Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bolano y el norte

“Every single thing in this country is an homage to everything in the world, even the things that haven’t happened yet.” When I read Bolano’s 2666 on the subway, I am acutely aware of the cover art. Those red sixes. As we know from surveys, and 59 million McBush/Palindrone voters, quiet a lot of Americans believe that the Devil is an actual entity. What with all the schizophrenics on the train howling about “Cheesus” (“I yam that I yam” said that the guy from the Popeye sect the other day), I fear I’ll be buttonholed by one of them. But my address is 668, so I’m only a neighbor of the Beast.

For hell, or at least purgatory, we have to move south where “a long helpless wait, a wait that begins and ends in neglect, a very Latin American experience, as it happened, and all too familiar, something that once you thought about it you realized you experienced daily, minus the despair, minus the shadow of death sweeping over the neighborhood like a flock of vultures and casting its pall, upsetting all routines, leaving everything overturned.” But it is hell, a hell of ingrained corruption, institutionalized misogyny, police brutality, impunity for the narcos and their allies, who run everything.

In Mexico, Russia, China, Italy, etc. the gangsters, to greater or lesser extent, rule. Impunity. Now, what does that word remind me of? Bush and Cheney, along with their familiars Gonzalez, Yoo, Addington, Bybee, and others, who define the term north of the border. So far, they have gotten away with it, their very successful soft coup, what former Brooklyn DA and erstwhile US Rep Elizabeth Holtzman refers to as the closest we’ve ever come to military dictatorship. What does it mean for a democracy when the President is beyond the law? Most tangibly, 4000 dead military personal, 30,000 wounded; tens of tens of thousands of Iraqis killed. This isn’t counting the extrajudicial tortures and assassinations. Makes the killer or killers of Ciudad Juarez look like amateurs,


amarilla said...

Love the quote at the top, it's amazing, is that Bolano?

M.Thew said...

Si. He's referring to Mexico, but it works up here, too.