Blogging: a Complicated Trade

Erasmo Calzadilla
Erasmo Calzadilla

Recently I went back to read a few of my posts on this website, which brought me to ponder this delicate occupation that I accepted without even seriously considering the consequences.

First of all I want to thank all those who have bothered to comment on my work. With gratitude I receive any news from “the outside”, especially for the reason I am going to discuss below.

It turns out that neither I, nor apparently many of the others who write for this site, have access to the internet or email from our homes or jobs, and that means that we don’t really know who we are writing for, what interests or motivates them, which words would be most certain to insure better communication, etc. and this is a bit worrisome.

I compare it to the difficulties encountered by a blind and deaf person who nevertheless strives to communicate: this person doesn’t know how his words sound or the effect they have on the recipient, he is not even sure he is communicating or if what is coming out of his mouth is pure noise.

It’s true that our editors act as intermediaries, and they do so with the patience of old professors, but that cannot substitute the ongoing feedback that is essential between a writer and his readers.

I would also like to inform our readers, because perhaps they don’t know, that in Cuba we live under a kind of constant ideological stress. I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but here that’s the way it is.

It’s like suddenly falling in the middle of crossfire where every little thing that you say can be used by either side to attack the other. It’s a pressure that makes you shy away from being simply subjective, simply personal.

You have to be careful, and that means that you can’t just simply say whatever you want. Because, in addition, we are writing from inside Cuba, not from an ideal neutral location, and that brings with it a certain responsibility and commitment to what is right and also a certain personal danger that cannot be avoided.

I say this mostly because while reading my past articles on this site, I noticed some omissions that would have been included if I were writing to a friend, for example.

Blogging is definitely in vogue in my country. I think it’s mostly because for some brave souls, blogging is at the heart of the struggle against the ugly side of socialism. This carries with it the risk of being regarded as outside the norm, of being seen as alone and helpless before the powerful machine.

I suppose it’s a well conceived strategy to compel bloggers to seek commitment and assistance from those with bad intentions (those who do not want emancipation but instead a different type of master), thus diminishing and demoralizing us more easily. As always, there are some who fall into the trap, naively or deliberately.

As for me, from now on, I plan to keep my eyes wide open in order to continue with my dangerous profession of blogging- but I’ll do so with less naïveté than before.

4 thoughts on “<em>Blogging: a Complicated Trade</em>

  • Sorry grok, but what you wrote in #3 above is just plain wrong. There are millions of people in the capitalist West who openly oppose capitalism and face no repercussions whatsoever for doing so. Many including myself are actively engaged in politics.

  • To put things in perspective here: you have all the freedom of speech you could possibly want in the capitalist West — just as long as you stay out of politics (or powerful people’s hair, generally). However, once you’ve crossed that fine line and become openly “disloyal” to the capitalist system — expect the attentions of the imperialist secret police, one way or another: for instance from the FBI in the U.S… So it’s not like Cuba and socialism are the bad example here. Which doesn’t excuse some of what you people are going through down there, of course.

    So: just don’t fall out of the frying pan into the fire, huh? There’s an essential difference between the two which would be foolish to overlook.

  • Erasmo, I understand that you are a university professor but yet you don’t have an internet connection even at work. Being a Canadian academic myself, I can’t imagine how any professor could – in this day and age – possibly function without internet access.

    The rest of your blog posting is just sad. I wish for you the same ability to conduct research and communicate freely as is enjoyed by your academic colleagues around the world. Best wishes.

  • Erasmo,

    I read thoroughly and enjoy everything you write.


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