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Archive for April 24th, 2005

Silencio/1,000,000

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From the New York Times: Obrador_1

A capital typically clogged with traffic was thronged Sunday by
hundreds of thousands of people who marched into the main plaza to
protest a government effort against Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador
that threatens to force him out of next year’s presidential elections.

The
police estimated that more than one million people participated in the
march. Aides to the mayor estimated that there were 750,000 people.
Several political observers described it as the biggest in the
country’s recent history.

And this:

Unlike most other demonstrations, there was no real disorder or
rowdiness. And people covered their mouths with hospital masks and
marched without chanting.

"Our silence says everything," read many of the banners that floated above the crowds.

And this from the Guardian:

Yesterday’s "march of
silence" recalled a 1968 student demonstration of the same name which
took place a few weeks before a massacre of students which crushed the
pro-democracy movement.

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April 24, 2005 at 10:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Another kind of fog

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The locals kept saying, insisting, that it was dust from the Gobi Desert. It wasn’t dust from the Gobi Desert.

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Here’s a small section of the incredibly long line to see plasticized Mao. We skipped that ride. But Mao was the only one not coughing that day. Not a camera malfunction – this is really what the air looked like.

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April 24, 2005 at 2:51 am

Posted in Places

Foggy

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Foggy tonight… Lower Manhattan (or the lack thereof) from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

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April 24, 2005 at 2:42 am

Posted in Places

Vera Drake

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Veradrake03

Fantastic movie, Vera Drake.
Finally saw it tonight on DVD.

The dramatic action in the
film is between Vera and the state for sure, but it is underwritten by a
conflict between incommensurable vocabularies. For the cop, the magistrate,
what Vera’s done is “abortion.” But she denies that this is what she’s done: “I’ve
helped young girls in trouble.”

The Latinate language of law
against the old city of words where Vera lives and acts. The expression on the
actress’s face upon hearing the word “abortion,” the shock, says all that needs
to be said. It is as if she is hearing the word, even thinking it, for the
first time. The Latin wears a wig, searches for a defendant to accuse. The
other – and what do we call the English that Vera speaks? – looks for work,
helps out where it can…

(I had heard that the
"accents" were thick enough that Americans could use subtitles at times – and this
proved to be true. It took awhile to realize that Leigh had a point in doing it
this way…)
 
Finally, Vera’s businesslike
manner in administering the wash of carbolic soap and water testifies against
the psychologism of our time. The fact that even the most neutral description
of the “way things really are” whispers an order, a command.

The modal shift, in which
each declarative sentence is an imperative statement in disguise:  “Women suffer psychological difficulties as a
result of an abortion” becomes “Women, suffer psychological difficulties as a
result of an abortion.”

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April 24, 2005 at 12:35 am

Posted in Film