Thursday, Oct 8, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
by Ginger Strand and James Wallenstein
The Believer (October 2009)

“All we really wanted was a smoke. Yet here we were in Havana, the traditional capital of cigars, not puffing on habaneros but marching through the Museum of the Revolution. The once-ornate chambers in the former presidential palace are now occupied by scenes from the Twenty-sixth of July Movement’s glory days; guards sit reading as tourists file past dim glass cases containing faded manifestos and bloodstained martyrs’ garments.[1] The museum interrupts its chronicle of socialist triumph—in both Spanish and English—with periodic detours through gift shops tendering books, flags, DVDs, and T-shirts. For a country where there’s almost nothing to buy, Cuba has a lot on sale.”


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Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

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"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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