Thursday, April 30, 2009


¡Hola! Everybody...
Okay... Someone asked my I no longer write on romantic relationships. Those posts did seem to get a lot of attention. I feel my not being in a relationship (a conscious choice), kinda makes it funny for me to write on relationships. Kinda/ sorta like telling people how to raise children though you have never raised one yourself. LOL! Actually, I don’t think not having children or not being in a relationship excludes a person from sharing their experiences/ knowledge. I've had enough experiences on the relationship tip! *grin* After all, a doctor can treat cancer though he's never had it... right?

* * *

-=[ Dry Cunt of the Week ]=-

“Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality.”

-- Theodore W. Adorno (1903–1969)

Today I was going to post something on relationships, but last night, after a long, challenging day at work, I walked in my apartment and was treated to the following demonstration of ignorance compounded by arrogance:

I’m almost speechless.

I mean, do people in the country vote for scum like this? And if they do, what does that say about the people in this country? Fortunately, this dry stupid cunt is fast becoming an extinct species of the right. One benefit of the current financial crisis is that it fractured the tenuously cobbled together right. Once a formidable coalition of right-wing libertarians and far-right religious fundamentalists, the right has been exposed for what is: a pox o our society.

For those that haven’t been paying attention, a Hate Crimes bill was passed yesterday. Much of the propaganda surrounding this bill was centered on the myth that the bill would be used to crack down on religious freedom. This is patently false, though it’s been reported as fact on certain media outlets. In fact, the bill has provisions specifically design to stop this kind of censorship. In that way, the American Taliban, the Christian Fundamentalists, will still be allowed to preach hate and intolerance from the relative safety of their churches.

I would make jokes about the neocons, but how do you caricature a caricature? I mean, they make assses out of themselves. But this woman saying what she said, a bald-faced lie, this is a new low. Consider also that Matthew Shepard’s mother was in the audience listening to this poor excuse of a human being.

Just so that you know: Matthew Shepard was a young man who horribly tortured by a group of homophobes and left to die to exposure on a face. They cracked his skull, beat him, tortured him, and who knows what else to him. And why? The only reason, as admitted by at least one of the baboons, was because he had the gall to be gay...

I am ashamed and embarrassed to live in a country in which people vote for bigots like this. I am ashamed to live in a country where many people think like she does.

May your Christian God have the mercy you obviously don’t have on your pitiful souls...


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Note from the Editor

¡Hola! Everybody...
I would like to thank Damaris and Martina for graciously accepting my "invitation" to join our little group... Your 10% will be in the mail shortly *grin*

Today... why read me?

* * *

-=[ Why You Should Read my Shit ]=-

I was elated to read a message from a reader saying he looks forward to my blog on a daily basis. His exact words were "primo reading." So, why read this, right? I mean, there are literally millions of potential outlets for you to read. There are millions of other blogs, newspapers (at least the few that are left standing), there’s Twitter and Facebook, s-exting (ladies: feel free to send me photos of your ass), you name it. So in the midst of this avalanche of infotainment, why should you come here and waste maybe the five to ten minutes it takes you read me?

Good question!

For one, if you’re my friend and you don’t least fake it, I will leave yo ass. That’s right, I’m not beneath emotional blackmail to get my fuckin’ attention! LOL Like any other whore, I will go elsewhere to get my Johns/ Janes.

I think I offer something of value -- I seriously feel my blog offers more stimulation per ounce than a hit of coke laced with X and Viagra.

Over the years, people I barely know (often didn’t even know they read me), have written to tell me they’ve done something positive that started as an idea in my blog. Whether it was going back to school, quitting smoking, or drugs, fucking more often (and in a better way), or actually entertaining a different political point of view, people have told me they found my blog useful. When I think I’m indulging in something narcissistic here, I’ll get a note from someone telling me that something they read here made a little bit of difference in their lives, or led them to an action. (Note: I'm not your baby's father! And that rash that won't go away isn't my fault.)

Don’t misunderstand, I don't believe “I” have anything to do with that -- I see it as part of a creative process we all engage here and in life generally. You may not like me -- in fact there are those who dislike me (LOL!) -- but you can’t deny my transparency, my willingness to be as honest as possible. I share here because I think what I have to share is valuable, not because I’m the big “I am,” but because experience has taught me that my message resonates.

In an increasingly insane, fast-paced postmodern world, we reach out for some kind of connection, something other than the TV Machine. We all come here for different reasons and if merely being entertained by humiliating those who are already humiliating themselves publicly is your idea of fun, then you won’t last long with me. But if you’re looking for ideas, creativity, connection, and some laughter you’ll probably hang around, because that’s what I’m about. For the most part, those that are here are about that too.

I want to challenge your deepest held beliefs and question your thought constellations. I do that all the time mostly because I am a trouble maker and because it’s fun. Before I post most things, I study them, making sure I have a firm grasp of my topic. Some people don’t like that shit and that’s OK. Maybe now that we have an articulate president, it will be more in style to know what the fuck you’re talking about before mouthing off. I don’t give a shit about opinions. I consider some opinions better informed than others and if that makes me an elitist, well, fuck it, I’ve been called much worse. I think it’s far too easy to offer an opinion from the perspective of our small world. I think it’s far more challenging and infinitely more interesting when we attempt to form an opinion that includes our community, our city, state, nation, country and even the world.

What happens to our opinions we stop it with the bullshit knee-jerk opinions and instead attempt to understand something from a larger perspective? That’s the main question addressed here. It’s where the un in the [un]Common Sense comes from.

Finally, this is where I’ll be posting some of my creative fiction. I have been writing for some time now and after losing two years of hard work in a home robbery, I have been able to get back in the saddle with some things I hope you will find interesting, funny, or at the very least, inspiring.

I hope you come to me and join us in an interaction that will result somehow in a community. Who knows, maybe you’ll make me change my mind or vice-versa.

Paz, Amor y Dinero,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lou Dobbs & The Messakin Swine

¡Hola! Everybody... It will be hot... hot... hot in The Center of the Known Universe today. Always a good thing. Yeah, some of you are already complaining of the heat. You haven’t even had enough time to stop complaining of the cold... SMH

Today, I wade into the immigration issue and I also lend my dos centavos on the Pandemic of the Killer Swine... fuckin’ Mexicain’ts!

* * *

-=[ Attack of the Messakin Killer Swine ]=-

“... The invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans.”

-- Lou Dobbs, bigoted TV Asswipe

In April 2005, CNN's Lou Dobbs aired a report by CNN correspondent Christine Romans about how the “There were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years.” Dobbs responded, his jowls shaking in contempt, “Incredible.” I don’t watch Lou “Don’t Call Me Luís” Dobbs, because, well, I like my fiction from masters of the craft like James Joyce, Faulkner, and Gabriel García Márquez. However, I can only imagine the field day he’s having with this swine flu pandemic (how many times have you heard this word in the last 24 hours? OMG!! You're going to die?!!)

By the way, that report above by Dobbs & Co.? Totally fabricated. He’s been exposed on the lie, by the way: he’s refused to own up to it. In any case, I know many of you are thinking that these fuckin’ Messakins are a health hazard to us up here in the pure Norte. After all, we have a clean food supply, plentiful access to health care, and our water supply is without parallel. Right?


It’s those unclean brown muthafuckas that are the disease! Just so that we know, you can’t blame them fuckin’ Messakins on the Swine Flu “Pandemic.” The origins of the new Swine Influenza Virus SIV-H1N1 strain remain unknown. One theory is that Asian and European strains traveled to Mexico in migratory birds or in people, then combined with North American strains in Mexican pig factory farms before jumping over to farm workers. These things happen here too!

I think the real point in blaming messakins is that we seem to need a scapegoat in order to keep us distracted from the ones that are actually doing the harm -- the power elite. I would be willing to bet that some who are reading this are of the notion that Mexicans are lazy, don’t have enough gratitude for America to learn Ingles. Some of you think they are getting rich on Welfare and food stamps because we all know rich people like to live in conditions where there are 10-15 people to a room, or you have to sleep in shifts! And they are taking away your jobs! I mean, if we could just get rid of these messakins, Blacks, po’ white folk, and others too ungrateful to work for Target or Mr. Walton, could be picking fruit 16 hours a day for less than minimum wage. Messakins depress wages! They bring disease! They are too stupid, not like earlier immigrants who came to these shores and upon arrival, bent over and kissed this fine land of ours!

And you know? The U.S. government shares your concerns, Luis. The Dillingham Commission released a forty-two volume study on the waves of immigrants that concluded, “The new immigrant as a class is far less intelligent than the old... Generally speaking they are actuated in coming by different ideals, for the old immigration came to be a part of the country, while the new, in large measure, comes with the intentions of profiting, in pecuniary ways, by the superior advantages of the new world and then returning to the old country.” This report went on to fault the new immigrants for their lack of assimilation and English skills, constantly comparing them with earlier generations of immigrants, and urged a clampdown on immigration.

Sound familiar, huh? Lou Dobbs would wet his pantaletas! Ann Coulter would finally have an orgasm! Bill O’Reilly wouldn’t be as overcome with emotion if he saw the baby Hey-zeus at Christmas-time!

The problem is that the Dillingham report appeared in 1911, and the unwashed masses at the time were Eastern and Southern Europeans (predecessors of today’s white trash, I would expect. LOL!). The Dillingham Commission only manages to prove that the time-honored conservative narrative that earlier generations of immigrants walked off the boats, chopped down their hard to pronounce surnames, and learned English immediately is bullshit.

If American racism is a carousel -- then here we go again...



Monday, April 27, 2009

Springtime Public Service Announcment (For Women)

¡Hola! Everybody...
I usually post this at the start of Spring as a form of public service announcement... get oiled.

* * *

-=[ The Sad Case of the Squeaky Vagina ]=-

“The most perverse form of sexual deviancy is abstinence.”

I love Spring!

True, I become less focused, more prone to indulgence, and all other forms of ho’ing, but this time of year, with its connection to rebirth and beginnings, holds so much attraction for me. With the exception of Yvette, the third on the list of Rosarios, we were all born in the Spring. In fact, my mother actually gave birth to three Gemini men, and Darlene, the second oldest (I’m the oldest), barely missed it, her birthday coming May 17th. In our youth, our combined birthdays became an excuse for extended partying, since our birthdays fall on consecutive weeks, culminating with mine on June 6th (hint: please don’t buy gifts, but anonymous, edgy sex is always welcome! – females need only apply, thank you).

Today my topic is mostly about sexual abstinence and its consequences. But before I get there, I must digress just a little here. As much as I love to complain about winter, there is something to be said about living in a temperate zone and the changing of the seasons. You see, as hedonistic as I’m prone to be in warm and hot weather, I probably would not live long in a tropical zone, where I would most likely try to literally fuck my brains out. Shit, all there has to be here is a hint of warm weather and the women come out in full force, showcasing their “assets” after a long hard winter.

Sheeesh! Youse guys are mean!

Whatever… things have gotten so hectic and the clothing so scarce these days, that I can swear I can almost smell the shaving cream as scantily clad wenches pass me by, the hint of a grin on their smug and pretty faces. Yeah, you know how to hurt a guy. And yes I’m single, but you know how that goes: I could be starving to death and not one maiden would pay my single ass any mind -- more than likely women would step over, or around, my body on their way to work without giving more than a cursory look. OTOH, let me get a girlfriend and they’ll be all over me like the proverbial white on rice! Maybe I should revert to wearing a wedding ring, that always works! LOL

OK! OK! Back to my topic today: sexual abstinence and its consequences. I have to give some props to some of the ladies here in that they have developed the resolve not to give in to the erotic impulse (at great cost, of course). Well, at least that’s what women like to say, you never know the real deal, but I’ve observed women taking a more assertive stance on the sex issue and I applaud you all for that (*cough*).

I think we’ve all heard by now of the seven-year government study that actually showed that teens who pledge abstinence (or who take abstinence-only sex ed courses) not only get the same amount of STDs as other teens, but are six times more likely to engage in oral sex, and the boys are four times more likely to get anal action.

Dang! I guess, depending from what perspective one looks at it, this is either a great argument for or against abstinence-only sex education. I mean, I wish the KKKristian wing-nuts who campaign for such programs would’ve been more effective when I was in school! I wasn’t getting any anal action from the girls while in high school.

Great idea, by the way: tell teens not to fuck! ROTFLMAO! I will tell you this, while I was in my 20s, I dated a young lady who claimed to be a virgin and she was really OK with oral sex and eventually anal sex with me! I want to keep my hymen intact for my wedding night, she would beam. I stayed with her for a lonnnnng time...

On another note, there is an unintended consequence for adult women practicing sexual abstinence: a huge spike in a little known disease that affects only adult women, vaginal arthritis. Yes, you read correctly: vaginal arthritis. This is a degenerative affliction in which womens’ genitalia atrophy from consistent lack of proper use.

Dr. Hughes Jourdaddy, lead investigator for a top government research arm says, “It’s unfortunate, but one of the consequences of prolonged sexual abstinence for adult women is that they lose vital functioning around their vaginal area which has led to what could be a very embarrassing symptom: vaginas that squeak.”

Another authority in the field, Dr. Yah EsTah-Oosa, a researcher from Taiwan, explains, “It’s the age-old truism: if you don’t use it, you lose it.” She explains further, “the reason why squeaking has become more prevalent today, is that women mistake the use erotic toys as an adequate substitute for penile penetration when in fact, our research shows that masturbation actually exacerbates the squeaking” [emphasis added].

Fuck! Squeaking vaginas?!! Come to think of it, I’ve actually heard vaginas squeak, but I thought I was suffering from auditory hallucinations. The other day, a woman was hurrying by me and she was squeaking like the proverbial screen door and when I stared at her, she tried to affect an indignant look, trying to place the blame on my shoes, but my shoes don’t squeak, thank you very much.

In fact, a good friend called me the other day despondent over her squeaking. She was a little embarrassed at first, but since she knows I keep up to date on cutting-edge medical research, she confided: “It’s gotten to the point where it’s becoming unmanageable,” she managed to blurt between sobs. “Just the other day, a group of high school kids followed me half way down the block calling me ‘Squeaky.’”

Another friend related her tragedy: her new boyfriend left her because he was totally turned off by the sound her legs made when he attempted to spread-eagle her, “He said I sounded like a rusty gate!” she cried. I just didn’t have any words of consolation for her.

Well, boys and girls, I guess the moral of the story, if there’s any moral to be had here at all, is that perhaps God is getting even with us for denying and repressing something that is part of our essence, part of our human legacy: being sexual creatures.

Ladies: Please do all a favor and make an appointment for sex-- soon!

Paz y Amor,


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Sermon (Ann Coulter Fires Back!)

¡Hola! Everybody... It seemed like everybody was out and about yesterday, the first really nice day of the year. The smell of shaving cream was everywhere, and women are out in full effect -- on the prowl. We might hit the 90 degree mark!

Today, I’m turning over the Sunday Sermon to Ann “I Got Big Balls” Coulter!

* * *

-=[ Ann Coulter Fires Back ]=-

A Special [un]Common Sense Commentary by Ann Coulter

Since the creative force behind the [un]Commonsense blog has seen fit to attack me on numerous occasions, I have accepted to respond and meet my critics head-on, balls-on-the-table.

I mean! I don’t have testicles! I’m just using that term as a figure of speech!

::adjusts crotch::

Perhaps the most disturbing is their attempt to imply I’m really a man in disguise. I could sue, but instead, I’ll just clear this up: I’m what’s known as phallic woman. I only fantasize about retaining the phallus after coitus. There’s a huge difference between the two, and I think calling me the other is just sloppy blogging and bad form. You’re... you’re... a pedophile! [1]

It has also been implied on this blog that listening to me is an act of evil. This is patent nonsense. While I do lie and misrepresent research compulsively, on air and off, and hate poor people, and dark-skinned humans, is it realistic to call these traits evil? And yes, I do snort huge amounts of meth and go prowling for faggots with Rush and Bill O’, and we all pile out of Bill’s jeep and chase queers and they cheer while I fuck them rudely with my leather, rhinestone-studded strap-on (we even gang-banged Colmes once!), but calling me “evil” is quite a stretch. Nice try, Yemíl [2], but nobody’s going to swallow this nonsense.

Goddammit, Eddie! For the sake of argument, imagine if straight-laced, God-fearing Christian (latently homosexual) homophobes, who I have successfully conditioned with years of TV and radio, and my books, happens to read [un]Common Sense’s puerile attempts at humor. Think what would happen!

They may stop accepting simplistic, nonsensical explanations of how this world works; they may even decide I’m a dishonest, pushy, constipated, man in disguise with an unusually large Adam’s apple, willing to say anything in the service of my corporate masters, and then read The Open Veins of Latin America or take a course on Icing Muthafuckas. And then imagine if this spread!

Do we really want the chaos that would result from so many of the little people thinking without my help?

In closing, the treatment I’ve received in this blog is a perfect example of why we must resist the free exchange of ideas and reject information sources that don’t have the smarts to be owned by multinational corporations.

Fuck You,



1. Eddie, editor of the [un]Common Sense blog, would like to point out that he’s not a pedophile. He claims, instead, that he’s a pet-o-phile, meaning he sodomizes women who post photographs of their pets as their main photo on their internet profiles.

2. It has been documented that those who disagree with the [un]Common Sense’s political commentary often resort to calling it’s editor, Yemil. As yet, it is not known what rhetorical purpose this serves.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


¡Hola! Everybody...
Springtime is one of the best times of the year to be in The Center of the Known Universe. There’s so much to do and see, that even if you stayed home you can almost feel guilty at the wealth of cultural riches this city offers. The festivals, the free concerts, the museums... even a trip through the bowels of this great city yields unexpected pleasures:

LOL! Today, it will be lower Central Park. Have a great day, people!

* * *

Now [no. 15]

If I could
I would guarantee you
bright sunny days
and soft, dry breezes
for all your Summers.

If I could
I would give you
clear, cold days
and clean snow
for the Winters you love.

And if I could
I would give you Autumn,
dressed to the teeth
at that precious moment
when you most need change.

But if I want you
to remember me
as I will always remember you,
I will send you


-- Edward-Yemil Rosario ©

Friday, April 24, 2009

Justice as Retribution

¡Hola! Everybody...
My friend Rippa strongly suggested to me to offer the following... I am honored that he would ask. As always, the most challenging aspect of blogging is attempting to articulate complex issues in everyday language and in a short amount of space. I will have to present the following in two parts... today, I tackle justice as retribution and the next installment (for Monday) will tackle justice as social control.

* * *

-=[ From the Plantation to the Bing: Retribution ]=-

“One of the interesting ways of settling the race problem comes ... in this period of unemployment among the poor. In Waterloo, Kentucky, the enterprising chief of police is arresting all unemployed Negroes and putting them in jail, thus securing their labor for the state at the cheapest possible figure. This bright idea... is used through the South and strong sermons and editorials are written against ‘lazy’ Negroes. Despite this there are people in this country who wonder at the increase in ‘crime’ among colored people.”

-- W.E.B. Du Bois, unsigned editorial, “Logic,” The Crisis, Vol. 9 (January, 1915), p. 132

Some of the poorest Brooklyn city blocks are also some of the priciest. You couldn’t tell by the surroundings or by the people who live there -- mostly people of color most of whom live below the poverty line. They are called million dollar blocks by criminal-justice experts who study this phenomenon: In Brooklyn last year, there were 35 blocks that fit this category -- ones where so many residents were sent to state prison that the total cost of their incarceration will be more than $1 million.

At the same time, a quick look at the surrounding schools and other social institutions in the area would bring shame to any right-thinking American, regardless of color. The following is an attempt to articulate a problem from a civil rights perspective with a hip hop sensibility.

In a relatively short period of time, we have moved from a nation that dared to envision a Great Society to a nation that now incarcerates more people than any other. While we have 5% of the world’s population, we account for 25% of the world’s prison population (most of those in US prisons are people of color). At the same time, we remain the most violent and crime-ridden of all advanced democracies.

It’s not even close.

How did we get here? Well, it wasn’t by accident and it didn’t happen overnight. In order to understand how we became a nation of prisons we have to look at crime and punishment from a historical context. A task I couldn’t possibly hope to do in a one or two-page Word document. Still, before I move on, I have to at least try.

Sociologist Loic Wacquant (2002) maintains that historically not one but several institutions have been implemented to define, confine, and control African-Americans in the United States. The first was chattel slavery which made possible the plantation economy and the caste of racial division from colonial times to the Civil War. The second was the Jim Crow system of legally imposed discrimination and segregation that served as the foundation for the agricultural society of the South from the close of Reconstruction to the Civil Rights revolution which toppled it a full century after abolition. America’s third mechanism for containing the descendants of slaves in the Northern industrial metropolis was the ghetto. It corresponded with the African-American Great Migration of 1914–30 to the 1960s, when it was rendered partly obsolete by the mounting protest of blacks against continued racism, culminating with the urban riots of the 1960s. The fourth, Wacquant contends, is the institutional complex formed by the leftovers of the black ghetto and the prison/ industrial complex with which it has become joined by a linked relationship with institutional racism.

What this suggests is that slavery and mass imprisonment are intrinsically linked and that we cannot understand one -- its timing, composition, and inception as well as the silent ignorance and acceptance of its harmful effects on those it affects -- without returning to the former as a starting point. In other words, from a historical viewpoint, the mass incarceration of mostly people of color in the United States is a direct offshoot from the roots of the institution of racism.

Now, you might be wondering what I mean by a “hip hop sensibility,” and if you bear with me, I’ll try to explain. I cannot, in all good conscience, profess to know much about present-day hip hop. As a Nuyorican born and raised in the ghettos of New York City, I was there at its inception, long before MTV, and long before hip-hop culture became mainstream. I will be honest and say I stopped listening to hip hop before it made its way (via Yo! MTV Raps) or BET. through the years, I have maintained an interest in some groups that I felt offered a powerful social message -- groups such as Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, and some others, but I don’t know jack about contemporary hip-hop, nor do I like much of it. For me, hip-hop was more than a musical genre; it was a ghetto scream calling out for recognition, combining several elements of modern and traditional culture, not the least of which was technology. Hip-hop was an urban folklore expressing the gritty reality of life in the black and Puerto Rican ghettos of New York City.

I think hip-hop is relevant to a discussion of mass incarceration because its attitude and moral stance is often called into question and vilified by both black and white conservatives. I contend that hip-hop informs this discussion and has the potential to give it a proper philosophical framework.

Hip-hop as the dominant chosen form of entertainment and instruction of gifted young people, has both good and bad effects. If we look beyond the polemics, hip-hop also serves to resist (and sometimes reinforce) the effects of a postmodern world steeped in free-market fundamentalism, aggressive macho militarianism, and increasing privatization of the social sphere. The racial dimension of hip-hop is unavoidable, and it is here where hip-hop, if looked at as more than mere black cultural expression, can inform and illuminate the present dialog.

“You ain’t gotta be locked up to be in prison / Look how we livin’ / 30,000 niggas a day up in the bing, standin routine / They put us in a box, just like our life on the block” -- Dead Prez, Behind Enemy Lines

If we view criminal justice as retribution, then we have to acknowledge that justice as retribution mirrors the sentiment that vengeance is sweet, redeeming those who have been wronged at the hands of others. It is a desire often expressed by rappers themselves. Yet their desire for retribution isn’t proposed as part of a legitimate system of punishment. For one, the situations they portray are oftentimes way outside the law. However, lurking under rappers’ desire to settle scores lies a steadfast belief that the law does not (and never did) protect them. If the law doesn’t protect you and won’t guarantee justice, then it follows that you may have to protect yourself from your enemies.

Many rappers are skeptical about justice in America and alarmed by our criminal justice system. Hip-hop lyrics strongly suggest that racial bias in our criminal justice system undermines the notion of equal protection under the law. They also strenuously question whether the historically unprecedented massive effort to incarcerate black men serves the purpose of public safety. For them, the notion of the public good and retribution appears as a facade for an unjust form of social control that helps maintain a system of privilege for whites. Rap music often aims to strip away the veneer of justice from a system that unfairly targets youth of color.

“Circle the block where the beef’s at / and park in front of my enemy’s eyes/ They see that it’s war we life-stealers, hollow-tip busters.” -- Nas, Every Ghetto

The popular idea of retribution as a legally sanctioned form of punishment is based on the assumption that criminal acts call for punishment -- separate from the consequences of punishment, such as permanent disenfranchisement and the enduring collateral consequences of imprisonment. From this perspective, the ends (retribution) justify the means at whatever societal cost. The point being that justice is served only when wrongdoers suffer.

In a lawless context, the line between retribution and self-defense is not so clear, but advocates of retribution (“retributivists”) are not interested in retaliation as a reaction to a perceived threat. They advocate retaliation for wrongdoing as a matter of justice. This led one of the most famous retributivists, Immanuel Kant, to stress the difference between vengeance and retribution (a persistent theme in the western and film noir genres, by the way). In Kant’s view, vengeance is emotional and personal, reckless and often disproportionate to the crime.

A civilized society, Kant argued, would replace vengeance with retribution. Yet the ideal of retribution carries more than a trace of vengeance, as the French philosopher, Michel Foucault, emphasized in Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1995). Some recent retributivists, as in Jeffrie Murphy’s Getting Even, urge us to embrace the emotional and the personal value of punishment as retribution. These philosophers accept the connection between vengeance and the justification of punishment. They offer us four conditions that vengeance must meet in order to be considered justice:

  1. Communication. The penalty must communicate what the offender did wrong.
  2. Desert. The punishment must be deserved.
  3. Proportionality. The punishment must fit the crime.
  4. Authority. A legitimate authority must administer the punishment.

When these conditions are met, it is claimed, vengeance leads us to justice...

However, rappers tell us a cautionary tale -- the retributivist’s conditions aren’t met. In Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, Public Enemy’s Chuck D implies that the authority of a government that doesn’t care about some of its people can’t claim legitimacy. A legitimate government serves the interests of all its people, including minority groups. A government that fails to provide equal protection for all manages only to exercise power, not legitimate authority. In other words, might does not make right.

The most basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution and associated with our criminal justice system are the following: people should not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures (Fourth Amendment); people are innocent until proven guilty through due process of the law (Fifth Amendment); people should not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment (Eight Amendment); people should be equally protected by the law (Fourteenth Amendment). [Note: The Bush Administration shred much of our constitution. What? You didn’t get the memo?]

Many rap artists correctly point out violations of these basic constitutional rights -- police and prosecutorial misconduct, lack of access to legal counsel, unfair sentencing policies, and inhumane prison conditions. These are well documented and disproportionately affect African Americans and Latino/as.

Consider Mos Def description of racial profiling, “The po-po stop him and show no respect / ‘Is there a problem officer? / Damn straight, it’s called race.” Racial profiling is a policing strategy that is strongly correlated with excessive force and the disproportionate incarceration of minorities (Amnesty International, 2004). Problems such as these undermine not just rights in the US, but international rights as well. In addition, they call into question whether many punishments have been fairly implemented.

Grounds for doubt about punishment as retribution extend beyond racial bias in its application. How could we know whether the desert condition or the proportionality condition for justice as retribution has been justified? Consider the following articulation from a leading retributivist on fitting the punishment to the crime:

“Tailoring the fit appears to depend on the moral sensitivity or intuitions of the punishers. When is the fit right? When does a suit of clothes fit? When it feels right? Yes, but also when it looks right to the wearers and others.... Morality is an art, not a science.”

Statements such as this should give us cause for alarm. The lack of a shared basis for moral judgment in a multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious America dooms the justification of punishment. Our system of punishment costs us about 60 billion dollars per year. It destroys families and communities, and it deprives those caught in its maws their most basic liberties, sometimes for a lifetime. Biblical references to the scales of justice, “an eye for an eye,” or the art of morality are woefully inadequate as a justification for a system of punishment. My next entry will deal with punishment as social control.




“The Bing” is slang for prison and/ or solitary confinement

Unless otherwise noted, all statistic are from the Bureau of justice Statistics


Amnesty International. (2004). Threat and humiliation: Racial profiling, domestic security, and human rights in the United States. New York: Amnesty International, USA.

Foucault, M. (1995). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison (A. Sheridan, Trans. 2nd ed.). New York: Vintage Books.

Wacquant, L. (2002). From slavery to mass incarceration: Rethinking the race question in the US. New Left Review, 13(January-February ), 41-60.

The Friday Sex Blog (Deep Throat)

¡Hola! Everybody...
Today’s sex blog features a guest writer, the [in]famous Al Goldstein, who has fallen on hard times. If you can, check out his story (click here), it’s totally fascinating...

* * *

-=[ Review of Deep Throat ]=-

Al Goldstein/ from Screw, March, 1972

[Note: As I wrote last week, Pornography is a complicated phenomenon. There is the reality that pornography in the US cannot be separated from the political and legal battles for free speech and the First Amendment, and at the same time, it also and perhaps has always been a profitable businesss. Say what you want, Goldstein bucked the system and actually won a couple of battles for free speech. He also thumbed his nose at the synthetic air-brushed feminine representations of Penthouse and Playboy, bringing sex over to it’s grittier and (some might say) more realistic side Deep Throat was the first hard-core porn movie to be shown in mainstream movie theaters and to be seen by large numbers of women. It was enthusiastically reviewed by Screw magazine-at the time widely distributed on street corners in many large American cities-which gave Deep Throat its highest rating: three erect penises.]

Deep Throat is everything you could possibly imagine it to be. Tis a tale with a happy ending of a girl who, after discovering that she is a sexual freak with a clitoris in her throat instead of between her legs, sucks her way to happiness and bliss. The technical and artistic work of the film is excellent. The photography is sharp and clear, and the color is beautiful. The soundtrack is perfect, the acting well done and the fucking and sucking supreme. The storyline traces the life of a fair young damsel who can’t have an orgasm from routine balling and blowing. She tries a gangbang scene with enough hard pricks around to get 12 normal women off. When the promiscuous ploy fails, she consults a psychiatrist who makes the discovery that her clit has somehow managed to lodge itself in the deep dark recesses of her throat. He recommends that she try some sword-swallowing and gets her started on his own ample weapon. Such a display of cock consumption has never before been recorded on the porno movie screen. The heroine engulfs stiff dicks right down to the balls. They simply disappear into her mouth and seemingly penetrate into the depths of her bowels. The girl becomes a physio-therapist for the shrink's sexually maladjusted patients and fucks them and sucks them while gratifying her own special orgasmic needs. She falls in love with a patient and he with her... and the movie ends with a fantastic blowjob to spurt-spurt and a smile on her face that lets the audience know just how much she digs eating cock. The film features a couple of ass fucking sequences and three come shots, two in that wonderful mouth. There is also a scene where the heroine gets a glass test tube stuffed up her snatch. It gets filled with Coca-Cola and drunk through a siphon-straw to the tune of the Coke jingle revised to say -- I’d like to teach you all to screw in perfect harmony.”

Playing at the Mature World, 49th St. off 7th Ave. (CI 7-5747). Admission $5.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Shame of a Nation

¡Hola! Everybody...
This morning, as I was waking up, making coffee, I was overhearing an interview with former education “Czar,” William Bennett. This was the guy who wrote several books on virtue (for children, no less) and was later found to be an inveterate gambler. Now, I’m not one to judge, but if I’m going to get on a bully pulpit, I’d better have my own shit together. Imagine setting myself up as an addiction "expert" and all the while doing drugs. My question is so: why are conservatives like Bennett still considered relevant? Why is he on TV giving “expert” testimony on Obama’s presidency? Why aren’t the media asking Bennett about his own indiscretions?

I want to thank the people who were nice enough to subscribe to my blog and respond: thanks Sabi, Saynt, Dana, Rippa, Will, Kenny and Ellen!

* * *

-=[ A Savage Disgrace ]=-

Not too long ago, I attended a conference in which one of the panelists related a story that to me is more horrifying than any slasher movie. A child in kindergarten class was asked to draw a picture showing how he saw himself in the future. It’s an innocent enough exercise, one given in kindergarten classes across the nation. The child drew an elaborate diagram. In it he drew his school. From his school, he drew a tunnel that wound its way through a rather sophisticated landscape. That tunnel led to a prison.

Now, the teacher was horrified. She called in her superiors, who called the parents, and so on. When asked why he would draw such a picture, he responded in the typical honesty only children can muster. He said he drew it because it was true.

And he’s right...

After watching that blustering fool, William Bennett, CNN gave some lip service to a report on the US prison population. We incarcerate more people than any other nation in the world. We have 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prison population. There are currently 2.3 million men and women behind bars in the USA right now. Add to that the 5 million on probation and parole and you have an epidemic.

The vast majority of those in prison are young people of color. You might say that this is so because people of color are more prone to crime, but you would be wrong. The Sentencing Project has shown that all other factors controlled a black youth is five times more likely to be sentenced to prison than his white peer -- even when the crime and criminal histories are the same.

You might say that, hey, prison is fucked up, but we need to lock up criminals in order to stem the tidal wave of crime. Again, you would be wrong. There is no correlation between incarceration and crime rates. In fact, New York City’s record crime drops occurred during a decade in which the prison population was decreasing.

You might say that the collateral damage done to these individuals is justified if it keeps dangerous criminals off the street and again, you would be wrong. The majority of those currently incarcerated are non-violent, first time offenders -- often low level drug dealers who are addicted. Our criminal justice system is full overburdened, that if everyone currently fighting a case would choose to go to trail, the system would implode. As a result, plea-bargaining -- giving up the right to a fair trial in exchange for a more lenient sentence is the norm rather than the exception.

In other words, the vast majority or people in prison didn’t even have the benefit of a fair trail.

Finally, you might not give a fuck because you think this doesn’t affect you, but, again -- you would be wrong. Where do you think our government gets the money to build and maintain these prisons...?

They get if from money that would’ve other wise gone to education, health care, and community revitalization projects that, in the long run, do more to prevent crime than anything else we could think of. The money comes from your child’s school, from your community, from your pockets. In other words, we have transformed ourselves from a nation that envisioned a Great Society, to a prison nation. Our responses to addiction, poverty, lack of access to opportunities all rolled into one: incarceration.

And for what? For an expensive way to destroy a life? Here in NYC, we would rather spend over $70, 000 a year to lock up a black youth, than to spend a fraction of that to send him to a decent school.

So, considering the above, how wrong was that child? We call it the school-to-prison pipeline. In the coming days, I’m going to tie all this together and putting to rest, once and for all, the notion that we live in a post-racial anything. It’s all connected, folks...



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Personal is Political

¡Hola! Everybody...
Getting political today! This is what I would say if I were asked to give a commencement speech. As you will see, no one will be asking me any time soon.

* * *

-=[ Politics ]=-

Contrary to what you may believe, politics is not something you sometimes watch on TV in between the tons of garbage reality shows you consume weekly. Politics affects your personal life more then any dumb twat that gets the date or the chance to debase him or herself for your cynical pleasure. Therefore, if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to implement policies that harm you or those you love, take it personally.

Get Angry.

The “Machinery of Justice” will not serve you here -- it is slow and unfeeling, and it is theirs -- all of it. Only those without access to power suffer at the hand of Justice; the creatures of the power elite slide out from under with a wink and a grin. If you want Justice, or even fairness, you will have to snatch it from them.

Make it personal.

Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across. That way you stand a far better chance of being taken seriously next time -- of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous, makes the difference -- the only difference in their eyes -- between players and the “little people.” They don't give a damn about respect -- respect has no value for them. You have to make them fear and loathe you.

Players they will make their deals with. Little people they liquidate. And time and again, they will justify your liquidation, your displacement, your suffering, and the brutality of it all with the ultimate insult that it’s the way of the world, it’s politics, it’s a tough life, it’s “just business,” and that it’s nothing personal. Well, fuck that...

Make it personal.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Handshakes, Obsolescence & to Die Dreaming...

¡Hola! Everybody...
I was going to write about the lack of leadership, depth, direction and substance coming from the right these days. I mean, really: they’re making a fuss about Obama shaking Hugo Chavez’s hand?!! We’re no longer a super power! The armies of Ctico will overrun the South Bronx and civilization as we know it will know cease to exist! LOL

Perhaps the repugs forgot about this:

Or this?

Also please note that neither Saddam (who would use US-furnished mustard gas on his own people shortly after the above photo-op with Rumsfeld) and gorbachev were democratically elected, as Chavez is...

FWIW, I hope Obama reads the book, The Open Veins of Latin America, Chavez gave him; it’s one of the most powerful history books I have ever written. It’s also written by an internationally respected and award-winning journalist, Eduardo Galeano. In any case, I awoke a little late, so all I cab offer is the following...

* * *

-=[ To Die Dreaming…]=-

[As I noted earlier, I awoke late today and didn’t get a chance to write something new, but I always liked this snippet. It’s from a short story I wrote a while back... ]

… The thought of her beauty awakens me sometimes, from the middle of dreams I can’t remember. It’s not the image of her face, the softness of her skin, but just the sudden awareness of her total beauty -- that first strike before any of the details become clear -- that jolts me awake and leaves me longing on the broken shoals of my bed.

For just a moment, I’m upset she’s not here with me, but then the anger subsides into longing, and I stand and pace, haunting the darkness of my room, thinking of possibilities. Gradually, I come to the awareness that there’s no reason for anger, only choices. I ponder all this for what seems like hours and it’s the thought of her beauty that makes me lie back on my bed, weighing me down so that I plummet through the thin fabric of wake and sleep and drown in the middle of dreams I don’t remember…



Monday, April 20, 2009


¡Hola! Everybody...
People are always asking for solutions, it seems. You mention an injustice, or document an inequality, and right away, people will pounce on it, or skirt the issue by braying for a solution. Never mind that issue hasn’t been adequately defined or discussed, it’s uncomfortable, so let’s move on!


It’s a common enough trait, the tendency to be uncomfortable with ambiguity, just as it is to live with an open heart. But then we bemoan lives without intimacy, while we erect moats around our poor hearts...

I live in that neighborhood. The truth that will set you free lies within paradoxes. Today, I will explore one...

* * *

-=[ Dying to Live ]=-

“Everything you know is wrong... ”

The Disinfo Company has a book with the above title, and Ill start my rant from there. I had a professor once who hired me as an assistant. The first day at work, she instructed me to take all the files from one of her cabinets and throw them in the air. “Make sure you get them good and mixed up, Eddie,” she added.

::blank stare::

We spent the rest of the day going through the resulting mess on her office floor. I was terribly confused, thinking that perhaps my dear professor had either lost her mind or, more likely, was playing a head game with me. But as we sat there on our haunches sorting through her files -- saved articles, notes from books, newspaper clippings, jotted post-it notes and all manner of scraps -- she started making connections with ideas that weren’t previously considered congruent. Eventually, we created a mandala of sorts on her office, an intellectual map.

I didn’t know it at the time, but she was teaching me an intellectual exercise that would serve me in what she said would be my “knowledge workbench.” My professor was the daughter of a carpenter and she approached her work much like her father did: getting and learning about tools and how to apply them.

Clearing out her file cabinets in such a way was her way of clearing her head from all the “isms.” She taught me that our primary disease is our addiction to intellectual knowing at the expenses of experiential knowing. If we want to save the world, we will need to begin by undefining it. Only by giving up all our ideas, beliefs, values, morals, ethics, hopes, agendas, blah blah blah will be able to survive. The fact is all these things are static -- frozen snapshots of a reality that is in context flux. We freeze reality in order to conform to it, but maps tend to get outdated.

People ask me why I know so much, and I really don’t, but I think what people are noticing comes from my basic premise: that I don’t know anything. LOL! I remain teachable because though I am well-read and an intelligent individual, I always entertain the notion that I really don’t know jack. I start from the assertion that everything I know is wrong. Well, almost everything.... *grin*

You want peace on earth? Stop fighting reality. Stop trying to become something other than what you are right now. If you surrender your defenses, you will become more effectively you and your relationship with reality will become more intimate. More than you can ever imagine. Our survival doesn’t depend on our actions. Our survival depends on our willingness to surrender, to give up trying to control anything and everything.

Many of you know I am a “recovering addict.” Ands I am truly grateful because my addiction taught me this lesson in a profoundly life-changing way. In order for me to survive I had to die. Yes, you read that right: I am alive today because I died. Think about it: we are the ones killing us. Like me at one time, we are killing ourselves, making ourselves extinct. Like me, we must sacrifice ourselves in order to save ourselves.

Man! I love a good paradox! LOL

You might wonder if I have lost what little claim to insanity I can claim, but listen just a little longer. The form of dying I am talking about comes from creating new relationships to everything.

That’s all.

All the old relationships were based on either our conditioning or our responses to our conditioning, in which case, they very little to do with reality. We’ve been living in a fantasy world. In order for us to make this next evolutionary quantum leap, the old world, our way of relating to it and the identity connected to it must be pushed away so that we can find reality. That’s what I mean by dying.

I can already hear you saying, “But Eddie, I don’t want to die.” But that’s it right there: the you that is afraid of dying is the very same you that is disconnected from the stream of reality. It’s the false you, the tamed you, the you stripped of all of its essence. It’s the mask that you wear so that you can pretend you’re in control. It’s the persona that you adopted in order to manipulate those around you to accept you. All those isms, all those frozen thoughts -- all there to keep you stalled.

The only way to break out of the prison of your mind is to leave that tidy, managed world behind and go live. It’s not so simple or as painless as it sounds here, but the alternative -- a form of mass neurosis -- is more painful.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Sermon (Gratitude: Titi Fefa)

¡Hola! Everybody...
This is a repost. I was thinking about her once and decided to write something in her honor. For some reason, she came to me in a dream last night...

* * *

My Aunt, Titi Fefi (l), with my mother (r)

-=[ Gratitude ]=-

“Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you soar in the air? You have done no better than a fly. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody.”

- Ansari of Herat

I will forever be indebted to my elders -- my predecessors. From the men, especially my father, I owe the gift of love for knowledge. It is fashionable, in our shallow, consumer-based society, to look down upon learned people, but I will be forever grateful to my father and the men in my family for helping instill in me a thirst for knowledge. The word philosopher means lover of knowledge. It was through the masculine aspect of my upbringing that I was given my mind, the ability to construct and deconstruct logic, the skill of asking questions, the knack for intellectual discovery – these were all gifts. I am not saying these are essentially masculine traits. It’s just the way it happened...

For a long time I thought that it was through the mind that one evolved, but I was only half-right, there was something else missing. The other gift, bequeathed upon me by the women-warriors in my life, was the gift of the heart. It was through the feminine aspect of my upbringing that I learned that true liberation could not happen until the mind and heart are integrated. In some Eastern cultures, there are no separate terms for the mind and the heart -- they are perceived as one and the same. The women in my life, through the power of their example, taught me genuine unconditional love. Many people speak of unconditional love, but few truly know jack shit about it. I'm not saying that the heart is is essentially feminine. It's just the way it happened for me...

I think a part of the problem today is that social conservatives have deconstructed the concept of family. What we call “family” today is really a downsized version of what family has meant for thousands of years. The nuclear family -- the so-called basic unit consisting of Mother Father Sister Brother -- is fairly new in history. For most of our shared history, the family included aunts, uncles, “adopted” family members, and sometimes even whole communities. Within these family structures, one learned about unconditional, community responsibility and connectedness in ways that can never be possible within our downsized, hectic times.

What are social networking sites but a modern attempt to reclaim the larger, more expansive meaning of family ad community? We feel the loss of connection in our increasingly insular and often desperate lives.

I was fortunate enough to be raised in a large, extended family. We were close because we had to be -- my parents and their siblings were first generation Puerto Ricans, thrust into a hostile and unforgiving society that neither cared for nor welcomed them. So we stuck together: we lived in the same building and/ or city block and my cousins and I were raised more as sisters and brothers rather than dispensable family members. Our extended family shared resources, pooled money, served as social safety nets for one another, and the responsibility of raising the children fell on everyone.

However, there was one woman who sacrificed the most and got the least in return. My paternal aunt, Josefa, or as we all affectionately called her “Titi Fefi” paid the ultimate sacrifice: she raised everyone’s children. All the adults would work, but Titi Fefi’s job was to take care of the children, make sure they were dressed, prepare hot breakfasts and lunches, soothed our scrapes, and mediated arguments. In effect, Titi Fefi was everyone’s surrogate mother -- she was a universal mother.

She never asked for anything in return and bore her burden without complaint. Without her, not one us, no one, would have succeeded. As the children got older, she was able to find work as a washer-woman and her raw hands, the outer layer of her skin often stripped from over exposure to laundry chemicals and washing, were often the reason why “Junior” could buy books for college, or Cynthia could have those shoes she wanted, or Jaimito got a Christmas gift. We sometimes never even knew it was Titi Fefi’s doing, for her it wasn’t even giving, for her this came as natural as breathing, it was what was done, period.

Eventually, as is the case in our modern times, the family would disperse to different parts. First, it was my uncle, Jaime, who moved to a NJ house on earnings culled from years at a factory job. Then my older cousin, Junior, would finish college and move his new family and mother, Titi Sylvia, to an upstate community. Little by little, everyone left our Lower East Side enclave, leaving Titi Fefi alone. Well, actually, I lived with Titi Fefi as a young man, but most of the family moved on.

Oh, did I mention that Titi Fefi, barely a teenager herself, raised her younger brother, my father, during the height of the Depression in Puerto Rico, shortly after being orphaned?

We were always close as a family and the holidays were often celebrated at Titi Fefi’s house because her love was such a magnet for good feeling. No matter how successful the rest of the family became, the older generation always made it clear that family came first before individual success and material gain. They never forgot how important cohesion was for the family’s survival and they kept that message alive.

In time, one by one, the elders passed on, falling victim to old age and disease. As the younger generation moved farther away, the family reunions became less frequent. The children of the second generation didn’t grow up with the same values or the understanding of an extended family and soon we all deconstructed into little units, separated from one another. There were no more huge and festive family reunions, and Titi Fefi would now often spend the holidays alone (or with me, a young man at the time more interested in the hunt).

Eventually, I would leave too, traveling, despoiling maidens, pillaging, and plundering my way through life. I was exploring the farter reaches of insane living and I was usually in and out of her life, meaning Titi Fefi was mostly alone. Most of us forgot, folks -- we forgot the raw hands, the sacrifices, and the unwavering love. Titi Fefi never had children of her own, but we were all her children... somehow. Yet we forgot. Or maybe we were too busy, I don’t know. Life sometimes does that, you know. We are so busy living, we forget.

She never complained; never uttered words of regret. She did what she had to do, just like breathing, it was for her.

My lifestyle was such that Titi Fefi’s home was my main base, the place I could always come to when I needed to and her door was always open for me. I always had a key. No questions were asked when I entered through that door, only if I was hungry. Eventually, I was to enter into a stable and loving relationship, but I would always visit Titi Fefi, at least once a week. Oh, how her face would light up when I would come visit. I’m certain that even if I were a sexually motivated serial killer Titi Fefi would still love me just as much. That was who she was -- she was love incarnate, Everybody’s Mother.

By the time I became divorced, Titi Fefi was in her late 80s and suffering from various infirmities, one of them being the onset of dementia. She had lost some cognitive functioning to the point that the family was concerned with her safety. I moved in with her.

Big mistake! LOL!

For the last two years of her life, I lived with Titi Fefi and it wasn’t easy. It was almost like taking care of an unruly child. It sucked up my life and sometimes I was so resentful. Sometimes she would wake up in the middle of the night and accuse me of plotting to take over her apartment. Other times, she would become disoriented and ask me where she was. Still other times she would have long discussions with me thinking I was my deceased father (whom she raised as her own). It wasn’t easy and I was losing heart.

There were good times too: her outrage when I would ask her about her sex life, for example. She would laugh at that. And we would spend hours talking about our family history. Folks, if you have an elder among your midst, take the time to ask them about your history. I guarantee you, it’s a whole lot better than any of those fuckin’ idiotic “reality” shows. LOL!

Then one day I found her crying. And she talked, and talked, and she was doubting if her sacrifices had been worth it. No one remembered her, no one visited her, she said. And all my anger and resentment dissipated and I knew right then that if I were to have carried her on my back for the rest of her life, I still wouldn’t have repaid my debt to her. So we stayed together through thick and thin.

Eventually, I would become resentful and angry with my family for doing this to her, so I had planned to make this speech at Titi’s burial. When I explained my idea, she asked me to promise her that I would not say anything negative. She made me promise that I wouldn’t start any shit at her burial. She taught me, that day, that for some people, that’s as it good as it gets and sometimes they suffer a great price for not being a little deeper. She taught me that you give because it is as natural as breathing, not because you’re doing something. So, not knowing what to do, but knowing that there was something important here to relate, I asked her, “If there is message for the family you have, what would it be? Because, like it or not, I’m going to say something when they bury your ass.” After crossing herself and admonishing me for speaking of such things, this is what she said:

“I want this to be my message to my family that I love so much: Tell them that family is the most important thing in life, that no matter what you become or what you do, it means nothing if you don’t have family. Tell them that.”

This was her message and I give this message to you today because, while it might not be deep, or earth shattering, and you might not even get it, it is the most important message you will ever hear and you will never understand it fully until you become that message.

Her last words to me were to leave her alone because she was tired and she didn’t want to answer my teasing questions (“Titi! Do you use condoms?!! Are you practicing safe sex?!!”). I sensed her tiredness and when she rolled over to go to sleep, I kissed her cheek goodnight.

She smiled…

She passed away during the night and the next morning, when I went to wake her up, she still had that same look on her face.

This is for all of us who have known, and will know, the pain of loss, and for those of us who have disconnected from our hearts. There are some today who may not have anyone, or whose family is far away or gone. There are many of us confused about this world gone slightly mad and deep inside perhaps we despair, uneasy smiles on our faces.

My aunt’s power of example was that the only sane response to such despair and uncertainty was to love -- to reach out and become engaged, enriching the lives of those around us in the process.

May you all find it in your hearts to give gratitude and cherish the gifts we are all given.

Though you may not know it, you are loved. You are loved for being who you are, right now this moment, and you will always be loved in that way.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

They Were Always on the Outside...

¡Hola! Everybody...
It’s in the 70s here in The Center of the Known Universe, and there’s a free salsa concert in the Bronx, plus all the street fairs in all the boroughs. Everybody will be outside today, enjoying the weather, shopping, listening to poetry or music, looking at art...

Fuck suburbia! LOL

I usually set Saturday’s blog aside for the aesthetic sense...

* * *

Yesterdays [no. 1]

They were always on the outside
not because there was no door
but because it was where they
long ago chose to live.

I couldn't bring my world
to them, however I tried.

I could only extend the
invitation of an open hand.

Please replace me...
if you dare

Reach out for them...
if you care.

Listen to the silent screams
of these sad-eyed ladies

Share their finely tuned sorrows
when they join their pallid thin hands
with yours and guide you on their
journey to despair.

-- Edward-Yemíl Rosario


[un]Common Sense