Saturday, October 29, 2005

Banter, bunts & running the bases backwards

[All the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are sitting insistently in our Library.]

The usual post-hysteria letdown.

Most are assuming that Scooter will cop some sort of plea in order to prevent the basketfuls of filthy laundry that would have to be aired at any trial, but I cannot imagine Paddy being willing to cut a deal for anything less than several, even larger, heads on a variety of pikes.

For now, however, I’ve seen one to many cute “who’s on first” metaphors, and, not that I don’t adore baseball, but I desperately require a break.

Gossip still abounds, though, everywhere, just a matter of which venue and which guild.

Venue, guild and vocabulary.

The media sorts call their gossip analyses or perspective or breaking news, while politicians opine or give deep background or trade bullet points. Those in the arts, on the other hand, tend to snipe with utter abandon.

We all work overtime at it, defining our boundaries, making sure the right ones are in, and the not-right ones are out. I’m not speaking to the innocent kind of gossip, the type that seeks to amuse and divert, but to the genre that exists, often necessarily, to provide us with that solidarity of group all groups require.

You know, us and them.

I’m brought to these silly thoughts because I’ve been immersed in translating Agenda Point 2 of the Narrative of the Plenary Summary [and I can’t bring myself to scribble the number of sighs that title alone conjures], which has to do with who the Sexta is convening [sorry, I’ve yet to find a better, less literal, translation] and who it is not convening.

Pages and pages of people opining out loud as to who’s in and who’s out. Important stuff, granted. More or less. I suppose. Maybe.

And, if I were more frivolous by nature, I might be tempted to compare it with fraternities and blackballing and wonder when the hazing begins. Or to almost any interpersonal interaction in any junior high school anywhere in the world.

I don’t doubt for a moment that there are good, relevant and deep historical reasons for this preemptive credentialing, and I know there was one very specific reason for it in this instance. The expressed desire by the EZLN to separate the Other Campaign from the institutionalized political process. As we all know by now, if we hadn’t before, this goal is not nearly as simple nor straightforward as it might have initially appeared.

But I’m intrigued by the question as to whether there might be two distinct means of picking and choosing one’s cohorts and holding them closely.

The one methodology excludes from the get-go on the basis of clearly defined criteria. Fraternities, country clubs, nation-states. The other tactic provides a “space” [that most favoured word of late], that is more or less furnished, more or less peopled, and it evolves in what I would presume to be more or less organic fashion. Pubs, political parties, parlours.

In the latter, people are free to come in and take a peek, stay if they feel comfortable or engaged, leave if they grow bored or offended. And, if someone were to wander in whom the others found offensive, well, then, there are a myriad ways to deal with that, aren’t there?

Bouncers being the most effective, of course, given that they have such clarity of perspective.

Compounding the complexity, though, for the Other Campaign is that it is being conceptualized and presented as being about linkages. Not as single, cohesive unit, but rather as an organic alliance of overlapping interests. Each link will have its own place, population, agenda and rules of engagement. But the Other Campaign does not propose to serve as a fetching little golden chain, stringing them all together in orderly precision.

I’m finding it exceedingly important to try and visualize, thus conceptualize, the notion, given the audaciously resonant nature of what is being proposed and the numerous not so happy endings, everywhere, of similar attempts.

One of the Comandantas – yes, that one – proposed that it be seen as a piece of needlework, many-coloured threads weaving in and out of each other. As someone whose embroidery basket [it’s actually a bag, a pink and robin’s egg blue lingerie bag, since I make, and have, so many of them I’m always searching for new ways to put them to use, given that even I have only a finite number of unmentionables] is always close at hand, I think I see what she meant.

Silken threads, stunning in their individual clarity - a single-hued French knot here, amber and rose running stitches intersecting there, when required to form, say, perfect blossom. Each skein, of course, still a skein unto itself.

And, now that I’ve stunned all the boys into bleary-eyed boredom, perhaps I’ll attempt a sports analogy on the morrow.

[A fitting comeuppance - after trying for a tad too many hours, I shall finally admit defeat to the greater Power of Blogger, who is adamant in His refusal to upload graphics this evening. And I had the most divinely untoward tapestry. Let us hope that he's in a much better mood tomorrow, and will allow my Jimmy Piersall, Bo Belinsky, Jim Fregosi, Sherry bros, Drysdale, et al photos to see light of day.]


Spark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Spark said...

Dear Folks,

Just to let you know that though I am continuing to be with you all, I am so busy with other things in life that I will have to disappear from the postings. So I just wanted to say thanks for being so welcoming and also to wish you all well. And, if ever any of you come to the UK, please do look me up - you can reach me via the website listed under my name on this blog service.

As it happens returning to the UK
was/is a moment of truth for me : time to try and get some decent things together in this somewhat wasted little life of mine. Wish me luck !

I hope to return to the fore of this beautiful place some other time, but in the meantime, [I am sad to say] I must be on my way..

May you all be well and thanks again for all that you have shared.

Lots of Love, Spark x

irlandesa said...

Most dear spark,

I do hope your absence will only be temporary, and I'm sure you know how much you'll be missed. Best of luck in all your endeavors, but, please, do hurry back.

penguinrocket said...

Good luck to you, spark!

Comrada B said...

Best of luck Spark in all endeavors...

penguinrocket said...

Dear irlandesa,

If it's any consolation, the last several days have been rather trying on this end as well. Here in la Gran Manzana an alarmingly good smell prompted citywide fears of an attack by sticky Canadians and/or nefarious pastry chefs. And, on a related note, you would not believe how much baking is involved in creating a Halloween costume entirely out of yellow cake.

Be that as it may, I shudder to imagine translating the entirety of the Plenary minutes. Deeply important, of course. But...mon Dieu! I've sat through such (or, rather, suchlike) meetings before, but never had the misfo--I mean the honor of keeping, or translating, the minutes. My heart goes out to you.

As for the dread Agenda Point 2, can one take your reference our "Greek" brothers to mean that the classification of Those Who Are Not Convened was broadened beyond PRDistas and other institutional types? Also, were the proposals that were supposed to be generated via consensus as the end of debating each agenda point gathered together into one document to be voted upon by all supporters of la Sexta?

With gratitude and admiration,

P.S. I'm curious--why do you include political parties as part of tactic #2 for choosing one's cohorts? They seem to fit rather more easily into the first category, no?

P.P.S. I am now in recovery from the completion of my first Banvillean excursion and would like, after a suitable period of convalescence, to undertake a second. Your recommendations and guidance would be most welcome.

Anonymous said...

what, you think the textile arts are an turn-off for the boys? and sports an automatic turn-on? vey iz mir.

now, i was raised by a revanchist brooklyn dodgers fan, and my boston roots show every time the september swoon begins, but you'll always have my attention sooner with a needle and thread than with a bat and a diamond.

and i'm not the only one.
but i suspect you know that already.


Comrada B said...

I have been a textile artist for many years.....Irl's lovely palabras of silvery french knots here, running stiches there, suddenly flowery blossoms was so dreamy it verged on seductive (grins)...we may even get these men to trade the bat for the hook!They may even give up preference for shooting hoops, to creating masterpieces in a hoop.

The quilt I started for my 2 yr old grandaughter is calling softly from the corner of the room laying guilt on me... "She'll be grown by the time you finish quilting the hearts on it!" problem. I made it a full sized quilt, just in case the daily grind got out of hand (lol)

Bordado de Amour del Corazon,


Anonymous said...

apparently Mohammed used to darn his own socks

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Maybe he should have worn sandals and avoided the bother. That's what I would have done in his shoes...hmm sandals :^)

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