My dream car….at least for now!

…or whatever the current Shelby is at the time I can afford one

I’ll even “settle” for a classic:

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Published in: on Thursday, 2 August 07 at 3:06  Leave a Comment  

My thoughts on The Crossing (Part III)

Ok I know it’s in part two, and so very blatant but I find it to be my favorite of passages of the novel:

pg 146

“Such a man is a dreamer who wakes from a dream of to a greater sorrow yet. … The smallest mark upon the page exaggerates his presence. 

 This passage says so many things, and can even be directed to Billy.

 

Misc. tie ups to my other thoughts:                                                                                             As far as the horse being a spirit guide, you will notice throughout the entire novel, right to the end, there are some places that the horse cannot or will not go. Much like in a spirit quest, the guide guides, it does not take the journey with you.  Once certain things were completed, Billy would find his guide and get back on to his trek. 

…and just so you can sort of know where I am coming from the wolf, it is believed that after humans were created they became lost, so our creators sent wolves in human form to guide us. Wolves are in fact beyond knowledge, and language, and the world of man, and this novel echos that sentiment in great detail.

Published in: on Tuesday, 1 May 07 at 11:56  Leave a Comment  

My thoughts on the Crossing (Part II)

Epistemology, by definition is, because I did have to go look it up, is the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to it’s methods, validity and scope, as well as an investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

There were a few passages that sparked an epistemological question or two throughout part two.  Especially in regards to justified beliefs versus opinions.  The rider that appears out of nowhere and &”knows” things.  Are they criminals? Demons in human form? Truly evil men? Or men who may “know” something beyond, what most men “know”. Can man hone animal instincts and know beyond their world?  Other questions include, when Billy shoots the wolf, how does he know that taking another beings life is okay in this circumstance and not another. Instinct? Logic? Or maybe he isn’t sure, but he shoots her anyway. Another passage that that stands out is Billy’s conversation with the sherriff when he returns from Mexico. The sheriff, tells Billy to follow the law (man’s law) and leave Boyd where he is.  Billy then politely lets, the sheriff know that there is a higher law maybe entre hermanos, or de la familia, or de Dios, that he will follow, and that he would be taking his brother.  Something else that stands out like a blond cheerleader at a goth party is when someone tells Billy he is an orphan.  The question is defiantly raised on how that knowledge flowed down the river and into this mind of a person never before met in the middle of nowhere Mexico!? Do they know beyond this world? Perhaps some humans have a sliver of the knowledge possessed by the wolf, and other sacred animals. 

By far the most epistemological passage in the novel begins on page 142 ” I was looking…” and ends on page 158 with “For nothing save the grace”.  These passages question the very knowledge of God, the belief in his knowledge, or all knowing ability, the validity of it, and how it effects the very world.  These pages are epistemology by definition. 

 

At this point in the novel, the journey is still very reminiscent of a spirit quest, with the horse as a guide, and Billy in the thick of it approaching the most difficult part of the quest.  Towards the middle of a journey there are still far more questions than answers with new ones formulating as minutes pass. 

 

Published in: on Tuesday, 1 May 07 at 11:44  Comments (1)  

My thoughts on the Crossing (Part I)

From the perspective of a woman with a Native American heritage, anything having to do with a wolf is never as simple as a black and white situation. I’d vote that it’s 99% grey area. The relationship between man and wolf is a complicated one that dates back to our creation story, therefore whenever the two interact, regardless of the apparent reason, it is always something much deeper than it appears to be.

In the beginning, Billy is simply a boy minding his father.  The pursuit of the wolf is nothing more than that a chore. pg 16″ If Mr. Echols were here, he’d catch her.  Yeah but he ain’t.” Clearly this isn’t Billy’s inspiration for adventure, he’s just minding his father. At this point the wolf is nothing more than an bothersome concept. The more billy pursues the wolf, the more his interest in finding her grows. 

 

The pursuit and eventual capture of the wolf is very reminiscent of a spirit quest.  You may have more than one guide as your journey sees fit, in Billy’s case he has the wolf and the horse.  As the wolf transforms from an ideal on pg 15 where Boyd asks about it, to a realization on page 52, where the wolf, “stands to meet him”, to a symbol of something more on pg 127, Billy bonds with her. He bonds with her like any student would with a teacher or a guiding force in his life. Most reminiscent of a spirit quest, are all the answers to questions not yet asked and the devlopment of questions not before thought of without answers yet when the trek of his journey that has the wolf as a guide ends.

Published in: on Tuesday, 1 May 07 at 11:14  Leave a Comment  

Telenovela Wishes & Fairytale Dreams…

(In the voice of Robin Leach):

Every woman has a fantasy of her husband to be and married life. Many fantasies are within reason, kids, house, two-car garage, soccer mom car pools, or chats with the nanny, or whatever the case may be.  Srta. Cleofilas however had expectations of perfection and a telenovela lifestyle in which she would be the star.

            Unfortunately for our soñadora she got the ugly side of the telenovela. She successfully lands the role in (Young and the Restless theme plays in the background) “Naïve and Helpless” as the victim, the helpless, or the classic damsel in distress, in need of rescuing by a real man. Her marido perfefcto takes her away from her family and the only home she’s ever known, leaves her alone with the children, cheats on her, beats her, and holds no apologies for it.

 It’s a telenovela all right, but Cleofilas is not the leading lady, she’s simply a background character. She’s the unappreciated wife of the handsome charmer, the mother of the unattended children, the lady in the neighborhood who doesn’t speak English, the forgotten daughter, and the weak woman rescued by the strong liberated one.

…and like any telenovela the ending is bittersweet.  Celofilas, gets the strength to leave and is finally rescued.  Her knight in shining armor, or the handsome leading man doesn’t rescue her.  She is freed by two of the very things that allow woman to maintain the feminine struggle: Felice (Feliz) the pursuit of happiness with one’s self and Graciela (Gracefulness) the manner in which real women handle crisis and the very movement of femininity.

 


           

Published in: on Monday, 9 April 07 at 9:55  Leave a Comment  

One Holy Night

Truth much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  There are many truths out there.  Reality is what occurs when truths collide.  Ms Cisneros is brilliant at demonstrating the carnage after the collision. Each character in this selection has their own truth, and when those truths get challenged, the reality is as brutal as a thorn poke to an unexpecting index finger.

“Ixchel’s” truth is that she is more than an average girl in the barrio. Her very self confidence and identity are caught up in the truth that she is a descendant of royalty and has been especially chosen as a queen for a worthy king.

Abuela’s truth is that “Ixchel” is a child without sense and almost without fault. She blames the man boy baby and the uncle who doesn’t work as he should.  At a point she even blames the child for her lack of knowledge, and shame. (which is a conflict of truths within itse’f, you have to have knowledge to know to be ashamed.)

Boy Baby’s truth is that he is the descendant of ancient kings, and only he can carry on the legacy of this great ancestry.

The conflict occurs when the rest of the world’s truth show Boy Baby as a child molesting, serial killer who like most serial killers, is an average man from an average town and average life. 

AverageJoe

Abuela’s conflict of truth occurs when the text reveals that she did not guide her nieta as she should have, and the consequences are irreversible, and the little girl part of her is lost or stunted.

“Ixchel’s” truths conflict when her royal life meet up with the fact that she is a child that has to work and handle adult responsiblities and make adult decisions with out adult level life experience.

——————————————————————————-

 

When all of these truths collide they leave the horrible but educational carnage of innocence lost, dillusioned guardians, unmet expectations, too young ears learning about things they don’t need to know yet, and even loss of faith in people.  Much like a bad car wreck, you want to, but you can’t look away.  Shame, anger, lies, confusion, mistrust, knowlege, growth, womahood, and the conflict of many truths meld here creating the well presented, bitterweet cocktail of reality.

Reality  Truth

…which is why the quote at the beginning …” About the truth, if you give it to a person, then he has power over you. And if someone gives it to you then they have made themselves your slave. It is a strong magic. You can never take it back.” impacts the story in the way that it does. If you give the truth away to someone they have the ability to control you because they are now capable of destroying the your innermost truth that carries you.  If that truth is shattered your very essence could in turn be destroyed.  (Or vice versa, you could destrou someone by shattering thier truth. 

Love is a kind of truth, and one of the most artful puppet masters.  To be loved or to give love is a strong kind of magic that can never be taken back, when it is real.  For “Ixchel” that one night of giving and reciving love and respect, when the magic was strong and the moon was just right made her forever loyal to her king, creating the mircle and magic of conception, truly making it…one holy night.

 

Published in: on Monday, 9 April 07 at 8:35  Leave a Comment  

Underdogs

I only read to the half way point.  Even with all of the background, and the awesome speaker, who made me feel less anti-texan because of my opinion on the events at the Alamo, I still couldn’t get into the story.  So if my fabulous fellow class mates would be so kind as to share what they drew from the novel, the story, or the characters, I’d love to discuss it. 

 I did appreciate the imagery at the very beginning of the novel, where the women walks away “bearing” the child with her.  This play on words in remarkable in the sense that it highlights the many roles that the Mexican woman must play, mother, protector, loyal helpmeet, strong enough to stand alone and more.  I just find it amazing that regardless of what you read that is related to culture of Spanish, the role and idea of the identity of the woman is always in question and always comes into play. 

Published in: on Tuesday, 6 March 07 at 12:46  Leave a Comment  

Flags…

Juan was very interested in the description of the flags and thier meanings in class.  We’ve all been to the Alamo on one school trip or another, and know that there were six FLAGS that reigned over Texas.  (http://www.lsjunction.com/facts/6flags.htm) So if anyone can find out exactly what any of the flags actually mean as far as the colors, and symbols, that would make for interesting blog conversation. 

The Six National Flags of Texas

Six national flags have flown over Texas since the first European exploration of the region by Cortez in 1519. The six flags are:

Texas Under Spain. 1519-1685; 1690-1821.

Spain was the first European nation to claim what is now Texas, beginning in 1519 when Cortez was establishing Spanish presence in Mexico, and Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda mapped the Texas coastline. A few shipwrecked Spaniards, like Alvar Nunez, Cabeza de Vaca, and explorers such as Coronado, occasionally probed the vast wilderness, but more than 100 years passed before Spain planted its first settlement in Texas: Ysleta Mission in present El Paso, established in 1681. Gradually expanding from Mexico, other Spanish missions, forts and civil settlements followed for nearly a century-and-a-half until Mexico threw off European rule and became independent in 1821. The red and yellow striped Spanish flag after 1785 depicts a lion of Leon and a castle of Castile on a shield surmounted by a crown.

Texas Under France. 1685-1690

Planning to expand its base from French Louisiana, France took a bold step in 1685, planting its flag in eastern Texas near the Gulf Coast. Although claimed by Spain, most of Texas had no Spanish presence at all; the nearest Spanish settlements were hundreds of miles distant. French nobleman Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, founded a colony called Fort St. Louis. But the effort was doomed by a series of calamities: shipwreck, disease, famine, hostile Indians, and internal strife resulting in La Salle’s murder by one of his own company. by 1690, France’s bold claim to Texas had evaporated. The French flag features a host of golden Fleurs-de-lis emblazoned on a field of white, which was actually the French royal ensign for ships and forts.

Texas Under Mexico. 1821-1836

For more than a decade after Mexico became independent, hardy pioneers from the Hispanic south and the Anglo north flowed into Texas. It was a frontier region for both; Anglo Texans became Mexican citizens. But divergent social and political attitudes began to alienate the two cultures. The final straw: Mexican General Santa Anna scrapped the Mexican federal constitution and declared himself dictator. Texans revolted and won their independence April 21, 1836, on the battleground of San Jacinto near Houston. Mexico’s intricate flag pictures an eagle, a snake (an image from pre-Columbian mythology) and cactus on bars of brilliant green, white and red.

Texas as a Republic. 1836-1845

During nearly ten years of independence, the Texas republic endured epidemics, financial crises and still-volatile clashes with Mexico. But it was during this period that unique accents of the Texas heritage germinated. Texas became the birthplace of the American cowboy; Texas Rangers were the first to use Sam Colt’s remarkable six-shooters; Sam Houston became an American ideal of rugged individualism. Texas joined the United States on December 29, 1845. The red, white and blue Texas state flag with its lone star (the same flag adopted by the republic in 1839) today flies virtually everywhere: on government buildings, schools, banks, shopping malls, and even on oil derricks.

Texas in the Confederacy. 1861-1865

Sixteen years after Texas joined the union, the American Civil War erupted. Gov. Sam Houston, urging Texans to stay aloof or re-establish a neutral republic, was driven from office. Texas cast its lot with the doomed southerners, reaping devastation and economic collapse as did all Confederate states. But two events fixed Texas and Texans as somehow different in the nation’s eyes. First, Texas troops on Texas soil won the final battle of the Civil War, not knowing the south had capitulated a month earlier. Second, returning Texans found a population explosion of wild Longhorns, sparking the great cattle-trail drives that became American legends. The first Confederate flag flown in Texas was the South’s national emblem, “The Stars and Bars” of the Confederate States of America, although the later-crossed Confederate battle flag is better known today.

Texas in the US. 1845-1861; 1865-Present

On joining the union, Texas became the 28th star on the U.S. flag. Shrugging aside defeat and bitter reconstruction after the Civil War, the offspring of Texas pioneers marshaled their strengths to secure a future based on determined self-reliance. First was the fabled Texas Longhorn, providing beef for a burgeoning nation. Newly turned topsoil on vast farm acreage yielded bountiful crops. The 20th Century dawned with the discovery of fabulous sources–gushers roaring in at a place called Spindletop near Beaumont. By mid-century, modern Texas industries were sprouting in a fertile climate of advanced technology. Today under the magnificent “Star Spangled Banner,” Texas horizons continue to expand, thrusting up to the limitless reaches of outer space.

Published in: on Tuesday, 6 March 07 at 12:24  Leave a Comment  

White men at the Alamo…

Wow.  Was my inital response to watching Martyers of the Alamo. With respect to the time it was shot in, I noticed that slaves or black people were only portrayed in black face.  The Mexican soilders were portrayed as kind of mindless wind up toy soilders who kept plunging forward regarless of the loss of life.  The women were portrayed as helpless pretty faces.  They were considered so harmless they were all set free once the Alamo was taken. I felt that the tory was very lopsided and incomplete.  It was almost as if the only people with any sense in the situation were the Texans.  This makes sense as the whole point was to praise the ebrave men that fought at the Alamo. 

Unfourtunatley, as anti-Texan as it may sound, these men went to another country and refused to follow the rules.  What if I went to France and then decided, I didn’t like the way the government did things, but I still wanted to live there, so I broke all of thier laws in exertion of my ” rights and freedom”?  You know what would happen? I would go directly to jail, without collecting $200. 

I do think the men were brave, and fought hard for what they belived in, but I think they were wrong for trying to make another country conform to how they wanted to live.

Published in: on Monday, 5 March 07 at 11:06  Leave a Comment