Friday, November 21, 2014

Alcoholic Blues

I tried to rewrite this so it would be relevant to the current marijuana prohibition but I gave up. If anyone wants to send me some alternate lyrics I'll try to sing it. It's a novelty song with the music written by the brother of songwriting great Harry Von Tilzer, Albert.

Words by Edward Laska
Music by Albert Von Tilzer
Key: F Major

Oggy The Conqueror

The first paint I used was something called Tempura Gauche. It was in the children's art section at Soriana Grocery Store and turns out to be cheap watercolor paint that wiped off easily with water.

Only the helmet remains
So I had to hunt for enamel paint, which is called esmalte in Spanish. And I could only find spray paint. What I ended up getting was the white and gold metallic acrylic craft paint. I love the gold metallic finish because it's the metaphoric color for the Conquistador's quest. While it's not as permanent as oil or enamel, acrylic at least dries water resistant and can be scraped off with a knife. The sun is rough on paint in the desert and the tropics so I'm curious how long before it fades, but it really doesn't matter because it's a small task to retouch with the paint as long as it doesn't dry out.

I was worried that it wouldn't be legible in the end but now I'm afraid it's too legible. I could scrape it off and put a smaller version on the side but this is the boldness suitable for the van. Right on the missing it. Every military checkpoint is going to have to comprehend a second Spanish Invasion in a 45 year old American van. If I'm going to name my van El Conquistador then that's about as bold as it gets. The Mexican Flag colors ultimately detracted from the simplicity I was kind of a mixed message and also nationalistic. This is a simple statement.

I'm right around the 'A' in Aztec

I wonder if there's interest in a quest for the lost gold of Hernan Cortes while retracing his journey to Trujillo Honduras from Mexico City in a van called El Conquistador? It is the 490th Anniversary of his original trip.This is no small detail as I'm certain Cortes was in this exact valley, maybe this exact hotel room, since the pass between the two volcanoes I see out my window is called "Paso De Cortes" and he had a title 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca, which is where I am right now. All these villages, Tochimilco, Huaquechula, Cholula, Atlixco, Puebla, Tianguismanalco, Tlaxcalancingo, etc. were populated in 1520, so Cortes undoubtedly passed this way to inspect future monastery sites and pillage the gold stores and seize female concubines. It looks like he visited La Paz in the Baja too so I only need to go to Cuba and Spain to retrace his entire adventure.

4 Years To Go

Now that Mexicans who have been in The United States for more than 5 years will not be deported I figure I only have to hide out on the beaches of Mexico for 4 more years and I'll be allowed to stay in Mexico. It's only fair. If the Federales question me I'll tell them that I'm the negotiating chip; Obama said, "Take Oggy, and we'll allow 5 million Mexicans to stay in America." I'll forge Obama's signature. I'm sure it will work.

It's a bittersweet announcement as I've met a number of people here who were either deported or voluntarily left The U.S. because they couldn't work legally, although they had lived there for 15 years. One guy graduated high school and college in N.Y., but because his parents brought him there when he was about 7 and weren't citizens he never got citizenship or a work permit so he decided to leave. Now that he is here he realizes that Obama's announcement actually applies to him, but he now has to return to the United States and pretend he never left. I try to argue that the only reason the economy up North is good is because it's based on unicorn tears and fairy farts. "None of the money exists," I insist. "It's all a fantasy." There are something like $20 Trillion reasons to avoid the United States but the general conclusion is that they would rather have $50 fake dollars in their pocket than $200 real pesos. I saw a poll that 1 in 3 Mexicans would emigrate to the U.S. but that doesn't fit my own experience in Mexico. No one I've met particularly wants to go to Chicago or San Antonio or El Paso. They talk about those places kind of like prospectors talked about The Yukon Territory in 1896. The desire to "Be American" couldn't be further from their thoughts. It's purely about exploiting a fantasy economy for their own short term gain since their country's economy is not as ripe since their sovereignty was destroyed by Eisenhower and Nixon.

It occurs to me that deporting about 10,000 business owners from America to Central America would probably do more good in the long run than any border reinforcement. Like, take Bill Gates or Rex Tillerson, and deport them to Honduras, the idea being to adapt the Spanish Colonization model, except with industrialists instead of missionaries. That's insane. Forget that idea.

This topic of immigration is awful because it is purely political, political boundaries drawn in the sand with swords, usually while bodies rot nearby...awful. Why is there not a large population of Canadians hiding in the shadows of St. Paul, Minnesota? Because American foreign policy did not deign to exploit Manitoba to the point of fracturing its sovereignty.
It's a divisive topic that, like homelessness and poverty, usually is misunderstood because the people debating the topic have never done any research on the topic. Oh, they might read a poll and visit a shelter a few times, shake some hands, wrap some turkeys to hand out...oh yes. But immigration is bigger and more complicated than a border and flags. Or maybe it's simple and I make it complicated. These words of documentation and legality and aliens are not the right words. I don't know what the right words are but I know we're debating the wrong topics. In fact, it appears to me that most people debating this topic have an investment in the debate itself, not even the conclusion. A politician actually has no motivation to find a solution because his or her career depends on the endless debate. Take Mitch McConnell for example. He's been a Senator since the Civil War ended and Kentucky was readmitted to the Union. That's a long time and there are no limits. Ted Kennedy was a Mass. Senator from 1962 to 2009. 47 Years! How many times can a guy debate in favor of Pro-Choice laws? I'm divided on term limits because I think politics is like Hollywood: the longer you remain there the more you understand it and by the time you are really skilled then you should be quarantined for the safety of humanity. Guys like Ted Kennedy or David Mamet would only wreck havoc if allowed to reenter civil society. I try to avoid political punditry because it's a sickness; in order to write good spin I have to believe I make a difference, and that's crazy...and if I don't think I make a difference the spin won't be good. Punditry is also reaching critical mass...the weight of pundits debating immigration is beginning to outweigh the actual immigrants. I'm sure pundits were more animated than those migrant workers Obama was directing his message of reform at. I was eating pork neck in mole at my favorite Comida Corrida restaurant when I heard the news on the Spanish station and I can say the reaction was not overwhelming. But the political pundits went berserk. Heck, some pundits devoted a whole ten minutes of their day to this topic.

I visualize immigration like the lunar tides; only fishermen can predict them with any accuracy and anyone calling a high tide "unfair" would be correctly considered an idiot. These are the same people who believe God made them run out of gas. The causality of immigration is so complicated that legislation to control it is about as effective as building a time machine. Labels like "illegal" are immaterial and say more about the pundit than they do about the pundit's opinion on the topic. It's an unenlightened perspective that persists to impede a resolution...and the only conclusion is probably going to be something like a lunar tide chart: a total surrender to a higher power followed by mature preparation.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.