4th of July, 2017

This song is the best representation of how I see the world today.

We've forgotten how to be kind, how to take religion as a tool of compassion and learning. Forgetting that what makes us different is a strength to be appreciated and not something to be afraid of or discriminate on the basis on.

We forget that it's never ok to mock those who are different or who are not like us. You mock those who have a different definition of love and don't consider that your children or those who you know and care about may be in those groups now or in the future.

We fight over abortion... to me the answer is simple: if you don't want abortions don't have them (and don't be afraid if you're a christian and have a child out of wedlock, it's still ok). If you're so set against other people having abortions offer to care for the mother during pregnancy (foot the medical bills and the care for the mother) and adopt the child once it's born. The fact that you don't do this tells me you're not pro-life because you don't give a shit what happens after the baby is born, you only care that the fetus is carried to term and to hell with what happens to the mother, to hell with having to choose between the baby and the mother.

We cling to political power and we forget that we don't get to take those things when it's time to go. Whoever dies with the most toys is still dead and, if you so believe, you will be judged by your actions, by how you showed compassion and not just how much money you gave to charity or your church, on how you treated the sick the elderly and those around you who had real need and not on how you protected yourself when it came to pay more taxes in order for others to be able to afford healthcare.

We wanted political change and we didn't care that we put an abusive, misogynist, weak man in power. All that mattered was who got to choose the next justice of the Supreme Court, eh?

As we spend the last day of a 4-day weekend let's reflect on what made the United States what it is (or was?). Whatever our differences we are all part of the same country and we should treat each other accordingly.

That's Just The Way It Is
Phil Collins

All day long he was fighting for you
And he didn't even know your name
Young men come and young men go
But life goes on just the same

And I don't know why
Why do we keep holding on
I don't know why
Pretending to be oh so strong
Oh why
Is there something I don't know
Or something very wrong, with you and me
or maybe

That's the way it is, there's nothing I can do,
That's just the way it is.

They've been waiting for word to come down
They've been waiting for you night and day
They won't wait any longer for you
It may already be too late

And I don't know why...

You see the dying, you feel the pain
What have you got to say
If we agree that we can disagree
We could stop all of this today

It's been your life for as long as you can remember
But you cannot fight no more
You must want to look your son in the eyes
When he asks you what you did it for

'Cos all day long he was fighting for you 
And he didn't even know your name
Young men come and young men go
But life goes on just the same

I don't know why...

23 years….

Didn't really want to write this in English and, not likely, will be jumping in and out of Spanish as I go... here we go.

I have 4 touch points every year. Those of you who know me know what these touch points represent but, just in case:

  • 27 March: Moved to the US as a permanent resident
  • 18 June: Dad's birthday (choose to celebrate his birth and life rather than his death on 22 December)
  • 25 September: My Birthday
  • 31 December: End of year review

This time, for the first time, I've been debating whether I want to stay or not and all the additional baggage that creates and adds to the already baggage heavy mess that is my life.

This March (27th at 0700 Eastern time if you have to know) marks 23 years since I moved to the US (cue Sting's Englishman in New York) and the beginning of a hell of an adventure. I'm positive my life would have taken a far different turn had I stayed in Chile... good or bad I'll never be able to tell and, to be honest, I don't think I want to.

Which makes it even harder to evaluate the impact of the past 5 months on me and what's around me.

I'm privileged and one lucky son of a bitch... I will be the first one to admit that. Even more so since I left FireEye and have been able to do so much in the last few years. I've traveled and I've learned. I've been able to dictate most terms of my life in a way that I've been happy with, with no compromises, and not incuring any financial debt. However, that stability is predicated on a couple thins, like being able to get insurance while not employed (considering I have a pre-existing condition) and being certain that I can enter the country without a problem when I return from overseas travel.

I'm seeing how the first of those requirements is evaporating right before my eyes. As I write this (early march, 2017) congress is voting on a full repeal and replace of the ACA but, if I'm understanding this correctly, the provisions for pre-existing conditions wil be significantly more expensive, if they are available at all. This means that I have to have a full time job or have no isurance... or be denied left, right and center, just like what happened before the ACA was passed.

The second one is more insidious because it may just be paranoia speaking. My other concern is what will happen to naturalized citizens who choose to travel abroad? We didn't think they'd do it to residents or poeple who fought to get in the country legally, did we? This has become such a big fucking mess of us against them and Christian white "majority" against everyone else that it makes me sick... it makes me want to just crawl under a rock and hide there. I'll leave aside the issue I have with denaturalization and how that can become a weapon against immigrants in the future but it is a concern and it is something to be cognizant about.

Let's assume, for a second, that the travel restriction requirement is a figment of my imagination and that everything will be ok. Then what, what to do and where to go... There are many places calling and many reasons why I shouldn't heed the call.

Part of me has been debating whether to go back to Santiago or not and it's not a recent event. I remember when I was there in 1999/2000 and how alien it really felt. I couldn't tell why it afected me so much, how much it had changed or how much I had.

Miro la ciudad, un fantasma sin edad
Después del amor
La lluvia y el smog dibujan a pincel
Tu cuerpo en el balcón

No hay luz en el bar, nadie espera un tren
No hay coches en el boulevard
Y aquí puedo escuchar, el ruido de las estrellas
Cayendo sobre el mundo

Everything, everyone has changed, that's unavoidable. But if the changes involve feeling like an alien in the place you grew up in it's a different story, or is it?

I've always said that the years I haven't been there changed the way I see the place, that not being there for weddings, child births and other milestones in my and my friends' lives changes the way you relate to them and they to you.

¡Ah! cómo hemos cambiado
Que lejos ha quedado
Aquella amistad
Así como el viento lo abandona todo al paso
Así con el tiempo todo es abandonado
Cada beso que se da (cada beso que se da)
Alguien lo abandonará

Así con los años unidos a la distancia
Fue así como tú y yo perdimos la confianza
Cada paso que se dio, (cada paso que se dio)
Algo más nos abandonó

Ok, it's not Santiago... then what? Can I Afford to travel this year at all?

I have to be realistic enough to consider that may not be a posibility

The butterfly effect

The first time I heard about the butterfly effect was in a short story by Asimov... can't remember the title but it had to do with time travel and the results of not following the rules; let's say that the results were not pleasant.

The butterfly effect video below caught my attention not just because of the technical prowess that the demoscene implies but also the lyrics 🙂