Monthly Archives: October 2007

october 23: fire

dear readers,

as a follow on my last post on the notion of “home,” check out a recent article i wrote on anti-gentrification battles by clicking here.

and speaking of home, oh home. 

san diego, my hometown, is ablaze.  fire, ash, sky burnt orange for days.  makes me wish I was there, to document the undoubted maze.  navigated by people of all walks, the headline today, is fire.

October 23, 2007 

 

a helicopter with water swerves across the ash strewn san diego sky

what are the disasters which remind us of war, in the smell of charred belongings, in the sight of a sky with no face mask, no screen from all that smoke, filled i am filled with a feeling of wanting to be there.  to document.  to repent.  to let go and hold on for dear life.  but i know this much, i will be back. 

Qualcomm Stadium evacuation - 10/22

a south asian extended family of fire evacuees takes refuge in quaalcom stadium, san diego 

if it wasnt for the chargers banner, where would you imagine this south asian family was?  what would they be fleeing?  how would their homes look like?  but this is san diego, and the areas where fire is getting close enough to singe back ache planted flowers, those areas got houses to die for.  sweeping scapes, rooms with 15 foot drapes, sand hues from rose to ocean blues, see this is san diego.  a small nation of many, many nations.  my mom called and said how anila auntie and other much loved family friends were having to evacuate their homes. 

i texted my homies in the 619 and 858 to see how they were all doing.  everyone is cool, but they seem shell shocked.  my afghani crew, they all texted back talking bout, “its crazy out here,” or “im rollin a blunt, you know how we do,” shit y’all, do you.  my african-american crew, they texted back like, “im good, its all in north county, so its still far away,” or “im still at work,” and “did you know your old high school is an evacuation center.” 

my persian sister was like, “they told my parents to evacuate but they won’t go, it would be soooo much easier if my parents would just listen.”  and the indian fam is spreading news like telegraphs down rivers, so and so family went here, such and such family went there.  shit, when i was growing up out there, i swear we were less than 100 south asian families in town.  but now there are so many south asian people in san diego, because the industries came which held us.  science, engineering, pharmaceuticals.  this is who we are to them.  and so be it.  it means for some beautiful sweeping homes.  much of the south asian population lives and works in the affected areas.  so my thoughts are with them.

like when my newly immigrated cousin found herself running from world trade center of september 11.  i just felt like, damn, came all the way here, set up shop despite it all and everything, and now you gotta bear the brunt of something so tragic.  but this is the america i know.  an america made up of so many nations.  im keeping my thoughts and prayers with you all down there in the 619 and 858, may you stay healthy and safe.

 stay tuned for more of all the news that’s fit to flip, by political poet, naxal.

peace,

   

october: love in the time of evictions

Dear Readers,

Another day’s dose of All the News That’s Fit to Flip, taking up to minute headlines from the New York Times and flipping them into Hip Hop based poetics and prose you can feel.

October 16, 2007

I.  NYT Headline: Treasury Chief Urges Action on Housing Slump 

Political Poet Headline: Love In the Time of Eviction

What happens to a nation of individuals riveted by ever present threats to the home?  Lately, the U.S. has seen a host of home based issues arise and not a one has to do with more or better housing for all.  Narrower and narrower have become our rights to the home, literally and philosophically.  From the dimming right of return (post-Katrina, NOLA), to the diminished right of privacy (re-emergence of the home search as a condition on welfare, San Diego, CA), to ever diluted voting rights (evidence of election fraud in the past two elections), to what the New York Times calls, “the steepest housing slump in 16 years,” it is without a doubt an era of eviction from ways of knowing and owning “home.”

Today, Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury “Chief,” went over to the Georgetown School of Law to make an impassioned call of action aimed at key players in the government and financial lending industry.  Paulson was basically like, “this housing slump ain’t gonna end, its not like most people are getting any richer, and 2 million motherfuckers looking for a home plain and simple, got caught up with these mortgages being offered at ‘teaser rates’, you know, like how the credit card and layaway folks do, little to no interest for the first year and then hit you with the heeeee right after, tryna ass us all out and shit, but anyway, these 2 million mortgages is about to be up for the mad rate increase within the next 18 months, and on top of that peoples are already struggling to hold on to their homes, come on now governments and banks, stop bullshitting and tryna blame each other and get to work on threading more flexibility through these loans so people bend but don’t break, cause we can’t have a nation of everyone homeless.  Well, we could, but that would be like the depression and the only thing that got us out of that was World War II, but see we already in war now and still struggling, so feel me when I say we need to work on loan modification and refinance options, aka flexibility for the people, so they can stay sheltered.”

That’s basically what he said, with a little extra gravy on the side. 

 I’m like this, let’s keep our eyes on the issue of sub-prime lending and the ensuing battles while making sure to use our peripheral to peep what’s happening to “home” as a concept, as a right, in general.  It is an era of eviction, and a time for philosophers and poets to fill in the national narrative blanks.  So that we can better understand what the hell is going on.

II.  Today’s Caspian Sea Summit Brings Up the Notable Quote of the Day

“The division of the sea is not less important than the nuclear program.” (Ahmad Nateq Nouri, a former Iranian parliamentary speaker.)

                    Oil derricks in the Caspian Sea near Baku, Azerbaijan.

The division of the sea?  Damn, if that ain’t poetic fodder.  The Caspian Sea.  Take a look at her, before and after.  She’s sitting on that black gold, and the male heads of state are getting hungery for all she’s got.  The leaders of 5 nations bordering the Caspian Sea met today, including Mahmoud Amhadinejad and Vladimir Putin, making it the first time a Kremlin leader has traveled “to Iran since 1943 when Stalin attended a wartime summit meeting with Churchill and Roosevelt.  Those 5 nations are Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.  As the price of oil rises like R. Kelly talking about temperatures rising, folks are looking to the Caspian Sea and gathering to discuss; 1. the legal status of the oil and gas that lives under the sea bed; 2. who owns this natural wealth; 3. transit routes, aka, how are we going to get that wealth up from under there to where it can be bought and sold?

So, the whole meeting turns into a discussion about Iran and nuclear threat and the largely discredited (or so it seemed) International Atomic Energy Agency.  And then Ahmad Nateq Nouri pipes up with that quotable gem. 

 I’ve ridden across the oceans of the world and have seen, smelled, the places where two oceans meet.  Colors mingle, it is a natural sight to behold.  There is no division of the sea in the long term.  And let us hope that the short term carving leaves the land in an okay spot to heal.  Feel. 

Keep feeling y’all.  Stay tuned for more of All the News That’s Fit to Flip, by political poet, NaXaL.

Peace,

N

october 2: what would ghandi do?

 

Dear Readers,

All the News That’s Fit to Flip, from an artist with ideas for days, on the means and ways, we can extend ourselves into the as yet still stable polar ice of humanities highest price, and the winner is: Human Potential.

Its Ghandi Ji’s birthday today, he was born October 2, 1869.  Damn, its been a minute since he was alive.  He passed January 30, 1948.  I miss him.  And I’m thankful that he existed.  He woulda been 100 in 1969, and 138 this year.  Old soul.   

Our diaspora’s Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., wrapped into one man, for Ghandi Ji so riveted the nation that he moved us to see freedom as not just possible but as the here and now.  His “Quit India” program encouraged Britain to give up its addiction to the occupation of the body of our land.  And his name is still the only Desi name mentioned in the quick litany of world revolutionary leaders.  So praises due, to the man who keeps India’s liberation struggle on the global map for young revolutionary’s on the rise. 

Let us take this opportunity to feel in our guts the struggles of others, align ourselves were we need to, and non-align where we must.  For more info about the man and his life, do what we all do: wikipedia beeyatch. 

Happy Birthday Bapu.  This 1’s 4 u.      

October 2, 2007

What Would Ghandi Do?

1. Ahmadinejad’s Vist to Columbia U: I bet Ghandi would have been diplomatic enough to be cordial to a international leader…at least as cordial as he would have been to any being present…cept maybe his woman in them early years.  Ike!  Nah, Ghandi wasn’t perfect, he was human, and he was violent to women, are you?

2.  Blackwater Trials: Ghandi woulda been fasting off of the state of the Iraq war long before these atrocities came to light.  I know it.  And somehow, the nation would have been riveted by the threat posed to this one man, and we would have gave a fuck, enough, to allow our concern for one human body to transfer into broader concern for the sustainability of the human experience in general.  You better KNOW thats right. 

3.  Myanmar Monks Turn Alms Bowls Upside Down, Lacquer Black Against the Frown of Military Dictatorship for Too Long: Ghandi, in your humble robe, would you not have marched with these relatively young brothers, a speck of white in a river snake train of saffron blood red, flowing down the streets of Myanmar, you would have marched with them, refused food and alms with them, you alive again in Burma, 2007, you knew solidarity.

4.  Kala, the new MIA album: Ghandi woulda been bumpin to that shit like the rest of us young nation bust music an A plus in a democracy hovering at a low C minus aint it about time its poppin in this devalued dollar country and Ghandi woulda been on the dancefloor just like me. 

Stay tuned for more of All the News That’s Fit to Flip by political poet, NaXaL.  And people, only bite as much as you can chew. 

Peace,

N