Las guerras sin límite: historia de una patria sin fin

Obra del pintor Luis Caballero

Iván Duque estuvo en Caucasia el jueves 4 de Octubre, y ordenó más pie de fuerza. Policía, ejército y hasta helicópteros.

La guerra entre paracos afecta entre otras la región del Bajo Cauca, allá donde Antioquia se encuentra con Córdoba. Según los periódicos El Tiempo y El Colombiano los encargados de la violencia son grupos terroristas, pero la página de Internet Verdad Abierta pone nombres a esos grupos: los Caparrapos y las Autodefensas Gaitanistas.

“Ojalá el Gobierno entienda que no solo necesitamos a la fuerza pública, sino también un antídoto para que esto no siga creciendo. El antídoto son las oportunidades para la población,” dijo el alcalde del municipio de Caucasia Oscar Suarez en otra nota publicada por El Tiempo el mismo jueves.

Los opositores al proceso de paz pueden celebrar que el proceso se cae a pedazos por la falta de implementación y de las guerras por los mercados ilegales. Esto es minería y cocaína. Y tengan en cuenta que esto no es obra de Duque. Ya el tan odiado Juan Manuel Santos, ese comunista tapado, había hecho poco para poner en acción lo firmado. Los paracos del Bajo Cauca ya se estaban guerreando en Marzo de este año.

Ante esta realidad todos aquellos que odian a las FARC pueden dormir tranquilos que ahora los grupos armados tras los asesinatos son paramilitares. Son los guerreros de la libertad que seguirán asesinando guerrilleros clandestinos. Porque todos y todas sabemos que si uno está por allá en esas regiones o es tonto útil o un mamerto disfrazado. No hay líderes sociales inocentes, algo habrán hecho. Los paracos están para aclarar quién manda. La derecha gamonal regional y las políticas nacionales que encarna la derecha de Duque/Uribe amplían su presencia, esa que en realidad nunca perdió vigencia durante los años de Juan Manuel Santos. Y eso que los Caparrapos, las Autodefensas o como se llamen se habían acabado por allá en tiempos remotos del presidente caudillo y actual Senador de la República Dr. Alvaro Uribe Vélez.

Dulce compañía obra de Alvaro Garcia Ordoñez

Esta situación de violencia armada contra la población (o mamertos disfrazados según su gusto) tiene ciertos parecidos con lo que pasó al finalizar la primera etapa de La Violencia colombiana moderna, esa que muchos ni recuerdan, la que ocurrió en la década de los años 50 del Siglo XX, cuando liberales y conservadores le llevaron sangre y fuego a millones de colombianos, ayudando a cambiar el perfil demográfico de Colombia.

Hacia 1958 después de una o dos amnistías fallidas que dejaron varios jefes guerrilleros liberales asesinados, y después de que los líderes Alberto Lleras Camargo y Laureano Gómez firmaran el bizarro Frente Nacional se intensificó el llamado Bandolerismo.

En ese momento bandas criminales al mando de hombres que portaban armas y apodos como Tarzán, Chispas, Desquite, Capitán Mariachi y Sangrenegra entre muchos otros, aprovecharon el rio revuelto del pos-conflicto (como lo llamamos ahora) para buscar ganancia. Uno de esos jefes, Efraín Gonzales, llegó a manejar las bandas que protegían las minas de esmeraldas en el Territorio Vásquez, departamento de Boyacá. Gonzales buscó independizarse de sus jefes que eran los jefes de las minas de esa región y que también lo eran del partido Conservador. Ese esfuerzo a Gonzales le costó la vida. Murió en Bogotá en 1965 tras una balacera impresionante y según parece porque un soldado se detuvo a orinar. Maldita maña!

Antes de morir Gonzales llegó a trabajar con Humberto Ariza, el Ganso, jefe de la Banda La Pesada, donde dio sus primeros pasos profesionales el jovenzuelo José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, alias el Mexicano.

Los ciclos de violencia se parecen pero se distinguen, pero los amantes del odio hacia las FARC, aquellos y aquellas que nutren el temor hacia la paz y lanzan alaridos de odio por aquello de que la paz le iba a entregar el país a Comunistas y Homosexuales pueden dormir tranquilos y tranquilas porque en esta tierra de bellos paisajes, hombres recios y mujeres hermosas a los criminales anti-comunistas no los acaba ni el mismo Dios. Amén.

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Exile, women, a heritage of silence, a search for our sounds

Colombia has at least six million internally displaced citizens, “immigrants” in their own right; and an unknown number of globetrotters, those who’ve left for many reasons, exiliadas. This is the story of one very creative woman. 

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Mothers love their children. Mothers will do “hasta lo imposible” for their kids, at any age. If danger lurks or comes out in the clear and threatens her little one a mother will even walk across half a continent to secure safe passage. She could be seeking asylum at the Texas border, or coming across that porous border between Colombia and Venezuela or it could be an experienced and fearless left- wing activist.

The latter is Maira Henriquez. She gave this interview in Bogota, Colombia in March 2018. She has a baby now and has questioned for the first time in her life her political, creative and intellectual venture because she wants more for her child. It is not a contradiction with her work, it is a deeply felt obligation to defend that baby. In that effort she is willing to cross borders one more time.

Maira is a young woman born and raised in Colombia: her ancestors are from the north eastern Santander province. Maira took on the role of community leader around 2004, a time of fierce right-wing paramilitary violence. In that process, like hundreds of thousands of other Colombians, she suffered the murder of a family member in the city of Villavicencio located in south eastern Colombia. That cousin, another woman, became another victim whose trigger men remained invisible because in Colombia 90 percent of political crimes end in nothing, end in impunity. Maira, on the other hand, ended up threatened and had to leave Colombia. She went into exile.

In Spain her life as rebel in the public arena took off; as she puts it she “dropped the veil of patriarchy, in the midst of a feminism rooted in consent, different from the anger she has found in some Colombian some feminists.” She also learned that “forced migration lives and breathes a context of fear; many people lose their link to public life.”

“When you leave, one does not talk about the texture of fear, of being a victim, of being a survivor, of exile as such, there is an official narrative, but the narrative of individual hurt that exile brings about is misplaced.”

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She adds that during those years in Spain the Colombian community lived with rumors of at least 40 undercover Colombian cops following left-wing activists.

Maira explains there are about 20 Colombian men and women worldwide studying the country’s history of exile, the consequences of war, of a conflict that has lasted decades and is deeply ingrained in our collective memory, our oral tradition, and our tradition of silence, one that people forced to leave also carry; you don’t check that baggage at the passport counter.

“People have stories we cannot recount, the unspeakable, lodged in our corporality, in our silence.

“I have a heritage of silence, I have a right to that silence, but I also preserve memories, wishes, desires, I want to tell. But words should not be pulled out, we should search for other languages, we must not limit ourselves to the spoken word.”

In an effort to find those other languages Maira has taken up research. “I have experienced a change in sonority, accents, another body rhythm, a different tolerance toward sound, I hear different,” she adds.

This led her to create acoustic landscapes with sounds people sent her from other geographical places and cultural spaces around the world.

She and a group of female students are now working on the body’s sonority, the musicality linked to our identity, and also to all that which we cannot tell, narrate, or recount. This is also a process of discovering female sounds that includes the experience of exile.

After a decade outside, in exile Maira returned to Colombia.

“When I left I felt deep pain. I missed Colombia. When I came back I discovered I had left myopic, and [in Spain] I was given glasses, and now once back I had seen everything clearly, without that sense of everything being natural and it was painful to see. When you’ve lived in a society with some rights and you return to a society with no rights it is very painful.”

She found the killings, the forced disappearances, government corruption extremely painful.

“When you discover people’s ability to destroy others you become ill. I became ill. I had to sit down, got through therapy and realized I was sick of pain, and I decided I wanted to leave again but it isn’t that easy, so I’ve decided to stay and face the source of that pain.”

Maira also explains that she also learned that her social and political networks are no longer there. People move on, immigrants always encounter what was and what now is. She has been back for four years but is still coming back.

In the end, “I belong to everywhere and I belong to no place,” she adds.

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After a long conversation in a cafeteria, where Maira spoke about politics, silence, women’s rights, she insists that she holds on to her militancy – Union Patriotica – with pride, “with moral authority, but for the first time after many years, after my son was born –he is six months old- I want to get away from the left, I’m afraid, and I’ve thought a lot about leaving again. I don’t know why I think and feel this but this is how it is.”

“Coming back is part of a human cycle. We are coming and going, and I take this on now with less pain”

Not all deaths get the same (public) grief

 Just days after Nicolas Cruz shot 17 people dead at Marion Stoneman Douglas high school two people posted messages on my Facebook: one reminding readers that police kill black people and there is no out pouring of grief; a second message stated that white liberals should not talk about gun control because people of color and/or LGTBQ people are constantly threatened and carrying a weapon may be their last recourse for effective protection.

Weeks later Stephon Clark was shot eight times in the back by Sacramento police. He was in his grandmother’s back yard. He was in his twenties, he was black, he was unarmed. According to the New York Times an independent autopsy determined most of those bullets hit him in the back.

Both killings have prompted protests and marches. In South Florida there has been a bit more news coverage of ongoing gun violence that impacts black residents. Marion Stoneman Douglas students who are black have been quoted highlighting how they do not feel heard.

People in the US, marginalized or stigmatized because of class, gender, race, and sexual identity view the lack of mass media coverage of the killing of black men and or LGBTQ people as a lack of social condemnation. They are angered when comparing the mass response in one case (Stoneman Douglas high school) and the limited or stigmatized response in the other (black men).

The United States of America is a violent country. According to Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit formed in 2013 to “provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States” there are over 35,000 gun violence victims every year in the United States.

The rationale behind killing has long existed in the USA. From the days of acute state terrorism called Slavery and Jim Crow, the Indian wars through most of the 19th century, the Civil War, the killing of workers at different moments in history, to the current drug trafficking related gang violence, mass incarceration, right through into police involved shootings. In the middle of all this are people who see that violence levied upon them is not denounced, it is ignored even justified because of their human condition. But we may have hit a wall at Stoneman Douglas: the mass killing of young middle and upper middle class youth has pushed many people in that middle to question their personal, family and community security.

According to city-data the estimated median household income in Parkland FL (where Stoneman Douglas High is located) in 2016 was $131,340 while the estimated median household income in Florida was $50,000. Does the mainstream audience feel much more involved because of the victim’s faces? We can question the politicians but these questions must be dealt with at all levels of society. Why was Sandy Hook not that detonator? At least 20 little children were killed. What will Stephon Clark’s killing do to deter police involved killings? In the face of these random killings with guns do income and class matter? Does race matter?

According to The Washington Post

Public mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of the country’s gun deaths, but they are uniquely terrifying because they occur without warning in the most mundane places. Most of the victims are chosen not for what they have done but simply for where they happen to be.

But could this rationale be applied to the killing of many black men at the hands of the police? Many had done nothing and that nothing escalated until they were dead? Just remember a man selling cigarettes or a man sitting in his car discloses he has a weapon and a license. They both ended up dead at the hands of the police.

The Post adds that from 1966 through 2018 at least 1,077 people were killed in mass shootings across the United States, adding “There is no universally accepted definition of a public mass shooting, and this piece defines it narrowly. It looks at the 150 shootings in which four or more people were killed by a lone shooter (two shooters in a few cases).”

Almost three years ago The Guardian, a British newspaper started its own database – The Counted – of police involved shootings after a white police officer shot an unarmed black man Michael Brown in Fergusson, Missouri. The Guardian found that not one US government/law enforcement agency kept a database of police involved shootings.

The Counted shows that 1,093 people were killed in 2016 and 1,146 were killed in 2015 in police involved shootings. The breakdown by ethnicity shows that of the 1,146 killed 307 were black, 13 Native American, 195 Hispanic/Latino, 584 white, 24 Asian/Pacific Islander, 23 other/unknown.

According to Gun Violence Archive in 2016 there were over 53,000 gun violence incidents, over 13,000 dead, over 30,000 injured, 3,300 of these dead and injured were teens, 673 children 0 to 11 year old were killed or injured. That same year officer involved incidents left over 1,900 people shot or killed.

The numbers are only one measure of mass shootings by a lone gunman or police involved shootings. These problems go beyond these numbers. They are a reality that many organizations, politicians, intellectuals, media commentators try to explain from a variety of perspectives. That I assume is their job and their right.

What we must keep in mind is that all types of violent death must not be ignored, and must be understood and dealt with. And when these killings occur the responsible must be held accountable. The law must apply?

As one of many Guardian articles points out

The Death in Custody Reporting Act, which was reauthorized by Congress in 2014, requires states receiving federal funding for law enforcement to report all killings by police officers on a quarterly basis. Many states have, however, continued to ignore the law without being penalized.

Nicolas Cruz, the lone gunman at Stoneman Douglas, will rot in prison if he is not executed on 17 counts of premeditated murder. But police officers almost never face consequences for their shootings or violent acts that leave over 1,100 dead in one year alone to be exact. This is a political culture and rationale of power (law and order) that must not be accepted.

Right after the 17 murders at Stoneman Douglas high school dozens of people who were invited to talk on different mass media platforms called on people to take action. The time of ‘thoughts and prayers is over,’ was repeated again and again. ‘Policy change now’ was a clear demand. Yet politicians from Trump down seem to talk about business as usual. In the Florida State Assembly a bill to ban assault weapons was voted down Tuesday February 20, almost a week after the Stoneman Douglas massacre. In early March the Florida governor signed a bill that would increase the age limit to buy automatic weapons and allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in the class room. At this point it seems there will be no reduction in gun sales.

The NRA is unapologetic and continues to rake in millions of dollars. The business of gun sales in the USA is at an all-time high.

According to an op-ed published in early April in Time magazine “At just 4.4% of the world’s population, Americans own roughly a third of all the firearms in the world. According to a 2007 survey, American civilians own about 275 million of the world’s 875 million firearms. For the world’s gun manufacturers, this fraction of the world’s population is their largest single market.”

That US consumers owned in 2007 a little over 31 percent of all the weapons in the world is not an earth shattering revelation, but it does reveal that breaking up gun business would require something much more drastic than gun control legislation. Gun manufacturers and vendors run legal businesses. They make and sell a product that even people with leftist politics want to have. In a recent –and my first – visit to shooting range I saw many black customers. I saw a dad with two teenage kids. One employee behind the counter told me shooting is a fun sport.

People are shot or shoot themselves to the tune of at least 30,000 deaths and injuries every year. Some people sell the story of liberty against tyranny. If we are armed the government could not take away our liberty or so goes the saying. But black Americans already have the all too common experience of being shot and or injured for little to no reason. They live under repressive conditions but their situation does not appear so in the eyes of the many. Those killings fall under the mantra of law and order. What fuels this culture? Is it fear? Is it hatred? Is it indifference?

The Broward County School District organized a town hall meeting in the city of Plantation Florida to discuss school safety on April 19, a little over two months after the massacres at Marion Stoneman Douglas High. Only one student brought up gun control, all other participants spoke about security. Where does this leave us as a society? There does seem an acceptance of fear and a loss of active hope as a central part of our lives. Those who fear change lay upon the rest of us their logic of fear. And when we lose the hope of our activity for change then we are in awe of security, of the status quo.

The birth of Black Lives Matter is directly linked to the history of gun violence in the USA. We all saw through a variety of media platforms the uproar of those days in Fergusson. Our first impression is that anger moves those protests. It is also hope that put those young protestors in the face of what the old status quo that is nothing more than violent repression in the name of the law, of the defense of business. But they fought those few days to declare in public that the old is far from over, and even more so to declare that active belligerent hope for change cannot be ignored because it is the evidence of what is new.

Unlike those and many other protestors many watch violence and comment its horrors, but do not witness violence it and do not live through it. We the People seem to be spectators of a classless utopia called the USA, despite the many stories that reaffirm the daily dystopian mess where the poor bare the ethics of rugged individualism while the rich gather government subsidies. And the ideal (political) middle, the middle class, that utopian essence of what the USA is, that always desired center of consensus and harmony is slip sliding away.

In this day and age of fake news and alternative realities we the Spectators have learned that we cannot rely nor trust corporate media information. This nagging doubt is nothing new in the political left, but it is now an invigorated battle cry as the right celebrates all things Trump. Yet at the same time we certainly cannot deny the visual narrative that digital media technology has delivered. People with cameras, its that simple.

If we have learned that any police involved killing does not prompt lasting pressure on the political class, we are now faced with the uncertainty that random gun violence on well-funded teenagers might not be the social detonator that the political class must listen to.

Walls speak back

“and in the streets the children screamed, the lovers cried and the poets dreamed, but not a word was spoken” (American Pie, Don Mclean)

Despite what many residents may think, beyond the demands of property owners or what government officials are willing to do when people use walls for art the silent brick and mortar seems to disappear.

Taggers in Bogota the Colombian capital have developed an interesting art throughout the city. They have done it at night and facing some pretty difficult risks which include the murder of a young graffiti artist at the hands of the police in 2011.

Since then the city has seen thousands of walls used as canvasses to express all kinds of art, garabatos, messages, protest and counter protest. The origin of those “pintas” as they were once called goes back to at least the 1970s and the political left’s need to get the message out to city residents. Calls for socialist revolution, support for guerrilla groups, communist party slogans, student demands for change, worker’s unions denouncing capitalism, morphed into humor, sarcasm or just drawing through the 1980s and 1990s.

Through all the changes one thing stayed the same: painting walls was illegal; denounced as the destruction of property. But those walls provide the necessary space where young artists have their say about the city that surrounds them, and often does not see them. Youth who otherwise have no gallery but know the city better than most take to the walls. Youth who use the city as others use digital media.

These taggers also know that streets are not neutral. We have heard that a city, any city compared to a concrete jungle, riddled with crime and intense stress that make a city what it is. Governments and the private sector also battle for control over those streets: who can sell their goods, where are the poor allowed to work, and graffiti is no exception. In 2011 then left leaning mayor Gustavo Petro allowed graffiti in certain areas and buildings. In 2016 mayor Enrique Peñalosa sought to take back control. A quick look at city walls tells you the issue has not been settled.

 

The back and forth of political power, the threats from economic power has not stopped artists and taggers from using those walls to lay out their understanding of color and forms. In the end their work means something to some while others consider it a nuisance even a threat.

Over the last few years graffiti in Bogota is slowly becoming a commercial product, used on business fronts and school gates, mimicking the style and colors of taggers who do not paint with rigid concepts of art or beauty.

Bogota residents can choose how they name the images. Some call it art, others graffiti, others pintas, or garabatos, a Spanish language word that roughly translated means visual gibberish. A lot of this work is on the walls of the old city, the Downtown area where tourists look to locals who have even set up guided tours. But art, graffiti, pintas cover walls through the whole city and it stares back. It is there to be seen, in “barrios” where no tourist will gaze upon the work but that pedestrians, motor bikes, cabs, buses, bikes, street vendors, the homeless will mull over and as they go about the city, as they struggle to be seen and heard.

 

Sticks and stones…

IMG_0282People who use words, paragraphs, stories, images seem to have the power to push people in power to use weapons far deadlier than sticks and stones.

Let me explain this statement a bit with a personal experience.

In the early 90’s I took a picture of a girl fleeing from the bombs dropped over her rural area by state armed forces who were (and still are) fighting left wing rebels in Colombia.

This little girl was sitting in a 30 gallon bucket taking a refreshing bath. She was one of several dozen people who had made it to a school in Yondo, a small town along the banks of the Magdalena River in central Colombia.

There are now over 4 million displaced men, women, children in that country who have fled their lands and homes.

They know war. They have survived in the midst of death, bullets, men with guns, some sanctioned by law others called terrorists by those same laws. Those men on both sides of the conflict have been accused of thousands of crimes: rape, torture, murder, kidnapping and forced displacement.

Civlians know about war and that is why it is more than necessary to show their knowledge and experience in any way possible because it just so happens that the narrative of war is mostly about soldiers and battles, technology and weapons, and that narrative almost always comes to us from the perspective of the conquering forces, and their plight, their pain and loss.

This is not an exaggeration. All we need to do is watch the dozens of flicks and documentaries made in the U.S. about U.S. loss of life for U.S. audiences in wars fabricated with U.S. assistance.

The little girls and the throngs of parents, brothers, grandmothers, aunts who survive war do not get many opportunities to bank roll, make and distribute films that tell us their stories of war fought on their soil, in their villages and neighborhoods, wars that leave them with death as part of their historical memory. They have much more urgent needs.

This is where people who tell the stories of those who are declared [or not] enemies of the state, the motherland, the fatherland, the nation come into the picture. There are people in power who consider that poets, novelists, play writers, reporters, photographers, cinematographers who push and pull with their work deserve to die. They too can be collateral damage. No exaggeration. Think about the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

And this is where the powerful come in: words can come back to hold you responsible, especially if you have ordered a killing, or a genocide; even if the order was given in the name of security, peace and democracy. So new orders are issued and reporters, writers are killed.

Yet there never seems to be a deep sense of loss when a artisan of the word is murdered. It is necessary though to remember that not all dead are created equal: the media exalt some and condemn others. It even turns out that we civilians victims of war were in the wrong place at the wrong time; and nobody ever said life was fair, right?

Maybe those pervasive TV images and scripts about callous reporters, ass wipes who care not an iota about people and roam the landscape looking for the next best headline desensitize the audience. Nobodies perfect. Reporters like that are out there.

But there is also Julio Daniel Chaparro, Rodolfo Walsh and Veronica Guerin and Marie Colvin. Just four names. Reporters, writers and poets, men and women who grappled with words, persecuted and murdered.

Julio Daniel Chaparro’s murder, shrouded in impunity, hit that statute of limitations on April 24 2011. Earlier this year Argentine General Jorge Rafael Videla acknowledged some irregularities during the dictatorship he led, like the kidnapping and murder of Rodolfo Walsh. The poet Juan Gelman also persecuted lives on long after Videla and his regime were gone, but his family was murdered.

Like so many people, civilians we are called, people on the street we are, we survivors may one day tell the children and grandchildren what ‘that’ war was like, if only we find the words, the patience, and the reassuring sense that our story matters, if we find those who care to listen.

Here’s a story: we sell what we write/our labor

A_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_wordsWriting a story is an exercise in freedom and to certain degree power, but only to a certain degree because language and context will hinder, limit or change, the story.

You sell a piece, think about that. You sell a piece, it has so many words, the editors decide if it goes or not. It’s their piece now, their property not yours. Every publication has guidelines and if you decide that what you write fits you submit.

Some people would argue that your talent supplies the freedom to write whatever you want and ‘they’ will publish. Whoever “they” are you won’t ignore their guidelines.

But talent isn’t necessarily enough. Mexican writer and reporter Guillermo Zambrano once told me that talent could be a curse because it leads one to believe that work and discipline are not necessary.

Then there is the problem of content. What you say and just how raw or powerful or against the grain that story might actually be could lead to closed doors.

Nick Turse, author of Kill Everything that Moves, told a story in a Fresh Air interview about how Seymour Hersh walked around with his piece about the MyLai massacre for a while because no publisher wanted to break the censorship on the killing in Vietnam.

Rodolfo Walsh, wrote in the introduction of his book “Operacion Massacre”, (a non-fiction tell all about the criminal shooting/extrajudicial killing of at least 10 men in Buenos Aires in 1956) about how nobody wanted to put his piece out there. Finally the owner of a small printing shop, despite the fear, did.

We think of what is said but not about how it is said. You accept certain criteria when you submit a piece, how many words, topics, fiction, non-fiction, for a magazine, weekly, monthly, and so on. Now we also deal with online publishing.

And lets think a bit about spoken words, the limits that exist to what and how we can say:

In a courtroom for example, our everyday common language is controlled and limited. It seems that our common sense response to a situation is not only mediated but altered by the language of the court and it’s experts: prosecutors, defense lawyers, public defenders, expert witnesses and judges.

So when you’re hauled in and put on a jury how a case is exposed to you, how all those words are used, might lead to a sense of confounding dread. We might feel bombarded by an endless stream of legal speak, that in some cases requires clarification.

A man who was on jury duty for a case involving two lovers, jealousy and a stolen 13 inch TV set told me it was an interesting experience yet a bit daunting to, on the one hand argue with other jurors, while on the other be fully aware that you hold in your hands the future of some other human being.

He sensed but wasn’t sure there were many lies and gaps in all the words laid out by the lawyers, defendant, witnesses but what really got his attention was the fact that some jurors were in a hurry to cast a verdict and hit the street.

Storytellers must accept at certain turns limits on style not just content.  You’ll write about things in a certain way and maybe avoid certain clarity. Yes, avoid clarity to build up your Style. The Correct usage of the language might be something antiquated in this era of books that read more like movie scripts.

Telling a story is an exercise in freedom and to certain degree power, but only to a certain degree because technology could hinder, limit or change the story.

Clarity might suffer with brevity and twitter, but the technology we consume allows us to move quickly from one issue to the other; speed, brevity, efficiency are a central part of Style in our global online friendship.

How do we read between the lines when there are few to none? Access is a wonderful thing, malleable, we go in and get out, say our piece, no need for editors, just Style, we accept the guidelines, we publish, we forget.

Using word[s] is an exercise in…