Ned Sublette is a 2005-2006 Guggenheim Fellow. He is the author of
Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo (Chicago
Review Press), and composed the song "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly,"
recently recorded by Willie Nelson. In April he guest-hosted Radio
Nation with Laura Flanders on Air America Radio.
Few Americans, especially those in government, know much about Cuba. And
nowhere is that more evident than in the coverage of Fidel Castro's
illness and the transition of power.
As hurricane season began in earnest, Ray Nagin, who famously declared New Orleans a "chocolate city," began his second term as mayor. What better time to appreciate the way George Clinton, America's should-be poet laureate, has funked up politics?