illustraton by Onel

Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES — Now that relations with the United States have been re-established, I’m going to hop on over there the first chance I get.

I feel a mixture of hatred and love for that country. Hatred, because of how capitalism has turned it into its foul-smelling lair and because of its “compulsion” to sow death wherever it goes. Love, because of how much it helped me liberate myself. Let me explain.

When I started feeling uncomfortable within the mold of the New Man, I reacted by becoming something of a friqui, (hippie or punkster) heir to a subculture born in the north. Many from my generation headed down the same road.

Later, I became a film addict. I used to devour movies from any part of the world, but it was independent cinema from the United States (Woody Allen and many others of the sort) that contributed to the formation of my personality the most.

One day, I tried entheogens and became a regular consumer. People around me either became alarmed or shunned me. I myself had serious doubts about them. Reading American (or Americanized) writers gave me the confidence I needed to continue experimenting with them.

When traditional Cuban sexuality began placing limits on my insatiable libido, the echo of a sexual revolution whose epicenter were certain US cities helped guide my erotic drives in a healthy fashion.

In short, I was able to overcome the miserable limits of my cultural environment thanks to things that were leaking into the country, not from France or the Soviet Union, but from the tumultuous and brutal north. The Ideology Department of the Party’s Central Committee works hard to truncate any emancipatory current coming from the USA, but it has no qualms about bombarding us with the worst of that country’s culture.

Because of this, because of my cultural debt and the admiration I feel for certain aspects of the US, I want to take advantage of the new circumstances and visit the country – not the monumental, consumerist, luxurious and high-tech United States the simple-minded gawk at, but the mecca of alternative, anti-establishment and free thought – and enjoy a bit of Rage Against the Machine.


Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

6 thoughts on “The Free United States I’d Like to Visit

  • While the Rotten Apple, Frisco, Beantown and other “urban metropolises” have some good points, they have many negatives as well. Perhaps the major one is that such places are tremendously expensive. Many artists can no longer afford to live in these major cities; hence they migrate to more affordable areas, such as my own state. Not all small towns and rural states are provincial backwaters. Case in point, my very own dear “People’s Republic of Vermont,” for example. Besides our one major urban area–Burlington–there are many smaller cities and towns with dynamic cultural scenes. I migrated from Boston in the late 1970’s, and have never regretted living in a rural area. Perhaps in New York City you would have the opportunity of choosing amongst one or two out of hundreds of films, plays, concerts, etc. each night–but then how would you ever have the time to accomplish your own work?! Too many distractions. Here in Vermont the choices are narrowed down to a more human scale. In my own town, for example, there are maybe two or three choices each week-night, and a dozen each weekend night. (My town has a population of around 9,000.) Also, even from the depths of the Bible Belt came such music as The Blues, Rythm and Blues, Jazz, and, during the 1920’s through 1950’s, probably the best American fiction, both black and white, of the 20th Century.

  • Erasmo,
    If its a ” mecca of alternative , anti-establishment and free thought and a listen to Rage Against The Machine , you’re going to have to avoid much of the US heartland, the Bible Belt and stick to the urban metropolises like New York, San Francisco, Boston and avoid the small towns.
    80 % of the USA claims to believe in a God who they can pray to and who answers them and angels as well.
    50% believe that humans coexisted with dinosaurs .
    Don’t buy an image that is largely exceptional in the country in general .
    The ignorance across a wide range of fields is appalling
    As applies to most things, 90% is just shit.
    You’ll really have to dig for erudite and the intellectual companionship in the USA being the brainy oddball you are. .

  • Lots of luck. I too, as a senior living all my life in the states, find much disgusting right here. So, be careful what you seek / wish for. You may be disappointed …

  • Entheogens do not confer wisdom. They just make you stoned.

    There is a difference.

    By the way: “Rage Against the Machine” are a pack of embarrassing millionaire posers wearing Che t-shirts, living in California mansions.

  • For your sake Erasmo, let’s hope the guys who designed the plane you will board to fly to the US hold the whole technology thing in higher regard than you do. It will also be nice if the pilots flying the plane are happy with their higher-than-average salaries and don’t hold suicidal thoughts of going out with a “splash”. Still, it may be hard to avoid all that nasty modern convenience you feel so uncomfortable with once you get to the ‘States. How do you manage to use a computer and look at yourself in the mirror? How many anti-hypocrite pills are you forced to take?

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