Havana, Cuba

Some of you may remember during the early days of the blog we visited Cuba and found and interviewed some punks there. We had to be super careful because we weren’t supposed to interact with the locals, much less interview them on camera.

Well, we did anyway, and one of the punks we were trying to interview got hauled away to jail just for talking to us. I still feel very bad about that incident.

I’m a little surprised the police didn’t confiscate our camera, which was a semi pro digital camcorder. In the end, that fact probably saved us because it looked like a typical tourist’s camera.

Well, after the poor guy’s arrest we were much more careful about things but we were able to get the following interviews as some punks spoke to us even after their buddy’s arrest. The video below is just a compilation of some of the interviews we edited down and I hope to get more up soon.

Lately I’ve been getting a little spam from people who don’t want attribute themselves but want to criticize other bands, other punks.. calling them posers or what not. In other words, they are “haters” but like most “haters”, they don’t include a real name or email. I guess they wish to remain anonymous.

I notice on all the news forums that most of the ignorant, hate filled comments are anonymous. Same thing on You Tube or wherever.

And it made me think about the people in Cuba. Who risk arrest for speaking out and have virtually no protection for freedom of expression.

Maybe, people are taking their freedom of expression for granted when they send critical emails, spam and posts, and are then too cowardly to even include a legitimate email or let people know who they are.  After all, they don’t even risk arrest, just public scrutiny. Yet they can’t even muster up enough courage of conviction for  that.

Yet these punks in Cuba spoke out, even though they risk arrest or worse for expressing their criticism of the government or even talking to a foreigner.

I re-posted this interview because I guess I needed to see some punks I respect in action after interacting recently with people I thought had character but now it turns out they may be cowardly and small.

It’s funny the cowards always complain and never show appreciation for what they have and never take responsibility for where they are in their lives, always blaming others.

If I sound jaded, then forgive me, because lately it’s been a little tough. I mean one of the things that really impressed me about the punk lifestyle was the way they take care of each other. Fall in the pit, and they’ll pick you up.  Super honest, super genuine and full of integrity.

Lately people, supposedly punks, I thought were solid have shown themselves to be nothing but short sighted, dishonest and spoiled children really.

In reality they are not much better than the greedy bankers and dishonest lawyers I’m always railing against, proving you don’t have to have a lot of money to be a  person of low character. Character doesn’t care how much money you have. True, it might be easier to be honest when you have more money, but in the end, character is how you react when times are bad, not when times are good.

And money or success won’t buy you character. It can’t.

Well these Cubans didn’t have s**t, they were low on food (rice and beans one day, beans and rice the next gets old I bet) and oppressed by an ignorant and out of touch government, but they show more character and courage than I’ve seen in a while.

Its not the interview per se, it’s the backdrop for the interview that inspires me. If you, like me, need some inspiration, well here you go!


One thought on “Punk Character.. Revisited

  1. This reminds me of how the punk rock scene USED to be here in Medellín, circa 1986. The punk rock kids were virtually homeless street kids who had nothing and therefore nothing to lose. You had some more affluent kids involved but the bulk of it were the dregs of society. Great interview! Thanks.

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