Sunday, April 17, 2011

To A Crazy Chamoru Nationalist

I used to get alot more hate mail through this blog. I would get random people, sending me angry comments or emails about random things which they felt I was somehow responsible for. It is intriguing how people paradoxically see activist or dissidents as being both powerful and powerless at the same time. On the one hand they see them as having so much authority and power in terms of tearing things apart and ruining things, but in precisely the same sentence or moment event, they can see them as having no power or authority or say, belonging to a ridiculous and blind minority or splinter group. Intriguing how stupid the world can be isn't it? That someone can say so passionately that you represent the end of the world and nothing in this world at the same time. For me that doesn't really make sense. If the activists have power because of what they say or do it means they represent something much larger than themselves. It means if you are going to say that they are ruining something in any real way then they do have power and are not a foolish group of maladjusted malcontents.

This hate mail stopped for the most part when I installed moderated comments and now internet trolls and chachatli'e' who feel their power through the cloak of anonymity cannot help but feel weakened by even the mere act of creating a fake account through which to spew their mindless crap. This doesn't mean that I don't like debate or arguments, but they work much better when you know who is on the other end and they have to live with the burden of knowing that you know.

Publicly announcing who I am on my blog, what I do and what I think, puts me at a disadvantage in terms of debating most trolls, since they keep those things secret precisely to give themselves more options. To find more ways of twisting who they will say they are in order to create an aura of authenticity behind the strange things they say. I remember getting a flood of emails several years ago from one person who despite my repeated attempts to get him to identify himself (or herself) never did. This person complained constantly about Guam and said he was Chamorro, but seemed to hate everything about Chamorros, except the ways certain things in their history would fit with theories about Guam being part of ancient cities such as Atlantis or sunken continents as Lumeria. The only thing he actually liked about Guam or Chamorros was because he could fit it into some grand theory that he liked.

This person complained constantly about activists and he hated with a burning passion the late Angel Santos. He would often refer to Angel Santos with a litany of derogatory terms after his name and when he wanted to attack you he would say you were like Angel Santos. When pressed as to why he hated Angel Santos so much, this person would tell stories of how his mother worked for Angel Santos and how he was nice to everyone else in the world but treated his mother like garbage. He would be mean to her, say cruel things to her and figuratively spit on the work she did for him when he was a Senator.

When this person first told this to me, I wasn't phased by it, everyone has a dark side and a side that they keep hidden from most people. No one is perfect and so based on this you can argue that either no one should be made a saint or that people should be made saints based on a calculation of their good outweighing the bad. But I wanted to know who he was and who his mother was to see if it was even true. The person would never reveal their name however and so I wondered if I could really believe any of it. In the context of any argument, being able to say that I have an intimate sort of evidentiary experience here to use against you is a great advantage. You can say all the great things in the world about Angel Santos, but if someone comes forward with some sin or crime or bad behavior in this vein, it is hard to just dismiss it. In the mind of this  person, Angel Santos was such a horrible man privately, then for him to claim to be a good and moral man publicly makes him the biggest hypocrite!

The point of keeping yourself secret is because then this evidence can grow and grow. I have no idea as to whether or not it is true, it very well could be. But the beauty of keeping yourself hidden is that the next time you email and attack, you could have some brand new story, some brand new sin, some brand new line of attack and there is absolutely no way to respond. I couldn't even ask other people if they knew about this since I have no idea who I would be asking about. I can imagine asking people "Do you remember if Angel Santos was particularly cruel and mean to this one woman who worked for him?"

So while my blog is pretty safe now from hate mail, I still get some of it randomly through my email and interestingly enough sometimes through my Youtube accounts. The other day I got some very interesting hate mail through my main Youtube page that actually made me laugh more than anything. The night before I received it someone had left several angry, racist attacks on myself and a friend of mine Victoria Leon Guerrero, which were so stupid, so noobish and just plain silly that I had to wonder if they were even real. Usually when rhetoric touches what you feel is it's ur-form or its most rudimentary state, like the talking point beyond talking points, it's not someone who is actually it, but someone attempting perform some authenticity. This is similar to the way in which Malafunkshun and the chad culture which it was built upon would appear to be more Chamorro than "Chamorro" things, or as I often point out on this blog, how speaking English with a thick accent comes to "sound" more Chamorro than speaking in Chamorro. Another way of conceiving this is stereotypes, in that they are not real, not really authentic but sometimes feel more authentic than the real thing.

This person who commented on my Youtube channel seemed to almost be a caricature. His (or her) name is Kadukuboi1990, which means "Crazy Boy 1990." He signed all his comments with the phrase "Chamoru Nationalist." I found this interesting because over the years so many random anger people who don't want to identify themselves come up with weird names like that to use with me. Four years ago I got some angry comments from someone who called himself a "Real Filipino-American Guamanian." Six years ago I got angry emails from a young Chamorro from Washington who called himself a "True Chamoru Renaissance Artist." For years I communicated with some crazy Chamorro kid who called himself a "True Native Taotaomo'na Islander" referring to the fact that someone people refer to the Marianas Islands as the "Taotaomo'na Islands." These labels, meant to convey depth and finehman almost always inadvertently reveal an almost raging shallowness and lack of knowledge. They are a way of asserting their identity in such an overly aggressive way in hopes of people not asking them what they even mean by that? Or what does that mean? For the person who called himself a "Filipino-American Guamanian" all you would have to do is tell him to add four more ethnic and regional identifications (put hemplo: Asia, Pacific Islander, First World, Micronesian) and he might simply cease to exist. He might just vanish and go to the purgatory where all weird and impossible amalgamations of wishful ethnic identities go.

I'm pasting his comments below so you can read them and let me know what you think. Kao magahet este na taotao? Pat chatmagahet gui'? When you read through these comments it almost seems like there was a list of attack points he had to go through, and so it took him three whole comments in order to get them all checked off.

But if he is a real person, then he has some real problems in his thinking. His points are contradictory in so many ways it's almost sad. He speaks with such certainty on things he clearly has no understanding of, reading through these comments is like watching some movie villain laugh maniacally about the savoring of his victory as he is mauled to pieces by a pack of bears and has clearly not won anything. That is what is so bewildering and laughable about ideology, is that it is a magical potion which allows you to live in a fantasy but feel with almost absolute certainty that the hallucinations of your intellectually starved mind are not just your truth, but everyone's truth and is something which the waves of all humanity must crash upon and be judged by. That's what is so surreal about ideology, is that, despite the lack of any real evidence to support your claim (even in the taranas of your mind), you still believe that your ideas are and should be the center of the universe.

Here's the comments. I thought about responding to them and I may do so later this weekend.

1 comment:

Desiree Taimanglo Ventura said...

I get hate mail too. I haven't prevented anonymous comments, but one of my recent entries had me opening a few emails that compared me to Hitler. (ummm?) Anyways, my last name is Chamorro and I still get the same thing. I used to be honestly hurt by the hate mail. I wasn't as thick skinned when I first started writing online. I would cry every time a troll attacked my family or me. I started wasting a lot of energy trying to respond to them all, explaining that I didn't hate soldiers and was the daughter of one, that I don't hate light colored people because I'm light myself... The list of disclaimers would go on and on before I realized it was a pretty calculated move on the troll's side to run me ragged. Anyways, I'm learning to laugh at them more and more too. And I think kadukuboi1990 is wasting his all caps button typing nonsense.


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