Welcome to V. Lazaro Zamora's Blog

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." -- George Orwell

It's never easy crossing into conspiracy theorist territory, but I think in the case of Julian Assange and Wikileaks I'm willing to suspend my usual cynicism and disbelief that evil forces are at work trying to destroy the forces of good. Whatever you think of this whole debacle I would suggest that it is not cause for hanging traitors, hunting down tattle-tales or preparing for Armageddon.
This is like when a magician reveals the secrets of the illusion. There is always a group of magicians that whine and bitch about the integrity of the art being irrevocably altered. This first group is like the bunch of thieving rats in Washington that are bemoaning the "attack" by "terrorist hackers". The second group of magician accepts that the cat is out of the bag and move on to design bigger and more bad ass tricks, like Chris Angel does. These magicians are similar to the second group of politicians that are standing up for Assange and calling for a re-evaluation of our foreign policy, like Ron Paul. Okay, I just praised Chris Angel and Ron Paul in the same paragraph, something is seriously amiss.
Accusing Assange or PFC Bradley Manning, the real hero/traitor/pain-in-the-ass in all of this, is pointless. Pandora's box is now open for business and in fact, no one should be surprised that diplomacy is a slippery slope filled with preening ambassadors, two-faced backstabbing on a global scale and suitcases filled with millions of dollars. We can't do anything about what's in these cables except apologize for having our ambassadors and such make honest assessments about the world we live in. What excites me, however, as what we have the potential to learn about the process of negotiating with foreign countries. Not the give and take of it all. Something far more valuable for the future of democracy.
This is a treasure trove of information that we would never have access to any other way. No FOI request would ever reveal half of what we are getting from these cables. There are no black redaction lines on the paper, no filters, no court battles; this is how it's supposed to be! Security experts have for years warned the U.S. of the folly of trying to hide all of it's secrets in the information age. We have allowed the government to create within itself an environment where the individuals in charge of looking out for the public trust, insulate themselves and let their guard down. This is a recipe for disaster and we should probably be thankful that we haven't seen anything worse than AhMADdinejad calling us conspirators (seriously, dude, you need to come up with fresh material).
The real reason, I believe, for the uproar is that future generations will use this information when writing the historical narrative of the United States. These cables go back to 1966. That means that 50, 75 or 100 years from now when all the nearly 400k cables have been analyzed, put into proper context and weighed for their importance by scholars and compared and contrasted to what other information is available to the world about the times that we live in, what we believe about our country today will probably make us the laughing stock of future generations of Americans. The narrative is no longer under the control of elites, it has been open-sourced, the curtain pulled back and the old lies are no longer convenient to anyone.
This, in my humble opinion, is a good thing. No one likes it when we, as a country, suck. Personally, I hate it. The truth is we do a lot of shady things throughout the world to keep the lights on at home. But at least now maybe, just maybe, we can teach future generations something about democracy that no other civilization before us was able to convey; that democracy must be transparent, otherwise it's nothing but a bad magic trick. I just wonder when the "Free Julian" shirts are going to hit the market, because I'll be the first in line.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I know, I know, everybody is bummed out over the election. The world is coming to an end, the dream is over and so much for change, hope and all the other bullshit we were promised. Look, the problem is we have a two party system; plain and simple, just like that. There is the corporate fuckface party and the corporate fuckface party lite. The structure is not about to cave in to a bunch of dirty ex-hippies, brown people and other undesirables. We are the great unwashed, the massive herd and as Bill Maher pointed out this week, on his show, the electorate is a dumb dog that responds only to intonation and fear.
Now, the good news: The Republicans won by small margins across the board, mostly in traditionally Red places and the overwhelming majority of PROGRESSIVE Dems held on to their seats. The reality is the voters that came out a couple of years ago told the Dems to get bent this time around and let's face it they had good reason. If you were gay you were pissed off about DADT and marriage, Latinos were pissed about immigration, middle aged white folk panicked over jobs and young people weren't really pissed just too stoned to remember to come out and vote for prop 19 (seriously, where were you guys?). Basically, everybody had something to gripe about so we all stayed home. The problem with not going to the polls and supporting the Dems is that now we have two years to look forward to where government will not only fuck us ALL over, it will do it very slowly and clumsily. I think that the next two years of the Obama presidency will make the Clinton years look like the Carter era. Fear, paranoia and hatred are in the forecast and we have only ourselves to blame; we punished the Dems thinking they will listen now, but the Dems take their defeats as a signal that they have to move further right every time. We have shown the establishment what can happen when Blacks, Latinos, women, gays, progressives, smart people and stoners get together. The problem is we backed a gelding instead of a stallion. Obama may win re-election if he stops acting like the dumb kid in eighth grade that ate his own boogers at lunch, hoping to make friends with the bullies. Maybe in 2012, we'll get a president that has a set; RUN HILLARY RUN!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How To Just Say NO to Teabagging

It's official, I'm a professional class writer now and have the credentials to back it up! I'm back to being unemployed, but at least I have a nice new diploma hanging on my wall and as a result of my new-found, free time, I've spent some time out and about and I've been approached by a couple of Teabaggers to join their group of like-minded delusional honkys. Don't ask me why these creeps think I'm the kind of dude that would join them, although one of them did point out that the "destroy corporate America" sticker on my laptop echoed his very own sentiments towards America Inc. which, just goes to show how completely uninformed those knuckleheads truly are about their own "movement."
The first time I was approached to join up I was firm, but fair. I simply said, "absolutely not" and "not a chance" and "Not interested." The dude was persistent, that's why I had to say NO 3 different ways and he didn't stop pushing until I flipped him off and mouthed, "FUCK OFF" at him. Don't feel bad for him, he's the asshole who forgot to switch on his hearing aid.
Now the second time I was approached it came on the tail end of a long discourse about why Tony "Soprano" Hayward should not be in front of Congress explaining himself to the American people for his role in the greatest Eco-disaster of all time. The idiot turned to me and asked, "So, do you think that you ..." and he didn't get much farther than that, because I nearly passed out from the blood rushing to my head and ended up stumbling out of the Starbux and sitting in my car in the parking lot for 15 minutes hitting the dashboard and rubbing my chest. Fortunately, the paramedics didn't need to be called and the policeman that drove by only glanced my way and must have decided that he didn't want to deal with the paperwork.
So, as I explained, I've got plenty of free time and I've decided that there is a huge enclave of rich, white, republicans in the SouthBay that are out to bring more imbeciles into their "Don't Tread On Me," "Obama is a socialist," "Sarah Palin would totally fuck me," "Hand me my musket and triangle hat," delusional, fun-house world.

I must be prepared. We must be prepared.

So, I've put together a little shpeal to use on those agents of evil and I've decided that for the good of humankind, I'm going to open source it and you don't even have to give me credit for the eloquent way you are going to publicly insult those fuckers. Oh, that reminds me, don't tell the prosecutors or the judge where you got it from either, as this is very likely to land you in the pokey, if you say it with enough passion. And it goes a little something like this:

Sir (or Mam)
I believe that reasonable human beings only fear the end of times when people like you are given power and not solely because a black man is democratically elected to lead our nation. I think that the problems our world and our country face must be addressed through calmed reason, logical thought, devoid of political, social and economic agendas. I think that you and your ilk are the greatest threat to civilization that has existed since the rise of European Fascism and that may be giving you too much credit, but nobody thought those little beer-hall rants were going to lead to anything either. I believe that America is indeed the greatest country in the world and what has made it so, is that we give the poor, the tired and the hungry a chance to become the empowered, the educated and the productive.
I know that your ultimate goal is a revolution in this country, at least that's what your slogan, "a revolution is brewin'" implies. I seriously doubt that any of you know the hardship and pain that follows a revolution; lives turned upside down and families split apart all in the name of progress. Your "revolution" is not about progress, it's far too centered on a nostalgic return to simpler times. Times when Blacks hopelessly forced to the back of the bus, Mexican's toiled, far out of sight, in the fields, women gave themselves abortions in the family kitchen, gays were beaten with impunity into their closets and "white only" signs hung in every boardroom and corner of congress. That is the revolution you want and I think it's only fair to warn you and the others, that it is a revolution you will lose.
I am the product of the more than 50 year fight against your oppression and hatred of people who are different from you. I will not go quietly and I will fight to the death to keep you from pushing the indignities on to my son that you forced on to me.
So go now, find something more constructive to do with your golden years; go back to your golf game, volunteer in a cancer ward or try to get right with your god before your light fades away and you are left in the cosmic darkness you crave so badly for all of us. All that said, I respectfully decline to join your organization, not with a simple no; but with a very loud and clear HELL NO!

See. Nothing to it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Into the Breach Once More

I have neglected my poor blog. But, not my writing.
I have just a couple of months left before I will be done with my MFA. It is so good to be almost done! TAing is a different experience. I like molding the young minds of future psychos (Long Shall We March!). I can see doing it in my future because it is rock star to have kids come up to you and say you are the coolest teacher they've ever had.
After having dedicated the last 4 years to the writing thing, I think I'm at a point where I've developed the drive and can say I have the developed the skills to give this professional writing thing a go.
For those with background in such things, here is the life of a pro writer as I know it:

First, you have limited choices and unfortunately many of them will be predetermined for you anyhow, so no need to fret over them; that's the good news.
It would appear that the world of the writer is far more complex than the average Joe might think. Let me dispel the first and biggest myth:

Writers do not make money.
We are artists and like all artists there are those that wipe their asses with cold hard cash and those that can't afford asses.
Most supplement their incomes by teaching; these are not always the most badass among us, but they certainly don't get the credit they deserve.
Many of us make it because of our benefactors and those who believe in our work; Sadly, there are too few these days who believe The Arts must be supported above all other things, but their contributions are invaluable; their example thankfully ignores pragmatism and they keep our Art from totally dying. Then there are whores who take and take and take and deserve to be fed to hungry wolves.
Ultimately, writers are the masters of our own universe and that's because we live in our heads. That's about the only great thing about being a writer; getting to live off grid. Most people toil and crack their sinews and hate the lives they lead. Most can't stand getting up in the morning and deal with their stress in unhealthy ways. My life is a constant roll of the dice; I like it this way, not for the gamble; the expectation of rolling a hard six. I like it this way, because it's as close as I can get to being a bum without being homeless. That's not to say writers don't work. I put in at least 4 hours a day of writing. Yes, I know, most of you out there work 8, 10 , 12 hours days and still can't pay your bills. But, at the end of 4 hours my brain hurts; No, really it fucking hurts.
It's almost over now and I'll have to see what the future brings. Things are pretty shitty in our economy and the last thing anyone gives a shit about is buying books written by shitheads. But, me, I'll be glad when I'm done. Unemployed or not; with or without a contract with a publishing house; regardless of having an agent or a production deal; this is what I will do until I die. Or until I open a bar.

Will Write for Food:

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