Saturday, December 09, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Quote Of The Day
" During these past ten years more than 150,000 indigenous have died of curable disases. The federal, state, and municipal goverments and their economic and social programs do not take into account any real solution to our problems; they limit themselves to giving us charity every time elections role around. Charity resolves nothing but for the moment, and again death visits our homes. That is why we think no, no more; enough dying this useless death; it is better to fight for change. If we die now, it will not be with shame but with dignity, like our ancestors. We are ready to die, 150,000 more if necessary, so that our peole awaken from this dream of deceit that holds us hostage."---Subcomandante Marcos
Revolutionary Of The Week
Diego Rivera was born December 8th, 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico.
In 1907, Rivera arrived in Europe & went to study in Barcelona, Spain, & from there proceeded to Paris where he lived & worked with great artists. Paris in that time was experiencing the emergence of cubism in paintings like Picasso. So from 1913 to 1918 Rivera himself embraced this new style of art. His painting began to attract attention around this time, & he was able to display them at several exhibitions.
In 1920, Rivera left France & returned to Mexico in 1921, where he continued his career as an artist. Around this time, he became involved in the new Mexican mural movement, experimenting with fresco painting on large walls. He soon developed his own unique style, with simple figures & bold colors.
Around this time, Rivera also became interested in left-wing politics. When he painted his first mural, he chose ethnic Mexican subjects in a political context. Many of Rivera's murals deal with Mexican society & that country's Revolution. His political beliefs, some called "radical", his attacks on the church (he became an atheist), as well as his conversing with left-wing assassins & Trotskyists, made him quite the controversial figure even in Communist circles.
His relationship with the Communist Party was long, complicated & stormy. Right-wing students protested against murals before they were even finished, but Rivera refused to stop work, & was often the only artist left working on his murals, with a pistol stuck in his waistband!
Around this time, he met the amazing Frida Khalo, an artist herself. She became his 2nd wife. Rivera became quite famous & started a second series of murals, which attracted the attention from people abroad. Rivera was invited to go to Russia, for the 10th anniversary of the Revolution. But in Russia, he did not get along with the assistants assigned to help him with his murals, & soon the mural was at a standstill.
Rivera was ordered back to Mexico by the Latin American Secretariat of the Cominterm right before his expulsion from the Communist Party in 1929.
In 1930 Rivera was invited to go to the United States, where he eventually moved to New York after exhibitions in other states. There he was asked to paint a mural for the RCA building, part of the Rockefeller Center. But Rivera pissed off the patrons & Rockefeller by featuring a portrait of Lenin in his mural, which was supposed to depict "Man at the Crossroads Looking with Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a New and Better Future". Work was abruptly stopped & Rivera was told to change the mural or cease painting. He declined & was fired so to speak, but paid in full. His amazing work was covered & then destroyed.
Between 1935-1943 he recieved no goverment commissions & only got a job painting a mural for the new Hotel Reforma in Mexico City, but here to, was a disagreement & as a result the mural was altered without his consent. Rivera was able to file a lawsuit for damages & won.
Since Rivera's expulsion from the Communist Party, he had sided with the Trotskyites, & when Trotsky & his wife arrived in Mexico, Rivera & Khalo welcomed them into their home. Frida had a short affair with Trotsky while he stayed in their home, but this came after quite a few affairs on Rivera'a part. Rivera & Khalo divorced, but eventually got back together.
The late 1940's is when Rivera tried to get back into the Communist Party, to no avail. He fought with Trotsky before his assassination, & had the Mexican police suspicious that he created that crime. In 1946, Rivera made an attempt to win the Communist Party's forgiveness by denouncing himself as a bad Communist. But yet again, he was rejected by the Party. He tried a few years later, & was rejected again. The Party was upset at him for not only siding with Trotsky, but for painting an unflattering portrait of Stalin. Rivera understood this & when he was asked to paint for the Mexican Exhibition in Paris in 1952, he produced a pro-Stalinist, anti-Western propaganda piece. The Mexican goverment refused to exhibit it for it's insults towards the French goverment.
In September 1954, Rivera was finally accepted back into the Communist Party, but it was bitter-sweet, for earlier in the year his beloved Frida Khalo had passed away due to many complications arriving from her accident as a young woman.
Rivera died 3 years later on November 24th, 1957.
Diego Rivera is this week's Revolutionary Of The Week for his innovative art, as well as his leftist politics. Rivera always stood by his convictions, & refused to alter his art for anyone, even if it meant that his beautiful artwork that took so long to create, would be destroyed.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Mel Gibson's Twisted Version Of The Maya
Mel Gibson's latest film "Apocalypto", depicts the Maya as blood-thirsty, primitive people that deserved the countless atrocities committed against them.
Gibson, himself, has committed a racist act by making this movie.
The very impoverished lives that most Mayans live today are not due to the "excesses of their ancestors", as stated in an ABC segment about "Apocalypto" with Gibson. The truth is, the same religious, goverment, military, & corporate institutions who systematically took Indian lands & destroyed their culture here in the States, have also had a hand in the demise of the ancient, as well as the modern, Mayan people.
By making this biased film, Gibson has entered into a pretty fragile cultural situation, & may very well destroy what historians & indigenous people have built.
As with the Native American's struggles, the indigenous people of Mexico, South America, & Central America, still struggle to regain & preserve their culture, languages & lands.
The ABC segment about the film implied that converting to Christianity was the cure for the Maya's "blood-thirsty" ways. This is false, for even currently the Mayan people have been invaded by Missionaries, which they have been for over 500 years.
To justify atrocities against the indigenous, people like Gibson have historically looked for ways to portray them as less than human, or animalistic.
In Chiapas, Mexico, home of the EZLN & many indigenous people, Maya communities are occupied by the corrupt Mexican goverment, with alot of help from the United States. A huge portion of the region's resources are taken from the Maya to either put into your Starbuck's cup, or generate electrical power for the rest of the country. Yet, the Maya in Chiapas are without electricity or running water themselves.
The Maya suffer the most severe prejudice of any ethnic group in Mexico. The Maya are often depicted as murderous, unintelligent, violent people. Mel Gibson has obviously accepted this stereotype in "Apocalypto" & wishes to spread the false & negative stereotype worldwide.
How will a movie that depicts the Maya as such murderous primitive's impact their current struggles, work, image, lives, & the perception of them? Will Gibson's film have any impact on the people in power that make Maya policy in Mexico & South/Central America? Due to the vast array of ignorance in the world, I believe it can.
Shame on Mel Gibson for making this movie, & quite possibly making the Mayan's & other indigenous peoples lives, all the more worse.
Make this an opprotunity to learn more about Mayan struggles & current indigenous struggles throughout the America's.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Chavez Wins Re-Election!!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
What's Your Score?
Associated Press 12/01/06
" For the past four years, without public notice, federal agents have assigned millions of Americans and other international travelers computer-generated scores assessing the risk they pose of being terrorists or criminals.
The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments. And the goverment intends to keep them on file for 40 years.
Earlier in November, the goverment disclosed the existence and details of the Automated Targeting System for the first time in the Federal Register. Privacy and civil liberties lawyers, congressional aides and even law enforcement officers said they thought the ATS had been applied only to cargo.
The scores are assigned to people entering and leaving the United States after computers access their travel records, including where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and meals ordered.
The Homeland Security Department notice called it "one of the most advanced targeting systems in the world" and said US ability to spot criminals and other security threats "would be critically impaired without access to this data."
Still, privacy advocates view ATS with alarm. "It's probably the most invasive system the goverment has yet deployed in terms of the number of people affected," David Sobel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, said in an interview.
A similar DHS data-mining project for domestic air travelers caused a furor two years ago in Congress, which has barred its implementation until it can pass 10 tests for accuracy and privacy protection."
For the entire DHS Privacy Impact Statement: Click Here
I found this most interesting while reading the DHS material: " The risk assessment is based on a set of National & user-defined rules which are comprised rule sets that pertain to specific operational/tactical objectives or local enforcement efforts."
The "risk assessment" is based on so-called set rules . But nowhere are those "set rules" available to the American public. I dont know about you, but if the United States goverment deems me a threat, I want to know why, & I want proof! I also would like to see this "set" of "rules" that the goverment will base this decision on, that could very well take away my rights & civil liberties & ability to travel. Wouldnt you??
How can the goverment call us a threat, without providing proof or even allowing us to view this? This is a gross & invasive targeting system, with no checks & balances, no real proof, & totally Un-American.
Mark my words. This is a set-up. A set-up by the United States goverment. A set-up for things to come. A setting-up of laws, rules, & codes, that the goverment is setting in place for A REASON.
A Police State in on the rise.
All the warnings are there.
All the proof is there.
What more will it take for the American people to WAKE UP????
When you finally decide to do something about this, it will be too late. All the cute little rules, laws, & codes will already be in place to deny, rape, & rob you of all the rights you once thought you had.
You will be labeled as an "Enemy Combatant" a "Dissenter", & stripped of your constitutional rights. You may even sit in a "camp" or prison somewhere, with no right to a fair trial to prove your innocence.
All because you spoke out against the war.
All because you attended that anti-war rally.
All because your a Socialist.
All because you belong to a feminist organization.
All because you traveled to South America one too many times.
All because you voted "liberal".
All because you told someone that you thought Bush was an asshole.