Duende Diary (I)
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Photo: USA Really

Duende Diary (I)


I  am El duende,  the spirit of evocation. I was born about 500 years ago; I do not remember exactly when. My memory doesn’t serve me so well now. The last 100 years I still remember, but what was before, I only have a vague idea ... That's why I decided to start a diary. Mi señora de la Casa… Dona… My mistress and I moved here recently. I don't know why she needed it, but people, especially those as young as my mistress is, tend to change. Now we are here. A new home, a new country, a new culture, a new language. As to the language… I rarely talk to people. Very few can hear me. My interlocutors are a cat, a parrot, and a turtle. But with a cat it's good to play, not to talk. He is young and a bit stupid because of this. The turtle is always on the brakes, and the parrot is a snob and a real bore ... So, I'll write it down. I'll write in English. Uncomfortable, unusual but my mistress says that we must speak only in English, even with ourselves. Well, I'll try.

July 7th

I watched on TV that in Pennsylvania a drugged couple mistook fireflies for 'alien lasers,' and fought back with a gun. When it became clear that they were surrounded and the forces were unequal, the duo ran to a neighboring home where the homeowner took away their gun.  The couple has been arrested on burglary and drug charges. Authorities say the pair were high on bath salts. I wonder what kind of bath salt this is? I wonder if my mistress has some? I asked the parrot about this. He replied that he had heard something about it. Then he fell silent and thought about it and said that he would try to convince the mistress to move to Pennsylvania.

I bet with a cat that he would not be able to get a jar of cookies on the fridge. The cat did not get it, but overturned the pan and smashed a couple of plates. The mistress locked him in the toilet. Now he sits and yells that he was arrested because he is black.

July 8th

At night, in protest against racism, I rattled dishes and stomped. My mistress got under a blanket and thought that it would help her. She is so funny…

In the morning, the news told that a man from Oklahoma is facing jail time for an overdue movie rental. The name of this poor sufferer is Lonnie Perry. He rented the movie "Ted" in 2014. Soon he became homeless and completely forgot about the payment. I can understand him; he had other priorities at that moment. He threw this DVD in a box with the rest of his belongings and forgot about it. The District Attorney's Office reminded him, by sending him a letter where he was told to pay $218 or go to jail. The store will get $19 for the movie, plus $25 for lost profits. The DA will get the rest.

The Parrot said that the DA services are very expensive today and advised to break the DVD just in case. Moreover, not a single decent movie came out for the last year, and it wasn't worth it to go to jail for that again.

While we discussed the possibility of moving from Oklahoma, the other freaky news came from the TV.  An Indiana church was booted from its building after posting a sign accusing the LGBTQ community of committing “a hate crime against God.” I do not understand the people who own that building. Did they not know from the very beginning that it’s a church who was going to rent the office? Every church is against LGBTQ. No proof needed. It’s in the Bible. Didn't the owners know the Church was against LGBT values when they rented it out? Why do they then take offense from the fact that the Church hung a sign reflecting their well known basic values?

Going to break the DVD, but the turtle said that it is not necessary. Movies are not in trend nowadays. Video games are in trend. He said that the 2017 Year In Review Report by SuperData shows that mobile games remain the biggest sector, generating $59.2bn, followed by PC at $33bn and consoles at $8.3bn. In total, the industry saw revenues of $108.4bn in 2017. (You can read more in the full report, available from SuperData's website).

Interestingly, Asia was the largest mobile game market, accounting for more than half of sales. North America and Europe brought in 15% and 10% respectively.

For comparison, the global film market is estimated at $ 40 billion in 2017 and the global music market at $ 17 billion.

A short summary for those who do not like to read the numbers. I mean the cat. Computer games are now much more important than movies and music put together. Asia is now much more important than Europe and the United States.

If you still believe that "games are for children," and the world is Europe plus the US, I have bad news for you. You are hopelessly behind the times.

July 9th

A fat pastor came with the exorcist's stuff. He smelled the whole house and told my mistress that everything would be fine. Idiot… He has no idea what he is talking about…

On TV all day long they talk about Elon Musk's proposal for rescuing boys trapped in Thai cave with a 'submarine' made from SpaceX rocket part. He is just like ISIS. They take responsibility for everything bad, and it is all good.  I don’t get it, if he is so cool why he had to show off, instead of just trying to save the kids. I don't understand why you have to PR yourself on dying kids. In this context, Donald Trump was noted too. “The US is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people” he wrote on his twitter. If you are brave and talented go and rescue them. Brag after the rescue, when the kids are safe, not before.

By the way, we talked about Elon Musk with the parrot. He said he was watching his case.

Elon Musk once again decided to take a chance. Since it is necessary to produce cars now at any cost, he decided to sacrifice quality and to refuse to test the brakes on his car. When investors found out about this, Tesla shares fell by 7%:

The Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, has reduced the normal production process by abandoning a number of routine procedures.

First, the so-called brake-and-roll tests were terminated. Refusal of brake tests in Tesla was explained by the fact that brakes are tested in other stages of production, in particular, already finished cars are checked on the track.

Secondly, by 6% (300 points) the number of welding places on the bottom of the car was reduced.

When all this became known, the attainment of a target of 5000 machines depreciated in the eyes of many analysts. In particular, the research firm CFRA has lowered Tesla's investment rating from the "hold" position to the "sell" position, saying that the achieved level of production of the Model 3 is not sustainable.

July 10th

Night time. I'm bored, playing games on the phone to pass the time. Yesterday something fell off the closet and broke. A vase. Poor Mr. Whiskers. Poor Kitty. "Mistress" (I still don't know her real name and I don't think she'll ever tell me) ended up locking him in the closet. He's still sitting there silently. Sulking. I go over and try to cheer him up. "I understand kiddo, you'll be alright." He's not talking to me. That's... that's tough.. but I understand. Whole day alone… without TV… Yeah, he's sad, brooding, peeing in  "mistress’" winter shoes. Can't judge him, can't fault him for that. I'd probably do the same thing if I was in his shoes, no pun intended. I just don't know if I'd look quite as regal or majestic while I was doing it. But I'm getting sidetracked. I look at my furry friend through the locked closet door, through the bars of his cell, and decide that I'm gonna tell him what's going on in the world. I tell him that I came across an interesting article in the Times.

It said that the United States threatened nations in an effort to blunt a World Health Assembly resolution supporting breastfeeding this spring, According to the Times, the US delegation threatened retribution on trade and military aid to Ecuador to get the nation to drop the resolution and at least a dozen countries also avoided the resolution out of fear of the US. Members of the delegation also suggested cutting US funding for the World Health Organization.

The Times noted that the US position aligned with that of infant formula manufacturers. The report also said that the US delegation was unsuccessful at defeating a different measure on access to medicine.

A spokesman from the US Department of Health and Human Services told the Times that the original resolution "placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children."

The cat looks at me and starts talking. He says it’s a conspiracy. Big Pharma, medical companies and food manufacturers are at the center of it. They use feminists and the government officials to protect their interests. He say it’s all because corporations want him not to eat real meat, but that dry food nonsense that he hates. Kibble. I try to raise a counter argument but he insists that feminist organizations have finally have shown their true face.  He says he hates feminists.

"These broads don't care about women. They don't care about children. What's really important for them is the money they receive from these corporations to defend their interests, and the political influence that they are provided by the media. Media financed by the same corporations. What do I mean? I mean breastfeeding. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the natural product is better than the artificial one, invented in the laboratories of corporations. Evolution, which has hundreds of thousands of years of 'testing' in its rearview mirror, shows us that breast milk is exactly what a child needs for normal development. Pharmacological companies, speaking through their feminists  activist mouthpieces and politicians, say that breastfeeding is not necessary. What's necessary is to buy their products, although none of them are really tested, and if they are, only in a very superficial way. If this goes on, very soon everyone we'll be banned from eating natural products. And we'll all be obliged to consume only products that are wholly manufactured by big corporations. Humn rights be damned. Corporations always have more rights."

He tells me that he's going to protest by announcing a hunger strike, but then he stops for a second, clearly deep in thought, and says that a hunger strike is exactly what the corporations are expecting from him. It’s much better if he just scatters toilet paper on the floor tonight. I'm not gonna argue with him. Hell, at this point I'm convinced that he's smarter than me. And maybe he's a Pisces or an ISTP personality type or something. Maybe he likes the quiet, meditative contemplation that being locked in the closet provides him. Beats me. I light up a cigarette. He goes for my shoelaces through the crack at the bottom of the door.

"Knock yourself out, brother," I say silently. "You've earned it."

I then tell him about the 92-year-old Mexican man who was severely beaten with a brick by an African-American woman in LA. On July 4th, Rodolfo Rodriguez, 92, accidentally bumped into a young girl while he was out for a walk. The women picked up a brick and hit him in the head with it. Four black  guys witnessed the scene and jumped in, beating the man as he lay on the pavement. Why they decided to help her beat up the old man remains unclear. May be they thought she couldn't handle it alone. But if you look at her size and the size of 92-year-old Rodolfo… He had no chance at all… And she was yelling horrible things at him like : “Go back to your country!  Why are you  here”? But the young heroes weren't confused by his age, and they beat and kicked mercilessly, barely hearing the police sirens draw near. but they got away in the nick of time. A real hero is both modest and anonymous.  Rodriguez is now in the hospital. And our modest, anonymous heroes are staying in the black shadows, preparing for new feats of glory.

The brick-wielding women told police that Rodriguez tried to touch her daughter. But a witness saw everything. It was a lie. I think she's just racist and hates immigrants.

The Cat's looking at me now with barely disguised contempt in his eyes.

"Tell me something boss man," he says. "In all of your worldly travels you ever actually met any black folks? Ever had an actual conversation with any of them? You ever been to South Central LA, where all this stuff went down?"

I take another drag from my cigarette and look at my feet. Mr. Whiskers isn't messing with my laces anymore. He's just making me look into my soul and I don't like what I'm seeing. So I keep mum and try to maintain my dignity. He gives me about another 30 seconds before continuing.

"No. That's what I thought. Well let me explain a few things to you. Here's how US imperialism works on the domestic front to take care of it's "excess labor pool" or what Kissinger called "useless eaters" while simultaneously profiting off of them. They pump cocaine from Latin America and heroin and "opiods" from Afghanistan and SE Asia into impoverished urban and rural communities, then they turn the people in these communities against one another. They violently compete against each other for a small percentage of the profits from this trade, while the vast majority of that profit goes to the "black ops" wing of the US government itself. They make the people who live in these communities into thieves and predators, preying on one another, mind you. Inject an ethnic element into the mix and you've got a powder keg on your hands that could turn into a race war at any given moment.

"Did you know that there's been an ongoing Latino vs. Black and Black vs. Latino war raging in South Central LA for decades now? Many of the Mexican Mafia-affiliated Latino gangs engage in outright violent ethnic cleansing campaigns against blacks in what they perceive to be their neighborhoods. Florencia and The Avenues are the most notorious when it comes to this, but they all do it. Hell, La Eme even has an alliance with the Aryan Brotherhood going back to the 80s. Did you know any of that?"

I'm silent again. I genuinely don't know what to say. But I can feel the blood gathering in my face, not allowing me to hide my embarrasment over my ignorance. I let Mr. Whiskers continue.

"It's called context, man. Context! Without it, you're just wondering around like a headless chicken, being outraged at whatever clickbaity nonsense the media shoves in your face. Hating or being disgusted at the wrong parties. Appealing to someone in authority to 'do something.' Context is what allows us to think for ourselves, instead of being led around by the nose. Context is what allows us to tune out the "outrage machine." Context is the cure for ignorance. But clearly you prefer to wallow in your ignorance. Word of advice, sarcasm piled on top of ignorance doesn't make it any less ignorant. Just makes you come off like a jerk and an ignoramus, instead of merely the latter."

I finally, reflexively, interject. "Hey, hey. That ain't nice. I like you, you know. I always stick up for you whenever she wants to punish you."

"Sorry if I hurt your feelings, snowflake," he says. "Now leave me alone so I can take a nap. You've ticked me off enough for one day."

He curls up in a corner of the closet and ignores all further attempts by me at dialogue. I leave him be.

I put on my shirt and decide that I need some fresh air. The night air feels good, feels clean. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Mr. Whiskers is wise. Tomorrow I'm gonna apologize to him and figure out how to make amends with him.

I feel a vibration in my pocket. I fish my phone out of my pants and look at the screen. It's a text from "Mistress."

"I'm coming home," it reads. "You know what to do."

I shoot her a reply before heading back to the apartment.

"Yes, mistress."

Author: El Duende