Saturday, January 28, 2017

La Llorona

Hola mi gente,
I’m so sick the liberal hypocrites who have all of sudden gown a backbone and sense of morality. While neocons like Trump and his henchmen have “alternate facts,” so-called liberals live in an alternate reality. They can kiss my ass.

The following legend, La Llorona (the Weeping woman), can be viewed from multiple perspectives. Speaking directly about La Llorona and her impact upon the Chicana culture, Orquidea Morales writes, “For Chianas, La Llorona is a cultural icon, descendant of La Malinche and Aztec Goodess Cihucotal, who represents women’s voice and agency.”

This is one positive perspective one may take when viewing folktale: La Llorona represents a rebellious woman, refusing to be forced into subservience and treated lesser simply because of her upbringing. Morales speaks of how Chicana’s and Chicana feminists have re-theorized the myth of La Llorona to view the tale as an empowering episode of revolution and the demand for equality. Other women view the tale as a paradigm for being a bad mother -- the examples of being weak, abandoning one’s children in times of crisis, being beaten by emotions and unable to control oneself.

La Llorona

This is a story that the ancient ones have been telling to children for hundreds of years. It is a sad tale, but it lives strong in the memories of the people, and there are many who swear that it is true.

Long years ago in a humble little village there lived a beautiful young woman named Maria. Some say she was the most beautiful girl in the world. And because she was so beautiful, Maria thought she was better than everyone else.

As Maria grew older, her beauty increased and her pride in her beauty grew as well. She would not even look at the young men from her village. They weren't good enough for her.
“When I marry,” Maria would say. “I will marry the most handsome man in the world.”

And then one day, a man who seemed to be just the one she had been talking about rode into Maria's village. He was a dashing young ranchero, the son of a wealthy rancher from the southern plains. He could ride like a Comanche. In fact, if he owned a horse, and it grew tame, he would give it away and go rope a wild horse from the plains. He thought it wasn't manly to ride a horse if it wasn't half wild. He was handsome and he could play the guitar and sing beautifully. Maria made up her mind -- that was the man for her. She knew just the tricks to win his attention. 

If the ranchero spoke when they met on the pathway, she would turn her head away. When he came to her house in the evening to play his guitar and serenade her, she refused to come to the window. She rejected all his costly gifts. The young man fell for her tricks. 

“That haughty girl, Maria, Maria!” he said to himself. “I know I can win her heart. I swear I'll marry that girl.”

And so everything turned out as Maria planned. Before long, she and the ranchero became engaged and soon they were married. At first, things were fine. They had two children and they seemed to be a happy family together. But after a few years, the ranchero went back to the wild life of the prairies. He would leave town and be gone for months at a time. And when he returned home, it was only to visit his children. He seemed to care nothing for the beautiful Maria. He even talked of setting Maria aside and marrying a woman of his own class.

As proud as Maria was, she became very angry with the ranchero. She also began to feel anger toward her children, because he paid attention to them, but just ignored her.

One evening, as Maria was strolling with her two children on the shady pathway near the river, the ranchero came by in a carriage. An elegant lady sat on the seat beside him. He stopped and spoke to his children, but he didn't even look at Maria. Then he whipped the horses on up the street.
When she saw that, a terrible rage filled Maria, and it all turned against her children. And although it is sad to tell, the story says that in her anger Maria seized her two children and threw them into the river. But as they disappeared down the stream, she realized what she had done and she ran down the bank of the river, reaching out her arms to them. But they were long gone.

The next morning, a traveler brought word to the villagers that a beautiful woman lay dead on the bank of the river. That is where they found Maria, and they laid her to rest where she had fallen.
But the first night Maria was in the grave, the villagers heard the sound of crying down by the river. It was not the wind, it was La Llorona crying. “Where are my children?” And they saw a woman walking up and down the bank of the river, dressed in a long white robe, the way they had dressed Maria for burial. On many a dark night they saw her walk the river bank and cry for her children. And so they no longer spoke of her as Maria. They called her La Llorona, the weeping woman. And by that name she is known to this day. Children are warned not to go out in the dark, for, La Llorona might snatch them and never return them.

* * *

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Notes to a Young Progressive

Hola mi Gente,
I plan to rest this weekend.


I call him a patriot who rebukes his country for its sins and does not excuse them.
 -- Frederick Douglas

Many years ago, George Orwell wrote a prescient essay on the differences between nationalism and patriotism Orwell’s Notes onNationalism, has as much relevance today as it did when it was written right before the lead up to WWII as nationalistic fervor fed the flames of Nazism and fascism.

Too many people confuse nationalism for patriotism. When I listen to the nationalistic fervor stoked by the likes of Trump and Hillary, for example, it is concerning because theirs is an appeal to fear to a white demographic feeling betrayed -- a population looking for any excuse to explode. The successful Trump/ GOP’s campaign strategy is to create “the other” as different and unpatriotic. It’s been a one-note effort mostly because U.S. conservatives apparently do not know any other strategy.

Another reason political elites use this tactic because it works: tar and feather a candidate by coming up with the scary face of a black killer. At one time that face was the face of Willie Horton. Today, it is any black kid with a hood. Dismiss people who dare question the wisdom of our current foreign policies as “unpatriotic.” Paint the opposition as effeminate and ineffectual and deride them for having the courage to speak out against wars that kill tens of thousands of innocent women and children. And this is just the Democrats.

And it continues to work. It is working partly because the failures of decades of lunatic neoliberal economic policies have created global financial meltdowns and eroded the middle class.
Orwell defined patriotism as “devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people.” I have no argument with this definition

According to Orwell, nationalism is the tendency of identifying oneself with a single nation or an idea, and “placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests.” In other words, nationalism doesn’t have to be based on an allegiance to a particular nation. This same fanaticism can be applied to any “ism”: neo-conservatism and fundamentalism of any kind (religious or otherwise), for example. Whether it’s based on a country or an “ism,” nationalism always contains that dangerous combination of blind fanaticism and a lack of concern for reality.

In nationalism, thoughts “always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations… Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.” Moreover, its self-deception leads to catastrophic miscalculations based on delusions rather than facts. Orwell stated, foretelling the mental state of democrats today:

“Political and military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties.”

But to really appreciate Orwell and understand how he had our current foreign policy down pat, you only need to read this:

“All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, the use of hostages, forced labor, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral color when committed by ‘our’ side.… The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

It was Georges Santayana who said “… those who refuse to remember the past, are condemned to relive it.”

Any of this sounds familiar?

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Naked is the Night

Hola Everybody,
Some of the worst, most atrocious examples of writing can be found in the social sciences. I think a large part of the reason is that social scientists try too hard to make their writing sound “scientific.”

Every once in a while, however, you run into some great writers who also happen to be great social scientists. Case in point, Luc Sante’s Low Life, the story of New York's Lower East Side, circa 1840-1920. Sante may not be a social scientist in the strict sense of the word, but damn! his insights and how he brings to life the culture of the streets that continues to influence our contemporary popular culture, is a rare and wonderful fusion of art and science. Check this little gem of a paragraph…

The Naked Night

The night is the corridor of history, not the history of famous people, or great events, but that of the marginal, the ignored, the suppressed, the unacknowledged; the history of vice, error, of confusion, of fear, of want; the history of intoxication, of vainglory, of delusion, of dissipation, of delirium. It strips off the city’s veneer of progress and modernity and civilization and reveals the wilderness. In New York City it is an accultured wilderness that contains all the accumulated crime of past nights… and it is not an illusion. It is the daytime that is the chimera, that pretends New York is anyplace, maybe with bigger buildings, but just as workaday, with a population that goes about its business and then goes to sleep, a great machine humming away for the benefit of the world. Night reveals this to be a pantomime. In the streets at night, everything kept hidden comes forth, everyone is subject to the rules of chance, everyone is potentially both murderer and victim, everyone is afraid, just as anyone who sets his or her mind to it can inspire fear in others. At night, everyone is naked.

* * *

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Waiting to Inhale

Hola mi gente,
Some people got pissed about yesterday’s post and insisted I’m a cynic. That’s just bullshit. What I find insightful that some so-called progressives are now pathologizing dissent. SMDH

Waiting to Inhale

(or Drowning in Love)

A wise woman and her student were standing by a pool chatting about longing and ambition. “What do you want more than anything else?” the wise woman asked.

“To perfect my ability to love all of creation the way I love myself,” the young man replied.

At that very moment, the wise woman tackled the student and before he could react, shoved his head beneath the water. Accustomed to his teacher’s sometimes unorthodox manner of instruction, at first he didn’t resist.

One minute went by... then another. Finally, as his lungs screamed for air, the student began to struggle and kick, but his teacher was strong. Finally, she released her grip and the student surfaced, struggling for breath.

“What did you want more than anything else during these last few minutes?” the wise woman asked.

“Nothing else was in my mind except the desire for air,” the student managed to gasp.

“Excellent!” beamed the wise woman. “As soon as you are equally single-minded in your desire to perfect your ability to love all of creation in the very manner in which you love yourself, you will achieve your goal.”

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization... 

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, please consider helping me out by sharing it, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or even throwing me some money on GoFundMe HERE or via PayPal HERE so I can keep calling it like I see it.


[un]Common Sense