Reprinted from www.thenation.com
In Sunday night's premiere of the HBO series Game of Thrones, two of the more admirable characters are speaking about the future and one says, "Perhaps we've grown so used to horror, we assume there's no other way." I mumbled to no one in particular, "Some screenwriter's been reading their Galeano."
The next day, the news broke that Eduardo Galeano, that master of written word who could integrate magical reality lyricism into to the all-too-real history of empire without breaking a sweat, had died of cancer at 74. No, I'm not a future-telling Warg, I don't have a third eye, or the soul or a raven (or whatever the hell Game of Thrones reference is appropriate here). Galeano had been on my mind as news of his failing health had been well known, and I'd felt the weight of debt that we owe the Uruguayan legend. It's a debt owed by anyone who refuses to "grow used to horror" as an act of conscious resistance. It's a debt owed by those who choose to witness our sick world from the carnage in Gaza to the #FuckYourBreath killing of Eric Harris and don't become lost in the cynicism of a society that sometimes seems intoxicated by its own inhumanity. It is impossible to read Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America and leave not only distraught over the bloody legacy of US imperialism but also hopeful at the ways brave, if fruitless, resistance can resemble the lush vitality of epic poetry.