Cuban ‘Ironman’ entertains his fellow noble savages by pounding his body with a sledgehammer

Cuban “Ironman” Lino Tomasen entertains his fellow noble savages at a park in Havana

From our Bereau of Intense Local Colour & Savage Feats of Strength with some assistance from our Bureau of Highly Efficient Ways to Call Attention Away From the Harsh Realities of Socialist Latrine American Totalitarian Hellholes

The world’s news media loves to publish stories that highlight the weirdness and exotic uniqueness of Cuban culture. Such stories always tend to ignore the awful realties of life in totalitarian Cuba. Instead, they aggrandize the myth of the Cuban noble savage.

Traditionally, in the unique genre of British travel literature, this kind of exotic weirdness has been called “local colour,” a double entendre that refers not only to what is foreign or “different,” but also to the darker skin tones of the inferior folk under scrutiny.

“Oh, look, Mildred! Aren’t these weird Cubans charming? Those savages are so lucky to have a totalitarian government that keeps them under control, don’t you think? Oh, Mildred, they should be so grateful, n’est-ce pas?”

If Pulitzer prizes were to be awarded to this specific genre of journalistic malfeasance, this one would be a great contender. Tres Fotutos says: “give this journalist from Reuters a Pulitzer!”

From Granma Euro-Lite (Reuters) via CNA

On a leafy boulevard in downtown Havana, a man is beating himself with a sledgehammer, on his wrists, elbows and forearms, drawing a crowd of passersby who gather to film the spectacle with their phones.

What shocks the crowd is not the apparent self-mutilation, but rather the fact that he appears to come away unscathed.

Cuban “Ironman” Lino Tomasen said he once aspired to be the next Mike Tyson, training to become a professional boxer by subjecting himself to millions of blows with the hammer, and eventually moving from the Caribbean island to fight in Mexico City.

“I had 27 matches won by knockout, but I retired because in the last of them I fractured the skull (of my opponent) and he died instantly,” the stocky Tomasen recalled in an interview with Reuters in Havana.

“I gave away all the money I made in my fights to his family,” he said, estimating the sum to be over $100,000, a huge amount of money for most residents of Cuba. “I vowed never to fight again.”

Tomasen has since written off fame and fortune, and makes a far more modest living on the streets of Havana and nearby beach communities, collecting tips from impromptu shows.

On a recent sultry summer morning, the squat, lean 32-year-old chewed on a half-smoked cigar and wowed a crowd by doing pushups on his bent wrists with a full-grown man on his back.

Then he returned to beating himself with his sledgehammer, studiously pounding every joint in his arm to the winces of onlookers.

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2 thoughts on “Cuban ‘Ironman’ entertains his fellow noble savages by pounding his body with a sledgehammer”

  1. Yes, the mainstream media does this all of the time. I remember when they had a story about a man with six fingers on each hand, then they had a story about a man with a chicken that laid an enormous egg, another time they had a story about a man who built a giant bicycle. Apparently, these stories are newsworthy, but not the continual arrest, detention and abuse of dissidents.

    • Yes such coverage is patronizing, as in “Oh, look, how cute of the lowly savages!” But of course, they DO see Cubans as primitives, and treat them as such. The fact their “primitive” situation is entirely due to the horrendous system they’re forced to live under is naturally not gone into.

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