Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran! Freedom!

Today is Saturday, 20 June 1009.

My many Iranian friends. I wish I were at your side. In my heart.

In Memory: my friend Y.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Garcia Lorca

Today is Friday, 5 June 2009.

On this day in 1898 was born Federico Garcia Lorca, the great Spanish poet and playwright. He was assassinated on 19 August 1936 by Spanish fascists, partly for his progressive politics, partly because he was gay.

The following is from his poem, “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias”:

4. Absent Soul

The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,
nor the horses, nor the ants in your own house.
The child and the afternoon do not know you
because you have died forever.

The shoulder of the stone does not know you
nor the black silk, where you are shuttered.
Your silent memory does not know you
because you have died forever

The autumn will come with small white snails,
misty grapes and clustered hills,
but no one will look into your eyes
because you have died forever.

Because you have died for ever,
like all the dead of the earth,
like all the dead who are forgotten
in a heap of lifeless dogs.

Nobody knows you. No. But I sing of you.
For posterity I sing of your profile and grace.
Of the signal maturity of your understanding.
Of your appetite for death and the taste of its mouth.
Of the sadness of your once valiant gaiety.

It will be a long time, if ever, before there is born
an Andalusian so true, so rich in adventure.
I sing of his elegance with words that groan,
and I remember a sad breeze through the olive trees.

The complete English version (translator not given) is at: Finding the original Spanish is an exercise left to the student.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tiananmen Square + 20

Today is Thursday, 4 June 2009.

The Museum of the Bourgeois commemorates the 20th anniversary of the assassinations which suppressed the democracy movement in China.

Today’s The New York Times website (citation below) carries an article about a previously unknown photograph of the “Tank Man”, as he came to be known, the man who stood in a Beijing street, blocking a column of tanks. As the new photo shows, his resistance was not spur-of-the-moment: he had chosen to carefully position himself in advance of the tanks, knowing the risks. His identity and fate are unknown, although one must presume that he was most likely arrested and murdered.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

When Cowards Lead ...

Today is Wednesday, 3 June 2009.

The crocodile tears rain down from preening anti-choice leaders as they strut before the cameras, barely concealing chortles of glee at the assassination of George Tiller, M.D. of Women’s Health Care Services of Wichita, Kansas.

Why not? At no cost to themselves, their reckless rhetoric has motivated a mentally-troubled sucker to murder. Most likely, donations will increase. Where gunshots ring, they hear “Cha-Ching!”

Such cowards! The anti-choice gangsters who lust after enslaving women’s bodies as cannon-fodder factories denounce abortion as “mass murder” and “no different from the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis”. If these leaders had lived during the Holocaust, would they have advocated no more than picketing and chants outside the extermination camps, then heading home to comfort, drinks, dinner, and dessert? Or would they have sought to end the slaughter by ending the lives of the SS criminals?

Wouldn’t those leaders at least repeatedly be arrested for undertaking nonviolent acts to disrupt the abortion process, and thus frequently be serving jail sentences? Or do the leaders primp themselves as far too valuable to risk, and hole up in their offices, leaving the real risks to gullible peon followers? Such rationalization fits nicely with actual personal cowardice.

The anti-choice gangsters have loaded the guns, handed them out, and identified the targets. Their cowardice has again led to murder, and they should be put away for life.

The 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre will be “officially” commemorated tomorrow, 4 June. It should be remembered that the ruling P.R.C. dictatorship sent the troops into action at 10.30pm Beijing time on 3 June 1989.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Pardon, Pat: Your White Sheet is Showing

Today is Monday, 1 June 2009.

In a column published in today’s Tulsa World, “President reveals his idea of justice”, Patrick Buchanan writes:

“Speaking at Berkeley in 2001, [U.S. Supreme Court nominee] Sonia [Sotomayor] told her audience, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion (as a judge) than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Imagine if Sam Alito
[note he’s not referred to as Sam; Pat practices the Old Southern custom of referring to racial inferiors by first names only, as in the paragraph above] had said at Bob Jones University, "I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his life experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Hispanic woman, who hasn't lived that life."

Alito would have been toast. No explanation, no apology would have spared him. He would have been branded for life a white bigot.”

Permit me to imagine an alternative, genuinely Alito-esque response.

Imagine if Sam Alito had said at Bob Jones University, that longtime South Carolina bastion of white supremacist racism, “I would hope that a wise white male, knowing that he is racially and gender-genetically superior to mere women and Hispanics, with the richness of the life of relative privilege that most white males enjoy over women and persons of color, would more often than not reach a better conclusion (that is, one aiming to maintain and extend that richness of life) than a Hispanic woman, who hasn’t lived that life of racial and gender precedence.”

Buchanan slyly avoids the fact that the USA/USE is a society still relentlessly and majorly tainted by white racism, and that Sotomayor’s point is that someone who has been the victim of racism is more likely to be more aware and morally sensitive to racism than a white male, who, like it or not, and regardless of personal opposition to racism, and that includes yours truly, is inevitably a beneficiary of society’s larger coddling of white males.

Buchanan closely resembles the Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, whose publications combined justifications of anti-Semitism and white supremacy with soft-core pornography.