Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Links

Richard Larson reviews Vandana Singh's Of Love and Other Monsters at Strange Horizons. In his review he observes:

Singh is successful in her assertion that we are all alienated from each other and that none of us can really know anyone else, at least not in the way that we come to understand that Arun's people—other aliens—can understand each other, using a "language" involving an intimate conjoining of minds. Arun agonizes over his predicament with Sankaran—("How does a man who is not a man or a woman, not a human or an alien—how does such a being confess his love to another man?" [p. 52])—which is a love that will ultimately elude him and which will come, in the narrative, to represent the tragic inability of humans to ever truly connect with one another.

On a completely different front, Carlos Martinez reminds us that the US-powered and -directed "Plan Columbia" has been interfering with Ecuadoran sovereignty for years, for instance by spraying toxic chemicals on its crops, animals, and human populations; which is to say, Ecuador has much to resent from its bully of a neighbor. (And I can't help but note that Columbia is merely following the US's example in refusing to respect the national borders of other countries. Can it be any wonder that that so many of the US's allies feel free to violate other countries' national borders as though it were their right to do so?) Martinez notes the typically antihistorical and skewed reporting on the situation by the US media:

While some press in the United States question whether Chavez is using this situation as an opportunity to distract Venezuelans from their social problems, this excessive focus on him is in fact distracting people in the US from having a much needed dialogue on their own government’s role in fomenting this so-called “Andean Crisis.” As a result, the tough realities and repercussions from the US government’s support for a military solution in Colombia are being overlooked. Emboldened and armed with the multibillion dollar support of Plan Colombia, the Uribe government has decided to violate international law rather than attempting mediated discussions with the FARC. This is simply the latest controversy to discredit Colombia, already renowned for having the greatest number of human rights violations and politically motivated murders per year in the Western Hemisphere.

Indeed. But human rights violations do not now and never have mattered to the US media (or Government)-- except, of course, when committed by designated enemies of the US Government.

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