Monthly Archives: June 2008

Street Poetry

Street Poetry

Not all graffiti is boastful, exhibitionistic, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-American (or anti-NATO), or racist. As proof of such, my friend, Juantomas, recently encountered this piece of urban art. The graffiti reads, as roughly translated,

You’re in love when you realize that someone else is unique.

Because I believe that we are much more predictable (acting in normal patterns and behaviors) than unique, I would personally disagree with the quote. It is our great insecurity that leads us to believe the individual “I” or “me” somehow lives on the fringe and that both our predicaments and character are somehow essentially special and unique. As we cannot accept ourselves as anything other than truly “individual”, it would be disastrous for our self esteem to settle for someone “normal”. Isn’t love both blind and resting nestled in the eye of the beholder?

To that effect, the graffiti should have read quite the opposite, reflecting the illusion of someone else being different from the pack:

You’re in love when you believe that someone else is unique.

That’s what’s so celebrated about love. It makes us think someone else is just as unique and special as we desperately would like ourselves to be. And if the love is requited, then it becomes a virtuous, symbiotic delusion fest.

On second thought and in defense of the romantic, I suppose one could argue that more than a “realization” or “belief”, it is the creation of uniqueness; hence the “significant” in the “signifcant other”. Thus the quote could follow a more creative tone:

You’re in love when you make someone else unique.


Filed under Digressions

Hope the World Hopes For


As I have already discussed recently, people around the world are rooting for Obama. Obama’s candidacy and nomination has restored some of the faith in the United States by the citizens of the world.

In a recent op-ed piece for the Washington Post entitled “Whose Race Problem“, Anne Applebaum correctly speaks about Europe’s fascination with Obama and how many in the old continent are asking whether the U.S. is ready for a black president. But then she asks whether Europe and other countries are ready for the U.S. to have a black president. Having spent the last eight years living abroad and witnessing America’s moral authority go down the tubes, I think that she’s got it partly right.

There are two separate issues here. The first is what does an Obama victory mean for European politics and that of the rest of the world, and the second is why the world is so eager to see Obama victorious. Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Two Days in Rabat


Have you seen the movie Two Days in Paris about an American guy (Adam Goldberg) and his French girlfriend (Julie Delpy) who stop over for two days in Paris on their way back from a European vacation? Upon arriving in Paris, both turn into the epitomes of their cultural stereotypes: Goldberg a neurotic and paranoid American and Delpy an aloof and overly flirtatious French woman.

Arriving in Rabat this past weekend, I wasn’t quite sure whether I would become the Goldberg character — a hypochondriac Pasha from the mean streets of Potomac in the developing world — or whether I would merely suffer on the out layer of the comfort zone due to a different movie title, Meet the Parents (with me playing the part of Gaylord Focker). Continue reading

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Filed under Digressions, Friends / Family

Blanca’s Debut on Mexican Television

I just received this video of my friend (and former roommate) Blanca Pons’ debut on Mexican television for a shopping program. I can’t stop laughing every time I watch my Catalan friend pushing Andalucian china to a Mexican audience. Oh, the unpredictability of life! In any event, Blanca does a great job. Congrats!

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Filed under Friends / Family

Of Friends and Mobile Service Providers

Last year at about this time, three of my good friends from FONBerga, Karl, and Victor (el Melenas) — left FON to work for Simyo, a new MVNO in the Spanish market.

Besides helping my buddies out, I thought that by changing to Simyo I could save a little money in the process as well. The only pending issue was to ask Movistar, the market incumbent and my current provider, for the switch. Sounds painless? It was like breaking up with a girlfriend who was trying to blame it on my friends Berga, Karl, and Victor. Continue reading


Filed under FON, Friends / Family, Living la vida española

Robert Fisk and the Crusades


As mentioned, I am now reading about the Crusades. Well today, I just came upon this harsh criticism by Robert Fisk on the CIA’s recent assessment that the U.S. is succeeding in its war on terrorism in the Middle East.

As long as there is injustice in the Middle East, al-Qa’ida will win. As long as we have 22 times as many Western forces in the Muslim world as we did at the time of the Crusades – my calculations are pretty accurate – we are going to be at war with Muslims. The hell-disaster of the Middle East is now spread across Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, even Lebanon. And we are winning?

and Continue reading

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Filed under Essays

The Opposing Argument on Iraq


I just recently discussed how wrong it was to go into and stay in Iraq. Here is an opposing vision (which I continue to disagree with) by Fouad Ajami (friend of the Neo-Cons) from today’s Wall Street Journal: Continue reading

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Filed under Essays