The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

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For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Monday, January 10, 2011

Just my opinion

Over midday meal, we were continuing our never-ending conversation about the state of the world. Someone said that when he moved to Mexico many years ago, he expected that Mexico would gradually become more like the US.  He went on to say that it appeared to be going the other way.

There are now regular articles about the growing poverty in Third World America.  The divisions between the haves and have-nots is growing.  The political scene is a hideous caricature.  Between the corporatocacy, the banksters, the Villagers and an obviously corrupt system, El Norte is in trouble.  Of course, that's just my opinion.

They say that living outside the country makes one more critical and alarmist, but I would argue that it also affords us a somewhat more objective perspective.

Here in Oaxaca, we live with poverty.  We live in close proximity to death and suffering.  In Mexico, the cartels are violent and powerful.  So are the army and the police. 

There are political killings every week.  I can think of several here in Oaxaca in recent weeks and months.  No one ever seems to be caught or prosecuted.  Municipalities declare autonomy out of frustration.  The back and forth continues, the conflicts are unrelenting.  And it is no different here.  It all depends on which side you are on, what your perspective is, what your bias is.  The divisions are firmly entrenched..... sigh.

As for the shootings in Arizona, one could see this coming a mile away.  I mean, c'mon, the rhetoric is a plain as the nose on your face.  Campesinos in Oaxaca can feel that Arizonian hatred all the way down here.  It is a topic of discussion here, as it is throughout Mexico.  Hatred breeds violence.

And seriously folks.... right vs left, the false-equivalency meme is simply absurd.  Only one side was bringing guns to rallies.  Only one side had "hunting licenses" printed up.  Only one side has fomented violence on radio and TV.  However, the media, which is the supplier and beneficiary of this endless stream of bullshit and negativity must keep the meme going.  "Everyone is doing it."  Absolutely absurd.   Imagine the reaction if PETA or Latinos showed up packing heat. There is no accountability, no awareness, no compassion, just blindness and the need to CYA. 

So brace yourselves for more violence, more calls for secession, more inequities.  One of my favorite lines from "Apocalypse Now" - "You needed wings to stay above the bullshit."

Here in Oaxaca, we live with poverty, corruption, violence and frustration and have learned to adapt.  But people are not blind or stupid.  They see everything.  They are strong, resolute and pragmatic.  But they do get off their asses and protest and march.  Maybe the US can follow their examples.

1 comment:

Peter (the other) said...

It must be part of the US television teat, each person mentally separating from the group... we never really protest until it hurts (in our day, the draft). Spending much time in Paris, I can still witness the willingness to take it to the street... in the USA, we don't bother. Watching it in Tunisia the last few days, has seemed somewhat hopeful.

As one who is more committed to non-violence, by just a hair, then to social justice, there are large questions I grapple with. I believe 'they' will not give it up without a fight and they are much better armed for it. So when is the change gonna' come? Probably not in my lifetime. Time for a nap (yawn).