Monday, 10 October 2011

Musings on Jorge Castañeda's new book "Mañana, Forever", the Nation's review of the book, and the man himself

We have several and various left, liberal, socialist, progressive, and communist OROGs who are masochists or simply "searchers''.    The Old Gringo has perhaps as four or five friends in the world. and among them is one of these.   From this noble personality has come a book review pertaining to Jorge Castañeda's new book, entitled "Mañana, Forever".    The book review is, as one might imagine, found in the Nation magazine, and is conducted by Natasha Wimmer.
     Natasha is best remembered as Boris's love interest and partner in the trials and tribulations of Rocky and! no!...wrong genre...Natasha Wimmer is actually, like Castaneda, one of those enigmatic things on the left that are referred to in nature as a mutant; a member of the specie that does not comform entirely to the normal demands of inherited chromosomes.   Jorge and Natasha times....make some sense and draw correct conclusions from evidence presented.
Miss Wimmer at tea
     Jorge and Natasha times....can see the mote in the eye of a leftist.   Natasha's creds can be found here:        

Please read this pro-communist summary (linked in this paragraph)  which includes vitriol and hatred that the various socialist movements have always reserved for Jews, communists who attack communist sacred cows, and communists who begin the journey out of the desert of hate, dispair, and dysfunctional  "democratic peoples republics'" basket-case dictatorship countries  .     The hatred in this case is from a person who has little intelligence and much marxist cant against a person who has great intelligence and who is on an epiphany to right thinking.

Jorge Castaneda Gutman
Jorge is a communist-back-when type. Like a lot of those folks, he gradually soured on things like the Cuban experiment with applying psychotic derangement to any political/economic model. While still an ardent leftist, and fresh off having supported Lazaro Cardenas's son Cuauhtemoc for President of Mexico in the 1994 elections, he came around to be willing to serve the Conservative Party's (PAN) newly elected President, Vicente Fox Quezada as Secretary for Foreign Relations. Jorge is a brilliant explainer and story-teller in the positive sense. While the Old Gringo prefers Octavio Paz as a writer, perhaps because as he aged and gained wisdom, Octavio steadily moved to the Right during his journey through life, it should be pointed out that most lefties of any importance chafe at Jorge's willingness to be reasonable. Jorge, for example, is given some, if not all, the credit for marginalizing the useless old psuedo-revolutionary Fidel Whatshisname and his brother Raul.  Jorge also made the mistake of not canonizing Ernesto (Che) Guevara de la Serna in his biographical of the bloodthirsty psychopath.

     The book by Castaneda seems, in my quick perusal, to be something like a literary demolition derby.    So, since the Old Gringo's thought processes are pretty much the same, he felt right at home.   Castaneda points out that Mexico has things that "common sense", "common understanding", and that "everybody knows" all have completely wrong.
For instance, in spite of the collective wisdom concerning such matters Mexico does not have:
An exploding population
An absence of a middle class
A bad economic future
An absence of law or legal process
A massive outmigration of people

        In fact and as a matter of provable fact, Mexico has a population that is rapidly slowing  (?) in growth, and will probably be below 1% before 2020.   Over two-thirds of Mexico's population is in some format or the other of a lower-middle class and an upper-middle class composition.   The future of Mexico's economy is between moderately to extremely bright for a number of reasons, too numerous to mention here.   There is a recognition that Mexico suffers from too many laws....meaningless laws, redundant laws, un-enforcable law, un-interpretable laws.   The process of application of law is still cumbersome, but improving...gradually.  And then, the migration of people going one way or the other, the "going back to Mexico" group began to outnumber the "leaving Mexico" group about two years ago.   Mexico has been suffering from a severe labour shortage for about three years.

The next thing is what "commonly accepted fact" holds to be positively true are:
All Mexicans are alike and the same. They constitute a certain and identifiable race. They must be referred to are referred to as "hispanics" in the American media because the word "Mexican" is a dirty, insulting word to "hispanics".
All Mexicans vote Left.   They do not have the ability to defend themselves.   They must have government help in order to survive.   They are pinko drones.

       In fact, in Mexico the vast majority of voting people vote rather much like the United States.  They tend to the conservative and they distrust government and politicians.   The last two PRI (centrist party) candidates for President in Mexico, in 1988 and 1994 who were elected were free-market types and dedicated to free-trade and private sector dominance of the economy.  Since that time the people have elected two conservative party (PAN) free market type Presidents.   That is a 24 year run, and will be repeated for another 6 years.    All the left-wing, socialist and redder parties will not be able to gather up 8 or 9 percent of the vote during the next elections in July, 2012.
     And on the other point, all Mexicans and  Mexican-Americans are very, very difficult to racially and ethnically type-cast.    Over one-fourth of the population is seven-eighths or more Caucasian.    The mestizo (part-white and part-Indian) turns out to be a bit smaller than thought, according to DNA analysts.   Many "darker" Mexicans turn out to be "whiter" (more Caucasian), due to the fact that some of their darker traits come from Moroccan and other northwestern African strains such as Berbers and Carthaginians whose bloodlines in deepest antiquity is most probably Phoenician.     Still, it is true that most Mexicans probably have  indigenous blood derived from people who were in Mexico before the first Iberian presence.   That number would be as high as 75 percent, or oddly enough, a little lower than the number of white people who can trace their ancestry into colonial epoch times in Anglo-America.    Some researchers have estimated that 90 percent of all "white" Southerners have at least 1/32 to 1/4 indigenous blood.
      This leaves the oddity in statistical terms that the majority of all Mexicans are white, and the majority of all Mexicans are indigenous.   It all depends how a person slices the pie.  But to make it simple, for a saloon census, figure that 20% of Mexico is pure white, 70% of Mexico is some lesser or greater mix of indigenous and Caucasian, 19% is Indian, and 1% is Oriental or Negro.  The Old Gringo knows that his percentages on these counts wobble....but they are honest estimates, backed up by considerable science.
      As well, even geographically the rule requires that not all Mexicans are the same.   The further south into Mexico a person goes, the more Indian and Mestizo, with the whites being concentrated into larger cities.   The further North, the people are more white and Mestizo.   There are large swaths of Mexico in the South, in the Yucatan, and in certain demographic "islands" in the North that are composed of majorities of Indigenous peoples.

      Castaneda knows that the term "hispanic" is in its own way insulting, because it takes away the true identity of an individual, and lumps him in to a group with which he may very well have no true similarity.    Castaneda seems to postulate, as Wimmer points out, that Mexico has benefited from losing some of its Mexican mystique due to emigration and re-entry to Mexico, because the American notions of self-reliance and independence unto one's own sovereignty are superior forms of cultural foundation.   Essentially he says that Mexico would be better off as a Calvinist State....I presume.   For some reason, the Old Gringo would rather put up with some of the quirkiness and inefficiencies of the Mexican approach to life if it would mean a preservation of their civility and childish fascination with the wonders of the Creation of Yahweh.   To me it seems that too often, Mexicans and Argentines adapt to and adopt those parts of the American popular culture that are most degenerate.   But who is the Old Gringo to be making those judgements?

      The Old Gringo has done something more than a bit of spot reading of Jorge's book.   It is a jumble.   It is maddeningly similar to pogo-sticking down a mountain in the dark in terms of its continuity and conclusion formulation.   Jorge Castaneda Gutman's writings bring to mind the folle artiste,  suddenly painting with the impulse of madness and urgency, slashing and splashing paints of strange colours on a soiled canvas while using spent brushes, and then collapsing in an exhausted heap.    The work turns out to be a great masterpiece and is admired as a stunning artistic conquest, even by his detractors.   This book is not a stunning artistic oracademic masterpiece, or perhaps it is.   What I have read of it so far, and what headaches it has caused, has not changed my place on the political spectrum and my headaches seem to abate.   It is akin to a dumptruck emptying a full load of gravel on an ant.
     It is urged to the OROG's attention as a worthwhile, perhaps even necessary, read.    In all the Old Gringo's rantings and ravings perhaps all OROGs can see that all are at home here.  My convictions are made of iron, but no man is my enemy if he wills me or mine no ill.   The Old Gringo can listen, and still even learn a little, without changing his moorings or anchorage.

To all OROGs in Lexington, Texas and all OROGs everywhere.....and to all....a good night.
El Gringo Viejo

(Special Message to all OROGs, old and new: Thanks for your indulgence. The Old Gringo and his wife are Episcopalians but tomorrow we shall be in Roman Catholic precincts, with out any particular complaints.   Tomorrow the Old Gringo  will be called upon to give a few openning words before the beginning of the funeral Rosary for the wife's father. On Thursday, the Old Gringo will read his brief and especially prepared Eulogy to a very special father-in-law who is now among the Angels and in the Company of All Souls and All Saints.    The services will be celebrated in a very elegant and fine old Roman Catholic Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary here in the locale.   It will be a pleasantly sad time.
Thank each of you who have prayed and wished well for us during these moments.)