Showing posts from July, 2009

The Akaka Bill, The Chamorro Tribe and Decolonization

Alot of people who are working towards decolonization on Guam, and I mean this primarily in a political status sense, usually don't think very concretely about how it would actually happen or what it would entail. There is alot of emphasis on what is deserved or owed to Chamorros, but less talk about how we can make it happen and what we would need to do, and who we would need to get involved. Todu ma konfotme na bula na debi di u macho'gue, lao manu na gaige i diniskuti put hafa este siha yan taimanu sina ta na'fanhuyong este na guinife?

The United Nations is always named as having a role in this, but while it provides the framework for how to do it, it isn't a major player or force in any way. Gi este na kinalamten, kulang daffe'. The UN is what is always has been, a symbolic force, which can be used for great good or evil if powerful nations are inclined to use it, and not much else the rest of the time. That's why, the United Nation's has been calling fo…

So is Sarah Palin now a community organizer with no actual responsibilities?

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has now officially become former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. She had announced her resignation last month.

She stepped down yesterday, in a very fiesty and somewhat angry speech which vigorously defended America's men and women in uniform (although she didn't really mention from whom she was defending them), and attacked all the not real Americans out there, especially those in Hollywood or in the media. Kada nai kumuentos Si Palin, guaha taotao gi i media, pat giya Hollywood ni' ha kehahayi, lao ai adai, ti nahong este na klasin kuentos kontat ya-na na u Presidente un diha! Ti nahong i taotao ni' sina un pugi ni' este na klasin kuentos. Hunggan guaha meggai gi entre i "manmagahet na Amerikanu siha" ni' sina mansinehyo ni' este na lalalu na setmon siha, lao put hafa i otro na taotao? Gi i fino' Ingles ma sasangan na guaha Agaga na States yan guaha Asut na States, yan este na klasin kuentos mafa'tinas para i Mana…

Act of Decolonization #14: Asut na Ga'lagu Siha

I gave a joint presentation last week on Chamorro sovereignty. at a Pacific Educational Conference at UOG along with fellow island intelligentsia and all around intellectual radicals, Victoria Leon Guerrero, Dr. Lisa Natividad and former Guam Senator Hope Cristobal. The room was packed full of teachers from Guam and around Micronesia who wanted to know more about what the presenters meant by Chamorro sovereignty. Ya-niha i fina'nu'in-mami. In na'hassuyi siha put este na asunto siha.

In my part of the presentation I talked something I often discuss on this blog, the cultural vs. the political, or the way in which colonized people or minorities tend to be reduced to exotic, flavorful cultural practices in their communities, while another superior culture, generally the colonizer or as Pat Buchanan likes to say "white folks" get to be in charge of The Culture, or the political culture. This Culture is the gatekeeper culture, the one which gets to decide where everyo…

Two Ways to Kill a God

The gof na'chalek lao gof na'triste lokkue' book Cat's Cradleby Kurt Vonnegut ends with the following paragraph.
If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.

For those of you who don't know the book, you should read it, it is a tragic commentary on everything from religion, to colonialism, to the fallacy of objective science. At this point the whole world has been radically altered by a substance called ice-nine, which when is touched to water changes its composition so that it can be solid ice even at room temperature. The protagonist is stuck on the island of San Lorenzo, surrounded by the once ocean, which is now a world of tornadoes. He has be…

More Than Meets the Eye

After watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen last week, and just a little over a year until my 30th birthday, I eventually ended up finding a creative way of taking stock of the long road that I've traveled to this point, and how the mythology of Transformers has followed me there. As I walked out of the film I said to my sleeping daughter Sumåhi, "Gof suette yu', kao un tungo' sa' hafa? Sa' gi este lina'la'-hu, "privileged" yu' na hu egga' na mapuno' Si Optimus Prime dos biahi, ya hu egga' na mana'la'la' ta'lo dos biahi."

For those who don't speak Chamorro my message was "I'm so lucky and do you know why? Because in my life, I've been privileged enough to watch Optimus Prime die twice and come back to life twice." And for those of you who don't speak the language of Transformers, Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots, the good half of the Transformers world, with the D…

Wars Stories from Chamorros at the Tip of the Spear

One of the most comprehensive pieces written about Chamorros and the complexity and everyday violence of their struggles today. Its long, but worth the read.


War Stories and the Chamorus: journalism and militarization on the tip of the spear.
By Beau Hodai
Special to News From Indian Country
July 2009

It was a typical day in the jungle, though more overcast than the constant island diet of endless blue skies and fluffy white clouds; humid-- drizzling rain that would materialize from the sticky mist in the air, a breeze stirring through breadfruit and banana leaves.

I was at the family home of Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Anthony Carbullido, Jr., whom the Department of Defense had recently listed among the dead to be routed back from Afghanistan to Guam through Dover, Delaware-- the victim of an improvised explosive device.

Family and friends of the corpsman were seated in rows of folding chairs under a glowing green fiberglass awning reciting the rosary, “may et…