Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marginalization and Promiscuity

Marginalization and Promiscuity / Rebeca Monzo
Posted on August 26, 2013

Much has been said lately about the subject, after the most recent
address of Raul, where he addressed these social problems that were
simply ignored. Now the media constantly make programs dedicated to this
social phenomenon, in efforts to improve what they themselves decided to
ignore all these years of Revolution, becoming unwitting accomplices and

Television, one of the most important means of dissemination, is
precisely the one that has influenced programs and novels, where vulgar
language and gestures have been the constant, regardless of the old and
well-known phrase of "a picture is worth a thousand words." This method,
therefore, is a massive "fixer" of good and evil.

I remember about twenty years ago, in a famous and popular TV show on
Saturdays, led by an elegant and fine presenter. Interviewing the famed
Spanish actor Echenove, she asked: "How has your visit to Cuba been?"
Echenove, totally uninhibited, replied, "pues me ha ido de pin…"* She
blushed, then said "excuse me, but that word is ugly and you shouldn't
say it." "What?" he argued, "it can't be, because everyone here says it."

As for promiscuity and poor hygiene habits, our press emphasizes
offenses committed by individuals, and closes its eyes to the problems
caused by bad management and the continued lack of hygiene in food
handling practiced in state facilities. The most representative example
is the sale of unrefrigerated pork in the farmers market, not to mention
that it is transported without any hygiene in open air vehicles, even on
occasion with workers sitting on the pieces of meat.

They also criticize how and where coffee cups are rinsed, that are sold
freshly brewed at the various private and public establishments, as well
as the water used to make fruit juices sold, improper handling of
certain foods, etc. and, what is never mentioned, is where did they
learn all these bad habits reminiscent of the Middle Ages.

Weren't voluntary work and the schools in the countryside the genesis of
all this promiscuity that also brought so much of this social
indiscipline? What were the conditions of those camps and schools so
that these situations didn't occur, mainly due to the lack of clean
water and adequate facilities, forcing many students to have to relieve
themselves "open air" like animals? Why, then, weren't adequate
provision taken so that this didn't happen? On the contrary, they were
established as standard practice.

On the other hand, they are now also attacking the phenomenon of noise
and music at soaring that makes people scream to be heard, and annoys
the neighbors, forcing them to listen to what they don't want to. This
also happens in many buses, where in addition to crowding, heat and
odors, we must also must stoically endure the deafening sound of music,
imposed by the driver or some lazy and rude passenger who doesn't care
about disturbing the other occupants of the vehicle.

"It's never too late if the reaction is good", I would say, to
paraphrase an old maxim, given the new concern of the media. But what
concerns me, extraordinarily, is that we have had to wait nearly half a
century, for Raul to talk about it in a speech, to "become aware" of it,
and that, as he usually does, he continues to attack the effects without
having the courage to denounce the causes and, above all, those who
caused these and other social ills.

*Translator's note: He uses a vulgar phrase [which Rebeca does not spell
out in full] meaning, roughly, "it's all gone to hell," thinking it
means "it's been fantastic."

26 August 2013

Source: "Marginalization and Promiscuity / Rebeca Monzo | Translating
Cuba" -

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