Named after the greeting offered mine host every morning by a housemate, before both of us have had coffee and are lacking the ability to string together sentances.


thoughts sans thème

1. Buenos Aires cell phone blues--
I left my phone in Bs. As., probably in a car, but maybe on the black market. Oh well, it's actually kind of nice not knowing who will show up for class. Mysterious.

2. Scissor Sisters Sudeños
That's what they call Miranda! Check them out--I don't think that's an accurate description, but I think they're a band we could all dig most heartily.

3. Mullets
María loves my mullet, and wants me to exacerbate the situation. Hmmm.

The new version of Ubuntu is awesome, but it keeps changing our language preferences to Italian. Go fig.


I don't like Jane or Sex

Sex and the City just opened, in no place is it as hysterically awaited than here, outside the world where we laugh at words like "feminist", world where such ideas have lost their power and such crusaders become fodder for edgy libertarians. Watching the film is different out there, because in many countries, something happened in the years between Rosie the Riveter to Sigourney Weaver. That thing is that women effectively, largely, gained equality. But only to a point. What happened was that the advances they made directed and controlled, and still shoved women into a box; made them monolithic trends, and not individuals.
And so we come to Sex and the City which I never liked. I always thought it was sexist, I always thought it was stereotyped and over dramatic. Recently I watched an adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and it hit me. You see, I get this weird feeling when I watch Sex and the City and I get this weird feeling reading Jane Austen. It's because in both cases, the central characters are lauded as forerunners of a spreading celebration of femininity, a celebration of liberty from cliché. Here we have thinking women, here we have an autonomous character operating in her own right, using the system for her own gains--which is precisely why she fails to escape it.
In Sex and the City, just like in Austen's works, we have characters operating in a system. In both, these women, these brave new character archetypes come out and--yes, they think, but they do not think about the system. They want all that sexism has to offer. They think about the system, but only about using it to their own advantage. They accept it, and like it, becuase they constantly attack those who refuse it. There is nothing wrong with femininity, but there is everything wrong with being chattel. This is the unadressed darkness of Austen whose characters are, if not property exactly, the means to (other's) attaining it. Marriage, a good match, means that lucre flows via the woman between two men, the father and the husband. And Austen and her characters love it, becuase like the pipes they are, they are regularly cleaned. In Austen's world, the "good match" the dowry paid, the finance secured, is always accompanied by true love, normally at first sight. So to with Sex.
The women in this meat-markety New York operate by controlling men with sex, and making themselved ¨feminine" with pretty dresses, elaborate hair, and apparently, Rauschenberg's last stab at installation art. And for them, too, the system is good and just. They get married, have families or not, but always because they first and foremost manipulate men into perusing and persuing them. Franticly, they buy more shoes to celebrate their clever playing of the human heart, a dowry, they give themselves.
In both instances, there is a darkness lurking outside the system, the darkness of virtual sequestration in the case of Austen, and the darkness of the Sex dowries. While Carrie and Miranda strut the mythical streets of the safe city that never sleeps, those who make their stilletos frequently live in a system much more like austen's, but never finding hapniness in their good matches. The system is kind to Austen's landed aristocracy and to the first-world consumers of Sex and the City. If they were to step into the system as it really is--where the mutilation and humiliation, the punishment for fighting against this imposed order differs only by degree from the mutilation and humiliation normally within it, I doubt they would finish their stories with such wide smiles.


a bit too much

I had a story once, you know. I was going to write this big thing about corruption. At the end, there might have been redemption, just like at the end of all of it, there might be redemption. So life the story, as I would have left off when the protagonist takes his first towards redeption--dare I ruin the suprise--possibly his last. But that's kind of not how it works. Every day we have the option to forgive, to forget, to be cheated or to cheat back. Every day, in every moment, we take steps. We are not stationary beings.

And now for something not entirely different.

The municipal building, the city hall, if you will, of Bahía Blanca is stately, european. It is a tall building, but much wider than tall. It is a wide building, but not awquardly so. It stands sombrely, housing everything from the disgruntled, antisocial employees who handle zoning to the disgruntled, antisocial employees who mark bus routes. It is cold to the eye--chalky blue up to the roof, where the slate slats imported, archetectually speaking, from France, from England, from everywhere but Argentina take over. Its a building that makes you shudder and chove your hands into your coat. It seems out of place, right now, across the street from the central plaza, with its northern palms and lush lawns. It looks better when all you see are the white taxis circling it, the black asphalt moat, the cloudy atlantic sky above and behind it. This is the hub of the city. Today it is on fire, as we change from summer to autumn. The trees beside it release a chute of yellows, absurdly bright yellows, beside it. The building cannot compete with the leaves, whose slow spirals make them everything the building isn't. For all its stately slate, for all its harsh and eternal winter, city hall can't hold a candle. The leaves fall with caprice, burning their way into the soles of the bahiense below.
Watching them fall, I feel like the oldest man in the room, watching The Wizard of Oz in colour for the first time.

lo que pasa

My cat goes ape-shit nuts for moths. She loves to watch them, she loves them. She talks to them, but not in a whiny ''feed me'' kind of way. She coos at them, as if these insects merit a voiced purr. She chases them--jumping on counter tops that make me irate. I do, incidentally, mean to say that the counter top makes me irate; it's an un-glued, wobbly thing that has cost me more than the odd cup of coffee and clean shirt. When you wash your clothes by hand, you really hate things that stain shirts. Anyway, the point is that the cat, she runs, she jumps, she maws and mews, all for these moths. And when she has them, she kills them and eats them. There is no cherishing in the animal kingdom.


Ghost reader

I am the worst friend ever.

My friends are all brilliant. They write books, they teach grad school, they have worldviews, etc. They are going places, like Germany. They are doing things, like publishing. They are productive, and thoughtful and they are polite. And they talk. They talk to eachother, regularly.

I know all this becuase I stalk them online, which is creepy as fuck. I read all that they write, I follow their development as one follows Barry O. Leaving a line of response--litterally, one line--takes me 15 minutes. I'm trying to find that perfect tenor: 'Hey, we're still friends, but I'm still smart, ironic and branché.' That's how I roll, I would have said, back when I rolled. Now I sit, I monitor, I hibernate--and please, a question: if hibernation is a covert perparation for a more overt action, what am I going to do, Ralphie? Well then, out the hole! descend (or reascend to) the superiority complex, to contact, to communication: fuck this.

Beatniks, my friends, I miss you.


new leaves, old habbits

I'm currently working teaching English. I've been living abroad for (save some two-week stops) one year now, and I'm starting to notice that my English is fading. I always thought and argued that learning other languages improves your own mother toungue. It helps, but it's been a year since I've read anything much more complicated than a BBC article. When I write, it's to friends and family, who won't care if I make spelling, grammatical, sintactical errors. I don't get a pass because my Spanish is better if I'm being lazy with English. I'm now making a commitment to my three languages, every day. I'll be writing, reading and speaking each one deliberately. Otherwise, all I'm doing is accepting and letting slide that which I claim as a priority.

Pop musings

Cleanly into thirds he folds his trousers.

I just gave a much-needed listen to the Killers album (as if their second holds a flame) Hot Fuss, and two things dawned on me:

1) It’s been a really long tome since I’ve owned a car. This may seem a trivial point, but try giving a listen to “Midnight Show,” witout thinking of the first car in which you made love. Awkwardly with teen-aged hands that felt like a child's clutching at bra-straps, tussling in speeling bags. This I, I argue, because of our inate and insane accumulation of things, a uniquely American experience.

2) If I’m not American, I don’t know what I am, but I haven’t felt really American since I’ve owned a car. I don’t quite know how to feel about that.


Pourqoui j'aime la France

Copy and paste the link, but only if you are ready to move to France. After you see this video, you will never want to live anywhere else.



It's refreshing living the same, well, not distance, but monetary sum away from Paris and London; clearly I live in the centre of the world. Yes, that's British spelling; it's what we use in the schools here. Think of the children for one second, you selfish, nationalistic prick.