Los Frikis: Punks Who Chose to Infect Themselves with HIV in Castro’s Cuba

Communist Cuba wasn’t really the best place to be a punk rocker. Rebellious teens, known as los frikis (“the freaks”), used their radios to pick up American airwaves and rock out to groups like AC/DC and Metallica. However, getting the Led out came with a pretty steep price.Kids sporting long hair, ripped jeans, and T-shirts emblazoned with rock band logos were regularly assaulted by the police. When scruffy teens showed up for school, they were often surrounded and forcibly shaved. Anyone caught listening to rock music was tossed behind bars or sent to work in the sugarcane fields. The Berlin Wall had just collapsed, the USSR was falling apart, and Fidel Castro was freaking out. Hoping to keep his regime intact, the bearded director went after anyone who stepped out of line, cracking down hard on rock music and angrily shouting, “Socialism or death!” That’s when musicians accepted the challenge.

To escape persecution, Los Frikis chose to give themselves HIV for a chance at life in a Cuban AIDS sanitarium.

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Hypnosis and politics

Nick Belluso, while running for governor of Georgia in 1978, came up with the idea of hypnotizing the voters to vote for him. So he hired a hypnotist and created a TV ad.

Candidate: This is Nick Belluso. In the next ten seconds you will be hit with a tremendously hypnotic force. You may wish to turn away. Without further ado let me introduce to you the hypnogenecist of mass hypnosis, the Reverend James G. Masters. Take us away, James.

Hypnotist: Do not be afraid. I am placing the name of Nick Belluso in your subconscious mind. You will remember this. You will vote on Election Day. You will vote Nick Belluso for governor. You will remember this. You will vote on Election Day. You will vote Nick Belluso for governor.

However, Belluso’s scheme was foiled when every TV station but one refused to run the ad, fearing the hypnosis might actually work, which would open them up to potential legal liabilities.

So Belluso lost the election. Though he subsequently became a perennial candidate running for many offices, including President of the United States in 1980.

Also worth noting: Belluso claimed he had been endorsed by “The Force.”

via weirduniverse.net