Sunday, 2 September 2012


When I die, I don't want a tombstone with my name on it.

I don't normally go about having preferences for a future that effectively will never exist for me, but I was mindlessly scrolling through the internet and I glimpsed the line "When I die, I want my tombstone to read..." and it got me thinking.

Everyone has different beliefs and I don't know this as a fact, but I think that I exist inside my body, and although my body is a part of me, once I die, my body and I will be separated.
Nothing of who I am will be in a coffin underground.  My body is not what will remain of me.

What's going to be left of me in this world after I die, the part of me that will continue existing and representing who I am now, are all the things I've written and all the memories, however petty, that people have of me.
I don't want a tombstone with my name on it standing on a piece of ground that is completely unrelated to me. Even if my body is buried underneath it.

Perhaps what would be best for everyone is a world without tombstones, where we recognize that our bodies have borrowed their essense from the earth and are then returning the essence and returning to the earth. We shouldn't mark a spot on the earth and pretend that a larger part of what a person was can be attributed to it. Do we not all believe that atoms don't die, they transform? We probably shouldn't embalm people and delay the process of dust to dust either.

I think embracing the return to our origins, to the earth, would help ease the mourning and the fear we all seem to have of death. But we won't know unless we try.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

"The Philosyphy of one century is the Common Sense of the next."

That was on my fortune cookie on facebook. Appropriately.

What's wrong with this picture?

Erick Barrondo wins Guatemala’s first-ever Olympic medal, then pleads for peace in his country

Erick Barrondo's win has affected me in unexpected ways.
When I heard about his silver medal, at first I was surprised. First ever Olympic medal for Guatemala? It dawned on me that I had never before cared to know how my homecountry did in the Olypics, even though I've seen other countries compete and probably know of a few famous athletes. My family are all men and women of the books, I don't harbor an inclination for sports in general, and as I've said before, I haven't lived in Guatemala for a very long time.
But I still felt it was strange that I never even thought about it before.

I heard about Barrondo from my Guatemalan friends on twitter and facebook. And it started to bother me. 

While I infinitely admire Barrondo for the determination and charater which led to his silver medal, it was the general reaction of the people that was making me feel uneasy.
"Did you hear about Barrondo?" my mother asked. "Finally something good came out of Guatemala."

Ah, there it was. There was the problem.

Guatemalans have this tendency to self-deprecate on a level that would definitely give us the gold if it was a competition.
There's this painful idea embedded within each Guatemalan psyche that says everything foreign is better. Especially anything North-American or European. 
I'm not an anthropologist, but it's obvious that this sentiment is the result of colonialization and racial divides and discrimination that the country has suffered. 

When I was in primary school in Guatemala, we were learning about national identity. Every country has a national hero, someone who represents the fighting spirit of the country and in a way, solidifies that country's identity and sovereignity. Guatemala's hero is K'iche' prince Tecún Umán.

In summary, Tecun Uman fought to the death defending his land and his people, the K'iche', from the invading Spanish forces of  Don Pedro de Alvarado. Tecún Umán's nahual, the beautiful Quetzal bird, accompanied him to the battle. As legend has it, eventually things came down to a one-on-one between our hero and Alvarado. The spaniards rode on horses, but the K'iche' didn't have any animals to ride, which gave Alvarado the advantage, because Tecún Umán's first blow killed his horse, giving Alvarado de opportunity to pierce through Tecún Umán's chest with his spear, puncturing his heart.
As our hero fell, his nahual (animal kindred/familiar spirit, spirit guide, totem) alinged their hearts by resting on Tecún Umán's chest, staining his green feathers with blood forever. According to legeng, for this reason the male Quetzal bird has a crimson chest, and his song was never heard again.

I think I was somwehere between 3rd and 5th grades when we discussed the cultural importance of national heroes, and I remember quite vividly my teacher commenting "in the case of Guatemala, ours is a fallen hero."
It's not wrong to say that the average Guatemalan considers his own identity and culture to be inferior to say, American or European culture. There's just this general attitude that gets passed around in general every day observations that constantly imply that nothing good can be expected from a Guatemalan. I don't quite it grasp it yet myself, it's rather intricate.

But what about me? I don't want to be made to feel as if I have accomplished nothing in my life. I don't really accept the assumption that my life is worthless and isn't in the best service of the country I came from. Sure, I may not have done anyhing heroic yet, but I'm definitely not less worthy than my European neighbors with whom I interact every day. I'm not in the habit of comparing but I really don't see any essential difference between my Guatemalan friends and those from any other nationality.

It's almost impossible for me to untangle the intricacies of this situation in order to truly understand it, but what I'm trying to get at is that it really is no surprise that no Guatemalan had ever won an Olympic medal before, when fellow Guatemalans have painfully low expectations and support for each other and themselves.
Guatemalans have this defeatist attitude and it's aparent in every day encounters and reactions, and also on the bigger scale. I read an article about how little financial support Guatemalan athletes get, even after having won medals for the country. It seems the attitude is that it's not worth it to spend money on Guatemalans if after all, we never accomplish anything.

Barrondo is of course, the exception.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Pilarism #2

Don't let anyone define you or your experiences but yourself. Don't let others tell you who you are, where you've come from, what you're doing and where you're going. You do know better.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

"It's more important to be nice, I guess, than being wise."

(Title quote: Julian Casablancas)

Even though I am, on a philosophical level, against the idea of Zoos, I will admit that I love visiting them. I enjoy spending time around animals, and observing their behaviours and anthropomorphising their interactions.

One thing that gets me, though, is how this experience is obviously one Zizek would class under "fake passion for the real", it's a watered-down, sanitized experience, just like everything else in our lives.
We want to go so that we can see these magnificent Earthmates, because we are fascinated by their habits and their lives. Except that it's never about those particular individuals.

I'm talking about, for example, those little information boards they have in front of the cages (or habitats, or houses... semantics). The information is usually about the species inside the cage, but all the details are about how that species lives in the wild. We want to see a strong panther, and we visualize them running around the jungle and hunting, but the panther in front of us at the  zoo has probably never hunted in its whole entire life, and it's very likely that many of its ancestors were already born in captivity. The animal inside lives a cushy, controlled, lazy life. It doesn't do anything of importance to its environment, it probably doesn't even have that much about its life that it enjoys.
All their majesty is artificial: their muscles come from playing with toys provided by their keepers, their shiny hair is a result of a controlled diet. These are strong, healthy animals... wasting away in a box.
Their muscles may be strong, but they will never be put to any use. The above-mentioned panther wont ever feel its muscles push to the extreme in order to catch the prey that makes the difference between life and death.
It's shiny coat will never be admired by those in the wild with less shiny coats, and it won't help it attract a mate because the mate will be chosen probably by the zoo keepers.

But this isn't about the animals.

I see people going to the gym and running on a threadmill for hours and keeping a healthy diet to keep their body in ideal condition. But isn't it pointless, if outside of the gym you never have to run, or lift anything?
We want to create a perfect human being, but what is it for?
I see people working extra hours to get a promotion to get more money or more praise.
All everyone is doing with their life is going to work in order to buy things and be a respected (accepted? not even...) member of society. People study for years and accumulating knowledge that never benefits anyone because these people end up working a job where no one cares what they think.

And that is my problem.

Do you people realize that you won't ever get all those hours spent at the office and spent at the gym back? Never. Those hours are gone. Everyone needs to stop acting as if this lifetime is the waiting room for something else, because while you're waiting, life is happening.
If your entire life does flash before your eyes at the moment of death, what would you see? Hour upon hour spent on Facebook, working, watching TV. Here and there something meaningful, but considering the speed necessary to flash 60 (on average) years in a matter of seconds, I doubt you'd even get a chance to register those milliseconds of meaning.

We as humans hide that pointlessness behind man-made activities, such as sports competitions, academic conferences, and status symbols. But at the end of the day, all your life amounts to is many hours at the office and no one to even remember your name. When those who knew you die, you die with them.
You can choose to believe you're special enough, but think about it. There's billions of people on earth, how many of them have you actually heard of? How many of them could die without affecting your personal life?
I've read about natural disasters (etc) where the amount of people who lost their lives was larger than all the people I could think of in my life. Billions of people, living and dying and being forgotten.

So why are we still wasting this time? Why are we still treating ourselves like animals in the zoo, living in our "houses" and trying to control every aspect of our lives?
Do you really want to spend your time on this earth creating a zoo exposition of yourself, for a world that will never even get to see it, let alone react with anything but apathy? I bet you can have the fittest body, the nicest cage and the shiniest coat. And it doesn't really matter in the world, at all.
Then that's your choice.

It's a shame, because what we have done to nature is only a fraction of what we have done to ourselves. We have taken our majesty and beaten it to submission, we have negated it and turned ourselves into slaves to our own pointless pursuit.

Wouldn't it be great to get out of the zoo? Wouldn't it be great to not only look your full potential, but also live to it?
I think humans are capable of amazing things. But we need to stop caging ourselves in zoos, depriving ourselves from everything that is natural and healthy to us. We need to stop spending so much time doing things like working and going to school. We need to all, one by one, just decide to stop pursuing this pointlessness and start pursuing our passions.

So, are you going to stay lazying about in the zoo, proud of your display, or are you going to courageously break yourself from the bondage and pursue your full potential? It really is your choice.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Pilarism # 1

"Live and let live" shall be the whole of the law.

Friday, 29 June 2012

You have the freedom to speak, not the obligation.

Everyone has an opinion. About anything at all, every single person on earth capable of thought will have an opinion.
And that's great, it really is. And I think no one should ever try to impose their opinion on another person, or try to manipulate or coerce or whatever, someone else's opinion. 

And you have every right in the world to express your opinion at any given moment, about any given subject.
But you also have a sort of responsibility over your opinion. Like every responsibility in life, you can choose to take it or not, and that decision determines your character and who you are as a person.

Especially when it comes to the things you say.

Yeah, you CAN say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to. And there's definitely a lot of truth to the power of silence.

I think we should all live a logical life, and go by what isn't, for lack of a better word, bullshit. I think we should approach a bit of utilitarianism in our lives, and base our decisions on whether the good of the outcome outweighs the bad.

Criticism can be very helpful. A lot of times, hearing someone else's honest opinion about us can give us a new perspective of ourselves and can help us learn and grow. 
In these situations, it makes sense to speak up. It's helpful.

But there's times when people express their opinions about a person, and these opinions are neither constructive, nor helpful. These opinions may not even be based on facts, which makes them a simple opinion.
In these situations, I think people should choose to keep their opinions to themselves. What good will come from what you think might be true based on nothing other than your opinion?

There's people in the world who have their freedom of speech threatened or outright negated every single day of their lives. People fight and die for it, because they know how powerful speech can be.
I think as people we need to learn to use our powers for the good, and not just to harm others.

If your opinion's sole outcome will be upsetting or hurting someone, why are you saying it? Why is it so important for you to "express" yourself, that you think it justifies someone's pain?
We need to learn to take the responsibilities as well as the rights.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Learning in perspective.

I'm currently studying my seventh language, and so far I can only say that this is probably the easiest language I've ever learned. Perhaps because by now I can find similarities between this language and the ones I already know, or perhaps because I've figured out the most efficient way for me to learn new languages.

But all things considered, learning a new language literally means learning to speak all over again.
It's starting as if you were a baby, having to memorize which sound corresponds with which letter (if your new language has its own alphabet- and this is the 3rd one of mine that does), and then which words correspond with which objects or concepts.
It means your brain has to create some form of compartmentalization, which allows for translation between the languages while keeping the words from one language separate from the others. Otherwise, I would find myself unable to write a coherent sentence in English.

For me, this means I'm learning how to speak for the seventh time. I'm learning cultural references, sayings and common phrases. I'm learning which words are exceptional in their pronunciation or spelling. I'm learning which words have bad connotations, and I'm learning to intonate and to accentuate.
Like being a newborn again. For the seventh time.

We're never too old to learn anything, and our brain will never be full. At least mine isn't, yet.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Are you truly awake or is your mind blinded by your ego?

This is a great time for humanity. Because of the cosmic alignments, or because of our cultural achievements, this is a time where many people are making enormous advances in their spiritual path.
There's a downside to all this awareness, I'm afraid. The downside is of course, the hype. Not everyone is awake simultaneously, but there's enough people waking up for there to be a hype.

Those considered more "awake" have become some sort of upperclass of humanity, which if you've been doing some work on yourself, by now you will appreciate, is deeply ironic.
Anyway, these upper-classpeople go around telling people how they've "realized" (rationalized?) the "truth". And then of course they go on a series of "advice" phrases which is nothing but them telling you what you have to do.

Ask them how they know what you should do, and they accuse you of becoming defensive and aid themselves with Freudisms.
What these rationalized egotists fail to see is the limit of their awareness. What they have "realized" is merely the adoption of a new idea through rationalization, and they call it the truth, because they fail to see the bias of their own reason.

Let me ask you this directly, "awakelings" (rationalized egotists): Why are there so many people here on earth? We've all come here to personally experience the human condition. The only "truth" is the accumulation of all those personal experiences. If only your experience mattered, why is it necessary for more people to go through this experience?

It's great that you've rationalized your own condition. But you need to stop trying to impose your experience on other people. They also have their own experiences to live and their own realizations to make. You trying to hinder or control their experiences should be a clue as to how much you've yet to realize.
We are here to help each other, but you can't help anyone much until you've mastered yourself. Until you've truly awaken, you don't know what other people need to do or live through or experience or realize. How could -you- know what is best for anyone? You can only know things from your own perspective and experience. It's a whole other dimension when it's someone else.

Being the center of attention is quite a rush, but having more knowledge than someone else is even better, isn't it?

The clock's still ticking.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Stop dismissing my humanity.

On the issue of illegal downloading.

I suppose when talking about these things one must always begin with a disclaimer. It is often with controversial topics that people jump into the debate with their mind already made up about what they want to say, eager to reply even when they haven't finished reading what you're going to say. Disclaimers are the way to get those eager commenters out of the way, so here's mine: I'm not going to defend illegal downloading (I also won't be against it). Throughout my life, I've purchased hundreds of cds. I buy music from amazon (because I don't like iTunes), I max out on free downloads from legitimate sources such as signing up for artist mailing lists and those promotional free songs. I'm one of those few weird people who still buy actual physical copies of albums. I love music, and I respect the craft. 

I think people should buy music always. I understand that if we're going to live in a society where you pay for someone to put the word 'Kobe' in front of your (otherwise normal) steak, then we should definitely pay for  the masterpiece beauty of a song.
I think if you read this article, you will also agree.

There is also something to be said about the positives of illegal downloading, amongst them the most quoted fact that those who download the must music illegally, also purchase the most music legally.

But here's the thing that bothers me.
When everyone talks about illegal downloading, it's always about the artists, about the record labels and radio stations, about advertising, corporations, streaming sites. And of course about people wanting to get things for free, and the fact that nothing is for free so if you're not paying for it, someone else is.
But the most important factor always gets ignored.

We are HUMAN BEINGS. We are social, we are loving and we are creatures who love to share. 

We love to share food, toys, clothes, ideas and what have you, but most of all we simply love to share experiences.
We share experiences because it helps get to know ourselves and each other. It's an important part of how we socialize and how we live, and it's part of our humanity and wellbeing.

Music is undoubtedly one of the most important cultural celebrations for a lot of people, like me.
Most of us have a song or a band that "changed our life". 
When we love a song, the thing we want to do the most is share it with those we love.
Hence why the mixtape became one of the ultimate gestures of friendship and romance. A mixtape was nothing but a collection of songs "pirated" from the radio, obviously paying for nothing other than the recorder and the tape (and maybe the arts and crafts supplies to decorate, if one was so inclined).

In the era of cds we shared them too. I remember borrowing countless cds from my friends because they were rare to find or expensive. I remember letting friends borrow countless cds because my mom had bought them for me overseas. It's part of how we experience music: we want to share.

I'm not saying the only reason we all illegally download music is because we're loving hippies who simply want to share. I'm just saying that while before you could let your friend take your cd and bring it back, you can't let your friend take your iTunes download and bring it back. If you have an obscure song you love, you know your friend can't go buy it anywhere so there goes the discography in a USB for them. There goes a file in their email. On msn. On their phone. 
Are we all trying to get something for nothing? I really don't think that's what we're doing.
I think we're just being human. Human like when one person in the group has something, it gets divided amongst the rest of the group.  

I'm not religious but there's biblical piracy in the story of Jesus and the bread and the fish. The fisherman and the baker would surely have a lawsuit in their hands.

My point is simply that at the end of the day, the reason why all these talks about music piracy and all those "you wouldn't steal a purse" commercials don't get through is because we're not talking about the same experience, and we're not on the same level. Until the music industry, the artists, and everyone in our society starts remembering that we are having a human experience and take that into account, there wont be any progress in this debate.

It's NOT an isolated issue, it's embedded into the greater discontent we all have with the economic system. There's a lot more going on behind the main arguments you hear all the time. Arguments that don't get taken into account and get dismissed because constantly everyone sees a person as a corporation, as a business, and we're not all here to be businessmen and traders, we're here to have a human experience.

I find it sort of sad that the abovementioned article itself fell short on one of it's own points: it tells us how corporations and businesses are trying to get us to compromise our ethics and morality for their convenience. While this acknowledges how the system is not adequate for our human condition,  it fails to see how that is one of the roots of the issue.
Instead of creating more situations and more laws that ask us to compromise and even negate our human state, we must begin adapting our systems to allow a full, unobstructed human experience. 

If we had such systems in place, the fact that people want to share music wouldn't be a problem at all.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Do What Thou Wilt.

But you're still just one piece of the puzzle. Don't worship the clock's handles because they can't tell you anything about time.


If you don't know the ultimate answer, all preliminary answers are worthless.

Choose either option.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Do you want to know what I was thinking?

I was thinking about that phrase, "in the end, justice always prevails" and all its many versions. I used to believe it, I mean it seems so in the general sense of the history of the world. Or maybe I was just a lot more naive than you, if you already don't believe the phrase to be true.

I was thinking that maybe justice only prevails thanks to another phrase, "history is written by the winners". History, official history, is indeed written exclusively by whoever won the argument/war.
I think not one person would ever consider themselves unjustified, or that they are the "bad guys" that should lose. If someone does, please write to me because I would love to talk to you.
Anyway, so basically, -we- are always the "good guys" and -they- are always the "bad guys". When we win, the good guys win. Then, we the rightful winners go ahead and write our story, our history.

In the winner's history, justice always does prevail.

(Nikola Tesla)


I started this blog because I wanted to share my personal perspective with others. I think that all of our views on life and eternity and everything that is are of equal value, since they all are interpretations of our personal experiences. I figured by sharing my thoughts, I could start a discourse, that I could get a perspective in return. It seems the only perspective I'll ever have is my own. Even so, I thought, so many other people have a voice and a say in many things, so maybe my ideas and thoughts could spark something else in people, an interest, if anything. But it's honestly so discouraging.

As the days go by and the posts go unnoticed, I wonder if this isn't just another version of a dear diary. If no one listens to what I'm saying, do I even have a voice?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Idea vs. Truth

Here's an idea. Imagine an island in the Caribbean. It's small, has nice weather 300 days a year, white sandy beaches and crystalline waters. Do you want to live there? I don't know your answer but I'm willing to bet that whatever you were going to say was not going to answer my question. Because what you're thinking about is not living on the island, but the idea of living on the island. The idea is like a pretty picture, probably a stencil where you just inject yourself into. It presents blue skies and lots of sunshine, fresh ocean water and white sandy beaches, everyone smiling in the warm sun and the gentle, refreshing breeze.

Unfortunately, I lived in the Caribbean for almost a decade, and the reality of it is quite different.The reality is that you have to go to school and sit in a classroom for many hours and some of the classrooms don't have air conditioning, so you're just sitting there sweating in 36°C weather, wearing a lot more than just a bikini. It's a "tourist paradise", which means that the only industry there is catered for the tourists.If you wan't to be, say, an anthropologist, there probably won't be a job there. And if you're willing to work a lame job for the payoff of living on paradise island, I have bad news again. I worked as a waitress and earned about $2.50 an hour and didn't get to keep the tips. Also, we had to wear trousers at work. In 36°C weather.

However, despite what I just told you, a lot of people I know who moved away still think about moving back. And when they do, they can't wait to move out again. Why? Because no one likes living on an island in the Caribbean. (Okay, people do, but follow me here because this is just an example and I'm trying to make a point.)

So why do people do it? Because we've been sold by society and advertising that succeeding in the physical representation of an idea means we're having fun, means we're happy. Even when we really aren't.
I think a lot of people would actually enjoy more staying at home scrolling through tumblr than going to parties, but they like the idea of going to parties better than the idea of sitting at home. This is why people only post pictures of parties on facebook and such, even though that's not what most people really like.

But I wonder, is it really that satisfying to achieve the idea? I'm asking you, because I gave up on ideas a long time ago and now live my life as a weirdo but I really don't care, I'm happy doing what I really want to do. Don't worry about me, then.

So, people of the world, I ask you: Are picnics with the bugs and the itchy grass really that fun? Is waking up with a hangover actually a source of joy and contentment? Are harem pants really a good look?
And as such, my dare to you is this: for 24 hours, choose only the truth. Don't give in to ideas, think each action through and choose the truth. Believe me, it's fun.

Friday, 1 June 2012

You don't go to school to get an education.

    "que DIOS siga bendiciendo a los hijos de dona martita y don carlos ya fallecidos, personas que cuando mi mama y     yo llegamos a la capital nos trataron como parte de la familia no como la servidumbre, siempre los llevo en mi mente y mi corazon con mucho agradecimiento por su calidad de personas, lastima que no todas las trabajadoras domenticas tienen la misma bendicion de conocer personas asi e visto de todo y a veces las empleadoras son buenas y las empleadas malas o viceversa, debemos hacer conciencia que todos tenemos los mismos derechos y obligaciones, que la diferencia solo la hace el estudio.dinero,posision social color de piel etc,etc. por que al final, cuando morimos nos descomponemos igual, aunque nos entierren con los mejores servicios funerarios si no estamos a cuentas con DIOS de nada sirve."

I was reading an article about house servants in Guatemala. The situation for them is dire, and if you can read Spanish then I suggest you read it. Unbelievably, house servants are not protected under Guatemalan constitutional employment laws, so house servants are not paid minimum wage, have no right to holidays, and more often than not are kept locked in like slaves.
A lot, if not all of them, never went to school and some are illiterate. 

Yet, as I was browsing the comments, I found the one above. Words of wisdom that show how you can't keep the truth from people. Here's a translation (by me, sorry):
"May God continue blessing the children of Mrs Martita and Mr Carlos deceased, people who when my mother and I arrived to the city treated us as part of the family, not as servants. I always keep them in my mind and in my heart with great gratitude for the quality of people that they were. It's a shame that not all domestic workers are blessed to know people like them. I have seen it all and sometimes the employers are good and the employees bad and vice versa.  We must become aware that we all have the same rights and obligations, the only difference is made by education, money, social position, skin color, etc etc. Because in the end, when we die, we all rot the same. Even if we're buried with the best Funerary services, if we're not good with God, it's all for nothing."

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Why is an idea any better than the truth?

The Greatest Lie

Let me tell you something real quick: the greatest lie you've ever been told is that everyone else except you is happy and thriving in the status quo.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The personal side.

I guess it's time to try something new and make a post about the personal perspective. Why not today?

I think I'm one of those people who have changed so much through the years that a sense of a defined personality gets almost lost. I obviously have a sense of who I am, I think knowing yourself is probably the one task you should spend the most time on. 
What I don't have, however, is the idea that I could not be any other way. I guess I don't really see myself as someone that exists beyond my will and my own choices.
Why does anyone?

I think anyone can be any kind of person that they want to be. Personally, I used to be almost an opposite of who I am today (even though I don't really believe in opposites). But at some point you have to wake up and realize that you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do. Please don't extrapolate, I'm talking about the small stuff. You don't absolutely have to get angry when someone insults you. I don't care if you think that's just your temper or your personality or your feelings. It's a choice to behave a certain way, and it's a choice to be a certain person.

I mean, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be any certain way, I just think that people should acknowledge that it's not out of their control who they are and what they do. 
Do people think about things like this or is it just me?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Are you there, world?

I suppose what I want to do for a while is just tell a few of the stories I know. Just because they're being ignored, and they shouldn't be. We shouldn't act like someone's suffering doesn't matter, doesn't affect us. Or at least I don't want to anymore.

A few days ago I was talking to someone I know in Guatemala, about the violence and crime, and things like that. It's more horrible than you can imagine. I suppose I will try to tell anyone who is reading most of these stories, but to be honest it's really hard. It's so horrible that even I don't really want to talk about it that much. It's scary to think that these things, these nightmares, are some people's reality. And that I know these people.

One of the most unbelievable things I was told was regarding the Public Health Service (IGSS) in Guatemala. There, most people who can afford it will have a private health insurance. Although there is a public health insurance that covers all working citizens (I guess it comes from taxes, I have never lived as an adult in Guatemala so I haven't really had a reason to fully understand the system), but it's unreliable to say the least. Doctors don't earn much so they don't really care about the patients. I mean, you have to understand what life in Guatemala is really like. You can't sit comfortably in your first-world problems and judge the doctors for not caring. Everyone is frantically trying to survive. It's like a zombie apocalypse movie. "Everyday, I see my husband off to work. I wait in anguish by the phone until he calls to say he made it to the office. Then it's his turn to worry when I leave the house." I was told.
Can you imagine that? Honestly not knowing if you're ever going to see someone alive again. Every single day.
That's life, you know, so you do what you have to do, to survive. It's almost animalistic.

So there's not enough money for medicines and supplies, and the doctor's don't give a shit about the patients, so to save money, they stop testing donated blood for disease. As a result, countless people have been infected with a variety of disease, even HIV. Because the hospitals of the IGSS stopped testing the donated blood for disease. I have this story on good authority. How can something like this actually happen in the real world?

I was also told that some families were told their newborn babies had died during birth, when in fact the babies had been taken for human/organ traffic. I don't really believe this one. I mean, it's sounds taken straight out of an urban legend or something like that, not real life. Could something like this happen in Guatemala? I suppose it would. I suppose we could believe it. I don't really know. I think at least the blood story should be investigated. Do we have any reason to believe in the integrity of an anonymous doctor over the word of a person from another profession?

I want to do something but I can't even begin to think of a way to help such a helpless, abandoned, hopeless place as my country. Is that why no one even tries? Maybe there's nothing to be done but look away.
I still feel like we should at least try to help.
We can't just let all those people live and die like that, can we?

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Hello? Testing, one, two...

Is anyone reading?

I know there's so much going wrong but it seems like no one is looking, and no one cares. There's so many "causes" going around and see people getting together and trying to make a change, but it all seems like Zizek's fake passion for the real.

When I meet new people, usually they ask where I'm from. I'll usually say "I was born in Guatemala", which is almost always met with a questioning expression, so I quickly add "that's right under Mexico". And that's the problem. Does anyone know where it is? Does anyone know what's going on every day there? Is anyone listening?

I really seems like no one cares because we have pictures showing Guatemalans pulling guns on their fellow Guatemalans in broad daylight, and no one even cares.
Photos like ^ that one.
Everyone else in those cars is scared, but also secretly thankful it's not them in the silver car. And that's why they can't do anything, because if they call the police, the police doesn't show up. And if they do show up, well, then things are going to get really bad for you. What are they supposed to do? Get out of their car and simply trade places with a stranger? There's nothing they can do and there is no one to help them.
"There is no police. There is no authority. It's literally chaos."

It's literally chaos. It's literally hell.
And it's on the news, it's on the internet, it's on fucking youtube. Why doesn't anyone care about this injustice? Are we all also secretly glad it's them and not us?