Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Camionetas Para La Gente!

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The Cuban car thing. Which avenue shall we take: the technical, wherein we masturbate over VIN numbers at the exclusion of the drivers; the high-priced longread, where a novelist from Brooklyn talks about himself in the passenger seat of a Packard; the pedant who reminds us of the bullshit that required Cubans to keep these deathtraps running instead of just buying a Toyota?

ISIS has a fleet of Toyotas, but Jose from Havana had to keep his Hudson running. The rule about importing automobiles was just lifted a few years ago, and not fully; I may have overstated my case: you can now buy a Toyota, but it’ll cost you $40,000.

Before that, all the cars on the island were pre-embargo American cars, which means 1960, and a constant refrain of this blog has and always will be: the past was worse. Everything about it. There was no Golden Age, there’s just nostalgia and fantasy covering up a whole lot of lynchings and shit flowing through the streets.

Yes, these cars are sculptural and sublime and other “s” words, but they don’t have seatbelts or air conditioners. There aren’t even a lot of them: the estimate is around 60,000 privately owned cars in the country.

Population 11,000,000.

Fuck Castro. And his little brother, Frank Stallone.

11 Comments

  1. All the hippies are so glad at what Spencer just did.

  2. Right, all those cars were imported during the golden Batista years.

    • Thoughts On The Dead

      March 14, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Certainly not praising that thief. And one can understand an embargo on American cars.

      But people deserve affordable, reliable transportation. Shit, it’s been 60 years: Cuba could have started their own car industry; they would have been good at it; Cubans are smart.

      The people got fucked.

  3. “The past was worse. Everything about it. There was no Golden Age, there’s just nostalgia and fantasy covering up a whole lot of lynchings and shit flowing through the streets.”

    Requesting permission to use that quote on my history course syllabus. With attribution, of course.

  4. Luther Von Baconson

    March 14, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    first trip outside of north america was to cuba 1986, spent 2 months there. flew Air Cubana which was a hoot, Cuban diplomats show up last minute in a limo on the tarmac at Pearson (old terminal), make party in the back. met some great people. rented a ’52 eldorado in havana, ditched a moped in varadero (i sent a money order later to pay for the flat tire). spam for breakfast, popular cigarettes, havana club (cuba libres), soviets on vacation, bad shoes. sketchy toilet paper (derived from cane?), couldn’t flush it down the crapper, there was a receptacle in the bathroom for spent tp.

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