I am very worried, because lately I have started to reflect on things… and everybody knows that this is a clear symptom of senile dementia. I admit that there is a certain dose of sick interest in unpleasant things in this, a direct consequence of reading the official Cuban press. Every day I get the paper and inevitably review it from head to tail, most times, incorrectly hoping to find something interesting. Instead, and against all predictions, I find solace in little comrade F’s Reflexiones. No, my friends, I’m not contradicting myself, I have already said and maintained that this man does not interest me, but I must admit with great embarrassment that his section of the newspaper is practically the only thing that deserves to be read: an exercise which is both fun and instructive, especially for readers who, like me, like anthropological studies, human psychology, or those who feel the curiosity to learn about certain manifestations of conduct dysfunction, with the additional ingredient that it is the patient who does the writing. Reflexiones, it must be noted, is a perfect little jewel.
In recent weeks the patient has spent most of his artificially and clinically renewed energy on the U.S. president through long paragraphs that reveal the accumulation of feelings that he provokes, which may be summarized in a single one: envy. F no longer knows what to do to call Barack Obama’s attention. He winks at him, he sticks out his tongue at him, he whistles at him, he applauds him, all at the same time, in a pathetic effort to get noticed. It has even come out that he proposed to the Black Congressional Caucus that visited Havana that he wants to “help” Obama. Not surprisingly, the “Negro president” does not pay him the slightest mind. Could it be that he doesn’t need the “help”?
Anyone who does not believe me about F’s antics can verify what I say by reading Reflexiones. No sooner does he seem to praise Obama then he launches himself in a more or less overt fashion to criticize him, no sooner does he try to satirize the young president (The Obama Song, Saturday, April 4th, 2009) then he questions US foreign policy (Contradictions in US foreign policy, Thursday, April 9th, 2009) truly highlighting his own personal contradictions, as can be observed in this direct quote: “Though he bears the contradictions pointed out, healthy beyond proof, like a work machine and with an agile mind, the Negro president carried out his first visit abroad with unquestionable results.” A few lines wholly portraying not the subject he is characterizing, but the subject who is doing the characterizing.
The bitterness of a being with a sick ego is transparently crystal clear, one who sees in another everything he wanted to be and was not: a leader of global significance to whom it is essential to give space in the most important forums, a healthy young man, full of good ideas and vital energy, a president democratically elected by his people, called to implement important changes in a nation that is the #1 global economy, a politician who will have the opportunity to demonstrate whether or not he will be capable of overcoming the crisis; a president, in short, of a free country. F is the past, Obama, a renewed hope for the future. As if all this were not enough, this president is—the Superancient One has already reminded us with marked sarcasm—a Negro. It’s the last straw! And F bleeds pitifully from his wound.
All this explains that every day I await the newspaper’s arrival and I look for Reflexiones, smiling and pleased. At this rate I think F’s main sickness doesn’t hide in his deteriorated intestines, he now has a new infection that is exclusively his: Obamitis.
Title Illustration: Stone image, possible representation of Maquetaurie Guayaba. According to Taíno mythology, this character is the Lord of Coaybay, the region inhabited by the dead. (Work belonging to the Museum of Anthropology, History and Art, University of Puerto Rico).