And oh, what a lovely ass that man has:Did someone forget where he came from? Aporrea thinks so:
Translation mine. Linkage added.So. Now we see how someone who has risen to the top of his world has nowhere to go but down. And this is the beginning of Ozzie’s long slide, folks. Make a note of it, so you’ll be able to trace his ignominy to its roots, because Ozzie himself certainly won’t.Funny, isn’t it, that he should pick on Guarenas, the town where his wife was born? And the town where he began his baseball career? If he’s like so many other baseball-mad Venezuelans, including Chavecito himself, chances are that he played his first games on an improvised pitch, with a ball made of rags, and a piece of scrap wood for a bat. Chavecito certainly did. But here’s the rub: Chavecito joined the army so he could get to Caracas and eventually make his way into big-league baseball (he’s a pitcher, a southpaw), and he wound up an officer, a failed rebel against a reviled turncoat, a jailbird, and then, as a civilian, an elected president. Ozzie achieved his original big-league dream, but he had to leave his country to do it. And worse, he let his adopted country rub out his roots.Now, I know a thing about Gringolandia, and that is that it has a habit of stripping things off you, the better to make you fit its anglo “melting pot”. Or Procrustean bed, more like it. One of the first thing it strips from new arrivals at Ellis Island, as my own mother found out in the mid-1960s, when she first came to work as a nanny in New York for the local Daimler-Benz importer, is their names. My mother says the immigration man tried to persuade her to change her name from Maria Welker to Mary Walker.Now, this is just a laugh. My mom, who spoke almost no English when she first arrived in New York, is fluent today, but she still has a heavy German accent. And she wasn’t even coming to immigrate; she was only there on a temporary work visa! That crazy place couldn’t even wait for her to put down roots there before it insisted on lopping her German-ness off at the name. Good thing she wound up vacationing at a cousin’s place in northern Ontario, where she met my dad and married him three months later, or heaven knows if I’d be speaking a word of German today.As it is, I am fluently and perfectly bilingual. And as you can see, my dual-language skills have other payoffs, as well; I pick up other languages easily, and my mental horizons are broad enough that I could never become a chauvinist; I can appreciate other countries on the basis of their merits, and don’t feel a pathological need to snub my nose at Germany just because I live in Canada. There are some things where Germans beat the world (beer, engineering); there are others where Canadians are superior (music, comedy, multiculturalism). It’s all good to me!That’s why I don’t understand how someone like Ozzie Guillén can forget where he comes from. I’ve been to the States, too. I loved the Minnesota prairie, the Atlantic coastline of Florida, the Arizona desert. (Disneyworld, however, underwhelmed me.) I’ve liked the people fine, for the most part. Can’t recall meeting any truly disagreeable ones face to face there. But I wouldn’t call it a cool place to live, all the same; the political climate there was scary the last time I went (not long after Ozzie’s “Viva Chávez” moment), and it’s getting scarier by the minute now. There were no teabaggers when I was there last. Now they’ve popped up and metastasized. This is just one small part of the insanity that Sean Penn was trying to strike a blow against, when he whipped it out and urinated all over Rupee Murdoch’s toy “news” channel. He was right to do so, even if a bit harsh in the way he put it. There is a substantial minority of the population which is completely divorced from sanity and reality, thanks to that camera-equipped nuthouse known as FOX News. And those people need a corrective in the worst way. (Maybe jail time for the crapagandists who brainwashed them isn’t so out of line after all.)Incidentally, Ozzie fucked up on another point, too: Sean Penn HAS been to Venezuela, more than once, and he liked what he saw, which was a process of change for the better. That’s why he defends Chavecito.If Ozzie Guillén said those things while still living and struggling in Venezuela, people there would laugh at him, call him a pitiyanki, maybe even beat the crap out of him for it. Of course he doesn’t have the balls to do it, since he no longer lives there. Ozzie’s not a mere pitiyanki anymore, he’s an apátrido, a person without a homeland because he left it in the
That Oswaldo Guillén doesn’t agree with the government of President Chávez is understandable. You can see that since he acquired US citizenship 4 years ago, something that neither Roberto Clemente (who wouldn’t let the gringos change his name) nor David Concepción ever did, because they knew very well that those who forget their roots bear no fruit, or those fruits won’t last.It seems a long time since 2005, when, flushed with victory in the World Series (North American, please note), Guillén defended President Chávez without a thought for anything but the reality before his eyes, in his native land.Today, we wake to the news that on his Twitter page (@ozzieguillen), he has launched an attack against Sean Penn, much more bravely than he would if he had to defend the reign of the president of a country not his own.Guillén wrote such statements as “What a clown this little gringo is who lives such a cool life in the United States”, or “Sean Penn should go live in Venezuela so he’ll stop talking so much shit stupid leftist go to Guarenas and see”. Guillén, with notable orthographic errors, assailed Penn, but at the same time he also attacked Guarenas, a town that gave him all he had: love, warmth, freedom, solidarity and the many baseball fields where Guillén, born in Ocumare del Tuy in 1964, went through his baptism of fire, practiced and prepared to arrive at where he is today.Long lost (if they still remain) in Guillén’s memory are those blocks of Oropeza Castillo, the bus stop where he waited for Guarenas-born Ibys, his wife, the meetings with other local baseball players, the joy of the children, and the courage of a town that rose up in the Caracazo against inequality. That same inequality which Guillén sensed in his childhood and teen years, the same in Ocumare as in Guarenas.We don’t know if Guillén’s Orishas agree with his written declarations, and we don’t know if he remembers the origins of the rhythms he loves so much.What we do know is that today, the people of Guarenas will be indignant at the declarations of Guillén, who painted their town as insecure, without a future–as shit, basically, and all to offend Sean Penn and President Chávez.We hope you’re happy, Ozzie, now that we know you don’t care about your homeland, and that you have no gratitude for those who gave you so much love. But don’t worry. Venezuela will keep moving forward without you, because we have the zest and the convictions that you don’t. And clearly we will overcome, something we don’t know if you will do.
lurch. In this dubious club, he joins a number of other gutterbound ex-Venezuelans, most notably the talentless Maria Conchita Alonso, whose brother consorts with right-wing paramilitaries, and whose most notable (not-so-)recent achievement was to show off her nude nether regions to the world. Now, it looks like Ozzie has metaphorically done the same. And he’s about to find himself just as well respected at home for it…that is, if he still has a home.