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To Split like a Seed and Become a New

July 31st, 2008 § 6 comments § permalink

IF THE LEFT DON’T GET YA, THEN THE RIGHT ONE WILL. Or…maybe they both grab you up at once!

Before I knew the words duality, dichotomy, or mestizaje, I was at home there. Right here in the nowhere. In the there of the everywhere in the bothlands on the borderline in the neitherworld at the same time. Thus the inbetween, the transition. It is my truth, nothing fancy. I don’t know, when I think about it, how we ever became convinced otherwise. Ideas about self, time and the ethereal land on which we meet. Trying to summon impressions of stone under our feet. 

That is the illusion, isn’t it? Always? That we bang into? The one that hurts, the one that only lives to die, that only arises to be broken. Over and over and over. I can’t count how many times I’ve felt I had arrived. In one way or another. Remembering that even when I do arrive it is only a plateau in relation to where I had just been standing is a personal challenge and imperative. Which is why, of course, I always come back to that truth. Remembering that the bestowing of symbols upon events and times is purposeful and important. Ritual and recognition and reverence and reification. Important. But again, the conversation about Symbol and Essence.

I love how the Aztec and Mayan calendars are round. Symbols change. Essence repeats. Beginning meets the end in the middle. Time passing as a line marching left is both a tired tradition and modern riddle.

In all the ways I can forget this, there is an abundance of shame and pain and foolishness to be had. And the pain arises, again, from clinging to that illusion of a frozen moment, to the mask, to the rotted husk. To cramp within the seed and not to split the husk in two is to die into that feeling of security, stinking, small, cemented and with a dullness that will spread through the flesh and the veins and the fingernails and the teeth until nothing stirs but flake and ash.

Change is pain.

 

 

I was born on the sixth of March, which is the day that begins the Aztec month of Tlacaxipeualiztli. Tlacaxipeualiztli is a Náhuatl word that some sources claim describe the act of wearing skins, others as the act of flaying men. Tlacaxipeualiztli was a 20 day period of festivities and rituals and sacrifice that were meant to see the change of seasons throuvgh, from dry to rainy. It was believed that the old season—the dry, spent season—had to be peeled away like a husk, like a dead skin, to reveal the new. 

Xipe Totec was the patron god of Tlacaxipeualiztli and an “enforcer” of the agricultural change. (Xipe Totec is the creator god Tezcatlipoca’s Red Aspect, the god of transition and Spring and suffering.) And as you can see in my rendition above and in all renderings (that I’ve found, from sculpture to temple wall to codex though I’ve not see all codices, nor the entirety of the codices I’ve seen in part) Xipe Totec wears the skin of another over his. Depictions of the old gods will vary from codex to codex in style, and depending on which aspect is shown, in form. Sometimes you will see them in finery, and sometimes (as here) in scales of the skin of others. Sometimes in two dimensions and at times in three. Here, as a icon-like figure, there in a humanesque form. Xipe Totec also has different names to different tribes, but one of them is The Flayed God. 

There were many rituals that took place during Tlacaxipeualiztli, and much of them involved wearing the skin of another person. Of course, the removal of a living heart was also a part of the early festivities. Sacrifices were made where men were skinned alive and other men wore their skins dancing, in a symbolic act of a seed bursting from its hull. Games were played by younger men where all wore skins and fought to imprison one another.

During the 20 days of Tlacaxipeualiztli, the human skins began to decay, of course. And sometimes they were allowed to rot for as long as 40 days before being cast off into caves or holes prepared for the purpose, again in a symbol of Spring and the casting away of the old growth.

This would see the people through to the coming of the rainy season, where crops might begin to flourish and grow in abundance. Before, of course, being harvested and withering into the soil again.

Xipe Totec may have been a god of suffering, but was also a god of change. 

 

 

The US-acculturated mind says, perhaps, “Oh, the barbarity. Oh, how cruel. Oh, how gruesome and primitive.” I understand that.

Yet what cruelties do we provoke in the name of nothing at all? What blood do we shed today not as a sacrifice to a force we truly believe needs the ritual to continue blessing us, but simply because we hate?

The city and the people were engaged fully in the rites of Tlacaxipeualiztli. Young men paraded through all of Tenochtitlán’s streets and visited homes where they were let in to ask for alms given in exchange for Xipe Totec’s blessing. It lasted not a month, and then it was done. 

But how long our own bloody transition? And without a goal. And rife with lies. And the priests do not join with the people do not join with the warriors today. We are all at odds, enjoined by lies. And blood flows in many lands at the hands of our warriors—who know not even why or for what they fight. And we hide their rituals from the people. And replace them with lies.

O, but we do usher change. Of that I am sure. As sure as I am of the day of my birth. And we do suffer. But that is what Springtime is for. 

What shall bloom from so many seeds still underground? What transition does our sacrifice celebrate? We bathe in ignorance and hide our heads in the sand and look to the past and call them primitive. We wall off and destroy the descendants of those very same people and count ourselves safer.

Yet as always, I live here and there. On both sides. And neither. Always breathing the sharp, acrid, flower-soaked winds of Spring.

We Stand in No (Every) Place

July 29th, 2008 § 17 comments § permalink

I CAME TO THIS WORLD from far, far away. From a land now almost four decades in the past. In a setting so different than this one I can barely recognize my way around at times. More importantly, amidst philosophies and a worldview that is given little room in today’s social dialogues. That is no obstacle…it is an opening, a clearing, a path that remains with me. It can be placed down projected over laid across any thicket or tumble of stone and still lead me home.

Sometimes I feel my truest views mesh with the current political and social conversations not at all, if rather jarringly. As an alien, I do take part. To the best of my ability. But the truth is, I rarely find long-lasting excitement or joy or comfort or satisfaction in so much of what this culture offers, what the media offers, what even us serious people so often entertain. As I’ve said, I wear it all very loosely. A garment that matches me at times. For a moment. A reader may find that my writing sometimes dances with a self-mocking tone, and when not being plain outraged, takes on a comic tint. What a casual reader may not know is that when it does, I am at my most earnest.

I struggle with certain paradigms championed in the news or online. We stumble onto them and they are blessed for they can address a problem or a lacking which has needed to be so met. But too often, instead of letting them take hold of us, grip and shake and break up our thinking for a time before falling away and leaving only the parts we’ve found can be organically molded, melded, or taken in as our own truth, we end up in a cage of thought. THIS worked one time, so let me always use THIS. Let me see everything through THIS. But life is always new, and is no One Well-Proven Thing. Being tricked into seeing it as such is not the fault of our TV or our politicians. I see this is a human behavior and it will probably always be with us.

We are always new. Every moment is new. No moment need be like anything that came before, even when the resemblance is striking and our imagination lacking. And yet, of course we must learn from who we once were. But to let a lesson that once helped inform every step forward is to walk an old path, and to preclude the sight of new horizons from our view.

Many people I read or come across are educated well in their area, and finding these people and their writings which demonstrate the education they have proves extremely helpful to me. As has so much of my own education. But being amongst so many others with so many different lessons and backgrounds… O, how I use you all! Like a mass of teachers. I will flit and fly among you like a crow. Landing on a fence here, or a stone there, a wall here, a stump here. Perhaps for a time a shoulder or a hand, even. Watching, listening, nodding, stealing. For a time. Until I find those places (and this will always happen and it’s a good thing) where I just cannot connect to the lesson anymore. The treasures are finding those willing to smash their own surety, and feeling myself rise with the bravery they demonstrate.

Because life is not like a series of books in a course on …anything. It fluctuates. We fluctuate. We are not a being, but a becoming, as Friedrich once said. And sometimes ideas are hammered out and we draw lines and walls and are told we fall on one side or the other and so do our thoughts and so does all that follows from them…and so it goes. We buy into these illusory borders, too. Even this blog pretends demarcations that at moments are nothing more than a signpost, or a cape slung over the shoulder of a spiritual vagrant. In the name of this joining of spirit and matter that I am, and in the aim of not dispersing into the sixteen winds like an explosion of ancient dandelion rune, it is at times important to imagine contained and definable elements of my Self; distinctions that separate I from the Other. 

I am far more comfortable navigating the in-between than I am in any Place. I like no thing as much as the coming and going from one to another. It is on the purpling beaches of dusk and the roseing gauze of dawn that my true eye shines lidless and I see so much more than in broad daylight. In the falling away of my tired husk I remember my shape can only be held temporarily. And to cling too tightly to it is to rot.

Being sure is but the borderwall we place around a heart to ward off the skinstripping wind of the next living moment.

Aztec Angel [Luis Omar Salinas]

July 28th, 2008 § 9 comments § permalink

Aztec Angel

by Luis Omar Salinas

 





Luna y panorama de los insectos (Poema del amor)

July 25th, 2008 § 11 comments § permalink

Moon and Panorama of the Insects

(Love Poem)

[by Federico García Lorca]

My heart would take the shape of a shoe
if a siren lived in every village.
But the night never ends when it leans on the sick
and there are ships that want to be seen in order to sink in peace. 

If the wind blows softly,
my heart takes the shape of a girl.
If the wind won’t leave the cane fields,
my heart takes the shape of a millenary cow pie.

Row! Row, row, row,
toward the army of jagged points,
toward a landscape of pulverized ambushes.
Equal night of the snow, the discontinued systems,
and the moon.
The moon!
But not the moon.
The taverns’ vixen.
The Japanese rooster that ate its own eyes.
The cud.

The lonely women in store windows won’t save us,
nor herbariums where the metaphysician
meets the other slopes of the sky.
Shapes are a lie. What is there?
The circle of mouths of the oxygen.
And the moon.
But not the moon.
The insects,
little dead things lining the shores,
sorrow on longitude,
iodine on stitched flesh,
the crowd on the head of a pin,
the naked man who kneads everyone’s blood,
and my love who is neither horse nor burn,
creature whose breast was consumed.
My love!

Now they sing, scream, moan: A face. Your face! A face.
The apples are one,
the dahlias identical,
the light tastes like worn-out metal
and the countryside of half a decade will fit on the cheek of a coin.
But your face covers the skies of the feast.

Now they sing, scream, moan,
cover everything, climb, terrify! 

We’ve got to move—Hurry up!—through the waves, the branches,
the deserted streets of the Middle Ages going down to the river,
the stores of hides where a wounded cow’s horn bellows,
up the ladders—Don’t be scared!—up the ladders.
A discolored man is bathing in the sea;
he’s so tender that searchlights ate him as he gambled away his heart,
and a thousand women live in Peru—Oh, insects!—night and day
they weave nocturnes and parades among their own veins.

One tiny corrosive glove stops me. That’s enough!
I feel the crackle of the first
broken vein on my handkerchief.
Watch out for your hands and feet, my love,
since I must give up my face,
my face, my face, yes, my half-eaten face!

This chaste, burning desire of mine,
this confusion from longing for equilibrium,
this innocent sorrow of gunpowder in my eyes,
will lighten the anguish of another heart
consumed by the nebulae.

The people in shoe stores won’t save us,
nor the landscapes becoming music when they find the rusted keys
Breezes are a lie. Only a small cradle
exists, in the attic,
that remembers everything.
And the moon.
But not the moon.
The insects,
crackling, biting, quivering, swarming,
and the moon
with a smoking glove in the doorway of its wreckage.
The moon!!

 

—New York, January 4, 1930

 

 


 

 

 

Luna y panorama de los insectos (Poema del amor)

(Poema del amor)

[by Federico García Lorca]

Mi corazón tendría la forma de un zapato
si cada aldea tuviera una sirena.  
Pero la noche es interminable cuando se apoya en los enfermos
y hay barcos que buscan ser mirados para poder hundirse tranquilos.

Si el aire sopla blandamente
mi corazón tiene la forma de una niña.
Si el aire se niega a salir de los cañaverales
mi corazón tiene la forma de una milenaria boñiga de toro.

¡Bogar! Bogar, bogar, bogar.
hacia el batallón de puntas desiguales,
hacia un paisaje de acechos pulverizados.
Noche igual de la nieve, de los sistemas suspendidos
y la luna.
¡La luna!
Pero no la luna.
La raposa de las tabernas.
El gallo japonés que se comió los ojos.
Las hierbas masticadas.

No nos salvan las solitarias un los vidrios,
ni los herbolarios donde el meta físico
encuentra las otras vertientes del cielo.
Son mentira las formas. Sólo existe
el círculo de bocas del oxígeno.
Y la luna.
Pero no la luna.
Los insectos.
Los muertos diminutos por las riberas.
Dolor en longitud.
Yodo en un punto.
Las muchedumbres en el alfiler.
El desnudo que amasa la sangre de todos,
y mi amor que no es un caballo ni una quemadura.
Criatura de pecho devorado.
¡Mi amor!

ya cantan, gritan, gimen: Rostro. ¡Tu rostro! Rostro.
Las manzanas son unas.
Las dalias son idénticas.
La luz tiene un sabor de metal acabado
y el campo de todo un lustro cabrá en la mejilla de la moneda.
Pero tu rostro cubre los cielos del banquete.
¡Ya cantan!, ¡gritan!, ¡gimen!,
¡cubren!, ¡trepan!, ¡espentan!

Es necesario caminar, ¡de prisa!, por las ondas, por las rama,
por los calles deshabitadas de la Edad Media que bajan al río,
por las tiendas de las pieles donde suena un cuerno de vaca herida,
por las escalas, ¡sin miedto!, por las escalas.
Hay n hombre descolorido que se está bañando en el mar;
es tan tierno que los reflectores le comieron jugando el corazón,
y en el Perú viven mil mujeres, ¡oh insectos!, que noche y día
hacen nocturnos y desfiles entrecruzando sus propias venas.

Un dimunito guante corrosivo me detiene. ¡Basta!
En mi pañuelo, he sentido el tris
de la primera vena que se rompe.
Cuida tus pies, ¡amor mío!, ¡tus manos!,
ya que yo tengo que entregar mi rostro.
¡Mi rostro, mi rostro, ay, mi comida rostro!

Este fuego casto para mi deseo,
esta confusión por anhelo de equilibrio,
este inocente dolor de pólvora en mis ojos,
aliviará la angustia de etro corazón
devorado por las nebulosas.

No nos salva la gente de las zapaterías,
ni los paisajes que se hacen música al encontrar las llavas oxidadas.
Son mentira los aries. Sólo existe
una cunita en el desván
que recuerda todas las cosas.
Y la luna.
Pero no la luna.
Los insectos.
Los insectos solos,
crepitantes, mordientes, estremecidos, agrupados,
y la luna
con un guante de humo sentada en la puerta de sus derribos.
¡¡La luna!!


—Nueva York, 4 de enero de 1930 

Art is a Nezspecialized tweak of an image by Nadia Richie.

Pablo’s Very Terrible, Horrible, No Good Week

July 24th, 2008 § 8 comments § permalink

SOMETIMES YOU JUST SEEM TO HAVE A STREAK OF BAD LUCK. And then sometimes a friend does and all you can do is feel deep empathy and a sense of gratitude you didn’t even know could come sneaking up on you with such strength. 

A reader here at UMX—I have a few names for him it seems, but one is Pablo—writes me from time to time about this and that. Recently, it was about the news that his child was born with Craniosynostosis.

From his own mail:

Craniosynostosis is a disorder that hits about 1 in every 1000 or 2000 births, which makes it fairly common, and my now 7 month old son is one of them. Basically, the bones of a normal baby’s skull are pretty much free floating, and the biggest of the gaps is what we know as a normal baby’s soft spot. Craniosynostosis is when one or more of those gaps seal shut prematurely. One “suture” being prematurely closed is the most common form. Julian Antonio was born with 4 out of 6 sutures sealed, and no soft spot whatsoever. It would have kept his brain from growing and killed him by age 6 months if we lived in a third world country or 40 years ago anywhere or whatever. The insurance company tried to claim it was a cosmetic procedure. 

 

That was bad enough, that the insurance company was claiming that the surgery that would save a child’s life was in fact only “cosmetic.” Sadly, these types of decisions are common fare in this here loving nation of ours.

Luckily—tho what the hell is “luck”, dunno—Julian Antonio was able to get his first surgery on time, and just in time. It seems his brain was about to suffer damage from crowding. (Before and after surgery pics to the right).

Though that climb is not over yet.

At the bottom of this and subsequent pages you can read about how we found out about it when he was 5 days old, all the way through his first surgery. He’ll be going in for his second surgery, literally termed a “craniectomy” in September. My wife posted some info on the latest news here, under my user name at DKos.  

The whole CranioKids community went into a tizzy when it got mentioned once, and badly described, on Regis & Kelly, because Kelly went to a function for the Jorge Posada foundation, a foundation started because the Yankees catcher’s son had Cranio. Still, nobody knows what the hell it is or how very common it is, and it is pretty harrowing to hear five days after he’s born that your kid’s brain is gonna see daylight when he’s a month old.

 

The foto above, of the broken floor, was taken from a Dkos diary, and I have to tell you the truth, when I finished reading the entire diary—from flesh-eating bacteria to motorcycle accidents to the broken porch—felt actually physically ill and had to lie down for un momento. (Don’t worry, the post isn’t that bad, it’s me. I almost passed out getting my nipples pierced and one of my tattoos, as well. I have a nervous system that is sometimes very sensitive.)

The broken porch shot is because Pablo’s brother—the one hit by a car on his bike—happened to be holding his niece (Pablo’s daughter; to the right) and the porch suddenly and unexpectedly gave out under their weight and the man fell two stories through the air holding her, managed to roll so that he took the brunt and when he landed, broke his back in six places. They fear he will never walk again.

Anyway, the post grabbed me because I have too much imagination and the writer was emotional while writing it. Don’t be afraid to visit and give support.

The girl is okay. Pablo weathers on. You can read his story and find out how to donate a few bucks to his situation or just comment with your Great Satanic Orange user account here. His wife’s account can be found here.

Jon Justice and his Rape Fantasy Revenge

July 24th, 2008 § 41 comments § permalink

HOW DO YOU PROPERLY RECOGNIZE a woman like Isabel Garcia? A woman who works tirelessly as a public defender and activist for those without voice, a woman whose efforts have helped make Coalición de Derechos Humanos an effective reality,  a woman who is so effective in what she does that the Mexican government has awarded her the 2006 Premio Naciónal de Derechos Humanos, never before given to a US Citizen? How do you celebrate such a bright light?

You create an effigy of her and act out a rape fantasy, right? No???

Well. You do if you are a sleaze called “Jon Justice” of Arizona’s 104.1 FM, a station perversely named “the Truth.”

Before I show you this pendejo’s sick fantasy (a video his station yanked off of YouTube, but dontchaknowboutthanet, Jonny boy? You can’t squash this), let me tell you what exactly got this hate radio geek all fired up. I begin with a blogmigo, Manuél of Latino Politico, who has been on this from the jump. He begins showing us just what kind of person Isabel is by talking about her reaction to receiving the honor mentioned above:

Rather than accept the award, however, she took the opportunity to call a press conference and demand that the affluent and elite south of border do more to promote economic justice among the working classes. It was a perfect example of Isabel’s work to keep the focus on the underlying roots of human migration and exploitation, rather than on herself.

Isabel is one of the major driving forces behind the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, headquartered in Tucson, and that’s just when she’s wearing her organizer hat. She also serves as one of Pima County’s leading Legal Defenders, which has Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s pink underwear in a snit since apparently the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America does not apply to those who serve in government.

You see, Sheriff Joe came to town recently to sign copies of his new book that blames all the ills of society on “illegals”. Well, that type of thing isn’t received the same way in Tucson as it is north of the Gila, so a protest was organized in conjunction with Sheriff Joe’s appearance. A piñata created in Arpaio’s likeness, wearing his trademark pink boxers, was…well, it was a piñata, so you can imagine.

And culturally, it makes sense that Isabel would use a piñata to do this. And it also makes sense when you have less power to attack the more powerful—not to mention when you are fighting for those who have even less power than yourself!

But white, male, gainfully employed and well-known (locally) Jon “Justice” doesn’t seem to get this. To him, clearly, Isabel is so threatening and effective in what she does and stands for that he figured he would resort to his own display of power.

Oh, wait. Let me interrupt for one second. Here are Jon Justice’s words on how HE would interpret the use of a piñata-in-effigy:

i dont know about you, but when i see children beating up on the likeness of a human being, and then another person like isabel garcia … picking up the head of that likeness of a person …  and then parading that around i would take that as a threat of physical violence

—Jon Justice

Okay. With that in mind, carry on:

Jon Justice has taken the video off line but the damage is unleashed.

From Manuél:

Members of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos released the following statement:

Since last Friday, our office has received numerous hate calls, and Jon Justice has posted a YouTube video of himself with a piñata with Isabel’s likeness, caressing it and making comments about “wanting to take it home with me,” among a few other comments about “chorizo” and “viva la raza.”  …

We ask you, as community allies, to step up with us in defending Isabel Garcia, demand accountability from 104.1FM and KGUN 9, and that hate speech not be given a platform in our communities.

Here is the actual video.


Click to see Video

And here is the episode the fool makes next, thinking he is somehow “explaining” himself.


Click to see Video

Now, I’m not here to just share anger. This is an assault not just on those who would stand for human rights and for the voiceless, this is an assault on women, on powerful women, on public defenders, and on the first amendment right, which Isabel exercised and which set off this vengeful, sick retribution by a grinning, sweaty, leering radio personality too used to privilege and the unchecked power to spread mental dis ease and instigate harm.

I want your help. I am asking for your help. Allies, feminists, males, white, brown, black, golden, all of us. We need to strike hard at this type of scourge.

As I recently wrote, there is no business encouraging hate of other cultures and Español,

Ooooooh Viva la Raza….feels SOoosoosoosoo gooood …’oh Jon! You make me feel as warm as the inside of a chimichanga!’

Playacting rape and dancing with misogyny,

Ooooooh Viva la Raza….feels SOoosoosoosoo gooood

Can I take her home with me? I’m going to take her home with me! MmMmMM…[voice from camera: Okay, you’re freaking me out Jon]

Encouraging cultural genocide and mocking deaths on the border (which are at about 114 for this year?)

Oh, she’s pretty light, actually! You see when you do all that work on the border in the hot sun, you lose weight!

But in the dominant culture’s paradigm these actions go right under the radar. This act, which would seem instantly horrific and unconscionable to the masses if done, for example, by a black/brown man snuggling up rapefully to an effigy of Hillary Clinton (and it would still be vile of course) will not meet with one tenth of the fury so many online bring to bear when Obama drops even a subtly-sexist phrase like “she gets like this periodically.”

That’s a PHRASE people. And I agree, it was too clever by half. But given that, can Isabel please have some of your fury? This is not a phrase or a surrogate calling her a “monster.” This is a broadcasted rape-by-proxy in response to effective advocacy and activism. And against una mujer who does real work in the service of the People. I know she doesn’t make widely-televised speeches about glass ceilings. But she is out there on the front lines fighting for women and children and men and families every day with much less visibility, and much less than “almost 18 million voters” on her side.

So let’s join her.

SickJon’s video indulgence of his misogynist urges is more than just noise, because this kind of noise ends in real harm, as I wrote about not long ago.

The Eugene Register Guard brings up how hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric that would have  once been relegated to the bowels of our nation’s populace such as in White Supremacist groups like the KKK and groups to which David Tuck have endorsed—have been brought to the mainstream by talk radio hosts (like Rush Limbaugh),

and now we add “Jon Justice”—

Thoughtful people can disagree about, and respectfully debate, immigration policy: What’s the best way to secure this country’s borders? How many foreigners should be admitted and for what purpose? What should be done with the 13 million illegal immigrants already in this country?

But extreme sentiments, once the exclusive province of white supremacists, have begun to seep into the mainstream. They’ve become the common verbal currency of nativist immigration-reform activists, talk radio hosts, cable TV commentators and even elected officials who smear immigrants as criminal aliens, invaders, terrorists and cockroaches – human detritus whose dangerous, lawless presence must be swept from this country.

-Hate crimes on the rise – Report links increase to anger over immigration, Eugene/Springfield Register Guard

Of course these attacks against Isabel have also been launched, and long follow all of Isabel’s efforts to champion the weak and exploited.

Back to my MTV post:

So we need to find a way to discuss issues like immigration with some sanity and humanity if we care about those same things that our very law is purported to safeguard. Such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For all humans, not just those with stamped papers or pale skin or a lover of the opposite sex.

Because it is clear that being reckless and violent in our speech is tied to being violent in action, and just like violence

against women, dehumanizing frames are used to justify and pave the way toward actual physical harm.

Update:

American Humanity has a good run-through and commentary that is less emotional than mine, and I want to include it. I watch this man doing what he is doing and I just become furious for all the reasons stated but it hits me at once. I like this post because the writer is a bit more detached and explains step by step what is so wrong about this Jon character’s videofetish:

The crowd filming and watching the ironically named Justice laugh and giggle as their funnyman plays out sick fantasies of dominance and control on Isabel’s image. One man states “you are totally creeping me out right now.” Justice replies “we’re not hate radio we’re love radio, we love, we do nothing but love” in a voice meant to imply eroticism. Justice finally wakes up out of his fantasy and says “I’m creeped out to.” Do you think that would be it? No, next he’s reminded to put the sombrero hanging up behind him on the doll’s head.

What’s ironic in the video is the fact that he says he was doing a radio show at the recruiters office “supporting our military” when he received the doll. This recruitment center more than likely takes in many Hispanic youth from Arizona for deployment to Iraq. There are many documented and undocumented Latinos in our military so I suppose his way of supporting them is taking a well known and respected Latina activist and fondling her.

As he carries her he states “she’s actually kind of light. Chorizo’s not that fattening.” “Chorizo” of course is sausage which I imagine was a phallic gesture. This gains many laughs from his followers. He continues “Plus all that work they do their out on the border. You lose a lot of weight out in the sun.”

[…]

Moving into the second video it seems as though Jon has become so smitten with his new doll that he actually believes it to be real. For those that have seen “Lars And The Real Girl” it’s moving into that territory. We understand by now that Justice does not like Isabel and has no problem making sure everyone is well aware she is a Latina.

In the second video he addresses questions people have had about the first video. Rather than being apologetic for his belittling another human being through dominance and racism he continues.

Someone asks if the show created her to which Justice has Isabel respond “I was created from the dust of the migrant trail.” While over 100 people have tragically died trying to cross into the United States Justice, born into American privilege, jokes about the work Isabel does to help these people.

Next he responds to the fact he was fondling her in the previous video. To this he has Isabel say “No, you did not fondle me at all. As a matter of fact when you held me it felt so warm, so nice. Having you hold me in your arms made me feel warm like the inside of a freshly cooked chimichanga and I thank you for that. I would really love to go home with you because I’m bored here. I’m bored. (yelling)” (I think he says bored – it’s hard to tell.)

Then he brings up someone stating the chorizo comment was racist to which he has Isabella reply – “Not at all. I love chorizo, I love nachos. I love jalapeños, burritos, enchiladas, all kinds of Mexican food and – ” (I can’t make out the last comment.)

The last question was in regard to his using a Spanish, or “Mexican” accent, as Jon says. He asks her “is that offense?” He has her reply “What? My name is Isabel Garcia – I am sort of a recreation of a member of the group called Coalición Derechos Humanos which last time I checked was a Latino, Mexican organization. So no, no offense at all. Viva la raza. Viva Jon Justice. Viva _” (can’t make this last comment out.)

Regardless how you feel about the immigration issue this type of racist belittling of a woman fighting for justice should not be tolerated. Justice should be ashamed of himself. There is a proper way to express your disagreement with others and playing out rape, dominance and mind control fantasies on your opponents image is callous and disturbing. When Justice fondles Isabel he is essentially foundling all Latinas. When he mocks here ethnicity he is mocking the ethnicity of all Latinos and Latinas. This insanity must stop.

So. How can we respond to Jon Justice’s insinuation of rape/domination over Isabel Garcia, champion of ACTUAL justice?

We can hit his sleazy misogynist white supremacist business model where it hurts. And we are already.

Speaking of money, here is the list of advertisers for 104.1 The Truth. There is a massive letter-writing and phone call campaign underway to call these businesses to withdraw their support to these racist and xenophobic messages being broadcast on the airwaves of Baja Arizona:

So far, the following previously listed sponsors have informed us of their intention to immediately withdraw their support of 104.1 FM:

• Main Gate Square
• Patio Pools & Spa
• The Auto Body Shop
• Advanced Recon
• Aung Foot Health Clinics
• Sol Cars

Interestingly, many of them were not even aware that their “package” deal with Journal Broadcasting Group meant advertising on 104.1 FM, and most were not aware of what they were supporting, and would not choose to support intolerance.

In addition, the following companies have expressed concern about this issue, and have assured us that they will be looking into the matter immediately:

• El Parador
• Allstate Insurance
• State Farm Insurance
• The Wildcat House
• Maloney’s Tavern
• Progressive Plumbing
• Axiom Drafting and Design
• Integrity Automotive

This is where you and I come in. We can

1. Contact local Pima County officials in support of Isabel Garcia

2. Call on the advertisers of 104.1 FM “The Truth” radio to end their support of hate radio, misogyny, and racism.

3. Visit Derechos Humanos for other ideas and resources, including sample letters.

Though none of it is for me, I thank you for taking any action, even if it is posting on this. And Jon, I know you showed up at Manuél’s post thinking your little trackback could hope to retort his righteous text. I just want you to know that Manuél’s part of my posse. And we roll deep. We don’t do piñata, tampoco.

UPDATE: It seems that Mister “Justice” has been fired from a previous job for his bizarre displays of gleeful domination. Turns out his last class act was simulating drowning a weighted-down dog.

UPDATE: Also from our posse we have Stick A Restraining Order On This Sick Pendejo’s Sorry Ass And Kick It Out The Door over at zuky.

UPDATE: Posse rolls on with molotov missives from Professor Black Woman and VivirLatino.

UPDATE: And on and on with Bfp and The Mahatma X Files.

UPDATE: And Ilyka and Lisa and Trin.

UPDATE: XP and you knew M would have her say.

UPDATE: Aw, now you went and made belledame pick up her axe.

UPDATE: And you’ve gone and roused The Smackdog.

UPDATE: from Manuél with a posse roll call.

UPDATE: As only Blackamazon can do it.

UPDATE: Amiga Carmen revs up her engines. And an eagle’s cry sounds over tejaztlan sands.

*UPDATE:Also read of Isabel’s victory over Putzman Jon “Justice” hate radio jock here.

FDA Issues Deadly Corrido Alert

July 24th, 2008 § 4 comments § permalink

FEDERAL OFFICIALS HAVE BACKED OFF of their earlier warning against eating tomatoes, after kicking a massive dent in the tomato industry with the national alert. This week, we’re told, the danger lies in the jalapeño pepper.

The precautionary recall followed a July 21 notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking consumers to avoid eating raw jalapenos, the new suspect in a salmonella outbreak that has infected 1,220 people in 42 states. The FDA determined tomatoes now available in the domestic market are not associated with the outbreak, and lifted its nationwide tomato warning on July 17.

 

But it’s not just jalapeño peppers themselves.

H.E. Butt Grocery Co. has voluntarily recalled fresh jalapeno peppers, fresh pico de gallo and prepared items containing raw jalapenos from its HEB and Central Market grocery stores.

 

And they’re even talking Cilantro!

Seven weeks created a loss in sales, but also long-term fear among consumers. While officials now suspect jalapeno peppers might have been the culprit, or fresh cilantro, tomatoes received the biggest hit in consumer confidence. Tomatoes still haven’t been totally cleared of suspicion by officials.

 

So that’s tomatoes, jalapeños, fresh Pico de Gallo, and cilantro! I know what you’re thinking. Next week they will tell us that corn flour and chorizo are deadly. But no, it’s already far worse than that.

CDC food safety chief Dr. Robert Rauxe warned the AP of the results of a new test. “We’ve been working hard to isolate the deadly bacteria and we’re positive now that the Salmonella resides solely in the realm of the Corrido. Listening to corridos, and especially while eating pico de gallo, or even burritos, can result in swift hospitalization.”

CDC targets Mexican Economy by Fearlisting Cultural Foods

 

 

Okay, so that last quote hasn’t been vetted. And the truth of it is that while the effect is but gravy in this case, (about $100 million dollars worth of gravy so far), tarring Mexico and Mexicans with the Disease brush is (perversely, considering it was the white europeans who brought devastating illness to Mexico) an old, old game.

Lou uses an age-old White Supremacist method of equating the darkies with contagion. Buchanan does it, too, in his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America.  …

But yes, the contagion, the filth, the dirtiness, the disease. Buchanan used the idea to suggest that all the brown people handling your burgers in fast food joints are giving you secret gifts of disease. Dobbs calls Mexicans lepers and stands by his “Facts®,” even when it is clear that his information is entirely false.

 

So what’s it all about this time? Some people, who spend their time understanding food in a much more focused and holistic way than the decrepit and crony-infested FDA does, offer another picture of what agendas are moving behind t he scenes:

NaturalNews) Watching the FDA trip over its own clumsy self while groping for answers on Salmonella is a sad affair. Following the FDA-encouraged destruction of tens of millions of dollars of perfectly good tomatoes, this confused, bewildered agency admits that tomatoes may not have been the problem after all, and it has now set its sights on destroying the peppers industry. Is there no vegetable safe from the destruction of the FDA?

Tomatoes don’t harbor salmonella, by the way. Neither do peppers, onions, cilantro or spinach. Salmonella only festers in factory-farmed animals, folks, and that means the real source of contamination is no doubt some animal factory upstream from the vegetable processing centers. So why isn’t the FDA going after the animal factories that likely caused this whole fiasco? Because making Americans scared of their vegetables is a great way to advance the FDA’s food irradiation agenda which would destroy virtually all the medicinal phytonutrients in plants.

 

 

There it is. One more missing piece in the puzzle. The FDA’s mission to turn live foods into dead foods. 

The USDA, you see, has zero recognition of the difference between living produce and dead produce. To uneducated government bureaucrats, pasteurized or irradiated vegetable juice is identical to fresh, raw, living vegetable juice. They believe this because they’ve never been taught about the phytonutrients, digestive enzymes and life force properties that are found in fresh foods, but that are destroyed through heat or irradiation. This, the USDA is operating out of extreme ignorance when it comes to food and nutrition.

Even a simple leaf of spinach contains hundreds of natural medicines — phytonutrients that help prevent cancer, eye diseases, nervous system disorders, heart disease and much more. Every living vegetable is a powerhouse of disease-fighting medicine: Broccoli prevents cancer, beet greens cleanse the liver, cilantro removes heavy metals, celery prevents cancer, berries prevent heart disease and dark leafy greens help prevent over a dozen serious health conditions while boosting immune function and helping prevent other infections. But when you subject these fruits and vegetables to enough radiation to kill 99.9% of the pathogens that may be hitching a ride, you also destroy many of the phytonutrients responsible for these tremendous health benefits!

This means that while irradiating food may decrease outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, it will have the unintended consequence of increasing the number of people who get sick from other infections (and chronic diseases) due to the fact that their source of natural medicine has been destroyed. For many Americans, you see, salad greens are their one remaining source for phytonutrients. Given their diets of processed foods, junk foods and cooked foods, there are very few opportunities for these consumers to get fresh, phytonutrient-rich foods into their diet. And now the USDA wants to take that away, too, by mandating the irradiation of all fresh produce.

 

However you look at it, it’s becoming clear to more and more people that growing our own food will soon be a necessary component of health and safety, not to mention a general feeling of security. As the food economy is repeatedly hatcheted by a fumbling and stumbling FDA; as plants, slaughterhouses, and restaurants are hit hard due to ICE raids (hate to bury this here, this is breaking news), food preparation and cleanliness is suffering, supply is faltering and at times drying up, and most importantly, our food is no longer viable in many important ways. I mean, how do you feel lately about food? Do you do like I do? Buy the healthiest you can afford and don’t think about the rest? With every new bulletin about the meat/food/vegetable industry hammering into your feeling of growing unease?

If your home doesn’t have a garden, make one. If you don’t have a yard (hello!) then begin thinking on how to foster community gardens, or grow even the most basic vegetables in containers. The time for thoughtless consumption is a thing of the past, more and more the exclusive domain of the elites and those 1%ers who think this world and all its bounty is theirs to pillage endlessly and without conscience or consequence.

Remember the (terrible) movie Waterworld? In that movie, soil was worth more than gold, and a little orange tree worth killing over. I’d not say we’re there…yet.

Dolly Comes to Town

July 23rd, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

DOLLY TAKES A DEEP BREATH and upgrades herself from a Tropical Storm to a Category 1. 

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Rain started to fall along the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Dolly closed in on towns straddling the Texas-Mexico border, packing 85 mph winds that could strengthen when it hits land later Wednesday.

The Category 1 hurricane was expected to dump up to 15 inches of rain, threatening flooding that could breach levees in the heavily populated Rio Grande valley.

Dolly was upgraded from a tropical storm Tuesday afternoon, and sustained winds have strengthened to about 85 mph. At 7 a.m. EDT Wednesday, the storm’s center was about 55 miles east of Brownsville, moving northwest at about 8 mph.

The National Hurricane Center said Dolly could approach Category 2 strength, meaning wind speeds of at least 96 mph, when it reaches the coastline later Wednesday.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast of Texas from Brownsville to Corpus Christi and in Mexico from Rio San Fernando northward.

Cities and counties in Rio Grande valley were preparing Tuesday night as officials feared heavy rains could cause massive flooding and levee breaks.

Texas officials urged residents to move away from the Rio Grande levees because if Dolly continues to follow the same path as 1967’s Hurricane Beulah, “the levees are not going to hold that much water,” said Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Johnny Cavazos.

Hurricane Dolly bears down on Texas-Mexico coast

That’s the AP’s take. Read more from the eye of the storm.

Hey. You. Feedreader. C’mere.

July 23rd, 2008 § 6 comments § permalink

THIS IS A SHORT AND SIMPLE REQUEST to all my lovely friends in FeedReaderLand. Yes, you! The one reading me now in an RSS reader, or a google aggregator, in Bloglines or in Buzz or Greatnews or Newsfire or NetNewsWire and so on! 

You—being the jazzy and hip tech-savvy sort—don’t visit blog pages individually so much anymore, and that’s cool. But in your growing up and spreading your technological wings, UMX has changed locations.

SO, if you have The Unapologetic Mexican blogrolled, I’d really appreciate it if you can take a moment and do like Manuél said: change your links over from http://theunapologeticmexican.org/elgrito to http://theunapologeticmexican.org/elmachete. Just go in there and replace “elgrito” with “elmachete” and we’re golden.

Gracias! And buenos dias!

Shakespeare’s Ode to Menudo

July 23rd, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

OKAY, I ADMIT IT: William Shakespeare was not fond of Menudo! But the question is…do you think he would have been? Pues, no. That is not the question, tampoco. The question is are you in the Ashland, Oregon area? Because if you are, I bet you wanna catch this melding of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival now with extra brass and salsa!

In a first for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a five-day series of events paying tribute to the Hispanic/Latino culture is planned Wednesday, July 23, through Sunday, July 27, on the OSF campus.

Festival Latino is the realization of a dream by new Artistic Director Bill Rauch and the OSF company to celebrate Hispanic/Latino culture and to offer open captions in Spanish of OSF performances.

“In the past there had been some simultaneous translations using headsets with actors live in the sound booth,” said audience development associate Freda Casillas. “It was really challenging to do. We could deliver more if we went to the open-caption route.”

Open caption is similar to the subtitles or supertitles used in opera performances. OSF will be using LED reader boards for certain plays during the festival.

“The impetus was to invite our neighbors and to open to folks who have never been here before,” Casillas said.

The OSF plaza will be decorated in festive Latino style. There will be free outdoor performances of music and dance by local and regional artists, as well as performances by students from Guanajuato, Ashland’s sister city in Mexico.

 

 

 

A number of educational events will be offered in both English and Spanish. These events include Park Talks, a lecture by playwright Luis Alfaro and a midnight performance of Alfaro’s work, prefaces to the plays, backstage tours and workshops. Bilingual materials will be available and Spanish-speaking volunteers will be on hand. Food will be for sale from the Tacos El Gallo food van.

Event sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Ford Foundation and local community partner La Clinica del Valle.

Festival Latino schedule:

All events are free unless otherwise noted. If needed, tickets are available at the box office. The Green Show events take place on the courtyard bricks. Sometimes inclement weather that might endanger the performers or equipment may require OSF to cancel, adjust or stop a performance. The decision to cancel will be made approximately an hour before a scheduled show.

For more information about Festival Latino, call Freda Casillas at 482-2111, ext. 242, or e-mail fredac@osfashland.org or call 482-4331.

 

Festival Latino es una novedad para el Festival de Shakespeare de Oregon, la realización de un sueño del nuevo director artístico Bill Rauch y de la compañía de OSF para celebrar la cultura Hispana/Latina en nuestro campus y ofrecer funciones de nuestras obras subtituladas al español.

OSF presentará funciones gratis al aire libre con música y baile de artistas locales y regionales, al igual que funciones de estudiantes de Guanajuato, la ciudad-hermana de Ashland en México.

También se ofrecerá un número de eventos educativos en inglés y español. Estos eventos incluirán conversaciones en el parque, un discurso del autor Luis Alfaro, introducciones a las obras, visitas guiadas y talleres. También tendremos materiales bilingües.

Para recibir información sobre Festival Latino, por favor llame a Freda Casillas, 482-2111 Ext. 242 o fredac@osfashland.org.

 

There really looks to be a great program. Hope I see you there!

The Dark Knight (on Terror)

July 22nd, 2008 § 52 comments § permalink

I’D LIKE TO COME BACK to my film reviews more often, but they are one of the most time-consuming efforts I make, though one of the most satisfying. If I had another few hours in a day, I’d probably keep a wholly separate blog for film, photo, and all things visual. But just as your host is mestizolicious, so is this blog a blend of various elements, from human rights to political engagement to graphic art to people-powered notions to polemic to environmental concern to humor to film review. Anyway, on with it.

For purposes of categorization (and time!) this will be a “Film Overview.” Meaning, I see a film once, talk about it at home without further viewing capability, without having taken notes, without being able to grab stills. This means that my quotes may be off by a word or two as they are paraphrased, but the essence will be accurate as I was making mental notes and connecting the insights I had to specific film elements.

For the other types—especially Review and Full Analysis—I prefer to have a screening copy on hand and the ability to select any still image to illustrate a point. So this will be rather broad and only as detailed as I expect I can make it. For those who are new to UMX, my (formal) training and practice in visual art began in 1988 and I specifically majored in Film/TV at my second school, NYU. A handful of radio reviews that I did for Radio Pacifica can be found here and the written reviews I’ve posted here.

This will be an overview of Batman: The Dark Knight. There are spoilers! So you may want to skip this and bookmark it for later if you haven’t yet seen the film. However, I will do my best regardless to not mention anything gratuitously and only what I need to in making my points.

I realize it’s only fair to begin with a synopsis, but I’d rather quote someone else on that part, because my main interest here is stripping bare the underlying message. So here’s two summaries from imdb.com.

Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. Written by Peteagassi

With just one year passed after taking out Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan to have Gotham eliminated and the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA the Scarecrow, after the city was nearly plundered with his toxins, Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego the Batman, continue the seemingly-endless effort to bring order to Gotham, with the help of Lt. James Gordon and newly appointed District Attorney Harvey Dent, but a new threat has now emerged into the streets. The Dark Knight faces a rising psychopathic criminal called The Joker, who’s eerie grin, laughter, and inhuman morality makes him more dangerous than what he has yet to unleash. It becomes an agenda to the Batman to stop the mysterious Joker at all cost, knowing that the both of them are in the opposite line. One with no method at all and seeks to see the world plunge into the fire he has yet to lit. One who represents the symbol of hope and uses his own shadow to bring the peace and order he has yet to accomplish on doing. Written by Anonymous

Okay, good. Got that? Porque I’m not even going to work my way up to the heart, I’m going directly between the ribs and yanking it out first. And I’m glad that “Peteagassi” used the phrase “war on crime” because

The Dark Knight is a fun, dark, cinematic delight wrapped around a pro-George W. Bush, pro-P.A.T.R.I.O.T act, anti-left, pro-GWOT, neocon message.

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The film trumpets the views that:

a) Terrorists have no reasoning, nor any actual complaint. They simply want to see the world burn.

b) Those who would try to deal with the issue in terms of law and reason are using the wrong tools in dark and terrible time and will lose. [update as a reader reminded me below:] To win, you must “burn the whole forest down.”

c) Wiretapping is necessary to save us from lurking dangers.

d) George W. Bush is a Christ-like figure who is doing the right thing with no current recognition, but this is a sacrifice he has undertaken and will soon be hunted for it.

There are of course, other messages in here. But these are the overriding ones. And of them, I have no doubt. And most of these were hardly subtle, to tell you the truth.

I’m glad to find the poster image above. This was even after I formed my opinions (which was while watching it.) Take another look at it. WELCOME TO A WORLD WITHOUT RULES is important. As is the burning building (kind of…looks like a plane flew into it, eh?)

The “World without rules” fits under part B.

a: “You would have us be reasonable people in cruel times!” screams a major character, who gets badly disfigured because he was a shining example of law and tried to fight crime by the books. This is right in line with the CheneyBush Doctrine, of course, echoed again when Batman (Christian Bale) is trying to squeeze information from a mob boss. “Nobody will give you information. They won’t turn on the joker. They’re afraid of him. You have rules. The Joker doesn’t have any.” It’s the cry of the cop who goes crooked. How can we fight crime if we play by the rules while the criminals don’t have any? It’s the dark, dark, dark protestation of he who foregoes principle and embraces the Means Justify the Ends philosophy.

Multiple times the word “Terrorist” is tied to the Joker (played by Heath Ledger). That part was very blatant. From a barely audible TV droning out news reports in the background eventually finding its way to louder spaces, like directly from character’s mouth. Talk of “giving in” to “terrorist” demands.

The joker also blows up a hospital, and the way the papers float to the earth in the smoky aftermath of the building’s explosion, well. You didn’t have to live in NYC in 2001 to have certain images—played on our TVs over and over and over again—stick in your mind and remind you of exploding office buildings.

The Joker has a suicidal bent—like the extremist Muslim fanatics we are always hearing about—begging the oncoming cycle to mow him down, asking to be killed when at the end, relishing it. He laughs when you belt him. Each and every time.

It’s easy to get caught up here in this character. Not only is the media pushing this Joker aspect due to Heath Ledger’s death, but we do love a good villain. And he’s a good one. You can see the depth of the character’s pain at moments, but there is a fury there, too that leaps out only at moments and wakes you up from the act he puts on, which settles a sort of spell of revulsion and fascination over you.

He is a devil of sorts. He receives his joy from watching you fall, from knowing there is no goodness, from forcing you to choose that Ends Justifies the Means philosophy. He wants self affirmation that all is corrupt and people are terrible and dark inside, when you throw away all the conceits and affectation. He likes to murder because in someone’s last moments, you see who they truly are.

This is the character exploration and filmmaking that captivates. This is the part the movie relishes. This dark, haunted, killer.

“You think the city’s better now?” he leers at the Law through a video screen, caked-up makeup and eyes wild and wide. (Even the parts where he has his victims face the camera and read his notes reminds me of certain actual broadcasts from the Middle East in which US citizens were abducated and put on their knees in a green, gauzy, gray room and made to repeat and speak to the watchers, us.) Then he shoves his maniacal face into the lens. “THIS IS HOW INSANE GOTHAM IS!” And we know that he  personifies the madness into which society is descending.

Some messages speak against the right wing mantras, as outlined. But you will always have multiple messages, some that contradict, in all except the most clunky flicks. I stand by my reading of the broader overreaching and lasting messages.

The Joker begins by pulling off a complicated bank heist. But he doesn’t even really want the money, we learn. He doesn’t have reasons. He unfolds this amazingly complex and successful crime and then gets the loot and burns it. (With the Crooked Asian Weakling Type sitting atop the ten-foot stacks (three? as in three towers?) of money. Burning. Think “centers of finance” think “Towers.”) Because “some people just want to see the world burn.”

At first when we hear the story of his scars we feel for him, feel terribly. A child whose father victimized both his mother and himself. Later, the writer deftly snatches our sympathies away by having the Joker tell a different story of the origins of his scars, this time self-inflicted. You realize that you cannot trust his reasons, that he is just insane, and his revealing of the scar’s origins is a game he plays moments before he disfigures someone else. Now you feel used by him for your sympathies and are set against him even more.

b) Those who would try to deal with the issue in terms of law and reason are using the wrong tools in dark and terrible time and will lose.

I touched on this some already. But it is highlighted in stark example when Batman, desperate to find the Joker turns to wiretapping. The Joker is upending the very order of society by killing scores of cops, judges, lawyers involved in the prosecution of the mob (who has foolishly hired the Joker not knowing he is not a Regular Criminal but insatiable and deranged). Batman uses some technology already developed (ahem) by his friend Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) to tap into every single cell phone in the city, which then sends out sonar and visually maps and triangulates any person’s presence or voice in a massive ghostly three-dimensional landscape. Lucius protests and insists he must resign if this technology is going to be present.

But he will help this one time. Because it’s THAT important. As I said, the very fabric of their society is crumbling. What? Is Lucius just going to refuse? And let the terrorists win?

So we see the symbol of AT&T/Comcast, etc given the face of THEEEE world’s most benevolent actor (Morgan Freeman) as he kindly and justly agrees Just This One Time to do something horribly unethical and invasive. For the People’s good. We’re even shown that “to reward people” for doing the right thing, Batman programs the room to self-destruct when This One Time is over.

We actually see the ticking time bomb scenario play out not once, but twice! Does torture work? Batman beats the hell out of the Joker, who only seems to enjoy dragging Batman down to his level (terrorists winning) but he does get the information (Torture justified) the first time. The second…well, that’s tooo much of a spoiler. But it involves a “social experiment” in which he pits people’s fear of being killed and distrust of others and self interest against reason and trust and believing in others. And I’d say the ultimate message is that fear and self-interest are not reinforced that time.

c) George W. Bush is a Christ-like figure who is doing the right thing with no current recognition, but this is a sacrifice he has undertaken and will soon be hunted for it.

I know! This is the part where you are like all “Whoa Nez, that’s just out of control. Batman as Pro-P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act? The Dark Knight as Bush? Aren’t you, yanno, reading INto it a little too much or sumfin?” But not really. It’s quite clear. Especially if you follow from a to b to c to d, and the movie really leaves little doubt. Though I do see how it’s easy to focus on the character elements, the wicked good filming of fight scenes (can be hard to do, can be confusing or just disorienting or alternately, not kinetic or surprising enough), the seriously disturbing moments of violence (tag this “that fall won’t even kill me!”) the dark and emotional and convincing acting pieces, or the beautiful soaring and hang-gliding action that batman does with his cape.

Batman—he who fights terrorists with illegal and unethical but important and necessary means—will let someone else be the public hero-who-gives-hope. (He takes the rap for something to preserve the illusion of this hero the city needs in someone else.) Bushatman is the Christ figure, taking the weight on his back for the People. Sacrificing his good name and image and public adoration to Do the Right Thing, the Reviled Thing, but the Thing Necessary to Win and Beat the Terrorist(s). He is the “hero the people need now but that they don’t want now” says the Gary Oldman character, summing it up for us at the end. He will even be hunted for his taking on this weight, he goes on. But oh, how lucky we are to have him being whatever it is we need. Doing the things we deem illegal and wrong in our silly attempts to be reasonable in a cruel time with people so mad they have no reasons for their destructive actions, and only want to see our world burn.

Mexico relaxes penalties on undocumented

July 21st, 2008 § 6 comments § permalink

MEXICO has done away with a splinter of hypocrisy when dealing with the issue of migrants traveling across the earth seeking a better life

 

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico will no longer jail illegal immigrants detained within its borders.

A measure that takes effect Tuesday eliminates jail times for illegal immigrants caught in Mexico. Most are crossing the country from Central America en route to the U.S. […] 

Activists want more to be done to protect migrants in Mexico, where many are robbed and abused on their way north.

Mexico will no longer jail illegal immigrants

 

I wonder…how many people really think that the so-called “immigration problem” really has to do with inadequate amounts of walls and weaponry strung across one part of this land? Or that the crux is Mexico’s economy? Because people are embarking on long, amazingly ambitious and dangerous sojourns, and from further away than Mexico. Perhaps the problem actually has to do with the USA’s economy? 

Or those who stand to benefit from the manipulation of our economy, I should say.

Meta Meta Foreva & Eva

July 21st, 2008 § 4 comments § permalink

JUST A FEW COMMENTS HERE on blogular activities before we get back to the meat of our biznass. Firstly, thanks to you for weathering the strange comment fields (where you type your name, email, URL). I had no idea what had happened to them, I was only trying to affect the Submit button. A few friends and readers made comments to me but I hadn’t seen it for myself, so I didn’t connect the dots. Nobody said “Yo, what the hell is up with this weird comment form thing? I can’t see to type in my name” but a couple people came close. Molina mailed me and was like “where do I sign in???” But…I thought she meant to register with the blog. And then when Carmen said something about the error she got (“it was hard to see typing with the targets in the background”) I knew exactly and all at once what had happened! I never saw those fields because I was logged in all the while, and stayed logged in. SO—thanks for dealing with that, and I’m impressed anyone bothered to comment once I saw what had happened. I’ve checked them and styled them to my liking now. 

Secondly, you will see some Google Ad Sense ads floating around. I’m almost positive these will not work out but I’m going to give them a try. Already, I’ve had to block two sites (and it takes a while for the block to take effect) because of nasty anti-Migrant or anti-Mexican sentiment (and now I’m already worrying about writing those two phrases as it is, imagining the spiders saying ‘oh! he wants —– type ads!) and chasing around google ads to stop hate from showing on my site should pay a little…and I’m not sure it’s going to balance out. So we may see them for a while and then we may see them disappear. Time will tell. I do laugh and like to see the knife ads that pop up in response to the blog’s name!

The organization that recently approached me about an ad has not responded to my price, so they may not follow through, but know that I will give ad space up for not just organizations, but for fellow bloggers and site owners (granted they are not selling/saying something in general that I cannot stand behind) who want some visibility at UMX and with the especial and extraordinary crew that reads here. Prices would be cheaper for individuals than for organizations, and we can do it by the week or the month. I have long been a fan of the sliding scale system of payment, having gone to more than a few offices or services in my day that catered to the poverty stricken. That’s pretty much how I run my business. I know my work is worth a lot, because I put a lot into it and I see and have seen the competition for years. But if someone is just broke due to their job or where they are at in life, I like to allow for that. Likewise, if someone is living in their own brownstone on the upper east side of Manhattan, then they can expect to pay my premium fees. That all makes sense to me, and it makes sense on the flip side, too.

Next, I’d point you to the grafik on the sidebar to the right which says “Show Some Love.” Behind that are badges that link to UMX so if you want to show people how hip and Neztastic your reading can be, feel free to scoop up the code under any badge you want to use. You don’t need to upload anything or do anything beyind dropping that code into your template. Images are hosted on my server.

Penultimately (ooh, swinging the verbal machete!), like to shout out real quick, a big gracias to Diane over at Wild, Wild Left who stopped by and asked me to please cross post my post The Conquest and Theft of América, Pt. 13 at her place. Soapblox is getting around, it seems. As is good taste. ;)

Lastly, some blogmigos recently went to newly-branded Ykos Convention (Netroots Nation) and Manuel and XP managed to speak to a WaPo reporter, so our little group The Sanctuary once again gets some (l)ink.

The mood between Obama and the Netroots has warmed up considerably in the past few months. Obama, who’s on his first overseas tour since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee, sent a 10-minute video greeting to the conventioneers.

“We’ve had some disagreements in the past, and we’ll have some disagreements in the future,” Obama says in the video. “I promise to continue to listen to your concerns, take them seriously and discuss them respectfully.”

The audience claps warmly, and among those watching are Edmundo Rocha, of Houston, and Manuel Guzman, of Tucson, Ariz., Latino bloggers who recently launched The Sanctuary, a site written by a multi-ethnic group of bloggers concerned about migrant rights and immigration reform. The group sent a list of detailed, pointed questions to Obama. They’re still waiting to get adequate responses, they add.

“I’ve been waiting to see just how much he’s going to involve the Netroots in the way he thinks about policies,” says Guzman, who sports an Obama shirt. He voted for Obama during the primaries but says he was “disappointed” with Obama’s FISA vote.

“The Netroots are not going away. It’s only going to get bigger,” Guzman continues. “We’re all learning to live with each other.”

 

We have no further updates from any of the candidates beyond what I wrote here. We have also contacted other third party candidates so we will have a wide range of responses—once we receive them. The deadline draws closer!

Open house! Test out the comment fields or give your opinion on how we can resurrect the Gravel candidacy, or at least convince him to do another YouTube video. Maybe even a series! Like Shogun, but with a trippy old white guy on acid.

Ed Kennedy Snags Aztec Eagle

July 20th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

ED KENNEDY GETS RIGHTEOUS PROPS from México.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has awarded Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy the country’s highest honor for his work defending the rights of immigrants during his decades in Congress.

The Mexican government said in its official gazette it presented the “Aztec Eagle” honor to Kennedy in Washington on Friday.

“He has denounced injustices suffered by immigrants,” and “promoted initiatives to promote full political participation and increased access to health and education services for the Mexican-American community,” the official announcement said.

Mexico awards highest honor to Sen. Kennedy

 

You go, vato. Show those politician types how it’s done.

Francis D. Siciliano, Anti-American and DHS Stooge

July 20th, 2008 § 4 comments § permalink

IN SANTA CLARA, CALIFAS, voter registration was rising dramatically as a result of bringing the two processes of naturalization and training for voter registration together. 

It was a procedure that produced a bumper crop of new voters:

Just before Santa Clara County immigrants were sworn in as U.S. citizens, they got voter-registration cards and were shown how to fill them out. At the conclusion of the naturalization ceremony, most new citizens had signed the cards and handed them in to become registered voters. 

This was so successful that other cities in California began to model their naturalization processes after Santa Clara. And you’d think, in a sane world, that new citizens of the USA—completely “legal” and with every right to vote and to the court systems and to the protections that you and I share—would be celebrated for voting.

And it is. Unless you are the Republican Department of ICE an—oh, wait, I mean the Department of Homeland Security. Because they seemed to find it reasonable to forbid even handing these people a damn voter registration card before they swear their final oath.

But in March, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services declared that the county registrar of voters must not hand out those cards until the recipients are officially citizens. And now voter registration has plunged by 82 percent.

“Everybody’s really disappointed,” said Diane Moore, precinct operations division manager for the county registrar’s office. “Before this processing change, we were one of the models in the state of California. We did this with a great amount of pride.”

County voter drive blocked – FEWER NEW CITIZENS REGISTERED AFTER U.S. AGENCY CHANGES RULE

The local League of Women Voters, along with local congressional representatives are furious.

“Homeland Security has no jurisdiction over this. They can’t limit voter registration,” said U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, chairwoman of the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee. “Who do they think they are?”

Okay, so no big deal, right? Just hand them the card after the swearing in and the entire process has run its course. Right? Start that new lesson afterward, after the long, arduous, exciting, nerve wracking event comes to a full close. Then begin a new training course.

With new citizens unable to fill out the cards at their own pace during the ceremony, registrar workers found it nearly impossible to catch the new citizens as they rushed toward the door after the ceremony to get back to jobs or to family obligations.

Plus, one Citizenship and Immigration Services staffer has been “telling new citizens to leave the building while they are still filling out their voter registration cards,” according to an internal county memo obtained by the Mercury News.

So did the little Republican-DHS trick work?

The impact was definitive: The county registered 3,140 new voters at naturalization ceremonies in the four months before the new policy went into effect, but only 557 new voters registered in the four months since. Registrars signed up as many as 65 percent of new citizens before the change, but just 8 percent registered at the most recent ceremony in June.

The Republicans must be so proud! Whether its rigging elections, invading nations, lying to the US populace, dismissing the Nuremburg decision and the Geneva Conventions, outing CIA agents or dissuading brand new American Citizens from exercising one of the most important rights (ideally) you can exercise as an official US citizen, Republicans sure know how to piss all over the United States Flag. Subversives and anarchists oughtta take note. Nobody shreds the laws, ideals, and rights decreed by USGOV like a Republican!

Santa Clara County officials say they were notified March 19 in a telephone call from Francis D. Siciliano, then-director of the agency’s San Jose field office, that a lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security was forcing the change.

Siciliano, who retired July 3, said in an interview Friday that he had received a memo from his superiors in Washington, D.C., saying it would be inappropriate for citizens-to-be to receive registration materials until they had actually taken the oath of citizenship.

“It was a technicality,” he said, but added that he couldn’t recall which official in Washington sent the memo, or who had filed the lawsuit that prompted it.

He said politics were not involved. “None whatsoever, to be very honest with you,” he said.

County voter drive blocked – FEWER NEW CITIZENS REGISTERED AFTER U.S. AGENCY CHANGES RULE

Yes, I’m told that Mister Siciliano has a sterling reputation for honesty. And the White House is never motivated by politics. And George W Bush is intelligent and Karl Rove attractive and John McCain has integrity and Dick Cheney has a human heart.

They want us to die in their wars first. And vote last, if ever.

—–

UPDATE Aug 11: Justice is served.

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