Sunday, July 01, 2007

Subcomandante Marcos: Gay???

Browsing through Academic Search Premier (a far superior database for all of those JSTOR/Project Muse acolytes out there), I saw a rather interesting blip on the sexual orientation of the spokesperson of the Zapatistas out there in Chiapas, Mexico.

This came out (ok bad joke) in the Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine Sept 1994 volume 46, issue 4.

Supposedly a San Francisco paper quoted Marcos as saying that he was fired from some restaurant for being gay, which the Mexican newspapers scrambled all over. The Zapatistas responded like so:

"About whether Marcos is homosexual:

"Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a gang member in Neza [a huge Mexico City slum], a rocker in the National University [a folk music citadel], a Jew in Germany, an ombudsman in the Defense Ministry, a communist in the post-Cold War era, an artist without gallery or portfolio.

"A pacifist in Bosnia, a housewife alone on Saturday night in any neighborhood in any city in Mexico, a striker in the CTM [the giant pro-government union federation, which virtually never authorizes strikes], a reporter writing filler stories for the back pages, a single woman on the metro at 10 p.m., a peasant without land, an unemployed worker . . . an unhappy student, a dissident amid free-market economics, a writer without books or readers, and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains of southeast Mexico.

"So Marcos is a human being, any human being, in this world. Marcos is all the exploited, marginalized, and oppressed minorities, resisting and saying, `Enough!'"

Basically Marcos is a gay, black, anarchist, Jewish housewife or something or other. I think he should go into literature because he sounds like he has a ton of identity crises. I wonder if he is also a German Neofacist in Israel. Or perhaps a French Le Pen-ista in Algeria.

(I found that "Asian in Europe" sort strange. To my knowledge they aren't part of the "exploited, marginalized, and oppressed minorities" any more than an Asian in America would be I don't think. They should have said an Asian in China...that is where the oppression is, at least the type of oppression created by the rough, destructive forces of neoliberal globalization and so on and so forth. Stop trying to speak for all people Subcomandante! Your assumption that there is a pan-oppression sort of unity is just tried rhetoric!)

I just thought it was a little funny. I still like the rhetoric, and I guess that is the only real way you could respond to something like that. But they never did say no....