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A New Column... 'That Can't Be True!' -- Kevin Costner to do a Fidel Castro musical'!'

Hey folks, Harry here... This will not be a regular column, but as the need arises... There are rumors and stories that are near impossible to confirm until they get announced or are discarded quietly from the tables of development... This has to be one of the most wondrously insane rumored concepts I've ever read... Here ya go...

hi harry,

don't know if there's some flesh on this bone... rumours have it that kevin costner is about ot make a musical-movie about... FIDEL CASTRO!

you've heard anything about it?! only rumour? source is reliable... but still can't believe it. is he trying to jump on the moulin-rouge- chicago-musical-wave? fair enough! but with fidel castro? com'on?!

cheers

rené

Ok... Let's take a look at it. Kevin Costner is friends with Oliver Stone, Ollie has just done that CASTRO documentary COMMANDANTE which the Reic... Right seemed to bully out of existence. However, just about anyone and everyone would admit that Fidel Castro's story has all the earmarks of an epic film... up Costner's alley.

Afterall... Coster does love baseball (BULL DURHAM, FIELD OF DREAMS, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME) and has dealt with the very Castro-esque with both JFK and THIRTEEN DAYS. Cuba is a wonderful setting for a musical - especially the Cuba of Castro's youth, through to today. Fidel's story has that epic sort of grandeur that made EVITA such a great subject for Musical Drama. It could also be one of the most tasteless musicals of all time.

NOW - Would Costner direct this alleged project? Would Oliver Stone be involved somehow? Would Costner be crazy enough to try and play Fidel... or would they cast someone else completely wrong for the part like Antonio Banderas? Who could play the musical Castro if it were to exist? -- Alfred Molina? Luis Guzman? (LOL) Benicio Del Toro? Would Kennedy and Krushchev sing? What about Che?

The source "rené" is actually someone legitimate to listen to, in a position to hear very real rumors, especially about THIS project... Let's see what we can find out? As for my tie to Castro? My grandfather coached military baseball teams that played against Castro when he was a player on Cuba's team... Apparently, my grandfather's team kicked their ass! But that could be old family jingoism...

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:22 a.m. CST

    FIRST!!!!!!

    by derwent

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:23 a.m. CST

    mannnn...FUCK cuba

    by Rcamacho2278

    Fuck FIdel castro, any dictator is an asshole, and the only way it'll be a good musical is if the guys from south park do it. oh and FUCK kevin costner,

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:32 a.m. CST

    "Manolo, choot that piece of chit."

    by Cash Bailey

    Off-topic, but it makes me laugh.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:36 a.m. CST

    And the Kevin Costner career suicide train keeps on 'a rollin'!

    by manwiththedogs

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Costner

    by Billy Liar

    You never know, after his greasy, hairy turn in Revenge, maybe Kev's plumping for Fidel himself. Can't imagine his singing voice is anything beyond monotone though.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:55 a.m. CST

    I'd hardly call Open Range "career suicide." It's doing quite n

    by Lance Rock

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 9:04 a.m. CST

    6 Degrees of Harry Knowles

    by jimmychitwood

    this is the new greatest game...connect evreyone famous to harry knowles in 6 moves or less....fidel castro, harry's grandfather, harry, 3 moves...my sisters friends cousin heard from this guy who's sister's boyfriends aunt dated this guy who saw harry pass out at 31 flavors last night...

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 9:09 a.m. CST

    "It's Springtime for Hitler, In Germany"

    by nantra

    Written by Mel Brooks, Directed by Kevin Costner, coming in at a hair under 4 hours.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Fidel Castro's story has all the makings of an epic film?

    by vikingkitty

    Dictatorship - check. Oppression - check. Jail sentences to all that oppose his rule - check. Communism - check. A trail of dead bodies that always happens when communism is established - check. Yep, it's everything a liberal could ask for.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 9:38 a.m. CST

    come on Harry

    by raja

    Harry, Castro is an evil dictator under whose rule Cuba has become a state so horrible that its inhabitants are willing to risk death by shark to escape. What is it with you leftist lunatics that you just can't comprehend that? Cuba is not chic. Cuba is not cool. Cuba is not misrepresented in popular culture. Castro's Cuba is pain, suffering, and decay.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Gilbert Gottfried for Fidel!

    by Sith Witch

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Have any of you BEEN to Cuba?

    by Mr Funktastic

    Seriously, what you know of Cuba is what you're told by the propaganda machine. I've been there and it's a different story altogether. I saw some of the most gloriously WELL EDUCATED (everyone gets free education through PHD, even in sujects like medecine and music), HEALTHIEST (everyone gets free medical care -- aLL care including surgery), COOLEST (everyone knows how to dance,racism almost does not exist), people on the planet. Yes there are problems. Fidel needs to allow elections. But the biggest problem? The island is broke because of the FUCKING EMBARGO imposed by the US! Under this embargo, any ship that trades with Cuba cannot do business with the US... this is choking the island. The Cuban Exiled Right who have mucho political clout here are pissed, want their island playground back, and are willing to starve their own relatives back home to see that it happens. Fidel's not a monster, ask just about any Cuban IN CUBA. People try to leave the island because they have dreams of material wealth, which isn't possible in Cuba right now. But it's hardly the nightmare of death and decay that some of you suggest. Want to see more, rent the Buena Vista Social Club.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Yep. Cuba's so cool, they don't even allow citizens to own cars

    by vikingkitty

    Less than 1% of the population has them, and the government refuses almost all requests from private individuals to get them. So a free education (courtesy of the enslavement of educators) and free shitty healthcare (courtesy of the socialization of medicine) will let you live in an island paradise where you can sit on your ass and give praise to your dictator all day. Oh, and don't try to bring books to Cuba, because Fidel's regime also imprisons those that own banned material (in other words, any book that questions communism, questions Fidel, or promotes capitalism and democracy). Cuba is broke because of the stranglehold on private businesses, by the way.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Sounds like the worst movie involving Castro since Red Zone Cuba

    by Osmosis Jones

    CROW: [Castro, writing] Get...real..beard.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:13 a.m. CST

    "Fidel of Dreams"

    by Alan_Thicke

    Heh. Geddit?

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:15 a.m. CST

    This Liberal Thinks It's Disgusting...

    by Rebeck

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Every costner movie is 4 hours long and goes nowhere...

    by REMcycle

    A musical about Castro? Will Costner play him? :) I suppose he'll also singlehandedly swim to Florida, beard and all, and save Elian from the American oppressors, too.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:24 a.m. CST

    This Liberal Thinks It's Disgusting...

    by Rebeck

    That celebrities like Stone and Costner even go over there to "talk" to Castro. Even the waves of Brits who now think it's a hip and trendy vacation spot. It's an insult to all the people who have been killed trying to escape this so-called socialist paradise. Was anybody paying attention when, months back, around the time of the start of the war, Castro executed anyone and everyone he perceived as a political threat?? You can't hold up their education and health systems as models when they're built on oppression and blood, and more blood. People who glamorize it, or think they know the place simply because they visited and ALL WAS SUNNY should really be forced to stay FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE. Oh yeah, then they'd understand. The "revolution" could be undone with one well-placed bullet. Castro is starving his people of freedom and it all spins out from there.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:27 a.m. CST

    It must be said...

    by IFartOnYourGrave

    Fuck first posters, fuck them up their stupid asses...

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Jerry Orbach was born to play this role.

    by Fred

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:43 a.m. CST

    You gotta love moralistic sermonizing from a guy whose e-mail ad

    by mortsleam

    Not that I'm defending Castro or anything. In fact, the only way this could possibly work is to show his rise to power countered with the all the death and loss he caused, Michael Corleone-style. Castro! directed by Rob Marshall, starring Kevin Costner as Fidel, with Ewan MacGregor & Renee Zellweger as JFK and Marilyn. The foot-tappinist, bloody-revolutionist, cigar chompinist musical that ever took a poor island nation by storm.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:46 a.m. CST

    A Costner Movie About This New Column? "Bullshit Durham"

    by hipcheck13

    'nuff said.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Reicht?

    by wato

    Oh, I get it. The right wing is really the Reich wing. Wow, that's funny. Meanwhile let

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 12:10 p.m. CST

    I'll wait to see if it's true...

    by the G-man

    ...before I comment on what this may or may not demonstrate about "liberal" Hollywood.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 12:13 p.m. CST

    You have GOT to be fucking kidding! (or, Kevin Costner's choo-ch

    by WarDog

    Such a wild-ass concept is something even that suck-up asshole Oliver Stone would not attempt. Beside being a communist shill, Costner is an overrated hack. I wish he'd just leave and to to Cuba to make propaganda films for Castro. Mr. Funktastic should probably see more of Cuba than what Costner and Stone have seen. It REALLY IS a freakin' communist near-paradise! IF ONLY we would lift that eeeeeevil embargo, then it could truly become a paradise. As if Castro wouldn't continue to drain the people dry of their wealth and freedom and will to perservere. It's a real blast being tortured for years in El Comandante's abhominable prisons, or seeing one's future and one's children's future ground to dust by his fanaticism. But you will see only what you want to see.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 12:19 p.m. CST

    "How to Succeed at being a Dictator Without Really Trying" with

    by Big Bad Clone

    or "Fidel Get Your Gun"

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

    by labowski

    MrFunktastic, Every country in the world is free to trade and visit Cuba except for the United States. And yes, we trade with other countries that do business with Cuba. So, what you're saying is the United States is responsible for Cuba being a poor, fascist, dictatorship. The Brits and a few other countries are currently reconsidering their unbridled support of this dictator because of his continuing jailing of dissidents, etc. Oh, the other reason many countries are about to stop doing business with that "revolutionary" is because he owes millions to them. i.e. he doesn't pay. Every country goes through Fidel, there is no "private" industry. So, Fidel is responsible for ALL of Cubas woes. I have a friend who "fell in love" with some guy from Cuba while she was there on one of those "education" trips. She has been back and forth for almost six months now. Still trying to get him out of Cuba. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, Castro's own daughter fled the country and now lives in Spain. Even she had to sneak out disquised as a tourist.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 1:43 p.m. CST

    In response to : Rcamacho2278

    by Lumin Kadare

    Mr. Bush Jr. is also a dictator. Just not in his own country. Fuck him, too.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 1:50 p.m. CST

    the real cuba

    by Rictus77

    Cuba isn't nearly as bad as many of you seem to think. Sure, they aren't that well off - compared to the USA. But they are one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America - this, despite the US blockade. Their free health care is NOT shitty - they have one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world, and one of the highest life expectancies. There are more doctors per capita than the USA. They offer their free education to not just Cuban citizens, but to anyone in Latin America who is poor. ANYONE. This is a fact. As for citizens not being allowed to own cars? Well, if that is your criteria for a society being a good society, you're fucked up. But one big reason more people don't own cars is THE US EMBARGO. Also, it IS a socialist country - money is spent on public transportation instead. For just a few pesos, Cubans can travel anywhere they want to in their country. Sure, they could do with a little more free speech, and they do have their problems, but they are utterly without the rampant consumerism that is eating wealthier societies alive. Also, this lack of free speech must be viewed under some context - that of a poor island nation whose way of life is being constantly threatened by the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. Go to Cuba. I have. Then go to any other Latin American country. Compare. Compare crime in Cuba to crime in the USA. You are safer in the poorest Cuban barrio than in any American city. At 11pm in downtown old Havana, I saw children playing in the streets, for crying out loud. If you want to see what the meaning of 'community' is, you will find it in Cuba. Most people get all their information about that country from sources that have a vested interest in seeing its society destroyed. Remember that the next time you see Jesse Helms shooting his mouth off. If you want to know what it is like, go there. (go there, that is, if your 'democratic' country will let you without throwing you in prison)

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Nice one, Rictus77

    by Lumin Kadare

    Nice to see a few people aren't rampant Rightos. The free-speech thing is a thorny issue, though, and while crazed consumerism has turned this country (USA) into a vulgar, childish version of Canada or Europe, they are not exactly comparable vices. The lack of consumerism in Cuba does not make up for any lack of free speech. It's a tough call to smooth over the idea of not letting people say what they believe when it is critical. That's very, very bad. That does happen here, too, but subtley, and usually in the form of censorship and media bias. The average Joe (and there's millions upon millions of them) can say what the hell they want. If they couldn't, sure there would be no taxi-drivers. Consumerism, though, in the form it takes here, is infinitely vile.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Yep. Kids can play in the streets at night.

    by vikingkitty

    They certainly don't have to worry about dodging any of those evil consumer items we Americans have gotten used to, like cars. Cuba's vaunted "free healthcare" is a myth.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:14 p.m. CST

    In response to: vikingkitty

    by Lumin Kadare

    Not just consumer items, but consumerism. It's a big concept, Vikingkitty, encompassing a lot more than just cars. Go on, I'll let you have another bash at responding. Don't waste my time, though. Write something worthwhile.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Is it supposed to be our fault?

    by exyankee

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Is it supposed to be our fault

    by exyankee

    Why is the USA always blamed for everything wrong in the world? And why can't Kevin Costner do something good for a change?

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:22 p.m. CST

    It isn't America's fault.

    by Lumin Kadare

    Of course not. Even the things that are said most about America are not America's fault. Just the fault of a teeny-tiny percent of the US population called the government.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Cuban healthcare has wasted away since the collapse of the Sovie

    by vikingkitty

    Without the financial support of their communist brother, they are no longer able to get the equipment and raw materials needed for healthcare. There is currently a shortness of drugs and medical equipment, and Cuba's education system keeps churning out doctors that flee the first chance they get. Meanwhile, the average Cuban can't even get rid of a headache because there is no aspirin, and has to beg his cousin in Miami to attempt to send him some. The people that defend Castro's regime by touting "Free Healthcare" don't get a monthly letter from relatives in Cuba pleading for antibiotics, prescription eyeglasses, or a box of Bandaids.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Cuban Healthcare

    by LewisWetzel

    Yeah, Cuba has some of the lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy in the world - at least, that's what the Cuban government says. It doesn't allow international organizations to analyze or verify their data, so there's absolutely no reason to give it any more credence than the data from Stalin's Five Year Plans. Does anyone REALLY think that a country where they don't have enough bandages and soap merits parity with Canada in the World Health Organization's rankings?

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Make up your mind Libs.

    by labowski

    Gawd, another liberal that went on vacation to Cuba. I have nothing against Cubans, only their dictator and government that Cubans have no say over. Cuban citizens are not allowed to stay in those nice, posh, hotels btw, or even enter them. So, make up your mind, is America an evil, Imperialist, Capitalist, Unsophisticated society or can no country on this planet succeed without our evil,Imperialist, Capitalist, Unsophisticated American dollar???? Seeing as how all of Cubas troubles seem to spring from an Embargo that was started by a Democrat and upheld years later by two other Democrat Presidents and continues to this day. I guess it has nothing to do with the fact that Communism and all of it's utopian dreams does not work, ever, anywhere it's tried. Oh, one more thing on Governments and Free Healthcare, there were over 10,000 dead French people this summer because the government was looking after their every health need. No thanks.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:07 p.m. CST

    cuba...

    by Rictus77

    VikingKitty - you are right, there is a shortage of some medical supplies. It is a poor nation. The question is, if Fidel was gone, would that change? The only thing that would change is the US would start trading with them - and if it stopped being communist, most people still wouldn't wouldn't get aspirin. But if you are sick with more than a headache, you will get the care you need. GreatOne - you are so wrong, I don't even know where to begin. Cubans do not get shot trying to leave their country. I don't know where you got that idea. East Germans trying to cross the Berlin Wall were shot at, but that is a different country, in a different era, and the ideologies of Cuba and every other Communist country are the same in name only. Cubans have substantially more freedoms than citizens in the Soviet Union had. A friend of mine (and his family) from Cuba recently immigrated to Canada - he didn't have to pack himself on a boat or whatever to get here, either. Cuba let him go. Cuba will let anyone who wants to go - unless they are educated. If they are educated, they have to pay the Cuban government for their education before they leave (as they were educated for free). In my friend's case, he had a Computer Science degree from the University of Havana, and he had to pay $10,000 before he was allowed to leave. His wife and daughter didn't have to pay anything, because they had no post-secondary education. When I was travelling in Cuba, I could go anywhere I wanted to. It wasn't like it is in North Korea or Soviet Russia. There was no one following me. I was absolutely free to travel. All tourists (and there are a lot of them) are. The lowest infant mortality rates and life expectancies I referenced are from UN studies, not the Cuban government.(you and LewisWetzel are both wrong, there - do a google search to find them) And Castro hoarding the country's wealth for himself is just plain ludicrous. He really does believe in Socialism (in that wealth is shared). It's true he lives better than most Cubans, but his lifestyle isn't nearly as opulent as, say, a George Bush or Jean Chretien. This accusation that he steals the people's wealth for himself is trotted out again and again, but it is utterly groundless. Cuban citizens aren't as wealthy as the average American or Canadian, but they are far better off materially than the poorest in these countries. And they are better off, on average, than the average citizen of every other Latin American country. You can't compare their standard of living to the US or Canada, and blame Castro that it isn't the same. Unless you also go after every other World leader with less wealth than the US and Canada. By that yardstick, we should be lynching Mexico's president Vincente Fox first. (and I don't think he should be lynched, either)

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:08 p.m. CST

    by cmenchu

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Costner's "Fidel Project"

    by cmenchu

    Whoa Nelly! Before anyone else looses his mind ... the "Fidel Castro Musical Project" is slated for BROADWAY!!!!!!! It is not, repeat NOT a film project.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:15 p.m. CST

    This cannot be real.

    by Manaqua

    I mean jeezzuss. Talk about a trainwreck waiting to happen. Go ahead Costner, make my day. M

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Wouldn't be the first time.............

    by Blok Narpin

    My friend turned the movie "Red Zone Cuba" into a musical a fe wyears back. here is the site: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/kundo3/RZC/home.html

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Infant Mortality Rates

    by FentonCrisp

    An explanation of the differences between US and Cuban infant mortality rates: http://www.skepticism.net/discussion/fullthread$msgnum=331. Not sure how true it is, but thought I'd link to it anyway.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Rictus, Wake Up - You're Dreaming

    by Rebeck

    It's true I can't answer to a lot of what you say because I haven't been there, but it is a well-reported, internationally known FACT that three men who were ESCAPING THE COUNTRY (guess they didn't have the money to leave, huh?) were all executed by firing squad within 48 hours of being caught. This was just about six months ago! After that, a half dozen other people were sentenced to up to ten years in prison for the same offense. READ IT HERE: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kamu/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=532511 So this insane delusion you have that all is hunky-dory there is literally beyond belief. You need to get a clue and see the bigger picture here. At least my decadent country doesn't kill or jail people who wanna' leave. Freedom of speech is not a "little problem", it's a tyranny that keeps them afraid and obedient. Give me crime any day. (Which by the way is at a 30 year low in the U.S.)

  • Ellian should be with his father, Bother!

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 5:35 p.m. CST

    escaping cuba

    by Rictus77

    Rebeck - the people you are referring to hijacked a boat and held three people hostage. They weren't merely 'escaping'. Death by firing squad for a crime like that is pretty damn harsh, of course, but hijacking is a crime punishable by at least 10 years in prison in the US as well. Did you even read the article you just linked to?

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 5:57 p.m. CST

    ...

    by Rictus77

    stilldragons - i don't live there because there is a better standard of living here, and my family and friends are here. Cubans trying to leave Cuba aren't fleeing Castro and communism so much as they are trying to get a higher standard of living. People flee poverty in Mexico all the time, risking life and limb. The people on boats are people who see the wealth of the US, and want it for themselves. End of story. It's what ALL immigrants are moving there for. And lots of people throughout Latin America emigrate to Cuba. For exactly the same reasons people leave Cuba to go to the US. A better material standard of living. The boat people you are referring to, 9 times out of 10, fall into one of these categories: - can't afford to leave legitimately - seek refugee status (and automatic citizenship - the holy grail for any would be immigrant) should they make it - are criminals (real criminals, not just political 'criminals') fleeing prosecution. Would Elian Gonzales' father have returned to Cuba were things so bad? He was offered hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay in America by special interest lobbies in Miami. He said 'no, thanks'. And it wasn't because 'big bad' Castro would've executed his family or some such nonsense if he did. You really need to do your homework, man. Talk to some actual Cuban immigrants or something instead of making shit up.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Costner needs to fire his agent

    by super Cucaracha

    that motherfucker has a career deathwish!...and why are his movies 3 hours long?

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 6:11 p.m. CST

    and now ladies and gentlemen...we have motherfuckers defending C

    by super Cucaracha

    These are the same people who choose NOT to believe what the US government says and believe what a dictator says. WTF.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 6:16 p.m. CST

    To all the Cuba/Castro bashers

    by mtoast

    No Cuba is not democratic. It has some way to go on human rights. (and would get there MUCH faster with an end to this pointless blockade) But it is a FAR FAR FAR less oppressive regime than any number of US-sponsored (and often installed) Latin American dictatorships through the 70s and 80s. Chile, Guatemala, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, etc. etc. etc. There is a lot of innocent Latin American blood on the US government's hands. Chileans never got better access to education; they got slaughtered by the thousands under Pinochet. Salvadorians didn't get campaigns to stamp out racism; they got a bloody civil war that filled the soccer stadiums up with bodies. Nicaraguans didn't get increased medical care under Somoza; they got bombs dropped on their own people. So, if you truly believe that your government's oppostition to Cuba has ANYTHING to do with moral issues about democracy, you are willfully ignorant and very naive. If you think Cuba represents a brutal dictatorship, you are uninformed. And if you think your self-righteousness is well-placed, you are hypocrites.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Oh! Oh! I hope they call it... "Fidel On the Roof!"

    by Cinemajerk

    Is Topol still alive? He could play Castro! "If I was a Cuban! Yadda dee-da-dee-da-da-da-DUM!"

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Oh! Oh! I hope they call it... "Fidel On the Roof!"

    by Cinemajerk

    Is Topol still alive? He could play Castro! "If I was a Cuban! Yadda dee-da-dee-da-da-da-DUM!"

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Couple of things....

    by Daryl van Horn

    This IS a weird idea, but let's get some facts down first. 'Communism' by itself isn't evil. It's supposed to lead to a Utopia where everyone's happy. It just doesn't turn out that way. Marx wasn't evil. He lived in a time after the industrial revolution had changed the world and the normal population of the western world was exploited monstrously. Everyone in a normal family had to work, down to the kids. There were children of 9 years old working in mines for 14 hours a day and still everyone was starving. This was horrible and Marx PREDICTED (not even planned) a time when a spontaneous revolution would come and have the poor people rise up against their oppressors. And then it would lead to a Utopia where no one was boss and everyone was equal and unexploited. That's the gist. There's nothing evil about it. It was simply WRONG. Marx' predictions never came to pass. Every country that had a communistic revolution had it well planned in advance. They were all coups, and nothing spontaneous about them. The other element is that that Utopia can never come to pass because the whole communistic notion simply does not work with human nature. We don't WANT to be equal. We want to know that if we work harder, we can get a bigger car than our neighbour, or move to a bigger house. (I know I do!) So Marx meant well, but he was simply wrong. And no matter the system, someone is always in charge over other people. That's why those countries usually turn out dictatorial, because it doesn't work with human nature. Now don't forget though (and many people seem to do, or they never knew) that Castro started out as the people's hero. Do you think for a second the Cubans were better off before him? Pretty much the same. They were still starving except their boss was a right-wing extremist rather than a left wing one. Cuba was America's very own Casino/whorehouse for the filthy rich. The people hated it and hated Battista. Castro was a lawyer who spoke out against the injustices and became a rebel. And the people loved him. That's why he succeeded and that's partially why for instance the Bay of Pigs was a pathetic disaster. The people WANTED to be free of the former reign. The real tragedy lies in how Castro since then has pretty much become what he fought against: a ruthless dictator. History has more than a few other examples like that. Any movie, musical or not should point out that irony. However it is true that education among other things is far better now than it was then. And it is also true that Cuba's poverty is mostly thanks to the USA's embargo. And no, that has nothing to do with human rights. We don't give a shit about human rights unless it suits us. (China anyone?) Oh and as for the bodycount that 'always acompanies communist reigns', yes it is substantial. Totally unlike the US history of: all but wiping out the native americans, goading Mexico into a bloody war for territory, putting japanese and german citizens in camps, having a system of apartheid up til the mid-20th century, the whole McCarthy witchhunts which ruined lives, putting up dictators like Pinochet in Chili, etc etc (want an evil dictator? We should know, we're great at picking them for our backyard) Yes of course overall the US is a far better country in a far better system, but never imagine for a second we're squeaky clean ourselves. As for the musical, I doubt it's true. In a land like this it would truly be career suicide for Costner. Also I don't think it's all that suitable to put to song. I just can't see a Castro lookalike doing a balad. Wonder what he himself would think of it. Although frankly, last couple of years I really think he's turned into a crazy demented old coot. Oh and one more thing. Extreme left wing always feels that EVERTYTHING should be government regulated. Extreme right wing feels NOTHING should be. Guess what? They're both wrong. Some things are better under regulation and others are better off privatized. Ask good ole Republican president Teddy Roosevelt who was the one to bring corporate america to it's knees and under government rule. (The same kinda corps that created the 'proletarians') Hey! I guess that makes Teddy a 'filthy commie' eh? Sorry for the long post.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 7:22 p.m. CST

    OLD NEWS

    by Mosquito March

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 7:32 p.m. CST

    relevant link

    by mtoast

    http://www.theonion.com/3936/wdyt.html

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Is anyone else awestruck by the irony of GreatOne decrying the t

    by Rain_Dog

    Cause I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry about that one. My tuppence: I'm pretty much an embittered, cynical left-of-centre equal-opportunities hate-monger - I certainly don't agree with people who are trying to soft-peddle Castro's more deplorable traits, but I'm equally bemused by the right-wing cheer squad who still seem to believe that communism is in and of itself inherently evil, that America is the greatest place on earth and that no-one has any right to question that fact, and that the worst thing about Cuba isn't that you can't own a car (!). Oh yeah, and GreatOne - go stand outside the White House yelling "Fuck Bush" and see how long you last "without fear of imprisonment." Before you start foaming at the mouth, I'm not trying to draw moral equivalence between Bush and Castro, I'm just saying that the current US government doesn't have a sterling record in terms of enshrining freedom of speech, or unflinchingly supporting democracy - remember that Rumsfeld was a key player in putting Saddam into power in the first place. I guess my fundamental position is a distrust of authority, left or right. It seems to me ridiculous that for the sake of partisan alliances, people *on both sides* are willing to over-play the sins of their opposing number, while ignoring the dirt on the hands of their side and resorting to ad hominem attacks (or downright stonewalling) when confronted with the facts. The guy who wrote the post about Marx, debunking the absurd notion that Marx was somehow "evil" - word up. Great in theory, shitty in practice, although I'm not sure that greed is a facet of human nature - it could just as easily be a learned one, since there has never been a truly equitable system of government established *anywhere*. We, as people who have grown up under a centuries-old capitalist system, believe that capitalism appeals to the fundaments of human nature, but I suspect this may be something of a vicious cycle - we believe that what we have been taught from birth is human nature. I'm not saying it's not, but it's an interesting thought. Anyone who knows anything about, like, behavioural science or anything like that, feel free to tell me I'm talking shit. I've just worked a fourteen hour shift and I think I may be becoming seriously over-wrought.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:16 p.m. CST

    GreatOne, you're wrong about blacks in Cuba

    by mtoast

    I am the first to agree that the attitude toward homosexuality gy the Cuban government is disturbing and deplorable. It's one of the key elements that I would like to see change in the country. But Castro's government made huge strides in reducing racism in Cuba after the revolution. Before 1959 racism against blacks was rampant. After coming to power, the government instituted a program to educate and put an end to racism. Incredibly, it worked. They actually worked out a program that changed people's attitudes. Go to Havana today and you would never believe that it was once a segregated society. Just correcting your facts.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:19 p.m. CST

    kevin costner's endless supply of money

    by MiltonWaddams

    for every one critic saying open range was genius, there were 10 saying that shit drug on for days and days and days. after chicago (more like shitcago) it's not a suprise that every studio is rushing out to make the latest and greatest musical possible. stupid ass musicals. god damnit.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Cuba

    by A.Stanton

    Does any of you live in Cuba? I'm a cuban living in Cuba. I'm not pro Castro, I'm not a socialist, but I don't want to leave. The system is screwed, but I still love this country. It's true that many things are wrong, (awfully wrong) but there are also good things. It's true that the health system is shitty, but it exists and it's free. And where did you hear about that behavior towards homosexuals? Because I have many, many openly gay friends and I don't remember any of them being in prison. I think that happened once, 30 or 40 years ago, but things have changed. Don't bash my country like that without knowing, or because you heard or read something. It's not paradise, but it sure isn't hell neighter. Oh, and I have a car.

  • Sept. 19, 2003, 9:31 p.m. CST

    All you pinko liberals...

    by raoulkduke

    Please pack your family and all your belongings in your car. Drive to Austin. Pick up your fellow traveler, Harry. Drive to Laredo. Cross border. Drive to Mexico City, if you can get your car past the federales. Take plane to Havana. Enjoy yourself in the workers' paradise. Enjoy your new PhD, or MD, and universal health care for your starving children. On second thought, that might do Harry some good. Although he would no longer be able to pop off about US movies, since there wouldn't be any, and oh yeah, no Internet.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Cro-Magnons here are actually still using the term 'pinko'.

    by Lumin Kadare

    Catch up, you freaks. IT's the 21th Century. That John Wayne lingo died decades ago. Be original, at least. Also, it is fucking disgraceful that the same people who say USA is a free country are insulting and telling those who dare criticise to leave. You cowboys are complete throwbacks. If you love something you want it to be the best it can be. Successive governments have brought a fine country with morals based on hard work and ingenuity (generally) to one of imperialism, money-making with no care for your fellow man, sleazy consumerism, and despotic puppet govts. overseas. That shit is not what AMerica means to me. Fuck calling me pinko. I'm one of the few here who want America to actually BE the great thing it is said to be. WIth vile foreign policies and racist domestic policies, it is pissing on the dream. All those talkbackers attacking us who want more for AMerica and insist on pointing out its present faults are enemies of America, and THEY should leave.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Sprintime for Dubya and Hollywood

    by Lenny*Bruce

    So. Castro, this evil man, doesn't deserve to have a film made about him cuz dig it, Cuba is hell on Earth, a regular undemocratic monkey cage..... See, this is where I fall down, cause I ASSUME that you are all commenting from the United States. Considering that free health care is so unimportant to you I think I'm right; "So the putzes got free health care, what's so special about that? Why, my HMO get's me the best medical care in the world. If I couldn't afford it, that'd be my fault! God bless America!" See, I assume you think Cubas bad cause they can't choose their own leader. Just like you guys chose Bush - oh christ I forgot he isn't even president unless you take his word for it. "Stop counting - I've WON!" Oh, you shmucks, you don't really care what he does to his people. But I agree on one thing - do a film, but do it right. A thing like this, the right director could really cook with it. Cause I assume that Castro started off with CONVICTION, something American politicians don't have. Also, principals. A good film/musical has him young and eager, then revolution, success. Then, Whoops! I'm a fat old dictator. But I'm waiting for the Bay of Pigs musical "PigShit!" (exclamation mark obligatory). "Oh my god, I'm so gay; just call me J-F-K. I'm really in some shitty company!!!" that's just Jack and his mafia friends. Then, the big finale: "I want my baby bombers back, bombers back, bombers back baby!" "Jack called of the attack, mack, then went off to smoke crack - cause he's one Cowardly dope, he's one Cowardly Dope he's one Dumb ApplePie in the Sky Dope...." Off track but I think I'll go write that now and stop bothering you. Go back to sleep America! Your government is in control! Here, watch American Gladiators......... I'm sorry if i haven't cursed much today. I'm not a talkbacker -I'm Lenny*Bruce!

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 7:25 p.m. CST

    What was that I said about about ad hominem attacks?

    by Rain_Dog

    Thanks for proving my point there, GreatOne. But first, fair enough - you've never advocated torture, imprisonment, or anything else like it for homosexuals on this site, and I apologise for characterising you that way. I find your intolerance toward gays, and your resentment of their depiction in the media, highly distasteful, but I overstepped the mark. Your beliefs on the subject are dictated by religion, whereas I'm a bit of secular humanist, so there's little point in getting into a debate about this one - no-one's going to change anyone's mind. Just FYI, I'm working the amount I do to pay my own way through a university degree, and yes, I do enjoy the occasional smoke. I also finished high school two years ago in the 6th percentile of the state in which I undertook my final exams. And doesn't the fact that I *have* actually read some Marx kind of indicate to you that I might know whereof I speak when I discuss his theories? Does it make you feel any better that I've read Adam Smith and Edmund Burke as well? Basically, Marx interests me as a guy who invented a fairly enduring mode of cultural and historical analysis (which exists quite apart from the real-world political implications of his work), but I never once advocated communism in my previous post - what I said was that I don't necessarily believe that capitalism is an expression of human nature, and that *no* truly equitable system of government has ever been put into practice. I never said the aforementioned equitable system would be a) tenable or b) Marxist/Leninist in nature. Pure exhausted speculation on my part. I guess I also find it a little hard to swallow rhetoric about freedom and liberty from a guy with as repressive a social agenda as yours. As far as I'm concerned, freedom doesn't just mean the freedom to step on other people in order to make money and acrue power. Someone with a truly deep-felt belief in the freedoms and liberties they claim to uphold wouldn't stoop so low as to impugn the education and social standing of someone they don't know who has dared to express an opinion differing from theirs on an internet message board. Would it really be so hard to refrain from attacking me personally and actually rebut a couple of my points? And if you have to insult me, could you come up with something a little less redundant and, well, childish than "liberal scumbag dickweed"? Just so this isn't totally off-topic, any movie with Kevin Costner is an altogther dicey prospect, but a musical about Fidel Castro? Unspeakable.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 7:32 p.m. CST

    You've never posted at superherohype.com using the handle Mindwo

    by Rain_Dog

    Just curious. Although, to be fair, that guy didn't have a command of the English language anywhere near as advanced as yours.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Ah, fuck it, one more thing . . .

    by Rain_Dog

    Cannibal Nun, GreatOne, are you guys this unpleasant in real life? I mean, seriously, it is possible to discuss politics without the use of the words pinko, commie, scumbag, demoRAT, moron, idiot, or whatever else it is you think passes for intellectual discourse. Insulting someone so viciously whilst grandly extolling your own virtues as one who "loves the sinner" seems . . . well, it seems like a load of hypocritical, self-regarding bullshit. For Christ's sake, I didn't actually *say* a single one of the things you insulted me for having said (except the bit about gays, and I dealt with that before) - not once did I say that communism was a plausible/attractive alternative, nor did I say that Fidel Castro was a swell guy (quite the opposite, had you bothered to comprehend my post), nor did I mention Alger fucking Hiss. I may have indulged in some airy-fairy speculation about the nature of humanity and (God forbid) suggested that the Bush government may not be the greatest human beings ever to have walked the face of the earth, but I hardly think that was cause to let rip quite so ferociously. For some pointers on how to be right-wing and not an insufferably arrogant prick, try reading Nicole21's post.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Cuba/Musical

    by Weyland-Yutani

    Okay, well first off having been to Cuba several times I can say that it is neither paradise nor an evil hellhole. I can say that reporting on Cuba in the US is disgraceful. One of my visits coincided with the visit of a cadre of reporters from America doing special reports on Cuba(this was 92 or 93 thereabouts) and I would often run into these folks out and about in various locations throughout Havana. Upon returning to the US I was absolutely stunned to read the articles written about their time in Cuba--without getting too detailed basically they painted a frightening portrait which was completely at odds with what I saw (and honestly I saw exactly the same thing they saw cause I was there at the same time). Not really the point of my post, but when I hear about the liberal media bias and then think about the absolute lies told about evil oppressive Cuba it makes me laugh. Again Cuba aint perfect, but believe me unless you have been there and traveled through the countryside and worked there (and I have done all three from chopping cane in the fields to performing on stage) what you think you know about Cuba is probably wrong. I also have been the grateful beneficiary of the free healthcare and I can tell you regardless of the lack of ready supplies it works and works well. At any rate what I really wanted to talk about was that a Castro musical might be a wonderful thing -- the musical form is full of successful ideas that at first glance look like disasters -- hell, Chicago is about people getting away with murder; if someone announced a musical about Eva Peron you'd think they were nuts; Cats (crap musical but successful nonetheless); Almost of any of Sondheim's brilliant musicals (Sweeney Todd and Assassins in particular) look like sheer insanity based on the story alone -- but in execution are extraordinary works of art. So, a Castro musical in and of itself need not be bad (and I can think of lots of ways it could be incredibly good) I just don't think Costner is someone who comes to my mind as being particularly well-suited to the idiom.

  • Sept. 20, 2003, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Wrong

    by A.Stanton

    Once again, I tell you I live in Cuba, I'm in Cuba right now as I write this (so there's internet; I'm not typing in a coconut), and nothing, NOTHING happens to anyone here for being homosexual. There are many, many things wrong with my country, but it is far from being the hell some of you say it is.

  • Sept. 21, 2003, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Cannibal_Nun

    by Rain_Dog

    Yeah, most of that post was directed at GreatOne, sorry I chucked you in there. But don't think that means I don't think you're an asshole. Asshole.

  • Sept. 21, 2003, 1:18 a.m. CST

    Sci-fi nerds revolt!

    by OsamaBinBlofeld

    I'm kind of shocked that pimply faced, overweight, 38 year olds that live in their mothers basement have such conservative views. Nicole21 is showing her old age because we all know that the older you get the more conservative you get. I for one couldn't be any more liberal but do I favor censorship? NO! Maybe I should reduce it to what I here from a lot of folk here and just do name calling and not really address anything. I do feel that some feminist, gay, and other liberal groups do try to censor others views. I couldn't be further from supporting that. I am a liberal so please don't say a name represents an entire group...think about it.

  • Sept. 21, 2003, 1:24 a.m. CST

    I'll try and explain this one more time, GreatOne . . .

    by Rain_Dog

    You and I concur about the horrors of communist governments - but I don't blame Marx for the fact that others misenterpreted his work any more than I blame Neitzsche for the fact that Hitler totally misconstued his whole ubermensch thing. I can't seem to repeat often enough that my interest in Marx lies in his work as an analyst of human history and cultural structure, not as a political theorist. If you can't wrap your head around the fact that Marx himself isn't actually personally responsible for the atrocities committed by Stalin and Mao, and that his body of work goes far beyond just the Communist Manifesto, if you are too ill-informed to understand the influence his work had on the humanities in general (lit-crit, cultural studies, the Frankfurt School, structuralism etc.), then by all means flame away. I'm not going to apologise for my interest in Marxist historical/cultural analysis, and I don't think that makes me wrong-headed, or a commie pinko blah blah blah. Cannibal_Nun was, in fact, quoting Nietzsche on this very site the other day. Given ol' Friedrich's influence on Hitler, does that make CN a Nazi? Like I said the other day, I detest authoritarianism Left or Right, which is why I no more endorse the policies of Mao, Stalin, and Castro than I do those of Hussein, Hitler, or Pinochet. I'm primarily a humanist, not a liberal (which, incidentally, has a totally different meaning here in Australia - the Liberals are the conservative party) so I'm not going to stick up for left-wing dictatorships just because they are nominally on my side of the fence. But I don't think an admission of the flaws of the Left disqualifies me from criticising the Right. As for the gay thing, I assumed by your use of the word "sin" that your objections were predominately religious - if your secular objections are hinged on the notion that homosexuality is a developmental behavioural disorder, I'd be interested to read the research that proves it. As far as I'm aware, debate still rages as to precisely what causes homosexuality - genetics, environment, etc. One more thing to Cannibal Nun - I think the ones around here with the real thin skin are the ones who can only support their arguments with invective. Throwing insults and hyperbole, no matter how cleverly worded, only demonstrates a lack of intellectual grounding for your opinions, not your superiority. Not that I'm pointing fingers. And jeez, if this is you laid back I'd love to see you all fired up.

  • Sept. 21, 2003, 1:24 a.m. CST

    I know republicians that read Marx...

    by OsamaBinBlofeld

    ...I hope you who talk about him have atleast read a little bit of his ole manifesto and/or other works. Oh yeah and guess what??? There has never been a communist country. Only a Reagan fan boy would buy into that!

  • Sept. 21, 2003, 1:44 p.m. CST

    There has never been a capitalist country.

    by JackieJokeman

    Even though we have public schools, roads, etc.. in the US it would be silly to say its not a capitalist country. In the same way its silly to claim there has never been a communist country because the result of the attempts havent been the workers paradise Marx envisioned. You can support communism in principle and still be honest and admit when it goes wrong. I favor capitalism and I accept that it can go very very bad. And before any of you call me a Bushie or a Nazi or some vile crap, I voted for Nader of all people.

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 5:57 a.m. CST

    I love the argument, "There has never been a really communist co

    by vikingkitty

    It's the newest fad in dealing with a failed system. Just claim they weren't doing it right. Sure, that's what led to all the dead citizens and crushed dissent.

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 7:03 a.m. CST

    Cannibal Nun

    by DocPazuzu

    It's interesting to see Cannibal Nun suddenly make a stand against dictatorship in this talkback, when he's much more lenient when it comes to nazis. Check out his comments in the Riefenstahl talkback a couple of weeks ago. That having been said, Castro is the scum of the earth -- embargo or not.

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 11:03 a.m. CST

    why am i not surprised...

    by Octaveaeon

    Time to set the record straight. Karl Marx (born 1818, died 1883) was a German social theorist, whose main interests were economics and history. He is NOT responsible for the philosophical doctrines we now consider 'Marxism'. In the first volume of Das Kapital Marx made use of, and to some extent discussed, a theory of method that owed something to Hegel. Marx called this a dialectical method, but said that it turned Hegel's dialectic the right way up, in that it was materialistic and not idealistic. But though Marx's dialectic may in a broad sense be called a philosophy of history, it is really an account of socio-historical development rather than a philosophical theory, and so is the concern of the historian rather than of the philosopher.************************************** Marxism (or Classical Marxism), on the other hand, is the body of doctrines originally propounded by Marx and Engels, which involves certain philosophical views. These views (propounded mainly by Engels) rely heavily on the philosophy of Hegel, and in particular on his thesis that change has to be explained in terms of contradiction. But whereas Hegel's philosophy is a form of idealism, Marxism declares itself to be a form of materialism. Not, however, 'mechanistic' materialism, but 'dialectical' materialism, where due weight is given to 'the transformation of quantity into quality'. This means that mind is not reduced to matter but is seen as coming from matter, though qualitatively different from it. Early in the 20th century, in the course of a polemic against idealism, Lenin laid stress on the view that knowledge is a 'copy'of reality, and this now forms part of what we call Soviet Marxism (see the difference kitty?). Since WWI, many different versions of Marxism have been propounded. A large number of these are not philosophies, but rather types of social theory; those that are genuinely philosophical, for example, the theories of Georg Luk

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 12:17 p.m. CST

    and as far as cuba is concerned...

    by Octaveaeon

    In 1898, Cuban rebels had been fighting their Spanish conquerors for three years in an attempt to win independence. Business interests in the U.S. at first did not want military intervention in Cuba. Considering that if they could just get free access to other markets, there would be no need for colonies or wars. A sort of peaceful imperialism fueled by their economic strength and wielded on lucrative underdeveloped nations. Indeed, many business groups were greatly interested at the effects of the revolt on commercial possibilities, not to mention those that had already quite lucrative sugar plantations on the island (by 1860 Cuba was producing one third of the world's sugar supply), strangling the abilities of peasant farms to compete, thereby impeding their development. Popular support for the revolution was based on the idea that they were fighting for their liberation just like the americans had fought for theirs in 1776. However, the U.S. government was populated by people whose interests in these consisted of matters of power and profit. Neither Cleveland nor McKinley recognized the rebels as such. Ofcourse not, had they managed to kick the Spanish out on their own, they would not let the U.S. so easily in. They would, God forbid, place matters on their own hands, and seek out their own interests. Plus, the result would be another black republic (Haiti was bad enough). So, McKinley was in a rush to send troops before the Cuban rebels won and kicked the Spanish out. And thus, in February 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine, stationed in Havana harbor, was destroyed by a 'mysterious' explosion. 268 died. The obvious result was a war-like fervour, dashed with rhetoric calling for intervention "for humanity and love of freedom, and above all, the desire that the commerce and industry of every part of the world shall have full freedom of development in the whole world's interest."(The New York Commercial Advertiser, March 10). Henry Cabot Lodge, after speaking to various business leaders, wrote to McKinley: "They said for business one shock and then an end was better than a succession of spasms such as we must have if this war in Cuba went on." An adviser to McKinley telegrammed him, writing: "Big corporations here now believe we will have war. Believe all would welcome it as relief to suspense." Two days later he sent an ultimatum to Spain, mentioning nothing about independence for Cuba. He didn't mention it either to Congress on April 11. Many Americans, thinking the aim was independence (Teller Amendment was supposed to guarantee this), supported the idea. Years after the Cuban war, this is what the chief of Bureau of Foreign Commerce of the Department of Commerce had to say: "Underlying the popular sentiment, which might have evaporated in time, which forced the United States to take up arms against Spanish rule in Cuba, were our economic relations with the West Indies and the South American republics... The Spanish-American War was but an incident of a general movement of expansion which had its roots in the changed environment of an industrial capacity far beyond our domestic powers of consumption. It was seen to be necessary for us not only to find foreign purchasers for our goods, but to provide the means of making access to foreign markets easy, economical and safe." This happened more than 50 years before the Cuban Revolution, and it set the foundations for what was to happen then, and the un-equal relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Buildings called 'libraries' contain a lot of similar information on the matter, plus on countless other subjects.

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 12:20 p.m. CST

    and on cuba...

    by Octaveaeon

    In 1898, Cuban rebels had been fighting their Spanish conquerors for three years in an attempt to win independence. Business interests in the U.S. at first did not want military intervention in Cuba. Considering that if they could just get free access to other markets, there would be no need for colonies or wars. A sort of peaceful imperialism fueled by their economic strength and wielded on lucrative underdeveloped nations. Indeed, many business groups were greatly interested at the effects of the revolt on commercial possibilities, not to mention those that had already quite lucrative sugar plantations on the island (by 1860 Cuba was producing one third of the world's sugar supply), strangling the abilities of peasant farms to compete, thereby impeding their development. Popular support for the revolution was based on the idea that they were fighting for their liberation just like the americans had fought for theirs in 1776. However, the U.S. government was populated by people whose interests in these consisted of matters of power and profit. Neither Cleveland nor McKinley recognized the rebels as such. Ofcourse not, had they managed to kick the Spanish out on their own, they would not let the U.S. so easily in. They would, God forbid, place matters on their own hands, and seek out their own interests. Plus, the result would be another black republic (Haiti was bad enough). So, McKinley was in a rush to send troops before the Cuban rebels won and kicked the Spanish out. And thus, in February 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine, stationed in Havana harbor, was destroyed by a 'mysterious' explosion. 268 died. The obvious result was a war-like fervour, dashed with rhetoric calling for intervention "for humanity and love of freedom, and above all, the desire that the commerce and industry of every part of the world shall have full freedom of development in the whole world's interest."(The New York Commercial Advertiser, March 10). Henry Cabot Lodge, after speaking to various business leaders, wrote to McKinley: "They said for business one shock and then an end was better than a succession of spasms such as we must have if this war in Cuba went on." An adviser to McKinley telegrammed him, writing: "Big corporations here now believe we will have war. Believe all would welcome it as relief to suspense." Two days later he sent an ultimatum to Spain, mentioning nothing about independence for Cuba. He didn't mention it either to Congress on April 11. Many Americans, thinking the aim was independence (Teller Amendment was supposed to guarantee this), supported the idea. Years after the Cuban war, this is what the chief of Bureau of Foreign Commerce of the Department of Commerce had to say: "Underlying the popular sentiment, which might have evaporated in time, which forced the United States to take up arms against Spanish rule in Cuba, were our economic relations with the West Indies and the South American republics... The Spanish-American War was but an incident of a general movement of expansion which had its roots in the changed environment of an industrial capacity far beyond our domestic powers of consumption. It was seen to be necessary for us not only to find foreign purchasers for our goods, but to provide the means of making access to foreign markets easy, economical and safe." This happened more than 50 years before the Cuban Revolution, and it set the foundations for what was to happen then, and the un-equal relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Buildings called 'libraries' contain a lot of similar information on the matter, plus on countless other subjects.

  • Sept. 22, 2003, 8:09 p.m. CST

    cuba is better than u think

    by BIGPOTATOGIRL

    mr funktastic you are totally right, its so nice to see people who dont just swallow everything the propaganda tells them. You see i got very sick about 10 years ago and went to cuba becuase it has some of the best hospitals in the world, and i have very fond memories of that country. You dint see starvin kids in the streets everybody has access to education and medical care. Every kid drinks milk and eats proper food afford by the goverment as well as people over 65. Some of the best people ive known are from that country and while i realized that Castro has made a LOT of mistakes, the reason why cuba is so poor and why so many people leave its the economyc embargo. if you wanna blame somebody blame it on the US goverment and its desire to play big brother of the world

  • Sept. 23, 2003, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Harry to Bushers: Go Fuck Yourselves

    by Jeff Fries III

    The conservative hard-right nazi stronghold in Hollywood has made it impossible for anything but politically ambiguous films like The American President, The Contender, and Bowling for Columbine to find an audience. Nice try Harry.

  • Sept. 23, 2003, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Baz Luhrmann is crying in his beer as we speak

    by SpeakersCorner

    Politics aside, does no-one else see the fact that Baz Lurman consitently sparks genre revivals with every single one of his movies? Shakespear got the biggest cosmetic makeover of his posthumous career when Baz did Romeo and Juliet. Suddenly the bard was hip again and we got bombarded with an unbelievable amount of modern remakes. Strictly Ballroom took a genre that had previously been relegated to big-hair 80s hell and made it faux-cool again. All of those mid 90s dance oriented movies wouldn't never have made it near a greenlight if it weren't for that movie. Finally Moulin Rouge comes along, and paves the way for Chicago (and now seemingly a whole host of other supremely awful musicals) to go on and undeservedly win cartloads of oscars. If Baz were to make a movie about sentient rocks you can pretty much be guaranteed that that would be the Hollywood standard for the next couple of years. Anyway ... that's enough now.

  • Sept. 24, 2003, 2:37 p.m. CST

    What about a Hitler musical?

    by Lost Skeleton

    Oh, wait...they have one...It's called the Producers. Oh never mind.