Tuesday, March 29, 2011


For many years now I have fought an undeclared battle against things that I see in my Mexico that I dislike immensely. All these things can be summed up into two words: ignorance and indifference.

It seems far too common place that so many people don't stop to think about what throwing a piece of paper, a can of Tecate or a disposable coffee cup from Starbuck will do to the city they live in. I go about my day and I see garbage strewn about and I grind my teeth telling myself "Mexicans are not dirty, we are just ignorant". I include myself in this collective "we" because I too am ignorant about so many things so I am no one to judge but I am someone to speak up and say "PUT THE GARBAGE IN IT'S PLACE!"

Public Transportation and Traffic in General
As a pedestrian: it has been too many times to count the following scenario: I am walking on the street and the light turns to red, allowing me, the pedestrian, the allotted time to cross said street.  Just as I am stepping off the curb (at times with a stroller in tow) and a car screeches around the corner, either braking to let me walk or speeding up as I freeze to see what the driver will do.
As a driver
The public transportation operators, in this case combi and bus drivers, cut me off, stop abruptly at an intersection without pulling over to the curb to pick someone up or drop someone off, or cut traffic off completely.

I am not going to be naïve and say these are just examples of ignorance because there is a large indifference factor; the thought “why should I care what someone else does or says, I am going to do what I want” or like my friend Alex says “que se haga la voluntad de dios pero en las mulas de mi comadre” which loosely translated into “whatever happens as long as it happens to someone else”.  I have accepted these daily happenstances as a part of my life but also as something that I can actively become a part of changing.  For example, I pick up garbage in public spaces, this is my home and I want it to look nice and it is the right thing to do. 

After all we all live in the same home and this indifference I seem to be experiencing so very often stems from the ignorance of this fact: we all are in this together, same planet, same garbage, same solution. We are the solution as much as we are the problem.  This I can accept with grace and contentedness to become a part of the solution. Or like the infamous Televisa campaign asks Mexican society collectively: ¿Y tu? ¿Tienes el valor o te vale?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy International Women's Day: Hell does exist

And to what conclusion, pray tell, have you come to fair lady? Hell does exist.

Hell, in my mind,  is a place where people are raped, beaten, abused, hated, manipulated, cajoled, in short, convinced that they are responsible for all the violence and torment in their lives and forced to swallow it all.  Hell is being forced to do with your body what you are told to do, not what you want to do. Hell is being told to believe what someone else wants you to believe and if you disagree,  you will pay some terrorizing price with your immortal soul.  Hell is what we people use to control other people.  Hell is a very usefull tool, it prevents the otherwise intelligent individuals from using the reason and imaginations they were born with to be empathetic with other human beings; the idea of hell amputates all possibilities of having an open mind.

I am so very often frustrated by what I percieve to be the close-minded religious fanatiscm deeply embeded in some people's world view. Reading the papers today, people seem to have forgotten that fanaticism is not exclusive to one religion, ideology or country. In the United States the Republican representative Peter King is planning to start hearings this week on the "radicalization" of Islam in the United States.

According to merriam-webster.com, fanatic is  "marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion " and radicalize is "to make radical especially in politics". Isn't Rep. King being a fanatic by making religion a political issue, a religion that he does not share? Is he not going against the very essence of the Constitution by persecuting a religious group? Of course  radicalization is not in any way exclusive to Islam or to religion to that matter. Rep. King seems to be quite radical in hearings by just limiting the topic to Islam and including other religious groups or militant and hate groups for that matter. 

Hell DOES exists and it is full of radicals and the fanatically religious and ideological people who want to make everyone see things the exact same way they seem them. And, from where I stand,  hell is where we all currently reside.

What about...

"What about the interests of people who are beaten down by terrible poverty?" Kathy Kelly

What about the people who are starving and can't feed thier children?

What happens when you live your life in a world where food is always a surplus, where money is always plenty, where trips to the dentist are as common as air.

I'll tell you what happens, your eyes are pried open like a rusted shut treasure chest that has sat at the bottom of the ocean.