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Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm a travelin' man

On my way to a conference in Toronto about the Cuban Five. On the plane, I got to see the new Hairspray, really enjoyable, with many memorable songs (even better than my previously favorite John Waters musical, Cry Baby, although it's a close call thanks to Johnny Depp). Having enjoyed the original Hairspray so much, I hadn't gone out of my way to see the musical, but that was a mistake now rectified (thanks to the airlines).

Anyway, all this is leading to a point: at one point in the movie, Tracy Turnblad says she'd like to be President some day, and when asked the first thing she'd do, she says, "I'd make every day 'Negro Day' [the once-a-month day when blacks are allowed to dance on the 'Corny Collins' show]." And the response - the station manager calls her a "Communist." Make no mistake, it's a label (especially with a small "c") that should be worn with pride, as "insults" like that one make clear over and over again. "Whenever there's a cop beatin' up a guy..."

I arrive in Toronto and jump on the "Rocket Bus" to the subway into town. I strike up a conversation with the driver, who asks where I'm going. A conference on Cuba, I reply. Really, he says, I was just there last month. OK, here's the point of this little story: he spent a week on Varadaro Beach, had a great time, all for... $540 ... including airfare!

It sucks to be an American. A fact also driven home to me when I handed over $60 at the currency exchange booth and got $48 or so back.

The revolution is so overdue!

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