The Working-Class Lady with the Chinese Dog

Martin Guevara

dama-y-perrito-2HAVANA TIMES — I read Anton Chekhov’s “The lady with the dog” again and while I took in each and every one of the four chapters in this retrospective story, Russian names and masterpieces in all of the arts came to my mind in flashes.

The greatest among the great: Dostoievsky, then Tolstoy, Gogol, Pushkin, Gorki, Sholojov, Maiakovsky, Nijinsky, Pletsiskaya, Rothko, Chagal, Kandinsky, Pollock, Semionov, Rashmaninov, Rimnsky- Korsakov, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Tarkovsky, Einsestein, Mijalkov, etc.

The same thing happened with Poland, Hungary, even the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which gave us artists that now figure in the Universal Cultural anthology: Chopin, Bartok, Dvorack, Kafka, Hassa, and many others. I also thought about China and about every other country where freedom and personal comforts have been taken away, under the pretext of prioritizing the masses.

Under the “socialist” or “communist” euphemism, the only thing that has grown is weeds. There aren’t any countries more violent, more materialistic, less caring, where Utopia has less of a place than in these medieval lands with poetic virtue. Not one more artist of international standing, or another spiritual leader, not even a dog goes to curl up with his human friend solely out of love.

Seeing the result of the flat electroencephalogram that has been left in our new generations by the tsunami “Regression a la Kastromasov” that has swept through the island of Cuba and has managed to infiltrate into its flesh, in between the fibres, which has been deformed by the new generation of “Trumpism’s” hooligan Cuban emigres, I ask myself how much time will have to go by here in the Pearl of the Caribbean for the likes of Villaverde, Vitier, Sindo, Gramatges, Moré, Joseíto, Pozo, Santamaría, Carpentier, Lam, Portocarrero, Lezama, Cabrera, Marinello, Ortíz, and a vast etcetera, to be renewed.

The outcome of this system, halfway between the Messianic wish to favor the ragged masses in misery rather than the dressed up masses, black bread and weevil instead of caviar and truffles, and the wish to fasten oneself to power forever at the mercy of this “split” concession, has ended up so sordid and obscurantist in all of the countries where it was applied, perhaps with the exception of Mongolia, that we have to ask ourselves whether in light of all of the evidence we have, wouldn’t it be better to encourage a fighting spirit, solidarity and creativity, not just individual but collective? That societies are only governed administratively, removed from any kind of arbitrariness, correction of conduct or any declarations with the slightest hint of wanting to squander altruistic kindness?

My motto for politicians continues to be the same one I had when I was a teenager: “If you’ve really come here wanting to do something well-done and make sure that we never hear anything about you.”