Monday, July 20, 2009

"Happy Up Here" by Röyksopp (2009)

One of the best videos i have seen so far this year! Directed by Reuben Sutherland.



Courtesy of Rö

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hasta que la muerte (o el Estado) los separe!

A few weeks ago I participated in a very peculiar event. Even though I had my initial doubts about the event, which consisted in the "wedding" of two young gentlement in the Duarte Park, I decided to go  and check it out. Worse case scenario, I'd have a good laugh and a few beers.

The first surprise? Well, let's just say I thought our country had far more serious problems with social security and national defense than some protesting kids in a park. The place was completely militarized, not to mention the perfomance I was told I missed, where they had the Firemens Marching band perfom in order to stop people form talking and performing.

In fact, I have never seen so many Policemen together in one place (perhaps the Military Parade?) and it just goes to say what the state of our country is at this turning point of the 21st. Century.

Whereas other countries are debating equal rights under the law, ours is just starting to debate the right of choice. Thats about 35 years behind the world agenda. And should it be a surprise? Of course not! After all, our society is pleased to just move along and follow the leader as long as we get our cut of the deal. We have 3 political parties, and there is no ideological difference between them, but they do differ in how the operate to squeeze out the national budget: Ones are more skilled than others getting richer faster.

So whith such a heavy agenda, why would anyone bother following common sense? Thats what we have the almighty church for. An almighty church capable of demanding all the things its representatives are incapable of doing.

And this is of course not to be blamed on the politicians. Or the current society. Or the church. Or the stablished order. Its only to be blamed on the citizens.

Dominicans are used to vocalizing their worries, but not doing anything about them until: 1, it affects us dirrectly; or 2, it affects our interests directly.

What happened in that park is another example of how a strong, conservative, elusive rulling part of society is completely divorced from a reality to be dealt with. Who doesn't know a homosexual man or woman today? Everyone does, and everyone should acknowledge a right that is inherent to every human beign from the time of their birth: the right to persue its own happiness through its own performance in society, achieving the things everyone has access to: Work, ownership, health, and, family.

I am not advocating for anyone. Everyone who knows me, knows what I am capable of and the things I advocate for. But if this issue is close to you, you should seriously fight for it, not lightly but firmly. The wedding? It ended up beign a joke, but as a first step, I think it was a brave decision of everyone in that park, considering risking their own rights were at stake during a night where the public force was just waiting for an excuse to sweep everyone present.

Equal rights under the law is a goal everyone should fight for. But lets stop for a second and think: Is our society ready to admit what is right there under their noses? No; Are they ready to face the issues of a society fo the 21st century, such as right of choice, speach? No; Is the dominican society ready to face real issues that face our development goals? No.

But all it takes to bring awareness to these issues in one person, on step towards a long journey.

But that journey has to be driven by serious people, with genuine desire to reach a goal that they have clearly established. It was imposible to think of a black man as President of one of the most racist countries in the world, and there he is.

Impossible is nothing. Who wants to give that first step?


Monday, July 06, 2009

Sobre Honduras y el Zelayaso

One of my students asked me if i could write something about the Honduras situation. I decided to write this in english, as i think some other students from PC will be reading this and it should be in english. My opinion is the following:

President Zelaya is no longer President of Honduras as a result of his own dealings. If in fact he wouldn't have tried to impose re-election (The new found love of latinamerican Presidents across the continent) he would probably still be in Honduras with his signature 10-Galon hat on, riding some funny horse and listening to bachata.

The current dealings internationally are as followed: (1) As the vote-elected dignatary, President Zelaya is the rightfull Head of the Honduran State; (2) As the result of a coup, de facto leader Roberto Michelletti is not a legitimate authority, although he WAS elected following constituional procedure for replacing the President upon his absence; (3) A return of Zelaya is mandatory.

First off, 1; Although he is the rightful President, the international community must not conviniently forget that President Zelaya blatantly ignored orders by both Congress and the Supreme Court of Honduras to stop at his attempts of modifying an article that the Constitution itself claimed cannot be changed. In a heist to do as he pleased, he even replaced the high ranks of the military in hopes to achive his goal, by ilegal procedures.

I personally think it is a show of political balance when even the military, the Legislative and Judicial branches of a country uphold the Constitution as the basic law of a country and demanding the rightfull execution of ALL its commands, even when they don't benefit you or your party. Long shot it will ever happen in these two-thirds of an island, but I'm hopefull.

Second, de facto authorities; Parliament President Michelletti is not the rightfull President of Honduras, I get that. But he is the provisional leader until elections are called for sometime before the summer ends. In any case elections were supposed to be held in November (Whcih explains President Zelaya's rush to modify the Constituion, in which case he wouldn't have been able to participate in the contest, as teh Constitution he was elected under does not allow for Presidents to run for office twice) in which case new authorities, legitimate ones, will soon be elected and this ordeal will soon be forgotten with so far 2 victims as its costs.

Third, a return of President Zelaya is not exactly a healthy thing to be happening. I haven't talked to the students i know from Honduras, im actually looking forward to doing so. President Zelaya was looking to impose himself as an incumbent candidate under the worse conditions ever, as his popularity wasn;t exactly Obama's, the social situation in Honduras wasn't exactly great and in general, his achievemnts as President didn't pile up as enough to justify the Constituional proposal.

I think he might have pulled it off earlier in his term, who knows. But right now, with all this turmoil in heat, a return of Zelaya (And a posible return to his former position of imposing a constituional reform) would be the completely opposite of what the international community wants to promote: Legal validity of law and legitimacy for elected officials. Only this elected official was violating the Constitution itself by organizing a pole to ordain a reform of something that is specifically marked as not-reformable, supported on Parliament Resolution and a Supreme Court Decision.

Should we allow Presidents to have infinite power as the please? Should we support the manhandling of state Branches? Ignore the authority of Congress and the Highest Courts?

With all due respect President Zelaya, you've brought this on yourself.