detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Thursday, June 19, 2008

: . Serial Wretchedness, or Edward Said and the Philippines

(Aspecto Symbolico del Mundo Hispanico puntualmente arreglado al Geografico, 1761. Vicente de Memije.)

Are all of these things just like The Other? From Culture and Imperialism:
Page xix: "Few readers today, after Vietnam, Iran, the Philippines, Algeria, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iraq, would disagree that it is precisely the fervent innocence of Greene's Pyle or Naipaul's Father Huismans, men for whom the native can be educated into our civilization, that turns out to produce the murder, subversion, and endless instability of 'primitive' societies."

Page 8: "There were claims for North American territory to be made and fought over (with astonishing success); there were native peoples to be dominated, variously exterminated, variously dislodged; and then, as the republic increased in age and hemispheric power there were distant lands to be designated vital to American interests, to be intervened in and fought over -- e.g., the Philippines, the Caribbean, Central America, the "Barbary Coast," parts of Europe and the Middle East, Vietnam, Korea."

Page 64: "In the closing year of the nineteenth century, with the scramble for Africa, the consolidation of the French imperial Union, and the American annexation of the Philippines, and British rule in the Indian subcontinent at its height, empire was a universal concern."

Page 214: "The history of empire -- punctuated by uprisings throughout most of the nineteenth century -- in India; in German, French, Belgian, and British Africa; in Haiti, Madagascar, North Africa, Burma, the Philippines, Egypt, and elsewhere -- seems incoherent unless one recognizes that sense of beleaguered imprisonment infused with a passion for community that grounds anti-imperial resistance in cultural effort."

Page 218: "Whether it was the Philippines, or any number of African territories, or the Indian subcontinent, the Arab world, or the Caribbean and much of Latin America, China or Japan, natives banded together in independence and nationalist groupings that were based on a sense of identity which was ethnic, religious, or communal, and was opposed to further Western encroachment."

Page 230: "No transformation of social consciousness here, but only an appalling pathology of power duplicated elsewhere -- in the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Zaire, Morocco, Iran."

Page 275: "I am not particularly interestedinterested in spending much time discussing the altogether obvious unhappy cultural consequences of nationalism in Iraq, Uganda, Zaire, Libya, the Philippines, Iran, and throughout Latin America."

Page 289: "Nineteenth-century offshore experiences ranged from the North African coast to the Philippines, China, Hawaii, and of course throughout the Caribbean and Central America."

Page 311: "If you are part of a Philippine, or Palestinian, or Brazilian oppositional movement, you must deal with the tactical and logistical requirements of the daily struggle."

Page 326: "Iran, the Philippines, Argentina, Korea, Pakistan, Algeria, China, South Africa, virtually all of Eastern Europe, the Israeli-occupied territories of Palestine: these are some of the most impressive crowd-activated sites, each of them crammed with largely unarmed civilain populations, well past the point of enduring the imposed deprivations, tyranny, and inflexibility of governments that had ruled them for too long."

As always, the Philippines is in excellent company. But it's better to be acknowledged than to be ignored. Even if only as a rhetorical ornament.

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