martes, junio 14, 2005

Zoo York

I skated for probably two months when I was 13, and it was a really cool and lucrative thing for a girl to do, especially at my school, plus, I was one of only three girls doing this at the time and place. I didn't learn much and was really just getting my bearings, as my balance was (and still is) the pits, but I very much enjoyed the boys trying to teach me ollies and kickflips, and watching the better male skaters ride around, shirtless of course. All was good until my dad finally gave in to buying me a new board at this surf/skate shop at the mall (remember, we're talking late eighties DC suburbs and this shop existed for about six months). I picked one out and was riding really nicely down the corridor of the mall (I left my dad as collateral for the shopguy letting me take the board out of the shop), miraculously swerving around the teenyboppers and the grandmas, but I'm not very steady on my feet, and I got scared and decided to stop, only the board decided otherwise, and, well, I broke my wrist and haven't been on a board since. My interest in the sport proved to be quite superficial.

My appreciation for skaters peaked again when the documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys", (directed by original Z-Boy Stacy Peralta. Also wrote the new "Lords of Dogtown" movie) came out in 2001. I knew that eventually, skating went national, but I had no idea that while the Z-boys were riding out in California in the seventies, there were the Zoo Yorkers of New York City (link to NY Magazine article: I guess the NYC skating legacy was completely obliterated by the hip-hop movement, back then, a very worthy opponent, and while Cali's Z-boys went on to get pro contracts and whatnot, by the early 80's, Zoo York was already disbanding. So now all that remains of the sub-culture are a few tags and a bunch of punks in Union Square practicing basic ollies, failing miserably, and not doing much else.

As much as I love/hate NYC and want to kill Mayor Bloomberg on a daily basis, I have to say that I am often presented with new reasons to be proud of this city, and every day for about 20 minutes, I love it as if it were my own.

Now I am setting my sights on surfing. I'm practicing jumping onto the board from paddle position on a cardboard surfboard in my living room, but once my target starts to move underneath me, that'll be another thing. I've always been a water baby, and the ocean provides a much cushier place to wipeout than pavement or plywood.

Michael Jackson

I'm not going to even get into what I thought of the verdict. Let's just say that my faith in the American justice system was never strong to begin with. The OJ case came along and my faith began to dwindle pretty quickly. After the Bush fiasco, I started to question the sound minds of certain judges. As of yesterday, it is pretty much nil.

According to the AP, "Michael Jackson's Web site trumpeted his courtroom vindication Tuesday, linking it with such historic events as the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., while his lawyer vowed his client wouldn't be sharing his bed with boys anymore." Can you imagine? Come to think of it, my faith in the press has also been failing and is now nil as well. What a dumb-ass statement to make. Wacko Jacko (or website guy) indeed.

As for the promise that Jackson will stop sharing his bed with little boys (note that it's never been about little girls), gee, you think it will help? I also read in Metro (a small, morning newspaper in NYC) that Jackson says that his preference for kids is because "adults have let me down." Yeah, adults have let me down too, but there is such a thing as decorum, especially for a very widely-known pop star known for his eccentricities. Mike, you might want to pay attention to this, or else you might as well get used to the courtroom.

viernes, junio 10, 2005

The United States Has Another Bowel Movement

If you have been paying attention to what is happening in Latin America in recent months, you may get the feeling that the region is no longer that gracious when it comes to the "neo-colonialist" grip the US has historically had on them. One example is Vicente Fox's comments. While deemed racist by some knee-jerk reactionaries like Al Sharpton and some people out there in Blogger World, it is actually a sign that Latin America and its citizens are not necessarily happy with being second-class citizens in their own countries, or in this one for that matter. As you know, Latin America is home to countless indigenous groups who are involved in a long struggle for equal rights, akin to civil rights movement in this country in the '50's and '60's, which has been wrought with civil war, demonstrations and violence.

This article ( is about how the US, no doubt spurred by the demonstrations by the Aymara and others in Bolivia over the exportation of natural gas, has now decided that the indigenous struggle for rights contributes to the "instability of the region" and is therefore seen as a terrorist threat. To be clear, I am not suggesting at all that the US has Latin America next on its invasion list, or at least I hope they don't. We all know that their resources are tied up in the Middle East right now securing easy access to oil and rooting out anyone who might hurt Israel, their spies in the region. Besides, they must also have their hands tied "revamping" the terror alert-o-meter because, after all, the Republicans can never be too early when it comes to manipulating the country to their side. I am saying that this time the United States has gone too far, and while I don't necessarily fear imminent invasion, I do fear that Latin America will lose any shreds of dignity and autonomy it has left, and that's not much, by the way. When I read the above article, of course my mind wandered back to the summer of 1954 in Guatemala, when the country was invaded by its own, backed by the CIA, just because the government, labelled Communist, tried to nationalize United Fruit Company (I can elaborate upon request) territories and take back what was theirs to begin with. I'm hoping that this is not what is going to happen now, although I can certainly see trouble brewing. The interesting part of the problem is, just as there were many back in 1954 who thought President Arbenz was a communist devil and therefore supported the invasion of their own country, Guatemala, there are many in Latin America who are America and/or Bush supporters and clearly ignore history and the fact that the United States is just the victimized colony that became the victimizing neo-colonial power. Sadly, these people will not realize that they've contributed to the ruin of their own countries until it is too late.

Just as the Republicans are being so quick on their feet, let me be quick as well. I implore all of you, PLEASE get these cancerous lesions out of power and vote elsewhere in the next election. Yes, all politicians are liars and can be just as dispicable, but like I always say, when you are talking political leaders and parties, everything is relative, and you just have to go with the one who won't screw you and your world as badly as the other.