Saturday, March 31, 2007

no impact

This is pretty old news, but I keep coming across mentions of this guy everywhere. A couple of weeks ago I heard him on the Brian Lehrer show and read a big feature about him in the New York Times on the same day.
In case anybody hasn't heard yet, this New York City dweller, Colin Beavan, has set out to document one year in which he (and his wife, toddler daughter and dog) attempt to make no impact on the Earth's environment. He has a book deal, so it's kind of a publicity stunt, but I think it's not a bad thing to bring public attention to something so personal and I like to see hype about urban environmentalism. I know there are lots and lots of us who try to avoid waste in our lives by living in cities, walking, riding bikes, subways and buses, buying local foods, not turning on the TV and air conditioner, not taking plastic bags or buying unnecessary or overpackaged products, etc etc. We don't all need fanfare and book deals, but I think it's great to see this way of thinking and living show up in the media, and hopefully it inspires more and more of us think about how much we impact others through the way we live, the things we buy, and the things we consume. I think an important part of understanding our impact is not just looking at the way we affect the environment, but also looking at the ways our choices directly impact other humans, such as the companies we do business with and the ways they treat their employees.
I hope that this inspires me to be more conscious in my choices!


Sunday, March 25, 2007

protest and desaparecidos

March 24th is a public holiday in Argentina, the Day of Memory for Truth and Justice. It is a day of protest in Buenos Aires to remember the "desaparecidos," 30,000 people who were "disappeared" during the military dictatorships in Argentina in the 1970's and early 1980's. The disappearances are a relatively recent memory and are still a strong presence in everyday culture and politics, in part because many of those who participated have still never been tried for crimes. The Madres de la Plaza de Mayo are a well-known group of women whose children and grandchildren were disappeared, and they march in the Plaza de Mayo every Thursday afternoon in front of the presidential Casa Rosada. Saturday's march ended in the same Plaza. I'm still struggling to understand everything that happened during this period of Argentinian history but the basic idea is that 30,000 citizens, leftists, students, labor organizers and "guerillas" were abducted, tortured and killed by militias allied with the government. Based on conversations with friends here, snippets of news from the TV and Clarin newspapers and wikipedia research, here's an outline of what I understand so far.

Juan Peron was a hugely popular President of Argentina during the forties and fifties. He was deposed and spent 20 years in exile in Spain. During this exile his many supporters organized into opposing "Peronist" factions, left wing and right wing. When Peron returned from exile in 1973, he sided with the right wing faction against the leftists. Juan Peron died during his third presidential term, in 1974, leaving his third wife and vice president Isabel Peron in power. She signed a series of decrees enabling the police and military to "annihilate" left-wing subversives. She was deposed in 1976 by a military coup, and the disappearances increased under the military dictatorship until 1983 when the last military dictator stepped down.

Within a few blocks of our house, in Palermo and Almagro, there have been protests outside the comfortable homes of former officials and professionals who took part in the genocide and have never been tried for any crimes. Some top officials were tried in 1984, but these were followed by pardons and laws of amnesty. In 2005 the Argentinian supreme court overturned the amnesty and trials began in 2006 but have been proceeding slowly and with difficulties. In January of 2007, Isabel Peron was arrested in Spain and is pending extradition to Argentina to testify in court about her role in the disappearances. In the first trial of 2006, against former Police officer Miguel Etchecolatz, one witness was Jorge Julio López, who was one of the desaparecido from the 1970's. After his 2006 testimony, he disappeared again and is still missing. The general suspicion is that he was abducted by current and former police forces in an effort to intimidate others from testifying in the future.

The memories of the desaparecidos are preserved by the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo, by the living parents, children and friends of those who disappeared, and by some surviving desaparecidos. A few weeks ago a friend of ours told us that both of her parents are surviving desaparecidos. Some children were taken from young mothers or pregnant mothers, and raised by military families, and are now being reunited with their surviving relatives. Here's a short article from Clarin about an interesting art project using instant messaging on MSN to create a memorial space , and here is a link with more details (in spanish) about yesterday's events.

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short video from protest

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Saturday, March 24, 2007


I finished making all my t-shirt samples and I am so excited for my new orange tank-top and I have been wearing it every day. It's starting to turn to Fall here and I am also excited for Fall because we moved here at the end of the Northern Hemisphere summer, which was the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere summer and we got two summers in a row! I loved both of them but it was a long sweaty hot time and feels sooo good to start having crisp days and cold nights. Everyone looks cute with sweaters and pants and fall clothes on. I got dressed up for dinner on Saturday night and I had to take a picture of my fall outfit including my new favorite silkscreened tank-top.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


Today it's four years since the beginning of the war. I remember before it started we all talked so much about trying to stop it from happening. We talked about how wrong war is, in the most abstract way. We talked about the stupidity and how violence can only breed more violence. We talked about how fucked up and racist an attack on Iraq would be, how pointless and deceptive and evil and how war would drag on without end and leave a sucking vacuum of killing and hate in the place where a country used to be. We didn't talk very much about how our cousins and ex-boyfriends and friends' friends would disappear to Iraq and never come back, or come back with broken bodies and minds. We talked about how everything that was bad in Iraq would get worse and how the United States would be left with the impossibility of reconstructing a country out of ruins and disparate factions. This is what everyone was talking about constantly.
We talked about all this, and we protested in the streets and yelled and screamed and shook our tiny fists at the sky and at the TV cameras. New York City filled up again and again with protesters and speakers and hundreds of thousands of people in the street were all saying the same thing at the same time and nobody was listening.
It was the only time in my life that I felt so unified with so many people, and so angry, and so certain, all at the same time. Four years later I feel completely futile and numbly angry and I can barely believe that our worst assumptions were so right, that this disaster was so obvious and predictable, and that it is happening anyway.

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Friday, March 09, 2007


Some albums me and the pups have been singing along to.
Old favorites and new ones.

sally shapiro. disco romance
cansei de ser sexy. CSS

death from above 1979. you're a woman, i'm a machine
the presets. beams

lansing dreiden. the dividing island

john cale. paris 1919
peter, bjorn and john. writer's block

the innocence mission. birds of my neighborhood
charlotte gainsbourg. 5:55

the rapture. pieces of the people we love
tapes n tapes. the loon

band of horses. everything all the time
my morning jacket. it still moves

gillian welch. revival
chico buarque. construção

sui generis. confesiones de invierno
seu jorge. carolina



despues de varios semanas locas, cuando yo trabajaba mucho en diseñas para remiras, yo tengo una semana de paz y tranquilidad y este semana cuezo galletitas! es mucho trabajo a traducir la receta a metrica mientras estoy cocinando. despues, traduzco la receta a español tambien, para mi amiga Lili. por favor, no se reír en mi cara porque la traduccion es mal! me dices que es incorrecto.

250 grams harina
1 cucharada bicarbonato de sodio
1 cucharada sal
225 grams manteca, templada
170 grams azucar blanco
150 grams azucar moreno
1 cucharada extracto de vainilla
2 huevos
1 grande barra de chocolate. cortar en pedacitos.
calentas el horno a 190.
en un tazon, mezclas harina, bicarbonata de sodio, y sal.
en un tazon grande, batis manteca, azucar blanco, azucar moreno, y extracto de vainilla
añadis huevos. agitas.
poco a poco, añadis mezcla harina a manteca y azugar. agitas mientras añadis.
añadis chocolate. agitas.
con una cuchara, pones masa en la placa para horno.
cada galleta 4 cm a uno del otro.

horneas para 9 - 11 minutos.


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