Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Dreaming Of Reality

This is instigated by comments appended to Zatikia’s blog post “It Is Obvious”. They began in a musical vein and drift to political. So will I.

I danced with the Ballet Folclórico de la Universidad de Guadalajara, generally regarded as Mexico’s premier troupe. The statement in itself is true but reality of its implication little more than a dream.

My wife and I watched their performances in appreciative wonder many times in the city’s renowned Teátro Degollado. It was out of sense of cultural loyalty that we attended when they ventured to our town’s small auditorium. We were close friends with the woman who operated the auditorium and her husband, who had charge of a dining hall.

The friendship brought us invitations to a dinner fiesta the two hosted for the dance troupe after the local performance. My wife seemed to be hiding her face behind a tortilla on break out of joint rhythmic clapping and chants of “baile baile” at my friend’s announcement to the group we had taken lessons in folkloric dancing.

Wife’s embarrassment notwithstanding, and being of the show off rather than embarrassment prone type, there was nothing else I could do. My boots were of proper sort and a pretty young señorita, still in chino poblano stage dress, lowered a traditional charro sombrero on my head, took my hand, and lead me to center of the floor where someone graced my shoulder with a Saltillo serape. With hands clasped behind the back, my boots whirling, and her skirt swirling, we tapped together for a minute or so the zapateado de Jarabe Tapatio in rapid clapped rhythm of 6/8 time. Yes, I danced with the Ballet Folclórico de la Universidad de Guadalajara.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecolitlán, another premier group, will be in town Saturday and my brags may become more preposterous. If you have heard mariachi recordings, the chances are they were by Vargas. All of Mexico knows there is no better. Once again, cultural loyalty dictates. As boots took me to the dance fiesta, I could not deny my guitar knowing Vargas. It is the right build and my fingers know the tunes and style. “Yep folks, I played with Mariachi Vargas de Tecolitlán!” I’ll be able to say. (shhh about quietly fingering from a back audience seat rather than stage.) Claim of dancing and playing with famous groups sounds good. True yes. Reality?

“I am an enemy of the (US) state” was another claim to hot-shot-ism. Some agencies and persons thought it was real rather than dream and may still. So did I. It is true most of a long adult life was engaged in trying to destroy what I perceived bad in US culture by turning it inside out. An initial obligating motive was to get things right before our kids grew up.

But, I had another only recently realized and acknowledged motive for dancing on the US radical activist stage. It surfaced from reading internet blogs of US ‘liberal’ and even proclaimed ‘radical’ and 'revolutionary' activists who just can't seem to shake their heads from fixation on changing their nation. Theirs and my unrealized motives seem to rest in preserving and raising to the fore what within its culture could be considered good. In contrast, I view such collection now as faded to transparency of never were, never can be, never will be.

Underneath, there was always the unrealized intent of saving the system I’d been propagandized to believe existed just a little bit under current actuality. The effect was to contribute to the system’s perpetuation as it is.

That I appeared to be an enemy of the state, was dancing and playing on the surface just as ballet and mariachi stories. The worthy features of the US I thought real or at least realizable were as illusory as the dancing. I was unwittingly working to save what I claimed to fight.

The growth years of even our children’s children have now passed. I cannot wait for a next batch on which in pretense to rest a motive. It is time instead to quit dancing and live life’s remainder awakened from dreams inserted in US elementary school.

Now I just want the US to go away. It probably won’t by any contributory action of mine. There is little I can do to aid the demise. What I can do and have done is distance from it figuratively and virtually.

People in this forum are right if they've sensed I have no concern for improving quality of events or future within the US. I don't give a damn what and how things are and are not done up north. Gone are the days of boastful pretense as dancer, mariachi, and unintentional savior of something deservedly lost.

The reality lies in hopes that enough outside its borders, geographic and self imposed imaginative, muster sufficient determination and wherewithal to construct a suitable garbage disposal. Then the air might be cleared enough to better see, sort, and distill the good from the bad that have long existed in other societies more worthy of observation.


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