Monday, April 15, 2013

Threatening Thoughts #5: Eating Our Fantasies

Guam should think for itself, and should understand better its position in relation to the United States and the world around it. Just accepting an "American" ideological point of view for everything means pretending we live a different reality in a different part of the world. It also means we prevent ourselves from understanding the benefits and dangers that we get by virtue of our geographic position. This is not something that I would advocate solely because of the North Korea issue. So long as Guam remains a non-self-governing territory, an unincorporated territory, its relationship to the United States should be of great importance, but not define the island, its present or its future. To accept that this relationship is central is to keep the fantasies alive and rather than seek any real sovereignty or real inclusion, you end up eating the air of your fantasies and slowly starving yourself into non-existence.

Part of the weakness of this island is its eager willingness to celebrate the fantasies we have, as opposed to educating ourselves about our realities. Nowhere is this more obvious than in terms of political status. We educate ourselves in school and in life as if we are a full and equal part of the United States. This is our fantasy and it is a seductive one. Especially since as minor, second-class Americans, we feel that the world revolves around the United States and that everyone in the universe wants to become American. This is not however our reality. Our reality is that we have a very intimate relationship with the United States, that inhibits us in some ways and supports us in others. But as a society we run from the truth of it instead of facing it. We accept the fantasies of Guam's inclusion since it is more attractive than understanding the realities of our position. Who wants to remember that we aren't a full or real part of the United States? Isn't it so much more comfortable to accept symbols or emotional platitudes that wish for such a things to exist, rather than to reflect on how it doesn't exist?

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