martes, enero 29, 2008

Lo mejor del 2007

Al igual que el año pasado Hijodelmedio entra en un merecido receso por vacaciones con lo que se supone es lo mejor del Periodismo estadounidense publicado durante el año pasado y que está recopilado en The Best American Magazine Writing 2007. Son 18 artículos, la mayoría internacionales, pero todos producto de investigaciones profundas y escrituras limpias y cargadas contenidos periodístico, incluso a pesar que muchas parecen provenir de temas ya no dan para más. Destacan el artículo de William Langeswiesche - famoso por haber sido el primer periodista que hizo un retrato de Douglas Tompkins y que publicó en la Athlantic- en el que relata una masacre de civiles en Irak. Otro del británico nacionalizado estadounidense Christopher Hitchens, polémico columnistas y escritor a quien La Tercera lo tiene en sus páginas. La mayoría de los artículos tienen que ver con otros países, con conflictos bélicos, medioambientales y tendencias. Temas que generalmente en Chile no serían considerados por ningún motivo como portada de alguna importante revista.

Por William Langeswiesche
Artículo Vanity Fair

I. One Morning in November
The Euphrates is a peaceful river. It meanders silently through
the desert province of Anbar like a ribbon of life, fl anked by the
greenery that grows along its banks, sustaining palm groves and
farms, and a string of well- watered cities and towns. Fallujah,
Ramadi, Hit, Haditha. These are among the places made famous
by battle—conservative, once quiet communities where American
power has been checked, and where despite all the narrow
mea sures of military success the Sunni insurgency continues to
grow. On that short list, Haditha is the smallest and farthest
upstream. It extends along the Euphrates’ western bank with a
population of about 50,000, in a disarray of dusty streets and
individual houses, many with walled gardens in which private
jungles grow. It has a market, mosques, schools, and a hospital
with a morgue. Snipers permitting, you can walk it top to bottomArt´
in less than an hour, allowing time enough to stone the
dogs. Before the American invasion, it was known as an idyllic
spot, where families came from as far away as Baghdad to while
away their summers splashing in the river and sipping tea in the
shade of trees. No longer, of course. Now, all through Anbar,
and indeed the Middle East, Haditha is known as a city of death,
or more simply as a name, a war cry against the United States.

Por Christopher Hitchens
Artículo Síndrome Vietnam
To be writing these words is, for me, to undergo the severest test of my core belief—that sentences can be more powerful than pictures. A writer can hope to do what a photographer cannot: convey how things smelled and sounded as well as how things looked. I seriously doubt my ability to perform this task on this occasion. Unless you see the landscape of ecocide, or meet the eyes of its victims, you will quite simply have no idea. I am content, just for once—and especially since it is the work of the brave and tough and undeterrable James Nachtwey—to be occupying the space between pictures.

The very title of our joint subject is, I must tell you, a sick joke to begin with. Perhaps you remember the jaunty names of the callous brutes in Reservoir Dogs: "Mr. Pink," "Mr. Blue," and so on? Well, the tradition of giving pretty names to ugly things is as old as warfare. In Vietnam, between 1961 and 1971, the high command of the United States decided that, since a guerrilla struggle was apparently being protected by tree cover, a useful first step might be to "defoliate" those same trees. Famous corporations such as Dow and Monsanto were given the task of attacking and withering the natural order of a country. The resulting chemical weaponry was euphemistically graded by color: Agent Pink, Agent Green (yes, it's true), Agent Purple, Agent Blue, Agent White, and—spoken often in whispers—Agent Orange. This shady gang, or gang of shades, all deferred to its ruthless chief, who proudly bore the color of hectic madness. The key constituent of Agent Orange is dioxin: a horrifying chemical that makes total war not just on vegetation but also on the roots and essences of life itself. The orange, in other words, was clockwork from the start. If you wonder what the dioxin effect can look like, recall the ravaged features of Viktor Yushchenko—ironically, the leader of the Orange Revolution.

Por Andrew Corsello
Artículo Zimbawue
Jim Steele was mad as hell. His blacks were messing with the farm, with the land, and the land was always personal. He'd been born on this farm. Like many Rhodesians, his parents had planted his umbilical cord in the ground so the boy's life and the good earth would nourish each other forever. This land held the blood of his dead brother, his soul mate, thirteen months younger, who at age 19 had reached into the truck for the shotgun and accidentally tripped its hammers, taking both barrels in the stomach and crying "My God!" as he fell. The blood of my brother in the ground. Though Steele called himself a Christian, the earth itself was his real religion; and his good and proper use of it, a form of worship. Any abuse of the earth or the fruit it brought forth was an assault on his person.

Por Susan Casey
Artículo El Plástico se come el Océano
Fate can take strange forms, and so perhaps it does not seem unusual that Captain Charles Moore found his life’s purpose in a nightmare. Unfortunately, he was awake at the time, and 800 miles north of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.It happened on August 3, 1997, a lovely day, at least in the beginning: Sunny. Little wind. Water the color of sapphires. Moore and the crew of Alguita, his 50-foot aluminum-hulled catamaran, sliced through the sea.Returning to Southern California from Hawaii after a sailing race, Moore had altered Alguita’s course, veering slightly north. He had the time and the curiosity to try a new route, one that would lead the vessel through the eastern corner of a 10-million-square-mile oval known as the North Pacific subtropical gyre.

This was an odd stretch of ocean, a place most boats purposely avoided. For one thing, it was becalmed. “The doldrums,” sailors called it, and they steered clear. So did the ocean’s top predators: the tuna, sharks, and other large fish that required livelier waters, flush with prey. The gyre was more like a desert—a slow, deep, clockwise-swirling vortex of air and water caused by a mountain of high-pressure air that lingered above it.

Por Sandra Tsing Loh
Artículo Mamás de Guerra
More and more these days, reading women’s writing fills me with a vague, creeping, slightly nauseating feeling. Lying in bed the other night, cradling some seltzer water, my stomach gurgling, the word for my malaise suddenly came to me: “afflufemza,” wherein the problems of affluence are recast as the struggles of feminism, and you find yourself in a dreamlike state of reading firstperson essays about it, over and over again. We’ve always had rich mothers, of course; it’s just that the boundaries between the privileged and the unused to be clearer. Back in the eighties, for instance, I was among the many couch, or at least futon, potatoes who used to love Dynasty—the Mothra-versus-Godzilla grapplings of the Carringtons and the Colbys, of Joan Collins’s deliciously nasty Alexis and Linda Evans’s nurturing, oddly affectless Krystle. Alexis was the Execu-Bitch; Krystle, the Saintly Wife. It was the eternal female ur-struggle, ever campy, ever watchable, ever conveniently framed for us—out there in the distance—by that swoopily hammy Bill Conti score, those soaring trumpets, those glittering Denver skyscrapers.
Twenty years later, gone are big hair, big diamonds, and big shoulder pads. In their place, among America’s most affluent mothers, is a kind of gnawing, grinding anxiety—and a mediacentric conviction that this fretfulness is somehow that of every woman. Or so it appears in the just-published Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families, edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner. The cover flap describes the angst thus:

Por C.J. Chivers
Artículo De Chechenia a Beslán
September 1. Afternoon. The Gym.
Kazbek Misikov stared at the bomb hanging above his family. It was a simple device, a plastic bucket packed with explosive paste, nails, and small metal balls. It weighed perhaps eight pounds. The existence of this bomb had become a central focus of his life. If it exploded, Kazbek knew, it would blast shrapnel into the heads of his wife and two sons, and into him as well, killing them all.

Throughout the day he had memorized the bomb, down to the blue electrical wire linking it to the network of explosives the terrorists had strung around them hours before. Now his eyes wandered, panning the crowd of more than eleven hundred hostages who had been seized in the morning outside the school. The majority were children, crouched with their parents and teachers on the basketball court. The temperature had risen with the passing hours, and their impromptu jail had become fetid and stinking with urine and fear. Many children had undressed. Sweat ran down their bare backs.


1 Comentarios:

Blogger Jorge A. Gómez Arismendi dijo...

Veamos cómo será el 2008...Saludos

4:17 p. m.  

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