are terrible, and as you guys say, so full of themselves, well it's just unbelievable, and no excuse of inebriation like Val, oh my God Manuel that's right down funny, as I have said before, you entertrain us very much Manuel..LOL...

Fantomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I suppose you mean thrashing, not trashing.

I'm afraid that I could never practice self-censorship; moreover, if I appeared on your show you would be ceremoniously booted from BUCL and Henry would retract the precious words he dedicated to you. The only thing you wouldn't get back is your $100.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Your words of encouragement are like gold to me.

!Ya No Mas! said...

I’ve never understood the fascination with Valrus. He knows nothing, has no education, and has nothing to offer but his vicious opinions. In any situation where he is present, he seeks to comandeer and control. He’s like a wacko Mussolini.Everyone is to submit to his rantings, but he refuses to give latitude for others’ expressions. just like a dictator.Hail, Val praise the lord, and hallelujah!!! He is a complete joke .He is a bully and a punk, at the very least.

Fantomas said...

Oye Tallachea PLEASE do not start with the spelling bee contest.. I really dont have the time or the desire to spell correctly in any of my comments. Just keep in mind my engleish is second class way way behind de mi español.

The other Tallachea that you just found is a doctor , a socialist and he is not in Spain . do your homework man. He is in the East coast.

You have not answer me .. Are you on for the radio show? I am certain , I wont have any problem with BUCl at all..

Mark my words

Fantomas is a free agent, a mercenary of the news, Fantomas has no boss, Fantomas will always be a freelancer... entendido?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


It was not a spelling bee. "Thrashing" and "trashing" are two different things. Trashing means to give a beating to an animate subject and trashing means to give a beating to an inanimate object.

E.G.: I could trash your office, but I couldn't trash you.

I could thrash you, but I couldn't thrash your office.

(Of course, you will say that I could do neither).

My spelling corrections, rest assured, are reserved for simpler souls than you (can you guess whom that might be?)

Which of the three blogs which I recommended do you say is not Spanish? All these blogs originate in Spain and are connected to Spanish newspapers (El País) or Spanish news services.

I don't give a fig if the guy is a socialist as long as he is also anti-Castro, which he is. That is the point, incidentally, that got me booted from Babalú, when I agreed with another commenter that "socialist" does not necessarily mean pro-Castro. Val's mind cannot make such distinctions; it thinks in ruts.

I am sure Val & Henry would let you do anything, even have me as a guest on your real radio show, so long as you didn't ask for your 100 bucks back.

As for appearing on your radio show, send me the URL for your program and I will listen to it, but bear in mind that I disdain publicity as much as others seek it.

Your invitation could also be an ambush. All of you BUCLERS could descend on me with your stone implements as if I were Hernán Cortés and you were avenging the Siboneys.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Of course, J.A. Tellechea is a Spaniard. Look at his vita curriculum:

Doctor en Medicina y Cirugía, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Especialista en Adultos, Piquiatría Legal y Forénsica y Trastornos Sexuales. Autor de artículos de especialidad. Una colección de cuentos no publicados, cuyo tema central es el desarraigo: "Ofelia", "Barcelona," "Je me souvien", y la novela corta "Periplo" con el tema central de la Guerra Civil en España y su diáspora.

Fantomas said...

Manuel se ve que eres un rookie en esto de los blogs en español ... tienes que aprender mucho antesde abrir la boca o coger la pluma ..

Estancia es un blog que se origina en Miami , si fueras lector de Estancia supieras porque estan en el periodico español... no te lo voy a decir para que hagas your homework

te dare un hint el administrador es Camilo Lopez.

el señor Jose Antonio Tallachea es cubano ..Salio de cuba en el 1962 y si estuvo en España pero ahora reside en los EEUU...

Dime cuando hacemos el radio ? No BUCL interference allowed.. I promise
Iam ready

tambien te quiero recomendar dos blogs muy buenos yo comento alli a diario

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I didn't say that Estancia was a new blog; I simply said that it was new to me. Apparently, it is new also to everybody here except you. It does not appear, I believe, on any Miami blogroll. If a blog is published in Spain, by a Spanish newspaper or Spanish news service, I consider it a Spanish blog even if the writer resides in Kalamazoo.

Before I consider appearing on your radio show, I actually have to listen to it first. Please provide details.

You are permitted to be cryptic about other people but not about yourself.

Fantomas said...

Manuel keep doing your homework about Estancia ..Go the Estancia Archives para que te enteres cuando el periodico español los invito a que el blog residiera ahi. Yo conozco a Estancia desde el primer dia que se inicio y se de lo que estoy hablando. Solo te doy estos detalles para que analizes como dices las cosas antes de que hablar. Nada personal my friend.. Just do your research well. I am not asking you for much

Dont pay too much attention to the blogrolls , they tend to confuse people

Fantomas said...

Conoce a Camilo Lopez

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Get to the point: has López ever written anything that you think I would not sign my name to?

And where do you disagree with him?

López supports Posada Carriles, for goodness' sake. How more orthodox can he be?

Fantomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manuel A.Tellechea said...


You have repeatedly suggested here that there is something objectionable about López. I think that a man who openly supports Posada as he does must be on the right side of the Cuba question.

Stick around. I will shortly have news that will interest you in particular.

Fantomas said...

You have repeatedly suggested here that there is something objectionable about López.

En ningun moemento he emitido ninguna opinion del señor lopez.. Solo te dije que el administra el blog de miami de estancia ...Manuel no inventes cosas que yo no he dicho..

Ademas no me has contestado mi respuesta a tu primer post de la bandera ypuerto rico. Estoy esperandolo..

Espero poder seguir commenting here. I would not like to have to open a new blog thatcould be called Review of the Review of Cuban American Blogs

just out of curiosity..How old are you Manuel?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Nothing would please me more than if you did start such a Review. Perhaps I would even then start a Review of Reviews of Reviews.

I have already posted your answer about the flag.

Fantomas said...

I need to get back to work

te cojo por la noche

Agustin Farinas said...

thank God neither one of you is here in Argentina. Fantomas choice of words in his last comment will make any man wonder about his sex preferences:
"I need to get back to work,
te cojo por la noche "
Those words will make any man here in Argentina cringe and be scared to death of Fantomas! LOL
Funny thing about the Spanish language you were both discussing on this last post. A perfectly correct word for any Spanish speaking person to use, would be misconstrued as an insult of major proportions here in this part of the world.
I always refrain from using it in the presence of our Argentine friends, specially women.
By the way, chill out Fantomas, it was only a joke and an observation. Don't go postal on me!

Fantomas said...

"te cojo por la noche"

I am not Argentinian...

Eso fue una frase sin malicia ...

lo que quise decir fue..

Te veo en la noche...o hablamos luego ... or later... algo asi

nada malo

tranquilitos todos , veo mucha exitacion en este blog... Todos tomense un calmante como le dijo el compañero chavez a la gente de Globovision

Vana said...

I know full well what you mean, about how the Argetinians use the word cojer, I use to work with a few Argentinians, but I as a Cuban continued to talk my way, I would tell them I'm Cuban and I say cojer, instead of agarrar, which is what they use, they always got a kick out of hearing me say of course you live among them, and that as they say is another story.

Agustin Farinas said...

Enrique era solo una broma. Para disipar la tension. No lo tomes tan en serio. Pero me hiciste reir cuando lo lei. Esto de Review de los Reviews de Cuaban American Blogs tambien me hace reir. Aqui todos somos tranquilitos pues ya hemos pasado por muchas experiencias.

Fantomas said...

Me lo imagino, me lo imagino

Fantomas said...

Where is everybody?

Daniel @ Garanhuns Blog said...

I know you love to correct errors, so this :

Henry: Yeah, correct, correct. That's the way it is.

is wrong. It is George, not Henry who says "That's the way it is."

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I hardly know how I am to react to this. You actually listened to the broadcast to verify that my transcription was 100% accurate? You know what, I'll take your word for it because no power on earth is going to make me listen to it again.

By the way, what's this about me "liking to correct other people's errors?" Does the fact that I correct them make them any less errors? And shouldn't errors be corrected? Do you prefer that we inhabit a world of deceptions?

I'm glad, however, that you finally did make a comment after two months of visiting this site daily for hours on end, even if the comment is not — shall we say? — one of your Valasusian ones.

Daniel @ Garanhuns Blog said...

What happened was I was reading your review as I was listening to the podcast. I had tried to download the programs through iTunes previously, but was not able to, due to some problem with iTunes and IP's from countries where Apple has not "made deals" to allow for downloading (I live in Brasil). For some reason, they started to download today. I started with the most recent episode. As soon as they mentioned "blogs that review blogs" I thought "Hey I wanna see what Tellechea said to set Henry off". So I just played the segment in question back. It's not so much that I spend hours on end here, but I leave browsers open all the time. I use Firefox so I open tabs and just go back to them when I get a chance. I tried to go back through your archives and I think I've read through all if not most of your posts. I never knew Babalu and the KillCastro blog had bad blood, for lack of a better word. And as far as you and them/ him, last thing I remember was you asking Val to post about the "girl"/ similarities to Elian, then the Estefan thing came up and next thing I know he has the "I'm a cocksucker don't you know" post, which I actually read before he took it down. I never had anything against you, even if I didn't always agree 100% with your posts/ views. I just think you have better things to worry/ post about than what Val or anyone else blogs (or doesn't blog) about. I always found your posts/ comments to be eloquent, well thought out, and presented. A bit long winded at times, which is not a bad thing, I don't mean that in a bad way, just "a bit wordy". My comment on "errors" was just a "look, don't nitpick on grammar and small errors" because everyone makes them. Yes, you are correct, we should all strive for excellence, but no one, except for God, is perfect. In the comments here you and Fantomas seem to be in a tit for tat find the errors game. And if Val or make a mistake, you are the first to bring it to everyone's attention. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and the impression I have gotten from reading your critique of Cuban American blogs is that you are the first to bring errors to everyones attention. They are simple to spot when others do them, but when one themself makes them they are often overlooked. BTW I am sure that last sentence is grammatically incorrect, but I hope you understood what I am saying.
Another BTW: What's up with the comments section here? The word verification asks me to repeat like 3 or 4 times, and I know I am typing in the letters that appear? I know it's not "you" it is Blogger code, but man is it frustrating!! Am I the only one who has to enter and re-enter or have others mentioned this as well?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


As I suspected, you don't have the whole story. Let me enlighten you: Val booted me from Babalú because he claimed I had violated his ultimatum against criticism of the Estefans. Of course I would never have abided by such an ultimatum since I did not come to this country to have my speech restricted whether by the wisest man or a babbling idiot (you decide which Val is). As it happens, however, Val made a "boo boo," to quote Henry, because he had issued his ultimatum against criticism of the Estefans after I had already left my comment, not before. Within 20 minutes Val had reinstated me, but by then, of course, it was too late.

Within a day from being booted from Babalú I had set up my own blog and my first post was the now classic "Biggest Cocksucking in Cuban-American Blog History," which I believe everyone who has ever heard the name Val Prieto is well-acquainted with and still laughing over.

Val committed another error by answering me, or attempting to, in the longest post he ever wrote for Babalú. But, apparently, since the thing was chuck-full of actionable statements, and was, moreover, a monumental embarrassment to himself personally and to Babalú, he took the post down within 3 hours. The "Biggest Cocksucking" post, however, remains on this blog as the artículo príncipe."

Perhaps he is not getting now what he bargained for, but he is certainly getting what he deserves, and his trigger finger is not as itchy as it used to be

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S. Yes, word verification is terrible on blogger. The same thing happens to me when I comment at Killcastro. Word verification is a nuissance, but an unavoidable one. Without it the comments thread would fill up with spam and that's something nobody wants.

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