Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The “Ex” We Just Can't Get Over

Obsession Is Only Ninety Miles Away

I awoke yesterday morning, stuffy-nosed and bleary-eyed to the sound of the local all-news radio station's anchorperson breathlessly spluttering something about Fidel Castro. I cleared my throat, propped myself up on an elbow (taking care to stay covered on this chilly morn) and listened closer, thinking by the news reader's tone that maybe...this was it—Fidel was dead at long last, and Ohmigod, the party would be “on like Donkey Kong” in Miami, Union City, NJ, and more than a few painstakingly restored Georgetown/Dupont Circle townhouses where talk of J. Edgar Hoover's choice of Max Factor foundations and minimizer garments has never dared be discussed.

But then, the report petered out—hype and ear-grabbing bluster mostly, as it turned out to be about about Fidel's resignation as Cuba's President and not—unfortunately for the aforementioned would-be grave-dancers—his death. Before I knew it, the hyped report had blurred into a commercial for Tylenol or some such triviality and I chuckled for a moment before rising from bed. My little bit of excitement was over how to digest and consider a potential big news story, while the grave-dancers had clearly broken out their character shoes, old Xavier Cugat records, and 48-starred American flags—ready to do a zesty jingo-mambo, but then, realizing that nothing had in fact really changed—put all that silly shit away, back into the trusty, dusty “Castro Is Dead—And We're Getting Cuba Back!” go-bag.

I almost felt bad for 'em.

Until I remembered just how pathetic these clowns all are.

It's been a Lucy Van Pelt-football snatch every couple of years for this crowd since I was born. Without going into deep detail about the history, it goes as follows.

1.) U.S. companies, the U.S. government, and U.S. organized crime, often working hand in hand with each other, simply debased the sovereign nation of Cuba for the better part of half a century—colonizing it, basically stealing the natural resources, and converting it into a veritable off-shore sin “dump” where anything went, and powerful Americans went to get their debaucherous freak on—gambling, parking ill-gotten money and using it as a seedy, open-air brothel—the prototype land of “What happens here...stays here” wish fulfillment.

2.) Said interests played upon Latin America's ugly embrace of racial and class tropes of subjugating the poor and darker-skinned as slave labor and lessers to their wealthier, Whiter upper class who “ran” the country and worked hand-in-hand with the greedy outsider interests.

3.) Growing tired of being fucked over, the oppressed in Cuba began to embrace Communism and Socialism—as far back as the 1930's and started rebelling against all controlling interests—regardless of if they were home-grown or flying in the 90 miles to plunder or drunkenly grab-ass.

4.) Finding a friend (and funder, and arms-supplier) in anti-Western, anti-colonialist ideology in the nascent Soviet Union, Cuba's seething underclass, and more than a few tired-of-the-bullshit students led by Fidel Castro and a hundred rebels hiding in the mountains of Sierra Maestra ran the corrupt Batista government out of the country, seizing the land, assets and much of the pride of their plunder-enabling brethren and the foreign interests who used the country as a playground and palm-fronded ATM. (Watch The Godfather Part II for a rough, short-hand, but colorfully revealing synopsis of the decadent playground/money tree Cuba was pre-Castro)

5.) Said foreign interests after fleeing—along with many of the country's racist and classist native enablers—seethe here in the U.S. for half-a-fucking century, angry over getting booted out on their dollar-padded asses and anxiously await the moment they can return to a Castro/Communism-free Cuba to again take up the mantle of lording over the dark and poor, while feasting on the untold riches of the country's being open again to all manner of resource-filching, and investment-slash-kleptocracy. And actually, they don't just await—they attempt to hasten, with lame-assed assassination plots, fucked-to hell coup d'état goof-ups and U.S. aided, government-destabilizing terror attacks gone embarrassingly awry.

The troglodytic elements of U.S. government and the most rabid members of the Cuban exile community sat yesterday morning with bated breath like some idiot suitor—no, not a suitor—but a selfish, spoiled lothario...who in spite of years of having had their way elsewhere, amassing more and more power, and dissing a grossly abused ex that spurned them, can't get over the fact that said “ex” moved on, didn't just shrivel up, lose her looks and come back to “Mack Daddy” for forgiveness.

Cuba is the “ex” this country just can't seem to get the hell over.

How dare she maintain herself and somehow outlive Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan?

How dare she survive our effective cutting her off from all things wonderful and U.S.-centric, to where she somehow keeps going thanks to self-starting pluck, ingenuity and a heaping helping of “fuck you” spite at our expense?

I've got male acquaintances who are otherwise relatively sane, clear-thinking people who exhibit this same sort of crazy-assed, passive/aggressive, hyper-possessive behavior over women with whom the relationship ended long ago.

“Fuck her. She's nothing to me. Look at where I am now!”, they say in one breath. Then in the next, after hearing something—anything about said woman's present doings, especially if it's something with a hint of negativity where maybe, just maybe homeboy could rush in to be there to pick up the pieces...they're all ears, in rapt attention and practically vibrating with anticipation...of something.

It's fucked up, but I'd be a liar if I said the better-adjusted of us in my circle don't quietly laugh up our sleeves at these duplicitous losers.

And losers are what those types are.

With that, there's no diplomatic way to approach a person like that. And there's no diplomatic way to approach America and it's Cuban exile supplicants on their idiotic, ego and machismo-fueled way of dealing with Cuba than to say simply...that not your bitch.

Get over your sick psychosis. Stop your creepyfuck stalking of her—Cuba.

Martians didn't come down in saucers and “steal her” from you. A native-born Cuban with connections to the other superpower, tapped into the power of a downtrodden populace that you abused, and abused, and abused—and he/she/they finally put your dumb ass out.

It's not about what was done to you. It's about what you did to her.

Acknowledge what you did. You America, and the you, old heads in the Cuban exile community who fled the smackdown for lording over your “lessers” and your enabling the plunderers.

You've embarrassed yourselves so completely over the last fifty years that you've managed to turn other potential partners against you—Venezuela and Chavez, and Bolivia with Morales along with a seeming sweep of the anti-you school of thought through the region. (The seeds of your Pinochet-backing evil are only now a' flowering into hideous, meat-eating Venus Flytraps)

But it starts and ends with Cuba...the ex you fucked over, then when she left you, futilely sought out to destroy.

Don't you get tired of clockin' her? Hoping her situation goes down the tubes, so you can step in with the bullshit altruism you honed with this selfish and stupid pining in the early 60's—and would deploy tangle-foot clumsily in Vietnam and again in the present dumb-assery in Iraq? I saw the wan near-celebrations in Miami's Little Havana, and the pissy old men grousing about downtown Union City on the news when it became clear that yesterday's initial excitement would end with an “Eh.” moment.

They seemed...spent or something.

All that “hateration”. And naked spite. And unvarnished, selfish interest...50 years worth...and now you have difficulty “getting it up”.

Which only makes you madder. “Sigh!”

Let. It. Go. Let. Her. Go.

Face it. “She's Just Not That Into You”.

Point blank: These fifty years almost of simultaneous, goofy moon-eyes, pigtail-dipping and passive/aggressive shenanigans hasn't worn well, America—you the rheumy-eyed, “Cold War” hawks on your bottled oxygen and your Cuban exile co-horts gorging on, regurgitating, then re-gorging on faux outrage. What's left of you? Cranky, liver-spotted old White men of means missing the nasty “girl and pony shows” of back-street pre-Castro Havana and the state-side, howling Marisleysises and crying Donatos whipped up by bitter Papas, Tios and Abuelos who bray about the money, land and honor they left behind with those undeserving “guajiros” and “niches”.

The day will come...soon perhaps, where what Cuba is will no longer be. A different government, a different philosophy—things will change. And we as a country should be ready for that when it comes. Perhaps they'll reach out along the lines of how they've reached out but been spitefully rebuffed over the years because it wasn't exactly on our terms.

We need to be there for that. We owe Cuba that much for our decades of malfeasance.

But this silly, anticipatory grave-dancing and dollar sign-eyed hovering is an embarrassment. And it's been going on for fifty years.

Fifty years. Which should by rights make us adults in this relationship. It's long past time we started acting like it—instead of like a maladjusted, spiteful stalker with control issues. Period.

If you need to celebrate something, you don't need a grave to do it on. A simple song wil do.

Even Karl Rove's boogie-deficient ass could shake it to that. Or not. Which would probably explain all that irrational hatred.