Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

lunes, octubre 31, 2011

A Graveyard Smash. Happy Halloween!

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domingo, octubre 30, 2011

Piri Thomas,RIP

The New York Times on October 19, 2011, had the sad news:

Piri Thomas, the writer and poet whose 1967 memoir, “Down These Mean Streets,” chronicled his tough childhood in Spanish Harlem and the outlaw years that followed and became a classic portrait of ghetto life, died on Monday at his home in El Cerrito, Calif. He was 83...

The memoir, a best seller and eventually a staple on high school and college reading lists, appeared as Americans seemed to be awakening to the rough cultures that poverty and racism were breeding in cities. A new literary genre had cropped up to explore those conditions, in books like “Manchild in the Promised Land,” by Claude Brown, and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

“Down These Mean Streets” joined that list. The memoir, Mr. Thomas wrote on his Web site, had “exploded out of my guts in an outpouring of long suppressed hurts and angers that had boiled over into an ice-cold rage.”

The novelist Daniel Stern, reviewing the book in The New York Times, called it “another stanza in the passionate poem of color and color-hatred being written today.”

Denise Oliver Velez has written a lovely remembrance of him.

He will be sorely missed.

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viernes, octubre 28, 2011

This Week In The Dream Antilles

Ebbets Field, Brooklyn

These days your Bloguero isn’t much of a baseball fan. His current team of choice, the Mets, flamed out early in the season. They were so bad that your Bloguero pronounced their season over on April 21, 2011. After that, your Bloguero treated the Mets with the revulsion he usually reserves for serious hangovers and the less benign forms of dentistry. Something to be given a very wide berth. Something to be avoided at all cost. But tonight is the climactic Seventh Game of the World Series. And last night’s Sixth Game, so the Trad Media inform, was a wonderful game. So maybe tonight’s game might be worth watching. Right.

It’s never that simple. There’s always the past to consider. And matters of the heart. When your Bloguero was small boy, he was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He loved the Dodgers. He loved “dem Bums.” He particularly loved Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges and Duke Snyder. And others. All the other baseball cards were meaningless; only the Dodgers counted. The Giants and Yankees were obviously teams of spoiled patricians; the Dodgers were the people’s choice. Hell, the Giants and Yankees were probably Republicans. Or worse. They certainly weren’t the lovable underdogs. How could any self respecting kid like teams that always won? Or pretended they did?

Yes, the Dodgers lost almost all of the important, big games back then. To the Yankees. To the Giants. It was a tradition. But that didn’t matter. The Dodgers were great players, and they were a great team. And there was always next year. Your Bloguero loved that they might lose, but that they tried hard not to. And he knew they were trying hard. What else was there, other than to show up and try hard? Your Bloguero liked the innocence and simplicity of that.

One morning your Bloguero awoke and learned that his beloved Dodgers had decided to abandon him. They announced they were pulling up roots in Brooklyn and heading to Los Angeles for the next season. Just like that. Poof. Here at Ebbets Field today, gone to LA tomorrow. Loved today, leaving behind your Bloguero, heart broken and abandoned tomorrow. And why? There was no reason your Bloguero’s 10-year old brain could understand. Ten year olds in love with a team don’t care about finances. Or revenues. Or anything else. They care about the game. They care about balls and strikes. Your Bloguero was stunned. And hurt. And perplexed. Asked your Broguero to any who would listen, to any who might be able to explain it to him, “You mean that the team I love is leaving me and going to the West Coast, to California for reasons I don’t understand?” Your Bloguero could not forgive that Sandy Koufax, the greatest pitcher ever, your Bloguero’s favorite pitcher, would not be throwing in Brooklyn but in LA. And that the home games would begin because of time zones at 10 pm in New York, past his bed time. He'd never see his first love again. There was no justice in that. At all.

So it’s the Seventh Game of the World Series tonight. And it might be interesting baseball to watch. But it’s also irritating the small, old scar your Bloguero has on his heart, the one that marks where the Dodgers were yanked away from him half a century ago. And your Bloguero wonders whether like him, all of the men of a certain age who used to be Brooklyn Dodger fans when they were kids, have the same small scar that marks the very first betrayal of their most avid love. And whether the World Series makes it ache.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn't actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

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jueves, octubre 27, 2011

So, por favor, go away already, ok?

Rina is outstaying her reservation here. Our friends at NOAA give us this map:

What it says is that TS Rina is hitting the coast of Quintana Roo now, and that when it gets done with this excruciating inundation of rain and wind, it's going to circle around, clockwise, and head back to Belize. It's not going to the US. It's not going out to sea. It's hanging around. Are you kidding me? Can't this thing just go somewhere else? Somewhere else far away? Out to the Atlantic?

I guess not. Latest report from Bahia Soliman: crappy weather, not much happening. Storm surge not too high. Winds not to crazy. Little or no damage (cross fingers). Maybe the storm will be gone enough by tomorrow mid day that there's just stirred up Bay, cloudy ski, and dripping. One can hope.


miércoles, octubre 26, 2011

Well, It Could Be A Lot Worse

The latest from Weather Uunderground isn't great. It's not even good. But it is a whole lot better than the prognostico that Rina would arrive in Tulum as a Category 3 storm moving very slowly (3 mph).

I find myself saying things like, "Well, we've weatherred tropical storms before, many of them, so this is a little more wind than that, but this shouldn't be a really big problem." Then I shudder. I touch wood, I say "jinx," I say, "Kinahurrah." If I knew the Mayan expression to avert the evil I (I don't), I'd say it too.

By this time tomrrow the storm should be past Bahia Soliman and Nah Yaxche. Let's hope that everyone in the Mayan Riviera is safe and secure, that the storm is gentle, and that all are well in its wake.

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martes, octubre 25, 2011

Again, A Storm

Here's a picture that is worth a few thousand words.

I left Nah Yaxche in Bahia Soliman on Monday for the usual anchovy inspired flight, first to Chicago, and then to Albany. It took all day. I couldn't buy the upgrade where they treat you like a human and not a fish in a can. No problem. I'm used to it.

While I was in the air, what I thought would be a minor Tropical Storm got upgraded to Hurricane Rina, and it looks like it's aiming for Bahia Soliman and the rest of the Mayan Riviera. Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Puerto Morelos. It is predicted to arrive Thursday or so.

This is what happens in the Caribe. Frequently. It is nothing new. Out of nowhere, a big storm. A massive storm surge. Lots of sand in the front door. It will rain a great deal. And gail winds will blow. Hard. Then, after a while, depending on how fast it is moving, it will move on. After it's left, the sky will be beautifully blue, the sun will shine, and the sea will again become calm. It will be as if nothing happened.

Of course, everyone should lock everything up and tie everything down, and then leave the Bay and go inland. Why? Because during and after the storm, the access road will no doubt (again) be under water. And there will be no electricity or phone or cell service. And it will be hard to find something to eat. Especially if it needed to be refrigerated. And nobody wants to be around if the trees break and fall.

This is also a serious test of architecture and design. Will Nah Yaxche weather the storm well? Will newer the houses with their height and their glass doors and windows? I hope they all do. I suspect that the low houses without the glass are a better choice. We will see.

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viernes, octubre 21, 2011

This Week In The Dream Antilles

This morning's sunrise in Bahia Soliman, Tulum, Mexico

Your Bloguero was awakened shortly before dawn this morning by the persistent dinging of his Blackberry. About 24 dings in rapid succession indicating the receipt of emails. Your Bloguero imagined that he had somehow, despite his best efforts to the contrary, achieved minor celebrity status. He was not sure how that could be, or what he could have done, but what else could have him receive 24 emails one after the other? Today, after all, is Friday. Friday is auspicious, your Bloguero thought. It’s a great day to open the floodgates of fame and adulation. Why not? No such luck. Opening one eye, your Bloguero discovered to his annoyance that the 24 messages were emails from his automated friends at Yahoo telling your Bloguero that he had sent email to a bad address, and that the email had been rejected by the recipient’s ISP. Your Bloguero opened his other eye. There was obviously a problem. Your Bloguero had not sent any emails to anybody on that account. So, your Bloguero’s razor sharp wit figured, somebody else had sent them. How very disappointing. It wasn’t fame that was dinging so insistently. It wasn’t adulation, praise, recognition. It wasn’t anything good. No. It was hackage. Plain and simple.

And who, your Bloguero wondered, might have decided to hack this account? This was the account associated with your Bloguero’s postings on various group blogs. Had your Bloguero so enraged someone with something he had recently written that he provoked such a hack? Your Bloguero could only hope. Was this pay back of some kind? Your Bloguero should be so lucky. Who would have done that? What followed were the kind of pre-coffee conspiracy theories reserved for such abrupt, early wakings. In two words, incipient paranoia. But alas. Even this was too puffed up, too egocentric, too self important. Your Bloguero wasn’t being treated to well deserved, well earned attack. No. Nothing that good. Nothing that heroic. The email had a link in it. It was commercial spam from Romania for erection enhancement. If you will pardon the pun, how very deflating. How contracting. What a lame way to start Friday: changing the password so it won’t happen again.

The next thing will doubtless be responding to the numerous emails – your Bloguero received one while writing this -- telling him he has been hacked. And telling the recipients, that yes, your Bloguero knows and he’s changed his password and he regrets any inconvenience.

How disappointing. From web hero to complete sucker in a nanosecond.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn't actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles.

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miércoles, octubre 19, 2011

The Calmest Of Seas

October in the Riviera Maya is a risk. Six years ago today Hurricane Wilma arrived. That category 5 storm destroyed everything and killed people. And then there’s today: the calmest of seas, a bay like a mirror, the softest of breezes, and a slightly overcast sky. In other words, a day of beauty. And sighs. And maybe naps.

There are virtually no tourists here now. This really is the off, off season, the time for maintenance. The palaperos, workers who for generations have repaired and constructed palapas, palm thatch roofs, were working next door. You can hear their chainsaw and the hammering, but when the stop, there is silence. And lovely bird song.

It’s so quiet and calm that small herons, usually skittish, have been fishing at the shore. And the needlefish, usually driven away by swimmers, are gliding in the shallows. They are almost invisible when they are still and are over turtle grass. And of course, my favorite bird, the sociable flycatcher, has been hanging out with me all day and offering me literary advise.

What a delight it is to be here.

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martes, octubre 18, 2011

Hurricane Wilma's Sixth Anniversary

In 2005 Hurricane Wilma, a category 5 storm, arrived in Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It would later destroy much of Cancun and move on to the United States. It was a slow moving storm, and it hammered the Riviera Maya for two days. Tulum was without electricity for a long time, roads were impassable, people were stranded. Roofs were gone; windows were vaporized; sand was everywhere; trees and power poles fell. Many were injured and some 8 people died here. That was six years ago on October 19 and 20.

In the small community of Bahia Soliman everyone fled for the interior, for Coba, Valladolid, Merida, Chichen Itza, for points west. Anywhere that was at least 100 miles from the Caribe. While everyone was gone, the storm raged. And destroyed. Houses filled with sea water and sand. In some there was 4 feet of sand in the living room. Swimming pools were filled. With sand. Roofs were ripped off. Windows broken. Trees snapped. The mangrove flooded the road, making travel impossible. Electricity vanished. Cell service was out. Telephone lines were down. The normally peaceful Caribe became outraged and extremely agitated. Tulum was a complete mess. And unreachable from the outside.

The Caribe became so turbulent that it deposited this smuggler’s ship on the beach about 10 feet above the usual water level in Bahia Solima. It’s been sitting there on the beach ever since. This is a photo of its front, where its name should be.

So, what is the name of this vessel? And to whom did it belong? And where did it come from? And what was it doing before the storm hit? And what happened to its crew? Nobody seems to know. Nobody has tried to claim it. Nobody has tried to move it. And the places in it where its cargo might be stored were empty when it arrived.

It’s a phantom ship. One with no name. And no registry. And no crew. And no apparent owner. And no destination.

And now it’s a Monument to an enormous, killer storm. And this is its Sixth Anniversary.

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domingo, octubre 16, 2011

The Caribe

The Caribe is churned up. There is a gigantic, hovering low, now called Invest 95, roosting over the Yucatan. Rain. Wind. Churned up sea. Everything dripping. In Bahia Soliman it just looks like this:

On Weather Underground it is much more dramatic and looks like this:

‘Tis the season. The mangrove, the lush plants, the cocos, the selva all need this inundation. It is what makes Tulum so green, the plants so dense, the air so clean. And your Bloguero? Reading, writing, napping, relaxing. Yes, your Bloguero loves the sun. And yes, it hasn’t really shone since Friday morning. But there is something luxurious, wonderful, exquisite about napping while the tropical rain falls on the roof and the cocos clack their leaves.

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sábado, octubre 15, 2011

Calderon's Alternate Reality

Maybe I have finally entered an alternate reality.

As I write this, I am in lovely Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and it is raining. Hard. After all, it’s October and the Caribe is stirred up. The rain is exquisitely beautiful. The sea is rippling with pockmarks. And the cocos are swaying and dripping. The sky is gray and white cotton. The wind shakes the trees and agitates Bahia Soliman. Everything is wet and the air is filled with mist. It is a day made for napping and reading. And thinking.

Where I am is paradise. No doubt about it. And it is far, far away from the shooting war between the Mexican government and the drug cartels. That is happening in other areas: the border states, the west coast, the capital. Where I am is far from that immense national tragedy. Regardless, it remains a topic of enormous concern. And Javier Sicilia remains a personal hero.

So it was with great interest that this morning the New York Times reported on its Front Page an interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderon about the unsuccessful drug war he has run for five years and has left 40,000 people dead. Calderon, whose term is up next year, apparently seeks to justify and perpetuate his shooting war on the cartels:

He insists that the country will eventually become more secure, although about 40,000 people have been killed since he declared his war against organized crime. He began waging it shortly after taking office in 2006 as violence climbed, and he has continued pressing his offensive against drug organizations as they have splintered and descended into bloody infighting over territory and criminal rackets.

But in a wide-ranging interview, he could not say that his approach had made Mexico safer….

The inability to control the violence, with fresh horrors nearly every week, has rattled even some admirers in the United States Congress, who have begun to question publicly whether Mr. Calderón’s strategy — supported by the $1.4 billion in anticrime aid the United States is providing through the multiyear Merida Initiative — is making progress….

Still, coming close to self-criticism for someone who has typically blamed the United States or Mexican lawmakers for what goes wrong, Mr. Calderón said he would have shored up state and local police forces that were now overwhelmed as well as hobbled by inexperience, lack of training, incompetence and corruption.

And so it is in the fifteenth paragraph of the article that the “c” word first appears. Corruption. And even there it is the fourth reason given why police forces are “overwhelmed” and “hobbled.” Does that strike anyone except me as exceedingly odd? Am I in some alternate reality?

Maybe this omission makes sense if you are in the United States and don’t know anything about life south of the Rio Grande. Maybe it makes sense if you know no Mexican history. Maybe it makes sense if you think that everywhere in the world is exactly the same: Burger King, Wal-mart, Coca Cola, malls, neighborhood policing. Maybe it makes sense if you think that the state is always above reproach. Maybe it makes sense if you haven’t read anything about Mexico.

I’m not suggesting reading non-fiction to get the feel of this, although Eduardo Galeano’s non-fiction discussions of Latin America are extremely important. The real truth (is there any other kind?), I think, is in the fiction. And for the sake of brevity, I offer for your consideration two wonderful works that I think should inform discussions of the drug war in Mexico. Evidently, neither informed the Times’s credulous discussions with Sr. Calderon.

First is Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s “No Happy Ending” (“No habra final feliz”), a 1981 detective novel. Hector Belascoaran Shayne, an independent detective in Mexico City, confronts a series of murders. There will be no spoiler here. What you have to watch for is how the suppression of demonstrations by the central government in 1971 figures in the tale. And the role of the police. Enough said. It’s a remarkable book, a critique of Mexico by someone who loves it, masquerading as a detective story.

Next is Martin Solares’s 2006 novel “The Black Minutes” (“Los minutos negros”). Someone is murdered, and the question, of course, is why. And by whom. Is this really a police procedural? Probably not, though it sure looks like one in the beginning. There will be no spoiler here. Yet again, the issue is how someone escapes the consequences of a series of serious, brutal crimes for decades and what the role of the police, of the state might be in all of that. No mas. This is a literary masterpiece dressed up as a detective story. If you don’t read anything else this year, please read this wonderful book.

Both books are remarkable works of art. And they could actually change the way people in the US perceive the war on drugs without ever mentioning it. Both are available in English. And both do not directly discuss any of the particulars of 2011. They don’t have to. They provide the tablecloth on which to spread out the present war as if it were a picnic.

And then there’s also this: la mordida (literally, “the bite”), a bribe, is a fact of life here. An ugly one, but one nonetheless. It’s not really unusual for a police officer to stop a car for speeding or running a red light and to say that the matter can be settled right there at the roadside, without a trip to court, for $US50 of $US100. No receipt will be given. And everyone knows that if you only appear to have 200 pesos (slightly less than $US20) that will probably work as well. This is a small thing. It’s no big deal. It’s customary. From the motorist’s point of view it’s better than going to Municipal Court or sending in a check. But it raises important questions.

If a speeding ticket is the common cold of crime, and it produces bribery and pervasive official misconduct, what, one wonders, does the trafficking of tons and tons and tons of cocaine produce? Does it produce so little corruption that the idea can be overlooked until the fifteenth paragraph of a story about the war on drugs? You have to be kidding to do that. Really.

In whose interest would such an oversight be? You don’t have to speculate deeply about this. You just have to acknowledge the multitude of possibilities this odd placement might indicate and what that says about the reality in which I find myself.

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viernes, octubre 14, 2011

The Week In The Dream Antilles

When I arrived in late afternoon, La Bahia was asleep. I tiptoed up to her. She was only partially covered by the white and grey cotton blanket, frequently used, often washed and very soft. I could see her bare back as it rose and fell with her breath. I watched her sleep. I listened to her breathing. I did not wake her.

As I think about this and try to write it down, I know that this is what love feels like when it is raining.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn't actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles.


martes, octubre 11, 2011

On The Road Again

You would think that by now your humble Bloguero would be able to move himself from autumnal Upstate New York to warm Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico effortlessly. That he has had enough practice to accomplish this feat. That he would efficiently wrap up the remaining work and household chores, pack a tiny bag (bathing suit, t-shirt, toothbrush), assure that the house and the pets were well taken care of, reach his escape velocity, and propel himself across the Caribe in one giant leap. But, alas, no. Gravity is an unforgiving master, and overcoming inertia requires energy. Leaving isn't quite the task of Sisyphus, but it remains for your Bloguero a real one.

The next post will in all likelihood be from Nah Yaxche in Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico. What remains is completing the ever increasing number of chores and getting on an airplane.

Your Bloguero admits that he has tendencies toward procrastination, and he knows that there are more than 24 hours until he must pass through those scanners. Plenty of time, he says. Plenty of time. And now, if only your Bloguero could convince himself.

Foto by Sr. Bill Koller, 10/12/11

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viernes, octubre 07, 2011

This Week In The Dream Antilles: Not Columbus Edition

Once again, your Bloguero notes that it is Columbus Day Weekend. Your Bloguero often takes ten days off at this time. Why? Funny you should ask. Your Bloguero has short answers: it's his Birthday. Your Bloguero was born exactly 399 years after the christening of Cervantes in 1547. Also, it's a weekend he takes off to help facilitate a Shamanic Men's Retreat. This year will be the second wonderful year of that gathering. And finally, your Bloguero cannot abide the celebration of Columbus Day, which he sees as the beginning of the subjugation of this hemisphere. The last is best expressed in this 2008 post:

The Church In Baracoa, Cuba

Across the Caribbean from desde Desdemona is Baracoa, a small town inaccessible by land from before 1500 (when Columbus first landed there in 1492) until the 1960's. In 1512 Baracoa was the first Spanish settlement in Cuba. It's like Macondo. The lush forest of the Sierra Maestre and El Yunque, the tallest peak in Cuba, tower over the town. The town is nestled against the warm ocean. North of town is Maguana, a beautiful, white beach, shared by tourists and occasional foraging pigs.

Join me in Baracoa. We can celebrate Not Columbus Day together.

In the church in Baracoa is a part of one of the original crosses that Columbus planted in Cuba when he first landed there. It's not under guard. To see it, you knock on the back door of the church. Nobody there? Go across the street, as Bardo did, to find someone in the Parochio to let you in. Bardo goes and asks to see El Cruz. The woman behind a counter says ok, let us find the key. She takes Bardo across the street, opens the back door, enters the silent, dark church, and in the nave there it is, in a glass case with no security at all, El Cruz de la Parra . The cross's 500 year old wood (it's been carbon dated) is held up by a metal holder (which is from much later on).

In many ways this is the most important relic, and maybe the most important marker in the history of the Western Hemisphere. It represents the beginning, the zero mile marker on the highway from then to now. If Columbus, instead of planting a cross and taking on the conquest and/or conversion of indigenous people, had said, "This place is really great so let's hang out here and enjoy it with the locals," the last 500 years would have been significantly, inconceivably different. And maybe, Bardo reminds us, a whole lot better. Bardo cannot believe what he's looking at. He makes a small donation to the church, and wanders off into the heat of the day. The woman closes up the church. Nobody else is waiting to see the cross.

If the Cruz were in New York or Madrid, it would have laser Mission Impossible security, armed guards, and lots of publicity around it. Lines of buses of tourists. Souvenir shops. Air conditioning. T-shirt sales. But there's none of that in Baracoa. Just the cross and the empty church in the middle of Baracoa.

Bardo buys a bottle of Habana Club rum ($3.25), sits on the roof of the Casa Particular where he's staying, and wonders if Macondo could be any more beautiful. He decides Baracoa is perfect and beautiful. He loves the way the mountainous jungle cascades to the town at the edge of the ocean. Columbus, he thinks, was right about one thing: Baracoa is one of the most beautiful places Bardo has ever seen. About everything else, he decides, he's with Alejo Carpentier, Columbus was dead wrong.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it isn't actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. Your Bloguero regrets that this week because two of his recent posts, one from this week and one from last week, are among the best he has written. Regardless, please leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or click the “Encouragement Jar” if there is one. Your Bloguero likes to know you've visited.

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jueves, octubre 06, 2011

Steve Jobs, RIP

The sad news came this morning in The New York Times:

Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple who helped usher in the era of personal computers and then led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday. He was 56.

The death was announced by Apple, the company Mr. Jobs and his high school friend Stephen Wozniak started in 1976 in a suburban California garage.

I spent the early morning today at the keyboard. How long have I been doing this? I recall the first computers that Gerry Dunbar and I bought that December, Apple IIe's.

What an incredible change in writing. Constant editing, constant changing, constant revision from the very first word to the end. A kind of writing incorporating editing that was not previously available. Even the old school geniuses of scissors, scotch tape, and typewriters couldn't come close to this (Bruce Cleveland I am thinking of you). I see myself doing now something that couldn't be done before. And it is entirely, completely taken for granted. Entirely routine. Of course, you do that. Of course your finger reaches out to the delete key, of course you highlight and move text. Everybody does that. But that's only one of the important and pervasive changes Apple made. The list, one I am not going to provide because the Times has done so, is remarkable.

May his many contributions be remembered.

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domingo, octubre 02, 2011

In Solidarity With Occupy Wall Street!

Occupy Everything from socially_awkwrd on Vimeo.

This is part of an organic process. There are no leaders. There is no Astroturf. There are no spokesmodels. There is no agenda. There are no printed signs. There are no ssponsors. There is no umbrella organization. There is no elite directing events. All of this is process. This is what organic, intrinsic democracy looks like.

The arguments against this are entirely arguments against the process. Signs of impatience. Allegations that there should be a hierarchy. Suggestions that those who are attempting to confront enormous disparities, inequalities, injustices should somehow be able instantly to boil it all down into a 140 character phrase. Sniping by the Traditional Media. Judgments that those who have assembled are inarticulate, stupid, wasteful, misdirected, ignorant. I reject all of that. Let the process continue. Let everyone be heard about everything.

If this were happening in, say, Chiapas or El Salvador or Nicaragus or Buenos Aires, the people who have always been screwed would rise up instantly against the latest outrage, and those who watch would know what the latest outrage was. The price of tortillas. Water rights. Kidnappings. Brutality. Unemployment. No, I'm not going to enumerate the long list bad things that happened and virtually nobody, that's right virtually nobody reacted directly or immediately. You would know the problem is because those who have been perpetually screwed would react. Swiftly. The reaction would be close in time to an event, so you could connect the two if you wanted to. The grievance would be manifest. But in the US it's different. The people haven't reacted for more than a decade to wars they didn't want, economic policies that screwed them, unemployment, financial manipulation. The token reactions for the last decade have been just that, token, ephemeral, easily dismissed. The people have been somnolent.
As a result of that trance, that numbness, that ennui, that unresponsiveness, the torpor, when the reaction to all of this finally erupts, when it finally at long last boils over, it takes a long time to categorize and organize all of the events and all of the reasons for towering, explosive discontent. Be patient. Be patient with the process. Let the process work. And let the tactics and arguments evolve from a democratic, free exchange of proposals.

It's nice that organized labor is expressing support. It's nice that the Traditional Media have broken their embargo and now tell some of the story, albeit twisting it, bending it, judging it, criticizing it. That's to be expected. They are stooges. But allegedly organized labor and the media are only a reaction to the intrinsic, organic process that is unfolding. And they aren't that important to it. No. What's important is the process, being faithful to it, honoring it, participating in it, supporting it. No, there's no 140 character phrase to summarize the movement. That may not be forthcoming. What is important, and deserve support today is the process.

In the meanwhile, Twitter and FB and the Blogs serve as the media. And the process continues. I support it, and I stand in solidarity with it.

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