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Showing posts from November, 2008

Critiquing the Military Buildup of Guam

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Last Thursday night, I was speaking on a panel at the University of Guam Lecture Hall, as part of a public forum/discussion on the planned military buildup for Guam. I'll be writing more about my thoughts on it later, because there is plenty to consider. I got to listen to and talk to some members of the Government of Guam Civilian Military Task Force, which is in charge of "preparing" Guam to deal with the typhoon of military presence that it will soon be forced to endure. Also, there is the fact that hundreds of people came to attend the forum, and students were even standing lined up along the hall's sides and sitting on the floor.

Here's two article from the Marianas Variety and the Pacific Daily News that covered the event. The PDN article in particular is interesting, since it almost completely ignores the spirit of my comments (which could be considered to be controversial, were viciously anti-colonial and pushing for the island's declonization, but wer…

Fanslation Chamoru #4: Tatahgue

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Here is my latest Fanslation Chamoru, chapter 171 of Naruto, titled "Tatahgue" or "Replacement."
This is the second part of an earlier fanslation that I did, "I Tilu na Maga'gera," which featured a big fight between the three "Sanin" of Konoha, Juraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade. This chapter continues that story, and also helps build up that very familiar and regularly tiresome, but inevitable story arc, in that Naurto will one day become the Hokage or leader of the Konohagure.
Apologies ahead of time for those who would like to read this latest fanslation. There might be one or two errors in this one. I saw them when I was first editing it, but in the time since I've forgotten where they were, and no my brain doesn't pick them up when I read the manga. I hate it when that happens. As an academic when you're brain gets blind spots like that and fixes the mistakes you're reading in order to smooth things over, it makes you look li…

Stories and Song Festival

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On November 29th, the Chamorro creative arts group "Ginen I Hila’ I Maga’taotao Siha" wil be hosting a Stories and Songs Festival, which is free and open to the public and will feature Chamorro/Guam storytelling as well as arts and crafts. The group has been organizing a series of very enjoyable presentations recently, even having on before Halloween, where they told ghost stories on the beach at Ipan.
I'll be participating in this festival in a number of ways. First off me and i che'lu-hu Kuri will have a table set up in order to display the tools of our grandfather Tun Jack Lujan. My grandpa has been a Chamorro blacksmith for more than 80 years now, and whereas the island once had several dozen tool makers, he is now the only traditional one, or one who comes from a generational legacy. Put i mafana'guen-na i che'lu-hu, esta gaige gi entre i familia-ku kuatro na henerasion herrero. Yesterday I posted some videos of grandpa, Kuri and me working in the shop. A…

Herreron Chamorro

Smart Defense

Published on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 by The Nation
Smart Defense
by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Last month, Congressman Barney Frank called for a 25 percent cut in the defense budget--approximately $150 billion in annual spending--saying, "We don't need all these fancy new weapons. I think there needs to be additional review."

Predictably, the Republican backlash was swift. House Minority Leader John Boehner called Frank "incredibly irresponsible." House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee ranking member John McHugh (R-NY) labeled the proposed reduction "unconscionable." Democrats--especially those on the House Armed Services Committee --didn't exactly embrace Frank's target, either.

But Congressman Frank isn't backing down. In an e-mail to me yesterday he wrote, "Much of the reduction will come from ending the war in Iraq and from cutting unneeded weapons systems. I believe that it's appropriate to reduce defense spending, and this is …

Hafa i Chalan-ta Mo'na?

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I've realized this week that I could run a blog full-time, just by posting regularly what happens in my classes or what I'm doing in my classes.

I'm teaching four Guam History classes at UOG for the month of November, taking over for a professor who is sick and off-island. He's given me space to do whatever I want, and so there were a number of different projects I wanted my students to do, but I'll really only have time for one, and so the description for it I'm pasting below. Its called "Estao Pulitikåt: I Chalån-ta Mo’na," and in it, classes will be divided into three groups, each representing a different political status for Guam, statehood, independence and free association, and they will have to answer "tough" questions from me about what Guam will look like under their political status and why given the island's historical and contemporary problems, is their particular status the best way to go.

The first groups have their debates/f…

I am Splattered with the Blood of your Origin

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The past month has been gof mappot for writing. The chapter that I'm working on for my dissertation right now is a MONSTER, un mampos dongkalo na birak, pat GATOS. Guaha nai hinassosso-ku na ha kekepuno' yu'! Guaha nai lokkue', na hinasso-ku yu' na esta matai yu', sa' malingu i titanos-hu, humuyong ya sumaga'naihon gi iyo-ku computer screen, ya nina'langga' yu'.

The chapter involves too many different things, directions from looking at and critiquing sovereignty, and rather than taking the easy way out and simply using what other people say, I've done my best to develop my own route for looking Guam's ghostly place in relation to the concept of sovereignty. Mind you, what I'm saying isn't ginnen taya' or from scratch, its informed by different things, mainly my experiences and my interactions, anecdotal evidence of Guam's colonial status. But I resisted simply putting my dissertation on other peoples' shoulders, f…

From the Soul and Spirit of our Ancestors...

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Lina'la Sin History yan Prop A

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Last week I taught my first classes ever.
I've guest lectured and substituted for people before, but this was the first time that I had my own classes and that I was the one in charge. Thing went pretty well.

I'm taking over four History of Guam classes for November, since the professor is off-island for medical purposes. At first I wasn't quite sure how to approach the classes, since I'll be the third teacher for them (their real professor, another sub and then me), and what I might want to do, will no doubt conflict with what the others have taught. Also, since I have a dissertation that still needs to be written and finished, I have to find a way to be creative and get my students thinking, without taking too much time away from my writing and research.

For my first round of classes, things went pretty well. At least from my perspective.

I gave some background on myself, gave a little lecture on what I see as being the importance of history, and also talked about how h…

Nation of Firsts

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In my Guam History classes last week I gave my students the lyrics to a number of different Chamorro songs, each of which said something important about post-war Guam. The songs were An Gumupu Si Paluma by Johnny Sablan, Binenu by J.D. Crutch, Green Revolution by Johnny Sablan and lastly Guam USA by K.C. Leon Guerrero.

For An Gumupu Si Paluma, I talked about changes from pre-war to post-war Guam, the disappearance of the Chamorro language, Chamorro birds, the Chamoritta style of singing, and so on, and how Johnny Sablan's song ends with a powerful call for Chamorros to come together and stop these changes, to reverse them. For Binenu, I talked about the shifting public perspectives on the US military presence on Guam and in the minds of Chamorros. How those who returned from Vietnam, died, alive, addicted to drugs, suffering from diseases or nightmares and mental trauma, all helped shift the view of the military on Guam, tarnishing the clean, white liberating image that it gained f…

Sakigake Chamorro #2: FLCL

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Last month I started yet another regular post thread which brought together my love for anime and the Chamorro language. I named it "Sakigake Chamorro" which translates to "Charge ahead Chamorro!" and is taken from the manga/anime Sakigake! Cromartie High School! What this thread amounts to is the theme songs for anime translated into Chamorro in more fun, less precise fashion. I named it "Sakigake Chamorro" because the first song I chose to translate was from Cromartie High School.

This evening, as I was trying to unwind from a long, stressful week of teaching I decided to translate another anime song. I decided to pick one that would be a lot of fun to translate, this meaning one which is really catchy, but also completely nonsensical and insane. The one that immediately popped into my mind from those on my computer was "Ride on Shooting Star" from the anime FLCL. I've never really liked this one, but i che'lu-hu Jack really does, and a…