Monday, November 9, 2009

Come Monday...Marcus Wilder

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about, websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

[Marcus Wilder] is the very talented author of several books. They are as follows:

Link: [Naive & Abroad: Mexico]

No, this is not a paid review, but Mr. Wilder is a friend—despite how much I missed the point that he was trying to make in his book about Mexico when I posted a review of it a while back. For I failed to understand that the Mexicans he was warning us about had nothing to do with ethnicity. It had to do with their attitude—specifically in regards to their desire to exploit this country for all it is worth.

Since that prior review was posted on [FishHawk Droppings], it got deleted with the rest of what that site used to contain. Therefore, I have reposted it below. Hopefully, it will generate some interest in the book—even in spite of my stupidity.

No, I do not say all that much in the first review. For I saved that for [this], and even if I must say so myself, the degree of my dumbness was quite impressive.

I posted a review of his Israel & Palestine book [here], and I don’t think I missed the mark on it. Be assured that it speaks highly of Mr. Marcus’ character that he would want to have anything to do with me after I portrayed him in such a poor light before.

Of course, it may have had something to do with the fact that so few would ever see those reviews. For both blogs combined were only averaging around 13.6384 visits a month.

Okay, I was embellishing some for the sake of my own vanity. For the actual average was 12.8337, with 11.2479 of those going to FishHawk Droppings, but I try to take into account just how much the current shift of the magnetic north pole due to global warming and under-taxed corporate greed affects statistical averages. Whereas, Google does not, and I do believe that they should—don’t you?

Anyway, the traffic for this blog is now around 10,000 visits per month, and a few even stick around for longer than to just locate the [Entrecard] and [Adgitize] widgets! Therefore, some further interest in his books should be generated. Hey, Christmas is a-comin’ whether you want it to or not, and they would make great stocking stuffers.

Marcus Wilder’s
Naïve & Abroad: Mexico, Painted Mask

You will read things you never knew about Aztecs, invaders, revolutionaries, Negroes, smugglers, bandits, Texas Rangers, marijuana, drug wars, Santa Ana, and the loss of half of Mexican territory to the United States.
You will get insights into what makes Mexicans different.
You will learn why corruption is the preferred way for Mexicans to do business.
You will learn why Mexicans do not assimilate.
You will learn why Mexican truth is different from your truth.
You will learn in male-on-male sex, the Mexican on top is not homosexual.
You are not ready for all you will learn.
Mexican morals and values...laws and traditions...concepts of right and wrong...concepts of truth and untruth...concepts of justice and injustice...concepts of responsibility and accountablility...are in almost every way opposed to our concepts of individual responsibility...our belief in a system of laws, not men.
Mexico is a land of men, not laws...frequently bad men.
Mexico is our grandchildren's children's future.
All of that was taken from Marcus Wilder’s excellent [website], but I cannot say that I necessarily agree with many of his assertions. In fact, I desperately do not want to believe many of them, but that will be the subject of another article to come later.

Therefore, please understand that much of my commentary in this review is meant to be like an unbiased news report, and this is a book that is certainly newsworthy—be assured. For there is much about this book that most are not ready for—regardless of whether it is true or false.

Nonetheless, if you are looking for a book to stir things that you are not sure are there deep down in your soul, this is most certainly one. For it is about racism and prejudice, as well as fairness and compassion. Simply put, this book is about both the subject at hand and the reader of it.

Chapter 1: San Miguel de Allende
Take the woman you love to San Miguel during jacaranda blossom time. Rent Room II in the main building of the Casa Sierra Nevada. Breakfast on the balcony. Your love will never be more beautiful. Ghosts of former lovers will share your joy.

Starting out with some romantic thoughts, this first chapter will be a delight for those who appreciate good prose. For it is very well written—especially for what could be considered as being little more than text for a travel brochure, but it still contains some hints of what is soon to come.

San Miguel is a good compromise for Americans who want real Mexico without danger or inconvenience. San Miguel retains Mexican authenticity, but a thriving expatriate community smoothes Mexican bumps.

Chapter 2: Mexican Truth
A Mexican’s truth is what he would like it to be…or what he thinks you want to hear…or what he needs for you to believe…or any of one thousand other things…unshackled from inconvenient facts.

Did I not say something about what is SOON to come? No, Mr. Wilder doesn’t waste any time getting into it.

In Mexico, yes frequently means no.

Chapter 3: China Is Not The Threat Yet
The shallow will cast me a racist. Readers with minds working – not knees jerking – will find a pragmatist…a prophet. Mexico is our future. More precisely, lower class Mexico is our future. The class distinction is important.

Quite frequently, I found my own knees jerking while reading this chapter. For it introduces many of the other things contained in this book, and it includes a great many references, which means that Mr. Wilder is not alone in his observations.

Many Americans view China as an existential threat. China is not an immediate threat. Mexico is the threat. The Mexican invasion will overwhelm the United States. Mexicans will take the United States with the vote. Then China will have a weakened, fractured target. Chinese think long-term. Chinese are patient. Chinese do not need to invade.

Chapter 4: Mexican Corruption
In Mexico, corruption is systemic…endemic. Corruption is the culture. What seems to you corrupt is – to a Mexican – natural human behavior.

This chapter addresses just how different the Mexican view of this world is in comparison to…well, at least my own. For I cannot speak for all Americans—not even those quite similar to myself, and it would be ridiculous for me to try. Suffice to say, the Mexican way of looking at things is different, according to Mr. Wilder.

South Texans know that if a Mexican is your friend, you have a genuine friend. If necessary, your Mexican friend will sacrifice to help you. But, if you do business with him, he will cheat you. When you confront your Mexican friend with his cheating, he will be hurt, insulted. The Mexican will be deeply, truly, painfully offended.

Chapter 5: Why Mexicans Do Not Assimilate
Mexicans do not want to assimilate. The issues are complex, but – at the most basic level – Mexicans do not want to give up being Mexicans…into the fourth generation in the United States.

This chapter presents a strong argument for why bi-lingual education is a waste of taxpayer money. It also addresses why Mexicans so rarely seek to share in the American dream.

The much-praised Mexican custom of extended-family support has a dark side. No family member dares try to rise above the family common denominator.

Chapter 6: Curandismo
The placebo effect keeps alternative medicine practitioners, herbalists, and faith healers in business. These practitioners harness the awesome power of suggestion. Healed is healed. Does it matter how we get there?

This chapter could be considered as being out of place. For it deals with the practice of curandismo, which sounds a lot like a Mexican version of voodoo to me, with a particular focus upon a rather famous curandera by the name of, Elena Avila.

Curandero tool kit contents are not different from an African witch doctor’s…bits of bone…a tortoise shell…a knot of horse hair…holy candles…crucifixes…rosaries…dried herbs…a mirror…a ceremonial doll…a bag of dust from a holy place…cobwebs from behind an altar…a piece of dried umbilical cord…a snake skin…snake oil…feathers…a whole fingernail…teeth…olive oil…statues of saints…holy water…the usual.

Chapter 7: Sancho’s Child & Who Is On Top?
Sancho is a Mexican wife’s boyfriend.

I suppose the last chapter was meant to reinforce the premise that the Mexican view of this world is different, and this chapter follows suit. For it touches upon their general attitude towards extramarital sexual relationships—both of a heterosexual and homosexual nature.

In Mexican male-on-male sex, the male on top is not homosexual.

Chapter 8: Oaxaca
If you can go only once to Mexico, go to Oaxaca…wah-hock-kah, emphasis on the hock. Oaxaca has more essence of Mexico than anywhere else, a greater variety of colorful Indian tribes.

Needless to say, this chapter returns to reading like a travel brochure, and he does make the place sound oh so very appealing. For even the part that could be construed as being a negative is presented as a positive.

Oaxaca has disgruntled unions, and an unpopular governor. Think of the stories you can tell back home if there is a demonstration.

Chapter 9: Why Mexicans Come North
In 2007, Mexicans sent home $24 billion…more than $200 for each of the 100 million Mexicans still in Mexico. The average remittance was $350.
Remittances keep Mexico afloat. Without remittances, Mexico would be a failed state. Consequences for the United States would be catastrophic. Without remittances, Mexico is merely toxic.

Returning us back to the daily grind after encouraging a daydream or two about vacationing in exotic Oaxaco, this chapter addresses concerns over illegal Mexican immigration. Consistent with his presentation, he touches upon each of them—some harder than others.

No one who will walk hundreds of miles to get a job so he can send money home is all bad.
There are at least six sides to the illegal immigration issue. Each side is one-sixth right.

Chapter 10: Mother of Mexicans
Marina was a princess – sold into slavery – who became La Malinche, Mother of Mexicans.

This chapter reads like historical account—even though no claim of such is made. Nonetheless, it sure sounds plausible.

Marina became Cortez’s interpreter and – later – his mistress/wife. Marina bore Cortex one son, one of the first mestizos…mixed-race Mexicans.

Chapter 11: Mexico Indio
By the time of the Mexican revolution, Mexican Indians were among the most exploited and oppressed peoples anywhere. Most lived as peons on vast hacienda estates…bonded to the land…unpaid…underfed…used at the whim of the hacienda owner. Others were bonded to factories and mines and smelters.

Continuing with historical accounting, this chapter makes what happened to black slaves in colonial America sound rather humane in comparison to the plight of the Indian tribes native to Mexico after the Spanish conquest. Both systems still had much in common.

A white Mexican told me that the hacienda was benevolent and paternalistic.

Chapter 12: Mexico Negro
The Negro history of Mexico is not so much denied as ignored – when possible – or obscured, when ignoring is not possible. Your intrepid author pushes onward through the dark fog.

That he does. For this chapter deals with the fact that there is more to mestizo DNA than just an intermixing of Spanish and Indian bloodlines.

Someone suggested mestizo become Afromestizo. It never will.

Chapter 13: Heroic Port & Gay Carnival
Once in his life, everyone should enjoy a Saturday evening on the square in Veracruz.

Slipping back into travel brochure mode, this chapter lauds the wonders of Veracruz, which is one of the areas mentioned in the previous chapter as once having a substantial Negro population. Not that most living there now would readily acknowledge, of course.

Miss Tillie and I traveled to Veracruz on the second-class train from Mexico City. The train wound its way around and past the volcano, up and out of the valley of Mexico. On the coastal side of the mountain, everything was green. At a sedate pace – stopping at every village – the train descended through several climate zones to reach the coast. The ride was enchanting.

Chapter 14: Blue Blood & Blue Eyes
The white Mexican aristocrat of Northern Mexico and South Texas is a Jew.

No, we are no longer in travel brochure mode. For this chapter addresses some things that quite a few will undoubtedly find quite interesting.

Our term Blue Blood comes from Spanish aristocrats from southern Spain who pointed out the difference between them and darker-skinned Moors was their blue blood…sangre azul…clearly visible through white skin. In Spain, Sephpardic Jews were persons of high station.

Chapter 15: Guanajuato
Guanajuato is a lovely colonial city an hour’s drive from San Miguel de Allende, an hour the other direction from the new airport at Leon. I spent one of the most pleasant months of my life at language school at Guanajuato. I lived with a family. I immersed myself in Spanish. The students at my school were nearly all young people from several countries. They were delightful.

It would be hard to include this chapter in the travel brochure category—even though it does display some of those characteristics. For it is as much (perhaps even more) about the people Mr. Wilder met while attending school as the town itself, but it still makes a strong case for why a visit there might be quite rewarding if you are looking for real Mexican culture without a lot of risk.

Guanajuato is a city for Mexicans. Guanajuato has not made the adjustments that American tourists demand. In Guanajuato, the visitor does not feel the tension of larger Mexican cities. There are no street hustlers. Wah-nah-what-toe, emphasize the what.

Chapter 16: The Saint Who Never Was
In 2002, John Paul II canonized Juan Diego. Juan Diego is a saint.

In this chapter, Mr. Wilder makes it quite clear that he is very skeptical about the Virgin of Guadalupe actually appearing before Juan Diego in 1531, and that he is not the only one. Nonetheless, he recognizes that iconic worship is an integral part of Mexican culture.

Novelist Carlos Fuentes wrote that “one may no longer consider himself a Christian, but you cannot truly be considered a Mexican unless you believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

Chapter 17: We Are Poor & It Is Their Fruit
It is an article of faith for Mexican leftists that American capitalists scheme to keep Mexicans poor.

This is a chapter that will either delight or horrify a true dyed-in-the-wool capitalist—depending upon how confident they are in America staying American. For it expounds upon the fallacies of Marxism.

A Leftist congress fights reform…the kind of reform that converted the Chilean economy into a job generating exporting machine. A Leftist Mexican university professor told me ruefully, “Mexico needs a Pinochet.”

Chapter 18: Smuggling
Today drug smuggling gets all the press. Beneficial smuggling continues quietly as it always has, made more difficult by the drug war.

Many would argue that there is no such thing as beneficial smuggling, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Whether desperate or not, information on how to properly smuggle a parrot is just one of the interesting things about this chapter.

To smuggle a parrot, slip a sock over the parrot and hold the socked parrot upside down. The parrot will go to sleep. Tie the sock firmly to the parrot’s legs. Suspend the parrot under a full skirt. Walk across the bridge. Try not to look nervous. Custom agents look for nervousness.

Chapter 19: Border Bandits
At least through the 1920s, a Mexican out at night in the Rio Grande Valley had to carry a lighted lantern. Any Mexican out at night without a lighted lantern was up to no good. He could be shot dead without consequence for the shooter. Border banditry was a problem into the 1930s.

This chapter is actually more about the Texas Rangers than the bandits they vanquished. We could sure use a few like them now, but…

Until about the 1960s, one knew a Ranger when he saw a Ranger. A Ranger had an aura of quiet menace. Today Texas Rangers are Texas Department of Public Safety detectives. Old-time Rangers could not pass today’s psychological tests.

Chapter 20: Marijuana
Marijuana plant breeders are motivated like no other plant breeders to improve their crop. Improvements are – for anyone who knows anything about crop breeding – astounding…all done by amateurs. The annual dollar amount of marijuana grown in the United States exceeds the dollar value of corn. And, then…we import marijuana. Someone is smoking a lot of weed…most of it Mexican weed.

Come on now, what is a book about Mexico without a chapter on marijuana these days? Not much—right? Hence, the reason for this chapter.

Cannabis promoters today find in the weed everything from the origins of religious experience to a panacea for whatever ill you have…roughly paralleling Chinese snake-gall-bladder juice, a ceremony I witnessed. Medical/religious/existential/holistic marijuana is not my fight. This book is about Mexico.

Chapter 21: Drug War
In the War on Drugs, the Mexican government is out-spent, out-gunned, out-smarted, and out-run by drug dealers. Drug cartels in Mexico are more successful than the FARC in Columbia. The FARC hides in the woods. Mexican drug cartels operate on city streets. Were the drug cartels political, this would be civil war. It may become civil war. One-half million Mexicans are employed by drug cartels. Police at all levels are irredeemably corrupt. Thirty-six thousand troops are out-numbered to the point of absurdity…their officers increasingly corrupted.

Credit for most of this chapter is given to Ana Maria Salazar Slack, a Mexico City newswoman, who also publishes an English-language news blog by the name of [Mexico Today]. Mr. Wilder does express his own frustration, however.

Nothing I write will make any difference.

Chapter 22: Independence 1810
At the time Mexicans won their independence from Spain, the Church owned half of all land in Mexico…held mortgages on much of the rest.

Perhaps Mr. Wilder was still suffering from his frustrations over the conditions of the current drug war raging in Mexico when he wrote this chapter. For it is oh so very short, but not all that sweet.

The Spanish were driven out. The Church lost her lands. Mexicans threw out the Inquisition with the Spanish. New oppressors replaced old. In Mexico, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Chapter 23: Texas 1836
To be a Texan is more than a fortunate accident of birth. To be a Texan is a state of mind and a condition of the heart. Texans are tolerate of the less fortunate, welcoming true converts without prejudice…taking on faith these converts professions of faith.

Yeah, I am having a very hard time with that myself, but I promised to remain unbiased in this review. Besides, that is about all that is said about that in this chapter. Considering what came afterward, I would have preferred it continue.

The Alamo is metaphor for the United States. Mexicans overran the Alamo. Mexicans will overrun the United States.

Chapter 24: War 1848
Mexicans say they will never forget the theft of their territory. A white Mexican told me that this is fashionable hypocrisy.

This is another very short chapter about a war that many now condemn. Such was evidently not the case back then for at least some Mexicans.

Mexican propertied classes welcomed the invasion. American brought stability after 11 years of war for Independence and 15 years of turmoil that followed.

Chapter 25: The French Twice
The government of Benito Juarez stopped payments – again – on foreign debt. The British, Spanish, and French governments sent armies to collect. The French tried a power play that irritated the British and Spanish. The British and Spanish pulled out. France invaded Mexico in force. Mexicans fought back.

Brevity continues to be employed by Mr. Wilder. This chapter is somewhat sweeter, however.

The other French intervention was during the Pastry War thirty years earlier.

Chapter 26: Socialist Revolution 1910
Panchito attended Berkeley. A Ouija board told Panchito Madero he would one day be President of Mexico. I do not make this stuff up…not the Berkeley…not the Ouija board.

As was said before, “In Mexico, the more things change the more they stay the same.” This chapter reinforces that premise.

Once elected, the reformer Madero forgot reforms. Madero tried to be Diaz. Madero enlisted Diaz henchmen to run the government. Madero was shot dead.

Chapter 27: Pancho Villa
It is true Pancho Villa was born Doroteo Arango in 1878 on one of largest haciendas in the State of Durango. Disputes of the facts begin there.

This chapter flirts with the romantic version of the life of Pancho Villa, but does not fully embrace it. I still found it quite enjoyable for a number of reasons.

With his last two hundred men, Pancho Villa was pensioned off on a large ranch in Durango. On his way to visit one of his wives, Villa was shot dead in ambush. A killer of men and lover of women was shot dead on his way to visit a woman. Mexicans miss the irony. I do not know who or what was behind the ambush. Thousands of Mexicans wanted Villa dead.

Chapter 28: Zapata
Emiliano Zapata is probably the only leader of the Mexican Revolution whose political motives were consistently pure. Zapata wanted peasants to farm in peace.

This is a chapter that is mostly about a story that may or may not be true. The following excerpt is how the story ended.

A few days later, Zapata rode calmly – tired of life – to his death in an ambush he knew had been set.

Chapter 29: Anarchist
Anarchism is the political creed of choice for Leftist prone to bomb throwing and politician assassinating. The enduring image of Anarchists is the round black bomb with fuse burning in the hand of a bearded Eastern European immigrant madman, an image beloved by political cartoonists. Anarchism attracts the unbalanced.

This is another chapter that is oh so very short and none too sweet. For nothing good comes from anarchy—not even in Mexico.

Today’s Anarchists are children who were allowed to smash toys in kindergarten. Today’s Anarchists smash windows and burn cars at political demonstrations…propaganda deeds certain to make the world a better place.

Chapter 30: Mexican Painters
Diego was not the first, but he was the greatest. Diego towers above all other Mexican painters. To an extent, that says as much about others’ lack of stature as Diego’s greatness.

Suffice to say, Mr. Wilder is not a fan, and his contempt for Diego’s wife, Frieda, goes way past his lack of appreciation for her art. Nonetheless, he does give credit where he considers it due.

The power and importance of Diego’s mature work are unchallenged. Diego’s revenge on Rockefeller is classic. The painting of the back of a naked Indian woman kneeling with head down and arms folded – without further adornment on canvas – is one of the most powerful painted images I have seen. Few paintings crowd so many layers of meaning into a simple image.

Chapter 31: Mexican Musicians
Augustin Lara was christened Angel Augustin Maria Carlos Fausto Mariano Alfonso del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Lara y Aguirre del Pino. I did not make that up. Augustin Lara was born in Mexico City. Augustin Lara was born in Veracruz. Augustin Lara had four wives. Augustin Lara had seven wives. One of his wives of record was the actress, Maria Felix. The marriage broke up over his uncontrollable jealousy. Augustin Lara was – in fact – born Callejon del Conejo – Alley of the Rabbit – in Mexico City in 1902…or 1900…or 1897…

Just in case you are like me before I read this chapter and have no idea who Augustin Lara was. Evidently, he was an OPERA singer. Placido Domingo is also prominently mentioned, but opera is not the only style of music discussed.

Mariachi music originated in Cocula in the State of Jalisco. Mexican films of the 1950s popularized the style. I do not know why Mariachi music has not swept the world. It is superior to all other forms of popular music except Italian pop of the 1940s and ‘50s. Between Mariachi and Italian pop from that era, it is mano a mano.

Chapter 32: Mexican Horsemanship
To tame a horse, a Mexican ties the horse to a stout post in the sun without food or water. When the horse is at the point of collapse, the Mexican saddles the horse and rides him. The horse is too weak to resist. The Mexican slowly begins to water and feed the horse. The horse is grateful to the master who feeds him. The horse is tamed…easy to train. The horse loves the master who watered and feed him when he was at the point of death.

In all fairness, the very first line of this chapter is a warning to the squeamish. Be assured that the excerpt you just read is rather tame in comparison to what follows.

Like the Spanish, Mexicans seem to not know that animals feel pain…or do not care.

Chapter 33: Revolution Part Two
No one was pleased with Madero. Everyone wanted power for himself. Madero’s brother, Gustavo, was invited to dinner, and hanged. Another Madero brother was killed by a sword pushed through his good eye. Madero was shot dead, his body thrown into the street near Model Prison.

This chapter could serve as a summation of all of the previous chapters concerning major participants in the 1910 Mexican Revolution, but it should not be taken lightly. For it adds some more color to this portrait, and we are introduced to Madero’s successor, General Vitoriano Huerta.

Huerta was elected President of Mexico by the United States Ambassador.

Chapter 34: Dr. Urrutia
Urratia is accused of the assassination of Madero. Urrutia is accused of the murder of Madero’s one-eyed older brother…killed by a sword thrust through his good eye.

This chapter contains a fairly comprehensive account of another infamous participant in the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Whether or not it is accurate is debatable—even according to Mr. Wilder.

The most famous Urratia story is that he cut out the tongue – without anesthetic – of a Senator from Chiapas who spoke out against the arrest of eighty Senators who refused to cooperate with Huerta. The arrest story is true.

Chapter 35: Soldaderas
Maria Pistolas would not retreat.
Shamed, men fought on…and won.
Maria Pistolas is surely fictional, but her story makes the point that women of the Revolution fought well. Soldaderas were wives, mistresses, washerwomen, cooks, foragers, prostitutes…sometimes fighters…sometimes conscripted slaves.

Again, desperate times call for desperate measures, and Mexican women played an integral role on both sides of the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Evidently, this was not the only action they saw.

In the brief Cristero Catholic counter-revolution in the 1920s, the women’s support corps were called soldaderas. These soldaderas were women of a different class, primarily wives and daughters of army officers. Their mission was the manufacture and distribution of ammunition Cristero rebels. Mexican Leftists say Cristeros had Nazi support. Dates do not match. In Mexico, dates do not have to match for a story to be true.

Chapter 36: Eagle of Sonora
Emilio Kosterlitzky – Eagle of Sonora – is one of my heroes.

Some may think that this chapter is completely out of character for this book. For it is about a truly honorable man.

Kosterlitzky – Russian-born Rurale officer – conscripted convincted killers from prison. Kosterlitzky hammered these murderous, incorrigible dregs of society into one of the most disciplined, effective police/military – paramilitary – forces ever…anywhere. Elegant, urbane, aristocratic Emil Kosterlitzky forged wild Mexican killers to his will.

Chapter 37: Pulque, Tequila, & Mescal
Mescal is double distilled pulque. Tequila is a version of mescal distilled from a specific plant, the blue agave. There is a shortage of agave. Growing corn for ethanol is more profitable.

Yes, I promised to remain unbiased, but I must admit that I am very disappointed in this chapter. For Mr. Wilder failed to make it clear that there is no worm to be found in a bottle of tequila. For worms are placed in bottles of mescal, but it still contains some noteworthy information.

When buying tequila, remember…the darker the tequila, the higher the quality.

Chapter 38: Chiapas
Chiapas is one of those accursed places where there is no hope, where there will never be hope.

In a book full of depressing things, this chapter ranks among the worst, but Chiapas is a part of Mexico. Therefore, it should have its place in this book.

No one will invest capital to create jobs where people are illiterate, have no understanding of the need to show up for work every day – on time – and have no understanding of the use of money. If the people were employable, there would be no way to get them to and from work.

Chapter 39: Culture In A Curse
The word is the Mexican f-word…chingar. Like most things Mexican, chingar is complicated. On many levels, chingar is Mexico.

This last chapter is not about vulgarity. That is, unless you dread the day that Mr. Wilder is quite confident will come.

In chingar you have totality of Mexican experience – and the future of the United States – in a word.


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Since the Blogger spam filter has been found sorely lacking lately, I will start moderating comments. Be assured that I am only interested in deleting spam. So, if you feel a need to take me to task over something—even anonymously, go ahead and let 'er rip, and I will publish it as soon as I can.