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Elian is nothing to most Cuban Americans but an anti-Castro voodoo doll.

Related Gully Stories

100 years of Failure
US.-Cuba policy since the Spanish American war.

Miami Utopia
Elian's Miami life.

Elian Democracy
Cuban-Americans prepare for violence.

The Complete Elian
The Gully's complete coverage.

elian with shades

Sick of the Saga

by Chuck 45

APRIL 12, 2000. The Elian Gonzalez saga is driving me crazy. I drink too much and avoid watching the news, especially when the kid Elian comes on the box, his two fingers up in V-signs like Nixon. He's not a 6-year old boy anymore. He's my generation's Patty Hearst, a trained seal, a brainwashed abductee with dark shades, gold chains, and a plastic gun. He's the Manchurian Candidate of Little Havana.

The pod people fronting the Elian show are even scarier. All those Cuban-American lawyers and politicos are pros at masking Mad Hatter illogic with reasonableness in their nice suits, nice tans, nice haircuts, with nicely modulated quasi-Standard White English tones. They work so hard to pass as real (or is it unreal?) white Americans, you know, the pod kind of tepid real white American that not even all pale people can pull off.

How skillfully mournful the pods look when they talk about the intransigence of the U.S. government. How personally grieved they are that Elian's father doesn't want to venture into the pre-civil rights snakepit of Miami. How masterfully they eulogize Elian's mother who "sacrificed herself to give her child freedom," hinting at similar personal stories with a tastefully small tear in a single eye.

Then the pods turn around on Spanish TV and get all tacky. They rant and rave and talk trash—how they're not going to let the commie U.S. government make fools of them in Miami, no fuckin' way.

The Anglo anchors don't know or care they're only getting half the story. They never question Elian's mother's, or any other Cuban's Flight for Freedom. Ask them. I dare you. Was it freedom of speech that drew you, or the freedom to eat more than a pittance of rice and beans—like almost every other immigrant? The boyfriend who persuaded Elian's mother to leave was no freedom-fighter. He was just a violent, small-time hustler who did a couple years in jail for cutting off a guy's fingers in a bar fight.

And when I hear the Cuban American National Foundation orating about justice I think of Timothy McVeigh. I wonder if he would have erupted in violence if he'd had his own lobbying group, his own p.r. firm masking his mania, lawyers justifying every mad thought.

I'd bet a million pesos if he spoke a little better, if he'd had better clothes, Diane "Ratings Whore" Sawyer would have interviewed him dozens of times, the government would have set him up in a foundation. He would have killed people quietly, maybe via embargos, maybe via a discrete letter bomb to an irritating journalist.

nunNow Elian's Miami Gonzalez relatives are requesting (in English) demanding (in Spanish) that his father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, meet with them "face to face", no lawyers or INS people around, at the home of--hold onto your seats--neutral nun O'Laughlin (remember her?), or some other neutral place in neutral South Florida. Miami's neutral secessionist mayors Alex Penelas and Joe Carollo have pleaded with Janet Reno at the Justice Department to make this neutral meeting happen.

That piece of moral roadkill Al Gore parrotted his cubano masters verbatim, "That's the ideal solution: Let the entire family...talk." Gore, the man who would be President, is now dancing not just to the sentiments, but to the tune scripted in the Banana Republic of the Everglades. If this was religion, one could say he's become a banana fundamentalist since he last put his craven foot in his craven mouth.

This is the just and democratic America Juan Miguel should be dying to stay in. The land of milk and honey, and immigrant success stories. Let's revisit these successful Americans and surrogate parents. Great uncle Lazaro, first in line for custody, can't drive since his drunk driving conviction and spends all his time vegetating on the sofa when he's not out waving to the crowds. Elian's cousins, the Cid brothers, only take time off from armed robbery to teach little Elian how to aim his plastic gun. Poor disturbed madonna-wannabe Marisleysis is in and out of the hospital with "nervous" complaints.

And what of the raving lunatics outside the house? Few things are more chilling than the legitimate grief of a whole people degenerating into a blind ugly drive for revenge.

Let me be the first to tell the truth. Elian is nothing to them but an anti-Castro voodoo doll. They think every time his little fingers make those little Nixon V's the bearded tyrant is another step closer to the grave, when its really only me they're killing.

Reno: Save me. Send Elian home.

Related links:

For The Manchurian Candidate.

For Don Siegel's The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the original pod people movie). Sleep No More!

For the complete illustrated text of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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