I am miserable. Some bug decided to house itself in my body and alter the course of the daily affairs. I thought some whisky would kill it but it didn’t work. When it comes to colds I should just stick to my old ancestor’s household remedies, either tequila or mezcal. Some people would have a hard time swallowing the latter, specially in these Dr. Phil days but it’s true. Mezcal does the job.
I got a book from the Agonist team. Empire Workshop. I have just finished reading
chapter one the preface, last night. And I already got some reservations about it. The front cover has a little Old Glory on it, albeit upside down. For those in the know the sight of such a flag implies and SOS. Then there is the Mary Shelley quote from her book Frankenstein. Frankenstein did not have a life of its own. This is contrarian to Manifest Destiny ideology.
This just might be a book about the Ugly American in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly American.
My ideas are starting to fly around, I want so earnestly to see if the author delves in the complex mechanism of language differences of Spanish and English and the power hierarquies between the more personal, one to one, we are all equal attitudes of gringos and more formal relations that characterize Latin American societies where, in essence, the Thou address is alive and thriving.
Like I said, I already have reservations. I have loads of history from México both at the book level and what my relatives have told me about gringos.
Greg Grandin doesn’t delve so much into it in the first chapter but the US prior to the Mexican Revolution owned huge swaths of land all over México. To mention just one guy we have the Hearst family which practically owned Chihuahua. Lore from my family used to tell that whenever the Hearst family wanted to over their domains they needed over two days in train to cover their land possesions.
Chapter One: it’s not for the layman. It is stricly an academic chapter which requieres heavy historical baggage and a lot of pity. It’s a me, me, me tale of US power. Lopsided if one wills.
The optics focus heavily on what the US foreign policy has caused in LA through its business proxies throughout the 19th century.
The enemy that has fought the US merits no more mention than the footnotes on top of diverse and selected words.
This chapter has a thin veil of approval of that sureriority that its is spoken of at the beginning of the chapter.
Several optics at looking at his: (1): you are an American and say: God, how can my government be capable of these atrocities (2) You are a Latino and say, Goddamnit! I knew these mutherfuckers had no heart and I hate them the more for so, (3) Grandind is building a case for himself, that is, trumping up credentials in the event the American government makes an about face in foreign policy (doubt it) and suddenly a Carter Like figure comes along (4) You admire Grandin’s narative and not think about the many religious references Grandin uses to make his case.
Chapter 2: Where in the hell is Belize in all of this? I have a hard time believing this narrative about American imperialism without America’s fave poodle in the court.