04 April 2008

57 Channels (And Nothing On)

In today’s change du jour of the day…..(ahem)….Cubans get access to foreign TV with a new 24 hour channel.

The programming details haven’t been made available, but I’m assuming they’re going to buy innocuous novelas and talk shows to take the people’s mind off the matters at hand with a bit of the twentieth century 'opiate of the masses'. I know we’re in the twenty-first century, but I’m just trying to point out that TV is soooo last century….

Actually, it’s more of a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them” The great war against the illegal satellite dishes couldn’t be won. The Cubans are too clever and the system too corrupt to be able to eradicate them. So the regime has decided to compete (I know, the irony!) with the illicit dishes and its boring propagandist official TV and offer its own less threatening alternative.

After all, if the Cuban people are so bored with the official programming that they are willing to go through the expense and hassles that come with an illegal dish AND risk fines and incarceration to escape it, they’ll jump at chance of seeing free and legal somewhat entertaining programming and leave the dishes behind.

It’s a win-win for Raul. He limits the exposure to the siren song of western consumerism through the dishes and scores some points with the populace by providing some entertainment that he can control. And they can even run commercial to peddle....well....the same lies they've been peddling for 50 years.

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