Monday, March 22, 2010

Graffitti Times

I haven't been in the barrio for a bit because of boxing. The punishment in the ring has had me laid up for a minute. I came home the other day and stopped by the neighbors to chat and drop off some gifts, a very neighborly thing to do if I say so myself. They informed me on some of the local events and reminded me that I should stop by the park.
Crappy Park

The park is located at the end of the block. Its small, dirty, and as pointless as most of the other crappy amenities within the urban sphere. The park is primarily empty during the day, but at night the hood rats come out and congregate. As one of the few public, open spaces (although the park technically closes at dusk) the park is a great meeting place for the local kids to hang out.
Stupid Rulez!!!
Its also one of the places where they can communicate with each other and the world through their not so secret language of delinquency - graffiti. When I need to know what's going on in the world I always look at the regional scrawl.

The language of delinquency

For the most part the scribble of graffiti is mundane, fights over territory, remarks on who gives the best blow jobs, and the occasional bit of news. The latter is what's really important. Its a great way of knowing whose locked up.Hope Demon36 has a good lawyer!!

I can agree with that!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


A Little Fable
by Franz Kafka

"Alas" said the mouse, "the whole world is growing smaller every day. At the beginning it was so big that I was afraid, I kept running and running, and I was glad when at last I saw alls far away to the right and left, but these long walls have narrowed so quickly that I am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that I must run into." "You need only to change your dirction," said the cat, and ate it up.

The Emperor

A man doubted that the emperor was descended from the gods; he asserted that the emperor was our rightful sovereign, he did not doubt the emperor's divine mission (that was evident to him), it was only the divine descent that he doubted. This naturally did not cause much of a stir; when the surf flings a drop of water on to the land, that does not interfere with the eternal rolling of the sea, on the contrary, it is caused by it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thailand gets bloody!

BANGKOK, Thailand — Behind a wall of stone-faced soldiers, the crowd howled outside the gates of the Thai premier’s compound.

“We will curse them, the aristocrats, the powerful people,” screamed Nattawut Saikua, a leader of a That anti-establishment street faction known as the Red Shirts.

“We will curse them with our own blood!”

And with that, men balancing jugs of human blood on their heads hustled through the sweaty throng and into the compound. Troops in riot gear allowed several blood porters to reach the ornate front gate, and moments later, it was splashed with gallons of coagulated gore.

This was the crescendo to a long-awaited reckoning promised by the Red Shirts, whose anti-government crusade has become a conduit for class frustration.

For five days, more than 100,000 followers of the largely upcountry, working-class movement have rallied in Bangkok. They intend to drive out a ruling party that they claim caters to “aristocrats” and enforces “double standards” against the poor.

As expected, Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has not conceded to the Red Shirts’ calls for new elections. His party has instead deployed thousands of police and soldiers throughout the Thai capital.

To up the pressure, the Red Shirts have resorted to theater of the macabre.

On the evening preceding the blood curse, faction leaders requested 10 cubic centimeters of blood drawn from every healthy supporter. Their aim: 1 million cubic centimeters. The Thai Red Cross has objected, claiming that amount could save many lives.

But as dawn broke on Wednesday, the Red Shirts began an all-day needle drive that would instead donate blood to symbolic political targets.

To a soundtrack of soul-stirring Thai country music, Red Shirt leaders held syringes aloft for their faithful to see, shouting into microphones that “rule of the elites” would soon collapse. Each syringe was emptied into a plastic jug, swished around before a cheering crowd until it frothed pink at the sides.

“We’re not here to have fun or joke around. We’re not being caustic,” announced Veera Musikapong, an elder statesman of the Red Shirts. “We’re serious. And we shall take our blood, spilling it, spreading it into the soil beneath the prime minister’s compound gate!”

This blood curse can be traced back to Thailand’s 2006 military coup, the origin of the anti-elite faction’s outrage. That putsch deposed ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, an idol to many poor Thais despite his billions earned from telecom ventures.

Military leaders, and the current government, insisted his reign was incorrigibly corrupt. After military rule lifted, elections brought Thaksin’s political allies back to power — but they too were unseated two years ago under charges of vote-buying and graft.

The Red Shirts have coalesced Thais who feel the deck is stacked against them. They frame their ongoing rallies — including the blood-splashing campaign — as a “final battle” against a network of military top brass, connected politicians and advisers to Thailand’s royal family.

But while this message has gained momentum through their radio and satellite TV network, any effort to collapse the ruling party is unlikely to succeed anytime soon, said Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a researcher at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

“We’ve had final showdowns before,” said Pavin, referring to last year’s attempted government ouster led by Red Shirts that descended into brief rioting “This is supposed to be the final of the final of the final. But each showdown keeps topping the next one.”

Protesters splashed government offices with human blood.
(Patrick Winn/GlobalPost)

Though free of outright violence, the blood curse campaign left government offices looking like the scene of a massacre.

After splashing white walls of the premier’s compound with blood, protesters marched to the ruling Democrat Party’s headquarters for the second act. Gallons more were emptied on the front steps until a chanting crowd stood in a sticky pool of red.

The remaining blood, leaders said, will be saved for an even bolder stunt: the blood-dousing of Abhisit’s well-guarded personal residence.

The Red Shirt leadership’s rhetoric has grown increasingly caustic. But they have so far prevented followers from stooping to police clashes or major property damage. The military has also shown restraint, replacing most soldiers’ assault rifles with batons and allowing protesters to claim parts of Bangkok as rally sites.

Security forces have even tolerated the blood curses, framed by Red Shirt leaders as a sacrifice symbolizing the toll extracted from Thailand’s have-nots. As their rally drags on, and numbers begin to dwindle, they have pleaded with followers to stick out this so-called “fight to the death.”

“I can accept death,” said Kit Somwut, a 62-year-old car salesman from Thailand’s Ayutthaya province. “We’re all ready to die for this. We are weaponless, but even if the soldiers come for us, we’ll fight back with peace so our grandchildren can know happiness in Thailand.”

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tilikum gets a treat

The rays of our star never die out in the “Sunshine State” of Florida. The beams of light and heat were pouring forth in Orlando on Wednesday when 40 year old Dawn Brancheau was working the “Dining with Shamu” show. The event held daily at the theme park, owned by the same company as Budweiser beer, held a special visual morsel for onlookers. As tourists eating poolside chowed on their food, Tilikum, a captive killer whale at the park, dragged the veteran trainer under water, enclosing her in his jaws. The spectators in an underwater viewing area saw the whale swim by, flipping the bleeding trainer over and over in his mouth.

Witnesses described vastly different events: One said Brancheau was patting the whale when he grabbed her arm and dragged her into the water. Another said the big bull orca leaped up out of nowhere and began shaking her.

The whale "shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing [her] around," witness Victoria Biniak told Orlando's WKMG-TV. "It was violent."

Tilikum, whose name means "friend" in the Native American language Chinook, was only attempting to play according to the official line of Seaworld representative. A natural habit in a penitentiary of instincts where innate habits are trained for the enjoyment paying tourists.

Barbara Walters, infamous agent of the Spectacle, reinforced the line of the aquatic zoo in her proto-feminist show “The View.” “The whale was not trying to kill her. The whale thought that this was fun,” Walters said.

Our “Friend” the killer whale has been engaged in carnage in the past, twice causing the death of humans.

In 1991, a marine biology student and part-time trainer fell into his tank in Canada and was dragged under by Tilikum. The whale and two females blocked her from getting out of the pool and tossed her back and forth in the air between them like a toy.

In 1999, there was a case so bizarre it made headlines around the world: A man sneaked into Tilikum's pool at SeaWorld and his naked corpse was found the next day splayed on the whale's back.

The infamous question “What is to be Done,” has been looming over our orca. Animal rights activists say release him, while others implore him to be maintained at Seaworld. Jeff Ventre, a former trainer, perfectly explains the position, and interests of his former workplace when he states that its in Tilikum's best interest to stay in the “habitat” provided by Budweiser Lager.

"He's not releasable for a couple reasons. Number one, he spends as lot of time surface-resting - a wild orca swims pretty much its entire life.

"Number two, he doesn't have any viable teeth left. One of the (things you do when) putting orcas in a facility is that you have to separate them with gates, and what they tend to do is threat-displays at each other to establish dominance. It's a matriarchal society. Tilikum (a male) is a sub-dominant animal in that society. He has a little bit less room to maneuver because of his massive size. He might be the largest animal in captivity. ... So, consequently, his teeth have broken off. And that's why you'll see the trainers every morning and evening using a water pick to flush out the impacted fish that gathers in the remnants of the teeth ... so it doesn't lead to something like an infection."

SeaWorld is said to have Tilikum insured for as much as $5 million, and Ventre said, "He's worth millions, and he represents the future of the breeding program for SeaWorld. He has impregnated - he's produced 13 calves, I believe. I think ten are still alive. I haven't been in the game for a long time. That's a guess, but those are the numbers that I think are accurate."

While Seaworld temporarily suspended the orca show, their biggest draw seating more than 5,500, the head trainer explained that attendance within a certain demographic- teens and young adults, might actually increase because of the incident.

"It's not going to draw families necessarily or older people who would typically visit there, but there is an age group that gets excited about the risks and the potential for drama and it may attract some of those folks," he said.

It is in acquatic parks, and zoos, places of hypnotic fascination, that human beings come to see their own instincts caged and sterilized. Everything that is intrinsic to humankind, but smothered by capitalist society, reappears safely in the zoo. Aggression, sexuality, motion, desire, play, the very impulses to freedom are trapped and displayed for the alienated enjoyment and manipulation of men, women and children. Here is the harmless spectacle in which everything desired by human beings exists only to the degree that it is separated from the reality of human existence. The cages are merely the extensions of the cages that omnipresently infest the lives of all living beings. Here the animals are placed in the unnatural habitat of a society unnatural to itself.

All that has been natural and a source of pleasure, for animals, has been converted into a performative slavery of a zoological bastille.

Denise DeVore, 36, a photographer from Beacon, N.Y., visited the park with her 3-year-old daughter Wednesday and said she felt it was safe for the public. DeVore said she thinks SeaWorld plays an important role in educating people about marine life.

But will she return? She echoed several other parents who were torn, though not because of the attack.

"The question is should we have whales in captivity? These are wild animals," DeVore said, adding, "But my daughter loves those dolphins."