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Sep 30 2011

This Week In The Dream Antilles

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Your Bloguero, as you may have already noticed, is a complete optimist.  He actually believes along with Dr. King that things bend toward justice.  Eventually.  And this drives your Bloguero to be extremely persistent.  He wants to do some serious bending.  You might even think of him as obsessed.  And nothing drives your Bloguero more than the plight of those who are always screwed.  There are a number of subtopics to this, ways that this happens, but somehow for your Bloguero it always eventually comes down to state killing, the death penalty.  State killing is always a huge thorn in your Bloguero.

Your Bloguero has been railing against the death penalty for decades. He’s successfully defended people charged with capital crimes.  And he’s been aggravated by and writing about state killing for a while.  In 2002, when there were too many recipients to keep track of, he moved the informal anti-death penalty emails he wrote to a list serve, Yahoo groups.   Your Bloguero started writing those emails in 1999 or 2000.  Maybe it was earlier.  The initial response from some recipients, including family members, was instructive. “How,” some wrote, “Can you get involved in this horror and care about these worthless scum.  Don’t send me any more of this [expletive deleted].”  OK.  Your Bloguero struck their names from the address block and forged on.  “You have compassion for these horrible people.  You should have more for those around you.”  OK.  Strike the name and move on.  Etc. Repeat and repeat again. The complaints were legion.  Your Bloguero, however, knows how to use a delete button, and he did.  Frequently.

When your Bloguero started the Dream Antilles more than six years ago, his initial intention was to promote his 2005 novel, The Dream Antilles. That didn’t last long.  Your Bloguero does not stay on topic well, especially when the topic is commercial.   Your Bloguero doesn’t care very much for commerce. Soon the plight of those who are always screwed became unavoidable.  Of course.  How could it not?  Yes, it was always present in the literature from Latin America your Bloguero loves to write about, but then the Blog swerved headlong into politics.  And of course, as soon as it swerved, along came all of your Bloguero’s many arguments about state killing.  Does the Dream Antilles now have more politics than literature?  Who knows?  Your Bloguero is not the best curator if the goal is to maintain balance.  Yes, your Bloguero wishes there were more about books.  More about Paco Ignacio Taibo II.  More about Skarmeta.  More about Cortazar.  Martin Solares.  The list of authors is enormous.  And there could be more about that if the states would just moderate the rate at which they were executing people.  

When your Bloguero didn’t feel that there was enough readership at The Dream Antilles, he cross posted at other Blogs, especially bigger group ones.  There, particularly at the Orange Blog that shall not be named, your Bloguero was surprised.  There he encountered more people who wrote to provoke your Bloguero and assert that they had no problem with state killing.  Worse, there were some who were actually in favor of it and argued that it was just.  These comments, which your Bloguero generally perceived as the menacing handwork of paid trolls or [expletives deleted] agents provocateurs, who needed to get a life, were always annoying. But your Bloguero knows how to ignore them, and ignore them he did.  Your Bloguero tries not to feed their anger.  Or their wallets.

Fast forward to killing Troy Davis. And this week, the echoes continue at the Dream Antilles, even as they fade to quiet in the Trad Media.

The  Banality Of Death takes note of Florida’s killing of Manuel Valle on Wednesday.  Valle was killed for a crime more than 30 years ago.  He was 61.  The execution was barely noticed. It was the fourth execution of the week.  Your Bloguero believes this is one of the best pieces he has written in a while.

The Shame Of State Killing tells the story of the 1944 execution in Georgia of 5’1″ 95 pound George Stinney, Jr., who was then 14 years old.  Stinney is the youngest person executed in the US in recent history.  It is a story of state killing at its most barbaric.  One wonders whether the US has evolved beyond that.

Banned Books Week noted the ALA’s annual celebration of the First Amendment and provided a list of “challenged” and “banned” books.  Your Bloguero wishes he found it hard to believe that book banning continues in the US.

About That Disaster Aid shows the destruction of a roadway in Greene County, New York near where your Bloguero finds himself and inquires what it will take for Congress to get up some money so that there can be repairs and disaster aid.

Please Sign This Petition promoted a badly written, weakly conceived petition on the White House Web site to ban state killing.  Yes, it was badly written.  Your Bloguero doesn’t care.

The Back B minor Mass showed up at the Dream Antilles.  What a great performance.  Go ahead, click it.  You’ll be happy you did.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. Please leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or click the “Encouragement Jar” if there is one. Your Bloguero likes to know you’ve visited.

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