Saturday, November 01, 2014

2014 Halloween / Día de los Muertos

Denver's dead trick-n-treatin'. Students dead/Mexico rising from the dead? Not-voting suicide. Latino/a Rising will live.

The two holiday observances ironically portray death from two opposing perspectives, as Flo Hernandez-Ramos explained yesterday. Today's post relates to different news bits about "death." It ends with good news.

Denver's dead trick-n-treatin'

We're such a nation of scared sheep, I'm not surprised. For over a month the Colorado press and media, politicians, police and fear-mongers have been sensationalizing a Non-threat: "Denver Police Warn Parents About Pot-Laced Candy During Trick-or-Treat Season." Give me a break, with more than a Snickers.

We're a richly self-medicated nation, abusing a lot of prescription drugs. For decades we've had bathroom shelves of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, given out for pain, so much that some is usually left over. Those are cheap compared to what THC spray costs. Were warnings issued every year about codone-laced candy?

When Denverites complained about the police's fear-mongering, the cops made a video posted on Facebook! They got slammed for that, too, but it was too late. At least in some Denver neighborhoods, on a Halloween night warmer than many previous, we had the lowest turnout ever. I'm guessing why. People in other areas report similar low turnouts, though not everywhere.

What will we hear next year to make us keep kids "safe" and inside and not walk the neighborhoods? ISIS terrorist sympathizers giving out hand-grenade treats! Disgruntled African immigrants giving out Ebola-licked gummy bears! Listen in to your fave shock-brained radio jock to find out. And be scared. It's as American as apple pie laced with GMOs. Oh, that's right--that's a real threat.

43 Students dead / Mexico rising from the dead?

U.S. drug habits and drug laws, gun mania and shipments into Mexico are now responsible for the likely murders of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Normal teacher-training school, missing since Sept. 26th. Big deal. Drugs, drug lords, killings, kidnappings, decapitations, "disappearings", cartel-bribed politicians, police and soldiers are always in the news. That's the Mexico the U.S. helped create and we're not surprised to hear more. However, this time, more than mierda has hit the fan.

"Most of the students were in their teens, in their first semester, and from impoverished communities that a majority of Mexicans identify with. The voids in Mexico’s government are all too obvious now. The country seems to be trembling at the edge of a terrible cataclysm or, for the hopeful, an inspiring transformation.

Mexico City rally for the 43
"There will be a march in Mexico City on Oct. 31st, coinciding with the Day of the Dead, and a “mega march” is scheduled for Nov. 5th, the day Mexico’s universities and colleges are planning a national strike. How many universities, colleges, and institutes will stick with it, and for how long? Will it spread to other areas of society, to the high schools, for example, as recent student strikes in Chile did, bringing about significant changes in the country? When masses of students boycott classes, it fills a country with an air of emergency and danger.
"What many Mexicans have been telling me is this: It’s either now or never."

Chicanos, mexicanos, latinos from the U.S. will no doubt support as they can whatever arises from the probable deaths of the 43. A new Revolución, across the river from El Paso, San Diego and Brownsville? It wouldn't be sci-fi or fantasy to imagine how our government, politicians and military would react to that. Or the gun lobby and industry, anti-immigrant racists and radio shock-jocks. I can hear them now. But for the rest of the country, it would be a true gauge of a "commitment" to democracy. Maybe they'd be spared the agony of having to decide. Yo espero que no.

Not-voting suicide

Earlier this year, I was among those advocating NOT voting. I was wrong. "We" are not united enough for that to have an effect. A discussion about when that time might come doesn't matter at the moment.

In the meantime, I'm voting because the Koch brothers, the anti-science crazies, the pro-oil conglomerates and the anti-immigrant racists are trying to elect their kind. They're even going after judgeships so justifiable claims against corporations will be more frequently overturned by "their" judges in the future.

Wherever I look on the Internet, TV or the press, and whoever I talk to, I could almost believe Armageddon is here, and Dystopia is our only future. Many people (including me) are negative, bitter, even reverting to political hermits. For that reason, I have been Facebooking the points below--one per day--trying to answer typical reasons you hear about why somebody won't vote next week. Use them, elaborate and improve them, if you want.

Many idiots, but make sure they're yours
#1 - Why you don't have to vote: Because you don't believe in the lesser of 2 evils.
What! Satan's not worse than a demon?
Frostbitten's not worse than shivering?
The 1% has robbed us of plenty. Did they steal your vote yet?

#2 - Why you don't have to vote: Because you think corporate ads already bought yours.
What! You think the 1% can control and even predict the future?
Hiding your head in the sand is smarter than sticking it in a voting booth?
Yes, the 1% has bribed most politicians. But you go alone into the voting booth.

#3 - Why you don't have to vote: Because the polls already canceled out your vote.
What! You think pulling one lever matters less than 1,000 opinions?
Ask the condemned man who he fears more--the hangman or the mob out front.
No, you might not have much to pick from. But which end of the rope do you prefer?

#4 - Why you don't have to vote:  Because there's only a few hours left, and you've got too much to do.
What! You don't want to spend a few minutes to avoid years of suffering?
Only terminal cancer patients (my apologies) could say voting does them no good.
No, you never have enough time. But voting could make the future, worth living.

#5 - Why you DON'T have to vote: Because you only care about who the President is, not a bunch of politicians.
What! You think if your President is elected, he/she will take care of everything?
Congress or your state legislature make the laws. The Prez and governors sign them, or not.
Your vote next week adds or detracts from the next President's or governor's power; that's the math.

Latino/a Rising will live!

I apologize to everyone who this week received too many bits from me about funding and supporting the anthology, Latino/a Rising, the first collection of U.S. Latino/a science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative genres. I do believe it is worth supporting and buying copies of once it's published. And I did have a personal stake in it, since a story of mine might be included. Even if it's not, I expect it to be a precursor of latino contributions to come. Echando más salsa en la literature Americana.

The good news is that the Kickstarter campaign surpassed its $10,000 goal but there's still time, until midnight, for you to kick in and get some cool perks, like autographed copies, T-shirts and swag.

I was just one of many who participated in reaching that goal. At times, I felt ambivalent: Why do we Latinos have to ask for money for a first-ever anthology when so many are produced in the U.S. every year? That's a because that I won't get into. What made me feel better were the non-latinos who responded, sometimes directly, letting me know they had contributed. It made me remember that we're not alone. There are some progressive Anglos, and others, out there. We just need to re-educate more of them.

Es todo, hoy, ni un treat más,
RudyG, a.k.a. Rudy Ch. Garcia, Chicano spec author with too much left-over candy


Author Giora said...

You covered many topics, and I just like to support one observation that you've made: connecting U.S. drugs habit to the drug lords in Mexico. Many American commentators bash Mexico for being a Narco-state, while conveniently ignoring the American demand for drugs that created the situation in the first place. If the U.S. send its Army to fight the drug lords in a country right on its border, instead of sending it to solve problems in countries far away ... both Mexicans an Americans will be better off.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Author Giora, we'll probably give up our drugs right after our guns. About that, U.S. soldiers probably not welcome in Mexico. Everytime they see one, they seem to lose something, like their land. RudyG