Sunday, September 14, 2008

GGG: Global Girl Grid

Let's see.

There's the G8.
where 8 of the top world economies
gather in Davos, Switzerland
and pat each other on the back
while covering each other's ass.

I say 8 is not enough.
8 is flat.
8 is but a cardinal number.
8 is but a quantity in one, possibly two dimensions...
though 8 in Chinese is very very good--
it sounds (kinda) like the word for prosperity:  ba
And so if you want 8 in your phone number, you better have some prosperity to purchase that number.  Alas back to the G8 law:  prosperity begets prosperity.

There's G7
a perfectly respectable chord
with many an alternate fingering

There's G4
which is the power of my book
with many an alternate window

iPhone 3G
is the voting public's choice
for Gadget of the Year

There's 2G
a second generation of 
Asian-American theater makers

And GGG?
Yes G to the third power?

Where GGG = G x G x G = Global x Girl x Grid?

it's exponential--

G is cubed 
and in
3 dimensions--
spherical even

always a spot
at an intersection
of the vertical
and the horizontal

always a link
where horizons
and vertices
may connect
(can you imagine the corporate meeting where they're all,
I think 'verizon' will work better than 'hortice'  or 'hortex,'
if you want to get technical)

And this grid
which in 3-D
can be a net
(is it a worth or to catch?)
This grid sees confluence
no matter the border
the nation
the culture;

it is fluid 
in between
the meshes
as well

it is there to cast
it is there to catch
so that 
no girl is left behind
no girl is abandoned
no girl is left hollow

An example of the GGG:

In 2003, I was fortunate enough to be invited by the Women Playwrights International (WPI) their tri-yearly conference, which was hosted in Manila, Philippines.  I was granted travel monies from the Fund for Women Artists.  That's the first 2 dimensions of the grid.

The other G, the Big- G of it all, happened during a session with Philippine comfort women telling of their treacherous experiences during the Japanese takeover.  The women were in their 60's and 70's, in brightly-colored embroidered dresses with their hair pulled smoothly back.  They recounted, for probably the hundredth time, the tragic actions that were placed upon their bodies (they tour organizations to give awareness of history).  Even with this hundredth telling, the rawness of emotion and the horror of retelling it was so visceral and so painfully palpable (there is no method-acting that can access this kind of intensity).  As we women dramatists sat in a chandeliered ballroom at the Trader's Hotel on Roxas Blvd., I started to hear weeping two tables to the right of me.

The weeping was soft but continuous; it was the inhalation that was most marked.  When I finally looked over, I saw that it was one of the Japanese playwrights.  She blew gently into her tissue.  Soon, she stood up and raised her hand.  The translator, a former beauty queen who had organized the talk and who was moderating in English for the Tagalog-speaking comfort women, acknowledged the Japanese playwright.  With a straight posture and her head held neutral, the Japanese playwright asked for the women next to her to translate:

I know that the Japanese government will not acknowledge this.  I, as woman, 
to you, want to apologize for this that happened to you.  I apologize.

It was kind of a miracle, these words.  The comfort women heard the translation and took it in. The words resonated brighter than all the crystal in the room.  It was obvious at this moment that governments stay off certain grids, revising histories away from truth, staying aggressively unaccountable.  But that act, and those simple and direct words were satisfying in a way that no speech or victory could ever be.

The comfort women then sang a song and danced in a circle.  They told us that every night they comforted each other with such song and such dance, to help them to sleep.

A gathering of international women playwrights
provided the alternate space 
to temporarily govern 
and symbolically remedy, 
in a breath's time,
for a breath's moment, 
that which power so
stubbornly denies

as the U.S. people are impalin' themselves
on  the hollow and strategic words of their pols
(we deserve the government that we allow)
who tout feminism without feminists and
wish to worship femininity but deny body rights
I stand on the Global Girl Grid and wonder:

What did we do to make them scorn us so?


What did we do to make them scorn us so?

(and the 'they' in this sentence, is not just 'men')

Well then.
I'd like a translator, too.

My more recent muses in thinking about the GGG:
my transportations to and from the airports!
Here is the one and only Wongster, Kristina Wong that is, performance artist uniquetrix, culture jammer, pole dancer, satiric wit, blog muse and claimer of no crazy Wongs in China (Angelenos check out her epic live show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).  And on the right, SooGenie, Soo-Jin Lee that is, playwright, multi-dimensionalist, mojito-mixer, creator of the Bilingualism playwriting process, good samaritan of the wheel-less (and so fresh-faced at 4 am).

They can be counted on to wake up early--no diva behavior when a friend is in need.  And what a vivacious send off, minds so rambunctious in the 4am mist, after a silent cab ride on the hollowed-out night before.  Driving south on the 405 to LAX...making the verticals...

And landing in Shanghai to the big white dry-erase board at the Pudong airport:

Yes, here is Luna, holding up the left side of the dry-erase board.  Her English is excellent. She's from He Nan province, but left home at 15 to go to school in Guangdong province--precocious independence.  And now she is in Shanghai, in the Zhejiang province, working in the office of the Lida Global Initiative.  She's got killer instincts to go with her sweet smile.  

And here is Winner, the other holder of the dry-erase board.  Yes, thumbs up Winner.  It's all in the name, yes?  Over lunch yesterday, we were practicing saying 'months' cuz there aren't a lot of consonant clusters in Chinese.  She kept saying 'monthes' which is totally understandable: who wants to jam up a dipthong with a plural?  Months.  Months.  Months. 

We drove west an hour from Pudong, to the Songjiang suburbs, making the horizontals that make network of this Global Girl Grid.

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