Showing posts from May, 2005

sesso hu sangan....

I'm in the midst of finals so not much to post right now. Instead I'll be posting my response papers for some of my classes. They are kind of interesting and bring out alot of scattered, yet important points. The first one that I'll post here is my sleepy and somewhat nonsensical response paper to "The Experience of Freedom" by Jean-Luc Nancy.

The Experience of Freedom by Jean Luc Picard…I mean Nancy.

I’ll begin this by using a quote that Zizek used from Rosa Luxemberg (that I actually used in a response paper earlier this quarter), “freedom is for those who think different.” Zizek uses this quote to articulate his own ideas of freedom, and early in both his and Nancy’s analysis, I think the share some important similarities. For Zizek, in today’s postpolitical dubiously permissive society, that quote from Luxemberg needs a little fine tuning, namely that “freedom is for those who think.” Nancy I think would agree, and maybe even add on just a little more, saying …

Kao taklalu yu'?

Malago yu' na bei sangani hamyo despensa yu' yanggen kalang taklalu i sinangan-hu. Ti hu hasngon muna'taiguini lao sesso kalang mana'bubu yu', ya ti hu hulat muna'suha todu, ya pues machuda' didide' gi i tinige'-hu siha.

For the past few weeks I've seen a sharp increase in the amount of hate mail that I've been getting. Ai lana, manggof na'bubu este siha. So first off I want to apologize if my writing and emails have sounded a bit pissy.

See, I average a couple of hate emails a week. This in addition to the dozen or so nice emails I get, seeking information or responding to issues. The hate emails can be divided into three groups, religious Chamorros, patriotic people, and young Chamorros. Sure, there is some overlap but, the emails tend to fall obviously into one of these categories.

Religious Chamorros often send me emails telling me that they are praying for me. Praying that I renounce my sinful ways, that I see the light of the lord. Th…

Chamorro Student Conference

Me some cousins and some friends have been discussing possibly putting together a Chamorro college student conference for sometime next year.

Originally it was me and my cousin Alfred who were discussing this after attending the Association of Asian American Studies Conference in April. At the conference I shared with Alfred how invisible Pacific Islanders are, and even when their are moments of potential limited visibility they tend not to take advantage of them. While speaking to other Chamorros in college or younger I never get the sense that to them the Chamorro in their identity is very productive. What I mean by this is it isn't something to organize their politics or their lives around. We see this manifest in the ways that Chamorros come and think together, which tend to be in social settings only. When does Chamorro mean something? At a party usually. And not just any party, but a Chamorro party.

Much of my work recently has dealt with trying to bring out the political pote…

ESPN article

I once heard Tony Palomo say something very interesting, and beyond what I'll say after this sentence, its even more interesting considering how many different ways the statement could be taken.

When asked during a documentary interview, if he could, what would he say to the United States of America, what would he tell them about Guam/Chamorros, what would he want them to know? Tony slyly responded, that maybe he didn't want Americans to know about Guam.

Isn't the ESPN's recent article on cockfighting in Guam a good example of why Tony Palomo might have a point? (If you haven't seen it already here's the link )Any piece of knowledge from here can be lifted and spirited away, taken wherever and made to mean practically anything. Once it leaves, it loses any temporal fixing, any fixing of cultural or historical meaning.

For those who recall the Marie Claire incident, the lesson seems to be that having other…

Ai, despensa yu' ta'lo

Para hamyo ni' fumakcha'i na hassan i biahi na hu post guini, magahet hamyo, magahet. Gof motmot iyo-ku schedule pa'go, sa' gaige i umeskuela-ku, i che'cho'-hu gi i internet, yan i mangge'-hu para lepblo yan magazines siha.

Lao cha-miyu chathinasso. Sigi ha' bula manlaolao gi i hinasso-ku, so gigon na mas libianu iyo-ku schedule bai hu post guini mas sesso.

Homo Sacer Soldiers

Here's the abstract I just finished the other day for a chapter that is going to be submitted for an anthology on feminisms and militarisms. Its the first time anything I've ever written has been requested to be part of a book (as opposed to a newspaper, magazine or internet site, which I've experienced), so I'm filling a little giddy about it.

On December 8, 2004 Christopher Rivera Wesley, a Chamorro from Guam was killed in Iraq. Four months later, another Chamorro, Michael Aguon Vega also died. The next October, a third Chamorro, Jonathan Pangelinan Santos would be also be killed. Despite the unequal status of Guam in relation to the United States, all media reports and public discourse surrounding these deaths made little to no mention of Guam’s colonial status. When family members in Guam commented on the deaths of the soldiers, no one expressed anger over their not being able to vote for the President of the United States. No one said with regret that they wish the…

Chamorro Hip Hop

I've been getting regular emails from this young Chamorro in the states who is determined to make Chamorro Hip Hop. I support him, I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with this project, but me and those who frequent my message board have given this kid some questions and problems that he has to deal with. He usually just responds angrily saying, "why should he listen to us" or that we "don't know shit." Meaning that our questions or cautious are pointless.

He emailed me asking me to help him with some translations to help him start making Chamorro Hip Hop. He wants to know what words like "cold" or "jumping" are in Chamorro. If he would listen to the things I've asked him to consider, he would know why making "Chamorro Hip Hop" isn't as easy as he thinks it might be.

How can you make something like this, which won't just be haunted as shameless coyping or borrowing? What are the ways that you can craft your w…

Conference on Media Reform

Hu gof guaiya Si Bill Moyers, gof maolek i sinangan-na, ai adai, annok na malate' gui'. Dimalas na ma na'retire gui'.

Take Public Broadcasting Back
by Bill MoyersClosing address
National Conference on Media Reform
St. Louis, MissouriMay 15, 2005

I can’t imagine better company on this beautiful Sunday morning in St. Louis. You’re church for me today, and there’s no congregation in the country where I would be more likely to find more kindred souls than are gathered here.
There are so many different vocations and callings in this room -- so many different interests and aspirations of people who want to reform the media or produce for the media -- that only a presiding bishop like Bob McChesney with his great ecumenical heart could bring us together for a weekend like this.
What joins us all under Bob’s embracing welcome is our commitment to public media. Pat Aufderheide got it right, I think, in the recent issue of In These Times when she wrote: “This is a moment when public me…

The Russian Solution

Did you ever hear the story about how NASA spent millions of dollars developing a pen that will write in zero-gravity? Do you know how the Russians solved the problem for far far less? They just used a pencil.

Hitchhiker's Glitch


I watched both the BBC tv version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as the recent US version. It was interesting to read these two films, which deal with the same basic story against each other. According to Zizek, the difference between "reality" and the Real lies in the difference between similarities and differences in repitition. To see reality, one finds what is similar throughout different perspectives (such as eye witness testimonies of a crime, the element that stays constant provides the reality of the different versions). To find the Real however, one must find what is different about the different versions (such as in dream analysis or psychoanalysis. The key is to see what changes in the different (re)tellings).

What is different between the two versions lies in the basic theme, the "lesson" if you will. In the 2005 version there is a romance, the earth is remade after being destroyed, and none of the main characters die …

lana, war reparations

Senators Cruz, Unpingco come out firing on war reparations bill
by Sabrina Salas Matanane,
KUAM NewsTuesday, May 10, 2005

Guam's efforts to secure compensation for the survivors of the Japanese occupation could be dead in its tracks. Last month a Guam delegation left to the nation's capitol to provide testimony before the House Resources Committee on House Resolution 1595 - the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act - introduced by Guam congressional delegate Madeline Bordallo (D).On our News8 Extra program last night, two members of that delegation contend the island's quest for war reparations have come to a screeching halt.Senators Tony Unpingco (R) and B.J. Cruz (D) dropped the bomb about HR-1595. Said the latter during a live interview, "It's dying, if it's not dead already." Both policymakers were on the Guam War Claims Review Commission, which went out of existence after the completion of the Commission's report evaluating the treatment of isla…

Let's chat in Chamorro about Hindi Movies part 3!

Miget: Gof ya-hu umegga' The Rising.

Rita: Sa' hafa? Ya-mu Si Amir Khan?

Miget: Hunggan, lao ti put enao ha'.

Rita: Hafa otro?

Miget: Achokka' gof kapas na bulako Si Amir, ai adai i estoria ni' muna'gaiinteres yu'.

Rita: Hafa sumagan-na?

Miget: Put un mumun linhayan giya India gi i ma'pos na century.

Rita: Hafa maloffan?

Miget: Maloffan na manlalalu i Indians nu i British ni' estaba i manggubetnu guihi. Pues manmumu kontra siha.

Rita: Oh, so pues ya-mu sa' "action movie" este.

Miget: Ahe'. Lana dei, guaha mas tahdong kinu enao ha'! Manmumu ayu siha kontra colonialism. Lao guini giya Guahan, ti sina ta cho'gue taiguihi, sa' matulaika i tiempo. Yanggen malago ta na'suha colonialism, ti ma'cho'cho taiguihi, sa' mas fotte' i US kinu i British way back. Debi di ta espiha empenu sin minimu.

Rita: Oh magahet. Pues malago hao umegga' este, kosaki sina un guife put hafa malago hao chumo'gue, lao ti sina.

Miget: A…

Invisible Pacific

Since 9/11, there has been a regular stream of semi-jubliant and proudly patriotic news stories in Guam's media, about the steady build up in military presence that's going on there.

Except for Joe Murphy, this fact is always dealt with polite but obvious finatta. I say finatta', because it is a form of haughty bragging. In the common historical discourse, meaning the ideas one can get without actual investigation, but instead just passive inundation with Guam's media and gossip networks, the poor economic times in Guam are publicly because of Japan's poor economic condition, but more quietly, but nonetheless importantly because of Guam's biting the hand that feeds it during the 1980's. That's right, in the 1980's and 1990's some people, Chamorros in particular who had their families' land taken, or who were mistreated by the US military in Vietnam, or just hate being colonial citizens began to resist the US military and openly promote critiq…


When people ask me lately what is a movie that I recommend, the film "Closer" always comes to mind. Its not an easy movie to watch, as the characters pretty much verbally, sexually and emotional beat the crap out of each other, but for those who can get past the hyper-emotional and hyper-painful veneer, it is an interesting analysis of relationships, secrets and most importantly truth.

The self is built upon secrets and the film portrays that in interesting ways. When one forms a relationship, there must necessarily be some disavowed content, which isn't static but constantly changes as you change in relation to the person. The revelation of this content, its Real intrusion, forces the dissolution of that self. We can see this in the end of the film when Jude Law and Natalie Portman's character get back together. Many people react to this scene as being unbelievable, "how can someone change? fall out of love 'just like that!?'"

But that was the secret…

How to End the War

Published on Thursday, May 5, 2005 by In These Times
How to End the War
by Naomi Klein

EDITORS' NOTE: The following essay is adapted from remarks made at the National Teach-in on Iraq sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. The teach-in was held on March 24, the 40th anniversary of the first teach-in on the Vietnam War, which was held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The central question we need to answer is this: What were the real reasons for the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq?

When we identify why we really went to war—not the cover reasons or the rebranded reasons, freedom and democracy, but the real reasons—then we can become more effective anti-war activists. The most effective and strategic way to stop this occupation and prevent future wars is to deny the people who wage these wars their spoils—to make war unprofitable. And we can’t do that unless we effectively identify the goals of war.

When I was in Iraq a year ago try…

Ethnic Studies Letter

I was forwarded this from the Ethnic Studies Department at Colorado University, Boulder. The letter is followed by a list of hate mail that the department has received since the Ward Churchill "controversy" erupted. If anything, what the terrible hate mail shows, and the lack of support from the university for the Ethnic Studies Department is that Ethnic Studies is very very very necessary in this country.

An Open Letter from the Department of Ethnic Studies,
University of Colorado at Boulder to the Board of Regents,
President Betsy Hoffman and Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano

The University of Colorado¹s official policy on diversity states:

"Diversity among students, faculty, and staff is fundamental to the
University of Colorado as it fulfills its mission to provide a quality education to the
citizens of the state. A vision of the University of Colorado as an
institution that promotes a free flow of ideas and perspectives, values diverse
viewpoints and interactions, and encou…