While the word “communism” brings to mind images of labor camps and breadlines for the Baby Boomers and before, my generation is more infatuated and less fearful of the ideology. Whether it’s Che Guevara T-shirts or the showing of “Motorcycle Diaries” in universities across the country — communism has somehow become considered chic among many of my peers.
I suppose we are the rebellious children of a society that has insisted on shoving capitalism down our throats.
However, less than 90 miles from America’s mainland, many of my peers seem to have a radically different opinion about the coolness of communism.
Meet Gorki Luis Águila Carrasco. He and his band, Porno para Ricardo (Porn for Ricardo), “don’t take this communist crap.” Águila , 39, has been arrested twice in his home country of Cuba. First, in 2003 for drug charges he claims were politically motivated. The second time was in 2008 on a charge of “dangerousness.”
The Porno para Ricardo has been disrupting the political status quo in Cuba since their inception in 1998. Not only is their content sexually explicit, it is blatantly irreverent of Fidel Castro and his communist regime. In a 2007 interview with CNN, Águila said, “Communism is a failure — a total failure. Please. Leftists of the world — improve your capitalism.”
But Águila and his band aren’t the only young artists questioning their parents’ revolution. The film, Cuba RebelioN!, explores the rising alternative music scene in Cuba. Other bands included in the film are Cuba’s premier metal band, Escape, and the rap-rock band, QVA Libre.
American youth would be wise to keep their “communism” on T-shirts and buttons where it belongs. If they ever feel the need to advocate a political system they’ve had no experience with, they should first listen to those who have.