I am Jorge Rangel. I live in Saltillo, Mexico. I make music, videos, texts, code, etc. This is my blog.

El convoy de tropas

estoescomotwitter:

FULIS PENETRA a la cocina en silencio y hurga en la alacena en busca de galletas, después pasa al comedor y se sienta para comerlas con lentitud; sus ojos se clavan en la camisa de su padre, en la botella semivacía de ron potosí, en los platos sucios y en el reloj de pared con el vidrio estrellado: las siete de la mañana. Termina y se levanta, se encamina indeciso al cuarto de sus padres, ni siquiera desea intentarlo. No me va a dar nada, se repite mientras gira el picaporte y entreabre la puerta para ser golpeado por el olor a recámara de papás; se asoma apenas y los contempla durmiendo con alguna pierna fuera de las cobijas. Gordos los dos.
     Debe avanzar de puntitas hasta quedar junto a la silla; meter la mano en una de las bolsas y localizar la cartera; extraer un billete de cincuenta pesos; salir en silencio sabiendo que al regresar se quedará sin comer, solitario, en el armario viejo que ya no lo asusta; cerrar la puerta con cuidado y abandonar la casa de prisa antes que ellos se levanten a gritar desordenadamente mientras una friega los platos de mal modo y el otro manda por cervezas para ver el partido.
     La ciudad amaneció mojada y a fulis le gusta eso porque le permite ir brincando los charcos en las calles de la colonia. Las casas brillan, todas iguales, con su franja de jardín floreado, con las cortinas en las ventanitas, con las antenas de televisión amontonándose. Fulis piensa convencido que despiden el mismo olor y que en cada una hay papás gordos a punto de pelear, botellas semivacías de ron potosí y un fulis robándole cincuenta pesos. Casas parecidas, como la del chirris que se ve al doblar la esquina y frente a la cual se detiene fulis para silbar de la manera convenida. El chirris sale en seguida.
     —Vámonos.
     Y se ponen a caminar.
     —Le volé treinta pesos a mi hermana— responde el chirris mostrando los billetes.
     —Yo traigo cincuenta.
     No saben todavía qué hacer en espera de que abran la farmacia; sin embargo, adivinan que terminarán sentándose a ver los camiones y los autos con las familias dentro rumbo al día de campo. Lanzarán piedras a los árboles. Mi papá me va a regañar. Compararán paletas de limón. Mi hermana se va a dar una enojada. Patearán piedras por la banqueta. Se encaminarán rumbo a la farmacia sin haberlo acordado expresamente, abrazados, despacio, riéndose de los perros que ladran desde dentro de las casas, azuzándolos, hablando de la señorita helena que llega a la escuela con unos huarachotes y les cuenta cosas muy chistosas, del señor de la tienda que tiene pelos en las orejas, evitando siempre mencionar a los padres que se emborrachan o a las madres que nunca sonríen.
     Frente al local se dan cuenta de que éste todavía permanece cerrado y se sientan en la acera para mirar los automóviles e irlos descartando hasta descubrir el del dueño que se detiene junto a ellos. El hombre baja y cruza la calle con unas llaves en la mano, abre la puerta de la farmacia y de inmediato escucha la carrera de los niños que entran y se plantan frente a los aparatos. El tipo les indica que esperen un poco, luego penetra al baño y se viste la bata blanca, desde ahí les grita que aún no están conectadas, que no las muevan. Cuando sale, los ve deambular entre las máquinas verdes y rojas con letras en inglés.
     Mientras el dueño cuenta las monedas que saca de los aparatos, el chirris se le acerca para pedirle que le cambie un billete. El hombre se molesta pero no tiene más remedio que complacerlo. Los dos muchachos lo miran anotar cifras en un papel y acomodar las monedas dentro de una caja de madera. Finalmente, el tipo se encamina a donde descansa el sable y lo enchufa. La farmacia se llena de ruidos extraños (boings y blips) y de luces opacas que simulan balas y animales.
     —Primero las carreras— propone fulis situándose junto a una máquina en cuya pantalla se proyecta una pista.
     El chirris introduce dos monedas de a peso por la ranura sin atender a las instrucciones porque éstas se encuentran en inglés; además, ambos conocen el funcionamiento a la perfección. El aparato recibe las monedas y algunos de sus cables hacen contacto; en seguida, se escucha un zumbido electrónico que imita motores de automóviles. El chirris y fulis se aferran a los volantes y oprimen los pedales en la parte baja de la máquina para que los dos puntitos luminosos se desplacen por la pantalla obedeciendo la velocidad y la dirección que ellos les marcan. El dueño lee el periódico.
     Tras medio minuto el aparato deja de funcionar y los dos competidores sienten como si algo se rompiera, sólo que esto es momentáneo porque de inmediato eligen el siguiente: dos pesos y se elevan hasta las nubes y, con el mando, brotan miles de balas rumbo a un convoy de tropas interminable. Y los dos muchachos ya no están con ellos mismos, ahora fruncen los labios y crispan el puño porque los camiones transportan soldados con los rostros de la directora y el hermano mayor, con la cara agria de papá que se emborracha papá que grita y pega papá papá. Mientras tanto, el dueño apenas levanta la mirada del periódico para cuidar que no le maltraten el negocio; sabe que en media hora más el lugar se llenará de clientela y se apresura a leer la página deportiva sin abandonar la tentadora idea de abrir nuevos locales con estas maquinitas gringas.
     Cuando el dinero se termina son apenas las once de la mañana. Los muchachos se miran preguntándose qué hacer, aunque en el fondo no ignoran que hay que marchar a casa, que los papás y las mamás deambulan en ella despeinados y sudorosos, que la sopa de arroz ya se cocina y el partido está a punto de empezar en la tele, que los hermanos se preparan para ir al cine o a la tardeada. Saben pues y comienzan a caminar abrazados, con las cabezas inclinadas para cuidar que sus pies no pisen raya en la banqueta. Se sienten livianos por la emoción reciente de los aviones y de las balas; sonríen con creciente firmeza a pesar de saber que en casa los aguarda uno que otro golpe, y los gritos, constantemente los gritos.

David Ojeda

zestefan:

In 1985, the Public Library of Nijmengen (which is in The Netherlands) decided to remove Bukowski’s book, Tales of Ordinary Madness, from their shelves. The reason? A complaint of a local reader. They also described the book as “very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homesexuals).”

A couple weeks later, a local journalist named Hans van den Broek reached out to Bukowski and asked for his opinion. Check out his brilliant response–which currently hangs in the Open Dicht Bus in Eindhoven–below…
Dear Hans van den Broek:
Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism. 
The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth. 
If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many “bads”—bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even “bad” white males. Only when you write about “bad” white males they don’t complain about it. And need I say that there are “good” blacks, “good” homosexuals and “good” women?
In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of “sadism” it is because it exists, I didn’t invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the “light” and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar. 
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist. 
I am not dismayed that one of my books has been hunted down and dislodged from the shelves of a local library. In a sense, I am honored that I have written something that has awakened these from their non-ponderous depths. But I am hurt, yes, when somebody else’s book is censored, for that book, usually is a great book and there are few of those, and throughout the ages that type of book has often generated into a classic, and what was once thought shocking and immoral is now required reading at many of our universities. 
I am not saying that my book is one of those, but I am saying that in our time, at this moment when any moment may be the last for many of us, it’s damned galling and impossibly sad that we still have among us the small, bitter people, the witch-hunters and the declaimers against reality. Yet, these too belong with us, they are part of the whole, and if I haven’t written about them, I should, maybe have here, and that’s enough. 
may we all get better together, 
yrs,
(Signed)
Charles Bukowski
via Letters of Note

zestefan:

In 1985, the Public Library of Nijmengen (which is in The Netherlands) decided to remove Bukowski’s book, Tales of Ordinary Madness, from their shelves. The reason? A complaint of a local reader. They also described the book as “very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homesexuals).”

A couple weeks later, a local journalist named Hans van den Broek reached out to Bukowski and asked for his opinion. Check out his brilliant response–which currently hangs in the Open Dicht Bus in Eindhoven–below…

Dear Hans van den Broek:

Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism. 

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth. 

If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many “bads”—bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even “bad” white males. Only when you write about “bad” white males they don’t complain about it. And need I say that there are “good” blacks, “good” homosexuals and “good” women?

In my work, as a writer, I only photograph, in words, what I see. If I write of “sadism” it is because it exists, I didn’t invent it, and if some terrible act occurs in my work it is because such things happen in our lives. I am not on the side of evil, if such a thing as evil abounds. In my writing I do not always agree with what occurs, nor do I linger in the mud for the sheer sake of it. Also, it is curious that the people who rail against my work seem to overlook the sections of it which entail joy and love and hope, and there are such sections. My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the “light” and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar. 

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist. 

I am not dismayed that one of my books has been hunted down and dislodged from the shelves of a local library. In a sense, I am honored that I have written something that has awakened these from their non-ponderous depths. But I am hurt, yes, when somebody else’s book is censored, for that book, usually is a great book and there are few of those, and throughout the ages that type of book has often generated into a classic, and what was once thought shocking and immoral is now required reading at many of our universities. 

I am not saying that my book is one of those, but I am saying that in our time, at this moment when any moment may be the last for many of us, it’s damned galling and impossibly sad that we still have among us the small, bitter people, the witch-hunters and the declaimers against reality. Yet, these too belong with us, they are part of the whole, and if I haven’t written about them, I should, maybe have here, and that’s enough. 

may we all get better together, 

yrs,

(Signed)

Charles Bukowski

via Letters of Note

Moving is fun. The best part is getting rid of things you didn’t know you could get rid of because you didn’t know you still had them. The feeling while you sit in the middle of your former home, now empty, and realize how it never felt like home, how the absence of furniture reveals the painting falling off the crevices and corners of every room. The little mountains of dust. The return of Echo.

Yes. I think I like moving.