Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tiempon Mama'daddydy yan Mama'disising
The almost week long break from this blog has been an unfortunate side effect of the shifting of priorities since I came back to Guam.
I put alot into this blog over the past two months mainly because of the Democratic National Convention and also my own close following of issues of race and gender in the campaign and the pick of Sarah Palin for VP by John McCain. I'm scaling things back now in order to spend more time trying to be a good father to my 17 month old nene Sumåhi, and also working on finishing up my dissertation as soon as possible.
Both activities require lots of attention and plenty of focus, and so sadly I might be posting less than usual for the next few months. This doesn't mean that I don't have plenty floating around in my head to post about, in fact sigi ha' machuchuda' i hinasso-ku desde matto yu' para Guahan! I have way too many things to write about now that I'm back, Guam is far from boring there is plenty happening that I'm a part of, or that I am privileged enough to witness. And hopefully I'll be setting aside some time to update everyone on what's going on.
In the meantime just thought I'd share some of my dissertation. Every once in a while I have a feature on my blog called "Fun With Footnotes" where I just share some of my nicer and longer footnotes from my academic work. The reason I usually spend alot of time writing big long footnoes is philosophical and critical. Guam, as I've often said is "a big American footnote" and so by having the footnotes in my work sometimes overwhelm the "main text" I am creating a reminder about the relationship between center and periphery, natural assumptions about what is essential and what is supplementary, both of which dictate in the relationship between Guam and the United States, who is in charge or more importantly who should and as to be in charge.
This sort of gesture is something I am working on in my dissertation.
What I'd like to share with today is sort of the basula pat tetehnan of my dissertation writing. I don't know how others write, but when I'm writing I rarely delete anything, but usually end up bumping it down to the bottom of the page or copying and pasting it at the page's bottom. I often work out my arguments as I am writing and so I never really know when I might need a line that I once thought useless, or hours later might pine for a phrasing that I'd been able to craft before, but can't quite seem to re-create again. I just finished up my rough first draft of the first chapter of my dissertation and so just so you can get a interesting, chaotic sense of what my dissertation is about and where its heading or actually where its not heading, I'll paste the basula pat tetehnan of my chapter draft below.
Tetehnan na Tinige'-Hu Ginnen i Fine'nina na Kanton i Dissertation-Hu
The metaphoric distance is the same.
Sovereignty is ultimately the concept which emerges to provide a rationale for naturalizing or explaining those power relations.
Just as Briggs used medical history and science studies for her attempt to rework the colonial assumptions that bind Puerto Rico and the United States together, my site will be the concept o
Its reduction to a piece of territory that proves our might, something which can be traced from the Insular Cases up until today’s philosophical expositions on Guam as “the tip of the spear.”
(I could bring in here, Partha Chatterjee and “the colonial difference” as the gap which exists to determine the tendencies of sovereign power)
When decolonization takes place, we see the rules of signification for those objects become stabilized, and the possibility created for them to signify something else. We see a potential breaking of the desire that they stimulated in the colonized to need the colonizer.
Bring in here, what? Decolonial deadlock is a colonial fantasy.
What it serves.
gaps are created in the colonial world, where a chance for those objects to signify something else takes place.
At the level of its content
To that end, I developed a the
The particular negative associations with Chamorros, would become universal, would become the law of the island.
then there is nothing more horrifying, or to be forcefully resisted than decolonization, because of the threat it poses in weakening the influence and interests of the United States in Guam.
The decolonial deadlock is what connects to the fantasy. To keep Guam as a colony. That what the United States wants, what it sees. Bring in from THESIS
successful expansion of its ideas
There is a very strong commonsense hegemony over this current collection of American states
This is not tied to the opinions of people, it is not something that has to be spoken to have power, but is part of the way that sovereign power works, that certain bodies, certain figures become the subjects who are supposed to be in power, while others
Guam’s participation tip toes softly, but nonetheless treads upon this current hegemony, this current order
It threatens to reveal all sorts of nasty, errant, banished ideas that contradict the image of greatness that American elections necessarily are made of. But it also threatens to upset that relationship of power, between who has it, who doesn’t, who has it over whom. A relationship which is felt and understood and assumed, both in knowledge and even more so in ignorance.
BRING IN EMAIL: Why should a place I’ve never heard of have a say in who is my next President?
Secondly, power over me
This is a feeling often found at the Federal level in dealing with the territories, the fear of setting these sorts of “national” precedents
Liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas from the website Dailykos made similar statements, questioning whether or not it was appropriate to count these votes, for these people to have their say, since they and their voices cannot actually be counted.
But in the margins, in offh
Aside from the reports of how many people voted on Guam and how close the vote was with Barack Obama barely winning.
Why should you get to vote? You didn’t die (Cram)
The current relationship between Guam and the United States, a colonial relationship which is structured largely through an oppressive national ignorance over the island, feeds into this understanding
BRING IN GUAM’S STATUS?
The gap between the US and Guam.
More people to be included, in fact these are so important, because they are so not important and so forgotten.
Then switch to
The uncritical primary excitement create an almost laughable silence over the political status of both Guam and Puerto Rico.
Instead of discussion explaining the political status, explaining American colonialism, crass military interests its treatment of its indigenous populations,
Guam has no electoral college votes, and by virtue of its status as a “unincorporated territory” of the United States, its votes for President don’t count.
and excitement not over their full and equal participat
As people from Indiana, Montana and West Virginia got to share their excitement
But in the margins, in offhand remarks, in the sort of commentary about commentary things were different.
as signs which been (mostly) surpassed, were used to create
A massive self-aggrandizing bubble was created surround the primary,
A massive bubble was created surround the primary, in which
These self-celebration was something to be closely protected however, in particular by the media and campaigns which spent an incredible amount of time and effort denying the very things that was making this election historic.
The media which spent so much time celebrating the success that the election of eite rof
The coverage of Guam and Puerto Rico was caught up in these
The coverage that the colonies of the United States who participated in the later st
Given this circle exercise of celebrating American progress and greatness and
The self-aggrandizement of American Democra
or most prominently th
or in my case, they are Chamorro and either come from there are have familial ties there, no matter where you went, suddenly Guam was everywhere.
You found mentions of Guam everywhere, and not just the usual.
The election for President had already been in full swing since the year before, when many of the major candidates of both parties announced their candidacies’. But as the primary season actually started and the battle between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama began to get tight, every delegate, no matter how small it may have seemed before, or from what backwater, rural state, or even territory it may have come from began to matter.
This was the newly bestowed political power that those of us tied to Guam, most prominently Chamorros, the island’s indigenous people felt.
Well not everywhere, but everywhere in the sense that as a distant colony of the United States, it tends to receive very little attention from just about every level of American society, and so when suddenly you hear Guam being mentioned on CNN, in your local papers, all across the internet, you cannot help but feel flushed with some energy at this glorious new recognition
But this form of recognition isn’t the power that I’m referring to. The new power came not from the mentions, but the role that Guam would play in the Democratic primary process. In a race where at one point, every vote actually did seem to count, and different campaigns and news outlets had their own ways of tallying those totals, which put one candidate ahead of the other, and vice versa.
Guam, and those from Guam were given a new incredible power. I felt
During the spring of 2008, if you were from Guam or in some way tied to the Guam, and were moving in and out of political conversations in the United States, you most likely found yourself bestowed with an almost unreal power. This was the case with me, during the
The various responses to this participation provide an excellent way to start this dissertation.
The new power:
Territories are acquiring new power. They are getting things beyond what they have, what they deserve. Getting to have a say that they didn’t have before.
The reaction however speaks far more to question of who is supposed to have this power, rather than who is the new figure who is receiving it.
In the case of Obama and Hillary, the subject supposed to have power is supposed to be white men. In the case of Guam it is states, those who reside in the states, and in a broader way the United States of America.
The unspoken side of this is that Guam is a place which is not supposed to have power.
All of these things that Guam is,
In the midst of all these we see the United States, and its fully enfranchised and real citizen as the subject who is supposed to have power.
if you were from Guam or tied to Guam in some way in the United States, you found yourself suddenly bestowed with an almost unreal power.