entertainment

A 26-Year-Old Has Created the Underground Netflix of Cuba

Cubans have found a way around the Cuban government’s strangle hold on digital media via a DIY subscription service called El Paquete Semanal. A new report from Vox shows how with very limited Internet access, Cubans are able to get their hands on the latest movies, music, and television for only a few bucks a week.

El Paquete Semanal is one Cuban’s middle finger to the digital media embargo in Cuba.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.46.48 PM
Credit: Vox / YouTube

For more than 50 years, Cubans have essentially been cut off from the Western World, especially when it comes to movies, music, and television. Imagine having The Walking Dead banned from your TV.

A group of people in the US and Cuba are making it possible for Cubans to get their Game of Thrones and Beyonce fix without the Internet.

Network
Credit: Vox / YouTube

And they are taking that content and distributing it to all of their subscribers around the country. Yes, they have subscribers just like Netflix and Hulu.

READ: Cuban Youth So Hungry for American Trends, They are Willing to Risk Everything

All the movies, songs, and shows are put on a hard drive and replicated so the weekly entertainment can be hand-delivered throughout Cuba.

All the top songs, new movies in theaters, and the latest episodes of hit TV shows are bundled together until they have 1 terabyte of entertainment to give to their subscribers. These people seriously DGAF about Cuba’s digital media laws or international piracy laws.

And this shit isn’t like the bootleg DVDs you might buy down the street. Everything is high quality and full HD.

High Quality
Credit: Vox / YouTube

?

Being a member costs you about $2 USD a week, less than a movie ticket.

giphy-4
Credit: Parks and Recreation / NBC / allfatherthor / Tumblr

It is such a lucrative business that Cuban media is now paying for subscriptions in El Paquete Semanal.

“We exist on the Internet but the Paquete Semanal has such a wide range of distributors and it’s sold all across the country,”Antoinette Duquesne, a writer for the Cuban magazine Vistar told BBC. “So, this is the best way for us to connect with our audience.”

Subscribers can pick and choose what they want to watch/listen to but many just get the full terabyte of entertainment.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 2.00.02 PM
Credit: Vox / YouTube

“I can copy whatever I want,” Ana Lauren of Havana, Cuba told BBC. “If I don’t want to copy music this week I don’t have to. I only copy the things and shows that I want to use this week.”

There are small groups specializing in different entertainment media, gathering the latest and hottest stuff worth watching and listening to.

How THey Gather Content
Credit: Vox / YouTube

READ: Cubans Just Got WiFi This Year and They Already Figured Out How to Use it To Migrate Safely to the U.S.

They even have it down to a science so they can deliver the most current entertainment possible.

Stuff They Have
Credit: Vox / YouTube

El Paquete Semanal has given some Cuban youths a chance for much needed and hard to find income in the communist regime.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 2.29.53 PM
Credit: Vox / YouTube

And it also serves as an underground Craigslist where Cubans can get and exchange goods and services without the constant barrage from the Cuban government regulating the amount of good they are allowed.

But who is the person in charge? He goes by the name Dany Paquete.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 1.49.15 PM
Credit: Vox / YouTube

I see what you did there, Señor Paquete. #clever

The 26-year-old has become something of a digital media kingpin on the Caribbean island.

Chain of Command
Credit: Vox / YouTube

His business model has been so successful that a rival business offering the same service has emerged in Cuba. Paquete welcomes the competition to push them to progress.

It’s impossible to know how many Cubans use El Paquete Semanal, but the service touches the whole country.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 3.23.34 PM
Credit: Vox / YouTube

And if someone doesn’t use the service, they definitely know about it.

READ: These Secret Bedrooms Tell You A Lot More About Cuba

Check out the full video below:

Credit: Vox / YouTube

Did you think this story was interesting? Share the story with your friends and keep coming back for more stories like this.

Los Espookys Episode 2: “El Espanto de la Herencia”

Entertainment

Los Espookys Episode 2: “El Espanto de la Herencia”

HBO

On June 13 2019, HBO premiered “Los Espookys,” it’s Spanish-language horror comedy from the mind of Fred Armisen. Needless to say, we were immediate fans. Between the subtly hilarious script and its impeccable delivery, the series proved from episode one that it’s worth the watch. Don’t even get us started on how much we love the horror elements we’ve seen so far.

The second episode of “Los Espookys” is just as addictive and entertaining as the first. Titled “El Espanto de la Herencia,” the episode is so good, it demands a recap.

Here are some of the most spooky and most hysterical parts of “Los Espookys” episode two.

Last week, we met Renaldo, Úrsula, Tati and Andrés, four friends bonded by their love of horror.

HBO

The gang was encouraged by Renaldo’s uncle, Tio Tico, to pursue that passion and turn it into a career. Calling themselves Los Espookys, they were approached by a mysterious woman who wants to use their terrifying talents. With this in mind, it’s time to brainstorm how they’ll approach this next job.

However, before we can check in with Los Espookys, the series introduces us to the US Ambassador.

Horror DNA

Her name is US Ambassador Melanie Gibbons and she’s received an important letter. The letter — which is in Spanish, not coded as she first suspects — informs her that her friend Ignacio Ferracuti has died. However, he’s left his 18.9 billion peso fortune to whoever can survive a night in his haunted mansion.

To borrow Ambassador Gibbons words, “Okay, twist!” She’s been chosen as one of five strangers to compete for his fortune. It’s all very exciting for her.

Similarily, Los Espookys are excited for this upcoming challenge.

Horror DNA

We finally get to see to the official Los Espookys headquarters — which happens to be Renaldo’s garage. While Andrés pushes for avant-garde and challanging tricks, Renaldo wants to stick to the basics. Úrsula just wants confirmation that they’re going to be paid.

Meanwhile, back in LA, Tio Tico is in an unusual situation.

Horror DNA

Following last week’s encounter at a major celebrity party, Tico has been mistaken for an elusive artist. Due to this mix-up, he’s been roped into speaking at an art panel. The whole thing has snowballed and Tio Tico is just along for the ride.

Unfortunately, Andrés is finding it hard to balance his life as Prince of Chocolate and his spooky calling.

HBO

Being the heir to a chocolate fortune is hard. As his boyfriend reminds him, Andrés has duties he needs to commit to or else he will be removed as heir. However, the curious man is preoccupied with uncovering the mystery of his birth and his new side gig. What is a Chocolate Prince to do?

Finally, it’s the big night!

Horror DNA

Too bad Renaldo has been ditched by the other members of Los Espookys. Andrés, Úrsula y Tati have all shown up last minute, leaving Renaldo to set up. What’s worse, nobody hired the actors they need so Renaldo has to step in as the creepy butler. Let’s just say, the role is out of his range.

Still, the goal of the haunted house is to get rid of one contestant in particular. The Mysterious Woman announces to Los Espookys that Sr. Ferracuti’s son is a contestant and must not win. However, he seems impossible to shake with the frankly unimpressive scares.

Los Espookys are in a funk and they need some serious rallying.

HBO

Andrés is obsessed with the dead ends he keeps getting in his search for his origin. Úrsula is obsessed with getting paid. Tati is obsessed with Snap Chatting her shady internet boyfriend.

Renaldo is about to give up but some unexpectedly good advise from Tati inspires him. After a rallying call from Renaldo, Los Espookys are back. They’re going to pull off the scariest trick they can.

We don’t want to give away the ending, but the episode wraps up with the possibility of more jobs in their future.

HBO

Will Tati continue her internet relationship? Will Andrés learn the origins of his birth? What sort of adventure will Los Spookys get into next week? We’ll have to watch to find out.

Erika Jayne Of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Has Been Low-Key Serving Up Latina Realness Right Under Our Noses

Entertainment

Erika Jayne Of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Has Been Low-Key Serving Up Latina Realness Right Under Our Noses

@theprettymess | Instagram

Since the reality show boom in the late 1990s, we have been fascinated by watching seemingly normal people doing outrageous stuff on television or being put in extreme situations. We have also found a not so guilty pleasure in seeing the rich and famous in their everyday, mundane lives. Producers try hard to sell an illusion of reality, but in fact, much of what you see on television is at least partly scripted. Companies like the Dutch powerhouse Endemol and the US channel Bravo have tried it all. Titles like “Big Brother,” “A Simple Life “(that sensational show in which Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie were “forced” to work in a farm), “Survivor” and “The Osbournes” permeated popular culture and redefined what celebrity is.

But perhaps one of the most endurable formats is the “Real Housewives of…” formula. It is simple: you choose a set of women who are uber rich and who have the potential to produce the most amount of pan y circo (in short, dramarama) for audiences who are hungry for extravagant personalities and near-fistfight, as well as plenty of chisme with the occasional tear-jerker of a reconciliation. Besides some clear issues in terms of gender representation (women are housewives by nature, really? Pardon our French pero no mamen) and the sense of privilege that the cast seems to have, there are some pretty inspirational stories of women who embrace just causes and have worked really hard for what they have. One of these women is Erika Jaymes, the already established singer who has become an Insta sensation and an all-around estrella due to her honest and exorbitante personalidad. Here’s what you need to know about this güeraza who has gotten a second round at fame!

1. Her full name is Erika Nay Girardi (her maiden last name is Chahoy)

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

And she was born on July 110, 1971. She is a proud daughter of Atlanta, Georgia.

2. She is a bestselling author

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Yes, her autobiography, Pretty Mess, has been on the top of the lists of The New York Times bestsellers. The publisher describes it as follows: “In Pretty Mess, Erika spills on every aspect of her life: from her rise to fame as a daring and fiery pop/dance performer and singer; to her decision to accept a role on reality television; to the ups and downs of family life (including her marriage to famed lawyer Tom Girardi, thirty-three years her senior)”. Wow, what a rollercoaster of a life!

3. For years she has had to tell haters to F-off! 

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Leave Erika alone! No, seriously, if you are one of those individuals who goes online to trash other people’s lives, just stop. Erika has been brave enough not only to remain classy in the onslaught of online hate but also on making it public, which is a way to put herself out there. Bien.

4. From high school talent to a billboard on Times Square!

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

She first got in touch with her ample talents during her stay in North Atlanta High School. She joined the musical theater group and did roles such as Val from “A Chorus Line.” She also did great versions of “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton and Madonna’s “Into The Groove”. And, to be honest, she has kept that Dolly Parton vibe, hasn’t she?

5. She moved to New York when she was 18, in search of a musical career

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Hundreds of young people move to New York and Los Angeles each year hoping to break into the music industry, but only a few are successful. Our girl moved to the Big Apple and soon became part of several girl groups such as the I-Dolls.

6. She married her first husband in 1991

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

While starting her career in the entertainment industry she met Thomas Zizzo, a DJ. They got married at St Patrick’s Cathedral and had a son, Thomas Zizzo Jr. The couple divorced in 1996 and she moved to Los Angeles to reignite her career.

7. She married her second and current husband in 1999

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

She met a powerful attorney, Thomas Girardi, and they married in 1999. He is 33 years her senior. During the first years of her second marriage, she played the role of what she describes as “a lawyer’s wife”. She went to dinners, met powerful people and basically learn how the upper echelons of power work.

8. But being a housewife wasn’t enough: 2007 is the year of Erika Jayne

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Erika decided that marriage was not going to stop her from having a musical career. She launched her first dance music single, “Roller Coaster”, in 2007. Her rise to the top of the Billboard charts was explosive: she reached number one at the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. Her second single, “Stars”, held the same position in the Billboard Dance Play chart. And, as they say, a star was born.

9. She has her own record label: Pretty Mess Records

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Under this label, she has released collaborations with some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as rapper Flo Rida, with whom she released “Get It Tonight” in 2013.

10. 2015: The year of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Erika joined the cast of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” for the show’s sixth season. She soon became one of the favorite drama queens on television!

11. She has had roles in film and television ever since! 

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

She had some minor roles on television early in her career (before her first marriage), but the huge fame that Real Housewives brought to her life has lead her to roles in the telenovela gringa “The Young and the Restless” (she appeared with her “Housewives” co-star Eileen Davidson) and in the B-movie sensation “Sharnado: The 4th Awakens,” She also appeared in Animal Planet’s show “Tanked.”

12. After the Real Housewives comes “XXpens$ive”!

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Her experience in the reality show she released this single on January 4, 2017, during the show “Watch What Happens with Andy Cohen.” The song is a hymn to materialism and entertainment.

13. So how has she accomplished so much? Well, she got her resilience and her talent from her santa madre

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Her mom is Renne Chahoy, who was an 18-year-old classically trained pianist and actress when she had her daughter, suddenly became single when Erika wasn’t even one year old.

14. So she didn’t meet her biological father until she was 25 years old

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Erika was adopted by her stepfather, but she never really met her biological dad while growing up. The first encounter happened when she was a young independent 25-year-old woman. She describes the encounter as “meeting a stranger”.

15. She also appeared in “Dancing with the Stars”

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

The 24th season of the show (yes, 24th!) had her as one of the main competitors, and she was paired with pro dancer Gleb Savchenko.

16. She has collaborated with make up brands

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Her ultra famous public persona and her fierce femininity has led her to collaborate with brands BeautyBlender and Too Faced Cosmetics. From Atlanta to Sephora!

17. She has also collaborated with shoe brand ShoeDazzle!

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Remember that epic Times Square billboard? Well, it was part of her campaign with the famous shoe brand. She released a collection of 12 of her favorite shoes. We want them all.

18. She is a fashion trendsetter 

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

What Erika Jayne does is replicated in dozens of dance clubs around the country. We are not sure about this Tigresa del Oriente outfit, though!

19. She is a philanthropist 

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Erika and her husband contribute to the betterment of their community through charity work, particularly towards the empowerment of young girls.

20. She is a queer icon

Credit: Instagram. @theprettymess

Jayne is vastly popular in queer culture due to her fierceness and all around extravagant awesomeness! Yasssss!

Paid Promoted Stories