Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Department of Mexican Epiphanies II

It is the Mexican national sport to viciously berate ourselves.
I got a Powerpoint document from two Mexican friends, disparaging the 200th Mexican Bicentennial, which happens next year. Basically, this document repeats ad nauseam that Mexicans have absolutely nothing to be proud of. The tone is vile and bitter, and I suspect, full of the racial and economic contempt that certain people with access to Powerpoint have for those without.
This may be how some Mexicans are counteracting the government's PR campaign for the Bicentennial, but still, the virulence of the self-recrimination is striking. It smacks of deep, pervasive self-disgust.
I had a couple of conversations with Mexico City cab drivers who told me that they were not proud to be Mexican and then went into a litany of grievances, most of them valid; the venting of people who have developed a deeply passive aggressive tolerance for social and political abuse. I was struck by their refusal to concede that there may be good things about Mexico, that in some aspects, either progress has been made (compared to other places lower in the continent, Mexico is like Switzerland); or that, with all its problems, Mexico is a magnificent country, with an amazing history, incredible culture, the best food on Earth, a certain magnificent greatness. That not everything is rotten to the core. They would have none of that. Mexicans are in the dumps right now, their 200th birthday notwithstanding.

We are among the 40 most corrupt countries on Earth. Proud to be Mexican.

 Very first place in: Proud to be Mexican (this, whatever it is, is not true)

But it's always been like this. Our soccer team tends to be the repository of our dreams of national pride until they lose (which happens quite often). Then it is viciously excoriated by absolutely everyone. "They played like never before, and lost like they always do", was the general opinion in the last World Cup. This pretty much sums up the attitude: Mexicans have no faith in themselves. They don't trust themselves to achieve anything. They hate themselves.

 For those who like sports: all these countries have been Soccer World Cup champions, except, obviously, us. Proud to be Mexican.

Don't share this email or do anything, in the end, Mexico is also among the first countries in Population Passivity. Proud to be Mexican.

These are 4 slides, out of 19. None of the slides actually show the sources for these numbers and some of them seem plainly made up (see slide 2).
If instead of bitching and moaning Mexicans would take a serious look at their basic problems and actively, dynamically, progressively, tried to find solutions, perhaps they would find they have much to celebrate. If instead of such bilious self-hatred, they would try to find positive things to acknowledge, they would have much to celebrate.

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