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The death of Fidel Castro is tearing my leftie friends apart

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For many months, my leftie friends on social media — and before you ask, yes, I’m a leftie too — have been mostly unified thanks to their shared hatred of Donald Trump. Then Fidel Castro passed away last week, and now the once sweet Kool-Aid we all used to communally drink has turned to bitter wine (the gross boxed kind).

I don’t really have any conservative friends (that I know of), so the core of my Facebook feed has split into two main camps: group #1) a hardcore, capitalist-hating, Chavez-respecting, Manu Chau-listening bunch, and group #2) the sober, perhaps a bit more centrist and less romantic faction (they probably listen to shitty music too, don’t put it past them).

The former group get huge hard-ons thinking about how Castro essentially got away with flipping off the US for so long, and right in its fat, McDonald’s-eating face. Why? Because most other countries — especially in Latin America — wouldn’t dare to piss off the Yankees. It’s the same band of people who immediately point out all of Castro’s great contributions — many of which, if this writer is to be believed, were already in place before he took over:

Before Mr. Castro came to power in 1959, Cubans suffered from a grasping, corrupt dictator and the U.S. mafia was involved in the island’s casinos, to name two issues. However, Cuba was not an economic straggler and it already “topped the charts” on multiple social indicators.

…ponder Cuban health care. Cuba in 1957 already had more doctors per 1,000 people than did Norway, Sweden and Great Britain. In 1958, according to even one recent regime-friendly academic paper, Cuba “ranked in the first, second or third place in Latin America with respect to its healthcare indicators.” Circa the 1950s, that success included long life-expectancy rates, and the lowest infant-mortality rates in Latin America.

The latter group, the one’s you’ll never catch wearing a Ché t-shirt because Rage Against The Machine ruined them for everybody since the ’90s, are softer lefties, but they do have the capacity to appreciate Mr. Comandante Tracksuit’s support of racial equality, medicine, and higher education (even if he pimped out Cuba’s bookworms later on).

tony

But faction #2 can not turn a blind eye towards all the other shady shit Fidel did (mistreatment of dissenters, homosexuals, and, among many other things, the fact that he never actually implemented a real democracy where people could vote, which was kind of the whole point of his revolution in the first place). Concerning this criticism, die-hard castristas argue that Fidel was simply from another time and he did what he could with what he had, or something along those lines, but camp #2 is having none of it. For all the progress that occurred under his watch, Castro was still a huge asshole, they say.

Alas, these are the core arguments I’ve been reading from many of my buddies on social media. But if you’re truly wondering about the merits of Castro’s revolution — and its culmination — I suggest you check out Patria o Muerte,  a new HBO documentary which gives many current Cuban residents a chance to tell their own tale:

 

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Oh, right. Old-school Mexicans humiliate their children by pretending they don’t exist.

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I’ve been visiting my mother, and all of our immediate family, for the last week. They’re old-school, rural Mexicans. The kind who always offer food, even if they hate you.

I’m in my mid 30s now, and have been living on my own since I was 18, so at our gatherings I get a proper adult seat at the table. They listen to what I have to say, but it wasn’t always like that.

It’s not like that for my younger relatives, either. At family reunions, I see them out of the periphery of my eye. They’re trying to get a word in, but those older Mexicans won’t allow it. Why would they? What have those mocosos (snot-nosed kids) done to deserve anybody’s respect? Did they pay for their food? For the roof over their head? For their car, gas, clothes? No? Then they don’t exist.

Yes, they’re physically there, but unless they can prove their worth through monetary independence, they’re no one. If they try to make their voices heard, they’ll be silenced by a death stare, or an abrupt change in conversation.

If they persist, other humiliations will be flung at them, such as being asked to do something entirely meaningless, just like their opinion. “Vete a ver si ya puso la marrana” (go see if one of the pigs laid an egg) is a classic. My grandma had one of the most bizarre just-get-the-fuck-out-of-here phrases, which I’ve never heard elsewhere: “Vete a descular hormigas” (go chop the asses off ants).

I know these Mexicans sound like assholes, but they’re like that because they believe in resilience, not fragility. Giving encouragement to a mentally and physically healthy person seems redundant to them. Those people already have all they need to succeed, they’ll think.

To gain their respect, at the very least a person will need to become self-sufficient. That’s how you earn the right to sit with them. Either you’re with that, or you’re not there at all.

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“Trump Dating” site doesn’t want the gays, but allows the “happily married” to join

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You can even be mad at Trump Dating, a new website for lonely — or not so lonely, but just promiscuous — maganogamous people. It’s a perfect representation of their cherished administration, since it’s also homophobic — it only allows “straight” women or men to sign up — and, just like Trump, it’s all about adulterous relationships:

“When you kick off the process of starting a profile, you get two options for labeling yourself — ‘straight man’ or ‘straight woman.’

Yet according to Trump Dating’s rather strange drop-down menus, married people are welcome. For a relationship status, the site offers options like ‘have a significant other,’ ‘happily married,’ and ‘unhappily married.'”

And since no self-respecting republican-specific dating site should exist unless it takes an issue with race, Trump Dating allows their users to be super specific about their genealogy:

“The ethnicity options also seemed oddly specific. In addition to the typical categories, the site includes choices like ‘Scandinavian,’ ‘Polynesian,’ ‘Eastern European,’ ‘Western European,’ ‘Mediterranean,’ and ‘Eskimo,’ a term used to label the indigenous people of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland that is considered offensive and inaccurate.”

OMG, you guys. There better be a second menu where users can identify which of the five Aryan subtype races — Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic — they belong to. Otherwise the server room of this Trump Dating is gonna get tiki torched.

Anyway, where you at, Chispa, the “Tinder for Latinos”? You gonna let Trump Dating walk all over you? You need to re-brand to DACA Dong, Canelo Kennedy Courting, or something.

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