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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

¿No tiene verguenza?

Have you no shame?
It is getting real ugly here and I am not talking about the 6.3 earthquake at about 5:45 this morning.  No, I am talking about the ongoing political situation with Seccion XII, the teachers, and the normalistas, teachers to be and their current marches, sit-ins and blockades.  Yesterday, they tried to shut the guelaguetza down and were met with a phalanx of police.  There are blockades in many places, making traffic a nightmare.  It ain't like is ain't crazy on a normal day.  Today, they are blocking the airport and other offices.  They also pitched tents on one of el centro's main streets.  Things are escalating.

Luckily, I don't have to deal, but I have paid my dues already with this stuff.  I'm am staying on this side of the city unless my curiosity gets the better of me.  I know it is a complex situation, but come on, are there no viable solutions out there? Uh, I guess not.... as I contemplate the Middle East, Ukraine, El Norte.  Apparently, people are not interested in working things out, better just to give into the darker side of life.

As I say, it is getting ugly out there.

I mean, it is tough out there for a protester in Oaxaca,  24/7 on the street, sleeping in a tent, amidst trash and really, really bad smells.  Wouldn't you just like to end this and resolve to work things out at the conference table?  No, better to incur the wrath of the general population, which has been forced to put up with an awful lot in the last two weeks; the two most important weeks of the year, those surrounding the guelaguetza.  Again, I know there are many sides to these issues.  So I guess it must be hopeless, right? 

And you know, karma is a bitch.  I love the guelaguetza and all the events that occur in July.  I had a blast, for the most part.  And duh, I love this place, its people, its culture.  But this had to have been the worst guelaguetzas in years.  The teachers antics ruined everything and the government did not cover itself in glory, either.  I have to question the ineptitude of the politicos and the government to deal with these problems.  I am way too cynical and/or ignorant, I won't even go there.

However, an example:  the desfile, or parade of guelaguetza delegations, is a huge crowd favorite and thousands show up to watch the dancers and cheer like hell when they go by.  On Saturday, of course, the teachers had to march and so the parade route was changed.  However, did it occur to anyone to make an announcement?  Maybe yes, maybe no, but I was up at the original starting place along with many others, including performers... waiting ... for Godot.  I had to run across the city to find the new route.  The desfile came off fine, because Oaxacans are used to this stuff and just roll with the punches.  But, still...

So as for the politicians, I dunno, but I sure wouldn't want all of this on my resume.  The word most used in comments on Facebook, is "pestilence"  as in "a pestilence has descended on the city."  And what terrible timing for all of this.  Oaxaca deserves to shine in all its glory.... and let's get real.  As one of the poorest states in Mexico, it seriously needs the money, a fact which you would think the teachers could grasp. Nose/spite/face.

It remains to be seen how this works out.  School starts in a few weeks.  There were minor violent situations today, a truck was burned, a taxi had its windows broken.  People are pissed... and nervous.  2006 is on many peoples' minds.  And we all know that did not turn out too well.

Update:  This from El Imparcial: However, despite that (the problems), 86% hotel occupancy, with an income of 23 million dollars and 130 thousand visitors during the festivities of the Guelaguetza were recorded.


sanfelipecampground said...

I hear you - and just breathe in ... and out.

Anonymous said...

Yes. The teachers are out there sleeping in tents, midst the trash and really bad smells, incurring the wrath of the general population. They are forced into being out there by the mafia that runs the CNTE. A mafia that that has learned well how to siphon off a HUGE chunk of the education budget.

Nightreading said...

This last couple of weeks seem like there were aliens messing up with human kind all over the world. Seriously!

Every single little corner of Mother Earth has been messed up with something related to human stupidity, ignorance, greed, power hunger, agression, inability to accept and understand others without overpowering/destroying them, etc., etc.

I used the previously posted events on this incredibly interesting website as therapeutic measures that could carry me away from all worries of the world, at least for a few moments.

Now I see that it's not the case: same ways people deal and mess up things like, for example, in my two motherlands Russia and Ukraine. My heart bleeds every time I see news from here and there....

Christopher Stowens said...

I agree with all the comments. Politics and corruption exists in all aspects of life. I experienced them in academia, the music world and I see them at work in many of the villages. Mostly, I don't really know enough, because let's face, people have gotten the whole Machiavellian thing down and the subtleties and machinations are beyond my knowledge. Maybe it is just human nature. I guess I am an optimistic pragmatist or something like that. As Harry Tuttle, from "Brazil" says, "We're all in this together."

Anonymous said...

It may be that politics and corruption exist in all aspects of life. But this does not in any way forgive the criminal extortionists who are in control of the CNTE. They rob the teachers of their dignity, they rob the children of the education they deserve and they consistently plunge this city into chaos. This is one union that needs to be broken, or radically reformed - in addition to having some of its principal leaders indicted for high crimes. I would not grant them the comfort of expressing "We're all in this together."