vendredi 14 novembre 2014
CULTURAL FRANKENSTEIN: CUBA AND THE WORLD
Australian researchers have uncovered how the massive DNA molecules that appear in some tumours are formed like Frankenstein's monster, stitched together from other parts of the genome. This solves a decades-old mystery and explains how these tumours ensure their own survival.
(photo taken in downtown Havana in the 1930s by the well known American photographer, Walker Evans, it goes well with the title of Fernando Ortiz's sociological study Los Negros Curros)
When I read this important scientific article, I had to chuckle a little, because it reminded me of what my colleague, Dra. Rosa Maria L G, a Medical Anthropologist at University of Havana had once said. Because of the sudden changes in the economy of Cuba and influx of tourists and their ideas, many Cubans have become “Cultural Frankenstein”. As in the above study, they had stitched together for themselves, from the little bit of information and gifts they had received from their newly acquired friends from Germany, France, Italy or Spain, a special identity, based on their Cuban identity of warmth and open mindedness.
(A cuban identity created strictly after the tourist influx to Cuba. This woman makes a good living posing for photographs for tourists who think it is "normal" colorful way the Cubans dress! She wishes to please the tourists, she is a good example of Cuban Cultural Frankenstein. Important to note that she sends False message to the world about identity, as do people who parade themselves as Taino Indians in Cuba)
While this kind of mixture is an anomaly in Cuba because of the special circumstances, I thought all of us in a way have become cultural Frankenstein. We may not outwardly exhibit our superficial admixture as they do in Cuba, we do in subtle fashion mix various cultures to suit a constructed identity of ours.
On a recent flight from Miami to London, this cultural frankensteinism? Could be seen on the menu itself.
Appetizer Thai Chicken
Entrée Portobello Mushroom stuffed with mixed vegetables, wild rice, sautéed spinach and roasted pepper sauce.
Cheese Plate Fontina, Dill Havarti and smoked Cheddar
Black Forest Mousse Cake
The Champagne was French
The white wine was from Spain, Tresolmos Lias Verdejo, Rueda
Dessert Wine was from Portugal, Senhora do convent Vintage Port
Can we deduce the nationality of this meal? Isn’t this a Frankenstein of a meal? But in a nice fashion! Whereas we associate Frankensteinism with things evil or malignant, we fail to associate it with the changes that are occurring all around us, in us and among us, because we do not perceive that to be evil or contagious.
Isn’t it a form of arrogance to consume such a meal and write about it?
I am not sure, since the person who consumed that meal and writing about the meal is I.
And I was watching a wonderful Japanese movie!