Sunday, December 27, 2009

MEXICO TRIP REPORT

I am sitting in the Plaza de Armas using the free wi-fi kindly provided by the city of Queretaro, Mexico to write this message to you out there in Blogger Land. My dad, sitting right next to me and using a Windows based computer (an Acer, it seems) can't pick up the signal that I'm getting. Computers are mysterious.

The photos on this page are from the nearby Plaza Zenea, where they have very cool displays of the Garden of Eden and Hell. I mentioned this last time, but now I've got photos to prove it! You can click on the photos to see them bigger if you want, by the way.

Also in the photos you can see a little friend I picked up at a toy stall here. I am calling him Gayzilla because he is so very festive and pink. I find pink festiveness to be very gay and happy, full of light-heartedness and merriment. Of course, as my friend Leilani pointed out, he may be a she (or perhaps trans-gendered! Don't want to leave anyone out!). But that doesn't make her (zir?) any less full of light-heartedness and merriment, so the name sticks!

What can I tell you about Mexico? I don't really have anything at all to report about the Zen scene here. I don't even know if there is one. But I didn't come here for the Zen. I came here to hang out with my dad, who is down here (see first paragraph).

The Hell display is intriguing. It gets a lot more traffic than the Eden display next to it. I've noticed that the rock scene in this city seems to be very oriented towards metal, the more satanic the better. Maybe there's a connection. The city's seemingly lone record store -- called Rockland, I believe -- seems stocked mainly with metal. Though they do have a healthy selection of punk and prog rock.

I also saw some metal/punk bands playing outdoors on the town square last night. One band played Judas Priest's "Breakin' The Law" and the old Them chestnut (via The Doors, I'm guessing from the singer's Doors T-shirt) "Gloria" with lyrics in Spanish. Another band played the Pistols' version of Eddie Cochran's "Something Else," also with Spanish lyrics. Those guys had two foot tall mohawks all around. At one point I caught a whiff of something that smelled like modeling glue and realized it was coming from one of those guys' hair! My friend Mike Mohawk used to use shellac to keep his mohawk up. So maybe glue works too.

This is a very religious country. Or at least a country in which the outward displays of religious-ness are highly valued. The place we're staying is decorated with crosses everywhere you look. The taxi drivers display pictures of Jesus on their dashboard. Both the friendly guy who drove us to the local Wal Mart (ugh! not my idea!) at a normal pace and the surly guy who drove us back to town like a deranged maniac had Jesus on display.

I don't really know what to make of it all. I can't speak enough Spanish to get any sense at all of what this stuff means to anyone here. The presence of so much satanic metal imagery along side all the religious stuff gives me some kind of hint. It seems like the younger people take pleasure in flaunting their irreverence for what the priests have taught them. I wonder if they ever have religious folk protesting the metal shows the way we do up North.

All right. My dad wandered off so I better go fetch him.

See ya!

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

uno

Mysterion said...

superstitious is a better word than religious where Mexico is concerned.

Mysterion said...

LINK

LINK 2

Superstition exists in [almost] every culture, only the degree varies.

Read (A pdf) “El financiamiento de la educación básica en el marco del federalismo” .

Matriculation rates are very low.

Pope Joe said...

Mexico has a GREAT history.

On June 19th, 1867 Maximilian was executed on the Cerro de las Campanas, a hill near the city Queretaro. Maximilian, following the tradition of the Habsburgs, paid twenty pesos in gold to each soldier of the firing squad that they might make the effort shoot accurately.

He was an idealist, a human full of liberal thoughts that honestly hoped to bring the Mexican people liberty and internal peace, "a figure of beautiful, pure knighthood, which will teach up-striving souls that it there is something higher than the bare life and benefit" wrote Adalbert Stifter.

An odd link.

Tied to the North/South war in the US...

Catholic slant...

And, of course, them freethinking Freemasons

MORE PROOF

Anonymous said...

"It seems like the younger people take pleasure in flaunting their irreverence for what the priests have taught them"

or freedom from or independence of or rebellion against or non-belief in or.....

It could be a good attitude, it could be rebellion it could be a classic punk attitude.

They might also have deep respect for traditions but not wish to follow them or......

Let's hear a "Brad interviewed....."

PA said...

The guy in the top picture looks like Don Quixote! Is that your dad? If it is, coool! If not, still coool :-)
Have fun with your dad!

Anonymous said...

Those photos indicate you are not very comfortable in the hell realms
it would have been creepy if you had been all smiley

I have heard it said, as boddhisattvas (or ones aspiring to fulfill the 4 Great Vows) we should consider hell as the place (among others) where we might be needed and as such a place to look to going to


entesse

proulx michel said...

Mexico, before the European era, was a barbaric country where they sacrificed people to their bloodthirsty gods. Then came the Christian Spanish, who came to teach them of their god of love, to whom they sacrificed countless Mexicans by burning them alive.

It does seem that Mexico belongs to the Hell Realms...

David Clark said...

I used to spend a lot of time in Mexico (the wine region of the Guadalupe Valley and the Yucatan to be exact). Dualistic religion in all it's florid splendor is alive and kicking there. Pre-Columbian religions and the severe Catholic faith of the conquerers have melded into a practice that is Catholic on the face of it, but the old Gods lurk just below the surface.

DeLanda in his "Relacion" writes of an early Mayan /Catholic religious procession where a statue of the Virgin was brought out of the church and paraded around the town. Mayans gathered on all sides, venerating the Sacred Mother. Then the bearers stumbled and the statue fell to the ground. When it fell, the clay statue shattered, revealing a smaller statue of one of the major Mayan deities inside. All the while the Virgin was venerated, everyone but the priests and soldiers were venerating the old God.

Like everywhere on this crazy planet, things aren't always exactly what they seem.

Nathan said...

http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Mexico

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Mexico

There is Buddhism in Mexico. There are even some zen centers.

Professordave said...

Mexico is a great and beautiful country. Deeply soulful, and religious in a genuine way. The people are ostensibly Catholic but don't worry about the niceties of theology. They love Jesus and adore his mother. Some Mexicans believe in her more than they believe in him. But they're deeply devoted to God without diminishing Him as a mystery.

And there is Buddhism there. I've been to a Zen Center in Cuernevaca, and the People's Guide to Mexico folks have studied vipassana in Mexico City. The People's Guide--both the book and the website--are a great source of information about this wonderful country.

Professordave

Professordave

Al said...

Home of Nacho Libre.

"Get that corn outta my face!"

Mysterion said...

as a student of Buddhism, I was told that THIS (where we are) is a realm of HELL. And the last 46 years have provided precious little evidence to the contrary.

As for the many Cults of Mary, it seems every Hamlet has it's own.

"Virtually every week, a fiesta occurs in honor of some manifestation of Mary." source

"The Mexican government recognizes 56 different indigenous groups and these cultures that have survived largely because of their rural isolation. These people are generally poor and their main wealth is traditional and spiritual and their way of life filled with communal customs and rituals." source

And don't forget the sacred body part.

Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Mysteryman, THIS is no more or less hell than any of the other realms of existence. Most of us transmigrate through the various realms several times per day. If you make hell, you have hell. If you make heaven, etc. you have that. Zen is about transcending the 6 realms here and now.

Mysterion said...

My comment was an observation, not an experience.

I observe great poverty - born of overpopulation - almost universally.

I have neither offspring nor poverty.

We have 'adopted' a number of able children and educated them through the baccalaureate (laurel berry). One has finished a law degree and has a liberal practice in a conservative town (San Diego).

It's not MY hell, it's THIS hell.

Chalk off another year in hell.

In my view, hell is born of ignorance, stupidity, or both. Most violent people, for example, are merely reacting in violent ways because they lack the ability to deal with the suffering of their own reality otherwise.

"We should require that people read a sentence before they serve a sentence." Somebody, somewhere, said that (more than a few people in more than a few places).

Mysterion said...

here's one:
"It's an open secret that California prisons have become the mental health facility of last resort for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled." source

here's another:
"The unfortunate reality, probably unintended, is that the nation’s prisons and jails now house far more people with mental illnesses than mental health facilities." source

ACLU is aware.

then-governor Ronald Reagan closed state mental institutions in the 1960s... source

them dumb folks on the right would "blow a wet dream."

Mike Rogers exposes them to light (outs homophobic homosexual politicians). Bless his (Mike's) sacred heart!

Old Geezer said...

Not many of you are old enough to remember the AV department in elementary school. If you were, you would recognize the 16mm take-up reel from a Bell % Howell film projector behind the head of the fish-man IXEUS above.

The sacred take-up reel.

Perspective.

Mr. Cross said...

Every child, another gift from god.

PDF Meninos de Rua

Newsweek Article

It is estimated that in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo alone there are millions of street children.

The ECUADOR-COLOMBIA PROJECT

Welcome to post-Nicene Catholic Heaven where birth control is a cardinal sin (but cardinals molesting alter boys isn't). pre-nicene (e.g. before the fall)

Catholic - Etymology doubtful - see Lloyd's encyclopaedic dictionary.

The word 'catheter' was first used in Constantinus Africanus meaning to take a piss.

Jeff Hayes said...

Andre Breton referred to Mexico as "the surrealistic country par excellence".

I love the place...

Mr. Reee said...

"I can't speak enough Spanish to get any sense at all of what this stuff means to anyone here. ..."

You and Stan both...

Merry Xmas

Mysterion said...

In my youth, there were occasions on which I visited Ensenada in Mexico. As I have not been there in 30 years, it is very difficult to suggest what it might be like today.

At least CSUN thinks it remains a place of some interest. Besides, it more Baja California than Mexico.

"The death toll from Mexico's drug war has dropped by about 25 percent in the first three months of this year from the last quarter of 2008... drug violence killed 1,600 people from January to March." source

another slice of pure heaven...

Anonymous said...

Mysterion:

Is there something you don't have an opinion on?

If there is why not drop Brad an email so that he can do a post on it....

julesissolikewtf said...

Interesting to see you mentioning a wider gender spectrum, even if it was only in relation to a radioactive lizard. I began reading your first book and transitioning at 21. Two years later I can tell that both have added a lot to my life but I still sometimes feel that they are at odds with one another.

raverson said...

Mysterion, have you ever considered a vow of silence?

Mysterion said...

.

proulx michel said...

ONly a few hours left of 2009.

So may 2010 be less crappy...

Fare you well, all.

(captcha: tingie)

Moon Face Buddha said...

For some, the Pure Land will be a Hell Realm.

I figure it this way; we each of us make this moment either heaven or hell.

Anonymous said...

.

theloneranger said...

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2903Itemid=247

What do you think brad?

Rush & Friends said...

for moon face buddha - cigar smokers

HERE

Michael Milken and Marvin R. Shanken (standing) pose with Rush Limbaugh, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani at the head table.

"Many politicos mark the 1980s as the beginning of the financial era that is now crashing around us. It's is fitting then, that one of the original financial felons from that time period, Michael Milken, is asking for a pardon from President Bush. In the 1980s Milken's finance schemes set off a string of hostile takeovers and he and his cohorts became known as "Corporate Raiders", with Milken, the "Junk Bond King". His security fraud convictions may be almost forgotten, and it is doubtful that he will receive a pardon on the last day of Bush's presidency, but Milken's financial revolutions deserve to be remembered because they typify the type of capitalism gone awry that is at the root of our 21st century financial crisis."

source

Anastasia said...

:::moaning in agony::: Please...not the dreaded prog rock. Please.

Darkb said...

Hi, i live in Queretaro, Mexico. Please send me an email if you return some day: darkbyte at gmail dot com.

Luis said...

Damn, just the other day I was wondering "what has brad been writing the last half year?" (since my bookmarks dissapeared one day and I kinda forgot returning here in a while) and I thought it would be cool to have you giving a lecture here in México,(we do have a zen scene indeed, mostly on mexico city, Maezumi Kuroda's students, and Samu Sunim's and Kwan Um's korean joints) but why the hell would brad come down here?, it would be expensive for me to fly him in blabla mind garbage...and now I come back here and discover you were hanging out an hour and a half car ride away from my place, lol, if you happen to return lets get in touch; it would be fun to set up a gig in the capital, send me a message on youtube, we are friends over there (Zenboy23), and also I could take you to a couple of underground punk holes hehe.. peace

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Anonymous said...

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Hi i when to mexico and my report is that there is a lot of party there so you need to go and enjoy youre time.bye

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