Banned Books Update
When Arizona schoolkids read the headline, London Olympics Ends With Bang Not Whimper, I wonder if they “get it”? The allusion. The LA Times teevee critic doesn’t get it that “bang not whimper” is a sucker punch to the gut, not even a penny's worth of credit to games organizers:
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
That’s the final line of T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men. Under the banning regime, kids in Tucson schools are being trained to seek empty. They get Eliot, or Shakespeare if their titles appear on approved lists. Otherwise, essential stuff like “a penny for the old guy”, is banned.
Tucson supe Pedicone alleges he has not banned any books. The putatively banned books are in storage and a kid can request a copy. In the next breath Pedicone lays down the law. Teachers cannot use texts not approved for that classroom.
I wonder what would happen to a teacher who explains the allusion, and maybe finds parallels between Pedicone’s Tucson kingdom and Eliot’s cactus land dystopia?
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Upcoming Status Quo Shift:
TUSD remains under court-ordered desegregation measures. The 2012 Special Master’s Report sees light next month.
Plaintiffs have the report now, but under seal. No chisme either. The Arizona Star points to one provocative indicator of what the Special Master is straightening out via the impending rules:
In 2009, the desegregation order was lifted and TUSD began operating under a post-unitary plan that established a good-faith commitment to the future operation of the district.
Hawley was brought on by the federal court at the beginning of 2012 to create a new plan after it was determined that TUSD did not act in good-faith compliance while it was under the original desegregation decree, and that court oversight would resume.
Certain would-be metiches and other hollow types in the Tucson power structure should prepare themselves for both a bang and a whimper. Tempus has fugited, viz. one proponent insists the court agree the only way to desegregate Tucson schools is to eliminate every vestige of ethnic studies from the schools. It's Arizona intellectual eugenics.
I hope Arizona officials noticed Yahoo Sports' closing Olympics coverage, a foto essay it titles Olympians of mixed heritage.
Presumably Olympics registration requiring such things as age, gender, proof of gender, ethnicity, provides creative editors fodder. Data in, foto essay out.
Olympians of Mixed Heritage is a multimedia version of making the phone book interesting. And it is. These twenty selected clean, triumphant faces express everyone’s essential humanity and the fact that someone fell in love with someone else and nothing else mattered between them.
Yahoo might have extended the list to include number 21, Leo Manzano. A formerly undocumented U.S. citizen born in Mexico, Manzano wore the U.S. and Mexican flags while taking his historic Silver Medal victory lap.
Had Manzano donned the flag upside down, the outraged howls wouldn’t be louder. But then, the screamers are probably the same unhappy souls bitterly complaining about U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas’ hairstyle when they couldn’t fault her historic double victories in their name.
These are the same kind of people who ban books. And they are winning.
Status Quo: The book ban continues in Arizona and Tucson Unified School District because lawmakers have the authority to ban books.
On-Line Floricanto for Mid-August
Angelo J. Sandoval, Stay True, Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Avotcja, Sharon Elliot
"Untitled" by Angelo J. Sandoval
"We Almost Lost Anaheim" by Stay True
"Arrows" by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
"Los Hijos del Cemento" by Avotcja (Avacha)
"Between Silences" by Sharon Elliot
by Angelo J. Sandoval
In the wake of these words
I found myself with racing thoughts
my mind running and running
ideas thoughts of words to inspire
inspire you, mis amigos, compadres y comadres.
words, thoughts, ideas
racing in my mind
unable to decipher their meaning
or their message.
thoughts and ideas of how to change the world
my mind has running thoughts and ideas
that I can't bring together to make sense
these ideas and thoughts
running like the wind
creation to create
poems of revolution
to bring justice and equality
to my gente
we have suffered injustice and inequality
It will be words of strength and blessings
that will liberate use from the
anguish of injustice
the torment of inequality
its the Poesía of the gente
that will open the floodgates of
movimientos y sus revolucionarios
to bring peace and justice to our gente.
We Almost Lost Anaheim
by Stay True
They lined up side by side,
their eyes filled with disdain,
they say they were there
to protect the city
while the city was on fire
in the eyes of the youth
in the minds of the rejects
in the hearts of the city
the night sky filled with the
lights of the eyes of the beast
overlooking, overseeing the slaves
of the city who dared to make noise
their weapons could not silence
the fury of those who will not die silently--
we could never lose the city,
because we are the city.
by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
her words arrows
straight and to the point
sometimes piercing hearts
her words are arrows
not meant to wound or offend
aimed at seeking the truth
her words sharpened shafts
shot into the dark to shed
light rather than heat
arrows can be words
lined up in people's defense
aimed at injustice
words can be empty
fake like rubber bullets
that still seek to maim
words can kill movements
of people trying to heal
centuries of lies
words words word arrows
a way to say basta ya!
loosed are fireworks
LOS HIJOS DEL CEMENTO
Por primera vez
Cuando lloraban mis hijos
Con sus chillidos tan terribles
Y yo..... con ná ni ná
Nada mas que mi amar
¡Aiiiii..... que pena!
Solo sabra Dios que pena me dió
Mi pobreza y mis debilidades
Me dió un gran dolor
Una gran pena,
Una gran pena llena de mi tristeza
Sus llantos hambrientos
Cayendo en oídos sordos
En este mundo de cemento armado
Un mundo sin corazón
Nada mas que el llorar de mis hijos
Con sus llantos tan terríbles
¡Estaba celoso el terremoto!
En éstos dias
En este mundo sofisticado
Lleno de cemento armado
Y riquezas incontables
Limosinas sin fin
Cuando lloran mis hijos
Mis hijos..... armados
Como el cemento
No hay un llanto
O una lágrima
Ni un sonido
Solo un silencio cubierto de hielo
Y tiembla la tierra entera
When my children cried the first time
My precious babies...
They screamed so damn loud
And I..... with less than nothing
Had nothing but my loving
Mmmm, mmm, mm..... It hurt!!
Only God knows how much it hurt!
My poverty & helplessness
Caused me pain ... great pain
A whole lot of pain full of sadness
Their hungry crying
Falling on deaf ears
In this world of reinforced concrete
This world with no heart
Only the crying of my children
Who screamed so loud
Even the earthquake was jealous!
In these days
In this sophisticated world
Full of hardened concrete
And uncountable riches
And limousines without end
When my children cry
My children..... armed
Like the concrete
There is no weeping
Or even a tear
Not a sound
Only an icy silence
And the whole Earth trembles
by Sharon Elliot
there are drums
there are chants
there are swirling hips with wide, white skirts
there are ships on angry seas
birds call in raucous flight
women moan in ecstasy
children giggle in joyful play
the sun paints the desert red
bakes the sand into cracked mosaics
yields to the moon
the moon washes the earth in silver
opens a portal to ancient wisdom
asks for a gardenia
I hear your heart beat
the conversation of your skin
wakes to promises
thick with sacred intensity
I long for words
and create music instead
1. "Untitled" by Angelo J. Sandoval
2. "We Almost Lost Anaheim" by Stay True
3. "Arrows" by Odilia Galván Rodríguez
4. "Los Hijos del Cemento" by Avotcja (Avacha)
5. "Between Silences" by Sharon Elliot
involved in social justice organizing and helping people find their
creative and spiritual voice for over two decades. Odilia is one of
the founding members and a moderator of Poets Responding to SB 1070 on
Facebook. She teaches creative writing workshops nationally,
currently at Casa Latina, and also co-hosts, "Poetry Express" a weekly
open mike with featured poets, in Berkeley, CA. For more information
about workshops see her blog http://xhiuayotl.blogspot.com/ or contact
her at Red Earth Productions & Cultural Work 510-343-3693.
Jesus Cortez is an undocumented human being who was raised in Anaheim, California. His poem "We Almost Lost Anaheim" is dedicated to those who stood up against police brutality in what the media portrayed as a "riot", when in reality it was an uprising by the people tired of seeing injustice.