Showing posts from March, 2006


Okay, okay, I admit it, I have been re-reading Michael Hardt and Tony Negri's texts, Empire and Multitude again. The reason being, I got ahold of a coopy of Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri, and really enjoyed the essays. There's one by Ernesto Laclau, another by Peter Fitzpatrick, one by Slavoj Zizek, and a number of others. While all must attest to the obvious and overall correctness of Empire, they nonetheless pinpoint of number of theoretical weakpoints in the duo's theories.

For example, Laclau's intervention asks in its title, "Can Immanence Explain Social Struggles?" putting into question the theoretical edifice and genealogies of Hardt and Negri that leads them to their concept of multitude, and whether or not politics is still possible under it. In Zizek's essay "The Ideology of Empire and Its Traps," he makes a similar critique, "Does the Deleuzian theory that forms the philosophical background of Empire provide th…

Is the use of "Macgyver" as a verb, a botched attempt at greatness, or just plain greatness?

Here are 10 "words" which I will be incorporating into my speech this week, as if they had always already been there. They originated as a number of different things, slips in speech, botched attempts at greatness, accidentally kismet or resonance, nothing in common becoming an obvious commonality.

Remember nai, language is about expression, not communication.

Tinaktak: To be well connected, especially in terms of getting employed in the Government of Guam. Origin: While saying that someone was "gof connected," Madonna misheard me and thought that I said that he was "tinaktak."

"Kao un hungok put Si Bernadette, gof tinaktak gui'."

Chahiro: Warm chocolate milk. Origin: Something my little sister Alina came up with after watching Miyazaki's Spirited Away. Not exactly sure how or why.

"You guys want some chahiro before we watch Howl's Moving Castle?"

Buntakun: A big dork, in particular someone who has either prima donna tendencies, …

Impeachment from Guam? Ai guinife-hu!

I received this email from a a woman named Liane Allen, telling me that Guam actually has the power to start impeachment proceedings against President Bush. The email has gotten me very excited and actually helped push my work in a different direction.She probably didn't know when she wrote this to me, that she had touched upon what is the repressed fantasy of nearly everyone in the colonies. As she wrote, "This is one of those rare instances when a Territory can have an actual influence on the US Congress." Life in the Guam is all about narrating yourself a place in a world that you are basically supposed to accept. You are given limits, clear limits, and your job as a good colonial citizen is to create a beautiful tapestry of colonial life (which paints a beautiful patriotic and devotional portrait of the colonizer) that does not in anyway threaten these limits. In other words, that does not threaten the US military and national interests in Guam.So, take Chamorro lang…

Dies Pasu Guatu

Yesterday I had so much fun, too much fun. I spent literally half the day, twelve hours straight eating, talking, sharing photos and -YES- dancing, with this beautiful girl.

But one of my most common glitches soon emerged. The day hadn't started out as a date, just a lunch together. I love hanging out with this girl, for several reasons. First, she is the first Chamorro I've met at UCSD, although I had heard several rumors about others (yet another reason to believe that we are ghosts in this country that haunt America's history, "did you hear about the Chamorro in __insert academic department___?"). Second, she is passionate about the future of our people and working towards it (she is awesome, because this commitment entails writing legislation, as well as trying to make a Chamorro language soap opera! Olaha mohon umbee, olahao taiguihi mohon!). Third and most importantly, sina fumino' Chamoru gui'! Did you catch that? If not, let me say it again, este n…

Why I Can't Take My Eyes Off of Russ Feingold

Published on Saturday,
March 25, 2006 by the Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin)
Feingold Stands Alone Again When Standing on Principle
by Joel McNally

By now it's no surprise when Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold steps out ahead of his colleagues in Washington on the most important political issues of the day.

In the U.S. Senate, most politicians prefer to hide under their desks during any controversy until a clear majority is formed on one side. Then they crawl through the ankles of the crowd, stand upright and pose for smiling pictures at the front of the pack.

Feingold is that rare politician who actually feels comfortable taking a principled stand even if it means standing alone.

It's a leadership style that requires, well, leading. But it's definitely not for the timid. There are no potted plants to hide behind.

The only satisfaction comes from being right from the start. Right about the war in Iraq, right about the attack on American freedoms launched under the cover of fighting …

Faisen Si Bill Napoli


Pinagat I Nasion Chamoru

Kuantos biahi debi di bai sangan hao na gof mangge este na boi, Si Julian? Pues, estague un biahi ta'lo. Gof malate' yan gof mangge.

I Nasion Chamoru ~ The Chamoru Nation

"State of the Nation"
By Julian Aguon

The noise of the militarism around us makes it hard to hear. But there are thoseamong us working desperately hard to quiet it down, at least long enough to callour people from the coffins of our apathy.

I Nasion Chamoru (hereafter, I Nasion) is on the move again, moving among old wounds, but at the intersections of new dangers, such as an administration whose push to privatize too much of our infrastructure is threatening the integrity of our already burdened home, an administration whose negligence is made more dangerous by an alarming alliance between a corporate-controlled media and an out-for-profit-at-who-knows-what-cost business community called the Chamber of Commerce. The nation worked with bent back all last year trying to stop the mass privatization campaig…

Ti Bihu, Ti Funky, Gof Paire Umbee

Here is one of my older Chamorro love songs. Alot of the words are actually pretty old and funky and I rarely find people who can understand them. Nai ilek-hu "bihu" pat "funky" ti kumekeilek-hu tahdong Chamoru na palabras ha'. Guaha lokkue antigu na sinangan Chamoru ni' manmaayao ginnen Fino' Espanot. Put hemplo, estaba hu chagi muna'setba "direchas kuetdas" lao kalang ni' hayi kumomprende, so pues para hafa!

The oldness also relates to how I borrowed some of the phrases from old improvisational long songs that manamko' related to me.

One reason why I'm posting this is because of an oddly romantic feeling this morning, no idea why. Maybe its because of a refreshing dream I had last night that I cannot remember in waking life. There are so many disparate threads of attraction in my life right now, but nothing secure, nothing certain. A number of beautiful women, linked to me through beautiful, yet naturally ephemeral moments. A g…

Sinangan Chamoru ni' Inspirational

Several years ago I made for the Guam Communications Network and their publication The Galaide, a Chamorro Activist Quiz. In it, I provided a number of infamous Chamorro sayings throughout the past few centuries, with the list of the speakers randomly assigned along the left side of the page. The object of course, to read the quotes and then match them to their author.

Naturally the task was incredibly difficult for most people, especially since The Galaide is primarily for the Chamorro community in the United States. Yanggen sumasaga hao giya Guahan, siempre un hungok put este na taotao, achokka' ti un tungo' put i sinangan. Lao yanggen taotao Amerika hao, siempre taya' tiningo'-mu put este siha. Although most people were impressed with it, and learned something from it, former Congressman Robert Underwood was the only person I know of who was actually able to complete it.

Its funny, There were 18 quotes and 18 Chamorros, and I had two scales on which you could calculat…

The Spear can only be Broken by the Wound that Caused It

Ever since my manner, my writing and my work has become super theoretical one issue has persistently dogged me wherever I go. It pops up during my hysterical internal monologues over sections of my thesis ("oh crap, did I just accidentally reify the split I was trying to pass through?"), questions from Chamorros and others in response to my zany blog posts ("what the hell does "patriotic blowback" mean?") and from people who find my notion of being an "indigenous Lacanian" disturbing. What exactly is this issue, this question that haunts me?

Where does my critique emerge from in relation to modernity?

Okay, so maybe in that form it doesn't sound like something alot of people would ask on an everyday basis, but nonetheless it is this kernal that is always confronting me in my work, and by work I mean academically or what I produce explicitly for academics as well as intellectual work I do for anyone else anywhere.

The phrase "relation to mo…

Battle For Kamchatka

The moment na in na'lilisto (Hami yan i mane'lu-hu siha) desde i ma'pos na sakkan, put fin u fatto.

After years of hording comic books, talking and debating comic history and theory, and creating comic book characters that stayed just on sketch pages, we are at last on the edge of actually making an actual comic.
Me and my brothers will be officially presenting our comic Battle for Kamchatka at this year's Alternative Press Expo (APE), on April 8 and 9. For more info on the Expo go to http://www.comic-con.orgWe will have two issues, inked and lettered to show, and will be looking for someone to publish our stuff. If any of you are interesed in learning more about the comic, or know of any leads for publishing let me know. We will also be either selling or giving away a number of ashcans, or limited edition preview comics. Kamchatka is the world of our comic and part of the mystery which both the characters and the readers will struggle with, is how exactly do things en…

Tinige Chomsky

Published on Wednesday,
March 15, 2006 by the Guardian / UK

Latin America and Asia Are at Last Breaking Free of Washington's Grip
The US-dominated world order is being challenged by a new spirit of independence in the global south
by Noam Chomsky

The prospect that Europe and Asia might move towards greater independence has troubled US planners since the second world war. The concerns have only risen as the "tripolar order" - Europe, North America and Asia - has continued to evolve.

Every day Latin America, too, is becoming more independent. Now Asia and the Americas are strengthening their ties while the reigning superpower, the odd man out, consumes itself in misadventures in the Middle East.

Regional integration in Asia and Latin America is a crucial and increasingly important issue that, from Washington's perspective, betokens a defiant world gone out of control. Energy, of course, remains a defining factor - the object of contention - everywhere.

China, unlike Europe, re…

Compulsory Democracy and Britney Government

I am currently marginally addicted to the game Nationstates ( made by Max Barry the author of Jennifer Government and Company. Its pretty cool in a very simple way. You basically create a nation, and through daily issues that you receive and take a position on, you somehow determine the course of your nation.

The day I created my nation the issue I was given was an interesting one, a sort of "democracy at the crossroads." I was offered three positions on the issue of "compulsory democracy." The first boiled down to, "democracy only works if its truly representative, and that can only happen if everyone participates, therefore democracy must be compulsory." The second position was that "democracy is about freedom, you can't force people to be part of democracy, that's not what its about, therefore democracy can't be compulsory." The last choice was offered by your brother, who basically said, "this is a…

We Goin Fiji, We Goin Fiji

I got an email yesterday, that I seriously hadn't been expecting.

I posted several months ago an abstract that me and my buddy Theo had submitted to the Pacific Epistemologies conference at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji, which will take place in July 2006. The abstract was pretty decent, but I felt kinda sure that the form of our paper didn't quite match what is generally considered to be "pacific epistemology" or "indigenous epistemology."

I felt that the critique we were making could easily be construed as outside of indigeneity, and therefore we probably wouldn't fit the intent of the conference. No, no, I haven't suddenly realized that there is no such thing as "inside" or "outside" of cultures, if anything the untenability of this distinction makes it return even more forcefully. (case in point, isn't interesting how all the wonderful globalization literature out there on crossing borders, just enables new form…