detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Wednesday, October 09, 2002


: . Citizen Oprah:

Occasional Newsweek readers: Remember last week when Anna Quindlen, distressed with the seeming pro-war consensus among pundits and politicians alike, stated “The lack of leadership for those who oppose going to war is so profound that one old lefty suggested the other day that Oprah ought to be asked to speak up on the subject”? Well, be careful what you wish for Anna Quindlen. Today, there is sure to be rejoicing in the West Wing after the successful launch of the Bush Administration’s latest weapon of mass distraction: Oprah Winfrey, War Monger. Sadly our last hope for peace has just betrayed us. Oprah Winfrey will not be hushing the war drums. Anna Quindlen, one of whose books carries the Oprah Book Club sticker, had assumed that Oprah Winfrey’s liberal leanings and her blackness would mean an aversion towards wars of any kind, especially dubious ones sheathed in the thinnest of moral and strategic veneers. Today, not only did Oprah make an unqualified plea for a war against Saddam, she also managed to convince most of the fence-sitting members of her audience to follow her example. All hope is not lost though. Almost all the audience members who remained skeptical about the war despite Oprah’s call to arms were men and women of color. It appears that when Oprah’s influence crossed the color line it crossed forever, never to return. W. E. B. Du Bois once wrote that with the death of Reconstruction, democracy in America would have died as well had it not been for the hopes and dreams of America’s most wretched inhabitants. “Democracy died save in the hearts of black folk,” observed Du Bois in his monumental Black Reconstruction in America. Perhaps it is enough of a consolation to learn that democracy lives on in “our” hearts as well.


: . Laruan ng Diyos:

Again, from Himala by Ricky Lee, the part where Neferti Tadiar claims "Elsa performs her final, revelatory act of redemption: the return of divine power to the people":

    Ipinatawag ko kayong lahat dahil may gusto akong ikumpisal.
    Nitong mga nakaraang araw, sa loob lamang ng napakaikling panahon, parang naranasan natin ang pinaghalong langit at impiyerno.
    Maraming sakit ang gumaling, maraming tao ang bumuti at nagkaroon ng pananampalataya. Pero nakakita rin tayo ng kamatayan, ng epidemya, ng pagpuputa, ng krimen at panloloko.
    Kapag may masamang nangyayari’y sinisisi natin ang sumpa. Isinumpa ang Cupang. Itinaboy kasi natin ang maysakit noon. Kaya ganoon.
    Kapag may mabuti namang nangyayari, sinasabi nating ito’y gawa ng langit. Gawa ng Birhen. Gawa ng himala.
    May ipagtatapat ako sa inyo.
    Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao! Nasa puso nating lahat! Tayo ang gumagawa ng himala! Tayo ang gumagawa ng mga sumpa at ng mga Diyos!
    Hindi totoong buntis ako dahil sa himala! Hindi totoong nagpakita sa akin ang Mahal na Birhen! Walang Himala! Hindi totoong may himala! Tayo ang gumagawa ng himala! Tayo ang gumagawa ng mga sumpa at ng mga Diyos! Walang himala!

Someone from the Ma-Yi Theater Company should seriously consider translating the Himala screenplay into English (if it hasn't already been done before) and then putting it on stage in New York.

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