I can always tell how stupid he is capable of being, but never how degenerate. There Val Prieto will never cease to surpass my expectations, and, I suspect, those of his closest associates. It is this capacity to surprise, shock and offend which is his chief attraction at Babalú. When and how Val will next degrade his fellow Cuban-Americans and himself gives a certain tension to his blog. It's like the play that starts with a character planting a bomb under the sofa before the other characters enter. No matter how horrible the play, theatergoers will stay glued to their seats until the bomb goes off. So is it with Babalú.
Now we know that nothing is beneath Val; for he has chosen as the target of his black humor none other than the abused 4-year old girl whose birth father wants to compound her already considerable suffering by returning her to Cuba as another human exhibit for Fidel's trophy case.
Val has made the girl's fate the subject of a poll; but no ordinary poll, but one infused with all the sophomoric ridicule of which he is capable, and he can plump those depths farther than most, well, sophomores.
Val starts by confessing that the little girl's fate doesn't matter to him. He calls this "honesty." I suppose it is. Or, at least as honest as the opinion of candid Germans about the fate of the Jews. No skin off their backs, so to speak.
Val writes that he has avoided discussing the case because he "ha[sn't] wanted to fall into the whole Elián argument once again." This is rather odd since he confessed 2 weeks ago on the Babalú [Faux] Radio Hour that he had never written a single word on behalf of Elián. How can he "fall into the whole Elián argument once again" if he never "fell" for it the first time? I don't know if Val actually argued for Elián's return to Cuba, as his friend and partner Henry Gómez did at the time. But isn't silence in the face of injustice also acquiescense? At least Martí thought so. But what does Val know about Martí? Or, more to the point, what does he know about Cuba period? What he learned in books? Well, that would be the day ...
Val has encapsulated his disdain for Elenita's plight, and, indeed, for that of all newcomers from Cuba — who should have stayed on the island and added their body temperatures to Val's proverbial pressure cooker — in a blog poll which should offend all Cubans who are not as denatured as he is.
Phrased in the worst terms of minstrelry, half-Ricky Ricardo and half Steppin Fetchit, Val asks: "Should the girl be returned to Cuba?" and provides the following possible answers:
º No. The father ees no telling de truth.
º Yes. De girl beelongs wid de father.
º Ches. And send Magda and Ira back wid her.
º If the father wants her, send her back. Alla el.
Four possible answers to this poll, and three involve sending the little girl back to Cuba. Why isn't this surprising?
I am curious to know what Ziva and George Moneo will have to say about this poll. Both are on record as opposing the return of the little girl to Cuba and both also opposed the return of Elián. George got into a somewhat heated argument on the Babalú [Faux] Radio Hour with both Val and Henry over their blasé attitude towards the fate of both children. As Val says, "There are much more pressing issues for us to focus on." Such as, when is Val going to launch his next "Fidel is Dead" hoax?
Val's poll seems to have backfired on him. His readers don't find his joke funny. More than two-thirds (67%) have voted against sending the little girl back to Cuba. On this issue, at least, the Babalunians are resoundingly anti-Val.
Babalú has taken down the insulting poll.
Babalú has restored the offensive poll. To see the results of the poll (posted; suppressed and restored):