Writing Off Assholeys

broken-heartRemember how, in high school, when you thought you were the only girl in the world for some undercover asshole, he’d do something assholey that would dent your developing ego and piss you the hell off?

What did you do about it?

Some girls ranted & raged. Others curled up & cried. And then there were the ones who grabbed the nearest object & hurled it right at assholey’s head (or other parts).

Well, that was me.

Except I always grabbed words & regurgitated them all over assholey’s psyche.

I became high-school famous for this.

As one of the popular girls (social stratification in high school is unavoidable 🙄 ) it wasn’t expected that I’d put embarrassing feelings right out in the open like that. But I did. And doing so encouraged other girls in school to do it, too.

We victims of assholey-ness started a writing club, and anytime boyfriends assholey-ed us, we’d commandeer the gym or outdoor field in the middle of sports practice, and regurgitate our stories, poems, song lyrics, etc. all over the jock’s psyches.     Continue reading

Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 25)

cuban-flagWhy would we not let Cubans fly their own flag in Cuba?

Their island. Their flag.

I don’t get it…

Anyway, we declared Cuba a free nation. Or not.

Whatever. We beat Spain and took over.

Cubans, newly free from Spanish colonists, had new colonists to oppress them.

Americans.

We staged public ‘elections’ for Cubans to ‘vote’ for our choices of dictator puppet presidents who would cow-tow to U.S. interests on the island…presidents who would not interfere with our control over the island, who would in no way prevent us from doing whatever we damn well pleased on their island — regardless of Cuban outcry against it.

The first thing we did, of course, was to impose laws of segregation.

We needed to undo the damage Maceo & Martí had done by uniting Blacks & Whites. We needed to restore our American value system of White supremacy.

To that end, Cuba — in a mirror image of America — became a sea of “WHITES ONLY” signs.

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Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 20)

rusty-chain-linkBut what does all this Haiti stuff have to do with Cuba?” I asked.

Victor connected the historical link.

He explained that Haiti had been the major island for sugar production – which made it the richest colony on the planet.

In fact, Haiti produced more than half of France’s Gross National Product, making gigundo fortunes for France, who dubbed Haiti their “Jewel of the Antilles.” Which, of course, was accomplished on the backs of brown slaves whose emotional, familial, and cultural devastation, and back-breaking labor in creating the wealth of White supremacist nations would be reduced to a mere footnote by Western historians.

This really pisses me off.

I mean, weren’t colonists, like, Christian-love-God-and-your-fellow-man type deals? Were brown people not fellow men? Then, okay, what were they exactly?

Animals? Aliens? Aberrations?

Talk about do as we say, not as we do… 😐

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Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 19)

slaves-in-chainsAs Victor talked, the list of oppressed brown people kept getting longer.

And we learned that Cuba’s colonial history is directly intertwined with Haitian colonial history.

In the 1600’s, France jumped on the let’s-find-some-brown-people-to-enslave bandwagon by invading Haiti. But brown Haitians weren’t enough; the French also stole Africans & brought them to Haiti to add to their slave holdings.

Then in the 1700’s, all the slaves – Haitians & Africans (and presumably, Haitian-Africans, because, well, they had to fall into bed together at some point, right?) rose up against French colonial rule, and fought for their freedom in a bloody Haitian Revolution.

haitian-revolutionThe Haitians won.

This victory was the shot heard ‘round the world of slave owners.

It was the first time in the history of oppressed brown people that they fought back & won.

It blew the minds of White colonists everywhere, especially in America because our entire economy was based on slavery.

Slaveholders became terrified that if slaves could unite like they did for the Haitian Revolution, they might do it again.

Moreover, it was a very public slap in the face to Western world Whites, to have Blacks rise up & smite them. It was just unheard of. Continue reading

Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 18)

sylverblaque-cuba-museo

Photo: Sylver Blaque / Habana, Cuba
Museo de la Revolucion

As he talked, Victor led us around the museo to relevant exhibits – even to a bust of Christopher Columbus.

Victor said there were a few places on the island in which Columbus was depicted, but that they had been erected by colonists.

Why hasn’t the Columbus stuff been taken down?” I asked.

Victor answered soberly, “As with Americans, some Cubans still believe the lie.”

This did not sit well with a particular member of our group, Jennifer, who folded her arms and fixed Victor with a piercing look.

You call Columbus a murderer, but everyone kills during war,” she said.

War?” Victor raised his eyebrows. “This man initiated unprovoked massacres, Madame. Indians fought back. Against a documented mass murderer, rapist, and thief. Columbus did not ‘discover.’ He invaded. He did not ‘defend.’ He attacked. He did not ‘settle.’ He conquered.”

Jennifer eyeballed Victor. “That may be your history but it’s not ours.”

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Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 17)

Victor the historian did not amuse us (well, some of us) any further.

He started off with some Cuban history a few of us already knew.

Or thought we did.

We knew it the way it was taught to us in the States…

columbus-in-cuba

…which becomes unrecognizable with all the holes filled in

cuba-slaves

…and uncomfortably reminiscent of our own whitewashed but still celebrated Columbus-discovers-America fairy tales.

Turns out, Columbus ‘discovered‘ Cuba, too. 🙄

Poor Cuba.

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Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 16)

man-and-woman-arm-wrestlingThe man politely introduced himself to our group. His name was Victor, and he was an historian.

With his white temples and beard, he certainly looked the part.

Eleanor was just as gray. But not as pleasant.

Are you asking me if I know the history of my own country?” she asked indignantly.

Exactly!” Victor punctuated this pronouncement with a finger in the air. He was so comical and personable, you couldn’t help but like him.

Unless you were Eleanor.

Well, that’s insulting,” she informed him. “How would you feel if I asked if you know the history of your own country?

I would feel that you are not one to make ignorant assumptions based on citizenship,” he answered.

Eleanor looked as if she might vomit on him. Intentionally. Continue reading

Life

 I wrote this song during my virginal Madonna/Whore conflict in high school…

Angel-vs-Devil

When’s the last time you said yes,

Nodded your head in a white lace dress?

Minus the preacher, minus the guests,

Just you in the mood to make the mess…

Of Life?

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Diary of an American Girl’s Journeys to the Forbidden Land (Excerpt 15)

Cuba 2005

sylverblaque-cuba-museo-de-la-revolucion

Photo: Sylver Blaque/Museo de la Revolucion, Habana

11:14pm Karli  & Dana out at bar with a few others from group.

All quiet here in our room.

I don’t think they get my predilection to stay in with journal when there’s Cuba night life out there to experience. But I don’t drink, haven’t slept since I got here so no energy left in my hip-swivel, and I’d rather re-live each day in all detail here with you.

So, today was a tour of the Museo de la Revolution, which was captivating. I could have spent the entire day there, hours and hours just viewing and processing everything.

I took many bad photos because the lighting was awful and this new camera’s settings are a mystery to me, so I just spent the few hours we had at the museum clicking and hoping for a few decent shots.

sylverblaque-cuba-bullet-holes

Photo: Sylver Blaque/Museo de la Revolucion, Havana.

The moment you walk in, you’re greeted by a Gone With the Wind / Tara plantation dramatically wide marble staircase leading up to a bust of Jose Marti.

Above his marble bust are clearly visible bullet holes in the wall.

Wow.

I’ve never seen actual bullet holes in modern-day structures connected to notorious history-making events.

Armando explained to us that this museo was the presidential palace of Fulgencio Batista. During the Cuban Revolution, university students stormed Batista’s palace in an attempt to assassinate their murderous, U.S.-supported dictator president who’s army had been rampaging the country killing everyone who spoke out against him.

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Twisted Mix

sketch-of-girl-in-blackWhen I was 9, I met a girl named Xaina. She was older than me by two years in age, but light years in Life.

Xaina’s parents were, I guess, hippies. They were pretty wild & psychadelic. There were no rules in their house. But I wasn’t allowed to go to that house often. Actually, I was forbidden completely. But I went anyway. Every chance I got.

Xaina was just too fascinating to stay away from.

She was the most mesmerizing kid I’d ever met.

Everything about her was inky…big black eyes, long black eyelashes, thick black brows, and wild black hair that flowed all the way down to the backs of her black-scabbed knees. Even her voice was inky – it had a gritty quality to it, like oil seeping through gravel. I always tried to talk like her, but I couldn’t get my Tinkerbell voice to obey.

Xaina was wild.

Like, WILD wild.

She jumped off high cliffs into rocky rivers. She ventured deep into caves where other kids had disappeared, never to be found. She loved swimming in the ocean while the tide was sucking out. She feared nothing, knew everything, and did drugs with her parents.

That, blew my mind.

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