Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Babaloo's Waterloos: The Mark of "Cain"

Babalú has published 6 or 7 posts within a 24-hour period about Cane, the fictional saga of a multinational family masquerading as Cuban sugar barons in Florida. Val Prieto is responsible for most of the posts. It's obvious that Val is a frustrated tv critic (it would be too horrible to think that he is a frustrated actor). In fact, he shows more than a little aptitude as a reviewer and should consider marshalling his talents in that direction. He does much better writing about fictional Cuban characters than real ones. Well, they always say to write about what you know.

While Val does not like Cane (not Cuban enough for his taste), Henry is more than satisfied with its entertainment value. Somehow we knew that the less Cuban Cane was the more Henry would like it, although we are surprised that Henry's idea of "assimilation" is becoming Mexican or Puerto Rican. Well, if it conduces to annexation, Henry can have no objection to it. But let me not suggest that Val is the greater Cuban patriot; for he is as committed to having the Star-Spangled-Banner supplant our estrella solitaria on the flagstaff at Morro Castle. It's just that Val still cares about appearances; he is, as you all know, a very important man whose unfounded rumors the White House values enough to deny. Henry is not as self-important as his senior partner, though he compensates for that trace of deference (which becomes less each passing day) by his unshakable conviction that he is infallible. This is a common conceit among heartless people like Henry which allows them to live more or less at peace with themselves no matter how contemptibly they act (and scapegoating a 4-year-old girl is really the ultima thule of contemptuousness).

The great controversy on the merits of Cane threatens to tear apart the already very disfunctional Babalú family and is itself a real-life imitation of the tv show's storyline (that is, un-life imitates un-art). As I have not seen the show (and will never see it), I cannot write the allegory that my readers expect. They will have to make those connections for themselves if they deign to watch it themselves. For me, Babalú is soap opera enough.


Vana said...

LOL Manuel, Babalu is soap opera enough, I watched the first episode of Cane because I was curious of how they would portray us, it's just another Dallas with non Cubans playing Cubans, my husband called it the Cuban I doubt I will watch it again, since I seldom watch commercial tv.

Anonymous said...

"An unshakable conviction that he is infallible. This is a common conceit among heartless people."

If the zapatico fits...

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Yes, I know the zapatico de rosa fits you well.