Showing posts from April, 2005

Spiritual vs. social

A few lyrics from the song Aya Tere Dar Par Diwana from the film Veer-Zaara.

I've broken past the world's structures and come to you
For your sake I've left the world behind...

Atrocity comes so easily to you
You and society are one and the same
These are the world's customs and I'm caught in their hold...

Thinking about this song, I'm reminded that all great, especially tragic or dramatic love stories are about a spiritual connection conflicting with social norms. There exist connections between people which naturally lie beneath our eyes or our sciences (societies) to explain. If we are lucky, these spiritual ties run parallel with society. Namely, if the one you are tied to in love, is one that by whatever rules society has created, allows you or affirms this love, then you are blessed. If not, if you're love is illegitimate, immoral, dissocial, then that connection conflicts with the ties societies prescribe and one must prepare for atrocities and tragedy.


ai bula linachi social

I may like writing psuedo academic papers, and enjoy the ego kicks that take place when I present at conferences and meet people who say nice things about me. Then there's also the creativity involved in trying to find nice things to say about other people and their work. Not that other people don't have nice work, but just how do you say something they haven't heard, about a trillion and a half times before.

(The most interesting, and probably honest nice thing anyone ever said to me about one of my papers, was what this one woman said after we presented on a panel together. I went last, and after we were done and the QandA was done, she came over to me and said, "thank you, I really enjoyed your paper. But now I'm going to have to re-write mine. The way you explained ideology, it changes everything in my paper.")

So alot of times, when my head is bursting trying to come up with something to say to someone I've met at a conference, I lose my basic social u…


Lina'la' mata'pang
Un diha u traiduti hao
Minatai i guinaiya-mu
Ya u ga'chungi hao
Asta i fanhalom'an matai
Ya guiya ni' ti linemlem nu este na lugat
U i'ikak-na i tano'

Mafa'ga'ga hit ta'lo!

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005
Subject: Just released: The Secret Guam Study

A new book on Guam's political status adventures entitled: The Secret Guam Study; How President Ford's 1975 Approval of Commonwealth was Blocked by Federal Officials by Howard P. Willens with Dirk A. Ballendorf has just been released by the Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam.

The book tells the story of how Guam was prevented from claiming much improved political status rights that President Gerald R. Ford had decided to grant to Guam. The key document is a 196-page study of Guam's political status conducted by the federal government in 1973-74. In early 1975, President Ford approved the study's recommendation that Guam should be offered an improved political status comparable to that which had been negotiated with the Northern Mariana Islands.

Howard P. Willens, principal author of the book, has said that "no one on Guam has ever seen these documents, […

Bush and flip flops

George W. Bush, the ultimate flip flopper. He is the master of flip flopping kwan.I was remembering the other day how Bush, his pitbull Cheney and their apostles went hard after Kerry for his "flip flopping." Kerry was a wishy washy guy, always changing his mind, hardly leadership material. Bush in contrast, was supposed to be stiff and stubborn, the leader who, even though the majority of the country wanted the US out of Iraq, wouldn't even bend beneath the democratic pressure of his own electorate.The funny thing though is that more and more, Bush is leaving behind that stubborness and embracing his flip flopping nature, becoming a greatly skilled and masterful artist. He is so great in fact, he makes John Kerry look like some confused, afigao, nedok novice. Bush is a pro, for reals umbee. Unlike Kerry who usually needed at least two statements to flip and flop (with the notable exception of his claim to "have voted for the funding for the Iraq war, before voting …


I have a stupid question, why do Chamorros like to shop at Ikea? Everytime I go there, I see at least one car with a Chamorro or Guam sticker on it. That means that everytime I go, there is at least one other Chamorro or possibly a family of Chamorros in Ikea with me, which considering the statistics of it all, that although there are alot of Chamorros in San Diego, there probably aren't that many, that so many could cluster in a place, unless there was something underneath that was drawing them there.

If anyone has any cool explainations, let me know. I'm not interested in any lame ones, because I've already thought of them (Chamorros manmeskinu umbee, Chamorros mambrodie, yan-niha manshopping bentana).

Thinking about Ikea, of course brings me as every other thing seems to lately, back to depression. Walking through Ikea alone, looking for a DVD rack, I realized that no one really goes to Ikea alone, especially not on a Sunday. Its a family affair, or a coupley thing. You …

kinenne' ni' politics

When I interviewed Robert Underwood for my master's thesis at the University of Guam, I was working on a different project, which I later abandoned, Guam politics, campaigning and discussions of culture and cultural change in that.

I remember vividly Underwood saying that in Guam, in times past most so than today, the favorite pastime for Chamorros (and for the rest) is politics. That is entertinment, that is fun, that is where all the drama, emotion, tension, all the excitement on island was at. Getting behind your gayu, forming silly yet vitally important walls between people who might be exactly the same as you, except for one simple choice of affiliation. Underwood was right, absolutely, about times past.

But reading the newspaper on Guam today, I think a huge shift in excitement and everyday joy as changed. While politics is still very important, especially for Chamorros, the new pastime that has emerged is, the Olympic like sport of corruption discussion. It is something which…

gof yayas yu'

Oh ai adai, mampos yayas yu' esta. Kalang esta matto di matai i yinayas-hu.

I just finished what someone called my "conference circuit" for the year. I presented four different papers at four different conferences, in Berkeley, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

I had signed up for these four conferences last year, sending out a bunch of abstracts since I was bored in my program. I am grateful that I did, but also regret it. The regret comes from how tired I am, and although I got funding to help me with the conferences, it did cost me quite a bit to be travelling so muhc (lana, nenkanno' airpot, gof guaguan!). I didn't fall behind in my school work though, but I am just dreading now the fact that for the rest of the quarter, all I have to look forward to is school work.

And this leads me to some of the several reasons why I am magof dimasiao that I did do this. First of all, it forced me to write constantly. I've been writing nonstop since February trying to ge…

Can the culture be saved?

A recent post of mine from my message board in response to yet another question of whether or not Chamorro culture can be saved.

Deskansanaihon Chamoruborn, relax. Me and Kopbla can be pretty harsh sometimes, but I don't mean it to keep you from expressing yourself. I have a professor in my program who does that enough to us students, so I don't want to reproduce that here.

For me saving any culture means alot more than doing whatever is already doing. If you don't speak Chamorro, it means learning it and learning it good. If you don't know the history, then you learn it, right now. If you don't know shit about your elders, you go and bow before them know begging to be told about their lives, their experiences before the war, during the war, after the war. Their thoughts on Guam today. It also means being very very critical of the United States whenever you can. Which is why I have problems with Guamanifornia's posts, because they are so so so so so patriotic, I …

lingering land issues


Speaker hosts forum to iron out lingering land issues
by Ken Wetmore, KUAM NewsMonday, April 18, 2005

Speaker Mark Forbes chaired a second roundtable meeting to try to get a fix on how to help the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and other Government of Guam entities that deal with land issues. The CLTC has had chronic problems accomplishing its mission to lease land to Chamorros.Former CLTC director Ron Teehan said he attended today's hearing from the perspective of a concerned citizen. He announced, "I'm very pleased to see them on going. I think it's very useful; you have people presently and in the past bringing it together. Probably one of the most convoluted issues on Guam is land whether it's the land taking and releases, the Land Trust, how the two interconnect, and the various problems within the respective programs."Teehan and others gathered this morning and shared their perspectives on the problems and possible solutions for th…

Bai hu taigue ta'lo ginnen guini

I'm preparing for a conference in New York and so for the next couple days it'll be hard to find time to post in here. So I apologize, but I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

kana' tumanges

I've just realized that you can learn alot about someone from them recalling the moments that they almost cried, as opposed to the moments they did cry. Particular so in movies. Actual tears of course means that on some level catharsis has taken place and that the equation may nonetheless be stange, but it is at least complete. The weak "I don't know why I'm crying" is of course the statement which makes the catharsis complete, designed to cover over the gap. Allowing whatever release as taken place not to be reflexively diminshed.

Almost crying however forces one to confront the gap and attempt to understand why didn't you cry and why did you think you were supposed to cry. The partiality of drives and of the self becomes manifest in the very partiality of the feeling itself.

So why am I typing this now? Shouldn't it be obvious?

I was watching a movie and of course at a very emotional scene I almost cried and of course had to figure out why I almost cried a…

I tano'-hu

Aisa De Hai Mera (with Hindi and English lyrics)

Gos ya-hu este na kanta. Bula masangan na ani ma egga' i mubin Hindi eyu gof muna'hasso siha put i nasion-niha pat i tano'-niha. Sesso gi i mibi i "passion" yan i hinihot i familia yan i taotao siha. Sesso ma fa'na'an este, guinaiya put lina'la', yan annok na i meggaina gi i "modern world" ti ma komprende yan ti ma tungo'. Malago yu' na bai fangge' kanta taiguini, nai bai hu na'tungo' i taotao ni' ti ha tungo' i tano'-hu put i binita.

kinna sona des hai mera...
How beautiful my country is...
dhartii sunaharii a.mbar niila
Golden earth and blue sky,
dhartii sunaharii a.mbar niila har mausam ra.ngiila
golden earth and blue sky, every season brilliantly colored:
aisa des hai mera ho aisa des hai mera...
that's what my country is like...
bole papiiha koyal gaa'e
The cuckoos cry out;
bole papiiha koyal gaa'e saawan girke aa'e
the cuckoos cry out and down comes…

Taco Bell strike over


Contact:Lucas Benitez, CIW/239-503-0133Julia Perkins, CIW/239-986-0891Laurie Schalow, Taco Bell Corp.949-863-3915 or onsite at 949-637-1153

CIW to end Taco Bell boycott; Taco Bell to pay penny-per-pound surcharge demanded by workers, will work with CIW to raise farm labor standards in supply chain, across industry as a whole

March 8, 2005 (IMMOKALEE/LOUISVILLE) – In a precedent-setting move, fast-food industry leader Taco Bell Corp., a division of Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM), has agreed to work with the Florida-based farm worker organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), to address the wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato industry.
Taco Bell announced today that it will fund a penny per pound “pass-through” with its suppliers of Florida tomatoes, and will undertake joint efforts with the CIW on several fronts to improve working conditions in Florida’s tomato…

Kal Ho Na Ho

Hinasso-ku duru put Agupa', yan hafa kumekeilek-na i idea (inagupa') gi i lina'la-ta yan i hinasso-ta.

Bai hu chagi tumuge' put este mas agupa' (hehehe) sa' ti nahong i tiempo-ku pa'go. Lao hu tutuge' este kosaki bai hu hasso (este i na'hasso-hu). Sa' sina humuyong bali ginnen este na lailai na hinasso-ku.

Sesso ta na'setbe este na klasin palabra sin hinasso. Kalang guaha pinegle gi eriyan i idea. Pues agupa' mamamaila, ti apmam matto. Yan nigap, esta matto yan pinegle gi i mina'pos. Kao magahet este? Ahe' ti hu konfotme. Put hemplo, guaha pinagat Si Anne Perez Hattori ni' bai hu hentra agupa', impottante yan sina tahdong i sinangan-na put i palabra "mo'na." Sa' mo'na likidu na palabra, sina sumangan put i mina'pos yan i mamamaila. Todu dipende gi hafa malago hao sumangan yan humasso.

Pakyo' put decolonization

For those who don't hear or read enough about the future of Guam in political status terms, head over to the Chamorro Information Activist message board, FANAHGUE'YAN. We haven't had a thread burn up this fast since last year's scandal over Chamorros versus Filipinos.

The fire amounts to a number of us from the CIA trying to deflate the patriotism of a new member to the board, who is frighteningly and dubiously named "Guamanifornia." He is vehemently opposed to any discussions about decolonization unless it means moving closer to the United States and being more patriotic. Much like George W. Bush he tosses around words such as freedom without thinking about them or caring who is in the crosshairs about to be shredded to pieces with this dispersal of "freedom." We are all the victims of his ideas, as critiquing the United States is impossible because it means we aren't appreciating the freedom they have given us.

To top it all off, he has admonish…


Lecture: Hinanao: Travelers and Descendents of Travelers by Karen Cruz

The presentation is based on the stories and experiences of Chamorus who lived in other Micronesian islands before World War II and then returned to Guam. The project is funded by the Guam Humanities Council.

Project director is Karen A. Cruz. 3:00 PM Friday, April 8, 2005 University of Guam Lecture Hall (Formerly CAS Lecture Hall) University of Guam


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Sovereignty Matters Conference Schedule

Sovereignty Matters Conference
Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbi a University
424 Hamilton Hall, between Broadway and Amsterdam
Manhattan, NY
Date(s): Apr 15 to Apr 16

Time(s): various
Price: GRATIS!

Phone: (212) 854-0507
Subway: 1/9 to 116th St

Q:What do a resident of a San Juan, Samoa and Cheyenne River Indian Reservation have in common?
A: they all live in a territory of the United States of America.

Native American, Pacific Islander and Puerto Rican sovereignty matters are rarely the subject of public discourse and are severely understudied in most U.S. universities. Research across groups and disciplines is also alarmingly infrequent. Sponsored by Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, and organized by Columbia professor Frances Negrón-Muntaner, “Sovereignty Matters” hopes to spur debate regarding the multiple meanings and discourses of sovere…