...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

This almost makes Modern Mexico a worthwhile class. Almost.

Oh my gosh, the irony and intrigue in this historical fact are just delicious.

You know Lázaro Cárdenas, the populist president of Mexico between 1934-1940. He was the one who nationalized Mexican oil (PEMEX) and finally started to implement the land and labor reforms of the 1917 Constitution, like, a little late there, Mexico. Cárdenas founded the PRM (Partido Revolucionario Mexicano), which in 1946 was changed to the PRI (Partido Instituti...azado, or something. It's the Institutionalized Revolutionary Party). Because it was so powerful and also was not adverse to a little opponent-assassination, the PRI had a stranglehold on Mexican politics until only a few years ago, when Vicente Fox, of the PAN (Partido Autónoma Nacional) was elected president. In 2000, the PAN finally wrested control from the PRI. The PAN was founded in the late 1980s/early 1990s by...wait for it, wait for it...Cuahtehmoc Cárdenas, Lázaro's son!!

It's even more delicious when you know the significance of the historical Cuahtehmoc, Cárdenas's namesake. He was the nephew of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma, and after his uncle's death, he drove the Spanish conquistadores out of Tenochitlán, the Aztec capital and present-day Mexico City. The Spanish returned a few years later and imprisoned Cuahtehmoc, eventually torturing and killing him. In the early 1900s the Mexican elite began claiming Cuahtehmoc as a national hero, but in a very sanitized, domesticated way: his statue on Paseo de la Reforma depicts him in a Roman toga with anglicized features. They probably didn't realize how perfect their identification with Cuahtehmoc actually was: like the warring, imperialistic Aztecs, the Mexican elite conquered and subjected the smaller Indian tribes.

Talk about sedimented history!!

On the Latin-American Studies tangent: GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ IS COMING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON IN ONE WEEK!!! He's the founder of liberation theology, which is exactly what I want to study in graduate school and beyond!! I have to get down to Eugene to see him on the 18th. I was so excited when I got the email. Now I just have to quickly read his A Theology of Liberation so I know what he's talking about. Oh man. This is like...for Ryan, if Chopin were to come to Lewis & Clark. That's how excited I am.

I also have an excellent quote of the day, which I'll leave off with:

Peggy: Do you ever have those moments when you forget you're wearing pants?