Feb. 14th, 2012

  • 2:33 AM
la_vie_noire: Anthy painting a portrait (Anthy painting)
Always brilliant [personal profile] deepad has a great post: On JLF, Rushdie, but also, On Violences. I think you should read it all because I cannot quote it enough.

As totemic bineries go, Valentine's Day vs. right wing religious fundamentalists is just about as irksome as Salman Rushdie vs. right wing religious fundamentalists. I saw Valentine's Day being cooked up in India as I was growing up along with Archies Gallery and the desire to market greeting cards; it's an festival imported by capitalist marketeers that is embarassing in its conspicuous display of materialistic measurement of heterosexual conventional romantic relationships. Of course no one should be stoned for wanting to flaunt pink heart-holding teddy bears. (Of course, Salman Rushdie should not be threatened with any form of violence.) It's just a little wearying, though, to be asked to make Valentine's Day a symbol, when having a conversation about gay rights, or honor killings, or polyamorous relationships, or marital rape with the average person who wants to buy a greeting card for their sweetie is an exercise in verbal violence more often than not. And Salman Rushdie, defender of rapist Roman Polanski and U.S.'s war against Afghanistan, advocate of declaring Pakistan a terrorist state, and disparager of all post-colonial vernacular writing is hardly a poster child for the virtues of a self-righteously unrestricted tongue.

One of the posters designed for flashreads has a quote by Salman Rushdie: "Free Speech is the whole ball game. Free Speech is life itself."

The hubris of such a sweeping statement does not appeal to me, not when people are fighting to liberate their bodies from physical violence, not when they weigh their words against the impact it will have on their life, and choose silence, or obfuscation, or tempered disagreement because they know that death of words is not actually the same thing as death of a living, breathing body, whether that is of a loved one or one's own.


Ah yes. The benevolent white USian church ladies who feed the starving children in 'Africa'. From the book donation guidelines at Books for Africa and The Book Bus, it seems that there is a pressing need to send books written in English and published in the U.S. and U.K. thousands of miles across to those deprived, needy children, though nothing says that maybe what those books say about race, and class, and nationality and normativeness is really important to think about.

I've known what its like to be yearning for books, but I've also known what it is like to yearn, while surrounded by books, for ones that represent people like me. I can't speak for the child I was, but the adult I am is happy to have not been exposed to some of the more virulent books I know about now back then, when I was more desperate and less discerning.


I defend the rationality of being offended by a misrepresentation of what one holds sacred. I defend the right of those in the marginalised, threatened or oppressed position in a hierarchy to challenge and question and reject those ideas and stories that reinforce the injustice being done to them.

But no matter how much value I may want ascribed to non-physical violence--be it economic, ideological, legal or cultural--I do not wish to downplay my rejection of physical violence. In the hours it has taken me to write this, I scroll up and compare my kneejerk irritation at the JKF Rushdie imbroglio to the aching empathy I felt for Rashid in Haroun and the Sea of Stories, exiled from the source of his stories. Free speech and it's consequent debates around book banning, censorship and the like is one thing. But bodies imprisoned or exiled because of threat of violence, translators stabbed, defenders beaten;** this is wholly more absolute injustice. I consider the written word sacred enough that though I have felt the desire to do damage to a book, I could never imagine ripping, or burning or physically harming even the most loathsome text. How much more sacred then, is even the most antagonistic human soul, the source for those words, enshrined in a fragile and totally irreplaceable body.

A banned book may be resurrected, a dead person cannot be.

Feb. 6th, 2012

  • 2:52 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Via [personal profile] delux_vivens. Listening to African Queers.

A few weeks ago, I broke a longstanding personal rule and left a comment on a mainstream, very popular, award-winning U.S. gay blog. A long string of comments by mostly gay men (if web identities count for anything) supported the U.K.’s decision to consider sexual rights in granting aid. Many of the commentators condemned not simply homophobia and transphobia in Africa, but African governments and African citizens, the former explicitly the latter implicitly. “My tax dollars should not fund homophobia,” was a typical comment.


More to the point, and to repeat something I’ve written before: positioning African queers as economic threats or as economic competition to other local, regional, and national projects renders us more vulnerable. In a country like Kenya where money is King, telling government agencies that money will not show up for a government project because queers are not treated well will most probably not result in better legislation or, more practically, better living conditions for queers. (Given Kenya’s strategic importance in the region and that we are happily killing Somalis for the Americans, I think our aid is safe.)

I realize that aid conditionality often has nothing to do with those populations deemed to be at risk. Or, rather, is based on information provided by “experts” who have “conducted studies” to “determine what is needed” and rarely, if ever, takes into consideration local needs and local situations, except as these are filtered through really fucked up lenses. I have sat through multiple presentations where so-called “experts” diagnosed Africans—yes, such collective terms are used too often—and heard myself described in ways I found utterly bewildering, reduced to a helpless, clueless child. When one speaks up at such meetings, one is told that one is an exception; no doubt, my U.S. education helped me grow toward civilization.

Please. This is basic knowledge, and I think I also have said a hundred of times. It doesn't even has to do with culture. "Sanctions" will only increase the crisis in countries already in crisis. Burst your privilege bubble. You will be just hurting the most vulnerable people in the nation.

F. U.

  • Jan. 25th, 2012 at 5:43 PM
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
Am I the only one who wants to spit on people's faces over this shit?

Yes, because the world is all about USA and their two right-winged political parties. What they do in Somalia? Just business that are useful to make their president look good and to rescue white first worlders. As my classmate uses to say, damn if they don't want to make everything look like one of their action tv-shows/movies where their Navy is heroic saving the world from brown non-westerners and it doesn't exist a biggest context for this shit (Somali pirates and sovereignty).

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan...

Also. We know kidnapping, stealing is wrong yadda yadda, but some people are way to naive, and believe everyone lives in a idealized middle-classed first world. Which doesn't happen. And no one gives a REAL shit about other people's tragedies. Way complex problems that have to do with poverty, lack of access, lack of resources in their own countries. Thank to... well, some shit against global south and its people.


  • Jan. 19th, 2012 at 8:58 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
They closed MU. The FBI closed it and arrested the owners for piracy. The company operated worldwide, but its owners worked in places like Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Do I need to say it? DO I? We kind of had the piracy discussion some... time ago (months? years?), but. Fuck you, USA. I could say a lot of things, but I'm childishly sore, the kind of sore of someone who had their pretty things taken away, and I feel kinda vindictive. Just going to say that it SO doesn't go both ways. In the matter of things big companies in the US can do, and things everyone else can do.

Also? Don't come butthurt at me? I have had in this journal lately some shitty comments going on about how REALLY some thing or another is also happening and it shows some experience isn't really privileged, and WHY don't you care about this, and... I don't want to hear it. I'm going to ban you if you come with shit like that to me. I'm sore.

(Yes, I can like my pretty things, and I can't have them like you people can thanks to some of the shit YOU -I mean, YOUR GOVERNMENT- and your companies put around here, and DID around here. So be quiet.)

I don't know if I already linked it some time ago, but if you really, really need to say something? Please, read this first: Media Piracy in Emerging Economies.

Pretty brilliant entry

  • Dec. 25th, 2011 at 8:41 PM
la_vie_noire: (Anthy flower)
Gender Imperialism.

It has been and continues to be a challenge for me to resist the Western, imperialist constructions of gender. This conflict has been my *only* source of gender confusion and dysphoria. Before I was kicked out of my dad’s house, I was perfectly comfortable with my gender. But as I became entirely surrounded by the Western gaze, with no refuge, I began to feel discord with my gender and body. I have spent years struggling with my gender only to realize that the issue was not about my relation to my body but my relation to how the West views my body. My gender dysphoria was the result of Western imperialism.

[...]Eventually, these experiences (and a toxic friendship) convinced me to throw my skirts away (lovingly hand crocheted by myself) and make up, so that I could be a ‘man.’

Trying to live up to this Western, gender normative notion of ‘man’ did a lot of damage to myself. I’m getting over it, but it hasn’t been easy. And as I exit this stage of my life I’ve been re-examining my relationship with the trans umbrella (and the cis/trans binary). Ultimately, I’m resisting this label too, partially out of mistrust and a fear that even trying out this better, but still Western, conception of gender will still do damage to me. And I think it would. Because accepting the trans label as a bakla means that I’m defining and understanding my gender within a Western context. It is an acceptance of the imperialism and continued colonization of my body by the West.

My gender identity, and its expression, exist outside of the Western construction of gender. It is the product of a culture that, while it has a colonial past, is its own.

Uhm. The world disgusts me today

  • Dec. 9th, 2011 at 12:28 AM
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
Are people in this post actually proud?

Your left is a joke. No kidding.

Here is why I have been out of lj, or out of english-speaking media/blogs.

Fuck yeah, you fucking killers. And no, I don't have Operación Condor on my back. I may play that card.

ETA: And no, this is hardly my only reason for being disgusted today. But you people may not care about what shit some local bishop spew around.

Nov. 20th, 2011

  • 8:27 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Transnational Corporate Control over the Global Economy.

Although Republicans and President Obama are said to disagree about economic policies, there is one initiative that they both enthusiastically support: free trade agreements.


One answer is the enormous economic power of transnational corporations (TNCs), the main beneficiaries of these agreements. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development:

TNCs worldwide, in their operations both at home and abroad, generated value added of approximately $16 trillion in 2010, accounting for more than a quarter of global GDP. In 2010, foreign affiliates accounted for more than one-tenth of global GDP and one-third of world exports.

The largest transnational corporations are from developed capitalist countries. These corporations also tend to be among the largest and most powerful firms in their respective home countries. At the same time, as the table below shows, their international operations now account for a majority of their assets, sales, and employment. Looking at all TNCs, the United Nations reports that the value added by their foreign affiliates generated approximately 40% of their total value added in 2010, up from 35% in 2005.

Now, transnational corporations generally rely on complex cross border production networks that involve the linking of production across many countries, with final sales often taking place in still other countries. Most importantly, these networks often include “independent” partner firms that undertake various activities according to an overall transnational corporate strategy. While some of the partner firms may themselves be transnational corporations, many are not, which means that TNC controlled activity is greater than the combined activities of parent and affiliate firms.

Transnational corporations use a variety of so-called “non-equity modes” (NEMs) of control to direct the operations of their partner firms, with contract manufacturing and service outsourcing among the most important. Cross border activity involving NEM relationships is conservatively estimated to have generated over $2 trillion of sales in 2010. The United Nations reports that some 18–21 million workers are directly employed in firms operating under NEM arrangements. Around 80 per cent of NEM-generated employment is in developing and transition economies.

As the following figure reveals, cross border production activity anchored by NEM relations now dominates a number of key export industries. For example, NEM production now accounts for more than 50% of all toy, footwear, garment and electronics exports.

People should read the rest of the article, to understand some things.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
The US sends troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army with Uganda: What’s at Stake? (Please, read the article before commenting if you don't know a thing about Uganda's situation.)

Yeah, I'm glad some people are waking up and all, but I live in a poor Third World Country that is still dealing with the consequences of the Condor Operation, so.

Yeah, I don't give a damn if this makes people mad because frankly. Gah.

Dude, what more do you need?

  • May. 27th, 2011 at 11:22 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Via The Angry Black Woman.

Perspective On 9/11 And The Invasions Of Iraq & Afghanistan.

Infographic: Casualties From The War On Terror, 9/11, And The Invasion of Iraq

The stats breakdown are as follows:

September 11th Victims: 0.28%

American Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq: 0.55%

Afghan Civilian Casualties: 4.39%

Iraqi Civilian Casualties: 94.78%

Also, the comments are pretty... uhmazing.

[Stats were transcribed in TABW blog.]
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
I'm so, so, so incredibly, infinitely TIRED of reading USA's left about Osama Bin Laden's assassination. Seriously: "this just makes us exactly like those people we are fighting!"

Uhm. No. Your country have bombed, ruined countries. Economically terrorized and exploited the developing world.

Whatever you do, I don't think there is a single Nation that can compare to you right now. This just shows you can do whatever you want in any country in the world without any consequence whatsoever.

Feb. 22nd, 2011

  • 7:32 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] colorblue has an amazing post about Libya: libya note.

A couple of notes. When judging the international response, what it comes down to is what it always comes down to, oil.

The UN lifted sanctions on Libya in 2003, the US lifted sanctions in 2004, and Western oil companies poured into the country to reclaim their holdings, led by ConocoPhillips & Marathon Oil & Amerada Hess, which used to operate in Libya decades ago as the Oasis group. And what must be kept in mind, what is the unstated assumption that drives much of Western policy in the Middle East, is that it is almost always easier to negotiate oil rights with dictators and monarchs than it is with democracies.
la_vie_noire: (Claymore1 holding a sword)

Un avión militar estadounidense intentó ingresar un cargamento no declarado de armas de guerra, equipos de comunicación encriptada, programas informáticos y drogas narcóticas y estupefacientes. CFK ordenó abrir una valija, que los estadounidenses se negaban a entregar

Jan. 15th, 2011

  • 11:04 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
A must read, because I can't quote it all. The Denial of Self Determination: The International Community and Haiti.

If any nation in the history of humanity has been terrorized by the naked brutality and hypocritical logic of modernity, it has been Haiti. One would assume that the Haitian Revolution in 1804 would be looked upon as a pivotal moment which helped to shape the ideas of freedom, equality and justice. This was not the case. Haiti has been the victim of both history and hypocrisy, since it’s independence in 1804 as the small nation who fought for the freedom, dignity and justice has been met with a nightmarish hell of slavery, genocide, racism, isolation, extreme oppression and economic terrorism exercised in the name of modern civilization that has not disappeared in the 500 years since Christopher Columbus first landed on the island. The recent turmoil surrounding the Haitian elections on November 28th must be seen as an extension of international support in the undermining of the Haitian people’s right to self determination.


It was within this debt riddled framework of the new global economic order, fighting against the unjust demands of the IMF, World Bank and the United States, that led a Roman Catholic Priest named Jean Bertrand Aristide to become Haiti’s first democratically elected president in 1991. Aristide’s grassroots support among the poor of Haiti led to his landslide victory with Fanmi Lavalas receiving 67% of the vote.

Aristide led calls for reparation of Haiti’s odious $21 billion debt to France, and was against further rounds of privatization of the Haitian economy. These concerns did not sit well with the United States or France resulting in a coup in September 1991. Due to international as well as internal pressure, Aristide was placed back in power by the Clinton administration but was not allowed to complete a full 6 year term or run for re-election in the next available term. In 2000, Aristide was elected once again, with 91.8% of the vote.


The devastating earthquake on January 12th and the tragic aftermath is being used as a backdrop of excuses to mask the engineered irregularities of the recent election. The November 28th election is the most recent step in the international community’s attempt to stifle the demands of self determination by the Haitian people. Fanmi Lavalas, by and large the nation’s most popular political party has been banned in every election since the overthrow of Aristide in 2004. The exclusion of Lavalas continued into the November 28th elections based on the party failing to meet last minute technicalities invented by the highly controversial Haitian Provisional Electoral Council – heavily influenced by current President Rene Preval. Fanmi Lavalas and 14 other political parties were excluded from participating in the November 28th elections without any transparent reasoning.

Ignoring reports highlighting the irregularities of the November 28th election from civil society organizations both domestically and abroad, the international community continued to support and finance the highly flawed process. As early as June, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti issued a comprehensive report titled The International Community Should Pressure the Haitian Government for Free and Fair Elections (http://ijdh.org/archives/13138) but the international community did not pay attention to the warnings of political turmoil resulting from their backing of highly flawed elections.

The reasoning behind such vehement support for Haiti’s current flawed elections is simple. There is over $10 billion in reconstruction contracts, an amount too large to be trusted to any independent, or heaven forbid progressive candidate who would channel the money into the building of much needed public services and infrastructure which served the Haitian people. What the international community demands from these elections is a President which will rubber stamp any of their self serving development projects. An article in the Washington Post titled “Would be Haitian Contractors Miss out on Aid” further demonstrates the self serving nature of aid to Haiti stating that of every $100 of US contracts, only $1.60 makes it into the hands of Haitian contractors.

Jan. 11th, 2011

  • 10:36 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Guerra, Drogas y Política. Elementos del Mundo Bipolar. Conferencia de Chomsky en México. (Y sí, le cito a él simplemente porque de este asunto nadie habla. Pft, los Estadounidenses ni saben qué es Acapulco, pero menos mal que hablamos de sus vecinos.)

El pretexto es la guerra contra las drogas, pero es difícil tomar eso muy en serio, aun si aceptáramos la extraordinaria suposición de que Estados Unidos tiene derecho a encabezar una guerra en tierras extranjeras. Las razones son bien conocidas, y fueron expresadas una vez más a fines de febrero por la Comisión Latinoamericana sobre Drogas y Democracia, encabezada por los ex presidentes Cardoso, Zedillo y Gaviria.

Su informe concluye que la guerra al narcotráfico ha sido un fracaso total y demanda un drástico cambio de política, que se aleje de las medidas de fuerza en los ámbitos interno y externo e intente medidas menos costosas y más efectivas.

Los estudios llevados a cabo por el gobierno estadounidense, y otras investigaciones, han mostrado que la forma más efectiva y menos costosa de controlar el uso de drogas es la prevención, el tratamiento y la educación. Han mostrado además que los métodos más costosos y menos eficaces son las operaciones fuera del propio país, tales como las fumigaciones y la persecución violenta.

El hecho de que se privilegien consistentemente los métodos menos eficaces y más costosos sobre los mejores es suficiente para mostrarnos que los objetivos de la guerra contra las drogas no son los que se anuncian. Para determinar los objetivos reales, podemos adoptar el principio jurídico de que las consecuencias previsibles constituyen prueba de la intención.

Y las consecuencias no son oscuras: subyace en los programas una contrainsurgencia en el extranjero y una forma de limpieza social en lo interno, enviando enormes números de personas superfluas, casi todas hombres negros, a las penitenciarías, fenómeno que condujo ya a la tasa de encarcelamiento más alta del mundo, por mucho, desde que se iniciaron los programas, hace 30 años.

México: Saldo rojo

Y la obstinación ha sido el tenor del calderonismo: ante el fracaso de la guerra contra el crimen organizado, el Ejecutivo persiste en legitimarse y gobernar mediante la imposición de la violencia, sin considerar los daños colaterales de esta guerra inútil y desgastante: las autoridades estatales en el municipio de Ciudad Juárez y zonas circunvecinas indicaron que 158 menores de edad, algunos con apenas meses de nacidos, sucumbieron ante la violencia de la guerra contra el narco; aunque en la mayoría de los casos se presume que han sido víctimas circunstanciales, en otros hay claros indicios de que los ataques fueron directos contra sus familiares.


¿Por qué? ¿Por qué campesinos latinoamericanos se preocupan por producir coca, aparte de su propio uso, como lo han hecho siempre? Las razones tienen sus raíces en las políticas sociales y económicas impuestas al Tercer Mundo. Las reglas han dispuesto que ellos deben dejar de producir para sus propias necesidades y cambiar a la exportación. Estas naciones deben abrir sus mercados a los países ricos y especialmente a las exportaciones subsidiadas de los Estados Unidos, las cuales socavan la producción doméstica. Los agricultores locales se deben convertir en “productores racionales” según los preceptos de la economía moderna, sacando cosechas para exportar. Y, siendo racionales como son, ellos giraron hacia el cultivo que produce más dinero.

Efectivamente, la producción de cocaína se disparó de manera impresionante, ayudando a sustentar “milagros económicos”. En 1985 Bolivia estaba atravesando por serias dificultades económicas y Jeffrey Sach, de la Universidad de Harvard, les enseñó la teoría apropiada del mercado libre; rápidamente la situación se arregló y aparecieron buenas estadísticas macroeconómicas. Pero hubo algunos efectos laterales. Uno fue que el “milagro” dependía fuertemente de las exportaciones de coca. Esto ha ocurrido también en Perú.

Oct. 4th, 2010

  • 8:55 PM
la_vie_noire: (Jean-Clare)
First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, [personal profile] skywardprodigal! You are so amazing, wonderful, smart and talented, I wish you the best and a wonderful day.


Now, to not spam you all, via [livejournal.com profile] powerswitch: How much oil is there left, really?

Map detailing proved reserves in thousand millions of barrels at the end of 2009. Asia & The Pacific have 42.2; North America 73.3; Africa 127.7; Europe and Eurasia 136.9; South and Central America 198.9; Middle East 754.2

Leaving aside the issue of Saudi Arabia lying about is reserves, I know there is still a lot in every zone but it really bothers me how S & Central America and Middle East have most of oil, and also have... very complex and difficult situations of colonizations and imperialism with powerful Word Powers. Just saying.

lo que más necesitamos

  • Sep. 23rd, 2010 at 2:05 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
USA wants to bring their military here. The project name, "Nuevos Horizontes" (New Horizons) is very telling.

And our middle class is very stupid and the small elite that makes the upper class is very... happy. We have a lot of troubles regarding our governability thanks to our president's cancer, his private life, how he is part of a movement that took down the most powerful and corrupt political group of our country, and a paramilitary kidnapping group that consisted on seven people, but the right used as a scape goat for all our troubles, magnifying its influence and calling it "leftist" (no wonder a number of people that were in positions of power, like Ministers, were from the left and most of them resigned, were kicked out, etc.)

Un buen artículo: La geopolítica de las bases militares de los Estados Unidos en Colombia

La disputa por las reservas de petróleo y gas natural, que estarían agotadas en menos de 80 años con los niveles de consumo actual, han significado el aumento de las tensiones en la periferia del poder capitalista en Oriente medio, el Cáucaso, Asia central y Latinoamérica. Lugares donde los Estados Unidos y sus socios hacen ingentes esfuerzos por controlar el suministro de recursos estratégicos, utilizando para ello planes de guerra e intervención, que van desde la ocupación directa, las guerras preventivas y humanitarias, el uso de separatistas mafiosos, de fundamentalistas islámicos y de regímenes corruptos y gansteriles para implementar planes de desestabilización regional, propicios para el posterior establecimiento de economías multinacionales de enclave en los territorios dominados.


Finalmente, sobre el sofisma que rodea la intervención militar de los EU en el conflicto colombiano y su internacionalización, habría que anotar que las siete bases y los 1.400 militares y mercenarios gringos en Colombia servirán para todo, menos para el propagandizado objetivo de la victoria militar sobre las guerrillas. Basta recordar que las invasiones de los EU no lograron exterminar a las guerrillas en Vietnam, ni en Irak, ni mucho menos en Afganistán. Esto para los que ven demasiada televisión y creen que el problema colombiano se resume en la existencia de dos guerrillas.

Las siete bases tampoco nos llevarán al “anhelado” fin del narcotráfico, basta también recordar que bajo la ocupación de los EU a Afganistán se ha llegado a cifras record de presencia de cultivos de amapola y de exportación de opio desde ese bombardeado país. Y que en nuestro país después de 6 años de Plan Colombia, de miles de muertos y de 6.000 millones de dólares gastados en plomo y veneno, contamos con más de 100.000 hectáreas de cultivos de coca y exportamos, sin mucho problema, 900 toneladas de cocaína al año.

Nosotros que ya tenemos problemas de abuso con Argentina y Brasil, paises más ricos que nosotros, que nos roban la mitad del Pilcomayo cuando nuestro Chaco se seca y nuestra hidroeléctrica, respectivamente, no quiero saber lo que será si dejamos que esta superpotencia capitalsita se nos meta hasta en los huevos.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] ephemere wrote an amazing post: Patalim. (Triggering.)

There are stories. Of the past. Some have been lost.

Others, erased.

Let me tell you what "death march" means to me. It is part of the invasion of the Philippines by Japan, against which Filipinos, including my grandfather, and Americans fought. It is a path trod by prisoners of war and littered with corpses; it is heat and thirst and hunger and dust and disease and death. It is yet another blot upon a history blackened by the ink of war and colonization, and like other such marks, it is one to which so many of us shut our eyes in hopes that not seeing will mean erasure and that erasure will lead to recovery.


Freedom is not forgetting. And forgetting is not freedom. Look at what the loss of our memory has done to us. Look at it, and ask me whether we are better off acting as if the atrocities of the wars and colonizations never happened, as if we have no need for vigilance because the exertion of political and economic will of a foreign power over us cannot happen again, as if we have learned the lessons of the past so thoroughly we will be sure to fight for our rights and the rights of our people to speak and live free, as if we have so fully realized all the evils and all the complexities of power differentials and the abuse of wealth and the exploitation of resources and knowledge and people that we can now equip ourselves to fight against it, as if we recognize the importance of having and claiming our identities and our dignity and the burden and glory that is our history, as if we no longer stumble through the debris and ruin of so many broken institutions and fault ourselves for our own weakness and our own brokenness and the fact that we are not as good and wise and wonderful and wealthy as our former colonial masters. Look at it. Look at how well we have erased the graves, how so many of us go about our daily lives as if there are not more of us being killed every day, how we continue blithely on, the struggles our parents and grandparents and ancestors suffered through mere footnotes in the pages of our books, certainly things that no longer matter in this progressive story of the Philippines in 2010. Look at it, and go on. Ask me.

I don't want to erase this blood staining my legacy. I don't want to forget, as if it never happened. I don't want to keep coming across, "I didn't know the Philippines was a U.S. colony!" as if I do not bear the damage of American occupation written in my nerves and across my tongue. I don't want to see "deathmarching" used as a verb, the same way I deplore how "imeldific" is used as an adjective -- as if history were an erasable thing and words slipping into common parlance an apology or a healing of all these wounds. I don't want people to go on using this in a misguided attempt to remove the blood in it, because forgetting is what gives the evil behind this more power, by allowing the word to go unchallenged and slip under the veneer of acceptability, lightness, cheapening, banality. I don't want the atrocities of war to become equated with mundane things.

I don't want common use. I don't want a sanitized history. I want my stories, past and present, these stories of my people that we have lost and that we're on the verge of losing, held close to my heart and remembered. I want these stories told over and over again, because the need for them will never lift, not the necessity for memory and not the blatant spitting on the dignity of it. I want to claim them though I may choke on tears and tongue in doing so, though I surrender on so many other things daily and remain one frail and weak person still grappling with the fractures in her present and in her past. Because this, too, is part of who I am. Because every story told and every careless use challenged is defiance, is struggle, is me raising my head and saying, this happened, this matters -- is yet another blow against erasure, silence, the unmarking of graves.


  • Jul. 28th, 2010 at 11:53 PM
la_vie_noire: (Utena-orz)

The Expendables is an upcoming ensemble action/war film written by Dave Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, and directed by Stallone. Filming began on March 28, 2009, in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, and is expected to be released on August 13, 2010. The film pays tribute to the blockbuster action films of the 1980s and early '90s, and stars an array of action veterans from those decades, including Stallone himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, and Jet Li, as well as more recent stars such as Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Steve Austin.

[...] A team of highly-trained, dangerous mercenaries are sent on a mission to a South American country, with the objective to overthrow a cold-blooded dictator. As the mission begins, the mercenaries discover that the situation is not as it appears. The men find themselves trapped in a deadly game of deception.

lol right.

OH THERE'S MOAR: Sylvester Stallone in an interview: "And about the dictators, they're fascinating fellows. They're mad people. At the beginning they might have some king of philosophy, but then they show how insane they really are. And to build'em I've got inspiration in North Korea, Uganda, Cuba, El Salvador, Russia and some Central America Countries. I made a blend of them all. What you see in this movie is a mixture of real dictators."


Another SS interview: "I just felt that if you are going to do a story about a mercenary, which is always a fascinating character, you try to put them in a situation where he can find certain redemption. And usually it's going to a third world country where he sees people that are impoverished, people that can't defend themselves. He finds his own soul." THE ~THIRD-WORLD~: SAVING FOREIGN SOULS SINCE ALWAYS; THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE FOR. YOU'RE WELCOME.


Not only that. For white mercenaries to find their souls.

brb, loling. This man is a jewel.


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