Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yesterday Land and the Pirates of the Carribean

A blogger follows plans by Cuban authorities to build a "theme park" to showcase the island's achievements. Babalu Blog starts an informal contest to suggest motifs. Some ideas put forward by readers for the new park include Torture Land, Repression Land, Snitch Land, and Hunger Land.

Although most people are probably unaware of it, a theme park called Stalin World opened in Lithuania. During a gala opening:


thousands of invited guests were greeted at the gate by an actor dressed as Stalin; a Lenin look-a-like, complete with a goatee and cap, sat fishing by a nearby pond. Guests were invited to drink shots of vodka and eat cold borscht soup from tin bowls, while loud speakers blared old communist hymns. Nearby, red Soviet propaganda posters read: "There’s No Happier Youth in the World Than Soviet Youth!"

"It combines the charms of a Disneyland with the worst of the Soviet gulag prison camp," Malinauskas told assembled journalists, including a handful from abroad who’d flown in to report on the bizarre spectacle.

Commentary

I think the Cuban authorities would be ill-advised to open a theme park in Cuba. The regime's admirers like fantasy, but not that kind of fantasy. They like to imagine a Communism that never was, the one that existed in poetry readings at Revolution Bookstores. The kind that still exists, provided you never go looking for it.

4 Comments:

Blogger José Joseph said...

I'm quite sure that if I had to live in Cuba that I would piss off the executive level and would be sent to the Isle of Pines in no time at all. But at the same time, it really is enjoyable to take in an afternoon baseball game in Cuba and then go for chicken and guitar music afterward. The socialismo is creepy - but the baseball and chicken are excellent. Although I wouldn't want to actually live in either place, I'd rather holiday in Cuba than in Florida. Fewer drug addicts and drunks on the streets. Go figger!

3/14/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

If you go to Stalin World make sure you try the Trotsky Shot at the local bar.

Actually, Russians and Eastern Europeans are not nostalgic for the repression of the communist regime but rather for the stability. It is no different for people in the US who long for the morality of the fifties. The "golden age" was never truly golden but as time goes by you remember the good and suppress the bad. Look how many muslims long for the good old 1400's...

3/15/2007 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Peter,
"If you go to Stalin World make sure you try the Trotsky Shot at the local bar"

But don't drink the water, or you'll get the trotskys.

3/15/2007 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Sultan Knish said...

Progressive Kingdom of Tropical Diseases

3/15/2007 10:20:00 PM  

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