Francis Raven



Ideas of Reason Geography

The African Embassies on New Hampshire
look so Un-African
and make me wonder
if our embassies in those countries
appear Un-American.
I'm guessing not.
This might be followed
with a statement
about cultural imperialism.

Jared Diamond's geographical determinism:

We are where we are now
because of where
we were then

so it's a space
in history
that matters for development now.

Thus, tangling the question of humanitarian aid
around a river, a malarial river.

Envoy Envy

"—It may be doubted AMBASSADORS. It may be doubted Romans commanded the confidence of their countrymen to the same amount as they enjoyed the respect of foreigners..."
—NY TIMES, November 4, 1877, Page 3
27 of 559 words

Representational skepticism: doubt that the target truly represents

that the ruler is legitimate: the politics of mimesis.

It all depends on who you can speak for.

Embassy: seat of the ambassador
the representation of the sending country
in the host. What he says the state says.
A synecdoche.
Although, one that can be overridden.

A consulate issues visas, promotes the interests of the sending country
doesn't even have a mouth
but merely carries out the orders
of the other. The decision Mexican President
Felipe Calderon made when he said,
"Wherever there is a Mexican that is Mexico"
and planned to use consulates to smuggle illegal immigrants

caused conservatives to worry, to spew rhetoric: they could say
a parasite.

Sales Tax Exemption

The Office of Foreign Missions issues tax exemption cards to eligible foreign missions, mission personnel and their family members consistent with international law, domestic statute, and the underlying principle of reciprocity. Tax cards provide point-of-sale exemption from sales tax throughout the United States.

Thus, Mobila is eligible.

I can picture him

flashing his card, stripping the sales tax off of sofas and cars

mugs and wine.

I can just imagine how he would misuse his card:

buying goods (perhaps televisions and iPods) sans sales tax

and reselling them with a Mobila tax included

(he needs some way of paying for food

if I am right

and he has been disowned by his government, loyal servant that he is).


Historian Jane Loeffer writes of the new embassy in Iraq

in the September/October issue of Foreign Policy

"Walled off and completely detached from Baghdad, it conveys a devastating message about America's global outlook."

Thus, normatively there is something about an embassy that needs to be within the host country, that needs to mesh with it, that needs to come to grips with its reality.

She is saying that in the construction of its new embassy America is delusional.

She writes, "There will be no need to interact with Iraqis for anything."

Self-sufficiency, an exemplary American trait, cannot be the basis of diplomacy

the entire idea of which is that

power fits together

to form the world

the world that we live within:

A coalition's willing puzzle
breaks on the news of
[and this condition varies per era].

Postcolonial Studies

What is a colony after all but an embassy
comprised of an entire country?

In this case, the sending country
dissolves the cell of the host.

Therefore, 1800 New Hampshire might be thought of
as the Congo's colony in America.

Maybe they're mining inside:
drilling oil wells, taking back their uranium

digging for their lost niobium, remining tantalum
for their own furnaces. If the costs of extraction

are high enough, the income obtained from said good
will inevitably be unevenly distributed. The opposite is agriculture.

Therefore, in order to reduce the range of income distributions
I propose that we farm in all of our embassies across the world.

Heave-ho for equitable colonialism!
Raise your rakes for democracy!

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (Article 36):

If arrested foreign nationals
must be given

notice to notify their embassy

"Any communication addressed to the consular post
by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention
shall be forwarded
by the said authorities

without delay."

So if a letter

if a drawing

were to fall;

if Dear America

were to slip

America would be obligated to receive

from within the receiving country

(wherever I stole the earrings from).

Inconclusive Conclusion

There is less an answer than the spreading of a question
across the ground. The ground is wet.

Except, this humidity finally offers something near an answer:
"Finally, the Property Section oversees the preservation and maintenance of those foreign mission properties with which the United States no longer maintains diplomatic relations."

Presumably, the State Department could sell such a building.

Still, this doesn't quite address my question, which involves the evaporation
of one country into another. But still the Office of Foreign Missions must

know something. I didn't think they would call me back but
a representative from the OFM rung (202-7280-0533):
"It is our understanding that it's in the process of being renovated and we think it's really going to happen this time. We've met with their representatives and they seem serious about it. They've selected a contractor and it seems that things are going forward. It's been in disrepair for far too long. If you had called two months ago I would have had nothing to tell you but they seem really serious about it this time; it seems that their goal is to move back into the building."

That's just as well:

When I called the embassy (202-234-7690) to ask what its plans were for the building a man with a thick African-European accent said, "No, don't mind; don't mind sir."