They Smoke Cigarettes and Play with Bombs

THE TRAGEDY OF FIDEL CASTRO
João Cerqueira, trans. Karen Bennett and Chris Mingay
River Grove Books
2015

the-tragedy-of-fidel-castro_joc3a3o-cerqueira1The Tragedy of Fidel Castro is an entertaining jaunt into political and religious irreverence.  Communism, capitalism and Catholicism all get a heart lashing as God intervenes, at the beck of Fàtima, in a war between Fidel Castro and JFK.  In the meanwhile, the nature of politics, humanity and religion are also given for the reader to consider.

I’m sad to confess that I did not really get a lot of the humour in the book.  I’m not sure if this is because the nature of humour I enjoy is just different to that present in this book; whether it’s a difference in Portuguese and Spanish humour as compared to humour in the Anglosphere.  Or perhaps it’s just a few of the references I miss, with my relative ignorance of matters concerning post-Bay of Bigs relations between Cuba and the United States.

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The Scandinavian Wit

KILLING HOPEkill

Blum, William (Common Courage Press, updated edition October 2008, ISBN 978-1567512526)

In 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” [1]

Many thought the prize undeserved – on the grounds that Obama appeared too much the enemy of peace. Had he won it, they asked, for prosecuting a war in Afghanistan? Or instead for his proposal to expand the United States military? Or for his plan to send “at least” two additional American combat brigades to Afghanistan? Continue reading

Tour Scenic Cesta Punta

werner_herzog_eats_his_shoeWERNER HERZOG EATS HIS SHOE 

Dir. Les Blank. Perf. Werner Herzog, Alice Waters, Tom Luddy, Michael Goodwin, Chris Strachwitz and Phil Harberts. Flower Films, 1980. Film.

After cooking and eating his shoe in Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, Herzog explains that he ranks a lack of adequate images as one of the gravest threats to civilisation. He puts it on par with overpopulation and ecological devastation.

For the man who fixes his focus well into the future, it cuts to the marrow of his fear that human progress in his society may’ve ground to a standstill. Without adequate images to knit its dreams from, can his society dream dreams of significance? Or will it spend its time perfecting the Slurpee and finding Australia’s Next Top Model, as its citizens grow more and more isolated from each another? Continue reading

South Central Idaho

gods_smuggler

GOD’S SMUGGLER, THE LAND OF THE KANGAROO, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT ITHE 1990s, others

Brother Andrew, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill and Pope John XXIII (Chosen Books, 2001, ISBN 9780800793012), Thomas Knox (W. A. Wilde & Company: Boston, 1896, ISBN (reprint) 9781409970385), Peter Townrow and Ron Martin (editors) (Routledge, 2002, ISBN 9780117023659)

A wearisome ancient practice requires the journalist to begin his description of any country or region by describing it as “a land of contradictions”.

The charitable view sees this as the journalist’s admission that he hasn’t comprehended his subject. That he views the disparate facets he’ll go on to describe as contradictions, comprehending too little about the country or region to harmonise them. Continue reading

Decades Of The 20th Century

decades_of_the_20th_century

DECADES OF THE 20th CENTURY

Yapp, Nick (c. 1986 onwards) several volumes inc. ISBN 3829005229

Getty Images publish a remarkable series of photobooks called Decades of the 20th Century. Besides the usual shots of counterrevolutionaries storming Cuban beaches, the Beatles and parading Nazis, we see Castro batting a baseball out of the ballpark and Emperor Hirohito meeting Mickey Mouse. Continue reading

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