Getting a Boob Job? Beware.
Double board certified New York plastic surgeon Adam R. Kolker, M.D. who specializes in breast enhancements, shares his insider tips on what you should know before getting breast surgery.
Brooke Shunatona published in Cosmopolitan this April 16, 2015
1. Your first breast surgery probably won’t be your last.
25% of women will need another surgery after 10 years because implants don’t last forever.
The implant could begin to leak over time or a “scar shell” could develop around it, warping the shape and causing a need for new implants. Weight loss, pregnancy, and change in preference are other factors that could lead the patient having another surgery after a few years.
2. It will cost you around $3,678, based on the surgeon’s fee only.
This average total, according to the 2013 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is based on the surgeon’s fee only and does not include the cost of anesthesia, facilities, and materials (stitches, bandages, drapes, etc.). The price will also depend on doctor, patient, and region.
The cost of reduction, though, varies greatly patient to patient. A reduction procedure could take three to four times longer than an augmentation, and the cost would reflect that.
3. Generally, patients will only have to take five to seven days off work for a breast augmentation and about the same for a reduction.
You won’t be feeling 100% after that week, but you’ll be in good-enough shape to head back to the office if your job doesn’t require manual labor.
However, if the implant is placed behind the muscle instead of on top (many women choose to do this for a more realistic look and less chance of a scar shell forming around the implant), recovery will be a little harder and you might be sore longer.
4. Breasts with implants feel different to the touch than real breasts.
Although silicone breasts feel similar to real breasts, they are still manmade and don’t feel like natural breast tissue. You’ll be more likely to notice there’s an implant in a woman who began with little breast tissue than a woman who had more breast tissue to begin with.
Smaller implants and those that are placed below the muscle are harder to detect.
5. You can try on different boob sizes before deciding on one.
Using “sizers,” a bead-filled neoprene sack, you can stuff your bra to give you an idea of the size you might like.
6. You can’t go from small to huge all at once.
If you’re starting with a small A cup, don’t expect to go up to a DD cup in one procedure.
It’s important to set realistic goals. Your body and skin need time to adjust to drastic changes, so a surgeon will likely suggest going up only a couple cup sizes at first, then increasing the implant size over the course of a few years.
7. Breast augmentations and reductions could possibly affect your ability to breastfeed in the future. Women who have implants oftentimes choose not to breastfeed so the data sets on these women are unclear.
However, if you have an areola incision, there’s a small risk you could damage minor ducts and could disconnect the areola complex with the main portion of the gland, hindering your ability to breastfeed.
Women who have underarm incisions or incisions in the crease of the breast should not have a problem.
8. You might lose feeling in your nipples after a breast augmentation or reduction.
Loss of sensation in the nipples can occur whenever there is surgery to the breasts. This depends on a number of factors, including breast shape and surgery type.
Even if you lose sensation in your nipples, they will still respond to cold and stimulation (aka they will still be able to get hard even if you can’t feel it).
9. You’re not a great candidate for a breast augmentation if you have a very strong family history of breast cancer, are obese, or smoke.
All these factors increase risks and complications during and after surgery. If you have any significant medical issues, you need to be evaluated and cleared before surgery.
10. Not all “plastic surgeons” are board certified and trustworthy.
Thoroughly research surgeons that meet certain criteria before settling on one.
1. make sure the surgeon is certified from the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
2. Be wary of other “boards” that are not legitimate.
3. Your doctor should also be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, both of which have a very high standard of criteria and maintenance.
4. Make sure that surgeon has experience in the type of surgery you’re wanting.
5. Ask to see a body of their work and before-and-after photos.
6. Speak to other patients.
7. Schedule a consultation and get a feel for the surgeon’s approach.
11. You have a choice of two different implants: silicone and saline.
Seventy-seven percent 77% of implants used in 2014 were silicone and the rest were saline.
Both implants have upsides and downsides.
Silicone implants look and feel more realistic, but it’s harder to detect if there are ruptures in the implant due to its gel-like consistency.
Saline implants, on the other hand, will show ripples in certain areas of your breasts, but since they have a water-like filling, they will sooner alert you if there is a leak by visibly decreasing in size over time.
12. You can move fat from elsewhere on your body to your boobs. It’s a new process called autologous fat transfer. Few people are candidates for this procedure.
13. You can get an areola reduction.
This is also called a mastopexy. Oftentimes women who get a reduction will also have an areola reduction so the areola is proportional to the new size of the breast. The area around the nipple is very forgiving when scarring.
14. You can’t walk in to a consultation and say you want X implant type through X incision location. You and your surgeon will together decide which incision choice is best for you: underarm incision, incision in the crease of the breast (inframammary fold), or through removal of the areola.
Your doctor will take into consideration your beginning breast size and shape, breast tissue, and a number of other factors before recommending which options are best for you and your body.
15. Any breast surgery can have a small effect on breast cancer screening in the future.
Breast health is important. Before the surgery, have a proper breast exam with your gynecologist. If you’re of age, get a mammogram.
Most mammographers don’t have an issue if the implant is placed behind the muscle, but it is important to discuss with your surgeon.
16. Exercise, especially cardio that involves bouncing, is restricted after surgery. Although you can start doing light cardio again after a week, most women will need to limit their exercise for up to 12 weeks.
17. Implants are more comfortable if the procedure is done postpartum rather than before the patient has kids. But any implant placed under the muscle will increase the discomfort levels.
18. Augmented breasts will affect your posture just like the weight of natural breasts would. The weight difference between equal volumes of saline, silicone, and breast tissue is slim to none, so a natural C cup and an augmented C cup are very similar in weight. If you choose an implant size proportional to your frame, you will see little effect on your posture. However, if you choose large implants, you will feel the effects.
19. Your boobs do not need to be a minimum size for a reduction.
This is all based on personal preference. Think of boob size in terms of a scale from small to large.
Based on breast size before the procedure and desired breast size afterward, there are a number of incision options for a reduction for a huge range of results. You can even choose to get a reduction and an implant to replace some of the volume that you’ve lost over time.
20. It is possible that your boobs can grow back after a reduction. However, if the procedure is done after pregnancy and your weight stays consistent, your breast size is unlikely to change.
21. Ask yourself the following questions and be comfortable with your answers before going through with the surgery:
- How much does my current situation bother me?
- Why do I want this procedure?
- How excited am I to go through with this?
- Can I handle the time off from work and exercise?
- How much am I willing to expose myself to certain risks?
What EVERY woman needs to know before getting a boob job:
Entire Country Behind Bars: New traffic laws
Since the new traffic law has gone into effect, police stations across Beirut have been flooded with citizens arrested for a medley of activities such as breathing, cycling, and crossing streets. The traffic law, which initially resulted in the issuing of two million fines within the first 20 minutes of its inception, has been a controversial topic in the country since its announcement.
Actually, the application of this law has been postponed more than twice because, first in April’s Fool then on April 15 and I didn’t hear another date:
1. The deputies didn’t even deign to read the lengthy law with more than a hundred clauses
2. The particular lines on the roads (White, yellow, dotted…) do not exist
3. Most of the roads terribly need drastic maintenance. There are more dangerous holes in the road than the damages that a speeding driver can do.
4. The government lack the personnel to monitor this extensive law
5. The fines are too exorbitant to be taken seriously by anyone
“I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke at first,” shared Jad Dergham, a local Hamra policeman.
“Do they really expect us to stop every person for speeding and cycling without a helmet? I don’t have time for that, I still haven’t beat level 231 on Candy Crush,” said Dergham as he angrily lit a cigarette and replied to the Whatsapp messages from his mistress.
(GIF via Share Gif)
We spoke to the arresting officer of one of the young men who failed to pay extensive fines for loitering, jaywalking, and not using the pedestrian bridge.
Karim J. was arrested on Jal El Dib highway when he tried to cross over to McDonald’s for what he thought was an innocent upsized Big Mac meal.
“Karim put Lebanon’s security in danger,” stated the arresting officer who looked like a douche, as most cops do.
“Karim said there were no pedestrian bridges or sidewalks; but that’s not my problem, he should have waited for us to build some.”
Upon his release from jail, Karim was weary and reportedly walked from Antelias to Jounieh to find a pedestrian bridge to cross, in order to avoid arrest.
“I’ll always use the pedestrian bridge from now on, even if it’s not there,” he said.
But Karim is only one out of two million drivers who are currently behind bars for violating the many new sub-categories of the new law.
The new law stipulates that points be deducted from driver’s licenses after each violation, which rendered the Lebanese population license-less within hours.
Security forces confirmed that those driving without a license would not result in any point deduction, a little loophole to keep in mind.
Here at Beirut.com, we are disappointed that the point system does not take other more dire matters into consideration.
For example, we would love it if people abusing their wives or housekeepers would get points deducted from their driver’s licenses. We will settle, however, for fining men who wear flip-flops and skull-themed jewelry.
Disclaimer for the slow and un-funny: This was a satirical blog post.
“I thought it was an April Fool’s Joke at first,” shared Jad Dergham, a local Hamra policeman.
“Do they really expect us to stop every person for speeding and cycling without a helmet? I don’t have time for that; I still haven’t beat level 231 on Candy Crush,” said Dergham as he angrily lit a cigarette and replied to the Whatsapp messages from his mistress.
No Place to Hide? When investigative journalists are prosecuted for divulging secret government illegal actions
Machiavelli wrote in The Prince:
The character of the common people is mobile and easy to lead to an opinion. The real problem for the power-to-be is how to maintain this character, how to force the common people to believe when they cease to believe in the opinion of the powerful.
Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil:
The key word for those keen minds of conscientious people working on secret projects is: How to Trespass morality.
Roland Barthes wrote:
Fascism is to pressure people to express the opinions of the rulers
From a 1975 statement of Senator Frank Church to the committees of the intelligence agencies:
“The US government has perfected a tech capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air…
That capability could at any time turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left…
Such is the capability to monitor everything, telephone conversations, telegram…it doesn’t matter.
There would be No Place to Hide”
This monitoring capability has extended to internet, social platforms, mobile phones, public and private video cameras, satellite imaging, instant location capturing features…
The US government strategy, backed by Congressmen, Senators and leading journalists… was to mute Glenn Greenwald bold and direct reporting on the widespread surveillance on everyone (collective data gathering). The strategy was to label Glenn as just another blogger and an activist. Why?
Journalists in the US and in many other States have formal and unwritten legal protection that are unavailable to any one else when they reveal secret intelligence pieces through their job of investigative reporting.
Thus, robbing Glenn from this status of journalist was to expose him to legal criminal harassment.
For example, the misleading claims that he is:
1. A co-conspirator working with sources to obtain document
2. Establishing a covert communication plan to speak without being detected with sources
3. Employing flattery and playing to the sources’ vanity and ego to persuade the source to leak secrets documents
are routine tactics within the job description and methods of investigative journalists, but would not cover bloggers and activists.
Leonard Downie Jr. former executive editor of the Wash. Post, wrote in the name of the Committee to protect Journalists:
“The Obama Administration war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive since the Nixon Adm. The 30 experienced Wash Journalists at a variety of news organizations interviewed for the report could not remember any precedent (on this scale)”
“The Obama Adm. had crossed a red line that no other administration has crossed before and blown right past” said Jane Mayer in the New republic. It is a huge impediment to reporting and beyond chilling. It’s more like freezing the whole process into a standstill”
Even the NYTimes reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, who had fought all the way to the US Supreme Court in order to publish the Pentagon Papers, advocated the arrest of Glenn.
No one in the US dared confirm any “informal assurance” that Glenn would not be prosecuted if he lands in the USA.
The US government was ready to concoct a theory that Greenwald’s repeated meetings with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and in Russia and publishing reports on a “freelance basis” with newspapers around the world do fall under the criminal law of “aided and abetted” Snowden in his leaks and helped a “fugitive” flee justice or that the reports constituted some type of espionage.
It is evident that the security state in the USA is more powerful than the highest elected officials and do boast a wide array of influential loyalists.
So what kinds of reforms are necessary to check this wave of collective meta-data collection surveillance on people and institutions?
1. Targeted surveillance backed with substantial evidence of real wrongdoing
2. This “Collect it all” approach and indiscriminate mass surveillance is constitutionally illegal.
3. Using metadata analysis technique has not produced or disclosed a single terrorist plot: This a terrible burden on the budget dedicated to hiring specialized data analysts who have no clue on how to handle their job.
4. The government must provide some evidence of probable cause of wrongdoing before listening to a person conversations. That’s the job of FISA court.
5. FISA court. must be reformed so that it is not used as a rubber stamp. Converting FISA court into a real judicial system would be a positive first step in the reform
6. This trend of co-opting entities by the national security state badly needs an oversight control system to tame its abuses.
7. Building a new Internet infrastructure so that all the communication traffics have no longer to transit through the US network. European tech companies are spewing alternative special platforms to Google and Facebook intended Not to provide data to the NSA
8. More encryption programs and browsing-anonymity tools are being designed for users working in sensitive jobs such as journalists, lawyers, civil rights advocate organizations…
9. Advancing government transparency reforms
Whistle-blowers have learned that speaking the truth does not necessarily destroy their life: The side of supporters has grown immensely and are promoting the human capacity to reason and make decisions outside the boundaries of government status quo.
Note: Glenn Greenwald published 4 books. Among them:
1. With Liberty and Justice for some
2. A Tragic Legacy
3. No place to hide
He published Edward Snowden secret stories in The Guardian before co-founding the investigative publication The Intercept
Americans have yet to grasp the horrific magnitude of the ‘war on terror’
Even as the U.S. expands its military involvement in the Middle East and delays the troop drawdown from Afghanistan, the staggering human toll of the U.S. “war on terrorism” remains poorly understood.
A new report (PDF), whose release last month coincided with the 12th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, attempts to draw attention to civilian and combatant casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Yet the study, authored by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other humanitarian groups, barely elicited a whisper in the media.
Washington’s preoccupation with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other regional conflicts has largely obscured the humanitarian, economic and political toll of its “war on terrorism.”
But ISIL’s resurgence is Not unrelated to Washington’s military campaign.
“ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” President Barack Obama told Vice News last month.
Until the U.S. comes to grips with the aftereffects of its counterterrorism policies, it will continue to pursue counterproductive strategies that cause incalculable damage.
The report estimates that at least 1.3 million people have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan from direct and indirect consequences of the U.S. “war on terrorism.”
One million people perished in Iraq alone, a shocking 5% of the country’s population.
The staggering civilian toll and the hostility it has engendered erodes the myth that the sprawling “war on terrorism” made the U.S. safer and upheld human rights, all at an acceptable cost.
As the authors point out, the report offers a conservative estimate. The death toll could exceed 2 million.
Those killed in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere from U.S. drone strikes were not included in the tally.
Besides, the body count does not account for the handicapped, thewounded, the grieving and the dispossessed.
The U.S. tracks its own military deaths and physical injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Its involvement in Pakistan has been more sporadic and secretive.)
Unsurprisingly, there are no conclusive government statistics on casualties and deaths among enemy combatants and civilians. This omission is by design.
In fact, authorities have sometimes deliberately falsified details about the carnage that the U.S. has wrought.
This isn’t the first accounting on the suffering unleashed by U.S. counterterrorism efforts, but the American public remains woefully misinformed.
A 2007 poll found that Americans estimated the Iraqi death toll at 10,000.
And it is not just the body count that has been obscured.
A 2011 study by the University of Maryland found that 38% of Americans still believe that the U.S. uncovered clear evidence that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al-Qaeda, though the claim is patently untrue.
The U.S. has evinced shocking indifference to the suffering its policies have caused.
The report admonishes policymakers and the public to avoid historical amnesia about the war’s costs — a phenomenon not unique to the recent past.
A flawed understanding of the toll of the Vietnam War still persists.
The death toll of 58,000 U.S. soldiers in Vietnam may be etched into our national consciousness, but those psychologically harmed from the war faded from view (It is reported that 60,000 veterans committed suicide).
And few can correctly cite the 2 million dead Vietnamese noncombatants, the lives lost and devastation from bombings in Laos and Cambodia or the war’s enduring legacy of health and environmental harms caused by defoliants. (Three generation later, Vietnamese are born with horrible disfiguring due to Orange gas)
There are other haunting parallels as well.
The Vietnam War had a destabilizing effect in the region that allowed the Khmer Rouge to thrive in Cambodia, where it committed genocide, for which there has been no real reckoning.
It is all too easy to dismiss the fighting in the Middle East as ancient and inevitable internecine conflicts that are wholly independent of U.S. intervention.
But that account precludes a reflective and critical assessment of how the region’s disintegration unfolded.
The “war on terrorism” is not over in Afghanistan.
In December the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported that 2014 saw the highest rate of civilian deaths and injuries in the five years the organization has kept statistics.
After announcing plans to wind down U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Obama recently said nearly 10,000 U.S. soldiers would remain in the country through the end of 2015.
The use of private military contractors, for which statistics are intentionally vague, clouds the full scope of the U.S. presence there. (Recently, the US court convicted 4 contractors to a life sentence for crimes in Iraq)
Obama maintains that the target date for the final drawdown remains unchanged, but anti-war activists who hoped his election would herald the end of the George W. Bush–era aggression have reined in their relief.
The “war on terrorism” costs the U.S. not only blood but also treasure.
The Costs of War project at Brown University estimated in June 2014 that the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan would cost taxpayers “close to $4.4 trillion, not including future interest costs on borrowing for the wars,” through the end of 2014.
Last year 18% of the federal budget, or $615 billion, went to defense spending.
About 27% of 2014 tax payments went directly to the military, and an additional 18% went toward paying for past military actions. Interest costs will be at least $7.9 trillion by 2054 (PDF), unless Washington changes the way it pays its war debt. (With increased preemptive wars)
Despite the costs and inefficacy of Washington’s military interventions, support for the use of force has grown:
In three surveys by the Pew Research Center over the last decade, fewer than 40% of Americans believed in the use of force as the best strategy to combat terrorism, but recent Pew poll found that nearly half the Americans surveyed believed that military force is the best way to combat global terrorism.
The threat of terrorism has not receded in the wake of U.S. interventions.
Sanitizing the effect of Washington’s past military campaigns leads to a flawed and inhumane cost-benefit analysis for future missions.
And it provides political cover for leaders who should answer for the turmoil the U.S. has engendered.
The failure to reckon with previous miscalculations bodes ill for avoiding the same mistakes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where Washington is providing logistical support for the Saudi-led intervention.
This will not only cause unspeakable human suffering beyond our borders but also may come back to haunt us once more.
Lauren Carasik is a clinical professor of law and the director of the international human rights clinic at the Western New England University School of Law.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America’s editorial policy.
The staggering civilian toll and the hostility it has engendered erodes the myth that the sprawling “war on terrorism” made the U.S. safer and upheld human rights, all at an acceptable cost.
As the authors point …out, the report offers a conservative estimate. The death toll could exceed 2 million. Those killed in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere from U.S. drone strikes were not included in the tally. Besides, the body count does not account for the wounded, the grieving and the dispossessed.
There are 3 million internally displaced Iraqis and nearly 2.5 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.
New Words to Add in a Dictionary
We shouldn’t be explaining and describing complicated feeling and activities when a single world defines the entire meaning.
Some of these words are over-complicated but I’ll be using the ‘chairdrobe’ for sure!
The internet has spawned a new crop of words for stuff, and while you may not like all of them, some of them are really clever combos that seem like they might actually be useful!
Many of these words come from urbandictionary.com, which is basically a dictionary of modern slang.
Their site is probably the most complete dictionary of modern slang, but it’s also full chock-full of nonsense.
Most of these words are portmanteaus, which are what you get when you mash both the sounds and meanings of two words together to get a new one.
Did you know, for example, that the word ‘smog’ is a portmanteau (smoke and fog)?
‘Brunch’ (breakfast and lunch) is another one that is becoming more and more popular, although it’s been around for a while.
And if you’re eating your brunch with a spork, then that’s a portmanteau double-whammy.
Can you think of any fun new words that real modern dictionaries should adopt? If so, add them to this list!
#1 Masturdating (n) going alone to a movie or a restaurant
#2 Askhole Asking obnoxious questions
#3 Bedgasm Euphoric experience when climbing in bed after a long day
#4 Chairdrobe or floordrobe: Piling up clothes on a chair
#5 Textpectation an anticvipation feeling when waiting for response to a texting
#6 Destinesia Forgeting why you intended to go where you arrived
#7 Nonversation a smart ass word for small talk
#8 Cellfish On purpose talking on the cellphone to annoy people
#9 Errorist A frequent error maker
#10 Carcolepsy Falling asleep as the car gets moving (must exist a medical term for that ailment.)
#11 Hiberdating Ignoring close friends as we find a girlfriend
#12 Youniverse The universe revolves around their only person
#13 Internesting surrounding yourself with pillows while using internet
#14 Columbusing A white person claiming to have discovered what already existed
#15 Ambitchous surpassing the normal bitch
#16 Dudevorce Two brothers severing their friendship
#17 Unkeyboardinated Frequent typing error making
#18 Unlightening Becoming more dumb in what you’re learning
#19 Nerdjacking Filling details to an uninterested and uninitiated person
#20 Afterclap Last one to clap after everybody stopped. (The first one to clap when the music didn’t end?)
#21 Nomonym Tasting the same for otherwise two different food
#22 Beerboarding Extracting secrtets by getting someone drunk
#23 Doppelbanger Having intercourse with someone looking like you
#24 Eglaf A word that has no meaning to be substituted to a meaningless word
They passed away: Uruguay writer Eduardo Galeano and Gunter Grass (Nobel prize for literature in 2009
Uruguayan writer and journalist Eduardo Galeano, author of “Las venas abiertas de América Latina”, among other masterpieces, died today, aged 74, in Montevideo, where he lived.
His best-known works are “Las venas abiertas de América Latina” (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) and “Memoria del fuego” (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1982–86), which have both been translated into 20 languages and transcend orthodox genres, combining journalism, political analysis, and history.
The author himself has proclaimed his obsession as a writer saying, “I’m a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia.”
Gary Younge posted in July 23, 2013:
Most mornings it’s the same. At the breakfast table Uruguayan-born author, Eduardo Galeano, 72, and his wife, Helena Villagra, discuss their dreams from the night before.
“Mine are always stupid,” says Galeano. “Usually I don’t remember them and when I do, they are about silly things like missing planes and bureaucratic troubles. But my wife has these beautiful dreams.”
“There is a tradition that sees journalism as the dark side of literature, with book writing at its zenith,” he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais recently.
“I don’t agree. I think that all written work constitutes literature, even graffiti. I have been writing books for many years now, but I trained as a journalist, and the stamp is still on me. I am grateful to journalism for waking me up to the realities of the world.”
Those realities appear bleak.
“This world is not democratic at all,” he says. “The most powerful institutions, the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the World Bank, belong to three or four countries. The others are watching. The world is organised by the war economy and the war culture.”
And yet there is nothing in either Galeano’s work or his demeanour that smacks of despair or even melancholy.
While in Spain during the youth uprisings of the indignados two years ago, he met some young protesters at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. Galeano took heart from the demonstrations.
“These were young people who believed in what they were doing,” he said. “It’s not easy to find that in political fields. I’m really grateful for them.”
One of them asked him how long he thought their struggle could continue. “Don’t worry,” Galeano replied. “It’s like making love. It’s infinite while it’s alive. It doesn’t matter if it lasts for one minute. Because in the moment it is happening, one minute can feel like more than one year.”
Galeano talks like this a lot – not in riddles but enigmatically and playfully, using time as his foil.
When I ask him whether he is optimistic about the state of the world, he says: “It depends on when you ask me during the day. From 8am until noon I am pessimistic. Then from 1pm until 4 I feel optimistic.” I met him in a hotel lobby in downtown Chicago at 5pm, sitting with a large glass of wine, looking quite happy.
His world view is not complicated – military and economic interests are destroying the world, amassing increasing power in the hands of the wealthy and crushing the poor.
Given the broad historical sweep of his work, examples from the 15th century and beyond are not uncommon.
He understands the present situation not as a new development, but a continuum on a planet permanently plagued by conquest and resistance. “History never really says goodbye,” he says. “History says, see you later.”
He is anything but simplistic.
A strident critic of Obama’s foreign policy who lived in exile from Uruguay for over a decade during the 70s and 80s, he nonetheless enjoyed the symbolic resonance of Obama’s election with few illusions.
“I was very happy when he was elected, because this is a country with a fresh tradition of racism.”
He tells the story of how the Pentagon in 1942 ordered that no black people’s blood be used for transfusions for whites. “In history that is nothing. 70 years is like a minute. So in such a country Obama’s victory was worth celebrating.”
All of these qualities – the enigmatic, the playful, the historical and the realist – blend in his latest book, Children of the Days, in which he crafts a historical vignette for each day of the year. (That’s exactly what Grass did for each year in the 20thcentury)
The aim is to reveal moments from the past while contextualising them in the present, weaving in and out of centuries to illustrate the continuities.
What he achieves is a kind of epigrammatic excavation, uprooting stories that have been mislaid or misappropriated, and presenting them in their full glory, horror or absurdity.
His entry for 1 July, for example, is entitled: One Terrorist Fewer. It reads simply.
“In the year 2008, the government of the United States decided to erase Nelson Mandela’s name from its list of dangerous terrorists. The most revered African in the world had featured on that sinister roll for 60 years.” He named 12 October Discovery, and starts with the line: “In 1492 the natives discovered they were Indians, they discovered they lived in America.”
Meanwhile 10 December is called Blessed War and is dedicated to Obama’s receipt of the Nobel prize, when Obama said there are “times when nations will find the use of force not only necessary, but morally justified.”
Galeano writes: “Four and a half centuries before, when the Nobel prize did not exist and evil resided in countries not with oil but with gold and silver, Spanish jurist Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda also defended war as ‘not only necessary but morally justified’.”
And so he flits from past to present and back again, making connections with a wry and scathing wit.
His desire is to refurbish what he calls the “human rainbow. It is much more beautiful than the rainbow in the sky,” he insists. “But our militarism, machismo, racism all blinds us to it. There are so many ways of becoming blind. We are blind to small things and small people.”
And the most likely route to becoming blind, he believes, is not losing our sight but our memory.
“My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia. I wrote to recover the memory of the human rainbow, which is in danger of being mutilated.”
By way of example he cites Robert Carter III – of whom I had not heard – who was the only one of the US’s founding fathers to free his slaves. “For having committed this unforgivable sin he was condemned to historical oblivion.”
Who, I ask, is responsible for this forgetfulness? “It’s not a person,” he explains. “It’s a system of power that is always deciding in the name of humanity who deserves to be remembered and who deserves to be forgotten … We are much more than we are told. We are much more beautiful.”
Note 1: A post I published on Galeano.
To quote Oscar Guardiola-Rivera: veins are still open
Cheating Experience of a few Lebanese women
I first thought that the topic was “How women cheat on their husbands/boyfriend”. Why it is always how men cheat on girlfriend/wife?
Data have shown that it is the woman who gets bored of her man quickly, and the man is the one who can be faithful throughout a lifetime, if the woman doesn’t deny him a conjugal biological right, once or twice a week.
We asked Lebanese women about their experiences with cheating and found that most of them discovered their partner’s affairs on Facebook.
So if you want to cheat on your significant other, make sure they don’t have a Facebook account, or be a good person and just don’t cheat, whatever.
“After a four-year relationship I found out he and my best friend were getting engaged and that both families were on board. I wasn’t even invited to the engagement!” – Karla, 29.
“My fiancé of two years was going on vacations with his girlfriend the whole time we were together, all as business trips. I found out when he got tagged in a picture on Facebook at what looked like a couples trip and he confessed.” – Anonymous, 33.
“I was always suspicious that my boyfriend would be very secretive with his phone and wouldn’t even let me look through his photos. His best friend eventually told me that he had three girlfriends at the time. We were together for two years.” – Aline, 25.
“I found out my BF of six years was cheating when I saw a Whatsapp message from someone saved as a guy’s name saying how fun last night had been when he was supposed to have been with his mom at the hospital. Anyway, it turns out he saved many girls’ names under guy names and had been cheating for many years.” – Mira, 34.
“I guessed the passcode on his phone, which was 6969 by the way, and went through all his messages. He was constantly messaging another girl the whole time we were together.” – Paola, 28.
“My BF went for a semester abroad in France and I planned a huge trip to surprise him on his birthday. I got his address from one of our friends who was with him in university and when I arrived to surprise him, a girl opened the door. Apparently, she had been living there the whole time as his GF.” – Sara, 24.
“I found out when I got Chlamydia and confronted him! I told him the doctor could tell if he gave it to me or not and he just confessed to everything like a dumbass.” – Anonymous, 27.
“He had his new GF message me on Facebook saying that they had been together for a year and were planning on getting engaged.” – Anonymous, 24.
“My parents were out to dinner and saw him with another girl. First they thought it was his sister, but then he kissed her. So yeah, that was humiliating.” – Anonymous, 29.
“I made a fake Facebook account and messaged him from it. He immediately started asking me for naked pics and asking to meet up.” – Deena, 26.
“I was having a drink with my boyfriend of two years when two women walk into the bar. He then proceeds to introduce them as his wife and daughter.” – Anonymous, 25.
We asked Lebanese women about their experiences with cheating and the answers are every bit as TERRIFYING as you could possibly imagine.
“I was having a drink with my boyfriend of two years when two women walk into the bar. He then proceeds to introduce them as his wife and daughter.”