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Thursday, July 29, 2010

On People's Choices on the Blogosphere

When we undertake to write blogs we automatically assume that we are going to be followed by the world, the blog world.

Not so, untold variables come into the mix when people decide whether to follow, or not, this blog for instance.

There are as many different people out there as there are stars, as there are galaxies. In that case, we thank Heavens for diversity. Therein lies the rub. For peope tend to follow sites that resonate with their present state of mind. Present? Yes, people change.

In that blog-bag, we have people that come from extremely repressive countries and they cannot simply write a blog freely as we do with so much freedom of speech. We can basically say anything we want if we follow rules of good sense, naturally. We will not slander or be accused of libel for we know there are consequences. Lawyers will suck us dry so we bite the bullet.

Other blogs, we have come to learn, are ephebophilic, or put simply, geared towards the admiration (or love) of young men and those are extremely popular. We hazard a guess: some of us live in repressive socio-political systems and we tend to vent by devoting our attention to phallocentric matters. Are we to blame? Surely, from the classical Greek philosophers and literature onwards.

Have you read Homer's  The Iliad or Virgil's  The Aeneid?  A veritable who’s who of the perfect male. A queen, Dido, stabs self and then throws self into the flames and out existence all for the love of an übermensch - Aeneas. The flesh is weak. Speaking  of queens...

Others, we are sure you will agree, are just plain pornographic. Devoted to the sex act pure and simply. So banal. Again, people have different motives. We are not here to cast judgement. You always have the option of following one such blog anonymously.

And yet others, we will notice, are people writing of their emotional aches and pains and their not so glowing existence. Join the club. We were not handed a guarantee that this was going to be a bowl of cherries when we came into this world. Some take it majestically, and others fare poorly. That is where their “rambling” and “ranting” come from.

In another extreme, we have those blogs devoted to fundamentalist Christianity (and others!) and anything short of Christlike (or other!) is unacceptable. They fail, however, to notice that Christ Himself (us in the West) never said a word against what most of us take for granted. Again, if it rocks their boat, who are we to judge?

Others are so sweet in nature we feel emotional about. Those with wildlife photos. Those with plants and trees. There is beauty everywhere and some, armed with their cameras, take full advantage of it.

If you are wondering why the blogosphere is passing you by, try and think of the above and see in which group you fit in. That way, you won’t be left scratching your head and wondering at other people’s motives for choosing you – or not - or that blog you find unswallowable.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This is my First Anniversary on Blogspot

So this is my first year. July 25 . I've got to congratulate myself and be thankful for this singular accomplishment.

During this year, I got to be part of a select group in the Blogosphere. That is reason enough to celebrate.

I have learnt quite a lot by reading and being virtually close to all these outstanding people who take chunks of their time to post their music, their pictures, their texts, their minds.

For the future, I must remember to keep my posts short and concise for I know people don't have that much time on their hands (some do! Lucky bastards...) to surf the web. Some juggle their jobs, academic life and their blogs

I must try and keep strong and vital in order to keep writing my blogly bildungsroman and strive to preserve my daily freshness.

I am so proud of my tiny little self. How vast is this Uni(multi)verse!

Monday, July 19, 2010

On Glitzy Red Flags and AIDS Conferences

The XVIII International AIDS Conference opened in Vienna with its 25,000 attendees and its peculiar combination of glitz, tragic desperation, and reasonable hopes.

Chris Norwood at the Huffington Post

Have you watched the *video above to the end? No? See it and, if necessary, use search engines available out there and probe further, then read below.

We cringe at the unfathomable repercussion of the facts laid bare on the video above. The whole HIV science is so entrenched in our imaginary that anything resembling dissidence will cause disbelief if not outright shock.

To deny what we have been reading over the last twenty-five years and also to deny deaths of friends and acquaintances because of the so-called HIV label is near to impossible. However, what the chief AIDS exponent and recipient of a Nobel Prize, Luc Montagnier, had to say about HIV is groundbreaking. And dogma-shattering.

If what the **dissidence says about the whole AIDS Construct is true, please stop this Earth-ship, I want to get off to never be born on this hellhole, yes, worse than hell, again. At least in hell you know what to expect.

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Glitz, tragic desperation and reasonable hopes. Indeed!

*Some people will be able to see beyond the video...

**Go here for further articles on dissidence. And here for RT (Russia Television) for more. Watch all the videos...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Gay Marriage in the Pampas.

Argentina is the first country in Latin America to give a green light to same-sex marriage nationwide. Same-sex couples will have the same rights as heterosexuals in terms of adoptions, social security and family time. It follows the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and Iceland.- AFP

Congratulations Argentina.

Thanks to progressive forces at work, Argentina is now the first Latin American country to allow same-sex couples to get married after a landmark senate vote.

We can now say that there are going to be gay families and heterosexual families.

For the time being this inclusiveness is relegated to a few islands of progress in the world, chiefly in Europe and in the south of the Equator. No, not fair. In a few states out of the continental fifty something in the U.S. of A., that is also possible.

It is a pity, really, that in the most advanced of democracies (apparently!), the one north of the Rio Grande, things are limping along. How to get rid of those crutches? Glenn Greenwald puts it adequately here

Ah, we are not to forget that in this one, continentally big, where Order and Progress is the motto, things are just as slow. That, we have learnt, is because religious fundamentalist energies have, so to speak, hijacked our beloved and very own airwaves with their mixture of fire and brimstone plus whatever-their-ideologies-say will happen to those who do not conform.

Conformity? That is the subject, or the object, of another post.

Enbuenahora, hermanos.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Open Letter to the Advertising Industry

Dear Advertisers,

I cherish the thought you are there and your raison d'être. You contribute to the creation of jobs and, quite frankly, you are a positive force in the world.

How else are people to know of the latest developments in technology and its ever increasing desire to surpass itself in virtually all fields in modern society? Chiefly because of you, we all know.

Upon learning that social networking sites do usually grant access to your prying eyes, I have decided to come clean and bare my chest, so to speak, to let you know that no amount of canvassing my personal information on sites, including this one I am currently using, will be of any benefit to you.

I hereby declare that, at the moment, I am barely eking out a living and find myself scratching and scrimping in order to make my frayed ends meet.

It is not that I do not want to go on shopping sprees and book an elegant room next to a swanky mall, I do too, but because my present circumstances do not allow me to even think about splurging my meagre income.

I sincerely hope I can turn this situation around and make myself readily available to your enticings if that is to bring jobs and make this world a better place. You most obviously know due to your proximity to Wall Street, that it is no fair weather out there.

I take the opportunity, most reasonably under the circumstances, to make myself receptive to any donations you might deem useful for this humble writer from the Third World, and that I am seriously considering opening my hallowed pages to your services. For a fee, logically.

Shall I strive to open that PayPal account? Do let me know.


Yours Truly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Like You, Like You Very Very Very Much

Just for today let us regale our souls with Lily Allen's wise words. It's Pride Month and we feel we gotta get out and let off some steam as was the example with Manchester in the United Kingdom last year with this iconic Diva's song.

It is perfectly okay by me for you to sing along with the video. It simply rolls off your tongue and does yourself a whole world of good.

You want the lyrics? Here they are:

Look inside, look inside your tiny mind
and look a bit harder
cause we’re so uninspired
so sick and tired
of all the hatred you harbor

so you say it’s not okay to be gay
well I think you’re just evil
you’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces
you’re point of view is medieval

Fuck you, fuck you very very much
cause we hate what you do
and we hate your whole crew
so please don’t stay in touch

fuck you, fuck you very very much
cause your words don’t translate
and it’s getting quite late
so please don’t stay in touch

do you get, do you get a little kick out of being small-minded?
you want to be like your father
it’s approval you’re after
well that’s not how you’ll find it

do you, do you really enjoy living a life that’s so hateful
cause there’s a hole where your soul should be
you’re losing control of it
and it’s really distasteful

Fuck you, fuck you very very much
cause we hate what you do
and we hate your whole crew
so please don’t stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you very very much
cause your words don’t translate
and it’s getting quite late
so please don’t stay in touch

Look inside, look inside your tiny mind
and look a bit harder
cause we’re so uninspired
so sick and tired
of all the hatred you harbor

Fuck you, fuck you very very much
cause we hate what you do
and we hate your whole crew
so please don’t stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you very very much
cause your words don’t translate
and it’s getting quite late

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On Capital Punishment and Unanswerable Questions

Can you imagine being lashed 99 (!) times and face death by stoning for adultery? We do know some people for various philosophical beliefs take their marriage vows very seriously. We accept that. It is a question of personal choice.

If I decide to study ancient texts and derive good from them and apply them to my life, who is going to stop me?

Good? What is "goodness"? Who is to say that my truth is your truth? Or what I have chosen for myself is what you have to choose for yourself?

Perhaps we should ask them to stop the world so that we can get off. Is that a kosher thing to do? Getting away from things that causes untold discomfort and suffering? How long till we get to a world of tolerance and we no longer judge people based on what they do with their lower abdomens but for the goodness of their hearts?

Now, do you not agree that this is vastly disproportionate to the alleged "crime"? We are so vile, we are so disgusting as a species, we are so deplorable, we are unfathomably ignorant of the Real Goodness that permeates the Universe.

Why do we not remove the scales from our eyes?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On Asset Divisions and Tales of Woe

What a beautiful peace of writing I have come across. This has to be shared. I've read this in a letter a friend of a friend of a friend was sending to her ex-husband who had left her in absolute penury. I've been given permission to translate and publish it. I have redacted it just a little bit from the original non-standard Portuguese. Also, the objective first person singular, to a more poetic first person plural, was changed


Objectively, we have learnt that calculations for the division of assets are to be initited soon. They want to be ready when a positive response issues from the higher courts.

It is a bit sordid, however. A necessary evil, we know.

Subjectively, pending on either a positive or negative response and, should our side be on the losing side, there is room for us to admit we will vacate our current abode immediately, carrying with us our books and items of clothing. The remainder to be donated. We are completely at peace.

Factually, we have every intention of starting over, afresh, anew, in warmer climes. With a new "family" perhaps? With others who love us for what we really ARE and are genuinely interested in our love and affection, rare commodities nowadays. And with whatever little we have got... Lucky bastards that we are.

Meanwhile, we continue with our prayers to the Powers above and ask for the Divine Lights to fall on all Humankind, on yourselves, inclusive. We also pray to be guided in Light and to never fall into such ill-starred (misad/ad)ventures, ever again.

We have come to the realization that BEING is, under the circumstances, vastly more important than HAVING. One's self-esteem is priceless. What horrible examples we have been introduced to in our lives. Hopefully our Karma has been paid off. (So mote it be!)

It is much longer than this, and I left out parts where she acknowledged instances of his goodness and bits of memories she had of times she had spent with him somewhere or other, or things she had been given, and other examples of harm she'd been subjected to...A tale of woe.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

On Reference Centers for Gay Rights in Rio

Mix Brasil

The city of Rio de Janeiro has just won a mega center that will serve the LGBT population in several areas for legal, psychological, and safety matters.

The Reference Center against Homophobia, Religious Intolerance and Discrimination Against Patients with HIV was inaugurated this last Thursday - July 1st, in an entire floor of Central do Brazil, in downtown Rio.

"It's a milestone. It is a concrete response by the state in view of the violence against people belonging to this segment of society" said Claudio Nascimento, superintendent of Individual and Collective Rights in the State Government, at the inauguration. "It is the first state in Brazil to have a space that focuses attention on these matters, and we will make concrete actions in support of these groups, who have won a framework for the protection and promotion of their causes," added Claudio.

Besides Claudio, the Minister of Environment Carlos Minc and the mother of young Alexander Ivo, 14, murdered by homophobes in São Gonçalo, also attended. "Rio is composed of a wonderful cultural, sexual and religious biodiversity, said Carlos Minc. "Cases like Alexander Ivo should be symbolic and that impunity is a tragedy," he added.
Campaigning is working. Is the flag beginning to heal?

Art: Fabiano Spadari

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gotcha! On Spies and Modern Intel Gathering

Spies Like Us: The Russian Suspects' Unremarkable Lives


Although the sultry, red-headed suspect, Anna Chapman, has become the face and figure of the scandal, most everything about the suspects seemed quotidian — even boring.

Well, thank goodness it was quotidian and boring. And the sultry red-headed is no Mata Hari. Or is she?

Can you imagine if these spies were somewhat other that your every day Jane and Joe Doe? With a terrifying agenda, like blowing people to smithereens and turning the establishment upside down? Luckily times have changed and now you can be a spy and very nearly morph into the local culture without being noticed. What about the accents? Well, they must have undergone years of elocution classes.

That is, up until you are caught and then dragged into court in shackles and made to divulge your real name and ideology.

As we all know, the current arrests and media glare will not put and end to the business of spying and Espionage (lovely word!) will continue to effervesce in our dialectical cultures.

This time, obviously, on this side of the pond, the operatives have been caught and exposed for all to see, if you care. However, we know it is a two-way road.

So what is the fuss? The fuss is just that thing, nostalgic even, when female james-bondean creatures wreaked havoc in international relations and brought charm and a little bit of sexiness to the whole affair.

Time is right...It is all so mundane. I'm disappointed.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On My Humble Origins and Feelings of Gratitude

Since this is my anniversary month here on Blogspot,I have decided to write encomiums to myself, something akin to Whitman, or all those who have exceptionally high levels of self-esteem.

We all hail from somewhere.

I did. I was born and raised in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul in a small, “provincial” town to the north of the state, ironically called "small field" in Tupy-Guarany, the indigenous language prevalent in our neck of the woods way back before they came...

I am them. I embody the many genetic traits that make up this people.

I remember when I had to hoe endless rows of soybean plantations when I was a kid, Summer and Winter.

Later, I learned a great deal when forced to live out my Karma in that unforgettable urban agglomeration where I went to school and had a job.

I used to live and work with wonderful people I find hard to forget (they are in my heart). As is the norm, people who are “different” have no place in the conventional set-up and find themselves misunderstood. I experienced that to the hilt. What a rough row to hoe!

However, people I had the privilege of interacting with professionally and in friendship could only have hailed from another planet. Many raised their voices to put in a good word for me. I miss them.

To how many have I taught the rudiments of English?

I don’t miss the others. To them I say: My karma has been paid off.

William Thomas Blackburn, Boy with a Hoe, oil on canvas, ca. 1940s