Friday, June 26, 2015

#Love is What Makes a Family #Equality For All

Equality for All
(6/26/2015) Tampa, Fl --- Love has won one battle within a great victory, equality in marriage is officially the law of the land around the United States. The country is in one piece and there wasn't the apocalypse the right wing had predicted.

God hasn't abandoned the country but by fair treatment of your neighbor and placing compassion without expecting anything to be given back except love is the very first step to reach a civic co-existence.

The nation had survived the rainbowcalypse and is almost 8PM as I am writing this entry; tomorrow will be another day, just a little big better day for many of us. That on a federal level we are recognized as individuals but still the goal for peace has to be won. This day has been about equality but not only for the LGBTQ, is a day that equality has to be for all where there is no racism, no hate and no prejudice to any individual who is trying to do good for their communities without expecting anything back but just to know that there is a time that it will be peaceful for everyone.

Today is the first day that for many of us the future looks peaceful here in the United States but there is a moment that the idea of equality has to be worldwide. To my parents if you are reading this: I forgive you for all the 25 years of mistreatment until the day you guys decide to kick me out when I introduced you my better half; you call me a mentally disturbed individual, someone who was going to rot in hell and die from AIDS. You always gave preference to what other people would say about you without even looking at yourselves and loving yourselves, you were so focused hating that you lost your son.

I forgive you because there is no need to fear against the world and I see in you two people who are fearful to face it. The last four years had been difficult, I cried every night until I fall asleep because I couldn't understood how you acted as that but then I understood that you weren't happy with yourselves as a couple and you shielded in a hate projected to your dogma.

I cried for a long time but then I realized that I am my own persona, my own self and I am strong enough to survive. Your words were ignorant, you have no idea about the suffering people have when they get HIV, is not a plague send by God is a virus that created a pandemic and is still a major issue because of lack of understanding in sexual behavior that is linked through sexual education. People with HIV are people and you treat everyone with a good heart with dignity until the very end.

I forgive you because after all this time I understand you don't like each other and you pretend that everyone around you have the same attitude; I am not as you, even if from the last four years, the first two were a process and then I realized I wasn't alone.

What if I wasn't that lucky, what if I was as many other LGBTQ whose family shun and they died.? What if I committed suicide as I planned because I was tired of living as for a long time I saw no Hope.? Many people had died under those circumstances and I  am lucky enough to have a good circle of friends that had acted as my family as well a soon to be husband who helped me to go through the hard times.

You made me see the world as if it was a difficult place, as if I couldn't trust people, while in reality you were the ones who couldn't trust anyone else and had no friends. I forgive you even if you cut ties with my grandparents and made me think that everyone else in the family were terrible people. Guess what if you are reading this.? You were totally wrong, extremely wrong but your pride blinded you.

Love is what makes a family, being there for the time in needs, equality and communications are basic components, and this is a not only a victory for the LGBTQ community in North America this is a victory for people who practice and preach equality. This is the first day in a long time that I do not feel as a second class citizen and I am not the only one around.

I hope you are happy with the life you created, because for the first time as a Queer individual I am happy with who I am and my achievements, this is a long battle but is not a lost battle. is a battle that everyone face to conquer the struggles and to live with dignity. I hope you are happy with your own lies because here I had been living with freedom.

I wish you the best for your future and I am gladly requesting you to please do not contact me as I have no intentions to be part of your lives as you weren't part of mine and I won't hesitate to call the cops; I have a family here who loves me for who I am, and some amazing co-workers who are just there. I wish you the best with your little "perfect" family, because from the bottom of my heart I need to say that there is no perfection and that image you try to protect is more than a joke.

I wish you the best back there in Cartagena, to all of you and my brother. As as Spock said "Live long and prosper."

There is still a long way to go, to the newer self-identify queer youth who are in risk of abandonment they need to know that there are people around who aren't blood related that they care about their well being, that they aren't alone. To the people who feel abandonment in their families because they couldn't be accepted for live who they are. Whenever there is someone who is suffering there will be someone else that will be willing to help.

Today marks the first day for a society that shouldn't be plagued with fear and discrimination, today is the first day for many couples and families, for many individuals who can start living their lives fully. Today is a day where we can keep fighting because love is love and love makes a family.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

9 Lives Had To Be Lost In Order To Start Talking About Racism And the Confederate Flag as Relic


(6/25/2015) Tampa, Fl --- So on June 17th of 2015 it took the attention of the nation through the death of 9 parishioners at the Emanuel Church into bringing the attention that on 21st Century in America we still honor symbols from the days of the Confederacy.

As some of us are aware, politics tend to be cyclical and what we describe as one party today is not even the same party of 45 years ago or even 150 years ago. Also, there is some complexity towards cultural and regional identity and the appropriation of symbols.

The idea of the Confederate Flag as a still "valid" symbol shows two aspects within the Americana culture ideology - 1) Under the pretense of the First Constitutional Amendment that it can involve as a sign of free speech, 2) We still don't live on a post segregationist society, 3) The appropriation of this symbol as "Southern Pride" left to reevaluate the concept of Southern Identity.

Within the First Amendment we can say that free speech is valid while there are no symbols or hate speech. What is the South today shouldn't be represented with the flag of what was one held towards pro-slavery but yet we have to held accountant the division of the Democratic party within the war and peace sides.

By now you probably will call me an ignorant that I should learn my history or that I should go back to my birth or home country; but it's not only my history but the history of who we are as a society. We can't let ourselves define by a symbol who doesn't represent who we are as a collective of individuals who live in the South these days.

Cultural identity as concept itself should be tied for who we are and who we had evolved as social individuals, but denying the past it shouldn't be prohibited albeit we shouldn't bring it to the present as we in the contemporary we live in a multicultural society and not in a place where there were no voting rights for women, minorities were send to camps (still happens within immigrants) or send to work on inhumane conditions.

In order for this issue that we as a society display symbols of the past that are linked to racism and slavery, shows that as a societal group we haven't evolved much on the last 120 years and we are still divided by socio-economical issues that seem to be stuck in time such as human rights, immigration, international market and international image.

I75 Confederate Flag
Itself the debate that shouldn't be a no brainer take on a more complex aspect within - what if someone on their private property wants to expose any symbols.? -

If they don't create a public disturbance or nuisance there aren't many cons towards as they can be used on private property but who would see this symbol as a modern symbol of a rebel.? I know much of the local story where I live and still think why people keep stuck on the past.

The issue is neither about banning but learning from the mistakes of the past. We can't either become "political correct" because that essentially lead to no where and renaming certain places into a more political correct one doesn't lead to anywhere either; but we can learn and place the history where it belongs and as we say it should be in a museum because we can't deny the history. 


Every time I pass through the I75 on Brandon Area and see the Confederate Flag makes think - Do I am really welcomed to travel around the Seffner-Brandon area.? What about the tourist who are aware of the image the flag represents worldwide.? How much are hurting our own economy by keep placing these symbols around.? Florida strives on tourism and we have to learn on how really capitalize that potential beyond Magic Kingdom.

I had read much of the debate online about people posting photos of the flag and why to associate yourself with the Civil War whenever we are living in a more complex world.? The symbol itself shouldn't be taken with pride but what the people can do to improve their communities.

Go ahead and call me whatever you want, as you I am protected by the Free Speech and I had kept a respectful tone. I firmly believe in equality, I firmly believe in learning from our experiences as well I firmly believe in tolerance.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

1984 and the Orwellian Influence on Our Brave New World

John Hurt in 1984
(6/23/2015) Tampa, Fl --- There are moments where reality mimics fiction, there are plenty of times I had written about 1984 in part because it's my favorite book since I can remember. In part I am mentioning this because at the moment the book was written in the years after World War 2 and in the beginnings of the Cold War where the international political scenario was thick, probably almost 60 years the tensions aren't as bad as they used to but still there is a lingering tension that the next war will start, especially with the cyclical aspects of politics and economics.

Probably the world has changed a lot in the last 65 years, not only talking about geographical borders but as well the mentality of the individuals. We are talking about how technologies had affected the borders of the land as well the social ones, as within communications we had been able to make friends regards their location.

The idea of technology as an unifying factor can be used as well as we are aware to spy, much as the State of Oceania survives to the outer and inner parties as well the proles through the use of the dual telescreen, in which of there is one installed per house on Airstrip One. The idea of surveying the population today is not strange at all because within the use of technology as we have i.e. smartphones, web cameras or even a simple computer; anyone can spy into any one by hacking into their location if there aren't proper measures

Lets take a look on the Patriot Act that was instated by George W. Bush and extended by Barack Obama in order that will let the government spy on their citizens, just arguing that it will be justify to stop any terrorist attack. Yet there are just flaws as with the recent attack of Dylann Storm where he on his natural personal and through the use of his faculties as a competent adult left an array of racist tirade and manifestos related to white supremacy but the government under the surveillance didn't detected or did anything to stop it.

Hacking or spying into someone's activity has a legal edge on if it should be really allowed under the idea of a perpetual war. Give some distrusts to the population in order that the population mistrusts themselves and trust an absolute party. Let's visualize as North Korea, where the idea of the government implementing a charismatic figure that is always there and ever watching the population is a reality.

Within North America is extremely difficult that something as North Korea will happen, especially with the division of powers as well the mentality of the people, we also have to not assume that North America is not excempt of any phenomenon that could rule a totalitarian theocracy under the arms of the Tea Party and their double moral towards religion as well anyone who is not a Caucasian individual who is a third generation born in the United States and definitely not a Muslim.

To analyze the spectrum of the term of - Big Brother is always watching you -, we have to analyze that the context where the term came beyond the work of fiction and there was an inspiration within the rice of the Iron Curtain in which the charismatic leaders were the mascots of the propaganda of their respective government.

Within the context of the timeline of the book, nobody knows who in reality is the Big Brother or if he already existed because of the continuity as due the constant edits of the Ministry of Truth nobody outside the Inner Party knows if he really exist or if he is just a mere machination produced by the propaganda.

There has been certain comparison between the Democratic Party as well the rise of an African American President witting the conservative circles that due Obama's extension of the Patriot Act as well the incursion of SOUP had placed him on a secular exemplary of the almost fanatical image of the Orwellian concept of Big Brother.

While the conservatives who try to do the analysis between Obama and the enigmatic leader forget that Big Brother punished everyone who went against the policies instated by the Party. Some people had argued that today the First Amendment is being contested through anyone who dares to defy the government but then talking about within the contemporary context we are living, we can't go between anarchy and go to violence in order to justify speech; because no one who in the context of civil co-existence had been sent to jail for dare to defy anything against the legal parameters.

By Swoboda (Unkown)
Probably one of the most complex elements of the book is the Ministry of Peace of MiniPax according to the newspeak that it is within the cannon. The reason of the importance of the MiniPax it correlates a small but very important element we'd seen on a daily basis at least here in North America - Ignorance is Bliss - but there are enough educational options within the country itself, programs that foment critical thinking and analysis to the current reality without sacrificing any career investment.

There is enough knowledge but then this is not because the government needs the people dumb as some people place it or as is in the book an entire ministry dedicated to keep people ignorant on what's happening around them or to explain them how their country works (I guess Fox News works on this paradigm.)

We can correlate the Fox News functions much as the MiniPax within the 1984 universe, as both function to keep a status-quo towards a biased truth that fit the interest of the corporation as well the political party they endorse. Keeping the masses at bay about the complex international dynamics as well on how a national - regional level we function within the multiculturalism just by placing fear on the slogan if the person is different than you is an enemy. In a macabre way Fox News just perpetuates the idea of an eternal war that keeps going and going against the United States but never says any shadow interest that are being pursued whenever there is a new enemy of democracy.

Probably is true - War is Peace - and keeping war it keeps certain peace towards the population; such as the War on Christianity, War on Terror, denying that on a national level we are still far away from a post segregationist society (I refuse to say post racial as the term is extremely wide and not precise) and minorities keep getting segregated not only financially but as well socially from breaking the circles of poverty but as well engaging with people who share a different set of ideologies or world perception as well cultural level. As if is seen within the State of Oceania.

The influences themselves are quite more complex and longer than the ones mentioned on this short reflective essay but there will be more time later to continue on how certain social and international trends that are reflected on literature or art are seen every quarter or half century.   

Friday, June 19, 2015

Why We Are Still Far Away of Becoming a Post Racial Society

(6/19/2015) Tampa, Fl --- First of all to whoever read this, whatever you need and if is on my reach I will be there to help you, no matter the distance. Second with the shooting of the Mother Emmanuel and all the incidents shown the last year we can say one thing - We are not living in a post racial society, we are living on some form of segregation that only has evolved within the borders of the community but on a social level we aren't far away from the times from the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

With Dylann Roof acts there are a few aspects we can say about how we are seeing racism being the first one on how the public forces had dealt with a Caucasian person who is an adult and killed 9 people inside a church vs. African Americans.

I am not going to blame on all the police, but on a State Wide the police forces should reevaluate their practice and standards because their image on a nation wide has been damage by the way they had dealt situations between "white people" and other ethnic groups.

Is plain simple that there is racism and white people get a preference towards any daily activity. One concern I have towards this situation is that Dylann judgment couldn't be fair towards his actions, let's take a look on George Zimmerman (just to name one of the many) He killed Trayvon Martin and he is free; but on the other hand there was Timothy McVeigh the only name that conservatives hate towards how white extremism is deal towards the public perception but we have to know one tiny but big aspect on the 60's with the Alabama riots for civil rights it was the Republican Party who supported the inclusion of equality but then what happened on the next 40 years.?

To make the story short the appearance of Ronald Reagan produced a shift on the image of the Republican Party by bashing a new set of minorities that on the moments were the LGBTQ community (who were the space goat when the AIDS pandemic exploded) as well how the administration enforced some new policies that discriminated against immigrants especially Mexicans and Colombians. This is just a mere synopsis of 40 years of politics but then again politics are cyclical and this turns happen around half a century.

The Emanuel African Methodist E. Church
There is a part of me that wish Dylann faces the death penalty but also death doesn't resolve anything and the extreme right movement as well the white supremacist will gain a new martyr on their crusade of hate. One element we can learn from Timothy McVeigh is that if there was to be an exemplary punishment a life without parole is one, but then it will a judgment that will bring the final verdict and I hope the jury won't buy the excuse that he has mental issues.

There were no mental issues on this premeditate attack as he knew where to strike and how to strike that person. There were plenty of churches but he mentioned that he hated blacks as well acquaintance mentioned about his habits of racist remarks and how he went to the church to kill "black people."

A problem within this case is again how the media deals with this kind of information as he is a white man. Let's see how Fox News has shown, we see the example here where on the entry he is treated as a "introverted individual"  but if the suspect was from any other ethnicity he would be treated as a menace, a thug, a disturbed man, a sociopath and etc. Also we have to know that Roof killed Senator Clementa Pinckney which make me wonder if he was behind a political leader in order to create some chaos.? Because from all the churches, he went exclusively to the one that has an historic meaning for the Civil Rights movement as well for the African community in general.

It was a deliberate strike, it was planned but then we had seen some privileges the way Dylann has. Also he should be prosecuted because he killed a senator and he committed a racial-hate crime. I really hope there is a fair trial and he gets the punishment he deserves but I am also concern that within a State that still has ties to the Confederacy and has a public display of the Confederate flag on the Statehouse shows how much what kind of people live on that State, but I am not going to generalize.

South Carolina State House
We are still far away of being a society that lives on very inclusive manner, we are still far away from being a society that accepts the mistakes of the past and has learned from the ones we are making today. We are far away from being a society that hasn't changed their image on a worldwide level, and we are still seen as a bunch of intolerant's who can't accept immigrants or anyone because they don't share the same ideals.

We are a society that was formed due a convoluted history, that on the first wave of immigration on the 1900 as well the second on the 1950's. We still think we owe this land but we do not own it, we were invaders who diminished the Native populations. We are still far away of becoming a post racial society because on the way he act towards each other we still have a lot of to learn about civil co-existence, because events as this one shouldn't be happening again as we are all humans and no one is better than each other, but each other can make our communities a little bit better by just helping anyone in need.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Don't Look Back but Why Looking at Developers as Terry Cavanagh is Really Important

Terry Cavanagh
(6/12/2015) Tampa, Fl --- The reason of supporting independent video game is because their products are fresh and reflect an aspect of their personality and creative process. As on a constant basis the games that are made on a lower scale are richer towards story line as well replay value.

What is fascinating about Terry Cavanagh is the approach he takes on the minimal aspect at the moment of creating a very compelling result that is quite easy to enjoy .

His game of Don't Look Back, take a very minimalist approach and doesn't contain any dialogue, it's quite charming and compelling but it is also incredible difficult on PC but specially on the iPad due the controllers configuration, almost as if it was a new level of difficulty to master.

The minimalist idea of DLB where the retro factor was the key essentially evolved into VVVVVV where the exploration of basic mechanics of video games were taken to the extreme in a new entertaining way.

Intro Screen
There are moments that I argue that minimalism can be a weapon of double edge, sometimes less is not better but there are cases as Don't Look Back that minimalism mixed with a retro value gives an amazing replay value to the game. The game itself is not long as soon each screen is mastered it can take about 20 minutes minimum to play the game on a best time (albeit there are not scores on the game).

The story of the game is a reinterpretation of the myth of the Orpheus (2) and Eurydice (3) myth in which a lover can't deal with the grief of losing his better half and descends into the underworld to search for her, but hence the name you can't look back when you rescue the spirit you can't look or otherwise you have to re-start the screen, much as it was within the myth of Orpheus.

One of the many puzzles of the game
The style of the game shows that even for today's standards there can be beauty between being unique from really intricate graphics that mimic the real world. Video games should have that element within the demographics on a more commercial level, people who are mostly there for the visual experience.

The experience on gaming should be most as within the narrative, replay value and difficulty of the game itself. We can take a look on some of the old school games within the Atari spectrum as well within the first generation of Nintendo, there was barely a dialogue within the titles but yet they were compelling.

Mainstream should advocate towards a certain simplicity but yet difficulty towards game and how they sell to the gamer beyond the home consoles. Indie developers such Cavanagh have a great possibility on platforms such as Steam or even on the cellphone market as well on the tablet because not only by selling the game on a price that is accessible to the consumers they can capitalize their name as a brand in order to attract more followers.

Reference:

1) http://terrycavanaghgames.com/dontlookback/
2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus
3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurydice

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Steampunk Elements in Movies: Le Voyage dans la Lune

Figure 1.1
Positioning the idea of the concept of Steampunk almost back on the beginning of the 20th it could be almost as a crazy idea but the idea itself could be established on the turn of the century by The Aerial Burglar by Percival Leigh and the iconic silent masterpiece of Fritz Lang, Metropolis.

The idea of Steampunk as itself didn't happened until the late half of the 1980's when writer Kevin Wayne Jeter to define in a jovial way the aesthetics of a variant of the cyberpunk genre where there was an in influence of the XIX into the cinematic and literature aspects of the genre of science fiction which set the foundations of the modern cinematic and literary of the genre.

We can even think that much of our own sociological development as humans it can influence from one century to another and set a series of event that will create an artistic product that it could be just fantastic.
Figure 2.1
To understand the historical setting of Le Voyage we have to position ourselves back on the turn of the century where the influence of the Victorian Era were still present and the turn of the Industrial Revolution was around, the cities landscapes were chaotic and the factories could be seen around town; which the idea of a society that use steam as a power source is still present on some sub-genres of science fiction.

The idea of a society that has surrounded the naturalistic side in favor of a more industrial approach was probably saw even briefly on Journey to the Moon when the rocket was ascending to the stratosphere; that idea on these days takes to approach a more modern romantic approach due the aesthetic values of a society that no longer exists but evolved into what we are today.

Even if we don't exhibit the elements of the Industrial Revolution on many countries of the world, we still have the legacy that it was traced on the Victorian society more than a century later. Mostly out of clothing and we had taken some visual examples into our cinematography and entertainment but what is appealing about A Trip to the Moon is that just on 1902 George Melies showed the prototype of what we use today in the cyberpunk or steampunk fiction.

The ideas are quite romantic and they are quite easy to trace as if  we see figure 2.1 we notice towards the clothing and how the fashion imagery which has relation to the dandies had influenced the people who cosplay today towards the science fiction fantasy.

Figure 3.1
Not only the romanticism went to the clothing but scenario wise as it was mentioned earlier, there is an impossible tweak into the laws of nature on a certain extent and creating an impossible scenario that in a strange way could seem to be possible in this world.

The reproduction of fantastic contraptions such as the cannon on Figure 2.1 but as well the scenario on 3.1 where the moon seems to be a savage land opposite to the industrialized nation of Earth. There was a sense of apocalyptic approach where the last frontier was from the dying planet but knowing much of the storytelling it goes on the interpretation of each viewer to the movie. 

References:

1) https://writersanontaunton.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/5-elements-of-steampunk/
2) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000417/?ref_=ttmd_md_nm
3) http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/film_history/summary/v023/23.3.levy.html


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Who Should I Vote,? Santorum or a Piece of Coal.?



(6/02/2015) --- There is always a long list on why I can't vote for any Republican candidates as soon I got my rights to vote in the United States, The number one option on my list is always Because they had turned into a bunch of extremist people who are seeking racial segregation much as the Democrats did during the Jim Crow era, I am not going to generalize that all Republicans are quite the same as there always exception to rules on every party.

Rick and The Coal
Rick Santorum has a special place on my list because he is mostly the poster boy that looks as the guy next door who could do whatever he wanted and never got punished by his actions but overall the two things I hate about Rick's point of view is how he see the LGBTQ community and how much he lies in order to get the public attention.

On May 27th of 2015(1) when he launched (again) his second White House bid, he tried to appeal the middle class voters by showing a piece of coal and an American Flag, stating that when his Italian grandparents emigrated to America from Italy his grandfather worked in the coal mines, but what Mr. Santorum failed to mention was that he also lobbies for RWE Dea which he was paid quite considerably well (2) as he wasn't exactly doing pro-bono work for them.

It would be nice to consider that based on his "contributors" or "local buddies that he help" we could know what Santorum's economical politics will impact the nation if he gets elected, not only that ecological policies he will support as well how he will really support the middle class worker that he brags so much on supporting.

We can know by now that Santorum won't support any bills towards green gas emission or carbon footprint, we are seeing a person who will surrender himself to any multinational that will sponsor him in order to gain any favors when he becomes in a hypothetical scenario a president, but overall I really hope the coal gets the nomination because at least the coal would be more proactive than Rick the Dick.

References:

1) http://www.wsj.com/articles/rick-santorum-to-launch-second-white-house-bid-1432730474 
2) http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/01/rick-santorum-coal-buddies