Monday, July 2, 2012

Remember The Alamo

 What basically happened was the Mexican gvt. made a terrible choice to invite American colonists to settle parts of Mexico north of the Rio Grande. Eventually the Mexicans decided to end free immigration (talk about reversed roles) and the Texian colonists felt offended because their letters sent back east saying how easy it was to find land in Mexico would not be honored anymore. Why didn't Mexico invite Mexicans to colonize this deserted hill country? Because the Comanche, Apache, Tonkawa, and Karankawas Indians didn't care if your skin was white or light brown before they attacked. Only the land poor Tennessee banjo strummer would accept the invitation. So...

Davy Crocket's reelection campaign in 1835 said if voters didn't reelect him then they could "go to hell and I'll go to Texas." It's hard to translate what that would mean today because at the time Texas was Mexican Tejas so it was like Obama saying, "Reelect me or I'm going to Cuba." Well, he went to Tejas and decided it wasn't fair to stop immigration and, in fact, Texas should just declare their independence from Mexico. Mexico was going to learn the hard way that when you give an inch they take a mile.

Enter James Bonham and Jim Bowie and William Travis. Sam Houston came later...
Days before the battle of the Alamo, Texas declared itself a republic independent of all nations, kneeling before none. 4 days later the republic lost the first battle that would eventually win the war.

Not the location of Pee Wee's bicycle. Rather, a christian mission. P.S. I actually took this picture.

Well, it's basically a fight that should not have happened because the Mission itself is not worth defending and the men defending it (about 189 souls) weren't remotely able to match the Mexican army's numbers of nearly 1000. On March 6th, 1836 around the time Henry David Thoreau was entering Harvard University, the Mexican army attacked and killed everyone, using their own cannons against them, burning their bodies and moved north, foolishly, to attack Sam Houston. Think about this...the battle for a small Christian Mission in San Antonio ended the 6th of March and almost 200 proto-Texans died. On April 21, not even two months later, the battle of San Jacinto took place that left the Mexican army in ruins and affirmed the independence of Texas until it was annexed by the larger united states in 1846. Interestingly, debt was a main contributor in the annexation because if Texan loyalists had just balanced their own damn budget they could've argued to remain a Republic. But the federal reserve slipped their lying fingers into the wallets of Texans and haven't stopped since. It was basically an 1846 version of a bailout plan. Surviving for 10 years as a republic had cost money Texas didn't have (I wonder what their currency was). The final cost was being bailed out by the States and taken into the fold of the stars and stripes. Speaking of flags, "Six Flags" refers to the 6 flags that have flown over Texas in recent human history. Spain, France, Mexico, Texas Republic, American and the Confederacy. Yep, a mere 15 years after the bail out, Texas bit the hand that fed them and allied with the Gray rebel slave states. (Once ungrateful dogs, always ungrateful dogs.) Well, we all know how the civil war turned out so you could say there were seven flags because after the stars and bars of the short-lived confederacy were burned in Atlanta, there was another American flag that had the new stars that represented the divided states of Virginia and Carolina. Someone fact check me because my quarter is going to run out on my history knowledge.

I want to conclude by saying that my journey to Labrador brought me into tangible proximity to the Livyers and the Innuit natives who were married by English and Irish cod fishermen, who were left behind for the winter to watch the warehouses and subsequently became the free people of The Labrador. And it strikes me now, so far away in southern Texas, in a land that was bled over and lied upon and claimed and fought for that the people again ebb and flow like water in a tide pool. Basically, political and social events overlap so that I eat tacos with jalapenos and Mexican decent Americans gawk at the Alamo and buy gift postcards and post pictures to Facebook...and the insane soup of humanity and political rule that has run over this land makes no real difference. The people who are here are sort of pawns in a larger game of chess but the kings who make decisions are slaves to their own factors, arguing and strategizing and scheming for bits of corn and crumbs under mesquite tables while the barbacoa folk, the pinata earthlings with only love in their hearts wish to breed and multiply beyond the capacity of the land and the frozen chicken fingers but will learn the hard way the carrying capacity of their private neon food chain.
Oggy got his western wear mixed up with his beach bum wardrobe

I was overwhelmed, in short, by emotion for the humanity and desperation and futility of the Alamo, the bravery and the bones, the gunshots and the ruins of Christ while a teeming mass surrounds me. That's the contradiction I see when I visit historical sites, they are overrun by us, the future earthlings with different skins (black people here walking where Jim Bowie died!) and Asians speaking Chinese at the Alamo and did the men with knives and long rifles and canons who sweated desperately for help and swore with savage vengeance as the bullets penetrated their lungs, gasping for mercy from God, did they know if this was the future they wanted? Is it worse or better than a peaceful end or all Mexicans or All Cubans? But it doesn't matter. The library still welcomes one with  cool air...the taco stands await...the drug dealers cruise on stolen bicycles. Here we are as we are today and you could say that the Alamo is a cause of this but isn't humanity the cause of it all and the details are immaterial?

In other news I am hunting the end of the road. My brain tumor had my head spinning like a top for the last few days as I pondered the contradiction that my conscience has made conventional living almost impossible. There is absolutely no pure life that would allow me to simplify my needs and understand the nature of my means. And there never will be. We're too complicated now and adapting means accepting my own limitations and living with the black holes of understanding about semiconductors and bridge engineering and water sanitation and irrigation and industrial corn processing. It's all a mystery on top of the mystery of how strippers and priests can coexist. So, I'm following what might be my last lead. I prayed for relief. This is good because I may find peace, but it also means the end of the blog. I see them as mutually exclusive. The days in Austin were indescribably insane. If you love me then you will want this madness to end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is this "last lead" you speak of? Does it entail forgoing all media and current technology? You could move to the jungle in South AMerica, strip to your loin cloth, sell the van and live amongst the little people.
you would just have to watch out for the forest clearers and oil men...

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.