[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#2409: Sweet Micky : A comment


Thank you to Charles Arthur for posting that Sweet Micky article. I find 
Micky a fascinating phenomenon in Haiti (much to the annoyance of my Lavalas 
friends, who hate him for very understandable reasons). My fascination stems 
from Micky's contradictions--on the one hand his Guede vulgarity which makes 
him hugely popular with 'peup-la' and his puschist/fascist political leanings 
on the other. Vulgarity, betiz, the Guede persona etc. are connected in my 
mind to the oppositional, everyday politics of 'peup-la' confronted with the 
conservative moral politics of the bourgeoise and the Catholic church. And 
yet Micky clearly represents this dominant class. When I see Micky perform in 
Kanaval or at a bal I am always struck by how similar his performance persona 
is to a Guede and sometimes joke with my friends that Micky has a permanent 
Guede fixed in his head. The similarities are striking--especially given the 
radically different contexts in which Micky and the Guedes 'perform'--the 
ambiguity around sexuality--Micky's cross dressing and constant flow of 
homophobic-homoerotic jokes, the use of 'betiz' to throw into question 
accepted social values, the ridiculous posturing which relativizes political 
power, the intense give and take between the performer and the audience, to 
such an extent that it is not always clear which is which and so on. It is 
strange to me that Micky has such a fine tuned understanding of popular 
politics and a huge following while clearly and overtly defending the 
interests of the bourgeoisie.

I have never taken Micky's presidential aspirations seriously; I tend to view 
the whole thing as a parody of Haitian political life.  Heaven forbid Micky 
ever takes his popularity too seriously and actually enters the formal 
political arena; we would lose a great musician and social satirist and gain 
an ugly politician.