August 15, 2011

"Devoid of charm"


I wanted to briefly quote from my VDARE.com review of former Mexican foreign minister Jorge G. Castaneda's Manana Foreveri?
He notes that the impoverished Indian south of Mexico “continues to provide much of Mexico’s personality.” In contrast, the wealthier “north is industrious, modernizing, violent, lighter-skinned, and devoid of charm …” In short, the north sounds a lot like Los Angeles.

In Northeastern American intellectuals' assumptions about the impact of massive immigration from Mexico, I notice a lot of assuming that, of course, we are bound to get the best of both worlds -- all the visual quaintness of a Diego Rivera painting of the South of Mexico and all the industriousness of the North of Mexico. 

But, sometimes things work out like John F. Kennedy's description of Washington D.C.: "A city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm."

The evidence from the Southwest U.S. of a century or so of Mexican immigration is pretty similar to the north of Mexico: that you get a fair amount of industriousness, not much enterprise (especially not of a socially cooperative nature), and very little charm. Violence? Hard to say ... a lot in L.A. over the years (although far less than L.A. blacks), not much in El Paso.

Castaneda, by the way, worries about this conundrum. As a way out, he suggests some of the pleasant middle-sized old colonial cities of the middle of Mexico as national models: not too strip mallish, not too burroish.

56 comments:

Rivera was an Elite European Cultural Thief said...

the impoverished Indian south of Mexico “continues to provide much of Mexico’s personality.”

This "Mexican cultural personality" deriving from Southern Mexico is an illusion. It was much more the painter's perspective and style, not his various subjects, that makes Rivera a cultural Mexican icon.

Diego Rivera's distinctive style covered a wide range of subjects including modern industrial, economic and social justice themes. It his progressive even revolutionary colorful soviet style that marks Rivera as much if not more than his passive almost inert romanticized peasant subjects.

From Wikipedia

Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, to a well-to-do family. Rivera was descended on his father's side, from Spanish nobility... From the age of ten, Rivera studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. He was sponsored to continue study in Europe by Teodoro A. Dehesa Méndez, the governor of the State of Veracruz.

After arrival in Europe in 1907, Rivera initially went to study with Eduardo Chicharro in Madrid, Spain, and from there went to Paris, France, to live and work with the great gathering of artists in Montparnasse, especially at La Ruche, where his friend Amedeo Modigliani painted his portrait in 1914.[3] His circle of close friends, which included Ilya Ehrenburg, Chaim Soutine, Amadeo Modigliani and Modigliani's wife Jeanne Hébuterne, Max Jacob, gallery owner Leopold Zborowski, and Moise Kisling, was captured for posterity by Marie Vorobieff-Stebelska (Marevna) in her painting "Homage to Friends from Montparnasse" (1962).[4]

In those years, Paris was witnessing the beginning of cubism in paintings by such eminent painters as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. From 1913 to 1917, Rivera enthusiastically embraced this new school of art. Around 1917, inspired by Paul Cézanne's paintings, Rivera shifted toward Post-Impressionism with simple forms and large patches of vivid colors. His paintings began to attract attention, and he was able to display them at several exhibitions.

Gore Vidal (still alive) said...

In the words of Russell Baker, to be a journalist in Washington "made you feel inhuman, as though you were nothing more than a megaphone for the convenience of frauds." Or as Patrick Buchanan put it in 1992, "Listen, my friend, I've just come back from Mississippi and over there when you talk about the West Bank they think you mean Arkansas"

Anonymous said...

I found New Mexico to be quite charming when I lived there for a summer internship at Los Alamos(commuted from Sante Fe). Though, I don't think I'd like to live there permanently.

http://www.bustedtees.com/newmexico

Anonymous said...

BTW, the ADF came after Urban Outfitters for selling the T-Shirt that said "New Mexico, Cleaner than Regular Mexico"

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/8670263/ns/today-entertainment/t/t-shirt-said-be-offensive-mexico/#.TknJGGud5lM

ricpic said...

Does the Rivera painting you show have charm? Even though the subject should lend itself to charm the painting is actually rather coarse, heavy and stiff. This is the true mark of Mexican culture, or maybe the mestizo race. Look at Mexican silverwork for example, then compare it to a Jensen goblet or bowl. None of the lightness or grace that marks the European product. Always heavy, blunt and above all else UNSUBTLE. In short indelibly primitive. That's Mexico.

travis said...

Mark Twain once made a similiar observation about himself:

"I am a border-ruffian from the State of Missouri. I am a Connecticut Yankee by adoption. In me, you have Missouri morals, Connecticut culture..."

Anonymous said...

"Look at Mexican silverwork for example, then compare it to a Jensen goblet or bowl. None of the lightness or grace that marks the European product. Always heavy, blunt and above all else UNSUBTLE. In short indelibly primitive. That's Mexico."


Not disagreeing with the observations, but how did those Catholic priests manage to get the Indians to build those nice looking mission churches in California?

Thrasymachus said...

My theory has been that Mexico combines the worst aspects of North American culture- materialism, alienation, anomie- and Latin American culture- violence, cruelty, superstition, and fatalism.

R/A said...

I think the Mexicans are charming. So fat, short, care free and goofy.

Anonymous said...

Mexican painting have an earthen clay quality. I suppose it has a certain charm in a rustic humble way but it's not dynamic or original or outstanding. It's very Gomezy.

Anonymous said...

Well this is a bit OT, but DSer Spiegel gives us this study on how ANglo-Saxon invaders overwhelmed 5th Century native Brits.

Key points: 1) native Brits were weakened after being having their weapons taken away by their former conquerors, the Romans; 2) the Germanic invaders kept native Brits at a legal disadvantage in the areas they controlled; 3) the Germanic invaders outbred the native Brits; 4) the Germanic invaders maintained close ties to their families back in the "Old Country."

Legally advantaged and fast0breeding invaders, disarmed populac. Remind you of any place today? Remind you of Great Britain Britain? Remind you of America? Remind you of the West in general?

Anonymous said...

You know what's devoid of charm? The typical white American suburban neighborhood with it's padronized houses that all look the same, with yards full of insectices that all look the same, white picket fences that look ugly and are so cliche, with boring families that all look the same with the husband wearing a polo shirt with khaki pants, the wife wearing jeans two numbers too small and plastic dishes with stainless steel forks and knives etc. You Americans are ones to speak of charm...your entire country looks padronized from the catalog of UGLY.

Anonymous said...

What if gypsies had a nation of their own? Would it be like Mexico? Exhibit A

What if gypsies had a nation of their own? Would it be like Mexico? Exhibit B

I think one of the charms(and dangers)of Mexico is the sheer messiness of it all. But it's not the kind of total mess one finds in Congo. Rather, Mexico is a nation of great contrasts. It works, it doesn't work. It's modern, it's pre-modern. It's industrious and lazy. It's fiesta and siesta. Anglo-Americans and Northern European-Americans were better at creating law and order, and it's all very nice and good. But German towns and Scan towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin are pretty 'boring'. I don't mind 'boring' and indeed I prefer it, but if you like stimuli--grotesqueries, colors, shapes, smells, noise, etc--, Mexicans seem to have lots of it. Not necessarily because they wanna be that way but because they are one helluva mixed up and confused people stuck in some twilight zone.

Emir Kusturica is a huge fan of Peckinpah, and TIME OF GYPSIES even pays homage to the WILD BUNCH. (I also agree with Michael Mann that TIME is one of the 10 best films ever; 1992 Sight and Sound Poll.)
Anyway, the gypsy world in his two films are so much like the Mexican world in Peckinpah's movies.

Mexico's appeal to Peckinpah was both it harder-ness and softer-ness. It was a world of cutthroats, big drinkers, bandits, and free-for-all anarchy. It was also a world of small villages, humble peasants, gods and superstitions, tradition and feminity.

Anonymous said...

"You know what's devoid of charm? The typical white American suburban neighborhood with it's padronized houses that all look the same, with yards full of insectices that all look the..."

Not where I live. No two houses look alike, there are lots of trees, lots of dogs and cats. Lots of cicadas and green grass, etc.

Anonymous said...

Los Olivadados, best film made in Mexico.

Justin said...

I don't know what planet you people are living on, but look around, America sucks. American culture is almost totally devoid of charm.

And God save Mexico from Castaneda's brand of WASP/Jew "enterprise". We've had just about as much of THAT as we can take, haven't we?

Anonymous said...

not relating to the article.. has any one noticed a kind of conspiracy against mentioning Ron Paul. He came in second in the Iowa straw poll, and wins a bunch of polls all around yet he is hardly mentioned... what the f#@k!!!

jody said...

not sure you even get that much industriousness, although certainly it could have been worse. mexicans are somewhere in the middle of the industriousness scale, kind of like mexico itself. not bad...for a third world nation. not good...compared to real nations.

not the group you want to fill up a few US states by any means, but compared to some of the alternatives they aren't the worst case scenario.

Fred said...

Mexico's main problem is its corrupt elite. Sure, the average Mexican isn't that smart, but many of them are hard working, and modern organizations need a lot fewer chiefs than Indians anyway.

If Mexico had Chile's elite, it would be a lot wealthier than Chile on a per-capita basis, given its geographic advantages and its oil. It would also be less violent and more orderly.

NLF said...

"not relating to the article.. has any one noticed a kind of conspiracy against mentioning Ron Paul. He came in second in the Iowa straw poll, and wins a bunch of polls all around yet he is hardly mentioned... what the f#@k!!!"

Media are owned/run/allied with same people who run Wall Street, Ivy League, Washington, and AIPAC/J-Street.

Ron Paul is anti-Wall Street, anti-government, and anti-Israel-firstism. Jews hate him.
So, he is said to be a 'fringe' candidate. 'Mainstream' is whatever liberal and neocon Jews say it is. They control the Opinion Machine, which is the media.

psych student said...

My theory has been that Mexico combines the worst aspects of North American culture- materialism, alienation, anomie- and Latin American culture- violence, cruelty, superstition, and fatalism.

I once had a world-traveled, Hungarian psych professor who said South America was half European, half American, and the worse half of both. I don't know if PC influenced him to avoid mention of any race influence.

Charlotte said...

"You know what's devoid of charm? The typical white American suburban neighborhood with it's padronized houses that all look the same, with yards full of insectices that all look the..."

You know what's void of keen observation (or any perspective) and subtlety? You.
There is nothing more charming than a New England town, probably the best example of a blend of English village with North American newness--have you ever been to one? Or San Francisco with its American-invented trolley. Quintessentially western Yankee, despite Chinatown. New York breaths energy and something interesting on every street corner and owes next to nothing for its charm to any currrent immigrant group. I emphasize "current."
Or brownstones well cared for. When my mother was growing up in Baltimore, it was custom to srub the marble steps every week so that they glistened like jewels. They used to do postcards of the scene of those steps taken from the top of the street. Of course the neighborhood "changed" in the 50s and I don't think the current inhabitants do steps.
There plenty of charm in America but it has been overridden by over-development, strip malls (which may be going away. One hopes), and fast food joints with their towering pillar-signs.

One thing I do know. The "immigrants" that have settled like worker bees (best case scenario) or like blow-flies (worst case) have done zero to improve things, with the possible exception of restaurants, except you don't need millions to make a few restaurants. The area outside D.C. at least used to be squeaky clean and green. Now it--well, L.A. in Washington buerocrateeze, writ small.

I read the travels of an Australian missionary in China, c. 1885. He stopped at one missionary's house in a large city. The house was American, or western, with the accoutrements one would expect in a well-appointed Victorian home of 1885. The local ladies would dress in their best, enamel their faces, put flowers in their hair, and converge upon the missionary wife (in exchange to listening to a few Bible tales) for a mesmerized house-tour of what they called "heaven."
Go figure.

While I've had my own misgivings about the "McDonaldization" of the world, you really didn't have to twist too many arms to get the rest of the planet in the western mode.

All that being said, for me the most "charming" place in the world is a Tuscan town where St. Catherine of Siena said the "Virgin" had thrown her cloak over the hills, and then withdrawn it leaving the inhabitants to create only beauty and harmony.

anony-mouse said...

Interesting how the Northern efficiency-Southern charm idea works in so many places, in countries and in the case of Europe, even continents.

Are there that many (any?) places where the reverse is true?

Anonymous said...

I recall that old saying about "Northern hospitality /Southern efficiency" as endemic to other Mason-Dixon cities as well. Through the efforts of Arthur "Camelot" Schlesinger it became associated with JFK, patient zero for Potomac chic I suppose.

Those were the good old days, of the Washington Star and extended batting practice for Mickey Mantle. I don't think Adams Morgan was cited in the gentrification post--that was temporarily Latin turf although I believe they've since moved to a "Yoga Instructor Economy" based around designer cupcakes...

josh said...

Modern America is ugly and charmless. Strip malls, suburbs, and ruined cities. Let's not kid ourselves. Modernism can destroy *any* culture.

JSM said...

Here is why El Paso's Mexicans are so sedate:

(Because they *are* sedated -- from the lithium in the water.)

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,905404,00.html

RKU said...

Fred: Mexico's main problem is its corrupt elite. Sure, the average Mexican isn't that smart, but many of them are hard working, and modern organizations need a lot fewer chiefs than Indians anyway.

That's absolutely true. Sad to say, pretty much the same criticism applies to the U.S. as well these days...

Anonymous said...

Suppose Mexico had been settled by Anglos and East Coast by Spanish. Would the expansion been from SW to North and East?

Should French demand the Louisiana territory back as 'rightfully theirs'?
Should Russians demand Alaska back?

Anonymous said...

"I once had a world-traveled, Hungarian psych professor who said South America was half European, half American, and the worse half of both."

Most Hungarian intellectuals are Jewish, and Jews are critical of everyone, yet keep globe-trotting around other nations that they presumably cannot stand.
Besides, there is no such thing as 'South America'. It's too diverse. Chile and Bolivia are very different countries.

Anonymous said...

The Hisapnics in El Paso are almost all white and have probably lived there for longer than the Hispanics in California.

From Wikipedia:

El Paso has historically been predominantly Hispanic. In the 1870s, a population of 23 Non-Hispanic whites and 150 Hispanics was reported.[23] In 1916, the Census Bureau reported El Paso's population as 53% Hispanic and 44% non-Hispanic white.[24]

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, the racial composition of El Paso was as follows:

White: 77.8% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 15.0%)
Black or African American: 3.1%
Native American: 0.5%
Asian: 1.2%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Some other race: 15.1%
Two or more races: 2.2%

Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 80.0% (Mexican: 75.0%)

Jack Aubrey said...

"Ron Paul is anti-Wall Street, anti-government, and anti-Israel-firstism. Jews hate him."

Which is why the guy with the funny video questioning why the media ignores Ron Paul is...Jon Stewart?

Those damn dirty Jews...

Anonymous said...

"Mexico's main problem is its corrupt elite. Sure, the average Mexican isn't that smart, but many of them are hard working, and modern organizations need a lot fewer chiefs than Indians anyway.
If Mexico had Chile's elite, it would be a lot wealthier than Chile on a per-capita basis, given its geographic advantages and its oil. It would also be less violent and more orderly."

Elites do matter. Compare East and West Germany; or South and North Korea. Poland under communist rule and Poland under free rule.
But one reason why Mexican elite is corrupt is because the people remain ignorant and don't call for reforms. Also, Mexican masses, though hard-working, see and practice corruption as part of daily life. So, when they hear of a corrupt politician or businessman,they see it as business as usual. There is no moral outrage. Same thing in Sicily.
There is no reform-minded morally puritanical streak in Mexican Catholic steeped culture. Catholicism was more colorfully 'corrupt' but more tolerant in some ways than Protestantism. There was the pagan element, rituals, bureaucracy, etc. Protestantism stressed purity of soul, thought, action, etc. This can make Northern europeans priggish, and this priggishness has morphed into modern PC, which is why northern euros and anglo-american liberals are the biggest pain the arse. But there is call for better governance from the people, and the people are less tolerant of corruption--more easily morally outraged.

It's because Mexican masses tolerate and even welcome corruption in their own lives that they don't call out corruption among the elites. Mexican elite couldn't be as corrupt if the Mexican masses were more like Germans, white Americans or Canadians. But since there is little pressure from below, they go on being corrupt. It's like there was much organized crime in the Italian-American community because so many IAs looked the other way or even profited from it, directly or indirectly. Their view was, 'if I get something out of it, what do I care about the larger consequences.' It's like Sonny telling Michael in the ending of GODFATHER II that 'your nation is not your blood.' Mexicans feel the same way. In a way, they are even more screwy cuz they are not even sure what their 'blood' is.
Also, don't mistake Mexican industriousness with work ethic. Mexicans work hard when they have to, but they wouldn't if they don't have to. This is the difference between Jews/Anglos and Mexers. A rich Jew/Anglo still believes he should do someting constructive: make even more money, become a professor, fix society, become a scientist, etc. But a well-off Mexican thinks he should just like party like Mapache in the WILD BUNCH. And so if a Mexican strikes it rich, his kids grow up in an environment which says, 'why work so hard when we got it good?' Compare the German advisors and Mexican military in the Wild Bunch.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, as crucial as elites may be, they can only do so much. We say indigenous and mestizo population of mexico tend to be poor because of corrupt white elites.
But would things be much better if Mexico had been settled by Anglos? Maybe to an extent.
On the other hand, we know anglos were less into race mixing, and so modern Mexico might be more white minority at top vs vast numbers of pure blooded Indians at the bottom. That might not be good for social order. In fact, it might be more of a powderkeg.
But let us assume that Anglos mixed with Indigensous folks too, and majority of Anglo-Mexico is mestizo. Because of Anglo elite guidance, would Mexico be a much better country or only a somewhat better country?
Look at American Indians in the US. They lived under Anglo-American rule. They mixed with the white man too. And due to greater opportunities and more welfare, they are better off than poor people in Mexico. BUT, the Indian-American community has been mired in poverty, backwardness, ignorance, etc. If Anglo-Americans have had such a great influence on people they ruled, why have American-Indians done so poorly?
Indiginous people of Mexico, like American Indians of America, may not possess the cultural attributes necessary for upward mobility.

Thisis why Mexicans need a Confuciez and why American Indians need a Eagle Warrior Who Prefers Book to Drink.

Anonymous said...

"Not disagreeing with the observations, but how did those Catholic priests manage to get the Indians to build those nice looking mission churches in California?"

They gave the Indians food but withheld the drink--except for a little wine with the crackers.
And it goes to show pieta does more than fiesta and siesta.

Anonymous said...

But German towns and Scan towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin are pretty 'boring'.


I love boring. Boring means nothing bad is happening.

After an exciting childhood with an exciting single mom, I married the most boring corporate white bread midwest nerd I could find. 23 years of peace and prosperity ever since. God, I love boring.

Anonymous said...

What is the role of the individual in all this? How much can a Mexican individual break free of the forces in his country?

Consider the concept of 'lying down'. Because we take gravity for granted, we think WE lie down. It's as though an individul chooses to lie down and applies force upon himself to lie down--as when he's sitting up or standing up. "I lay down" would suggest "I chose to lay down and I laid myself down."
Yet, the force that allows him to lie down wasn't his. It's the gravitational pull of Earth. So, all he really did was surrender to the force of Earth's gravity. He didn't lay himself down. He allowed his body to submit to the gravitational force of Earth. Earth laid him down--or pulled him down, to which he submitted. But, because we take gravity for granted, we say, "I lay down" as if it was entirely 'my choice' and 'my doing'.

Imagine two realms. One is a gravity box and another is a zero-gravity box. In the latter, the concept of 'lying down' wouldn't even exist. One could not lie down even if he wanted. In a non-gravity realm, there would be no up, no down. A person would just float in the air. 'Up' would be whereever his head is at the moment, or purely relative. He would always be 'standing' or always be 'lying down'; indeed both would be the same. Without gravity, what does it matter?

Therefore, so much of what we do in the gravity-world is in relation to the larger force of gravity. Even walking is in relation to gravitational pull. Walking would be meaningless in zero gravity. Swimming pools wouldn't exist either in zero gravity.

Something similar may apply to culture. Libertarians speak of individualism and freedom, but every individual thinks, feels, and acts in relation to the cultural/social forces of the society he was born in. To be sure, these forces can change, but even the changes--whatever they may be or however brought about--operate in relation to the culture that exists/pre-existed. So, what may be possible individually in one society may not be in another society because different societies have different cultural gravitational forces.

We can use gravity metaphorically. We can use it as a negative: reaction and corruption. In that case, Mexicans are under greater gravitational force that pulls down them to old corrupt way of doing things. Let's say corruption G-force in the US is 100. In Mexico, it might be 200. Just being in Mexico feels 'heavier' even if one isn't carrying an extra load on his back. The whole system drags you down.

But gravity can also be used as a positive metaphor: core values, rootedness, moral compass. The problem with liberals is their relativistic notion that there is no up or down, that all traditional or conventional social/moral forces are oppressive or repressive and must be rejected, and 'anything goes'. So, we are to believe that black rap culture is as valuable and positive as white values, we are supposed to believe illegal aliens are as good as legal citizens, we are to believe 'gay marriage' is of same value as real marriage. (Funny that liberals 'celebrate' diversity yet supports a sexual culture where men and women segregate themselves sexually from one another. The alliance between gays and lesbians is purely political or artificial, wherereas the partnership/union of man and woman is natural and organic. The basic/core diversity in nature is male and female. We don't need various races living together to perpetuate the existence of each race. It's not a necessary diversity. But male and female is a necessary diversity from which new life is created. Libs got it backwards but they wouldn't know what is up or down, right or wrong, back or front.)

Anonymous said...

Anyway, excessive gravity is bad but so too little gravity. Too much gravity, and we feel like Mexicans burdened by a corrupt past and present. Too little gravity, and we turn into flaky liberals hopping around like men on the Moon.

Spike Gomes said...

Say what you will about the corruption and incompetence of the Mexican elite, they've at least secured Mexico for the Mexicans and at least have a sentimental attachment to the land and common people. That's more than could be said for the American elite.

If they were more blanco perhaps they'd be like Spain, in risk of massive default and swarming with guest workers and financial planning that's killing the average Spaniard. Spain would be poorer and more corrupt but still proudly Spanish if the "Viva la Muerte" crowd won out.

helene edwards said...

In this case,

http://www.projectposner.org/case/2003/350F3d652

a Mexican illegal claimed he was exempt from deportation following conviction for firing a gun in the air on New Year's Eve, on the basis that said act "had a cultural purpose." He lost, thanks to Judge Posner, but this is the kind of thing that clogs up our courts.

Anonymous said...

"Say what you will about the corruption and incompetence of the Mexican elite, they've at least secured Mexico for the Mexicans and at least have a sentimental attachment to the land and common people. That's more than could be said for the American elite."

Secured Mexico for Mexicans? But what is a 'Mexican'? He is the product of invasions and defeat.
And Mexico lost 2/3 of its territory soon after losing the war with Yanquis. Some elite.
And Mexico is not run by most Mexicans who are mestizo and indian but by white elites, lebanese immigrants, and Jews like Castaneda.
And the reason why few people 'invade' Mexico is because no one wants to live there. Even Central Americans who slip into Mexico do so to make it to America.

psych student said...

"Most Hungarian intellectuals are Jewish, and Jews are critical of everyone, yet keep globe-trotting "

I don't think he was Jewish background. He was a medical docotr and lived in Pakistan for a time, with his wife, and described how Pakistanis would admire his baby until he told them it was a girl. Then they'd sort of sneer and go on their way. This prof would get really mad about American feminists. He thought American women were, oh, I guess what some men here think they are. He thought American women had no idea how good they had it compared to places like Pakistan; or even Hungary.

Dennis Dale said...

The south ain't all that much for charm either, to tell the truth.

And look at the translation of such as Rivera--there are some magnificently ugly murals around LA

Kylie said...

"I love boring. Boring means nothing bad is happening.

After an exciting childhood with an exciting single mom, I married the most boring corporate white bread midwest nerd I could find. 23 years of peace and prosperity ever since. God, I love boring."


Yes.

After an exciting childhood and young womanhood, including a stint in a vibrant neighborhood, I married someone reliable and stable who spends much of his spare time on his guy hobbies. My friends who knew me way back when can't get over how happy I am now. They don't believe me when I tell them it's because I live such a boring life.

elvisd said...

"Interesting how the Northern efficiency-Southern charm idea works in so many places, in countries and in the case of Europe, even continents."

A friend from Beruit remarked on that: "Almost any country you go to, the south is poorer, more charming, and more compelling."


"I once had a world-traveled, Hungarian psych professor who said South America was half European, half American, and the worse half of both."

What planet was that dork on? How about "Half Indian", or did he never get past the cafes?

"Los Olivadados, best film made in Mexico."

Bunuel was a genius.

Charlotte said...

"Yoga Instructor Economy" based around designer cupcakes..."

well Adams Morgan may have some good cupcakes, but Georgetown has better.

Doug1 said...

I haven't been there in a long time but Guadelahara used to be pretty appealing. Maybe it still is.

Anonymous said...

Mexicans are maybe charmo but not really charming.

Kylie said...

"I think the Mexicans are charming. So fat, short, care free and goofy."

I think you've got Mexicans confused with garden gnomes.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in the southern US most of my life, and in the deep south for six years, I see little of charm in it. The white south is largely into "redneck" culture, or they are northern transplants. The black south is pretty much the same as the black north. The most charming places I've visited in the US are small, white, midwestern towns. While some consider them "boring" because they don't have loud blacks or rednecks as neighbors, I personally would love to move to one.

Anonymous said...

(Because they *are* sedated -- from the lithium in the water.)

Isn't lithium thyrotoxic? That would explain the "short, fat, unenergetic" Mexicans.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with rednecks?

Anonymous said...

Also, don't mistake Mexican industriousness with work ethic. Mexicans work hard when they have to, but they wouldn't if they don't have to. This is the difference between Jews/Anglos and Mexers. A rich Jew/Anglo still believes he should do someting constructive: make even more money, become a professor, fix society, become a scientist, etc. But a well-off Mexican thinks he should just like party like Mapache in the WILD BUNCH. And so if a Mexican strikes it rich, his kids grow up in an environment which says, 'why work so hard when we got it good?' Compare the German advisors and Mexican military in the Wild Bunch.

That's a good description of things.

Truth said...

"I personally would love to move to one."

So what the hell is stopping you Vasco DeBama?

Anonymous said...

Only in Mexico. Tinka Belez.

Georgia Resident said...

Truth,

I understand that you are a very sad, lonely individual who gets pleasure from posting inane and/or snarky comments, but couldn't you find a pastime with fewer negative externalities, like drinking malt liquor or huffing paint?

Ray said...

People always ask "But would things be much better if Mexico was white?"

I really doubt it. Argentina's population is mainly white and descends from Italians, Spaniards and French, and it was founded on "English" values.

Yet, it is every bit as corrupt as Mexico. In fact, I dare to say it is even more. Argentina suffers from endless crisis and inflation every 10 years, and doesn't have an Industry like, say, Mexico or Chile; Hell, it doesn't even have a "clear" economy.

The underlying cause, in my opinion, is another.
Let's look at Spain: Spain for years. It wasn't until it entered EU it could progress (an artificial progress that is currently falling, may I add).

It was (and still is to some exent) a corrupt nations where people overlooked the errors of their rulers. That culture has been an illness on most Spanish Colonies.
That's how I see it.

Anyway, I wonder what the future holds for Mexico.
Latin America is currently in the middle. It is richer than all Africa and the vast majority of Asia. Mexico is currently the 11th biggest economy, it's living standards are similar to Poland and it's growing like it never did before. This so called "Drug war" cannot stay long - it will not survive beyond 2015, and that is a promise.

And after that, it will be interesting to see the future.