Sat, 25 Sep 2004

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mountains and the city

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I want to write something profound in these last ten minutes before I board the plane, but, as has been the case for a disturbingly long time, the words escape me.

Being out here in NYC, though, I feel like they're within reach again. Somewhere behind the foggy mist of sleep deprivation, caffeine induced madness, and suffering and disease, there is something solid I can touch every once in a while.

This isn't some Matrix-like illusion. I'm pretty sure.

Well. Whatever.

So I watched "The Motorcycle Diaries" last night with my sister and her roommate, and it was a very thought-provoking movie. As they depicted Guevarra's growing awareness of the greed-induced injustice in the world, it struck me painfully how very little has changed in the last 50 years, and, really, in many ways it's a lot worse than then. But that is another tirade entirely.

Three experiences that my apophenic mind took note of: (1) I spent some time in the Natural History Museum on 81st St., and, like my trip to the Met, it disturbed me that there was little-to-nothing regarding the various Filipino indigenous cultures, despite having decent exhibits regarding other Southeast Asian cultures. But I found myself wandering through the section on South and Central America. It is always interesting to wonder what would've happened if the great American empires had been able to resist the invading forces of the Spanish. Not that the Aztecs were exactly great guys, what with their preoccupation with human sacrifice and all. But I have always been fascinated by the Incans. Particularly with the rash of theories that postulate that Proto-Malays—my ancestors—may have actually made it across the Pacific Ocean. That and the fact that they use coca leaf pretty freely over there. Not that I'm a coke fiend or anything. I guess, though, that Machu Picchu has sort of become the South American equivalent of Rome in terms of feeling like you have to go there at least at some point in your life. I also am interested in the experience of living at or around the elevation of 10,000 feet, and wondering how my body will (or won't) adapt. (2) When I brought this up to B, he commented on how tons of his friends have literally just come back from vacations to Peru, and somehow this segued onto our discussion on the unraveling of the Republic of the U.S.A., and our little debate regarding the consequences of globalization. My take is that, somehow, the U.S. has stopped producing anything of real value. Our biggest export is pop trash like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, and the idea of basing our economy on the enforcement of the sketchy concept of intellectual property in an age of worldwide Internet connectivity is dubious at best. Economic disaster looms. (3) Then I watched "Motorcycle Diaries," and a lot of the most thought-provoking scenes were set in Peru.

My sister commented on how the upper reaches of the Andes had a lot in common with the Cordillera in the Philippines.

I find it interesting that the U.S. is now involved in an imperial quagmire similar to the quagmire in the Philippines a 100 years ago.

Well, my plane is boarding, so more later.

13:03:51 25 Sep 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

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