Monthly Archives: November 2007

Carlos Gardel

The country of Argentina has never been my very favorite, but it has my favorite vocabulary and syntax. Observe and if you wish, repeat. Consider words such as “muchachada” and phrases such as “mi cuerpo enfermo,” “el bacán que te acamala,” and many others.

MANO A MANO
(Gardel / Razzano / Flores)

Rechiflao en mi tristeza
te evoco y veo que has sido
en mi pobre vida paria
sólo una buena mujer;
tu presencia de bacana
puso calor en mi nido,
fuiste buena, consecuente,
y yo sé que me has querido
como no quisiste a nadie,
como no podrás querer.

Se dio el juego de remanye
cuando vos, pobre percanta,
gambeteabas la pobreza
en la casa de pensión;
hoy sos toda una bacana,
la vida te ríe y canta,
los morlacos del lotario
los tirás a la marchanta
como juega el gato maula
con el mísero ratón.

Hoy tenés el mate lleno
de infelices ilusiones;
te engrupieron los lotarios,
las amigas, el gavión.
La milonga entre magnates
con sus locas tentaciones,
donde triunfan y claudican
milongueras pretensiones,
se te ha entrado muy adentro
en el pobre corazón.

Nada debo agradecerte,
mano a mano hemos quedado;
no me importa lo que has hecho,
lo que hacés y lo que harás.
Los favores recibidos
creo habértelos pagado,
y si una deuda chica
sin querer se me ha olvidado
en la cuenta del lotario
que tenés, se la cargás.

Mientras tanto que tus triunfos,
pobres triunfos pasajeros,
sean una larga fila
de riquezas y placer,
que el bacán que te acamala
tenga pesos duraderos,
que te abrace en las paradas
con cafichos milongueros,
y que digan los muchachos
“¡es una buena mujer!”

Y mañana, cuando seas
descolado un mueble viejo,
y no tengas esperanza
en el pobre corazón,
si precisás una ayuda,
si te hace falta un consejo,
acordate de este amigo,
que ha de jugarse el pellejo
pa’ ayudarte en lo que pueda
cuando llegue la ocasión.

ADIOS MUCHACHOS

Adiós muchachos, compañeros de mi vida,
barra querida de aquellos tiempos.
Me toca a mi hoy emprender la retirada
debo alejarme de mi buena muchachada.

Adiós, muchachos, ya me voy y me resigno,
contra el destino nadie la calla.
Se terminaron para mí todas las farras.
Mi cuerpo enfermo no resiste más.

Acuden a mi mente recuerdos de otros tiempos,
de los buenos momentos que antaño disfruté,
cerquita de mi madre, santa viejita,
y de mi noviecita, que tanto idolatré.

Se acuerdan que era hermosa, más linda que una diosa,
y que brioso de amor, le di mi corazón.
Mas el Señor, celoso de sus encantos,
hundiéndome en el llanto se la llevó.

Es Dios el juez supremo, no hay quien se le resista,
Ya estoy acostumbrado, su ley a respetar,
pues mi vida deshizo con sus mandatos
llevándome a mi madre y a mi novia también.

Dos lágrimas sinceras derramo en mi partida
por la barra querida que nunca me olvidó,
y al dar a mis amigos mi adiós postrero
les doy con toda mi alma, mi bendición.

I would like to throw away all textbooks and teach the subjunctive with expressions of time and the future tense with Gardel’s EL DIA QUE ME QUIERAS.

Axé.

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Alberto Fujimori

There is a good website for the trial of ex-President Alberto Fujimori, for very serious human rights violations in Peru. The trial begins 10 December 2007 in Lima.

This video has a slightly anti-Asian frame (Fujimori fled to Japan and claimed Japanese citizenship at one point, and he is known in Peru as “El chino”) but it also has footage of tanks rolling in, placards about the disappeared, and people searching for remains. The “self-coup” of 1992 dissolved Congress and reorganized the judiciary, so that all power resided with the executive branch – which then ruled by decree.

We are pretty well set up to have the same thing happen here, so this is a double preview: of what could happen, and then of the human rights trial which in this case is actually taking place and which is doing so only 15 years later, most fortunately.

II

I am of course fascinated with strange rules, incarceration, propaganda, brainwashing and fascist shifts for personal reasons having to do with Reeducation. I have boiled Reeducation’s message down yet further, to one simple sentence: it is wrong to be who you are! This is the internalized sentence which breaks my concentration and keeps me stir crazy much of the time.

So in three simple phrases, anti- and de-Reeducation involves taking and holding: autonomy, pleasure, and being who one is. These things are most elementary and would have gone without saying before Reeducation. Since, however, they have not seemed so simple. Reeducation is also on trial for human rights violations. I preside, and I am going to exile it.

Axé.

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El Indio Gitano

Flamenco is, I think, my Official Favorite Music, and I am enthralled with the Indio Gitano, also known as El Moro. With Manuela Carrasco, Soleá and Bulerías. If I could find good Flamenco dance lessons, I would take them. Perhaps I can study Flamenco guitar.

Part I
Part II

Axé.

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On Perception and Reality

Tower of Babel – Western Epistemology, by Jennifer Cascadia. A snippet:

“Rational thinking has become a lost art, and catering to one another’s ‘perceptions’ by treating all perceptions (no matter how outlandish) as if they were already valid components of reality itself has become more common. In other words, social interactions have become politicised. . . .”

Axé.

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Andean “Free” Trade

Via Truthout:

Today a huge mining corporation, Grupo México, has provoked a strike by demanding that miners work 12 hours a day instead of eight in Peru’s largest copper mine. The Peruvian government supports the company, because it believes longer hours and lower wages will attract more foreign investment. Since NAFTA passed, the same company has forced strikes and cut thousands of jobs at its Mexican mines to cut labor costs, and the government there has also cooperated.

Tell your U.S. Senators to vote the free trade agreement with Peru down!

Axé.

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Heces de César Vallejo

Esta tarde llueve, como nunca; y no
tengo ganas de vivir, corazón.

Esta tarde es dulce. Por qué no ha de ser?
Viste gracia y pena; viste de mujer.

Esta tarde en Lima llueve. Y yo recuerdo
las cavernas crueles de mi ingratitud;
mi bloque de hielo sobre su amapola,
más fuerte que su “No seas así!”

Mis violentas flores negras; y la bárbara
y enorme pedrada; y el trecho glacial.
Y pondrá el silencio de su dignidad
con óleos quemantes el punto final.

Por eso esta tarde, como nunca, voy
con este búho, con este corazón.

Y otras pasan; y viéndome tan triste,
toman un poquito de ti
en la abrupta arruga de mi hondo dolor.

Esta tarde llueve, llueve mucho. ¡Y no
tengo ganas de vivir, corazón!

Listen to this poem sung I think as a marinera. “Heces” has been translated as “Dregs” but I understand heces as a synonym of excrementos.

My own heces are the dregs of Reeducation and I keep having to boil them down. Most fundamentally, Reeducation required the renunciation of pleasure and autonomy, which it called denial and control. Under those titles I tried to give them up. But they were pleasure and autonomy, which are not faults.

And La Palabra Virtual has many recordings of poems being read and sung. Here is a list of the poems in it by Vallejo alone, with little loudspeakers to indicate the sound.

Axé.

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On Entergy

Read this by Greg Palast. It appears that Hillary Clinton‘s old law partner did time for refusing to testify against her . . . and was paid $500K for it by the Little Rock company Entergy and its partners, the Riady family of Indonesia. There is much more to it and it all has to do with Pakistan, which owed great sums of money to the exploitative Entergy. Palast:

And Entergy got its money. On December 22, 1998, Pakistan’s military, at the direction of General Pervez Musharraf, sent thirty thousand troops into the nation’s power stations. At the time, Entergy’s partners told me, “A lot changed since the army moved in. Now we have a situation where we can be paid. They’ve found a way to collect from the man in the street.” Yes: at gunpoint, according to Abdul Latif Nizamani, a labor union leader who spoke with me after Musharraf’s gang had arrested him.

With Pakistan’s army in control of the nation’s infrastructure, and acting as guarantor of payment to the US and UK power giants, General Musharraf’s final takeover of the entire government nine months later – a “surprise” coup to the Western press – was, a forgone conclusion. And the Clintons, complicit, like Bush today, could say little.

Musharraf took over Pakistan via military coup in 1999 and appointed himself President in June, 2001. In late 2001 he was moved to sever ties with the Taliban and become our ally in the War on Terror. George W. Bush ended the sanctions which had been instituted against Pakistan after its 1998 nuclear weapons test and rescheduled its debt.

*

Speaking of Hillary: here is some very useful information on her proposed Latin America policies. And I oppose Hillary and Obama because they both are such extreme Whitemen. I will vote for Kucinich if he is still in the race by the time we have our primary but in second choices I am now looking at Edwards. I am not at all convinced.

Axé.

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Music of Friedrich Nietzche

Now it is the weekend, so we must sing. Did you know that Nietzche wrote music? I remember hearing this through a glass. Now we can listen to some of his compositions with John Bell Young, Constance Keene and Thomas Coote on piano. Singing is John Aler, tenor. Nicholas Eanet is on violin.

Nietzsche: Einleitung (Introduction)
Nietzsche: Unendlich (Infinity) Transcribed by John Bell Young from the original song. John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: Hymn to Friendship – Prologue, Festival of Friends at the Temple of Friendship
Nietzsche: Prayer to Life (Gebet an das Leben) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano.
Nietzsche: A Brook Goes By (Da Geht ein Bach) Transcribed by John Bell Young from the original song. John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: Echoes of New Year’s Eve (Nachklang einer Sylvesternacht), with Processional Song, Peasant Dance and The Pealing of Bells. For Piano four hands. John Bell Young and Constance Keene
Nietzsche: New Year’s Eve (Eine Sylvesternacht). Nicholas Eanet, violin; John Bell Young, piano

Nietzsche: Manfred Meditation (after Byron) Piano four-hands. John Bell Young and Thomas Coote
Nietzsche: Serenade (Standchen) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: From Days of Youth (Aus der Jugendzeit) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: My Place by the Door (Mein Platz vor der Tur) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: The Young Fisherwoman (Junge Fischerin) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: Invocation (Beschworung) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: Glad and Gladder (Gern und Gerner) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano
Nietzsche: Just as Grapevines Sway (Wie sich Rebenranken schwingen) John Aler, tenor; John Bell Young, piano

I found these compositions on the Nietzche Channel and they remind me of a certain musical style in Regin Dahl.

Axé.

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El laberinto del yo

This is for everyone, but especially for anyone who has been told by persons untrained in literature and unaware of the labyrinth which is autobiography, that it is “dishonest” to have a writing persona which does not correspond to a “true” self.

“To the Strand, to my bookseller’s, and there bought an idle, rogueish French book, L’escholle des Filles, which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, nor among them, to disgrace them, if it should be found.” Even in our day, when responsibility is so much more clearly apprehended, the man who wrote the letter would be notable; but what about the man, I do not say who bought a roguish book, but who was ashamed of doing so, yet did it, and recorded both the doing and the shame in the pages of his daily journal?

We all, whether we write or speak, must somewhat drape ourselves when we address our fellows; at a given moment we apprehend our character and acts by some particular side; we are merry with one, grave with another, as befits the nature and demands of the relation. Pepys’ letter to Evelyn would have little in common with that other one to Mrs. Knipp which he signed by the pseudonym of Dapper Dicky; yet each would be suitable to the character of his correspondent. There is no untruth in this, for man, being a Protean animal, swiftly shares and changes with his company and surroundings; and these changes are the better part of his education in the world. To strike a posture once for all, and to march through life like a drum-major, is to be highly disagreeable to others and a fool for oneself into the bargain. To Evelyn and to Knipp we understand the double facing; but to whom was he posing in the Diary, and what, in the name of astonishment, was the nature of the pose? . . .

That was R. L. Stevenson on Samuel Pepys. And Pepys, the diarist, is of course blogging. And on the “true self,” Borges said in an essay from the early 1920s: “no hay tal yo de conjunto.”

Axé.

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Blogging from the Other Side

There are famous living writers who blog, including but hardly limited to Carmen Boullosa, Laila Lalami, and Cristina Rivera Garza. James Baldwin, who is not living, maintains a page on MySpace. But did you know that pre-20th century figures such as Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and Samuel Pepys were also blogging? Do you know of any others?

Axé.

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