Monthly Archives: July 2006

A city becomes a world

“A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants”.

–Lawrence Durrell, Justine

And if a city and the ones who inhabit it are being willingly destroyed, does that mean they are not loved?

If a picture speaks a thousand words, how many words do these pictures speak?


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Sisyphus in Beirut: Acting local, fighting global

Beirut and its Sea 

In a comment to my previous postEric’s brother correctly points out the lack of syncronicity between words and deeds in the US’ international policies, using this powerful Malcolm X quote:

America preaches freedom and practices slavery. America preaches integration and practices segregation… A devil is still a devil whether he wears a bed sheet or a Brooks Brothers suit… I’d rather walk among rattlesnakes, whose constant rattle warns me where they are, than among those Northern snakes who grin and make you forget you’re still in a snake pit… Then the whole world would give Uncle Sam credit for being something other than a hypocrite.

But, I do not think that the US is unique in this. As a matter of fact, practically every nation’s international policies and actions are, in reality, manifestations of its local and regional power struggles. Countries fight globally their local battles . . . That is the tragedy of Lebanon.

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You have your Lebanon


“You have your Lebanon and its dilemma. I have my Lebanon and its beauty. Your Lebanon is an arena for men from the West and men from the East. My Lebanon is a flock of birds fluttering in the early morning as shepherds lead their sheep into the meadow and rising in the evening as farmers return from their fields and vineyards. You have your Lebanon and its people. I have my Lebanon and its people.

Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)


Filed under Essays

Is the grass greener?


En inglés tenemos un dicho, “The Grass is greener on the other side of the fence”. Le acabo de preguntar a una compañera mía del trabajo si existe un dicho parecido en español. Claro, tengo que explicar primero que en el mundo ideal americano (que ya es un tópico), tenemos nuestro jardín con su cesped verde y una valla blanca que nos separa con nuestro vecino. Y como siempre pensamos que se vive mejor al otro lado de la valla (que el vecino lo tiene mejor), decimos que tiene el cesped más verde. O quizás que pensamos que se puede vivir mejor de otra forma. Pues, mi compañera lo ha pensado y dice que no existe dicho parecido. De hecho, según su criterio, el dicho simplemente es incorrecto. No es veraz. ¿Pero quién no piensa que la mujer del vecino esté más buena? ¿Tiene más vacaciones? ¿Mejor conexión WiFi?


Filed under Digressions, Living la vida española

Maryland Blue Crabs

Maryland Blue Crabs

I have decided to take a short break from pig conspiracies and Zidane fighting the power to simply reflect upon the beauty of Maryland’s blue crab (“Maryland is for crabs”). I am not a huge crab fan, but I do have wonderful memories of looking into the Chesapeake Bay and seeing my state’s insignia blue crab emerge from the water. What I do enjoy are soft shell crabs (which are not common place in Europe). In Spain, there are a plethora of fish and shell fish to choose from, but no blue crabs. In any event, enough about blue crabs. It’s just nice to see a picture of them every now and then. I shall be home in a few weeks, even if for only a short time. I probably won’t eat any crabs or see any blue ones for that matter. I really don’t care; being at home will suffice (surrounded by the Black-Eyed Susans in my mother’s garden).

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Filed under Digressions, Living la vida española


Chagall: Soldier

For no reason whatsoever, I just recalled this line from Stephen Vizinczey’s An Innocent Millionaire (I also recommend In Praise of Older Women):

“To be jealous of a woman one doesn’t love is the most ridiculous form of vanity . . . “

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Filed under Digressions, Literature

Jamón part III: The saga continues

The saga, the mystery, that conspiracy behind the conspiracy continues. Finally, Spanish jamón is available in the US. This means more jamón legs, but still no one has yet to explain where the pigs are coming from. For  background information, please read Jamón: What nobody wants to admit and Jamón part II: an alternative version. Does this mean more clandestine pig hospitals? More genetic engineering of mutant pigs capable of regenerating their legs? Will Dustin Hoffman be starring in the lead role of the sci-fi thriller?


Filed under Jamón Conspiracy, Living la vida española

Zizou: An excellent op-ed piece

Read this excellent op-ed piece, En honor de Zinédine Zidane, by Darío Valcarcel from the Spanish daily ABC (ironically from one of Spain’s most conservative newpapers). I guess I think it is excellent because it follows much of my line of thinking on this issue. In any event, it is nice to see someone offended by (i) intolerance and (ii) winning at any cost. Don’t worry, I have come to terms with the whole thing. Soon we’ll be back to jamón conspiracy theories and other digressions. Take a deep breath, we’re almost there . . .


Filed under Essays, Zizou

La Resistance: It was fun while it lasted

Rage Against the Machine

I have decided to end my political activism and radicalism with regards to Zizou’s famous cry of “basta ya“. It has been loads of fun. I encounted my alter ego as a soap box orator. Yet, now my past three sleepless nights of indignation have concluded. But before retiring completely, I would like to thank the Men in Black for their support in their recent post, William for his disucssions on this matter, Waya for her empathy, Berga for running the political campaign, and my brother for his “Rage Against the Machine” inspiration. Finally I would like to conclude with the following thoughts:

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Filed under Digressions, Essays, Zizou

Cry Freedom

¡Basta Ya!

Or as Condolezza Rice said:

There comes a time in the life of every nation where its people refuse to accept the status quo that demeans their basic humanity. There comes a time when people take control of their own lives


Filed under Essays, Zizou