the blow of being back was bigger than expected. i left df (méxicocity) for barcelona may 2006, and hadn't returned since. i forgot what a monster the city is. a constant soft collapse. a wide, circular wreck. half-finished, permanent urban adolescence. the city is just the same as i left it, but worse. here it is as if change only served the grip of the ancient (not so much ancient aztec as ancient pri). change is going back to what we missed and was modern in the seventies. it is so strange and exhausting and infuriating to sense the state pseudourbanity and pseudourbanism in the city. not only is the physical quality of our city grade c, but the overall quality of urban production is absolutely lame, taken buy architectural aristocramediocrity, jerk-off politics and fat rich entrepreneurial rogues. the late-nineties promise of a new phase of city-level democracy (we elected our first mayor in 1997) and urban youngblood feeding neighboorhood life and local production has been miscarried. flaming new barrios go bad in a matter of months, consumed and wasted (the condesa was charming, now it feels cheap)(the centro might be going going gone, as it looses itself to money). huge public expenses go into infrastructure projects that are but temporary glorifications of local (segundo piso) or federal (megabiblioteca) politics, and long term urban traps.
i'm trying to take it in. there is quite the efervesence going on, although efervesence here usually consist of shit being thrown between factions. the latest is the scandal around oma's torre bicentenario, the current fad in local dissing and manipulation. i'll get to it. we also have the projected emptying of the centro histórico with the (negotiated) relocation of the ambulantes (informal vendors) away from the streets of the perímetro a (first section) and into lots and buildings expropriated by the city government. i also wonder if ricky burdett and the lse crew are still advising marcelo ebrard, the city mayor. oh, and i couldn't miss the bipolar construction boom that still has the city by the balls: massive upper-class developments like the ones sprouting all over from reforma to santa fe and the even more massive "social housing" developments splattered onto the periphery, levittown on spurios steroids.
a 23-year old alleged pollero (people smuggler) was shot four times in the chest (and killed, obviously) wednesday night around 9:45 p.m. by a border patrol agent at cypress and delta in el paso, right off of the fence with ciudad juárez. josé alejandro ortiz castillo attempted to cross with three other people, one of them a woman. apparently he was carrying a pair of tweezers, and the agent felt threatened (other versions state that he also carried a rock). his body was found on the mexican side of the rio bravo/grande. josé alejandro had been previously caught 28 times crossing illegaly into the u.s. since 1999. according to el diario, his family considerd that josé alejandro was a good person, even though he misbehaved ocasionally. nothing worth being killed for. neighboors described him as a person of mistakes and kindness, always buying goodies for his kids. he is survived by three little pollitos (chuy, joan and bryan; respectively five, four and two years old), a teary widow and a 20 year-old girlfriend he had been living in "free union" with for two years. his widow is an american citizen and lives with their children in el paso.
more (en español)
more (en español)
*border nota roja will be posted regularly @ borderlandia when i get it up and running properly (hopefully september).
russian youth being tecnoindoctrinated (mtv russia style). a f*ck'dup mix of pop&politics (popolitics)(can also read like crap politics) on a scale only the kremlin could offer. putin-funded summercamps and rock concerts, youngster magazines and mandy moore-ish comissars and anti-condom slogans. sending electronica chills down your teenie-sensitive spine. go watch.
following up on the prior post, i just noticed jean charlot (frenchy russian artist guy who lived in mexico in the twenties/thirties and then moved to hawaii). i've passed a few of his murals in méxicocity, not knowing they were his. but his mexitiki murales done in the fifties are the ones i like the best. ajúacawabunga.
méxicocity is constantly unearthed. latest one: the probable tomb of ahuizotl, next-to-last tlatoani of the mexicas (aztecs) found in downtown mexico city. the name ahuizotl comes from a sort of mongrel underwater dog monkey creature with a paw for a tail. kewl.
* detail of josé guadalupe posada's cover for: "the mountain of skulls, or the cruelties of king ahuizote", part of the biblioteca del niño mexicano (mexican child's library) series.