Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Gay Couple in Malawi Pardoned

Heartening news from eastern Africa: the president of Malawi has pardoned the gay couple who were sentenced to 14 years of hard labor.

The BBC reports that President Bingu Wu Mutharika announced the pardon during a visit by UN head Ban ki-Moon. Mutharika seemed to enact the pardon with a sense of duty and under international pressure, still hewing to his country’s discriminatory culture:

“These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws,” he said after meeting Mr Ban.

“However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate release with no conditions.”

Whether a political move or out of humanitarian largesse, the release of Monjeza and Chimbalanga is welcome news. Perhaps the win for human rights in Malawi will affect the virulently homophobic culture in other African nations.

On a related note, Current television broadcast a fantastic documentary about the anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda called Missionaries of Hate. A thorough, well-researched piece of investigative journalism that I highly recommend.

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Filed under: africa, gay rights, global justice, world, , , , , , , , , , ,

Mos Def Raps in Tokyo, Bottled Water in Tow

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I was planning to blog about my outrage to the Obama administration’s defense of DOMA, but there are many more hours to tackle this ridiculousness and many more ways to respond to how President Obama gets it all wrong. Instead, I’m gonna post this fantastic video I found that was put out a couple months ago but is news to me.

So. Mos Def.

There’s many reasons why I like this clip of “Auditorium.” I love the style in the video, very hand-held, very DIY: the slow build-up in the introduction with the unknowing participation of Japanese elevator riders, the non-chalance of Mos Def himself as he begins his rap and walks the streets of this public space that is quintessential Tokyoesque, and the lyrics themselves, hinting at the universality of the ghetto. “Suckers tryin’ to hide, like the struggle won’t find ’em.”

Mos Def is the man: musician, actor, activist.


Filed under: music, , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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