Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cuba Libre

John McCutcheon took the photo a few years ago, in Havana. I hate the idea that so many Americans think we're going to save Cuba with Walmart, and F-150s. I hate it's been such a terrible wasted 50 years for all those folks. Prisons, torture, rubber rafts and shark fins, but free medicine, great music, a sense of who they are, and that they stood up to us. All the commentators are using this phrase, "the Castro brothers." I never heard it before yesterday, now it's cache. The ESPN guys are dreaming of a major league team in Havana. Would it be all Cuban? Will Cuba now have its underclass, unable at last to afford medical care?

Obama, whatever else, has now earned his Nobel Peace Prize. Nothing is more obvious than that the American foreign policy viz Cuba of the last 50 plus years has been an utter failure. Nixon went to China and the world continued to turn.

Let's bring in 2015 with a round of Cuba Libres. Let's hope the pathetic Republican response to normalizing relations with a little island just 90 miles south of Homestead will be seen for what it is: stupid, lame, dumb as a post. Let's hope that even the Cuban Americans, or at least a majority of them, rejoice. They'll get a lot out of this. They'll get to go back home now and then.

On another subject, has no one at all wondered about the fact that Sony was once a Japanese Corporation, and that Japan has traditionally viewed Koreans as pretty much dirt under their feet. And did not anyone at all think the premise of "Interview" was just a tad undiplomatic in the real world, no matter how funny the pitch in fantasyland and tinseltown. Steve Correll is aggrieved. Tell it to Chaplin and Dalton Trumbo. They said on NPR that indeed, the leader of North Korea is assassinated in the movie, and it's supposed nontheless to be a comedy. Cue up the Zapruder reel, Charlie, and sync the laff track. It's pretty funny when Jackie can't brush the brains off her skirt, and get a load of Oswald's face when the bullet hits his guts. Fifty years ago. Hard to imagine. Eventually, Sony will make it's money. Now the film is notorious. Thus doth capitalism triumph, one way or the other.

From a link at Crooked Timber:


Saturday Update. There was quite a lot on the Sony hack and the corporate decision to cancel the release of Interview last night on the tele. Rachel Maddow did a long piece comparing the situation to the Salman Rushdie fatwah, and the author's being driven into years of seclusion. The current case is complicated. That's my point. Here's a very good piece by Marcy Wheeler on the subject:

She raises a significant point, and one others have noted as well, namely that Sony has been almost notoriously lax in its defense against hacking--hacking being a universal if unwanted feature of our modern wired universe. I'll quote one sentence on this, but the whole piece is worth a read:

Sony Corp. gets hacked a lot, more than 50 breaches in 15 years, and more than some of its rivals, including some fairly significant attacks in recent years that bear no resemblance to this attack. Maybe that’s because it did things like store all its passwords in a file called “password.”

The fact is, Sony has many alternatives to theatre release which allow it's freedom of speech to remain unfettered. The issue is not about freedom of speech, but about property rights. And as Rachel Maddow pointed out in her segment on the story last night, Obama notwithstanding, the "proof" that North Korea did the hacking is not iron-clad, at least not yet. As Maddow said, the bright trail leading to North Korea might be there for a reason.

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