Showing posts from 2005

Sinot Single

I've come to realize over the past few weeks that I will probably either be single forever or for at least a very very long time. For those who read this blog regularly you'll know some of the other reasons for this (kaduku yu') yet recently yet another reason appeared.

For me, time appears to be radically out of joint. While in some ways this is charming, interesting and good for conversing with people you don't really want to talk to, it makes my dating life ideal for laughing about at 2 am at Kings in Tamuning.

I used to have a thing about writing numbers on myself. On Guam you tend to sweat alot, so writing on your skin isn't advisable or possible, so I started writing on my t-shirts. Often times when I would meet my friends at Kings late at night I would be covered with new phone numbers. Maybe if you don't know me you'd assume, lana! menha hao siempre, kapas hao ume'palao'an! You know, that I'm some sort of adept when it comes to securing wo…

Chamorros as American Viagra

Where does patriotic blowback come from?

Na'haggannaihon hao ya bai hu sangani hao.

When a Chamorro soldier dies in war, as four have done so far in the Iraq war, your average patriotic American, upon hearing of this on the news or reading of it in Time magazine experiences a rush of patritoic blowback. It is an infusion of glorious pride in the fact that someone whose death I am completely unpreared for, died for me. This Chamorro, from Guam, who is something I know nothing about, from a place I barely know, has died for me, defending my freedom.

Since Guam is a colony of the United States, it is the right and privilege of America's citizens and national subjects to know absolutely nothing about Guam, and conversely to use it to say anything. Guam could be used, as TV personality Johnny Carson did for many years, as an empty meaning-less signifier, which can be used to say literally anything, with no expectations of its actual content getting in the way. It can also function as …

Cowboy Bopeep/ Cowboy Bebop

An interesting experience last night.

For the first time in almost a year I was on the verge of tears. Of course something woefully traumatic wasn’t taking place in my life. These almost tears don’t come at those moments, instead they are always almost ridiculously attached to characters from movies that I watch.

It is slightly disturbing when one becomes accustomed to recognizing the coping strategies that we use. For me, the difficulties in my own life are displaced onto characters in films or tv shows that I identify with. So long as that character is alive in the chronology that I keep of it, my traumas will always be blunted in some way, as this attachment character remains unscathed. But, at some point if that chronology is damaged, if for example that character dies or suffers then the result is an overidentification with it. As I disidentified with my own trauma through my identification with this object, its trauma therefore becomes more than my own or its own. It becomes as th…

Puti Tai Nobiu

Ti Guahu tumge' este na kanta. Lao sa' gof bunita malago yu' bei share hamyo i binita-na. Si Flora Baza Quan kumanta, ya fine'nina nai hu hungok este, gof malago yu' tumungo' hafa ilelek-na. Gi ayu biahi ti hu gof tungo' kumomprende fino' Chamoru, pues achokka' gof ya-hu, ti hu gof gagacha' hafa masasangan.Pues hu gagao i tiha-hu si Victoria Ritter, yanggan sina humami umekungok ya pues pau pula'yi yu' i palabras. Pues manmata'chong ham gi fi'on i stereo, ya ha pega i talangga-na gof hihot gi i speaker. Pues hu na'play i kanta para un betsu, pues hu na'para. Si tiha-hu, humassonaihon, pues ha sangani yu' hafa pine'lo-na na maalok.Estague i palabras ni' in tige' pappa':Puti Tai NobiuHa tuge’ I tutuhun I tano’
Gi hatdin I paraisu
Si Yu’us ha na’fanhuyong
Flores siha ni’ mambunitu
Si Yu’us ha na’fanhuyong
Meggai siha na milagro
Ha na’dokko’ giya paraisu
Un flores trongkon hayu

Puti tai nobiu, ai puti tainobiu

Why Does the Application of Moral Philosophies to Dating Life Inevitably Turn into Outtakes from The Naked Gun Movies?

Last month, Theo a friend from my department posted a hilariously horrifying story on MySpace. It was about the dangers of being single in this world of post singularity, where singleness has developed its own essence is no longer the state of not yet being with someone, but something in and of itself something to be explored. What comes from this is interesting forms of fetishizing dating techniques, norms, pick up lines and moves. When these fetishized forms mix with alcohol the results are often brain numbing, as Theo found out when he was forced into situation where he was berated for the poorness of his moves and offered help with them at the same time through drunken social role-playing with some random chick he met at a party.

As Theo is part of the theory student bloc of power in my department the first thing that came to mind after reading of his exploits in the realm of getting hot girls to lecture you while they are bleeding vodka from their eyeballs, was of course "did…


For the past few weeks I've been digging through my room look for aspects of former selves. It is a very interesting experience. Finding pieces of myself in different moments, artifacts meant for different goals. moving in different directions, some of which are still familiar and intimate, others brutally foreign and uncomfortable.

For example, I find fragments of poems that I wrote when I first came back to Guam in 1998. Traces of the light brown coconut I once was flash before me, as I read a voice which was once my own, but long ago abandoned. The angry, angst ridden teen/ college student struggling over loves lost.

Perhaps the anxiety over finding this voice comes not from the fact that I've changed so much since then, but because I haven't changed that much. Although my poems rarely take on that character anymore, that self who is lovestruck and love lost is still very much here, as people who frequent my blog might know. He appears every once in a while to lament the …

The Hidden Logic Behind Guam's Patriotic Love

With the arrival of the new year, a new slogan must be trotted out for my self-description and self-representation. We all do this, consciously or unconsciously, its the reason why on MySpace we each get to input our headlines over our pages.

That is of course the reason why the GVB is so powerful in recolonizing Guam. Their efforts, far from mere fabrication of tools of representation to others are seriously the tools we often use to view ourselves. How effortlessly does the tourist slogan "Guam: Where America's Day Begins!" become hegemonic and the principle through which we see ourselves? Well, we need not look hard to find this, because Guam has already been blanketed by it through bumper stickers and murals that localize this mantra and reformulate our gaze for it.

"I LOVE GUAM: Where America's Day Begins!"

What is the hidden logic behind the superficial and supposedly sponteanous love that this statement blazons? It can be fleshed out by adding just a fe…

Things we must remember, if only to be forgotten

Another Chamorro has died in Iraq, Richard DeGracia Naputi Jr. Again I find myself brutally torn. The public response will be as it always is. Congresswoman Bordallo has already started it, both in her empty words of eternal debt and undying love for the military and its troops, yet also in her affirmation last week of the war in Iraq. This death will therefore be interpretted as the previous three were. A tragic loss, but we appreciate the opportunity to get ourselves killed for the greatest country in the universe.

Why is a critical relationship between Chamorros on Guam and the United States military impossible? Because the military is no longer those white on white uniformed Naval officers from pre-war Guam, nor is it those tall "god-like" Marines from 1944 who seemed to have an infinite amount of canned goods in their pants pockets. The military has been browned, especially so by the huge numbers of Chamorros in the military. To make this point clear, let me quote from a…

The Decision and Human Instrumentality: Lacan Avec Evangelion

Hehehehehe. After a year of droning academic work in my program and going around to conferences, things are finally starting to be fun again. It all started several months ago when my advisor in my new program told me that my writing and work is "playful" and that for once this playfullness wasn't a bad thing, but was in fact a good thing! (Yen Le Espiritu, have I told you lately that I love you? yanggen ahe', pues estague i sinangan-hu!)

With the approval of my new advisor my writing is again getting freer and more interesting, and actively and eagerly resisting becoming droning, drowning and scowlingly appropriate social science prose. This goes not just for my writing, but what I write about and how I decide to appropriate shit.

To give people an idea of this, let me share with you the abstract I just submitted a few minutes ago for The Crossing Borders Conference which will be taking place next year at USC (its the California Graduate Student Ethnic Studies Program…

Lemlem Taotao

Since I've been on Guam people continually ask me if I'm still painting. I should expect it after all, people here constantly know me as either the "guy with painted clothes" or the "guy whose car was full of paintings, paint cans and books."

This identification even follows me into the diaspora. A few months ago at a Chamorro party in San Diego, someone was there selling his brand t-shirts and stickers and he saw me and asked me if I went to UOG. Ilek-hu "Hunggan." Ya ineppe-na, "yeah, hu hasso hao, todu i tiempo gaipintura i magagu-mu."

Since I've been in the states I've forgotten how much of an artist I use to be. How I used to paint constantly and even go around the island to fairs to sell my work. There are hundreds of people in this world (mostly on this island, but I did sell some to tourists and military) who purchased one of my paintings and hopefully have it hung up somewhere in their house with my name and signature on i…

Maolek Na Chinagi

I'm back on Guam, so its only inevitable that I'll be writing Chamorro poetry again. Sorry I've been away for a while, my internet on Guam isn't very good. But I love being back and so I have bula'la' to post about.

Maolek na Chinagi...

Tatfoi I binita-mu
Asta umugo’ yu’
Lechera yan po’dak
Gos pika pika-mu
Donggat hao palao’an gi salon po’asu
Bei hanao bei chagi
Para hafa na ekpe’ yu’


Hokkok suette-ku
Sa’ matto mismo ga’chong-mu
Lekkat yan mitkedu
Ya siempre u puno’ hu
Pa’go ga’otgan yu’ ni’ banidosu-ku
Sinembatgo todu maolek sa’ I leddo’ pau nukot yu’


The Wisdom of Weezer

I learned several weeks ago that its not appropriate for a conscious person of color to like Weezer. It was an interesting exchange that I had with someone who once felt I was an ally in the struggle for social justice against whiteness, but now somehow saw me as a traitor because of my affinity for Weezer.

Is Weezer white people music? Prior to this moment I would have openly agreed with this characterization. It is really white ass pop rock music. But after I was prohibited from listening to it based on my status as a critical person of color, I now must stop for a moment and think about this. What makes it white people music? Those who buy it? If this was the case, then wouldn't mainstream rap music then be white people music, since white people tend to purchase most of it? Is it the people who make it? But then you'll find inconsistencies in that as well. Would Dave Chappelle's blind KKK character then make white or black music if he came out with an album? Or is it jus…

Mangge' iyo-mu draf?

I am back on Guam and I am loving it.

The daily slaughtering of the English language is so exciting and refreshing. I really detest this language, and how cumbersome and evil it is. But what I detest more than its usage is the way in which people attempt to defend and map out what is proper about it (the same thing happens with Chamorro, and that is something I detest even more (if this level of detesting is even humanly possible). While it can be fun to tease others about "accents" and simple mistakes in their English, the result is always a silent and sometimes hysterical privileging of English which drives me nuts.

So sometimes I say "borrow me your pen" instead of "can I borrow your pen." Hayi matai put este? The first time I recall saying it as an adult I remember people laughing and chastising me for poor English. I became so annoyed at the rebuking that I decided from then on to intentionally say "borrow" in that "incorrect" way.


"Reason Enough?" Ai Yu'us Satba Yu' Put Fabot!

I've been stuck lately in discussing with all sorts of different people, the relationship between "questions" and "answers." While for most people it's an obvious link, i ineppe' u fatto sa' famaisen hao finaisen, the answers arrives comes because you've asked a question. For me, what I am realizing more and more through my work on the decolonial deadlock in Guam (resistance to almost any form of decolonization (and that includes statehood!)) is that the relationship between a question and an answer is rarely ever innocent or natural. When people ask questions (in particular with regard to political possibilities, or what can and cannot be done in any given socio/political space), too often the gesture is performative, in that it marks the given territory through which an answer may be, or should be culled.

This is one of the primary reasons that everyday public critiques about "politics" are so overwhelmingly useless and annoying. Thro…

Movie Help!!!

In my work I often use movies to help me illustrate my theoretical points. Sometimes the ideas come out of watching movies and making connections between whatever I'm reading (ahhhh, so Herbie the Love Bug is the death drive!). When this happens, life is easy. Just a matter of writing this insight down and then finding someplace to put it.

But other times, the insight comes differently, through some sort of cruelly vague resonance. It hits you, or rather blindsides you and vanishes before you can see what it is. Several weeks ago while working on my master's thesis, I was blindsides by some absolutely archetypal scene, which I nonetheless can't pin to any particular film. I was trying to make a point about indigenous peoples and how even the ways we think where to look to find ourselves are conditioned by modern knowledge and a way out of this, lies in recognizing this fact and not denying it. To do so a movie scene popped into my head which would fit perfectly, however no …

The Scene of Liberation

I'm finishing up my papers for my quarter before I head home to Guam. Bula minagof bula minagof!

I really enjoy working with my new master's chair at UCSD Yen Le Espiritu. First of all, she's very supportive and good at reading your work and providing questions which don't just tear you apart, but try to support your project and where she thinks your project is heading. Second, she is brilliant and that is obvious to most people who meet her or take classes with her. The third reason is of course, because she encourages me to be playful in my work. Maybe you weren't expected this last one, but its true. She is very supportive of different ways of writing (she loves Avery Gordon's Ghostly Matters for this reasons) and she enjoys the way I sometimes talk about serious topics in a creative way using non-serious objects (movies, weird goofy language).

I decided to be playful then in the paper I wrote for my class with her this quarter, Race War and Violence (or as I …

Guam - Where America is Testing the Next Generation of Unmanned Surveillance Drones

I apologize for the lack of posting recently I've been sick and trying to finish up my quarter. I'm turning in a research paper for one of my classes and its supposed to be 15 pages but is slowly sprawling out of control. I may have to make it half-ass just to finish it by its due date tomorrow.

For those who don't know yet, part of my stress is me preparing to head back to Guam next week. When I arrive there it'll have been 495 days since I left. Holding my breath near drowning in diaspora for that long, seems insane, but somehow I did it.

It'll be so nice to see my family in particular my grandparents that I've missed so much and can't keep in regular touch with over the phone since puru ha' mantangga ham, and our conversations are constant "hah? Hafa ilek-mu?" I'll also get a chance to see my cousin and her kids that I love to death and make me pine for the day when I get to stress over, abuse, and fatta' over my own kids. I'll al…

Free the CPT

Published on Friday, December 2, 2005 by
Join Arundhati Roy, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Cindy Sheehan, Denis Halliday, Rashid Khalidi, and Many Others in Calling for the Urgent Release of Peace Activists Held in Iraq
An Urgent Appeal
Add your name at:

Four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams were taken this past Saturday, November 26, in Baghdad, Iraq. They are not spies, nor do they work in the service of any government. They are people who have dedicated their lives to fighting against war and have clearly and publicly opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They are people of faith, but they are not missionaries. They have deep respect for the Islamic faith and for the right of Iraqis to self-determination.
C.P.T. first came to Iraq in October 2002 to oppose the US invasion, and it has remained in the country throughout the occupation in solidarity with the Iraqi people. The group has been invaluable in alerting the world to many of the hor…

Does High Fidelity Lead to Numerous Forms of Strategic Ethical Violence?

Another one of my rambling theoretical response papers. I love the section on Suspect Zero and Levinas, which is why I feel all warm and fuzzy posting it here. (apologies though for the recent rash of "question" titles for my posts.)

Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Social Theory B
Professor Denise Da Silva
May 9, 2005

Levinas and Irigary

It becomes difficult to read just the sections of Levinas that we were supposed to from class. The truth is, Levinas constantly pops up in the same ways that Spivak,Omi and Winant and so many others do. A short note here when I want to use a phrase like "I am responsible for the other so far as he is mortal." (By the way, I plan on using this phrase at least once during this paper.)

Even Zizek himself has yet to confront directly Levinas, at least in all of the books I've read. Instead he makes quick snipes at him, such as in Organs without Bodies or Welcome to the Desert of the Real. I can understand however, how one might be hesitant to enga…

If the house of your culture and history was burning down, what would you take?

My mind constantly circles around the question of, "Why Guam is the way it is today?" Its not a rare question, people seem to ask it constantly. The Pacific Daily News has plenty of answers. As do people on the radio, people who chat in restuarants. People in backyards at parties, in churches, in chatrooms or message boards. Meggai na taotao manggai este na finaisen.

But just because everyone seems to ask this question, doesn't really mean that they are interested in or seeking actual answers. The Pacific Daily News and other official news sources are very adept at asking this question and then providing an answer to it often in the same sentence (ever wonder why there is always one or two incredibly long sentences in any given news report or newspaper article? Check out Brit Hume or even Lou Dobbs for clunky examples of this). When people just out of nowhere discuss these issues, aren't the questions themselves already skewed into providing or provoking a particular…