Saturday, March 12, 2011


Things are bad here. But, I hear they're bad everywhere. It seems like this was foretold somewhere, isn't that true?

The violence here seems to be ever-worsening, ever-growing. It is all most people talk about all day long--albeit in hushed tones, not wanting to be overhead in case one of "them" is nearby. They talk about people being betrayed by life-long friends, about kidnappings and hold-ups. About corruption and senseless killings.

If evil prevails by implanting fear, evil is prevailing here. Many do not want to go out of their houses. We wonder how many of the stories are made up--just to create fear.

One thing that I have always hated here is the news reports. Newspapers here boldly splash huge pictures of dead bodies in the streets, blood and gore. I shudder to think of how young children are here when they first see real violent death at their local gas station newsstand. Yes, they put all those horrific images--but very rarely are there details as to the where, why, how, what is being done to bring justice. No, just sensationalism.

There are actually magazines published completely filled with nothing other than photographs so horrific that even the newspapers wouldn't print them. Rey remembers seeing them as a small boy.

It actually seems that many develop a taste, a hunger, for things dark and gory here. At the local movie theaters, the typical mix of movies is: 1 child movie, 1 famous/American movie, and then the other 5 all depict monsters, or witches, or children looking to be suffering from some kind of possession--blood and gore again.

A friend of mine posted this article, written by a Mexican in a newspaper column here. I loved his perspective, especially coming from a national. It was eye-opening for me. I almost didn't post it because I didn't know if it would be as interesting to others... But, here goes:

By: Carlos Mosivias

"...In a text published by the supplement El Angel... a crime reporter plants a disturbing idea. He writes that the consumption of newspaper images of death, blood and crime scenes are a kind of ritual by which Mexicans continue to show homage to the god Tecaztlipoca. 'It's like in the pages of these magazines we find a corrupt and sick altar to the violent power of a despotic government.'

If we believe historians, ... we would note that the Aztecs ate the flesh of their enemies and made human sacrifices in ceremonial rituals.

When societies that have practiced cannibalism evolve to a certain level of complexity and development they tend to severely condemn these practices in order to make them disappear, since at a certain point the practice puts at risk their own development. However, for some unknown reason we Mexicans never gotten rid of our rituals and they have symbolically remained until now. We see it in our traditional celebrations on November 2 ("The Day of the Dead"), in our fatalistic conception of the world and in other other aspects of our daily lives.

We tend to enjoy enjoy watching fights/boxing, we go to cock fights, we diligently take our turn to go see a dead body in the street, we line up to see horror movies with candy in our hands (to enjoy ourselves more) and, well, our inclination for this sensationalism seems to in a repressed way show our inheritance. It is important to note that the before-mentioned examples are ways of showing the aggression and violence, not the causes. However, our governmental regimes and decadence have turned us into a society familiar with and, in some ways, avid participants of the violence.The difference is while some actually are doing the violence, the rest of us are watching, listening and reading about it.

'The central point of [one of these violent magazines] is that it belongs to the same moral system as the crimes they write about. It forms a part of the same cultural structure."

..The truth is, even in the most stellar news programs, the violence is present. It is, without doubt, a sign of the times.

Another person dead in Juarez, another fallen in the street, students killed, babies killed... and--in the middle of it all--showing that we have one of the most ineffective police forces in the world. And why not? It also belongs to the same info structure that as those who are producing this stuff.

The tabloid/sensational writer is just doing his job. Reporting word by word, retelling the acts--their eight columns contain death: the photograph explodes into sight and the the vocabulary is exaggerated, sensationalistic, melodramatic as is characteristic of this genre... It is not the press's fault that in case after case so called public opinion only wants them to dig up details--not to look to promote justice.

Could I say it more clearly?

It made me think about something: Perhaps all this focus by the culture on gruesome violence is actually grooming violence in the next generation. What I mean is-- would not kids longing for greatness notice all the attention evil-doers get? The complete absorption in violence and ugliness? It would have to seem that becoming a part of the same violence would practically be a ticket to stardom!

It just made it so clear how easy it can be to take a stand against violence--starting from our own homes... our influence on our friends. Refusing to engage in the on-going dialogue of who did what. Refusing to be interested in the gore. Making a point of praising and lifting up those who do good.

It also made me see how deeply rooted darkness is in the country and how much it needs Jesus!

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