Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tea with Presidents. RIP Robbie, Sir Ellis, Noor #TheEmperorsNewTools #LettersToLizzie

The passing of Trinidad and Tobago's former President and Prime Minister ANR Robinson provokes these reminisces from #unesco #194ex on former heads of state, now passed, I met, knew and with whom I was fortunate to have shared thoughts and ideas on the state of Caribbean development.
Among those passed were the country's First President, Sir Ellis Clarke; its second, Noor Hassanali and Mr Robinson, the third.  I have also known the Fourth President, Max Richards, as Principal f the UWI when I was a student there, but later too as President, and his wife, the First Lady Jean Richards partnered with me in my LiTTribute to the Republic on the special publication on the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Trinidad and Tobago through my book LiTTscapes - Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago on the 50th Anniversary of Independence - but they are still with us.  
My first live encounter with Sir Ellis was when I was about ten, holder of a pichakaree filled with colourful abeer liquid one sunny Phagwa/Holi harvest festival day. I couldn't resist breaking ranks against official warning to only gentilly spray abeer on his garments, especially as his bald head seemed in need of liquid relief from the stinging Trini sunshine. He entertained the wetting goodnaturedly, as anyone from Carnival country (you cyar play mas' and 'fraid powder) will, whipping out his pristine white handkerchief to mop up the colourful liquid rolling down his face.
I reminded him of the incident many moons later, and just a few months before his passing as he poured me a cup of tea while we discussed the issue of the need for constitutional reform and his chuckle almost caused him to spill over the teacup.  He was in the midst of his own controversial virtual one-man redraft of the Constitution and my own interest in public processes and the role of our leaders in this, took me to his home. Sir Ellis could always be looked to for good humour, good conversation, good manners, supreme diplomacy and indeed impeccable teatime manners.
Noor too, could also always be counted on for good conversation and dry humour over a pot of tea, usually facilitated by Mrs Hassanali. My first encounter with him was as a cub reporter when he paused in the midst of his keynote address, looking directly at me, to ask rhetorically if the newspaper where I was then employed as a cub reporter was encouraging child labour - a comment on my then petite size. My last meeting with his was also a few months before he passed, as we sat down to tea at his home and his jovial reminisces on his boyhood exploits in courting the minute but statuesque woman from South Trinidad who would become the country's second First Lady, Zalayhar.
His Presidential inauguration was one of the most heartwarming occasions in public pomp and ceremony I can recall and to which I had front row seats in coverage, as with the inauguration of  Tobago's Castara kid who became Chairman of the Tobago House of Assembly, and leader of the Democratic Action Congress that paved his way for elevation to first Prime Ministership and later President.
But Robinson was altogether a different cup of tea, and not given to sharing or engaging in tea sipping, or not to my knowledge. Our encounters were less sociable and more socially or politically motivated as I was launching my journalism career covering what is still seen as the most historic of Trinidad and Tobago elections in 1986 and his subsequent political mobility. The National Alliance for Reconstruction which he led became the forerunner of coalition party politics that inspired the People's Partnership of the current +Kamla Persad Bissessar's regime - and she herself has admitted to being politically birthed through germination in the NAR's political incubator of social and political ideals that ANR's NAR inspired.
I have always viewed the almost mirror-like resonance of the acronyms in the above as deliberate in its egotistic reverberations and in every way the bad pun it might seem to be, as is the title of his 1986 compilation of speeches, Caribbean Man . 
Robinson's entire public career has been a mixed pot of tea,  mired as his political life was in controversies of various kind. He stands out at the centerpiece in a number of significant national occurrences -  including his breaking of ranks with Dr Eric Williams'  PNM Government in the 1970s, the break-up of the NAR in 1988; the attempted coup of 1990, the collapse of the UNC, the ensuing political deadlocks and the various constitutional challenges that showed up the growing irrelevance of our hand-me-down national Constitution.
He was also a figure who impacted the international arena, foremost among which was in his initiation of moves towards establishing the International Criminal Court as I discussed his passing with colleagues on the UNESCO Executive Board. 
The mixed reactions to his death is therefore no surprise, and reminds me of the barrage of historical and social bile that I encountered as they resurfaced in the UK last year on the passing of Britain's Prime Minister for the legendary iron lady Margaret Thatcher - resonance over unpopular social reform measures that took her out of office in Britain.
As Robinson's life is celebrated this week and in light of the focus on praise on his good deeds, his interment ought to be followed by retrospection of  his true impact as our societies also try to make good of our experiences and the contributions or failures of those who have been charged to lead us.
Humility might not be one of the descriptions one may use in relation to Arthur NR Robinson, but if anything, his life, and the lives of those who went before him should serve as a humble reminder to our leaders of today of the one unchanging reality of power holders - their mortality; and that their immortalisation rests with their mortal actions - what they might have done to break up, or build up, the spaces that accommodated them will linger long after they are gone, and even colour the tone of mourning them. RIP Arthur NR Robinson, Sir Ellis Clarke, Noor Hassanali.

                         Alas Poor King Richard's Bones 
                         Dem Red House Bones
                         The Ghosts of Journalism Past
                          A Tale of Two Skeletons
                         The Human Face of Constitution Reform
                          Making Local Government Work
                          Wave a Flag for a Party Rag
                           To Vote How We Party
                         The Magic and Realism of Marquez
                         LiTTribute to LondonTTown
                         LiTTribute to the Antilles 
                          LiTTribute to Antiguan Authors
                           Winds of Political Change

Apr 07, 2013
Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...
Apr 30, 2013
Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2. 
Oct 20, 2013
Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an ... Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 10:36 AM ...
Feb 26, 2014
This Demokrissy series, The Emperor's New Tools, continues and builds on the analysis of evolution in our governance, begun in the introduction to my book, Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010): The Clash of Political ...

Feb 10, 2014
This Demokrissy series, The Emperor's New Tools, continues and builds on the analysis of evolution in our governance, begun in the introduction to my book, Through the Political Glass Ceiling (2010): The Clash of Political ...
Apr 22, 2014
It is placing increasing pressure for erasure of barriers of geography, age, ethnicity, gender, cultures and other sectoral interests, and in utilising the tools placed at our disposal to access our accumulate knowledge and technologies towards eroding these superficial barriers. In this context, we believe that the work of UNESCO remains significant and relevant and that UNESCO is indeed the institution best positioned to consolidate the ..... The Emperor's New Tools ...
Jun 15, 2010
The Emperor's New Tools. Loading... AddThis. Bookmark and Share. Loading... Follow by Email. About Me. My Photo · Kris Rampersad. Media, Cultural and Literary Consultant, Facilitator, Educator and Practitioner. View my ...
                          

DoTT - Why the San Fernando Hill matters

DoTT  TT Film shortfilm smartphone contest closes May 2

http://youtu.be/Z6w0J5URJDs

Monday, April 28, 2014

Look who dropped in Hollywood connects with Caribbean culture

Look who dropped in on #Unesco Executive Board #194exbd. Forest Whitaker is a UNESCO Ambassador for Peace and was happy to engage in discussions on potential of Caribbean creative sector  at a soiree of delegation of Japan at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris...
more...
In photo Trinidad and Tobago's Representative of the UNESCO Executive Board Dr Kris Rampersad and UNESCO Ambassador for Peace Hollyood Actor/Producer Forest Whitaker

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Futuring the Post-2015 UNESCO Agenda

Inaugural Address at 194th session of UNESCO Executive Board, Paris, France
Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative on UNESCO Executive Board 2013-2017 at the 194th Session of the UNESCO Executive, Paris, April 2014


Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative on the  UNESCO 
Executive Board (centre) co-chairs with the UK a joint session of the 
Finance and Administration and Programmes and External Affairs Committee  
during the 194th session of the  UNESCO Executive Board in Paris.  
Photo Courtesy Kris Rampersad. All Rights Reserved
Greetings on behalf of the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago who welcome, admire, respect and support the Director General’s initiatives to reform and restructure UNESCO and her intensive drive to use soft diplomacy which we believe is crucial to significantly impact the post-2015 agenda as we transition from priorities of the Millennium Development Goals and consolidate the gains of them through more focussed Sustainable Development Goals.
Trinidad and Tobago pledges its commitment to engaging in this process of futuring the operations of UNESCO to remain relevant and responsive to a global environment of dynamic and effervescent change. It is an environment that is demanding greater inclusivity. It is placing increasing pressure for erasure of barriers of geography, age, ethnicity, gender, cultures and other sectoral interests, and in utilising the tools placed at our disposal to access our accumulate knowledge and technologies towards eroding these superficial barriers.
In this context, we believe that the work of UNESCO remains significant and relevant and that UNESCO is indeed the institution best positioned to consolidate the gains of the past towards carving responsive and relevant paths to progress that address the needs of generations to come. Foremost among these seems to be combating the ennui and disenchantment at failed and failing macro political, institutional and bureaucratic formulas, systems and structures in favour of more glocally (global-local) focussed initiatives that emphasis and value empowerment of individuals, communities and civil society to explore their full potential.
Certainly there is much more that needs to be done to particularly better utilise new technologies in making our work here at UNESCO more effective and more relevant.
We reiterate the call made by the Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Education to the Director General at the last General Assembly, that UNESCO, along with its focus on other disadvantaged groups as women and children in general, take a lead role in championing actions throughout the United Nations system that would directly impact and bring in to the mainstream the estimated 30 percent of the global population of special needs children who are still severely marginalised and handicapped by current existing systems in education, culture, science and information.
We support our colleagues speaking on behalf of strengthening the culture initiatives having regard to the direct benefits this is having from the work done in our societies where for many the main sources of income and survival reside in leveraging their talents and skills as the counter to the haemorrhaging of national resources, by exploitative, corrupt and ineffective systems and practices. We endorse  the culture-centred development drive that recognises not just intercultural linkages but also cross sectoral links.
At the same time, we particularly commend the drive to synergise and harmonise sustainable actions in biocultural diversity and acknowledgement of the intrinsic interplay between physical, mental and emotional cultural spaces and the potential to either erode, or energise these through use of scientific understanding and technologies.
In this regard, we believe compilations as the 2013 Creative Economy Report could achieve greater depth were it to more fully explore the cross-sectoral cost-benefit analysis of the co-relation between the creative and cultural sectors and other out-of- the-box-areas - as the economic value of social and culturally inclusive practices on political stability for instance – an area of analysis that is sadly lacking and could provide the data, if not ammunition, needed by UNESCO in pursuit of its motto of building peace in the minds of men and women.
As such, we look forward to deepening of UNESCO’s intersectoral increasing drive to promote multisectoral partnerships, and collaborative mechanisms through cross institutional and cross regional platforms, including with other institutions of the United Nations.
It is in these contemporary areas of UNESCO’s focus, including its now developing perspective on Big Ocean Sustainable States (Boss)  – the informal rebrand of SIDS - Small Island Developing States posited at the last General Conference - that we in the Caribbean believe we can draw the greatest strength, given our evolution from a history of fragmentation, violence, migration and marginalisation.
The Caribbean Sea at once connects and separates us from all the regions of the world. It presents to the UNESCO community beyond the hard politics of power and dominance, a living example for survival and resilience that endures despite and through a history of genocide of indigeneous peoples, slavery, forced indentureship, and migration.
Such resilience is represented in the survival of religious and cultural practices, habits and beliefs: the vibrant celebrations that range from pre-Columbian festivities of the Mayans, Incas, Tainos and others to the evolving festivities of migrated peoples: the Garifuna and Rastafari from oppressed African heritage; and others transposed from the East – the resilient Ramleela, Chinese Dragon festivities, and their evolving fusions in our cuisine, music, dance, drama, our Carnivals and steelpan, reggae, zouk and chutney. All of these present significance to UNESCO ideals of peoples, who beyond conflict and tensions, are finding ways to celebrate their migrations, cultural contact and shared occupation of our natural environment.
Yet, our space is at the same time, severely endangered by the risks of climate change and sea level rise, deforestation, poor land use practices and pollution and other development challenges.
We believe that the UNESCO mechanisms in science, education, information and culture can be more effectively used to bridge these divides, and to help us to further explore, capture and harness these experiences for the benefit of building peace in the minds of men and women
Even as we admire the creative initiatives of the Director General to balance a shrinking budget in challenging financial times, we pledge to work with her for further rationalisation, while we particularly look forward to better engagement and more equitable treatment of the countries of the Caribbean. We form part of the Latin American and Caribbean UNESCO region, and represent almost 40 percent of the votes from this region, but not an equivalent allocation of UNESCO resources. In its programme of restructuring, we would also suggest that UNESCO look at ways of redressing of imbalances in its institutional structure and mechanisms of field and national offices in our region where of 12 offices in the region, only one – located in Kingston - serves the 13 member and four associated members of CARICOM.
We assure you of our commitment and support to the Director General’s goal of making UNESCO more relevant and more effective.
I thank you
Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative UNESCO Executive Board
April 2014




Friday, April 18, 2014

The magic and realism of Marquez RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artists of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world ... trying to seize the magic of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of new found power; the failure of the dream of independence that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies.His vision has influenced thr writings of the likes of Salman Rushdie, VS Naipaul and a host of painters and filmmakers and others in the artistic world. If only the political world read more they probably have worked harder to shape a better world driven by the conscience of the likes of Marquez. RIP.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artists of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world ... trying to seize the magic of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of new found power; the failure of the dream of independence that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies.
His vision has influenced thr writings of the likes of Salman Rushdie, VS Naipaul and a host of painters and filmmakers and others in the artistic world. If only the political world read more they probably have worked harder to shape a better world driven by the conscience of the likes of Marquez. RIP.
 
 

Enlightened General Writes a New Age

Gabriel Gracia Marquez 2

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How Gabriel Garcia Marquez Helped Manifest NOW. 

—-
I. These Are Amazing Times
“We live in amazing times.  We can build big buildings, invent the internet, send people walking across the moon, create fancy i-phones… make vitamins to give you energy… Build bombs to wipe out millions in a second… yet we still live in a world where children are starving, millions are homeless, we don’t teach kids how to love or truly communicate… bigger bank accounts but less fulfillment, faster cars but less time… more education, less sense…”
New Age Entrepreneur and Life Coach Kute Blackson in his song, Love Now
***
Hard as it might be to believe because of all the dissonance, polarities and turbulence of these times, this is the New Age.  Or, as Nobel Laureate, *General Gabriel Garcia Marquez jested, “If God hadn’t rested on Sunday, he would have had time to finish the world”.
I know it to be the so-called New Age because cultural and spiritual leaders as Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Bernard Michael Beckwith, Mooji, Deepak Chopra and Adyashanti say so with not only their non-agenda agendas but very presences, spiritually and gracefully. I guess their billion dollar sales volumes also seem to suggest it is the times they suggest it is. I remember my wonderment in 2008 at how counter culture of the 60’s and 70’s had ‘all of a sudden’ become the standard-bearer and establishment.  However, I have also had my own personal run-ins with these New Age characters.
My son Christian said out of nowhere when he was three and his mother and I were trying to recover from the challenging affairs of the day, “Daddy, do you want to know how I found you and Mommy?” He was lying down between his mother and I and his toddler voice was filled with authority and knowing.  So, I looked at his mother and said in my characteristic non-committal “sure”, quasi-fascinated and quasi-expectant.
“I was upstairs” he continued matter of fact, “in the house in Ethiopia and I saw a bright light shining downstairs and I heard yours and Mommy’s voices so I came downstairs and went out the door to see you.” We never lived in a home in Ethiopia. My heart aflutter, I didn’t miss a beat though – I looked at his mother… then at Chris… “That’s cool dude. I’m glad you chose to join us.   We were waiting for you to come.”  In that moment our family was instantaneously healed from any so-called hardships of the day, joined by gratitude, love almighty, flights of wonder and being present with one another.
I suppose I was just trying to be “Daddy” with my ‘knowing’ response. But according to New Age Philosophies on Crystal Children, there are really no reason for us to do so. Our children chose us as much as we chose them. And his awww- shucks moment seemed to suggest somewhat more than the ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ charm of Bill Cosby’s 90’s show. I seem to recall a similar remembrance of train stations, oncoming trains, blinding lights and my own mother and father.
The center of that moment is somewhere in the truth that we don’t know it all. That there is a great majority more to our existence, individual lives than reasoning, science or “facts” will ever be able to explain. We come to “know” one world and stubbornly forget another.  General Gabriel Garcia Marquez was okay with that – not knowing, association by metaphor, oscillating between symbol and reality, interchanging hard ugly facts for flights of fancy, a romantic notion or the fantastic; supplanting gory realities of South American dictatorships with fantastic explanations, all signature tokens, or tools of the trade in Magic Realism.   Matter of fact, he was a master alchemist of Magic Realism.  Garcia’s philosophic contribution to the world is summed up by, “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
General Gabriel Garcia’s books are filled with New Age hubris, long before the New Age was a permanent mainstay of the main stream, lushly laid out in fearlessly wonderful narratives: In The Autumn of the Patriarchs, a terminal tyrant is trapped in his own dictatorship prison; In Love in the Time of Cholera, two aged lovers find the love of their lives upon the precipice of death; In 100 Years of Solitude, a title character ascends into heaven spiritually and physically while hanging laundry out to dry and; In Memories of My Melancholy Whore, an old man seeks sex with a prostitute to find love for the first time in his life.
“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that live obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
In our times, communications literally take place at a higher frequency than ever before, mere synapsis of suggestion removed from telepathy; the world and all of its knowledge is captured on the world wide web with Apples and other futuristic designed Samsungs; the “world community” seems like a “global village” in part because of discount travel enabled by technology; man’s technology synthesizes with nature in green technologies; men dubbed “Tiger”, “Bolt” or “His Airness” by marketing behemoths and command the humankind’s imagination, defying what we thought was possible with human performance—flying off the hardwood, breaking previous ‘unbreakable’ record in human speed and precision performances. Comically nomenclatured companies as Twitter, Google, Yahoo! And Hootsuite command not only our daily routines, but rigid algorithms and derivatives of Wall Street, built by mere children with as vivid a vision as business moxy.
Yes, we live in amazing times and in many respects, General Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a harbinger.
Any excerpt of General Garcia’s crowning achievement 100 Years of Solitude, demonstrates the ease with which he borrowed the authority of journalistic details dispersed with fantastic imaginings to create a reality much more rich, and yes, probable, than any crass reality.
Actually, Remedios the Beauty was not a creature of this world. Until she was well along in puberty Sana Sofi’a de la Piedad had to bathe and dress her…It seemed as if some penetrating lucidity permitted her to see the reality of things beyond any formalism. That at least was the point of view of Colonel Aureliano Buendia for whom Remedios the beauty was in no way mentally retarded, as was generally believed, but quite the opposite. “It’s as if she’s come back from twenty years of war,” he would say. – One Hundred Years of Solitude Translated by Gregory Rabassa, Harper & Row [1970]
“Science has eliminated distance,” Melqui’ades proclamed. In a short time, man will be able to see what is happening in any place in the world without leaving his own house.” – One Hundred Years of Solitude Translated by Gregory Rabassa, Harper & Row [1970]
The last passage could have been written with the advent of the computer, World Wide Web but it was written describing the fictional adobe housed village of Macondo and it’s response upon witnessing the telescope.   100 Years of Solitude traces the chronicle of the Buendi’a family over a century and deals with motifs and thematic structures of  time as singular construct, isolation, language as power and differing experiences of reality.
What it deals with is a willingness of Latin American literature to deal with a non-European perspective head on.  In the former passage girl struck with autism has every legitimate right to be viewed from the authenticity of her own experience.  Who is to say what is? We are the authors of our own experiences, the masters of our own fates.
 ♦◊♦
Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
II. Boom! Kaleidoscope World View 
In 1982, General Garcia was only the third non-European/non-White to warrant that consideration from the Swedish Academy since it has awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to 110 individuals since its inception in 1901.  Chili’s Gabriela Mistal was awarded in 1945 and Guatemala’s Miguel Angel Asturias in 1967 amongst some of the most influential authors of my own imagining and writings including William Butler Yeats, TS Elliot and Isaac Bashevis Singer.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez influenced us in more ways than we cared to know. His literary genre of magic realism became a medium for writers and artist of the post colonial world trying to grapple with and articulate the experiences of becoming independent in the post colonial world…trying to seize the magi of the moment full with hope and longing in being architects of our own destiny yet fighting off the realism of potential failure from inherited weaknesses of colonial mentality and frailty of humans especially in the face of newfound power; the failure of the dream of independance that ranged from corruption of the American dream as well as the still birth of our dreaming into being our ideal post colonial societies.” — Journalist and Author Kris Rampersad blogging from Trinidad and Tobago
After General Gabriel Garcia’s historic 1982 Nobel Prize?  A virtual who’s who of the literary world’s most iconic and influential writers of color and the third world with startling frequency:  Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka in 1986; Mexico’s Octavio Paz in 1990; St. Lucia’s Derek Walcott in 1992; African- American Toni Morrison in 1992; China’s Gao Xoing in 2000; Trinidad and Tobago’s V.S. Naipaul in 2001; and China’s Mo Yan in 2012.
“Faulkner is a writer who has had much to do with my soul, but Hemingway is the one who had the most to do with my craft—not simply for his books, but for his astounding knowledge of the aspect of craftsmanship in the science of writing. — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The General claims some of America’s most iconic realists as early influences yet departed from their genius to create a literary pattern, rhythm, reason and precedent which would embrace a global mindset, incorporating third world sensibilities as never before in the history of literature – he is the gatekeeper of a  comprehensive world view.   He learned, in reading the works of the masters like Faulkner and Joyce that “it was not necessary to demonstrate facts,” that it “was enough for the author to have written something for it to be true, with no proofs other than the power of his talent and the authority of his voice.”
General Gabriel Garcia Marquez switched out the horn rimmed black bifocals of the previous decades for a kaleidoscope.   The view has been much more colorful.   For all intents and purposes, General Garcia set a new standard, desegregating and re-standardizing world culture with his historic win of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Gabriel’s roots as a ‘movement’ author are steeped in the 60’s and 70’s with the advent of the Latin American Boom which coincided with the American Civil Rights Movement.  Internationally, General Gabriel might have one of the most critically recognized but the movement featured the work of such luminaries as Carlos Fuentes, Julio Corta’zar and Mario Vargas Llosa.  These writers along with founder’s Jose Marti’, Ruben Dari’o and Jse’ Asuncio’n modernist accents radically departed from the European canon of the 20th Century.
As a bit of history, it is interesting that Gabriel Garcia Marquez was legally denied a Visa from travelling to the United States.   The books of the Latin American Boom were printed in Latin American.   The ban was not lifted until Bill Clinton lifted the ban in the late 1990’s.
Lo real maravilloso or the magic realism of 100 Years of Solitude and Latin Boom establish that death and life are interchangeable, that the future, past and present are all inescapably connected and that lines between such phenomena are non existent.   His writing has influenced the subsequent writing of Isabel Allende to Salman Rushdie to Toni Morrison.  It erased, or at the least, blurred distinct lines of demarcation between world cultures, helping to create a world consciousness.
 ♦◊♦
III. Love General Future NOW
My introduction to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Corta’zar, Magic Realism and romantic Latin notions are from a Panamanian mother who has taught Spanish and Spanish literature at the high school and college levels off and on for nearly 30 years. With my own burgeoning powers of Marquez, I claim myself as one of her most admiring students if not most attentive. Probably, because in strong part of her influence, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the power of ideas and committed if not married to those romantic notions with absolute conviction: my greatest life victories and grandest adventures have been born of my Don Quixote quests—just don’t call me man de la mancha. It might seem ridiculous, absurdist or far-fetched to suggest that someone could literally write a New Age but such a notion at the time of Gabriel Garcia’s coronation in the modern age of literature was an anomaly.
These days, our consciousness is alchemically mixed to one, albeit to the low monotone electronic humming of the world wide web; oneness is also achieved with physical fitness of yoga defined as much by spiritual wholeness as physical mastery.    These days, a Kenyan American man will write himself into the Presidency of the USA, casting a spell on a nation, channeling the absolute power of Hope and Change.  In fact, the title of Barack Obama’s Dreams of My Father sounds as if it could have been the title of a Marquez’s masterpiece. Perhaps it is the continuity of Marquez’s work?
I mean, Obama’s presidency is historic for so many reasons none of the least which a man of words and ideas penned his own ascent to power on the sheer audacity of hope.   Did he imagine it first?   Indeed the pen is mightier than any weapon in the actual acquisition of power and influence.  It is not like Mark Twain occupied the place of President Howard Taft at the turn of the 20th century penning his opuses to democracy, the ‘Great American Novels’ the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Perhaps, this feat has only been possible in a reality in which General Gabriel Garcia Marquez came to largess and prominence as the defining force for an age?   Perhaps, the General metaphysically creates the path upon which a King walks?  I doubt Obama would deny it. President Obama’s historic victory acceptance speech in Chicago at Grant Park on the night of  November 4th, 2008 as certainly at those higher frequency.  We certainly all vibrated at a higher frequency that evening.
This is not to suggest that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the authors of the New Age.  However, there is certainly a literary equivalency and Garcia Marquez would certainly be a General or a gatekeeper of the movement.   The central precipices of New Age draw on both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions and consciousness, excluding none, even so-called “evil”, defining it as one and the same as “love” for its contrast and original author, God; whereas, Gabriel suggests Magic Realism to be a genre embodying  “myth, magic and other extraordinary phenomena.”
Morowa Yejide’, author of Time of the Locust and emerging literary giant, also said for this article, “Through his wondrous tales, Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates microcosms of the many worlds we live, the many lives humanity has passed through and has yet to experience. In his stories, we find the medium for our birth and the catalyst of our destruction.  We find those eternal truths somewhere in between. We are. We were. We will always be.”
The thing about mysticism of the New Age is that it readily acknowledges that we do not know everything about the universe. Magic Realism’s literary literally infuses the ordinary with imaginings real. It suggests that the so-called facts cannot explain every day occurrences, fantastic wonderings and horrors.  Which to my way of reasoning is copasetic—when we have known everything, as in those Ages of Enlightenment or Ages of Reason, or the Era or Reagonomics in which the General’s American Visa was revoked, it is not as if were at the apex of mans’ existence.  As much as I love the diagnostic insights which science and Western medicine provide through their reasoning and scientific process, disregarding mysticism… or in this case, magic realism is like dismissing the pie for the slice in our mouths. We live in a universe where we have only begun to understand it, our place in it, ourselves and our relationship to it.
It is like the doctor who clinically diagnose you with terminal cancer. The wise man goes to a naturalist who uses the diagnoses to prescribe natural remedies, naturopathic knowledge, including the power of positive thought thereby inducing the will the live. Western Medicine knows only 10% or so of the pie of healing.  To be the most powerful doctor, say Dr. Know It All is to know 100% of 10%, the other 90% lies in other thought systems and each is interdependent upon the other.  The power of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s work, particularly given the period of time from which his work arose is it acknowledges not knowing and gives equal weight to other forces in the universe, other cultural perspectives, other ways of being.
So, hard as it might be to imagine, these are the New Times, if for no other reason they are not olden. And they are in significant part, because Gabriel Garcia Marquez said so.
 “Morning musing: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the father of Magical Realism, is now in the land of the original creator of Magical Realism. What he brought to us has come to life for him. How wonderfully thrilled he must be to know it was truth after all!” Gillian Royes, Virgin Islands author of The Sea Grape Tree  and the Goat Woman of Largo Bay on Facebook.
Yes, Gillian.
But if for no other reason than the world as we knew it hardened with facts, rigid definitions does not exist. I asked my Crystal son Christian if life ever seems like a dream to him and he said, “It is a dream Daddy.”
“You think?”
“Yes, Daddy.  Heaven is real.  This is the dream world”
And this assertion by a 7 year old in the 21st century, at this moment, is reasonable if not an absolutely certain statement of fact. Because merely saying so and having the audacity to state it with authority is more than enough.  
So bloggers, keep blogging on.  Mystics, shamen, healers and visionaries just be. Millennials keep waking us up to all of our potentialities while we are on this rock hurling through outer-space.   New Age leaders keep mixing the culture pop with healthy dosages of mystic chants. Dreamers assert and don’t let reality interrupt…
So…
Namaste General Gabriel Garcia Marquez: we wonder, we fancy and we delight in your Labyrinths, amazing collection concoctions from your vast imagination and loving heart from which our reality now blooms anew.  This is the Love Movement.  I’ll catch up with you momentarily in a dream—salute… Sir!
Ashe.
GGM
* General—the term, commonly a senior most military rank is used symbolically throughout this article.  In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s The General in his Labyrinth, the General is Simo’n Boli’var.
- See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/enlightened-general-pens-new-age-gmp/#sthash.R4AYPrHs.dpuf