Thursday, June 23, 2005

ESPN apology

I just finished listening to the ESPN apology to the people of Guam on Tony Blaz's positively local show. Lana, achokka' maolek yanggen todu ma hungok este, na'ma'ase ha', na'ma'ase sinembatgo.

If one wants to know why things don't change very often in Guam, or why Chamorros are such a deeply colonized and proudly coconut people, note the response of Tony Blaz and recall other instances where Guam was scandalized and an apology was tenured and where once loud cries of Biba Chamoru! or MANLALALU HIT MAMPOS! were to be heard, now all is suddenly quiet on the Chamorro front.

After the contrite and effortless apology from the skel at ESPN, we hear Tony Blaz attempting to articulate the feelings of the entire island, and whenever someone attempts to do this, one will eventually return to the fundamental trauma of Guam today, "We're Americans too!" Which of course, Tony Blaz did cry out during his statements. Things remain the same precisely because of moves such as this, whenever a rupture takes place, where a more fundamental change might emerge, the rupture is instead sealed up nicely with some patriotic plaster.

The apology is nice and is great for when you're talking to people in the states or the diaspora, about how a supposedly pathologically inferior place such as Guam got something from the United States proper to apology ("umbee, in na'apology Si ESPN, kao un hongge?"). But ultimately it is something which costs nothing, and it costs nothing because we make it cost nothing. We are confronted with something like this and rather then spending time with the rupture, trying to figure out this trauma, we instead follow our first impulse (which is always on behalf of the colonizer) which sees moments like these as crucial point to assert or attempt to prove Americaness.

But for all of my haolefied Chamorro readers out there, this assertion never means as much as you hope, because of the form in which it is ennunciated, the Americaness it is meant to bring out or prove is always already in doubt anyway.

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