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Don’t forget, for your own good

14 Aug

The Two Thousands seem to be allergic to true tellers. No matter where you walk: you’ll find lots of good and almost fantastic stories on the media, but rarely the facts of life. It’s no mystery why, though: no one—be it Obama’s CNN, be it Putin’s RT, be it Iran’s Press TV—will ever tell a story without a political schedule, without an intention, and without an agenda. Be them well-intentioned or ill-intentioned, no story will be undressed of its political nature. Information, in the Two Thousands, has become the greatest weapon—the greatest untold fiction—for the power. George Orwell already predicted it in its novel 1984 and we’re now inside his prophetical picture.

The Two Thousands’ spirit loves the fiction. And yet, the truth… Well, that’s another kind of food.

As you might have noticed, there have been a sudden wave of leakers, reporters, etcetera, who have unveiled some uncomfortable cover of truth and shown the world a nasty fact that some big fat cheese might want under the dust. You might recognize some names. Assange. Snowden. Chelsea Manning… And there’s Rubén Espinosa.

Ruben Espinosa murder

Who’s Rubén Espinosa, you might ask? Well, one of the bravest reporters in Mexico. And yet, one of the most tragic ones…

Rubén Espinosa was known for his work as a Veracruz reporter. He focused mostly on Veracruz’s dirty secrets, which involved most of its politicians (even more the governor himself, Javier Duarte), and some nasty activities that ranged from suspicious murders and feminicides. You know, the actual work of a reporter, nothing like what the Televisa and Fox News stooges do as of today.

As you can expect, Espinosa became rather…unliked among Veracruz’s elite, especially with the governor Duarte. He was beaten, harassed, threatened…and yet he kept working, because he knew it was the correct thing to do. He knew his work wasn’t going to be a fluffy ride among daisy cars, but somebody had to do it, even though it would win him many enemies.

Like the governor.

Javier Duarte was known for his despise towards the reporters. One incident that, apparently, angered him was some photograph that Espinosa took for one prestigious Mexican magazine, Proceso:

Click on the image to reach an English site that details a bit more on Duarte. If you know who’s Franco, you might get the shills when you read Duarte’s a fan of his…

Why did Duarte get so angry because of this shot? Was it the hat, the hat that showered his authoritarian status? Was it his unfazed gaze, which showered an almost soulless look? Was it his grotesque belly, the one that made him a laughingstock among the people? Actually, would people seriously hurt a person just because he didn’t take a good photo of you…?

Well, yes. But that’s not the point of this, is it?

The photograph itself didn’t anger Duarte, but rather Espinosa’s whole work to discover the corruption and violence linked to his term. But this issue put Duarte in the center of the stage, and thus questions about Veracruz’s “Lawless State” began to float. He, naturally, didn’t like being known for this, and thus started to harass most of Veracruz reporters, Espinosa mostly, provoking in this last one’s a deep fear for his life that made him flee to Mexico City.

Espinosa had to rearrange his life to flee from some unwanted espionage and life with the lowest profile possible. And everything seemed alright…

…But what differenced Espinosa from guys like Assange, Snowden and Manning is that they’re still alive.

Funeral de Rubén Espinosa, fotoreportero asesinado en México. Foto: AFP/Getty

Espinosa was found tortured and dead, alongside four other women, some few days ago in Colonia Narvarte, just in their apartment.

Shamelessly, the local authorities have declared this as a “robbery” murder, as if robberies usually end up with two activists dead and four women massacred and tied on a bed. Even our favourite governor have declared to be “outraged” because of this incident, even though his government has been known for its lack of protection to reporters and for his rather polemical “advice” on the reporters who went to interview him about his murder…

…Seriously, would you feel calm after he quietly told you, a reporter, “Please, behave, I beg you. It’s for your own good”.

Your own good. Your…own…good…

I’ll let it sink in your mind…

But no, no. I won’t accuse anybody. I won’t. I recently learned that it’s not a good idea to give away names and accuse people that freely. It’s a sensationalist tactic and not a good idea, in the end. Besides, Espinosa was killed not by a man, but by something greater, bigger, a grotesque monster that has been killing poor Mexico for many years.

Corruption.

Corruption. Globalization. Dehumanization. A whole campaign to anesthetize you and make you more docile to a greater monster that controls this huge reptile puppet that’s controlling Mexico.

That was what killed Espinosa. That monster, with a human as a weapon.

People have their mouths taped as a group of artist, students, journalist and activist stage a protest demanding justice for Ruben Espinosa in Mexico City on 8 August 2015.

About the women…

One thing that has also angered most Mexican women is the lack of coverage towards the murdered women, as they suffered something worse than Espinosa.

They were raped.

Aside of torture, signs of sexual damage were found in their bodies, making them an almost—almost—separate crime, and yet a most common one in Mexico. Feminicide.

Espinosa was killed because of political issues. One of the female victims, Nadia Vera, surely as well. But the other women…? Not much of them is known, and some weren’t that close to Espinosa, so why were they tortured this way…? This is a different kind of crime. This is pure misogyny.

Pure, Mexican-style misogyny.

The only justice I can bring to these women is to name them and to present them to the public, so you, O Readers, do not forget their crimes. Rubén Espinosa’s the most sounded name so far because he was the main target, but these ladies deserve to be remembered. They were punished for something beyond their actions.

They were punished because they were women.

          Nadia Vera

32 year old Nadia Vera was a prominent Chiapas activist. She was a close friend of Espinosa’s and a known name inside the #YoSoy132 youth movement. She graduated from the Veracruz University, so her activities were focused on there too. She was also harassed by Duarte, and she even declared in a video that, should something happen to her, the only name they needed was Javier Duarte. But it seems that it wasn’t enough… Nothing’s ever enough in the country.

          Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro

18 year old Yesenia was a make-up student. She lived in the same department as Nadia and Rubén, and came straight from Baja California. Her name wasn’t told exactly by the authorities, but rather by the social media, which only proves how pathetic it is that you can trust more on the goddamn Facebook rather than on your own government.

         Mile Virginia Martín

31 year old Virginia was a model. She came straight from Bogotá to look for chances to become a model in Mexico City, while living in the same Narvarte building. She was planning to leave, though, and return home with her family. She was the sole foreigner of the group.

         Alejandra Negrete

40 year old Alejandra was mother of two girls. It was her second day as a cleaner when she disappeared and was found murdered in the Narvarte building. Authorities have said she was the only one who wasn’t sexually assaulted, but that didn’t diminish the family’s anger when they read in the media that she was considered a simple “housekeeper” or “fifth victim”. But we will gladly remember that she is no less important than the others.


I beg to you, O Reader, to never forget their names. To never forget Javier Duarte either. And never forget that this is Mexico. The American media is ready to blast the smallest thing in Venezuela, Iran and Russia, but because this is Mexico—a most important strategic point inside America—, I am afraid that the only pressure that will come to this corrupt government will come from very few: the ones that will never swallow this putrid government’s lies.

Please, O Reader. Maybe the Two Thousands is allergic to truth… But the best work of all is timeless, unattached to any epoch, One Thousand, Two Thousands, Three Thousands…because it is vaccinated by the very truth itself. Make this timeless. Make this not a Mexican case, but also a global case, because this could have happened anywhere. This will happen sometime too if a deranged being ever reaches the seats of your government.

Please, don’t forget and help Mexicans spread the word. To put some pressure into this bland mass of putrefaction.

Please, pretty please…

But I must shush now. I’ve said what needed to be said and what expects an answer as well.

I must keep quiet now. For my own good.

An activist holds up a picture of Ruben Espinosa at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City, Mexico August 2, 2015.Thanks a bunch for reading.

All images redirect to their original locations and more informative articles about this tragedy. Please, inform a bit more and help us.

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Helena Miraculous

8 Jul
To know more about the Greece debt, click on this image to see a chronology of its events.

To know more about the Greece debt, click on this image to see a chronology of its events.

 

I’ve seen the birth of the human birds

defy God’s holiest commandments

and defy the plant nature of the feet

that damns us forever in the land.

And I’ve seen how their flaming eggs

explode over the children’s heads

in a beach so random

and hatch monsters without teeth

in a blazing cemetery

that nobody remembers but me.

 

I’ve seen giant beetles

run through the land

in a never ending race

for a never reachable prize,

drying an already dry desert

with its flaming feet, ironed and flat.

I’ve also seen and heard gigantic bees,

wasps, and other kinds of hive

buzz a never ending orchestra of bullets

pierce the very building’s heart,

and write on their walls

a most solemn poet,

a most solemn song,

dedicated to all those

who heard their litany last.

 

I’ve seen the smallest creature of the Earth

hatch through a magical glass.

I’ve seen God’s perfection and reason

through the stillness of the land

and the symmetry of a tree,

and the symmetry of the sun.

I’ve seen edible dragons.

I’ve tasted the gems of the caves.

I’ve tasted the air,

whose flavor is sweet

and yet somehow so sour.

And I’ve devoured rainbows

with an eye blink.

And I’ve seen the sky take monstrous bites

of the cheeks of the moon,

of the chin of the sun,

and I’ve tasted the horrific flavor

of their dark-inked blood

cover the sky

and blind the whole world

without a culprit in sight…

 

Yes. I’ve seen many things.

I’ve seen disasters.

I’ve seen the horror.

I’ve seen miracles as well.

I’ve seen the impossible

and I’ve seen the man defy God’s laws

of his own head,

and weave a newer fate

with a new kind of thread…

 

But this is the first time I’ve heard an echo,

an explosion,

reach the corners of the Universe

and shake the very throne of the King.

 


 

This poem was inspired in the recent events of Greece. The ultimate decision—a huge “OXI” (“NO”) from the Greek population—can indeed bring a new debate on the table. Many people fear for what will happen. Many others rejoice for this decision. Many people are still wondering what’s to come… Yes, many things are now possible, now that this decision shook the EU and brought to the table the actual debate of austerity policies…

It’s understandable that this event’s now making people wonder what will happen, be it a good thing or a bad thing. I, too, wonder what will happen now that Greece finally told its economic harassers to leave it alone. But what truly hit me in this aspect was this:

For the first time, it is the people talking—roaring—out loud for their own destiny. A huge “No” came straight out of their mouths and made it clear that they weren’t going to accept more bullying from the bigger banks.

And that’s going to mark the Two Thousands, trust me.

Quote

The Daily Post Challenge: “Connect the Dots”

15 Jan

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots.”

This post is part of the Daily Post Challenge I tend to participate in, and this time the challenge was about taking the closest book to you and developing a full post with the third sentence of page 82.

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The book I found was The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No Horse from Louise Erdrich (a book I recommend a lot, by the way, and one of my favourites), and this was the sentence:

She would fire up a blaze to heat stones for a sweat and to purify herself

Somehow, a fitting quote during a time like this. Who wouldn’t want to relax and purify oneself after so many struggles and hatred and violence of these days…? Who wouldn’t want to set up a little blaze and take a time for oneself and pretend that there’s actual harmony and peace on the world…? I’ve never been in a spa myself, or any of those hot rooms for relaxation (Jacuzzi doesn’t count!), but I’ve been always fascinated by the mesmerizing power of nature to tranquilize our senses and return us the humanity we lost in, curiously, our human creations, like weapons, war, guns…in where fire becomes quite a deadly protagonist.

The book, which is about a woman taking the identity of a priest who travels to an Indian reservation to convert the local Ojibwe, kinda makes it its point. Kinda. Because the woman ends up learning lots of fascinating Indian philosophy and fitting it with the Catholic dogma she preaches in disguise. And this quote itself captivated me by that very reason: how nature tends to be our actual answer for everything and our actual solution for problems, in comparison to the handmade stuff—Church, machines, pills…—and the artificial things.

This sentence comprises so much with so few words, and would fit in any kind of context thanks to that, which is something I’ve liked a lot in Erdrich’s writing. But in this time, I liked it a lot because of the naturalistic interpretation I found on it when I read it out of its context and my actual longing of relaxation…of forgetting…of getting away from all the violence that’s lashing out the world and leaving irreparable wounds…

And fire… Fire! I’ve always loved fire. But not any kind of fire. A sacred fire. Not the one used to set blaze in the buildings or to burn down the houses of innocent families in the brink of war. No. An actual fire. An actual purifying fire. Fire these days has become a terrific element, most usually related to war and destruction, whereas it could mean purity and burning passion as well…

Ah, fire… What if we could turn again fire a sacred element that shouldn’t be used lightly, and that should be revered as a cleansing energy, instead of an ideal weapon to make your foes surrender…? Ah, those good days of the cavemen, in the Age of Wonder, when fire wasn’t a weapon, but the beginning of a new era. A tool for humanity.

I know the context of this sentence is MUCH more different than what I am talking about. But let’s face it: who wouldn’t want to pretend, at least for once, we’re not in a mad, mad world, rather in a most relaxing spa, dozing off, just to open your eyes and realize…

…everything was just an awful nightmare caused by fire…?

And this is my post for the Challenge. Hope you liked it!

Thanks a lot for reading!

Pop Culture

28 Nov

This is a rather experimental post, trying to be far more narrative-poetic than my usual opinion posts so I could add more spice to this blog. It’s just a feeling I had recently, so it’s not a big thing. Still, hope you like it! Because I think that, if you can know the feeling of a situation, you’ll understand more its context—even more than what the actual history books tell you! So yeah… It’s quite an experimental post, hehehe.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Manifesto43.jpg

Click on this photo so you can read more about the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa in Wikipedia.

I’ve stepped in this school so many times. What I felt so hollow and dry now was flooded with paper, hanging softly from the windows and the bars. I saw many faces. I saw many names. I saw many insults against the Mexican president. Yet, I walked amongst these hurricanes of dead trees and I felt the melancholy of the printed eyes pierce my flesh, in route to my class…

“Where are they?”. “The government did it!”. “Quit, Peña Nieto!”. “They snatched them away living, and living we want them back…!”.

I felt so tiny. Tiny. Ant-sized. I remembered the day they made the pronunciation against the president some days ago and how lively the students were creating the flyers and decorating the theater area to create a gigantic “43”, each candle symbolizing a missing student, so anybody from the sky—the UFOs, the airplanes, God, perhaps…?—could see and understand the sorrow that the Mexican students are dwelling with right now. Only maybe the people will understand why it rains: even the sky is crying right now for all the tragedies that’s happening in the sky below, that’s supposed to be a heaven for humans.

I felt so, so tiny… So lost… I knew I was walking towards a class, yet the flying papers, the gray faces, the exclamation marks… Everything, mixed with the recent memories of the president’s wife’s house scandal and the government’s cheek and hypocritical declarations that they’re also mourning the disappearance of the missing students… Such mix turned my stomach into a cauldron, brewing anger and an interesting feeling of smallness. I, who had the boiling breakfast bubbling in my gut, could do nothing to end up this madness… I felt so tiny in front of the small pieces of paper waving in front of me. I felt so damn angry…and at the same time so powerless… How can the madness end, if surely the only way out of this nightmare, was with more sleepless nights of anger and hysteria? How…?

I had to focus a lot on the music class to forget the size of my power. The peace I felt was artificial—unnatural, as the calm that comes from anesthesia—but it was enough. The papers didn’t bother me this much and I was able to think positively for the rest of the day, with the assurance that this will be over, surely…

But this was a short-lived feeling of relaxation, for when I turned on the laptop, the name Ferguson—FERGUSON, in caps—popped into the screen. And only this time I knew the world was burning, slowly and painfully. Only this time I saw that the world is truly flying away, burning, losing itself into the universe, prepared to crash itself into a bigger wall of nightmares. I read the news. I read the anger. I read the poison that was boiling so much more people from the north. And even though the fabulous world of the Internet offered me a video to understand the judicial side of the Ferguson incident, I declined. I didn’t want to know the hypocritical side, for I knew the social side, which is, frankly, far more important and powerful than the former.

Only then I felt so much smaller, as I used to blame the United States for all of our problems, and then I realized that we’re all just victims from the same monster. Only then I saw that we’re not small, but rather little water drops, as those hidden inside of popcorn, slowly heating ourselves in order to explode and, finally, occupy the space we deserved from the beginning and without the lies from the Big Ones. Only then I realized that a new culture came, and it was the pop culture, not to be confused with the “popular culture” term, but rather with the new mindset that the world’s getting now that we’re finally meeting the real cause of our problems. A culture that has said “Enough!” and it’s ready to burst and destroy all the injustices of which we’re all victims with just one loud “Pop!” explosion…

I just now wonder how much heat we need so we can finally go “POP!”, now that they’ve discovered that they stole 30 more students from Colula

When will the pop come…

Declaraciones-de-intelectuales-de-la-izquierda-del-caso-Ayotzinapa

Thanks a bunch for reading!

Daily Prompt: Salad Days

18 Nov

This is is a post for the Daily Prompt challenge, now called “Salad Days“, in where you gotta write about what you would call the “good days” of your life. I wrote mine, so there you go. Hope you like it!

https://i0.wp.com/gamefacts.diggitup.com/Image/covers/hey-you-pikachu/hey-you-pikachu-image930207.jpg

There were many moments in where I felt fully alive and well… Most of them, though, were pre-teenager for obvious reasons, but I won’t fall in all that babbling again…

There was a time in my childhood, which I can’t remember, in where I would happily wake up to play video games or enjoy my discovery of Internet. They were pleasant days, but there’s a specific day that marked what could be the beginning of a wistfulness that I wanted to keep living forever.

It was a Christmas. I received new N64 games—Hey You, Pikachu!, is a vital mention—and I felt cozy at my home, surrounded by good smells, speaking English for the first time of my life, feeling protected, as in a cave in where pleasures abound and in where I can finally feel fully protected. My mother’s not in this memory scene I am describing right now, but I know she’s near—that everybody’s near. I know that my family is near, that no one’s far, that I just need to raise my voice to be heard and stop being alone. My needs will be covered easily, and all that remains is to speak with Pikachu…

I remember a lot the Christmas—the family Christmas, with food, fun, games, enjoyment, laughter… There’s a Christmas I cherish a lot, in which all the cousins finally gathered together and enjoyed a special day as a family, no longer as strangers. Christmas is such a special day for me, because it was the only time I had a truce with life.

I cherish those good days, especially in one in where I consciously told myself “I don’t ever want to grow up. I am so happy this way. I hope I never stop being 8 years old”. That’s where I know the best memories of me were.

And now that my family’s all torn apart, that there’s a war waging in my country, that I am meeting the dark side of the world, that I can be a difficult person as well…

Now that everything’s upside down, I remember how much I cherished my salad days.

Thanks for reading!

The Loving Wall Street

21 Sep

How long has it been ever since you turned on the radio and listened to a song of a dying love, or a boy missing a girl, or a girl complaining of an ex? (And yes, you know who I am talking about). How long, O Reader? A year, a month, a week, a day ago perhaps…? Maybe it hasn’t been that long, considering the word love has become a rather empty term nowdays in my opinion. What do I mean? Well, hopefully I will make sense, as this is quite a difficult topic for me. Trust me, I’ve always had a hard time explaining why I am disappointed lately with this thing everybody calls “love”.

Ever since the start of the Industrialization, love themes have become a rather sell-a-lot tactic used by several people, including film studios, greeting cards companies and other businessmen. Why? I am not really sure. I could give away the theory that they use it to manipulate people’s emotions and longing for company in a rather harsh world like the one we’re living in right now, and thus fabricate in their minds a perfect substitute of actual tenderness with those lies that you can find love and care with physical stimulation…

…But I would be exaggerating, surely.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b6/Twilight_%282008_film%29_poster.jpg

Oh, come on! You saw this one coming!

My point is, people have used love as a way of marketing for their own benefit nowdays, at such rate that it has long lost its sacred meaning. It no longer means the complete and pure devotion to one and another: it is just “I like you a lot” and “We should be together in the same house, sharing the same bed”. Or so I’ve noticed.

According to this, love must lead to a systematized relationship with anniversaries, gifts, dinners, kisses, hugs, etcetera. Love can only be shown that way. It is “real love” if a pair of heterosexual people embraces and smooches their faces off, until they suck their freckles and pimples with their kisses; but beware if you tell a person of a same sex that you love them: they will call you “gay” because the media says that it is not possible to hold a strong regard—stronger than the lover’s relationship regard, perhaps—and devotion to a person. Oh no. Love is reduced to partners, kisses and daily Whatsapp messages telling you “I wuv u, honeh <3!”. You’re an oddball if you dare to say that you love your same-sex best friend, because that word has been reserved to lovers’ relationships in this age.

…But again, maybe I am exaggerating.

No. I cannot keep calm with such grammar.

However, if I am saying all of this, is because I noticed a possible symptom of the meaning of love’s decay. That symptom is called…

Friendzone

What is “Friendzone”? According to Wikipedia, it is desire to enter into a relationship with a certain person, whereas said person doesn’t reciprocate the love whatsoever. Usually, the rejected person is a male who is rejected by the loved one, the female. But I will not get into the sexist issue in here. I will let Rivu Dasgupta and Amanda Marcotte explain that part. I want to, however, get into the root of this concept.

I once promised in my last article to delve more into why I am rather angry at this concept. Well, promise’s a promise, so here’s my main problem with it, and it’s not just the reciprocation duty of the “loved” one:
It’s a symptom that human’s relationships are deteriorating.

As I grew up, I came to learn that love’s not like Disney painted it. In fact, as I heard my friends sputter to each other seas and seas of “OMG, I WUV U, BABY, I LUV YOU SOOO MUCH, MISS U 2~!!11!1”, I came to understand that love had become some sort of game in where words, kisses and hugs were obligatory toys. It’s hard to explain, I know. But just look it at this way: when has it been the last time you told yourself that you love deeply a friend? Not the romantic-attraction way, but the companionship way. When has it been ever since a guy told his friend how much he loved him, without the fear of being accused of homosexuality? When has it been that you let the silence express your feelings towards a person, without the use of words…?

When was the last time you let a person know you really loved him/her without words or gifts?

…and without the delicious candy roses?

I am not saying that you can’t tell how much you care about a person with gifts and words. In fact, sometimes they’re better than nothing else. I have no right to tell which way is the better to love… But let’s face it: how many people have wondered about the real meaning of love, without the need of gifts and words? How many times do people wonder what can they do for people, instead of the other way around, just because of love?

I promised in my last article as well my story with a beggar and why it is relevant in this little rant of mine. Y’see, many months ago, I met a rather mentally unstable beggar on a local park. I thought it would be the right thing to do to give him my delicious coconut cookies as he had no food around. So I approached to him and offered them to him. And he accepted them…only to throw them away from him. He ate them later as I noticed from afar, but I felt quite…insulted. Angry, let’s say. I felt awful. I was giving him my precious cookies (and oh boy, how much I love coconut cookies!), and he thanked me this way…? I felt terrible and wanting to walk away while giving him a “You’re awful” glance.

But I did not.

Maybe I had a reason to feel terrible, yes, but then I wondered this: why was I giving him the cookies? For his gratitude, for his thanks, for his admiration…? For his love…? When I thought of it that way, I realized that maybe I was being terribly selfish with my anger. I shouldn’t be angry. I saw from afar that he wasn’t completely alright in his head. And I gave him cookies to help him. If I expected something in return, then mine wasn’t an actual good deed: it was a trade. My cookies for your respect. I wasn’t helping him: I was helping my ego. And that shouldn’t be.

Even though I still feel sad for that day, I keep this idea with me: I will meet more people like that beggar, and some will be mentally stable, and worse, than him. And if I stop doing what I think is the most correct thing to do just because it will make me “feel sad and hated”, then maybe I should start working on my persona first, before moving onto other people. And I would lie if I say that I am now willing to live without this anger, but at least I am glad I learned something valuable in that day: love’s never selfish.

I also want to dedicate this article to the delicious coconut cookies, certainly one of God’s most perfect creations ever.

Love has been transformed into a Frankenstein monster thanks to the actual media. It’s made of systems, rules, gifts, and even tons of sexual needs, even though the word itself is a far stronger notion than the physical attraction: it is one of the purest forms of social cohesion, a gift to all living beings.

Love songs scream a lot how much they care about a person and how much they miss his/her kisses, caresses, skin… But, so far, I have heard no more than five songs that explore something beyond all that physical/emotional side.

Love has become so tarnished that it no longer means what it tried to mean. It has become a marketing tactic to attract people. It has transformed into a toy that promises happiness to one, but doesn’t teach how to make somebody else happy. No. This 2000s are all about me. This is quite an individualistic age.

Love has become a market. If you give, you must receive something as a thanks because you’ve proved to be a “nice” person who has felt such pure feeling. Love is no longer a gift to give to the world, but a Multi Pass that will let you get inside a one-thousand doors. It’s a medal—a title.

Love has become almost a synonym of pleasure, of reward. It is no longer what it actually meant: a cure for the world.

…But again, this is just my opinion. You, as always, have the last word, O Reader.

Thanks a bunch for reading!

The New Word Order, or why you should worry about the shape of your toilet

11 Aug

I have a philosophy—an odd one, but I believe you might appreciate it wholly: I judge a place according to the state of its bathroom. Is it clean? The, let’s say, restaurant is a carefully taken place. Is it filthy? They sure have no manners or values in here! I don’t care about the decoration or the atmosphere of a restaurant: I won’t like it if its bathroom it’s not in clean shape. Why? Because it’s a sanitary place I have to trust my body to. And if it is not in good condition, it means that the restaurant sure gives a damn about me! Some tiny places in the roads and in little towns can be understandable with the low economy and all, but the big places…? Now, there’s no excuse, is it?

https://i0.wp.com/www.epa.gov/WaterSense/images/water-efficient-toilet.jpg

There’s a good reason why it tends to be called a “throne”…

I won’t blame you if you find this philosophy silly or ridiculous. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. However, if I am sharing you this bit is because I couldn’t find a better analogy for the topic I want to discuss briefly today: the 21st century’s neologisms.

Let’s pretend we’re going to dine to a restaurant, shall we? We open the door, say hello to the waiter, he takes us to the table, we order our food… And oh boy, the restaurant sure is classy! Look at the tigers in the walls! Look at the dragons in the roof! Look at the restaurant itself: it’s spinning! What a modern place! Screw the food: this place sure got the vibe! The food surely’s made of plastic and GMOs, but God, the restaurant is filled with lots of technological and scientific gadgets that massages us, spoil us and even replaces our legs and arms when it’s time to eat! Like a baby, you’re given the food in a spoon directed by the computer! Oh God, such a wondrous place!

Restaurante Giratório Interno

You spin me right round, baby, right round…~!

But after the dinner, it’s time to evacuate everything, so we run to the bathroom to save ourselves from a huge embarrassing moment. And uh oh, the toilet is all filthy, stained and bathed with flies… What the hell? Why such inconsideration? Is this the real spirit of the restaurant? Is it too filthy despite the technological advances? Is it because the toilet was forgotten or something…?

Lame example, but this is where we begin.

The 21st century is being bombarded by neologisms that reflect the society’s current state. Concepts like selfie, bullying and Friendzone are becoming recurrent in the social networks and for a reason: they’re marking an aspect of the people’s spirit of this century, in a good or a terrible manner. I chose these three for several reasons, but I would like to emphasize on Friendzone for several reasons. However, it will be the topic of the next post, surely. For now, I will briefly explain the three as whole:

Selfie: It’s a new way to call self-taken photographs for…well, no reason that I understand. In fact, this activity’s not exclusive of this century: it was done in the 1900s. Artists and photographs would occasionally take photos of themselves for several reasons, surely all of them for artistic or intimate reasons, so what’s the big deal about it? Well, easy: it’s become so—so—common nowdays that it will soon become a verb, like sneezing. And that would be no problem…if it weren’t a sign that people are becoming a bit more narcissistic.

Puddle, puddle in the brook, who’s the fairest on Facebook~?

Some studies have found that this practice, if done in an excessive manner, is a sign of damaged self-esteem or an unhealthy way of calling for attention. These problems, again, have been present from the very past, but you gotta wonder why suddenly this term and situation got a name in these years. And, in my most humble opinion that could be wrong, I link it to the fact that society has become less…social and more self-interested and apathetic.

Now that technology’s “saving” us from the need of walking outside, greeting tête-a-tête with other people and socializing as, you know, in the past, there has been less reasons to walk outside and live in flesh and blood the reality. Oh no, now you can live it from the comfort and safety from your laptop, and which can even measure your “acceptability” with “likes” and “shares”, something uncommon in real life. Technology, as helpful it is (it has helped us create campaigns for justice and truth, and of course, share information and destroy the lies given us by the uncontrolled media), as problematic it can be if not handled correctly. And I think the term “selfie” is a symptom that society’s not handling well the social side of the technology, if not a symptom that we’re disconnecting from each other now that we’ve weaved a new reality through our computers.

Bullying: This will be a bonus for anybody who knows Spanish, as this comes from a language-based opinion. I don’t know how long English language has had this term, but it is recent in the Spanish lexicon, at least as far as I’ve known. When I was a child, I never heard of this term. Abuse and pestering was common (and I suffered it), but Spanish language never had a term for this because it wasn’t really part of our life. It wasn’t rare, or common. But it sure wasn’t as explosive as today.

In the recent years, bullying became a known and even common term in my country because the abuse cases grew in number (and in cruelty…), and soon it borrowed the English “bullying”. And it became a school term.

I find this a bit creepy. I would cite you, O Reader, examples of the recent cruelty of Mexican children in several schools, but no, I’ll save you from the nightmares. However, I find it disturbing that the abuses in school have become so common that it soon became a label and a term. A term known by everybody. A term, in my opinion, that shouldn’t exist. Why? Because violence is not acceptable. It shouldn’t exist in schools. There should be no name for these acts. None at all.

user posted image

If you were about to kill your twin, surely it would be a “twinicide”, but what happens when a Spanish peasant appears on your aim as well…? Would it be called “hispanitwinicide”?

However, this adaption of the word “bullying” just means to me something: society’s losing culture and values. Be it the media, be it the lame parenting, be it the lame shallow values of today… Dunno, but something’s transforming the kids into little killing and—yes, with a most painful heart to say it—raping machines. The culture’s becoming downgraded and rotten. Parents no longer educate their children to love and accept, but to “punch back if he bullies you”. Society’s getting an awful stench, like our hypothetical restaurant’s smelly toilet.

Friendzone: I want to dedicate this term a whole topic of its own because I sure got a long rant about it, but I will leave you guys a preview of why I have a problem with it: it has sensationalized relationships. Or better said, it has turned it into toys and stereotypes. Relationships, according to what I always understood, were something far more complex and enduring, and it seems that nowdays even love is based on a set of rules and systems that I don’t even understand, and I tend to feel more comfortable when I do things that are ruled and organized!

Friendzone means that you’ve been good to a certain person after a long time and then is “delegated” into a friend and not into something far more serious, like a boyfriend or lover. This tends to be played for laughs because, well, one expects a better treatment after you treat well somebody else… And that’s my problem: why? Why do you gotta be treated better or even sexually paid because you were “nice”? If you expected something, then you weren’t even a friend: you were an interested person.

I would tell you an anecdote I lived with a beggar on a park that could count as an example… But no. I’ll save it for the next article, that, hopefully, will be written soon. But I will resume by saying that Friendzone’s a sign that human relationships have become something far too different, if not immature, than before.

There are more concepts we could talk about. But I wanted to look at these three and give my opinion. But again, O Reader, you have the final word. I’m certain I might be wrong in some facts, and so I apologize if any mistake was done. However, get in mind that I tend to complain because I wish for a better world for you, me and the future generations. And my helplessness tends to remind me that the sole thing I can do for the moment is to write, hoping somebody might receive some help with these articles.

Thanks for reading!

Most of the images redirect back to their original links if clicked on them.

War of the Language

10 Apr

Before starting, I would like to say that, despite my brief studies on linguistics and my little psychology class in my career, I am not a speech expert. Actually, I am just a newbie with her very own speech problems and understanding issues. If you were to ask me anything, I would probably stutter or reply with a shy “Or that’s my opinion”, as I get very nervous of how should I reply properly. I’ve always been this way, and most possibly I shall die this way.

However, this time I would like to comment how, perhaps, I have a very good justification of why I am afraid to speak or to listen: language is a powerful tool. It’s a mass-moving instrument. It’s a double-blade weapon. And as of now, it has been far more poisonous than the scorpions themselves in these insecure ages.

I once had a drama study class in where, after ripping into shreds certain diva authors, we reached an important subject: the patriotism subject, and how it could be used to manipulate a whole nation with a little verbal arrangement. The sentence “That’s the enemy of the nation” not only united the common folk in an unusual and inexistent national pride, absent months ago, but it could also manipulate masses and erasing them the very idea of, sometimes—and there are lots of “sometimes”—the real enemy is inside.

File:Octavio Paz - 1988 Malmö.jpg

“I heard somebody was ripping me to shreds, so I came here to see what the hell”

A sole sentence can erase memories and manufacture new ones through the dust and the sand in the wind. A sole sentence can change people and twist the past, present and future tense of a verb. The speech is this powerful. Besides, God created the light through a phrase, remember?

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

But it’s not just in this plane: a sole sentence can dominate a whole spirit in other kind of speeches. “You will look fabulous with this shampoo” or “Look fabulous with this dress.” What do these two sentences have in common? Easy: both insinuate in an indirect way that you’re not beautiful or fabulous without the products they’re offering you. They’re the only ones with the solution for your problems, and will give it to you if you, in change, give them money. It’s not even “look more fabulous”:  it’s “look fabulous.” They’re outright telling you that you’re ugly and you’ll only have some respect in society if you buy the first crappy object you find and that, months later, will be obsolete and needs to be discarded if you want to be fashionable.

Yet, it is to be expected in a frivolous and consumerist culture: to inject fear of this kind to see the merchandise be sold in light speed and get the money into your pockets as a walking line of ants. A sole sentence can kill the self-esteem. A sole insult can destroy your son’s faith and reduce it to a pile of soil, forever afraid of the world. A sole sentence has demolished more walls in the hearts of the people than castle walls. Actually, the military speech—the “That one is the enemy, we must go save those”—can be the most lethal in history.

Wow, that’s a fabulous dress! Such a sad thing you’ll look bad on it next month.

Throughout my life, I’ve realized that people has given more value to the act of speech than a very act itself. What do I mean? Well, let’s use an example: many people nowdays repeat like a broken tape recorder how Jesus is the prophet, how everything he said was true, don’t offend the Son of God, he died for your sins, I love him for his sacrifice for the world, I am a warrior of God…etcetera. But, does he really believe in what is he saying? According to what I’ve understood, Jesus preached for charity, love to the fellow human beings, forgiveness and other stuff. And rarely (but it doesn’t mean I haven’t seen examples) I’ve met people who keep some coherence with their words and their acts—I haven’t met people who act what they preach. I’ve seen more priests driving Lamborghinis than practicing charity. They sure preach it, but they don’t practice it. And it’s the same with the people I’ve met: they’ve stuck themselves so much with the Jesus-as-mystic-being speech that they forgot what he asked them to do: be nice! And all because they’ve linked their existences to the speech of the nice people, but not the act of being the nice people.

A Good Person

You don’t know how much I love this comic.

This is why I have a certain something against some self-help books that preach so much about “niceness”, but I will get into this subject later. It’s so juicy that it needs its own article…

Anyways. Nowdays, the hollow words have won absolute terrain in the world. In the movies, one must hear “I love you” from the mouth of the actor to make it known that he loves somebody, instead of proving it with acts. In TV, you’re not beautiful or fabulous if you don’t get the product they’re “kindly” offering you with a juicy discount instead of convincing you that you’re beautiful already and that you don’t need to spend anything on something. In the world, the Those ones will always be the enemy and you’ll only be really “patriotic” if you kill him for Us. The current speech has made it clear about the Others and the Us—the Those ones we must fear or envy. The world doesn’t want an abolition of the line that separates the Those ones from Us. If there must be a gain, there will be always an enemy to which we must throw our offenses and an Us to refuge into, without thinking into other options.

And if we try to conceive, linguistically speaking, a real problem we must address to—for example, the use of the word “ecocide” to refer to now on to the indiscriminate destruction of Mother Earth and serves as a legal term to refer to a punishable crime—, it is ignored. Those are inexistent words and are highlighted in red in Word because they’re “wrong.” Why? Because they’re dangerous words that might cause a complete change of mindset in the masses. There’s only One speech; everything else, it’s just a neologism.

This current culture doesn’t see any benefit in harmony and a massive Us, in where all cultures join together and find an existential logic not in the hollow speech, but in the act. Sometimes I consider a man a wise man the one whom I see giving his shoes to who needs them most than the man who preaches the importance of that. I am, however, not insinuating that the act of talking is of less importance than the act—sometimes, actually, raising the voice could become the most revolutionary act of all—, but one can’t avoid but to worry when the speech is used as a tool, rather as a gift given to humanity for the benefit of our species and the other ones in the planet. What would become of us, humans, without the messages of our songs and poetry…?

And yet, at the same time these poems are squashed and despised over the verbal comfort of “That one is the enemy. If we get rid of him, we’ll be finally safe.” And the people, lured by its charisma, will obey as the very good prey it is.

But, again, this is all just an opinion, born from a chit chat and which made me meditate from the power of speech and the downgrading of the kiss in favour of the hollow Hollywood “I love you.” Yet, frankly, who am I to know the truth…?

Want to know the most ironic part of this article? I wrote all of this because how I don’t know how to express my sorrows about the world through actions. Irony.

Thanks a bunch for reading me!

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ.

A Free Yakirí

5 Mar

Whoa, it sure smells some corpses in here. No doubt I haven’t been on here after many months due to my school and my jobs everywhere… Anyways, this will be a fast post, just to inform about certain intriguing posts I’ve found in the internet, which speak about Yakirí Rubio’s freedom coming soon. Supposedly, that day would be today, but according to this, the whole process is slow and, so far, there are no more news around.

 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, feel free to visit my post about her case and browse about this situation and my opinion about it. Anyways, so far I’ve read, Yakirí Rubí will pay a bail—and compensation to her attacker’s family—to walk out from prison. You can guess how awkward I feel about this “pay your attacker’s family” situation, and how the Mexican justice system has fallen so low to not make justice for women. You could even say that the lesson here lays on the idea that you must become a criminal to walk out triumphantly and even get some pay after death. We’ll never know what really happened (even though it has been discovered the girl was attacked as she claimed, indeed), but this isn’t the sole case in Mexico in where the people’s rights are violated by our very own justice system. And won’t be the last one at this pace. Mexico’s decaying at a fast rate on human rights and justice matters, and that’s taking us to a limbo in where oxygen will be null for survival.

 

But oh well. I guess her, being free through some way, it’s somehow a good note. Such a shame, though, that we, Mexicans, are all alone in this world. We cannot even depend on ourselves these days. And thus, this is how far a nation, with so much potential to give, has fallen due to corruption of the soul.

 

Thanks a bunch for reading me!

 

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ.

You’re Missing Out on Great Literature – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

12 Feb

An interesting article that deals with the few translations of international books phenomena inside the United States.

You’re Missing Out on Great Literature – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.