"But won't we all parade around and sing our songs, a magic kingdom, open-armed."
by Rudolfo Carrillo
On my way home and whilst navigating the very periphery of the academy, I decided to allow myself an anomalous deviation from what I considered tried and true, roaring through the green light at Yale and steering my motorized symbol of complicity in everything that is evil and bad for the earth into the parking lot of McDonald's.
In case you didn't know it, that place is the penultimate iteration of a process that begins when an innocent and well-meaning animal is tormented and killed and then processed into a slow form of poison that just about anyone you ask in this nation will gladly admit to savoring, one way or another. I am the last step in the process, unless you want to count the fellow that runs the sludge-clarification machinery down at the city works. But that would make the whole system seem cyclic, which I am dead set against at this moment, having decided instead, on a vector.
Across the street from the charnel house is the encampment of folks who call themselves Occupy Albuquerque. There were a couple of bright lights high up in the trees and a heap of signs calling for an end to this and the reform of that. The lights got their power from a process that began with the destruction of large swaths of the earth in order to extract from it all the stuff that burns. The signs were hanging on ropes and chords that dangled and wagged in the breeze. All of that material was probably made from the stuff that burns, too.
And I gotta tell you, the scene seemed sorta mournful and lonesome to me on account of that realization, from the other side of the road. Just about everybody over there was in the shadows, so I really couldn't make out any faces and that didn't help matters.
Well, in order to pass the time and so as not to have to think about the unfolding tragedy of the decline of Western Civilization, I started leafing through a copy of the Daily Lobo. I had it along to use the glorious corporate hamburger coupon that was ofttimes printed within the pages of that venerable publication, but reckoned it could also serve as entertainment while I waited to be presented with my own greasy albeit temporary symbols of acquiescence to a system that frightened me, but which nonetheless provided me little green pieces of paper that I could readily convert into snacks.
I was drawn to the editorial page and settled on giving the letters to the editor a whirl; it was late after all and I still hadn't had my fill of outrage for the day. One fellow wrote in and was going on and on about how the university had violated the first amendment rights of the protesters, how that's against the law and so forth.
Well, says I, that's a common name in the local blogosphere and ain't that the guy that strongly implied in this blog and that one, that he was all for running stop signs and that paying attention to traffic laws, being a bicyclist, "makes absolutely no sense". I don't know about you all, but that sort of conflict of interest, choosing to be a scofflaw when it comes to local law, but being more than willing to invoke federal law when it suits one seems on its surface to be sketchy, as the kids are wont to say.
Plus which, referring to UNM as a banana republic made me laugh. Ain't a banana republic a place where they don't take the rule of law seriously? Well then, what do you call thumbing ones nose at certain city ordinances that one finds distasteful, for any reason?
It does not seem likely to me that these sorts of preoccupations will result in progressive change, but what the hell do I know.
And to me that affair points to a central problem, that the protesters, Jah bless every one of them, need to clear up; that of credibility and consistency of vision. A poet's entitled consternation don't hunt, especially when it ends with the admonition that you are either fer or agin us.
Now that's all I gotta say tonight; I already missed Carson's monologue and I'll be damned if I am going to miss tonight's star-studded line up. Supposedly, Criswell's gonna come on after intermission and predict the end of the world.
American Modernist painter Marsden Hartley once wrote of the challenges of inhabiting New Mexico in a letter to Georgia O'Keeffe's husband, photographer and promoter Alfred Stieglitz. Hartley wrote: "This country is very beautiful and also difficult... It is not a country of light on things. It is a country of things in light, therefore it is a country of form, with a new presentation of light as problem." While time has passed since Hartley penned these words, New Mexico remains a beautiful, difficult land.
Things in Light Publisher Samantha Anne Carrillo is a high desert-based freelance writer, editor, social media consultant, fourth-wave feminist, amateur historian, situationist and closeted mambo. She has more than a decade of experience as a journalist and editor. Previous positions include freelance writer, staff reporter, managing editor, editor in chief, section editor and associate editor. Most recently, Carrillo served as Managing Editor + Associate Editor, Arts for ABQ Free Press and Managing Editor + Music Editor at Weekly Alibi. She co-curates nuevomexicano arts + culture blog Things In Light with her husband/TIL Editor in Chief Rudolfo Carrillo.
Samantha Anne Carrillo | Promote Your Page Too
TIL Editor in Chief
Things in Light Editor in Chief Rudolfo Carrillo currently serves as music & news editor for Weekly Alibi. Carrillo earned his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including daily newspapers, literary magazines and alt-weeklies. His personal weblog, Infinity Report, was recognized as one of the best blogs in New Mexico in 2007. At the latest Southwest Popular/American Culture Association conference, Carrillo chaired the experimental writing workshop.