The Daily Chrenk’s useful guide to translating mainstream media’s Castro obits


If, like me, you are now reading mainstream media obituaries of Fidel Castro – or Canadian PM Justin “he got his brains from his mother and his hair from his father” Trudeau’s official condolence statement – you might be slightly confused by some of the language used.


This is particularly so if, again like me but unlike the mainstream media or Justin Trudeau, you have been living in what scientists call “the reality”. With that in mind, I have compiled a useful guide to help you navigate through the media prose and decipher the eulogies:

“One of the longest serving leaders” – a dictator, never held a democratic election.

“George Washington of Cuba” – if George Washington dispensed with elections and stayed as president instead of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson, handing over the United States to his younger brother half-way through what would have been Martin Van Buren’s presidency.

“Outlasted ten American presidents” – it’s easy; see above. As a staunch Hillary supporter, however, he couldn’t face the Trump presidency.

“Survived 638 assassination attempts” – unlike 73,000 Cubans who didn’t survive his.

“Remained popular with his people” – “we used the same pollsters who told us that Trump couldn’t win. Haha joking; we didn’t use any pollsters; it’s a dictatorship where people go to jail for saying what they think, you fool.”

“His love of his country” – he loved it so much he wanted it all for himself.

“Romantic (figure)” – “people like us swooned over him for sixty years while he killed his people by the tens of thousands, drove 500,000 of them to escape through shark-infested waters, filled up prison camps, persecuted artists and homosexuals, and denied his people the most basic human rights.”

“Icon (an); iconic” – see “Romantic”; cf. Hitler, Franco, Pinochet or Trump, who can never be described as iconic.

“Orator (an)” – person no one dares to interrupt; including the international record of 4 and a half hours at the United Nations in 1960 (but they, unlike the Cubans, deserved it).

“Bearded, cigar-smoking” – “we can’t say we secretly like machismo and/or smoking, because the female editor will cut our remaining ball off.”

“100% literacy” – everyone can read only socialist propaganda. Otherwise known as the NYT/MSNBC/Fairfax/ABC wet dream.

“Free health care” - “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy” (John Derbyshire)

“Survived a crippling embargo” – “a communist country stays a miserable hellhole without trade and investment from a capitalist country. But we can’t say it like that.”

You’re welcome.