Tag: digest

This Week In The Dream Antilles

It’s called the Dream Antilles, emphasis on dream.  Here’s one now coming in from left field:

My fellow Americans.  And especially those of you who are unemployed.  I have called you to come together today, Labor Day 2011, 61,000 strong to Soldier Field in Chicago, so that I, your president, could explain to you how I am going to get you back to work and how I am going to re-start the economy.  And to ask humbly for your support in pressuring Congress to enact these essential proposals that I will shortly lay out. I was going to tell all of this to Congress.  But I see no reason, in light of Congress’s penchant for obstruction and delay and partisan politics, to talk further with Congress about my plan.  No.  I want to talk to you.  Because you are the people that matter.  And you will help me to increase employment.

I’m sure you understand that Congress is obdurate.  That Congress plays politics with your lives on a regular basis.  And that some of its members are nothing but stooges for the multinational corporations that financed their election.  But that doesn’t matter right now.  What matters is that you don’t have work.  That you are unemployed.  That you and your families are suffering hard times.  And I want to put you back to work.  Immediately.  Without further delay.

I have a good plan that will put you back to work.  I am going to describe it in detail this evening.  But we all need to understand that to pass this bill in this most obstructionist Congress, I will need your active help.  I will need you to stand up for this proposal.  I will need you to be active, to make calls, to send emails, to write letters, to demonstrate, to picket, to speak out.  I am asking you, if you agree with the proposal , to do these things and more to tell Congress clearly and explicitly that you demand that this proposal be enacted.  And that the consequences of failure to enact these proposals are quite simple: those who block it will be replaced in Congress by legislators who understand the plight of the unemployed and who will enact measures to create employment.  It’s that simple.  Vote for the proposal, or go home.

My plan is unspeakably simple.  It is a broad stimulus package, far larger than the previous bipartisan stimulus package, that will make America’s economy run again and will without any question greatly increase employment.  My detractors in the media, and those who sit across the isle in Congress, and even some of those in my own party, and all those who seem to delight in ignoring your misery, will roll their eyes and rent their clothing because these measures will briefly increase the deficit.  These measures will definitely increae the deficit in the short term.

But I tell you, and those who undertand economics will tell you that this increase in the deficit simply does not matter.  At all.  And those who argue that it is a problem will be enacting their ideology.  But they will only demonstrate beyond all question that they do not understand macroeconomics at all and that they are simply pawns of those who would continue to siphon economic wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthiest 1% of our population, and continue unemployment at ridiculously high levels, and deny you the dignity of earning a respectable living.

I will not allow them to paralyze our economy further with their partisan, ideological nonsense.  I will not allow them to increase the suffering of workers further by refusing to enact measures that will spur employment.  I will not allow them to block the taking of necessary, short term steps to re-start the economy and provide employment.

America’s problem is not its debt.  It is not its deficit.  It has never been its problem.  America has always paid its debt and it always will.  America’s problem is simply this: creating jobs.  And there is absolutely no way to create jobs without increasing government spending.  We know this because we’ve tried everything else.  We’ve tried tax cuts and created more misery and it hasn’t created a single job.  The Federal Reserve has already done all it can with monetary policy.  It hasn’t been able to spur employment.  So.  Fiscal policy is the only device left that can spur employment.

When we create jobs, when we get the economy running again, the deficit will heal itself.  Because tax revenues will be increased, because more people will be working and more people will be paying taxes.

Most important, this is not a time to contract government spending by cutting programs.  The contrary is required: we need to spur employment by increasing government spending.  In short, those who insist on balancing the budget, on decreasing the deficit, on cutting spending have a fundamental misunderstanding of macroeconomics.  And I am not going to permit their willful ignorance of economics further to destroy the nation’s economy….

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is not actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles. Please leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Your Bloguero likes to know you’ve visited.

The Week In The Dream Antilles, Hurricane Edition

An Offering to Chaac And Kukulkan



Chaac is the ancient Maya god of rain and lightning. He is usually depicted with a serpentine axe (lightning) in his hand. His body is scaled and reptilian. He is worshipped at sacred wells and cenotes. He is in charge of life-giving rain needed for agriculture. At the dawn of time Chaac split apart a sacred stone with his axe, from which sprung the first ear of maize. When he is not in the clouds, he is near falling waters.


Kukulkan at Chichen Itza

Kukulkan is the ancient Mayan feathered serpent and represents both the Earth’s wish to ascend to the sky and sky’s descending to Earth. Through Kukulkan chaos becomes order. Kukulkan represents the merging of opposites and the end to dualism.

As I post this, the map of Hurricane Irene seems to have announced the storm’s arrival on the East Coast of the US, between North Carolina and Massachusetts some time this weekend.  This is what the computer models are saying:


And so right now an offering (I recommend burning copal and/or sage and/or palo santo or a candle or a fire), a petition, a propitiatory prayer seems especially in order, an offering to Chaac, who controls the rain, and Kukulkan, who creates order from chaos, for the safety of all people in the Eastern United States:

May Chaac and Kukulkan exercise restraint. May all be safe. May all find shelter. May destruction be averted. May peace prevail. May the rains be moderate. May the wind be temperate. May divine tranquility be preserved. Let it be so!

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is not actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles. Please leave a comment, or click the “encouragement jar” so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Your Bloguero thanks you for visiting.

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

This Week’s Blues In The Dream Antilles

Elmore James (1918-1963).  A Bluesman and poet whose work your Bloguero admires.  It’s work that holds up extraordinarily well after 50 years.

But, Sr. Bloguero, with all due respect, you might ask, what’s Elmore James got to do with this, which is supposed to be your weekly digest?   Your Bloguero could answer this with an elaborate, very contorted, ontological exploration of the theretical connections between the Blues and Haiku, between Elmore James and Basho.  But, no. It’s not an intellectual exercise.  No. It’s just something your Bloguero would like you to hear and enjoy.  It’s that simple.  Your Bloguero plays it over and over and over again. Then he enjoys thinking about how very good, how very powerful, how eloquent  it is.  And then he seeks other pieces that are in their own way as powerful.  Your Bloguero is quite confident that he knows a few.

What comes immediately to mind is Son House (1902?- 1988) .  Sometimes far less is definitely much more:

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is not actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles. Please leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”. Your Bloguero likes to know you’ve visited.


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

This Week In The Dream Antilles

A week of economic fear.  And fighting in England’s streets.  An anxious week.  Your Bloguero heard  (do not ask how) that sometimes chefs lose their sense of taste.  This is called “ageusia.”  And writers, if they are similarly afflicted by a professional malady, what might they lose? What a disturbing thought. Alas, your Bloguero is relieved to state that he was wrong to propose the analogy: the loss does not come from tasting too many of one’s own concoctions. Not at all.  It is neurological.  It has other causes.  Completely.  Regardless, and if you will excuse his beginning this essay with these worrisome inner thoughts, your Bloguero will offer an excuse explanation. This Friday he is tired of reading is own written words.  And he fears the consequences to his remaining sanity of continues to spew them. What will he lose if he presses on?  He’s not going to find out. No way.  He will take the weekend off.  He will begin again next week, after the Ides of August.

But not to fear. Or be disappointed. This essay is not about to peter out and become wordless because of your Bloguero’s hypochondria. No. Your Bloguero has found remarkable words of Eduardo Galeano for you to contemplate:

On the shores of another sea, an old potter retires.

His eyes cloud over, his hands tremble, the hour to say goodbye has arrived. Then the ceremony of initiation begins: the old potter offers the young potter his best piece.  As tradition dictates among the Indians of northwest America, the outgoing artist gives his masterwork to the incoming one.

And the young potter doesn’t keep that perfect vase to contemplate or admire: he smashes it on the ground, breaks it into a thousand pieces, picks up the pieces, and incorporates them into his own clay.

Walking Words (1993).

Isn’t that wonderful?

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is not actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles.  For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles. Please leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”. Your Bloguero likes to know you’ve visited.


cross posted from The Dream Antilles

BREAKING: This Week In The Dream Antilles

Washington-  President Obama today announced sweeping changes in US economic policy that would guarantee full employment by the end of 2012 and resolution of the nation’s deficit.  The Executive Order, issued while Congress was on summer vacation, was an enormous surprise even though it was apparent that the move had been planned for months.  The extensive, 450 page Executive Order primarily addresses employment and taxation.

Following the announcement, the President’s Press Secretary Jay Carney was overheard to say, “We’re not going to allow Republicans to continue act like two-year olds who have not mastered toilet training. We are not going to let them turn America into an open air septic tank. This is how we have had to do that.”

The stock market responded to the announcement by recording its largest single hourly advances in history.  

Your Bloguero could continue to tell the story.  He could tell you how the President had authorized billions and billions of dollars to be spent immediately on infrastructure, including rail systems and wind power, to stimulate employment.  And how he had required banks immediately to refinance mortgages and to forgive student loan debts.  And your Bloguero could tell you how the President had exercised his emergency powers to restore the income tax rate on America’s wealthiest people to 1955 levels and had restored cuts to food stamps, and welfare and how he had increased and extended unemployment benefits.  And how he had closed Guantanamo and recalled all of the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.  He could describe for you how the President had thumped his podium and said,

“This is a national emergency in our economy, and I am exercising my executive powers to preserve our Nation.  I am not going to stand idly by. I am enacting these policies now because the nation can no longer depend on this dysfunctional Congress to save its economy from depredation.  To the contrary, Congress’s actions have thrust the nation into this crisis, and they refuse contumaciously to reverse themselves.  No.  The buck stops here. I have acted to end a national emergency.”

Alas.  Tell me lies.  Your Bloguero cannot bear the truth.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is not actually a digest of essays posted in the past week.  For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles. Your Bloguero always solicits your support. No, not your money. Just leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”. Your Bloguero likes to know that you’re visiting


cross posted fromThe Dream Antilles


This Week In The Dream Antilles

Your Bloguero this week had an epiphany.  Please.  Your Bloguero heard that all the way over here.  OK, you have a point.  It’s a small one, your Bloguero thinks, but he will concede it.  Maybe, as you say, his insight doesn’t really qualify for such a pompous, grandiloquent noun.  But maybe it does.  What was that?  Nothing? Your Bloguero still hears you snickering.   OK, maybe it’s just another passing, soon to be forgotten, exceedingly minor insight that your Bloguero is trying to palm off as something important.  You’ll be the judge of it, sure.  That’s fine.  Your Bloguero doesn’t mind your having a joke (or a series of them) at your Bloguero’s expense.   He can take a joke.

As your Bloguero was saying before he stepped on the cuff of his own pants because he was distracted by your unsolicited remarks, and stumbled awkwardly toward the gutter, your Bloguero had an insight.  About clouds.  Yes, the clouds you may see overhead, depending on where you are and when you look skyward.  Yes, those clouds.  And particularly the clouds in Patagonia.  Stop that.  Really.  The epiphany was about clouds.  Just give your Bloguero a chance, will you?  OK?  He will explain.

Maybe a quotation from Cesar Aira will help to convey this epiphany in all of its grandeur:

The actual winds, the air masses displaced between difference in pressure, always go toward the same place in the end, and they come together in the Argentinian skies; big winds and little winds, the cosmopolitan oceanic winds as much as the diminutive backward breezes: a funnel of stars gathers them all together, adorned with their velocities and orientations like ribbons in their hair, and brings them to rest in the privileged region of the atmosphere called Patagonia.  That’s why the clouds there are ephemera par excellence, as Leibniz said of objects (“objects are momentary minds”: a chair is exactly like a man who lives for a single instant).  The Patagonian clouds welcome and accommodate all transformations within a single instant, every transformation without exception.  That’s why the instant, which in any other place is as dry and fixed as a click, is fluid and mysterious in Patagonia, fantastic.  Darwin called it: Evolution.  Hudson: Attention.

No, it didn’t help?  Well, it’s not all that easy to convey epiphanies.

Look, it’s about the clouds.  So your Bloguero this week has been looking up.  At the sky.  At the clouds.  A lot.  Why?  This activity, as far as your Bloguero is concerned, is far, far more productive and far less disturbing than watching Congresspeople, all of whom obviously failed Economics 101, argue with each other about, of all things, Economics 101.  They failed it years ago.  They have forgotten whatever parts of it they actually knew back then.  This is really upsetting.  Especially when the primary argument appears to be that killing the economy dead as utterly flattened, unrecognizable road kill, so that nobody at all will be working and interest rates will be even more exorbitant and bank profits will be even more shameful, will prove something.  What will it prove, you ask?  It will prove that petulance is the new politics.  And that stupidity rules in Washington.  And that putting morons in Congress is the equivalent of unleashing weapons of mass destruction on the US.  It’s that simple.  You want to know where the WMD’s are?  Look to your Congress.

But I digress.  The clouds.  Back to gazing at the clouds.  Because of the abysmal quality of the current national debate about the debt ceiling, your Bloguero this week focused on the clouds.  Your Bloguero loves to look at the clouds.  He did that before, as well.  Last time, the topic was Credit Default Swaps and the alleged necessity for bailing out porcine felines who were too corpulent to push themselves away from the public trough filled with your wealth.  And nobody could move them either.  They had to be fed more and more and more until they nearly exploded. Cue Monty Python.  Now the same topic has morphed into whether grandmothers will end up homeless, eating cat food and being told that they should perform open heart and cataract surgery on themselves.  And find home remedies in the woods instead of getting their prescriptions paid for.  In other words,  different day, same topic, same redistribution of wealth from grandma to exploding porcine felines.  So your Bloguero, who has seen quite enough of this, thank you, looks instead to the clouds.

Cloud Hunter explores your Bloguero’s proposal for funding so that he may travel the world and photograph the clouds with his cell phone.  This occupation draws your Bloguero’s attention and passion.  The crazier the public discourse, the more your Bloguero seeks to emigrate to another place, another way of life.  Is there intelligent life somewhere on this planet?

No doubt the cloud proposal was driven by Counting Down To Default And The End Of The World, a countdown clock, and Today’s Exercise In Participatory Democracy,  a recounting of your Bloguero’s communications with his Republican Congressperson semi-T Bagger Chris Gibson, and Buddy Can You Spare A Dime, your Bloguero’s only serious look at the deficit ceiling debate before turning his attention skyward. .

In all important Futbol news (Futbol is far more important to your Bloguero than partisan politics or voodoo economics, a sign of your Bloguero’s sanity and resilience) your Bloguero noted that US Men’s National Team CoachBob Bradley was finally fired, a sacking for which the US defense and midfield and aging prima ballerina Landon Donovan should take full and ignominious credit,  and an incredible goal scored by Uruguay’s Diego Forlan in the final of the Copa America, which Uruguay won.  Note: Uruguay is a power for World Cup 2012.  They will go to the finals, your Bloguero prognosticates.  

She’s Alive , a remarkable video, notes the martyrdom of environmental advocates.

Newark: Too Darn Hot recollects your Bloguero’s fabled boyhood in the boiling hot Newark of the 1950s and gives you the voice of Ella Fitzgerald who was utterly fantastic.  The piece was inspired by the Eastern US heatwave.

And finally, from the local jail, is this crazy, Benny Hill pursuit of a prisoner by guards, which the authorities don’t think is funny.  But your Bloguero does.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is actually a digest of essays posted in the past week. Your Bloguero always solicits your support. No, not your money. Just leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”. Humor him. Your Bloguero likes to know that you’re visiting.

This Week In The Steamy Dream Antilles

This was quite a bizarre week.  And this will be a short digest.  Your Bloguero was obsessed all week long with the California Prison Hunger Strike.  Five essays.   One every day.  Monday through Friday.  And because your Bloguero was convinced that the Trad Media TM weren’t giving the story any real coverage and that what there was, was simple stenography of the official half truths and maliciousness of prison officials, your Bloguero decided these essays should be cross-posted at various blogs.  Good idea.  Hard to carry out.  Your Bloguero found himself involuntarily drowning in the fabled ocean of Java and html errors.  Repeatedly.  Let’s face it.  Your Bloguero can tickle the keyboard, and maybe he can write the essays, but alas and alack, when that dreaded red warning jumps up when he hits “publish,” he freaks out.  And curses.  And gets impatient.  And frustrated.  And does not know how to fix the problem so the essay will actually publish.  And so, it has been a week both of frenzied hammering away at the keyboard and the soaring agitation and frustration the red warnings elicit.

This could be crazy making anywhere.  And it probably is.  But because he is back from Mexico and is again in Upstate New York, the heat and humidity have fueled both the intensity and duration of your Bloguero’s massive freak outs.  Let’s not mention his impatience.  Or his irritation.  Or his reactions to the comments your Bloguero took umbrage at.  Or the epithets he muttered (but did not type).

Thank goodness that the hunger strike has now ended peacefully so your Bloguero can now attempt to re-establish his so often lost equanimity.

Here are the essays supporting the prison hunger strikers:

Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, and Monday.

Was there anything else in the Dream Antilles other than your Bloguero’s obsession?  In what seems like a million years ago, your Bloguero actually wrote a piece on Sunday about Hoaracio Castellanos Moya’s book She-Devil in The Mirror.  Moya is a wonderful writer, and this book is an unusual description of the pervasive corruption in post Revolution El Salvador, told by a very distinctive and unusual narrator.  An interesting book that should be wider known.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is actually a digest of essays posted in the past week. Your Bloguero always solicits your support. No, not your money. Just leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Humor him. Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”. Your Bloguero likes to know that you’re visiting.

This Week In The Midsummer Night’s Dream Antilles

Oh goodness.  It’s Friday.  Again.  And your Boguero finds himself trying to readjust to the continental United States.  That is a difficult task.  A week ago your Bloguero was in gorgeous Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico.  Now he finds himself (forget whether it is reluctantly) in Upstate New York.  And, oh my goodness, it’s time for the weekly Digest.  Ready or not.  Your Bloguero is in the “not”.

Your Bloguero cannot do it.  You will, he hopes, pardon his lack of enthusiasm for the assigned (by himself) task, but if you want to know what was in The Dream Antilles this past week just follow the link and, lo and behold, you will see what there is to see.  If anything.  Please just click and look.  Your Bloguero cannot lay it out for you.  He is too lazy.  And apathetic.  And possibly alienated.  He has been rendered slothful and nearly comatose by PBR and the recognition that he will not return to Mexico until the Fall.  Until Octubre.  That is too long.  Too far away.  Too remote.  That means he is stuck here in the US until.  Oh nevermind.

Meanwhile, your Bloguero is focused on Prospero’s speech in the Tempest:

Our revels now are ended.  These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirit, and

Are melted into thin air:

And like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp’ tow’rs. the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind.

We are such stuff

As dreams are made on; and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.

Yes.  Such stuff as dream are made on.  That ‘s you.  That’s your Bloguero.  Where are our dreams?  What are we dreaming?  What is our yearning?  What do we want?  Enough of practicality.  Enough of the limiting beliefs about what one can and what one cannot do. Enough of excuses.  Forget all of that.  Please.  The question on the floor is this: What are our dreams?

Your Bloguero is with Satchel Paige on this.  “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”  Let’s get going ahead, on the dreams.  Let’s find out what they are.  Let’s pursue them.  The rest seems irrelevant.  And depressing.  Let’s go for the dreams!

(Note to Readers: If you want quicker notification of new essays published at The Dream Antilles than this weekly digest, just scroll down the right margin of The Dream Antilles.  There you will find the “Networked Blogs” logo.  Click “Follow this Blog” and, presto chango, you will begin to receive notifications of new essays as soon as they are posted.)  

This Week In The Dream Antilles is a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is not a digest of essays posted in the past week. Your Bloguero always solicits your support. No, not your money. Just leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Humor him.  Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”.  Your Bloguero likes to know that you’re there.

This Week In The Dream Antilles



Greetings from Paraiso!  For the past week, your Bloguero has been in Bahia Soliman, a sheltered bay just north of the famous ruins at Tulum, Mexico.  Your Bloguero spends as much time here as he can.  And as you can probably see from the essays at The Dream Antilles this week, from here the world of politics and government seems remote, so your Bloguero tends to stick to writing a “lit blog,” which is how The Dream Antilles began almost 6 years ago.  

How, you might ask, can politics and the narco war seem remote? Is not your Bloguero in narco-war dominated Mexico?  Short answers abound.  Mexico is a big country.  The violence has concentrated in the states bordering the US and on the west coast of Mexico.  Tulum, about an hour and a half’s drive south of Cancun, is on the east coast, near the Belize border, and hasn’t really had anything to do with any of that.  So in a way, staying away from Tulum and the rest of the Riviera Maya in fear of impending narco violencia is like staying away from Philadelphia because there is a crime wave in Pittsburgh.  This is a fact that the US State Department and the US Department of Homeland Security have done little to clarify.  And their lack of explanation and the seemingly well founded fear it has nourished have badly hurt the tourism industry in this part of Mexico.  And that, in turn, has badly hurt all of those many people who came to the coast of Quintana Roo from the interior in the past decade to work in construction and tourism and the numerous service industries.  It is a shame that ignorance of the US’s neighbor to the South has these consequences.

Up On A Roof continues your Bloguero’s love of Estilo Robinson Crusue and Manayn, indigenous construction.  This essay is an appreciation of the palaperos, whose skill and artisanship is making and fixing palapa roofs, traditional roofs thatched with palm.  OSHA would never permit this to continue.  But these are skilled professionals. Don’t try this at home.

Your Bloguero welcomed the July new moon with a Haiku.

Two Gathas For A Potholed Road  is your Bloguero’s appreciation of the potholed road that leads to Bahia Soliman from Highway 307.  Gathas are tools for mindfulness; the slow drive on the road so that the driver won’t flatten the tires or destroy the suspension is a perfect opportunity to bring one’s focus to the present.  Two Gathas, one for coming, one for going.

Your Bloguero noted July Fourth.  It’s not a holiday in Mexico.  No matter.  Your Bloguero extended holiday greetings to readers in the US.

In Sweet Rain your Bloguero notes that Chaucer had the right adjective to describe the sweet, summer rains in Bahia Soliman.

Your Bloguero finished the manuscript for his second novel, Tulum, and he immediately launched an attack on the conventions concerning the use of italics to indicate foreign words in Italics Be Gone! Scram!  Beat It! and in Italics Part Deux in manuscripts.  The conclusion of all of this is probably that your Bloguero will not italicize any English or Spanish words in the new novel, so as to facilitate the continuing cross-pollination of these languages.  Latin, on the other hand, is a dead language and probably deserves the salute.

The Sky Over Bahia Soliman features two incredible photographs of the twilight sky taken with a cell phone.

This Evening’s Caress is your Bloguero’s appreciation of the gentle summer rain in Bahia Soliman.  Having written that last night, your Bloguero went out for a morning walk on Friday, and immediately was showered with kisses.  And drenched.  Mama-kocha has a wonderful sense of humor.

(Note to Readers: If you want quicker notification of new essays published at The Dream Antilles than this weekly digest, just scroll down the right margin of The Dream Antilles.  There you will find the “Networked Blogs” logo.  Click “Follow this Blog” and, presto chango! you will begin to receive notifications of new essays as soon as they are posted.)  

This Week In The Dream Antilles is a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is actually a digest of essays posted in the past week. Your Bloguero always solicits your support. No, not your money. Just leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or, even easier, just click the “Encouragement jar”.  Your Bloguero likes to know that you’re there.


The Week In The Dream Antilles

Greetings from Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico.  If your Bloguero sent postcards, he would send you one like this:



On the back it would say, in your Bloguero’s miserable chicken scratch, “Having a great time.  Weather slightly problematic. No matter.”  You could take the postcard and stick it to the door of your refrigerator.  A small window into a distant place.  Maybe you could feel the heat and humidity and smell the salt on the breeze and hear the clacking of the cocos.  Maybe you could feel the warm water of the bay on your face and imagine yourself sitting in clear water up to your neck with the sun on your face.  Maybe you could hear the bird calls and the frog choir in the mangrove.

On the zero-to-ten scale of mellowness, what your Bloguero refers to as the “Donovan Mellow Yellow Index,” your Bloguero is hovering at about 7.6.  He would be at 8.7 or so if it were not for his friends at Verizon and their shenanigans.  Your Bloguero is not telling the tale here, because it is still ongoing.  Suffice it to say, that the world record for annoyance while on hold might belong to Verizon.  No, it’s not the sound of Kenny G playing in a lavatory somewhere.  It’s commercials for handheld devices and is a bumper crop of techno-speak.  Like your Bloguero almost cares what kind of processor this thing has and how it will make him into a worldwide badass communications machine.  Your Bloguero don’t want to be no machine, gracias.  He is trying hard to be a person, the dehumanization of hours on hold with Verizon notwithstanding.  A question: is it mandatory that employees of Verizon who answer your Bloguero’s calls have to listen to the advertisements for altead ½ hour per week? It should be.  Call the Public Utilities Commission.

A Short Walk With Michel Peissel recounts that explorer’s trek down the coast of Quintana Roo, right through Bahia Soliman, and your Bloguero’s following the same path.

No Warnings explains that although the precursor to what is now called Tropical Storm Arlene ran right over your Bloguero’s house earlier in the week, there was no word of warning from la Autoridad.  All is well, nonetheless, but it would be nice not to be the last to know about these events.   Not all ignorance is bliss.

A Haiku Pas De Deux marvels at a series of Haiku written in Spanish by Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz and translated into English by Eliot Weinberger.  Your Bloguero loves to call to your attention such wonderful work.  Aplauso!

A Love Letter is about your Bloguero’s house, that was built in what he calls “Estilo Robinson Crusoe” in the 1990’s.  Your Bloguero lives in what has now become a museum of sorts, but he is still fully in love with the house.

The State of the Union recounts your Bloguero’s recent conversation with Manuel Acero, a fictional character, who is making trouble for your Bloguero and apparently trying to seize the means of literary production.  The struggle may continues, but your Bloguero is hopeful that a collective agreement will be made.  Your Bloguero is not yet wearing the prescribed t-shirt.

Being What They Aren’t worries that distraction has now made boredom virtually extinct.  And soon, your Bloguero laments, all of the delicious fruits of boredom may also be gone.  The loss of boredome is not a good thing.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is a weekly digest. Sometimes it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted in the past week. Sometimes, like now, it is.  Your Bloguero solicits your support.  No, not your money.  Just leave a comment so that your Bloguero will not feel that he is speaking to himself on the stage of a cavernous, but quite empty concert hall.  Your Bloguero does not want to feel like Prof. Irwin Corey.  Or, easier, just click the “Encouragement jar” (if there is one).


This Week In The Dream Antilles

Is canceled.  Cancelado.  And why, you wonder is it canceled rather than merely delayed?  The dog ate the homework? A good question.  Your Bloguero regrets to inform that as he types these lines, he sits in the gritty city of his birth, Newark, New Jersey (Note: your Bloguero apologizes to the reader for this apparent redundancy).  He is sitting at gate C-71 at the Airport.  And it was evening and it was morning, and it is the beginning of the second day of travel from Eastern New York to urgently, passionately desired Mexico.  Total elapsed mileage so far: less than 150.  Total elapsed time: 1 day and counting.

Yesterday, your Bloguero’s friends at United Airlines had a small mechanical problem, and at about 8 am your Bloguero, who was then through security and waiting to get on a plane that was strangely and conspicuously absent, was informed in sum and substance that he could not go.  Tomorrow, yes.  What is now Yesterday, and was today at that time, we’re sorry, today, no.  No?  No.  Sir, I can put you on a flight at 6:55 am tomorrow with four stops all over this vast and wonderful country with its amber waves of grain and purple mountains. You will reach your deeply longed for destination at about 4 pm CT.  Your Bloguero stares in full disbelief.  He computes: 10 hours to arrive?  3 changes?  Overnight waiting? Your Bloguero decides to throw his fabled penury to the jackals and to get to get a ticket direct from Newark.  He rents a car. He drives.  He marvels at the complexities of the Information Society.   (Note to United: Your email that this flight was canceled reached your Bloguero about 4 hours after the cancellation.  So much for digital competence.)

In the middle of his unexpected, sudden highway excursion, as if there weren’t enough difficulties in the world already, your Bloguero has an extremely unpleasant encounter with his friends at Hertz.  I recount this in its glory for your edification.  Your Bloguero, who had gotten a good rate on a rented car back in May, informs H that, alas, he will not pick up the vegetable until noon, less than 24 hours late, but late nonetheless, the next day at noon.  This, your Bloguero assumes is a courtesy that responsible people should provide, rather than just showing up the next day with an explanation and demanding the car.  How very, very wrong.  The result of this courtesy?  Hertz is ever so very slightly sorry to inform your Bloguero that he will have to pay almost 3 times as much for the rental as was his original deal.  What?  For a day less?  How can that be?  And why, pray tell?  The “explanation” is priceless.  Sir, it is because when you modify your reservation it’s as if you canceled the old one and made a new one at today’s prevailing rate, according to H’s computer system, so you get the exorbitant rate we have today, not the rate you contracted for back in May.  H does not say, “Sir, we are mercilessly gouging you because we are a mighty global corporation, and your lizard overlord, and you, a mere mortal, exist to be taken advantage of.”  Five phone calls later, telephones, computers, prompts, eventually people, assistant managers, managers, promised but unmade calls back, and your Bloguero, who is then feeling the jackbooted foot of H on his throat and his shoulders entering his ears because of his undissipated annoyance, cancels the reservation.  He makes another one, almost as cheap with National.  Net increase of cost? $30.  Your Bloguero spends most of the money H tried to extract from him taking his children out to dinner on his way to Newark and a motel via Manhattan.  Your Bloguero resolves to tell the world of H’s treachery, and never, ever to use their company again.  (Note to H, whose full name will never again be typed in this blog: you owe me $30.  Pay up.)

Your Bloguero sits in the airport in overcast Newark.  He wonders: is there a single reported case in which a stranger has ever offered to a passenger a package or luggage to carry onto a flight?

This Week In The Dream Antilles is a weekly digest.  Sometimes it is actually a digest of essays posted in the past week.  Sometimes, like now, it isn’t.  Hasta Pronto!


This Week In The Dream Antilles

You never give me your money

you only give me your funny paper

And in the middle of negotiations you break down

I never give you my number

I only give you my situation

And in the middle of investigation I break down

This Week your Bloguero’s vehicle (Note: this does not mean the Mahayana) ended up in the breakdown lane.  Actually.  This is partially homophonic and also

oddly metaphorical: the brakes broke. Your Bloguero appreciates these heavily coded messages from the Universe.  But does it mean that the brakes were defective, or used too much, or used too little?  Likewise the driver, your Bloguero: too much brakeage, too little? Not enough breaks? Not enough braking? Time for vacation? It is, as Churchill said, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside and enigma.  Your Bloguero contemplates these messages and their significance, believe it or not.  He has taken out his secret decoder ring and is working diligently on it.  So far he has no results to report. If you dear reader know what it means, if you know what any of it means, please write the answer on a $50 bill and mail it to your Bloguero.  Meanwhile, your Bloguero’s negotiations with the Universe’s mail room continue with your Bloguero’s quest for greater explication meeting a certain persistent opaqueness.

Wednesday your Bloguero celebrated Bloomsday, an actual holiday in Ireland, and the only holiday anywhere based on a novel. Your Bloguero hears you muttering.  The Bible is not a novel.  Regardless, your Bloguero thought about a breakfast made of the “inner organs of beasts and fowls” but managed instead only a Gorgonzola sandwich, a salad, and a glass of claret.  Poldo would have been proud that his lunch of 107 years ago was so beautifully and joyfully duplicated.

New York State, where your Bloguero finds himself at the moment, is trying to get to a vote on marriage equality.  Something with the misleading name of National Organization For Marriage (which is actually against the marriages in question) has been making repeated, annoying Robo Calls to your Bloguero’s several phone lines.  And even leaving messages on the voicemail that it called to take an important survey.  Hah.  What a bogus waste of money, what an annoyance.  Stop The Robo Calls, Please explains who is paying for this insanity.  And as your Bloguero posts this digest, the question of whether the vote will occur and whether there are enough votes for it to pass the New York Senate appears still undecided.

Your Bloguero fell hook, line and sinker for the Amina Abdallah hoax.  First, your Bloguero, incensed that the blogger who wrote the Gay Girl in Damascus blog had been targeted by Syrian government goons, kidnapped by thugs, and silenced if not disappeared, urged readers to Free Amina!.  But then questions about the authenticity of the blogger arose, and your Bloguero dutifully wrote that maybe he (and others) were being snookered in How Many “L’s” Are There In “Gullible”.  These early reports led eventually to an admission that Amina was actually an American man in Scotland.  And a fiction. Your Bloguero could have let the issue drop.  But no.  He put up a mea culpa, It Was A Hoax.  There Is No Amina, thus capping a three-essay hors d’oeuvre to what had by then become a five course meal of crow sushi, which your Bloguero dutifully ate.  Face meet egg.

As if the embarrassment of Amina weren’t enough to leave The Dream Antilles abandoned in the breakdown lane, there was Anthony Weiner’s apology (before resignation) to that thug Andrew Breitbart.  Your Bloguero responded in disgust with Time To Change The Channel On The Weiner Affair.  The entire affaire may have set a new world standard for narcissism and hubris, but the folks at Guinness World Records haven’t reported out yet.  They may be considering it for another award in another category, political ineptitude.

The week couldn’t have been complete without your Bloguero complaining about the US Men’s National Soccer Team.  Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game was a discussion of the US’s embarrassing loss in the Gold Cup (Copa de Oro) to Panama.  Your Bloguero is no fan of that prima ballerina Landon Donovan, but your Bloguero’s contempt for him is nothing compared to his disgust at what tries to pass for the US defense.  Put another way, there are players on the field, but they are not a defense.  They are an embarrassment to your Bloguero.  And they’d be an embarrassment to the nation if the nation, like your Bloguero, cared about futbol.  But enough recrimination.  This weekend the US plays Jamaica.  So if the loss to Panama qualified as a national disgrace, your Bloguero is sure it will be topped by this event. Your Bloguero thinks Jamaica will eliminate the US, 2-0.  To the US team your Bloguero thumbs his nose and says, “Jamaican me crazy.”  In any futbol oriented country in the world, the US coach and many of the players would be the focus of a media hail storm.  It only furthers the disgrace that it won’t happen here, no matter how terribly the team plays this weekend.

Your Bloguero notes that this Digest is a weekly feature. Your Bloguero, though needs encouragement to continue.  From you.  It’s easy to give him that.  If you read this Digest, please click the “encouragement jar” in the comments.  That’s the only way your Bloguero will know that you visited.  And sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps him going.  Hasta pronto.


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