21 November 2010

Dreaming of Mole

Today’s illustration of connectivity might make you hungry. It’s about mole. Mmm – mole.
McClatchy News ran a story about this amazing sauce about a week ago, where they were unable to resist the temptation to use the title, Holy mole!, then this week, they report that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Mexican cuisine to be an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity in an article titled, Move over France: Mexican food now a world-class cuisine. And to that, I say ¡Órale!

14 November 2010

On Lies That Divide Us

Excerpt from
No Stranger To Strange Lands:
A Journey Through Strange Coincidences, Connective Thoughts, And Far Flung Places

Part I: Movements About the Northern Hemisphere
Strange Coincidences
My birthday had come and gone in unspectacular fashion. I almost forgot about it. My husband, Jamie, and I were in a holding pattern in the early part of that summer of 2006, holding on to what little funds we had, holed up with our two dogs in the air conditioning of a tiny apartment north of Tampa, Florida, along the Pithlachascotee River, spending money only on the basic necessities – food and beer. I was depressed. The Iraq Occupation was tragically dragging on, and the rumblings of an attack on Iran were beginning to grow in amplitude, as reported by the amazing Seymour M. Hersh in an article in The New Yorker, titled, “The Iran Plans,” rumblings which were following an alarmingly similar pattern, with whisper campaigns and unsubstantiated rumors of nuclear mushroom clouds and evil demagogues all over again. So I picked up the Kurt Vonnegut book I had seen in our book bin to cheer myself up. That always works. There are a few things in life that pick me up when I am down: moving art, music, dance, encountering really interesting people and places, my dogs, Jamie’s grasp of the bigger picture, and a Kurt Vonnegut or Tom Robbins book. A Tom Robbins book once literally – and I mean literally – saved my life. I had come to a point where I felt that the human race was doomed to continue to commit acts of war, environmental destruction, and horrible injustice, and I was on the verge of suicide because I thought that we should know better – that being “civilized” actually entails being civil. But then Mr. Robbins’ Skinny Legs and All gave me hope through comedy and unique perspective, and I decided to stick around and try to counteract all those forces that I felt were so barbaric. And now this Vonnegut book, Hocus Pocus, didn’t fail, either. In fact, something amazing happened while I was reading it. In it, the protagonist reads a science fiction story in a porno magazine, a fun little literary device through which Vonnegut injects a bit of science fiction into an otherwise only slightly futuristic setting. It is an outrageously satirical commentary about how full of ourselves human beings tend to be. Very clever – I enjoyed the story very much.

07 November 2010

Restore Sanity vs Keep Fear Alive: Brazil

Well, this is interesting. Check this article by Mark Weisbrot in the Guardian, titled Brazil wins with Dilma Rousseff. Here is how he begins:
"Like the rally led by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central that brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Washington, DC on Saturday, Brazil's election on Sunday was a contest of "Restore Sanity" versus "Keep Fear Alive" – but with the fate of millions of Brazilians seriously at stake."
Good stuff, coming from a Brit. But for more on the significance of this election, here is some commentary coming from closer to the action. This is a translation of an article by the Uruguayan researcher of social movements, Raúl Zibechi: Toward the Continuation of Lulismo.

The world will be watching Brazil very carefully, and hopefully, learning a thing or two.

06 November 2010

Opposite Directions

Springtime Flowers in Patagonia
In my recent post at Because the World is Round..., while reporting on two big news stories that might have been drown out by the histrionic midterm elections in the States, I marvel at how reversed the directions of movement are between the northern and southern hemispheres of America. While the death of Ex-President Néstor Kirchner opens up all kinds of speculation about Argentina’s future, the most likely path will continue toward the breaking down of cultural barriers in favor of human rights, following in the footsteps of the recent legalization of same-sex marriage – and this, in a nation that not so long ago was constitutionally linked to the Pope. Whatever opportunistic political games the Kirchners might have played, both Néstor and his wife and presidential successor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, they have undoubtedly been responsible for decreasing the power of both the military and the Catholic Church in Argentina.
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