Thursday, September 04, 2003

Why Should I?
Lately I keep running into the new conservative meme: the Democrats have become hate-driven, hysterical extremists. Often it is said with a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger shake of the head. The implication is that we must learn to forgive and forget and move on.

Well, I'm willing, if they can answer me this: why should I?

Why should I forgive and forget that several of their leading voices have accused us of treason, and one openly expressed her desire to have some liberals killed as an object lesson, without a single Republican voice raised to rebuke them?

Why should I forgive and forget that a whole bunch of political chairwarmers that could only find the business end of a gun with their left foot have sent thousands of kids into harm's way through lies, while people on both sides who objected were treated as collaborators and fifth columnists?

Why should I forgive and forget that this administration has protected and allied itself with the people who were at the very least collaterally involved in the September 11th terrorist attacks?

Why should I forgive and forget that this administration has turned the executive arm of government into a procurement service for their corporate contributors, including mounting a concerted attack on our last remaining wilderness to line the pockets of oil and timber interests?

Why should I forgive and forget that in order to curry favor with their fundamentalist base this administration has cut off funding to international programs with a proven track record of success in alleviating the suffering of third-world women?

Can somebody tell me why should I?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Damn! By way of Jay and Jane, I find out that Dwight is closing down his blog. Heck. Blast. I hope he writes the several books he seems to be carrying around in his head.

Some Alaska photos are up. Click on "My Photos" on the links to the right. Go to "Photo Albums". All input welcome. I'm enrolled in a black and white class this semester and MONDAY, dear God, I start lab work. Pray for the klutz.

Both Jeanne and Julia have pretty good posts on Bill "the lightning rod" Clinton. Get your mind out of the damn gutter. I'm talking about the man's ability to attract strong opinions on both sides.

That's all for now, folks. I'm going to bed to curl up with a good pal of mine called Morrolan. Good job Patrick and Theresa!. Not that they wrote the thing, but a friend of mine assures me that the editors are as important as the writer; guess what he does for a living..... :-).

On Identity
Someone asks me why I haven't commented on the whole MEChA thing.

Have I ever told you the one about my father nearly being arrested in Buenos Aires for telling a policeman that he was waiting to "coger la guagua"? See, to Cubans, with our considerable borrowing from African words, a "guagua" is a bus, from a yoruba word meaning anything on wheels. To Argentinians in means "young girl". And "coger" in Cuban is the verb "to catch"; let's just say that in colloquial Argentinian isn't.

That's my long-way-round way to tell you that I don't know MEChA from the Little Sisters of the Poor or, for that matter, the Sons of Confederate Veterans. They probably wouldn't have me, as I am not considered one of La Raza. Culturally, the only thing I have in common with Mexican-Americans is the spanish language, and, as per the above example, that can result in serious contretemps if you are not careful. I'm exaggerating here. I love Mexican art and crafts and really, really love classic Mexican movies from the thirties and forties, but I wanted to get this point across: WE ARE NOT THE SAME AND WE DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY IDENTIFY WITH EACH OTHER.

Most "hispanics" or "latinos" feel about those monikers about the same way Native Americans feel about theirs. Just as one is not a "Native American" but a Navajo, or an Abenaki, a Lakota, or a Seminole, we are not "hispanics" or "latinos" but Cubans, and Mexicans, and Argentinians, and Brazilians. When forced to choose, we plop for either "hispanic" or "latino", depending one one's place of origin, nationalist feelings, or just sheer cussedness.

One of the things that have always amused me is to hear European-hyphenates insist on their COUNTRY of origin as their identity. Try calling an Irish-American a Great Briton and see where it gets you; or a German-American, Polish; or, for the fun of getting yourself killed, try calling a Serb a Serbo-Croat, which not so long ago was their official designation. But those of us of the "minorities" seem to have to accept being lumped into either "non-white" or "african" or "hispanic" or "latino".

However, I do detect a certain amount of hysteria entering the discussion. What's Bustamante going to do, for Christ's sake? Turn California over to Vicente Fox the day after the election? More to the point, considering the screwed up economy and the even more screwed up politics, would Vicente want it?