I liked Gabriel Garcia Marquez even more as a person, communist, someone who used his voice to speak on behalf of Latin America culturally and Politically than as a writer. I mean really wanted to like actually love Marquez based on his writing alone, but at most I have liked his books partially but not that much… the titles of his most known books ‘One hundread years of solitude’ & ‘Love in the time of cholera’ excited me, spoke to me, made me feel like I was bound to fall in love with his work… I was full of enough anticipation that I would not read him in translation I waited till I could get his Books in spanish where I could read his words directly without translation inbetween, his words as he wrote them not how someone translated them. First I thought I’d start with ‘One hundred years of solitude’ which sounded like something I’d really get.. I won’t try to critique it I don’t care to and countless people the world over love it with a passion I’ll just say it was long and it felt much longer, I never cared dor any of the characters and for a book with a lot of Historical themes it didn’t speak to me politically any more than the characters did as individuals but I’m not Colombian maybe I would have appreciated more If I was I don’t know, I could not wait to get through it and not in a good way.. It was a dissapointment not to have liked it but you rarely like everything even a favorite Author writes so I thought maybe I just picked a bad one for me to start with, so two years later I read ‘love in the time of cholera’ it started out good enough for me Romantic, promising characters but the longer it went the more I hated those characters as they became proggresivly devoid of any redeeming qualities (In my opinion obviously) not that literary characters have to have any redeeming qualities if they’re at least not boring so with finishing those two books I know how much you can be moved by a books title to fvered anticipation only to be let down that you didn’t fall in love, but ussually when that happens I don’t also already have such a strong feeling, respect for the Author as a person that is what made this case with Marquez so different. Gabriel Garcia Marquez wasn’t only a beloved Author before that he was a journalist and not the corporate PR type but one of integrity In colombia, Mexico and Venezuela as he would always remain he was a critic of the Right wing regimes of Latin America the Military Dictatorships, and the US role backing them and a supporter of popular Revolutionary movements of Latin America, this was all enough to get himself exiled from Colombia for years, whose Right wing government considered him sympathetic to Leftist Guerrilas and no doubt because as a journalist he had worked Prensa Latina a Cuban news agency founded after the Revolution and that’s when his famous friendship whith Fidel castro began after he arrived in Havana to cover the victorious Revolution and ended up working for prensa latina for years, years before he was a world famous Novelist and Nobel Laurete. After becoming Rich and famous he could have become just another celebrity actually one of the biggest being celebrated by the media, toasted by politicians, never saying anything that might upsset the traditional Ruling oligharchies of Latin america or the US Empire but that was not Gabo who once receiving a the monetary prize with a literary award in Venezuela donated ithe money to MAS(movement towards socialism) leftist group in that country, he used his fame to be a voice for the people’s and potential of Latin America a critic of US Imperialism that plagued latin americas history he got himself barred from getting a visa visiting the US by Bureaucratic red tape during the Regan Administration as a punishment. it would have been easy for him a nebel laurete to disown his past as a Socialist, a Dissident a friend of Fidel castro and be a Rich, uncontroversial Courtasean writer of the various oligharchies and dictatorships that ruled so much of Latin America particularly during the Cold War not to mention how differently he would have been treated in the states… But he kept his integrety, his friendship with Fidel and his voice that he never stopped using to speak for his people who were not only colombian by any means. Everything from US media about Garcia Marquez after his death will either ignore his politics or have an obligatory condemnation of him for his Association with Fidel, they have to condemn his politics first before they’re allowed to praise his writing And the right wing press in Latin America is the same it’s almost Ritualistic to read every article that condems him as a communist before they let themselves praise him as a writer. I guess I’ve kind of done it the other way around here… Maybe I’ll read more of his books and become as much a fan of the writer as I am of the man I would like that. Rip Gabo
Finally seeing more folks that can see deeper than “protests vs police’ when looking at a situation in a country and not end up cheering for neo- fascists, It had been more disappointing earlier on social media/activist blogging world with what’s happening in Kiev. not so much on WordPress but on twitter there was an embarrassing number of Activist and otherwise politically conscious people who sure seemed to be geeking out over those fascists fighting the police in Kiev like they wish they did here, not knowing exactly who they found themselves cheering, the fact that these are pro-EU protest should tell you a lot in the first place but also we’ve seen these ‘color revolutions’ throughout eastern Europe before within the last decade even in Ukraine itself with the previous ”orange revolution’ western backed protest usually using some color as their symbolic rallying cry as they lacked anything more meaningful,with the common outcome being to install some pro EU,NATO hack as president. But many seem to just see ‘protest’ and assume they’re the good guys, politics go way deeper than that if you can’t see deeper than that really your analysis, Ideological understanding is quite superficial and susceptible to manipulation by more sophisticated propaganda from those forces you might otherwise recognize as the enemy as we have seen I believe recently over and over with the support among many western activist and intellectuals usually suspicious of Washington/ NATO power for ”revolutions’ ”rebels’ as they saw it in Libya and then Syria like with Kiev they could not see beyond ‘protesters vs police’ or ”rebels’ vs the government/army’ they were so fixated on that imagery they didn’t even notice who exactly the ”rebels’ were and Washington/NATO behind them.despite the amount of evidence to disprove the wishful thinking they had about these ‘revolutions’ such examples of western backed/orchestrated ”revolutions’ in the third world in particular are far too many in History from Iran in 1953 to the ‘contras’ in 1980′s Nicaragua and unfortunately countless more, might have these western activist fallen for those as well? this kind of foolishness can be both a symptom of intellectual laziness and of a disdain among some for a more Ideologically founded understanding of politics domestic and international some of these people might have felt that Occupy and the tea party had a common cause because they were both ”protesters”? but ‘protesting’ is just a tactic not politics itself if you know better. And finally there is always the attack from western governments/Media and the western activist supporters that if you are not for the ‘rebels’ in Syria or ‘protesters in Kiev you must be for the regime and it’s own tactics, it’s own backers Russia or china you must be pro Putin or Assad, Qaddafi that is a cheap attack and by it’s own reasoning opens up every country with a regime that might merit some criticism to a Washington/NATO intervention? both militarily or more clandestine? the west always attempts to expand it’s interest under the banner of ‘freedom’ ‘democracy’ and crocodile tears about Dictators who need to be removed & right wing, fascist, reactionaries can ”protest’ and/or fight the police in the street too, I thought that history made that clear… I hope less of the Western Left keeps falling for it
‘And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony but we must speak We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision but we must speak And we must rejoice ..’ ”and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. ” -MLK..jr. just a small example of the words of Martin Luther King jr that won’t be repeated over and over on tv and by politicians on Mlk Day, they’ll just repeat the ‘I have a dream/ speech all day as they turn him into a toothless co-opted character, that’s one way Ruling Ideology handles it’s enemies even after death, for their real example is dangerous to it, this is something I’ve written on before in a post but today is always a striking example of it, the propaganda/Ideological machine at work…
first the system fights you in life for attempting to change it gives concessions only when it can no longer resist popular pressure then even after death it can bury who you really were and claim you and your work for itself.say by giving you a national holiday even maybe a postage stamp… let us remember that when mlk jr was assassinated he was still fighting on different causes with striking workers, against the Vietnam war and leading a new ‘Poor peoples campaign’ that actually demanded a ‘economic bill of rights’ from congress knowing that injustice in this country went deeper than Racial segregation but was class/economic to the core and was everyone’s struggle regardless of color that he was a fighter for justice and was as such treated as an enemy by the state which used it’s intelligence and police forces against him … his work did not end with the civil rights act and he had a lot more to say other than ‘I have a dream..’
so much I could quote from this like ”generally speaking your free until your about 4 years old…. then you become..watchers of game shows”, ’ I didn’t like 8 hour job I didn’t even like the 4 hour job even though I couldn’t get one’, ‘our education system tells us that we can all be big ass winners, it hasn’t told us about the gutters or the suicides’ ‘people are not good to each other, people are not good to each other…’ so much life From my favorite
Charles Bukowski on Individuality
January 1st 2014 was the 55th anniversary of the victory of the Cuban Revolution & the 20th anniversary of the Zapatista Revolt in Chiapas,Mexico. Two Revolutionary Movements with many circumstantial differences, not only the fact that the Cubans led By Fidel Castro Won and have governed Cuba since while the EZLN movement stayed localized within indiginous communities in Chapas not the whole of Mexico eventually largely giving up armed struggle and building Autonomous self government within their communities of influence, Fidel led his guerrillas against a Military Dictatorship the EZLN led by Subcommandante Marcos rose up within what passes for a ‘democracy’ in the world, in historical period, the Cuban revolution at the height of the Cold War which only still exist in the world in Washington’s continued Hostility to the Rebel Island after 55 years of plotting, assassination attempts, Terrorist campaigns by the CIA and propaganda and Economic Blockade against which Cuba remains victorious no matter what the odds are of defying The Empire forever,
TheZapatista rebellion in the years directly after the cold war when it was fashionable among the rulling elite of the West to speak of ‘the end of history’ after the fall of the Berlin Wall
then the Zapatistas entered the stage of History and made their case that History was not over there are still revolutions to be made. but at their heart and soul these are two examples in a long and continuing tradition of struggle of oppressed peoples rising against oppression be it a military junta, the facade of a
democracy, Capitalism, or Empire. the struggle continues the cubans of Fidel and the Zapatistas are some of it’s torch bearers. ”For everyone everything. For us pain and anguish,for us the joy of rebellion, for us a future denied, for us the dignity of insurrection. For us nothing.”- Subcommandante Marcos Hasta La victoria siempre!!
Loved to see Pussy Riot Freed from Prison recently! though It also makes me think of the political prisoners in the U.S. I don’t think if the U.S had the winter Olympics Obama would be pardoning Bradley Manning, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jammal or any of it’s Political Prisoners like Putin is doing with Pussy Riot and others ahead of the Winter Olympics in Russia next year… Not even for the summer Olympics. I mean this is obviously a PR move but if Obama did it it would be reported as an act of Humanity a testament to his compassion or to Justice in ‘America by the U.S press, maybe he’d get another Nobel Peace Prize…. And if what captured so much attention around the world over Pussy riot’s was they’re imprisonment for a performance Art type Protest in a Cathedral then America has it’s own Pussy Riot in the “Reverend Billy Tallen’ a performer/activist currently facing prison time for a performance/protest at one of Americas own type of cathedral’s a JPMorgan chase Bank. But this is not a story covered at all in the U.s media unlike pussyriot’s ordeal in Russia because that sort of thing only happens under official enemy regimes according to our ‘free press’
This is nothing new it’s all to common examples are too many to name certainly without getting nauseous about it but recently I’ve two particular cases have been on mind.
I have to turn away every time Mandela comes up on tv because I know a mountain of Liberal bullshit is headed my way, lionizing Mandela for spending over three decades in prison but obscuring it was for Leading the Armed Resistance of a Revolutionary organization, acknowledging & glorifying only ‘reconciliation’ the process he oversaw as president of instituting majority political Rule while allowing Economic/social power to remain in a tiny capitalist minority of whatever color, that is when he became a hero acceptable to the U.s and E.U and stopped being a scary third world revolutionary to them, that is his responsibility for sure but it doesn’t erase everything he did before when he was a Revolutionary leading the anti Apartheid struggle the source of his Greatness, mandela and south Africas Radical story being erased for something non threatening to ruling Ideology is what’s been on tv all day on the day of his death, Mandela’s greatness was from everything he did before becoming president hardly after but he is embraced by people who only acknowledge/praise him for what he did after he no longer was a great Rebel. Another case that had been on my mind much as I often see different examples of it was Of frida Kahlo Mostly thought of as an Artist of course but a life long communist, activist who certainly Identified herself first based on her political commitment till her death even before as a great artist she was, examples of her being embraced by people who either don’t know of or disregard her Identifying herself as a Revolutionary are plenty but I had recently come across an old acquaintances fb post using a picture of frida for some post completely unrelated to frida or anything about her really just using her as an ornament for her post, I know that this person would be embarrassed if people associated her with communism in some way for having a picture of one of the most famous communist artist of the last century but of course it fits in with the unfortunately long tradition of Radical heroes particularly Artist being appropriated after death and white washed of what was actually most important to them their principles, Radical political commitment so then very un-radical basically conservative/liberal conformist individuals can flatter themselves with ‘appreciating’ someone like frida after actively playing a role in the cultural obscuring of what was most important to her, embracing only what could be deemed safe or acceptable within ruling Ideology, basking in her reflected glory by embracing her while ignoring much of what made her great, was fundamental to her, there is something Perverse about that