Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Atlantean Thrones and the Valve

I can’t sleep, again. I see them all over me, figures that look like demons, human with horns of all kinds, twisted and spiraling in different directions, all of them running towards me trying to hurt me, I have something at the ready to bring them down too, it’s not like I run through the tunnels without being at the ready in one way or the other.

It’s the valve, that stupid moss colored valve that continues to push forth all this shit through the tunnels, and everywhere in general, but I can’t fully blame it, I am responsible for bringing them here too, without caring much as to what consequences this could have in the long run, although I must admit that only very few have ever managed to achieve anything of particular value, the scoreboard still gives us more points than all of their houses combined, also if they were not breaking each other down every time they see the opportunity they would have achieved more, this was also done on purpose though, one of the few things I am proud of them is that they control their own population by their own means.

Back to the damned valve, it’s not the valve itself, hidden inside a temple over at a city that was swallowed by the desert twenty thousand years ago, it’s the energy its attached to that makes it a gateway, to be blunt, this valve belonged to the main reactor line inside the core of Atlantis, once the valve was closed and the valve pulled off the reactor went very fast into critical mass, the entire city at that point had been lost to the madness of the inhabitants, Lovecraft described it better than anyone else, this city with strange non-geometrical forms that make no sense to the human mind, considering that the human mind was and continues to be in a rather primitive state in comparison to our Atlantean cousins this is understandable, they went too far, too deep, too fast, in the end the city was more of a hellish landscape than an actual city of “Peace and Prosperity” as it once had been announced, the only logical thing to do back then was to sink it and sink it we did, we also, by we I mean I, miscalculated the amount of time it would take for the reactor to go critical and we barely made it out, while this did not destroy the city in its entirety it brought it down into the pacific ocean where it will probably remain for another millennia, a couple of centuries if humanity figures out the importance of the city.

We go back to the valve, again; the energy emanated from the reactor and the inhabitants permeated on everything, the world is full of this energy which is not visible from outside Earth due to a long standing veil created to protect humanity from what lives outside of our home planet, this works both ways so we can’t see anything and they can’t see us, but we also have to deal with our own demons and no one is ready to face an onslaught of Atlanteans, not yet.

All except a few are ready, one sits at the Throne of the Pillars, the throne of one of the Atlantean Lords when the city still existed, there is a gate behind the throne which connected to one of the gates inside the core, while this gate is currently not functioning due to the energy being cut off from the core it could potentially be re-routed to be used through other gates, the danger this poses to the planet is considerable but there are two problems.

The first problem is that there is little recollection of the existence of the pillars and their purpose, those who know do not visit as there is no reason to, in another plane this is a small fortress with no visible purpose other than watch the crossing of the Mediterranean through close proximity from Gibraltar, it is no coincidence that the British decided to keep it.

The second problem is that of those who do visit and stay there have a tendency of going mad with seclusion, since this is a small fortress there is nothing inside of it aside from a set of barracks, a small patio and the throne room where the pillars can be seen, the current guardian holds no objection with being there but it does not stay there often citing no need to do so. I do not concur with the guardian but it is also understandable that after one hundred thousand years it is near impossible for the gate to be used in any way or form, it is also possible that the gate is non-functional from this side too but we go back to square one, by the time Atlantis fell mostly everyone had forgotten how the things around them worked and everything was taken as-is, if it worked fine, if it didn’t it was lost, there was no way to fix it, only the school of engineers had a slight idea of how things worked but going through the voluminous materials available to them was an impossible task for anyone.

Even today I still have not managed to go through the entirety of the archives, I have sat for centuries, reincarnating time and time again, just to try and figure out chapters which are so esoteric that only those who wrote them would ever understand what they meant, if they even understood what they were writing about.

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Establishment of the Sacrosanct Yayerum Empire

This is a bit of information that has been going around in my head lately, I have had this discussion with myself plenty of times and I am putting it down in stone, the main reason being to formalize it, the real reason is that I do not forget all of the little details.

I’ll talk about this in different points, trying to stay on target as much as I can:

1) The Yayeri and Ban

The Yayeri are anthropomorphic fox like creatures that have resided most of their life in the continent of Ban’loi, the Land of the Sun God in their language, with little contact with the exterior, since the continent is located on the southern hemisphere of the world the continent has considerably low temperatures that allow for little farming periods, furthermore there is little to use as cover from the elements aside from burrows where the primitive Yayeri lived.

Ban, from whom little is known, was a curious Yayerum that was the first to organize the Yayeri into larger tribes and use this power for the better, war was never an issue with the Yayeri, their communities were far too little and sparsely communicated, a war for resources or dominance would have given little back and a union was conceived for a greater purpose.

While primitive, the Yayeri had stone tools and had tampered with the idea of building deeper burrows for larger families, Ban guided the tribes to build on the side of the larger mountain sides of Ban Senoi, as it is known today the Ribs of the Sun God as these would come to protect the Yayeri and their progress as a civilization.

During the initial digging the Yayeri found a deep cavern system high enough into the mountain range, these caverns were large enough to accommodate most of the tribes, the digging project at the bottom was left and the tribes moved into these systems, but with this came new problems, heating primarily and a new system to move resources from the valley had to be conceived to get what was needed at the top, the Yayeri from this event would slowly split into two groups, those who remained in Ban Senoi and those who would become the inhabitants of the Ban Illin, the Womb of the Sun God.

From this period on little is known, the legend of Ban is formed from a heroic feat, being inside the cavern system Ban found what was believed to be the top of the mountain from the inside, breaking through with one mighty blow brought down part of the cavern ceiling, with it came light and ice, a river would rapidly form, lakes and canals created to route the water and use it in farming, Ban disappeared afterwards, the Yayeri claim that this event came to be the ascension.

2) The formation of the religious head and leader in absentia, the Emperor

In the fantasy setting that I have built for years there is one title that is above all, the title of Emperor of the Draconian Empire, the evolution of this title happens through several events related to Dracontyr, the first Emperor, but will continue to evolve through the next thousand years.

With Ban gone the tribes had no leader to follow up on the steps, a consensus was reached that someone would rule in absence until the return where Ban would guide them again, through a complicated evolution the title of ruler also became the religious head, the Cult of Ban rapidly grew and with it came very severe rules to control events that were slowly getting out of hand.

Establishing two main tribes allowed for those living in the valley to concentrate on farming, those that lived in the mountain range could concentrate in production of other items, this included the formation of a military caste in charge of keeping order, specially with those living in the valley who continuously came to question the rule of the Emperor.

Through exploration the Yayeri came in contact with other members of their own species spread all over the continent, these continued to live in small burrows, some would come to immediately join the tribes, others would oppose and a few would want nothing to do with either party, a bloody war would ravage most of the valley and surrounding areas, never to reach those who lived in the mountain range, the Emperor would see that everyone came into the fray of Ban one way or the other.

3) The declaration of the Sacrosanct Empire

The unification took a considerable time, Emperors would come and go during this time-span, a more rigid control was enacted to keep the tribes in check and with this came the era of the establishment of the Ban’Zin, the Laws of the Sun God. The laws brought changes such as the formal division of the tribes around the Ban’Loi, a census came to be passed and with it forced recruitment for the Ban’Tan, the Hand of the Sun God, the “personal army” of Ban and thus the Emperor, as Ban was not around to command them, except in the rare case when a dream came to the Emperor that mandated to do something, the Emperor would have full control of this army.

With the continuous expansion and rule over the Ban’Loi a formal declaration was made, the Ban Senoi would become the Temple and Holy City of Ban, the center of Ban’Loi and from where control and orders were to be sent from, leaders of each region would be established, trade and commerce would be centralized in the Holy City, the Sacrosanct Yayerum Empire, the Most Holy Government over All, was declared.

Note: The Yayeri did not have a term for other races or civilizations until much later, during the establishment and expansion of the Draconian Empire, thus the Yayeri understood this declaration as referring to All, to this date they still tend to refer to everything this way, only changing the term when referring to ALL of other SPECIES. Yayerum Draconis / Yayerum Humanes (All of the Draconians / All of the Humans)

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Old Man and the Black Bridge

The old man traveled through the canal admiring the surrounding area, what once had been a decadent yet sprawling city was now dormant, a slowly banishing legacy of times where humanity prospered beyond the ghastly domes and spires they called home.

The old man knew the surrounding area well up to the main bridge everyone called the black bridge, no one dared cross from that point on with no specific reason as to why this was like this, the old man was not superstitious but did care more for his life than younger peers, many of which never made it back many years ago.

His raft was somewhat impressive considering the type of material used was rare to find, the old man played it off and ignored the requests to know more of the source, in reality the old man knew quite well what was beyond the black bridge.

While young this man had traveled to the black bridge and beyond, discovered a large settlement that thrived by trading with the neighbors to the north and south of their location, some of these neighbors knew quite well of a place where they could get some quality metal.

This metal would indeed prove to be a valuable trading commodity, the old man at that time had helped dismantle some of the old ships in order to recycle the materials, for this effort he was rewarded considerably with land, a house and enough trading currency to live a few years in basic comfort without the need to work.

But the young man decided to leave this behind and move north, to where the old Corporations ruled for many years and where their left over monuments littered the horizon, many works also being undertaken to bring them down for new uses, destroying a history they did not wish to remember.

During one of the operations the group in which he worked made a discovery that chilled them to the bone, a human trapped in a metal cocoon, alive, waking this human up had been a terrible mistake as it took wrathful vengeance upon them, they ran, not too far but they ran.

The young man was the last one alive, the ghost of the old world warned him about coming for him if he ever returned to this land and to warn the rest to leave or suffer the same fate, the young man warned anyone who would hear him and kept running back home.

To this date the old man watches the black bridge, he was saw the silhouette of a figure he immediately recognized as the ghost of the old world, for a day they looked at each other without making a move, the ghost faded and so did the spirit of the young man.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Death does not always mean change

The city changes and I feel nostalgia, I am starting to understand why it becomes such a big thing when one grows up and sees everything slowly change or go away, Tijuana is changing at a fast rate, there are medium sized buildings showing up everywhere around the west side of the city, the place where I grew up has most houses building a second floor or fixing it to a more modern standard, the old fad of imported cars is almost gone, people are driving newer cars but the streets are becoming full, even the highway is starting to look too packed for a city that was never intended to grow this big, downtown is also changing fast, the old 90’s downtown of two dollars for one beer is going out, most buildings have mysteriously burnt down and being replaced by larger buildings that can take up half a block, Plaza Rio is getting a five story parking section when twenty five years ago you would not half of the original floor parking full at any given time.

One thing that has not changed, even if newspapers don’t talk too much about it, are the violent crimes in this city, from the late 80’s to this date it has been a common occurrence, the level of gore and explicit sadism became something that headlined newspapers during one of the most violent waves of crime from 2008 to 2010.

Why all of this? Because the city, this country and Mexican culture have shown me that death is an everyday thing and I have become somewhat desensitized.

The first time I saw someone die was in 2004, I was going to work and dropped near Plaza Rio, when I was about to cross from one side of the avenue to the other a man ran, all of a sudden a Honda crashes with him as the man is running through the other side of the avenue, the man flew a couple of meters, his shoes came flying out, I just remembered that back in the 90’s I saw a lot of shoes hanging from wires around the place where I lived and school, not sure why. So the person flew, shoes off, he dropped and cracked his head wide open, I was about to run to drag him but when I saw this I stood there, staring at the corpse, it didn’t take long for an ambulance to come over and declare him dead on the spot, the man driving the car had stopped and was horrified at what had happened, probably out of shame, fear or any other reason but he remained there until they took the corpse away and then the police took him away, I was late to work for about an hour but I gave no explanation.

Some time later I was going back from work, probably somewhere around 2008 or 2009, and I was walking close to a taco stand that has been there since the beginning of time, the place was empty, the street, everything was quiet, the guy serving was alone and looked nervous, I asked him what was wrong and he said someone had been gunned down just half a block away where a mechanics shop was, I asked him if someone had called the police, he wasn’t sure and he wasn’t about to start doing so, I asked for some tacos and walked to the place, metal doors had been shot through, at least forty bullet holes, I could make a silhouette of what looked like a body and what looked like bullets holes in the bricks at the end, I got back to the taco stand and called the police from a payphone next to it, I didn’t give my name, police came a couple of minutes later and were doing their thing, I was eating tacos.

During that same period I was working at a factory that was doing medical devices, I was in the IT department and sometimes I would stay late to fix something that could definitely not be fixed during normal hours, that day I was with a co-worker who was finishing something else and we lingered for a while until we noticed it being far too late, we moved out and found a group of production engineers outside the plant who were having a smoke and coffee while chatting about some pending items, we joined them for a while, then we heard it, rapid firing from a couple of blocks away and a truck speeding away hauling ass, we also hauled ass but for whatever reason we walked down to the main boulevard and there it was, a police blockade and three police pickup trucks lined one against the other, we had to go around and once we did we were in front of the police trucks, by chance the blockade ended there and we were staring at eight corpses of police officers, the gruesome scenario shocked us both, I can still remember one of the police officers missing half of his head with everything splattered on what was left of the back window, another officer was leaning against his door trying to pickup something, probably his rifle, and was twisted in the most disheartening way, I can still see the image in my head clearly, these people were living human beings and regardless of who their were, their profession, if they were clean or not, they were dead and had been left as terrifying sculptures to prove it.

In another instance we were returning to work from lunch, as we were going up hill from the same street where we had previously seen the dead officers we saw a car crashed against a light pole, the person inside was leaning on the steering wheel, the person was obviously gone and it was not the crash, someone had got to this person and crashing there had been the end result.

On the rare occasion when I was at my desk someone noticed that there was a military truck down on some of the houses below the industrial park, at first the military had done nothing, some police officers were in the scene but were also waiting for something, after a while the military went into a house in the middle of relatively empty lot, we assumed that they were rescuing someone from inside the house, it took them some time to get back out, once they did they came out with corpses covered in white sheets, a lot of corpses, all being loaded into the military truck, we never saw any hostages.

Another co-worker back then was hanging with the wrong crowd, he was a good person though, recently married, had bought a new motorcycle and was visiting this guy at his mechanic shop, this guy in particular had worked with narcs and supposedly he was out of it, but everyone knows that you can’t go out of this without paying a hefty price, so our co-worker had gone with this person at the end of his shift on a Friday, other co-workers were to join him but for one reason or the other they never got there, from what we understand the person in question was not at the shop that day, only his assistant, and our co-worker, some henchmen went into the shop and started asking for the owner, the mechanic, and something about drugs that were owned to their boss, long story short the assistant was burnt on the backyard of the shop and our co-worker was shot thirteen times in the face, when we were informed of his death and eventual funeral we thought it to be a joke only to find him on the coffin a couple of days before Christmas.

              A friend, I knew him briefly, who made the original iron front logo for a metal bar, El Divan de Alivia, that does not exist anymore, only in our hearts, but this person had a heart of gold, this man would help anyone he could, a true friend but a person with problems, with debts, his choice was eventually to go do the wrong thing, apparently he was successful in his task but was shot in the back of the head at the end of the heist, the owner of the bar knew something was up but did not suspect that something like this was to happen, when the funeral was done I did not attend because I felt I did not know him well enough to be there, a lot of people went though, that’s just me.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Death to all Tyrants

The man with the hat and the kid ride Justice to the statue of mother Leucippe, a marble statue standing on a large pedestal, standing on her right foot, left leg extended back, on her left hand a large piece of cloth with something written in it, on her right hand a large spear extended forward as if trying to pierce something or someone, her head looking forward with a face of pain and wrath, on her left cheek a tear rolling down halfway.

As both got close the man with the hat read the plaque: “Here you find what is left of mother Leucippe, mother to all kings and empress of the world. What she has given only she can take”

“What does that mean?” Asked the kid at the man with the hat

“What part of it all?” Asked the man with the hat back


“It is split in three parts, the first part talks about what is left of her, no one knows where Leucippe rests” The kid looked intrigued at the statue

“So how do they know that this is how she looked?”

“No one knows, this is an assumption, if you look closely her face has little details on her, she is the unknown mother of the world”

“Why is she the mother of the world?”

“Legend says that she gave birth to the first king of all men, if this is true then she is mother to all kings and the empress of the world, in other words she has given birth to all of those who control the world”

“But aren’t those bad people?”

“Some of them, but the way to hell is paved with good intentions so I can’t tell you, you need to use your own judgement, what I can tell you though is that she is a vengeful mother and one that does not take lightly on tyranny, she is said to have given birth to the first kill but also of killing him, the first regicide of the world”

“Is that why she carries a spear on her right hand?”

“Most certainly, it is symbolic too you know? To signify that no one is out of her reach, that is also why she carries that piece of cloth with her, so that all that sees may know that from the very cloth of that same king she killed she wrote a letter to the world”

“What does it say?”

“A mothers last wish is the death of her own son, but when her son kills all others there is no choice, a mother must do what she will, from her ripped to life has come a tyrant and all tyrants must be put to death, by her own hand back to other fields to bring health to other wombs, it is by my own hand that this and all tyrants are to rest, death to all tyrants”

Thursday, October 25, 2018

There's shadowmen on the beach

There's shadowmen on the beach,
watching from twirls at the edge of sight
Lost lives at sea, finding full dread
in a mirror world, they howl and scream
The guardian, the thousand eyes
monolith beast smirks from afar,
translucid sight lost in the seas
where shadowmen cry

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Resumen del capítulo Arqueología e Historia de las Ideas: La Arqueología del saber. Michel Foucault

Arqueología e Historia de las Ideas. –
Foucault plantea las diferencias entre lo que se denomina la Historia de las Ideas, este sistema que no parece estar bien definido o suena como algo demasiado engorroso y complicado para poder ser trabajado apropiadamente, sumido en miles de posibilidades que están atadas directamente a las mentalidades que estudian, y la Arqueología, que define un aparato que no fuese formalizador ni interpretativo.

La Historia de las Ideas. –
Se puede describir la Historia de las Ideas como la Historia de las mentalidades, como la disciplina de las interferencias, la que estudia los comienzos y los fines, describiendo las continuidades oscuras y de los retornos, de la reconstitución de los desarrollos en la forma lineal de la historia, atravesar las disciplinas existentes para tratarlas e interpretarlas, es más un estilo de análisis y un sistema de perspectiva en donde se habla del fondo empírico y no reflexivo, describe el paso del no-ser al ser, habla de nacimientos sordos, de génesis, continuidad y totalización, de aquello que está mal fundamentado y no tiene sistema formal, la filosofía espontanea de aquellos que no filosofaban[1].

Un ejemplo que explica dentro de esta sección da a entender cómo es que la Historia de las Ideas funciona en práctica:

Existen tres pasos que toma este conocimiento que viaja del saber científico, al filosófico y eventualmente a las obras literarias[2], aunque consideremos que también puede viajar del conocimiento filosófico al científico y ahí a la literatura, no debemos tampoco entender que ese modelo está escrito en piedra ni que la literatura no pueda fungir como iniciador o intermediario, este es simplemente el ejemplo que Foucault presenta.

Un ejemplo mas palpable es el de la Ciencia Ficción como Literatura, en su momento tuvo un auge considerable y hoy esta ramificado y vive al margen, el estudio de esta rama nos demuestra que su nombre deriva, de manera algo obvia, de ciencias mas duras que en algunos casos pasaron por otras ramas, como la Historia (Asimov y su antología de Fundación), Política, (Heinlein y Tropas del Espacio) o Filosofía (Heinlein y Forastero en tierra extraña), la escalera presentada funciona de arriba hacia abajo y viceversa al realizar un análisis sobre estos temas que en su momento fueron una novedad y hoy viven generalmente al margen a excepción cuando algo quiebra el paradigma o el modelo sobre el cual fue construido para, eventualmente, caer hacia el borde.

Desde este meta, alejado en la temporalidad y espacio en el que fue construido, se estudia esta trinidad, la trabaja el Historiador, Antropólogo, Sociólogo o quien sea que tome el interés en esta rama, estudian algo caduco, su propósito es encontrar todo aquello que esta oculto, tratar de obtener nuevos significados que se nos han escapado.

Pero no todo es tan glorioso en este mundo de lo marginal, y si somos honestos el trabajar o vivir con lo marginal no siempre ha sido bien visto en la historia de la humanidad, el hecho de buscar trabajar con este tipo de material presenta varias dificultades, mas allá de que buscamos hablar de un discurso que puede o no existir y que se está forzando sobre el objeto de estudio, por lo anterior debemos poner en la mesa la complejidad de aterrizar una idea apropiadamente, la delimitación y discriminación de fuentes puede ser complicado debido a la posibilidad de abundancia de ellas, tal vez Foucault peca de esto en Vigilar y Castigar, y parafraseando al mismo Foucault la Historia de las ideas estudian un objeto incierto, con fronteras mal dibujadas y métodos tomados de acá y allá, sin rectitud ni fijeza[3].

La Arqueología. –
¿Qué es la Arqueología que menciona Foucault? A través de La arqueología del saber ha explicado una serie de nociones, que incluye la formación discursiva, positivad y archivo, y un dominio, que son los enunciados, el campo enunciativo y las practicas discursivas, si bien menciona que es algo pretensioso agregar un sistema más para el estudio del discurso cuando ya existen varios antes que este. El propósito de liberarse o distanciarse de la Historia de las Ideas, sobre la cual el mismo ha caído, es una de las razones de la existencia de lo que él denomina Arqueología.

La razón mas importante expuesta por Foucault, o la única tal vez, resuena profundamente en mi ser Historiador, no puedo condenarlo ni juzgarlo, aunque sé que varios debieron hacerlo en su momento, la porción que menciona puede reducirse apropiadamente en el siguiente renglón:

La extrema fidelidad del Historiador hacia lo que añora, la gran sombra de otro tiempo.[4]

Si esto no hace temblar a un Historiador es por una de dos razones, es muy ciego y mantiene una fe muy cerrada sobre lo que estudia o no comprende lo que está haciendo, aunque lo pretenda, por ende, este tipo de Historiador tiembla cuando le preguntan: “¿Para qué sirve la Historia?”

A falta de espacio los cuatro puntos que define Foucault para diferenciar la Arqueología de la Historia de las Ideas se definen de la siguiente forma, estos se encuentran de la página 233 a la 235 de la obra anteriormente citada:

1.     Estudia los discursos propiamente, en tanto que prácticas que obedecen a unas reglas. Se dirige al discurso en su volumen propio, a título de monumento. No es una disciplina interpretativa: no busca “otro discurso” más escondido. Se niega a ser “alegórica”.

2.     Definir los discursos en su especificidad, mostrar en que el juego de las reglas que ponen en obra es irreductible a cualquier otro; seguirlos a lo largo de sus aristas exteriores y para subrayarlos mejor, lo anterior me hace recordar la microhistoria italiana en donde el objeto de estudio es descrito por medio de lo que le rodea, un ejemplo sería el cuadro de La Mona Lisa.

3.     No trata de captar el momento en que esta se ha desprendido del horizonte anónimo, ni psicología, ni sociología, ni más generalmente antropología de la creación. Define unos tipos y reglas de prácticas discursivas que atraviesan unas obras individuales, que a veces las gobiernan por entero y las dominan sin que se les escape nada.

.     No se proponer tratar de restituir lo que ha podido ser, no trata de repetir lo que ha sido dicho incorporándosele en su misma identidad. No es la vuelta al secreto mismo del origen, es la descripción sistemática de un discurso-objeto.

[1] Michel Foucault, “La Arqueologia del Saber” (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores Argentina, 2002) p. 230 - 232
[2] Ibid p. 231
[3] Ibid p. 229
[4] Ibid p. 232

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Ensayo de Las Palabras y las Cosas, Michel Foucault

Las Meninas. -
No tomo el primer tema porque sea lo primero que aparece en el texto de Las Palabras y las Cosas, lo tomo debido a que las consideraciones realizadas por Michel Foucault respecto al cuadro de Las Meninas, el cuadro de Velázquez, son importantes para el Historiador en la actualidad y durante mi carrera he tenido la oportunidad de comprender algunas de ellas.

La relación que sostiene el ejemplo presentado con la realidad del Historiador se puede descubrir en una pequeña porción de lo que menciona Foucault al principio de este capítulo, “podría adivinarse lo que el pintor ve, si fuera posible lanzar una mirada sobre la tela en la que trabaja; pero de esta solo se percibe la trama, los montantes en la línea horizontal y, en la vertical, el sostén oblicuo del caballete”[1].

El deseo oculto del Historiador jamás será cumplido, el conocer la Historia en si es una imposibilidad que le somete a analizar constantemente su objeto de estudio por medio de diferentes herramientas, métodos y procesos, la burbuja temporal que observa, ese fenómeno del que tanto esta enamorado, es solo un reflejo cada vez más lejano de la realidad que se presentó, y en este caso se plasmó.

¿Sera acaso un pesimismo el que absorbe entonces al Historiador, para que trabajar entonces en un tema que jamás puede llegar a conocer en su totalidad, o es acaso algo más que le aferra a continuar buscando en significados, interpretaciones y etimologías lo que es este, su objeto de estudio, ante el resto del mundo? Una opinión muy personal del tema es que el Historiador es como el Clérigo, estudia y trabaja su religión y confía en que su Dios existe, aunque jamás lo ha visto, de la misma forma el Historiador es ciego en este sentido al estudiar y trabajar lo que es su ciencia, o arte, o cualquiera que sea su denominación, y confía en que la Historia existe.[2]

Dejando el pesimismo de lado consideremos entonces el cuadro, podemos llegar a comprenderlo de diferentes maneras, como lo hemos mencionado anteriormente, y esto se deriva del método de observación, metodología o procesos involucrados, pero a esto no podemos agregar el trasplantar nuestra psique al siglo XVII para comprender en plena totalidad lo que se trató de hacer implícito en el cuadro y que desde el siglo XXI se nos oculta y que por más que tratemos de evadir es donde nos encontramos posicionados para mirar hacia el pasado. 

El cuadro de Las Meninas es uno de muchos ejemplos en los cuales podemos basarnos para hablar de este tema, todo lo que existe lo hace en este momento, no existe un ayer para el cuadro ni un mañana, es un hoy en el que esta presente, en el cual se interpreta, el objeto no ha cambiado de ninguna manera, aunque puede estar conservado o encontrarse en un peor estado del que se encontraba originalmente, esto no le hace ser mas diferente de lo que es por sí mismo.

¿Qué cumple entonces el cuadro para el Historiador o la Historia? Es un espejo o reflejo, en el caso de Las Meninas es un doble-espejo debido al cuadro reflejado de los reyes Españoles Felipe IV y Mariana de Austria, aunque según Foucault: “no es como tradicionalmente se manejaba en la pintura holandesa en la cual se podía descomponer y componer bajo una ley diferente”[3]

El problema reside en que un espejo no es necesariamente claro, le podríamos llamar un espejo de obsidiana debido a lo oscuro y esotérico que puede volverse el interpretar un cuadro, su significado, la razón de su existencia, los actores o cualquier objeto relacionado a este, en el mundo queda oculto su significado ya que mientras crece y progresa el lenguaje se pierde una parte del bagaje que carga y a su vez lo que pudiéramos interpretar a ciencia cierta de este.

¿Qué nos presenta el cuadro, removiendo esta sensibilidad del Historiador que queda plasmada en este ensayo? Que las figuras representadas en el cuadro están atadas a la realidad de su momento, existe un complejo contexto histórico el cual ha llevado a la existencia del cuadro y los actores u objetos en este caso, el pintor es un pintor, la infanta Margarita de Austria es eso nada más, no es el objeto del deseo de una Corona extranjera ni una pieza importante en el complejo escenario político del siglo XVII, en el punto más absurdo podríamos poner sobre la mesa que es una niña en un cuadro, capricho de su padre que exista dicho cuadro, los que le rodean son sus sirvientes o allegados, familia, amigos, el hombre que mira desde el fondo puede ser alguien que simplemente quiere observar lo que hace el pintor, o tal vez este saliendo de la escena, su pose no permite conocer su dirección a ciencia cierta y con esto las posibilidades quedan abiertas a interpretación al igual que la locación del cuarto en donde se pinta el cuadro, Foucault indica que es el Escorial, el palacio Real Español, donde esto sucede pero de no saber esto podría ser cualquier lugar en el mundo.

El autor no es Diego Velázquez, es una figura que queda plasmada a un lado del cuadro, aunque por consideración podríamos decir que al no tener precedente que el autor se representa a sí mismo en una obra que le fue encargada podría ser el centro de este. A ultima consideración de Velázquez es que es como el cuadro de René Magritte llamado Esto no es una pipa en el cual representa a una pipa mas no lo es propiamente, un ejemplo de una limitación entre el lenguaje y los objetos que trata de representar, Velázquez en el cuadro no es Velázquez, aunque el lenguaje así lo indique.

¿Que observan los actores de este cuadro, acaso es el cuadro de los Reyes Españoles frente a ellos o Velázquez, pensando en aquellos que verían el cuadro terminado, figuraba a todos estos actores para que a la vez que observan a los Reyes también puedan observar de la misma manera a aquellos que visitan esta burbuja temporal? Considerando esto podríamos decir que Velázquez inconscientemente le ha heredado el poder de los Reyes a todo el que posa sus ojos sobre este cuadro, aunque sea por un instante.

El enfoque del cuadro es de igual manera claro, más allá de la Infanta o Las Meninas, sus sirvientes, o Velázquez, es el enfoque sobre los actores del cuadro y no sobre el lugar que los rodea ya que debido al manejo de claroscuro no es muy evidente pero si se presta atención el lugar está rodeado de cuadros los cuales no se pueden apreciar de manera correcta, solo es aquello lo que está en primer plano y el hombre que visita o se aleja al fondo del cuadro los que están visibles, dando a entender que lo importante está en el frente de la obra, incluso en perspectiva el hombre al fondo pertenece al cuadro debido a la iluminación, son el presente, todo aquello que esta alrededor es un pasado oscuro que no tiene importancia en este momento de representación.

Por último, lo único que nos queda es, por contradictorio que suene, continuar estudiando el cuadro desde el punto en el cual nos encontramos, el hecho de que no podamos conocerle tal cual fue en su momento no nos impide continuar esta labor de usar nuevas herramientas sobre un objeto que previamente ha sido investigado con tanto deseo.

[1] Michel Foucault, “Las Palabras y las Cosas” (Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores, S.A. de C.V., 1968), p. 14
[2] Que esto sea cierto o no va mas allá de este ensayo, aunque queda abierto a debate, si es obstinado o ciego también queda a debate, aunque puede ser más importante debatir la fe ciega que se le puede tener a un documento, independientemente de su validez, a lo anteriormente mencionado
[3] Ibid p. 17

Monday, May 28, 2018

El hombre de la montaña

El hombre de la montaña nos ha dejado claro algo cuando ha bajado al Mercado de la Plaza, ha aprendido algo en su viaje- El hombre del sombrero menciono al niño que viajaba con él, ambos observan con detalle al hombre de la montaña quien a su vez les observa con el mismo detalle de vuelta, les había abordado ya que veía en ellos una mirada diferente a la de los demás, esos ojos estaban llenos de curiosidad y vida al contrario que el de la mayoría quienes podían verse un vacío oscuro reflejado en sus ojos.
Es debatible lo que uno aprende cuando sube una montaña- Menciono el Hombre de la Montana quien apunto hacia su izquierda. -Una montaña es piedra que fue formada por acción volcánica, eso nos ensena que el mundo está vivo, que podamos escalarla es inútil discutirlo, es más por un mérito o buscar presumir algo, la montaña te ensena modestia, moderación, pero sobre todo te ensena perseverancia.
            Puede ser, pero existe un significado oculto de la montaña cuando lo observamos desde aquello que este mundo trata de explicarnos- Menciono el hombre del sombrero quien observo la montaña y suspiro, no mostraba el menor interés en subir algo tan alto simplemente por hacerlo.
            ¿Qué secreto nos oculta según usted? - El Hombre de la Montana levanto la ceja derecha y cruzo los brazos.
            La montaña representa el conflicto interno en el que vivimos, el llegar al pico y observar desde ahí prueba definitivamente que hemos perseverado en algo que puede verse desde abajo como el mayor reto de nuestras vidas, pero una vez arriba entendemos que ha quedado atrás, fue lo más sencillo que pudimos realizar en nuestro tiempo- Mientras mencionaba esto el hombre del sombrero tomo un pañuelo y limpio su frente sudada, lo mantuvo en su mano por el momento y observo pensativo la montaña. -También habla de un proceso de purificación, después de pasar por un momento tan difícil en nuestra vida donde solo podemos ver nubes, de pronto, el sol hasta arriba, iluminándonos con su infinita sabiduría y hasta abajo, el valle, donde podemos contemplar la serenidad con la que debemos llenarnos mientras pasamos por este momento de calma completo.
            Usted habla de meditación- El Hombre de la Montana hizo una mueca y levanto ligeramente su ceja derecha, no parecía impresionado por lo que mencionaba el hombre del sombrero.
            Si, pero mi punto se pierde con su viaje ya que usted no lo hizo por ese motivo, creo que nadie lo haría por ese motivo- Continuo el hombre del sombrero a lo que el Hombre de la Montana asintió, pero a su vez alzo el dedo índice derecho.
            Claro que nadie subiría una montaña simplemente para meditar, el proceso entero de subir y bajar la montaña es la meditación y aprendizaje más complejos por los cuales uno puede pasar, el hundimiento en la nieve y eventual transformación en agua nos deja claro que eventualmente todo se desvanece en el aire, nosotros también- El hombre del sombrero quedo pensativo con la última parte del enunciado y no dudo en preguntar.
            ¿A qué se refiere con eso? - El Hombre de la Montana hizo otra mueca y se limpió la nariz sin importarle quien lo viese o escuchase.
            El hielo pasa a un estado líquido, agua, y el agua pasa a un estado gaseoso, vapor, para después volver a caer en la montaña. Nosotros pasamos por un proceso parecido al aprender, somos duros, creemos saberlo todo, eventualmente algo quiebra y fluimos con ello, aprendemos algo, nos evaporamos ya que nos hemos extendido tanto como hemos podido para aprender y nos volvemos sólidos para cementar ese conocimiento adquirido, la montaña somos nosotros y viceversa, eso es lo que he aprendido de ella. -
            Quisiera decir que he aprendido algo del desierto, pero no creo tener algo tan poético e importante como lo que acaba de menciona- Respondió el hombre del sombrero, el Hombre de la Montana suspiro y paso su mano derecha sobre su rostro.
            Claro que tiene algo de que hablar, todavía no se da cuenta de ello al igual que yo no me di cuenta de la importancia de la Montana hasta que hablé con usted en este momento- El hombre del sombrero parecía sorprendido por la mención. -Que? Nunca le ha pasado que aprende simplemente por hablar con alguien más, no necesariamente tiene que ser un tema filosófico, uno aprende de todo lo que le rodea si escucha, observa y calla antes de decir una sola palabra, no había puesto en consideración todo lo que la Montana me había ensenado ya que nunca tuve el momento de meditarlo propiamente, el hablar con alguien más abre un momento de meditación para aprender que es lo que está mal con uno y con el otro.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Imperator: Rome, a sequel to Europa Universalis: Rome

At last, after so many years Paradox Interactive has decided to push out a new Grand Strategy game in the Roman Era, their previous development was called Europa Universalis: Rome and the expansion, Rome – Vae Victis, sure added something to the game but at the time I felt it lacking, needing much love and a revamp of some of the awkward mechanics inherited, from my own perspective, from an earlier version of Europa Universalis III and a limited engine, if memory does not fail me there was this great improvement on the Europa Universalis III engine that made it look fantastic from the original blob it presented itself like.

Something that stroke me as interesting when trying Crusader Kings II back when it came out was the fact that it shared some of the mechanics of the Rome game, it had individuals with their own goals and ambitions which could lead an army, govern, rebel, plot murder, all the goody stuff CK2 players enjoy so much nowadays was inherited and polished (after a couple of expansions, mechanic revamps and other things in between) to what we know today of it. From the side of Europa Universalis, I am unsure how much it was inherited but I can be sure that with the current version that is coming out, Imperator: Rome will greatly benefit from the Europa Universalis IV mechanics and the now polished Crusader Kings 2 mechanics.

At the time the images that have shown up look great and remind me so much of the original Rome games, there is no need to go for battles such as Total War, Total War is there for those huge epic battles on the ground that you can enjoy from the shoulder of the Legions you send down to cause havoc, no, we are here to enjoy the massive intricacies of the military (with hopefully improved upgrade mechanics that do not tie you to one update whenever the game feels like it and research that was arbitrary as hell), political (I can already see the civic faction breaking oh so many games, they broke so many of mine and caused so many rebellions I would change the people in power five times before I got to understand how the hell anything worked), diplomatic (hopefully as Rome you can get some sweet casus belli to expand your Empire all the way to Asia and also interesting decisions with your neighbors so they don’t eat you alive from the get go such as that little devil Pyrrhus breaking hell all over the shores of southern Italy) and religious system (some of the bonuses were really broken and the fact that you could get the total opposite to what you wished really made you think if you should even consider it on your to-do list but if you did not do it then you were asking for the religious faction on breaking your back every single time) of the Roman Empire.

Other mechanics that are coming back to my mind were the Legions your provincial Governors or Legate would command a Legion which in turn would start to become loyal to him, on one side this would be good because your treasury would be released from the much needed money during the early state of the game, on the other hand these men had become loyal to him so in case he rebelled they would stand by him no matter what, this would lead to some very interesting battles in which Legions would be fighting on the same square against other members of the same Legion who had fought with them side by side.

The sea battles were horrible, and I could never understand why the Romans would not capture more ships once they had discovered the retractable arm they could throw onto other ships, in real life this would give the Romans the advantage they needed over their much larger Carthagian foes as their sailors were not ready to face the might of the Roman Legion from ship to ship. The mechanics were oddly clunky and I was always praying my transported troops would make it to wherever they had to go because losing one of my Legions, any Legion, could cost me a bunch of territory.

Those barbarian invasions were also a hell of an adventure to deal with, I would leave regional legions (attached them to a local Governor who could be so useless at times) to defend tracts of land such as northern Italy (the alps mostly and using the bonuses of the mountains to my advantage) and fight the massive mothballs of up to 100K barbarians, sure the slaves and money I would get from them would be absolutely great and with the right politics you could get freedman and citizens in a considerably breeze (quite some time to be honest) which would in turn help Civilization push further out and bring the rest of the territories into being gloriously Roman (because what else is better than to have 100 Civilization and be the center of all European civilization, eh?)

As a Historian with a formal education one of the things that drove me to study History were the Total War and Europa Universalis games, I was amazed by the Roman and Medieval eras and to this day they continue to be some of my interests as a Historian, I also believe that teaching through videogames is one of the best ways for the current generations to learn about the many interesting aspect of Humanity (even if this vision is eurocentrist).

Now, if only Paradox Interactive would take their time to rework that Sengoku game they made, I know that would be another really interesting period to visit and while we are at it, a Victoria 3 game, anyone?

The Atlantean Thrones and the Valve

I can’t sleep, again. I see them all over me, figures that look like demons, human with horns of all kinds, twisted and spiraling in differ...