Flashback, ca. 1975. I'm sitting in the Student Union with some friends having coffee. There is a stack of pamphlets and papers in the middle of the table that we collected when we ran the gauntlet of activists choking the lobby. They range from the Young Republicans to the Socialist Student Workers Party and the Socialist Workers Student Party. The latter two just had a nasty split over the meaning of 'dialectic'. They now spend their time attacking each other.
We idly discuss the screes, but, really, they try so hard to make their points that they overreach and throw in that last comment that takes them over the top.
Which is my cue to fast-forward.
Bruce Bateman got me to thinking with his Sour Grapes column at Saipanuvian. He spends a lot of time trying to explain taotao tano. Actually makes some good points along the way. They have their voice, and it's one that's needed. Are their politics too personal? Yeah, for me.
Then Bruce makes the classic mistake--if it's a mistake, because it's also a classic propaganda tactic. He starts branding anyone who might disagree as "mainlander liberals, and mainland educated liberal locals". So there, now I don't have to deal with ideas, lets just talk labels.
Bruce got me to thinking, but it was Wendy Doromal over at Unheard No More that got me to writing. I vaguely remember her wandering through the Variety when I was there, also vaguely that her stories were pretty good, except that they verged on having too much opinion for straight news.
It's interesting that Guam Chamoru Rights activists seem to be heavily involved with Taotao Tano. Makes sense, I suppose. They've got a lot of the same interests.
I've always thought Guamanians had a better beef with the U.S. After all, the CNMI approved the Covenant in an election. Nobody ever asked Guam. I think we all know how that would turn out, but that's beside the point.
And now that I've made it by the tables in the food for thought court, I'll finish my V-8. All of these activists shouting makes me thirsty.