miércoles, octubre 19, 2005

Howard Zinn 

Voices of a People's History of the United States
(A dramatic reading narrated by Howard Zinn)

Chapin Auditorium at Mt. Holyoke College was full last night. We were asked to hold our applause to the end, but at times we could not contain the excitement and some was heard. But by the end, the full impact of the evening was heavy... all people on the stage could do was to hold hands and chant. Quite moving to recognize the events narrated, to witness friends on stage and hair raising to see a historic voice, live presenting her story... Francis Crowe.

There where some diverse voices, black ...,

and a Latino wisper... the conga was a nice touch.

It was depressing to finish with the voice of a mother, herself reading an e-mail to Bush pleading to spare the lives of young ones who unlike her own son who killed himself after returning from Iraq, could be spared.

The program reads:
Historian Howard Zinn will narrate scripted dramatic readings based on his recent book, Voices of a People’s History of the United States. The book is a companion reader to his earlier work, A People’s History of the United States, which has sold over one million copies. The script uses original historical texts from Voices and has been performed across the country. This Western Massachusetts performance incorporates local material, such as Frederick Douglass’s meeting with John Brown in Springfield, and Holyoke labor leader Anna Sullivan’s organizing of textile mills. Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, will be joined by his co-editor Anthony Arnove and a cast of local actors and activists. New York actor Brian Jones and South African poet Dennis Brutus will also join the cast, directed by Chris Rohmann, local writer, teacher and theater director.

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martes, octubre 18, 2005

Can’t win…. (100?) 

I got a message at the beginning of the month with the following:

Subject: Su propuesta para el Congreso Virtual Hispano

Estimada xxx: Su propuesta para el Primer Congreso Virtual Hispano fue considerada y evaluada de acuerdo a los criterios del congreso. Sin embargo, lamentamos comunicarle que la misma no fue recomendada para ser parte de las presentaciones. Gracias por su interés y le invitamos a unirse al Congreso Virtual como participante. Saludos, Comité Organizador ================== Dear xxxx: Your proposal for the 1st Hispanic Virtual Congress was considered and evaluated according to the criteria set up for the Congress. However, unfortunately your proposal was not recommended to be part of the presentations. Thank you for your interest and we invite you to join the Virtual Congress as an attendee or participant. Respectfully, The Organizing Committe

And I thought, well, well here I am rejected by the organizing committee without a clue about the established criteria they state being followed. It in not fun to be rejected, and missing an opportunity to understand the bases of their decision. I can go into a diatribe ... about how fortunate it is to have my time available to do instead the many other things I need to do…. or about how generally the success rates for submissions are within a ratio of 3:1. But, as I face dissapointment will share here the most useful consideration of the experience of “Dealing with Criticism” I found in the following book:

The Artist's Way
By: Julia Cameron
Publisher: The Putnam Publishing Group, 1992;ISBN #:0-87477-694-5

and I quote:

"There are certain rules of the road useful in dealing with any form of criticism:

  1. Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.
  2. Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.
  3. Jot down notes on what concepts or phrases seem useful.
  4. Do something very nurturing for yourself—read an old good review or recall a compliment.
  5. Remember that even if you have made a truly rotten piece of art, it may be a necessary stepping-stone to your next work. Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth stages.
  6. Look at the criticism from your past—particularly shaming childhood criticism? Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.
  7. Write a letter to the critic—not to be mailed, most probably. Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism proffered.
  8. Get back on the horse. Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.
  9. Do it. Creativity is the only cure for criticism." (p.73)

So there! As I get the saddle ready, I leave you with these rules. And soon with better news about the presentations in the Webhead’s Convergence which were accepted and will be taking center stage mid-November.

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viernes, octubre 14, 2005


to (hot water) ji (healing) ba (place) and the 21 day rule of healing
Duncan Ryuken Williams speaks on “Hot Water Buddhism—Japanese Buddhism and the Culture of Bathing, Purification and Healing”

Interesting talk about the subject of hot springs and the healing of suffering/ailments in Japanese Buddhist tradition. Heard about “esoteric Buddhism” (pre-Buddhism) and deities in nature… streams, mountains. How in tallies (inventories) of temple’s and shrines possessions hot springs would be included.

By cleansing your body you cleanse your mind…. developing Buddhist compassion through bathing.

Learned about hyperiminentalism that Japanese Buddhism considers the sacred as within, unlike India that places it outside.

I also learned that there is a hot spring in Yokohama…. hmm.

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miércoles, octubre 12, 2005

A moment with Noam Chomsky 

Walked out of the auditorium, totally absorbed and headed to town. At my side among pedestrians was a tall young man walking along. I asked him, were you at Chomsky? Where else he said! with a grin. Good, perhaps you can help me understand what he said about culture… how it is incoherent to his understanding….that everything is genetic. (For me culture is in juxtaposition to the genetic formulation, contextual)….

Well, he said… in relation to the internal/external characteristic of language, culture is like language. Biting his nails he says … “I think Chomsky is an internalist”

I said…. I don’t know much about this… ME either -he said. I asked him what his studies were----- music he said… we both laughed hard in our realization of the impact the lecture had on both of us and in our trying to decipher his ideas.
Amazing…. still wondering what it all means.

I am impressed with having heard Chomsky yesterday in a reception taking questions from students, then at a lecture at the University of Massachusetts and another lecture that night at Hampshire College titled "Democracy Promotion, Past and Present-Rhetoric and Reality".

You can view the lecture following links from Hampshire College here,
or go directly to the stream file using Quicktime http://stream.hampshire.edu:8080/links/Chomsky_10_11_05.html

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domingo, octubre 02, 2005

Not that I've been short of ideas. A lot is happening. 

First of all, some Robot seems to have taken over blogspot for the author of some book. A message is sent by e-mail with a nice greeting leading to a webpage selling a motivational book. Clever! An automatized means to hack blogs.

The other thing is that a lot of thought is brewing about this thing we call blogging and "free speech". So I will be reporting about that soon. In the meantime, I am reading much about the concept of change... yes as a shift of paradigm, as second order change and as "deep change"... trying to shift my paradigms, uncover paradoxes and go deep into the transition which we call life.

So if you have ideas about this regard, please leave your thoughts. Back to you soon and happy life!

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