PUTTING OUT THE FIRE WITH GASOLINE
(Post-script to the cartoon)
January 11, 2013
P.S. For you most enlightened ones—So you don’t know to whom I was referring [in the cartoon] because you don’t watch television? All right, you are all so very erudite, and you will have nothing to do with lowly popular culture, although… you don’t know who Umberto Eco is either?
P.S. ON GENERAL SPORTS CULTURE IN GENERAL—Lionel Messi, Argentinean; plays soccer for the Spanish team Barcelona. When he’s not making commercials for name brand bread, he’s suspected of having, just like the much-missed Memín Pingüín, gum on his shoe, because the ball sticks to his foot and only comes off when either they take him down (Messi that is) or when the ball is deep in the net.” Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese, plays soccer for the Spanish team Real Madrid; also known as CR7; when he’s not making commercials for deodorant, he makes good goals. For more information about soccer as a business and as pleasure (for example: Pelé versus Garrincha), see Eduardo Galeano… hmm… you do know who Eduardo Galeano is, right? And for me, neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid, I’m for the Jaguars of Chiapas, [i] in Mexico, and for the Internazionale of Milán in Italy (I just read that they’ve been routed, it has to be because of the visitors’ jersey they’ve been wearing). But the Zapatistas remain firm, we’re like the real fans of the Pumas [ii] (greetings to the Rebel), who are with their team win or lose, even though among the ownership of that team are people like Joaquín López Dóriga and Carlos Slim; or like the fans of América [iii] (greetings to La Polvorilla) that, when they are told that they are hated they reply, “hate me more”; or like the fans of la maquina azul,[iv] who put bags on their heads when they are ashamed but who never stop supporting their team; or like those who support Atlas[v] (greetings Jis and Trino) and are still behind their team, though it doesn’t even need to be said; etc., etc. Yes, I already know you’re going to say that soccer is the opiate of the masses and why am I promoting such alienation, such lack of culture, blah, blah, blah.
P.S. THAT GIVES GEOGRAPHY LESSONS—Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico. Places where you can find, at a very reasonable price, any television series (including episodes that haven’t come out yet), or movie (in some places you can get Oscar-nominated ones, before the committee of the Academy of Cinematic Arts and Sciences of Hollywood has even met), without having to betray your principles of not watching television: Eje Central “Lázaro Cárdenas” (formerly known as “San Juan de Letrán”); Pericoapa; Tepito, Calzada de Tlalpan; any entrance or exit to the metro; the hallways of any department at the UNAM; any corner of any neighborhood; if you want the originals, then you can go to the Ghandi (greetings to the family of Don Mauricio), El Sótano, or El Parnaso bookstores… El Parnaso closed? (An embrace to Tony), that’s a shame. Ok, ok, ok, I know, but the world has more corners than your favorite Mixup. [vi] Note: don’t be surprised if when you go to get these DVDs you see police extorting the vendors or trying to evict them “because they make the city ugly.” Or if you see a confrontation, don’t be alarmed, the wretched tend to resist.
P.S. THAT GIVES ADVICE TO THOSE GOING TO THE IFE [FEDERAL ELECTORAL INSTITUTE] TO REGISTER[vii]—Maybe it would go better for you in the elections if instead of judging los muertos de hambre[viii] (the most tender term they used during the case of the prepaid cards) that didn’t vote for you, you tried to understand them. But in any case, the millions of Mexicans who did vote for you can tell you who each of the above mentioned characters and television series are.
P.S. THAT EXAMINES THE SUSPICIOUS AFFIRMATIONS REGARDING THE EZLN—A good part of the arguments that they use to criticize us are the same arguments that were used by the big television conglomerates, commercial radio, and the poorly named “bought-off press” from 1994-95 to date.
P.S. THAT SUGGESTS, INSINUATES, OR, AS SOME SAY, PROPOSES A SUPOSITORIO [ix]—Possible route that the “caricatured debate” would have followed (of course, minus the young female assistant that so impressed Mr. Quadri):[x] those alluded to respond with a cartoon where the Sup is taking it easy, scratching those things that have gotten so expensive,[xi] belly out and stuffing himself with junk food, watching television (probably not with the logo Televisa logo, because they’re very careful not to insult TV Azteca—ah, and you didn’t see us accusing them of being paid by Salinas Pliego or Carlos Slim,[xii] or saying that their campaign against the workers at Soriana was paid for by Wal-Mart), with the dialogue bubble saying something like “I’m preparing my next communiqué.” The Sup then counter-attacks with another cartoon titled, “The Recent Past” where he is in a wheelchair and the indigenous person in front of him says, “The compas say they are ready, that it’s up to you now and you know what to do.” And the Sup responds, “Okay, I need to talk to Elías Contreras to have him get me some DVDs.” The press and their friends wouldn’t print the cartoon, but rather would start with reflections like “Is the Sup handicapped and that’s why he doesn’t appear publicly?” followed by some “very serious” investigations on the possible illnesses that might lead to being in a wheelchair.
P.S. THAT GIVES LESSONS ON RACISM IN COMMUNICATION—I read in various places “EZLN yes, Marcos, no” and that they want to hear the indigenous Zapatistas, not the egomaniacal Sup. Okay, here goes: The last time the Sup put out a communiqué in the name of the EZLN: May 2011, on the occasion of the march in support of the just and dignified movement headed by Javier Sicilia. The communiqué from the CCRI-CG of the EZLN sent greetings to the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and its struggle for the victims of the Felipe Calderón Hinojosa’s absurd war. Between May 7, 2011 and December 21, 2012, the Juntas de Buen Gobierno [JBG, the Good Government Councils], that is, the indigenous Zapatistas WITHOUT INTERMEDIARIES that are mestizo, white, or bearded (or other common things critics like to add), put out 27 denunciations, all tweeted and facebooked (or however you say that) on the “Enlace Zapatista” webpage. On average, the 27 denunciations were visited/read 1500 times each, and all of them were on the main page of the EZLN website for various days.
For example, the August 15, 2012 denunciation of the Junta de Buen Gobierno of La Realidad was the principal article on the Zapatista web page for 24 straight days and got 1080 visitors/readers. Number of tweets (or however you say that) that it provoked: zero. Number of journalists that “wrote up” the denunciation: one. Number of comments about it in writings by intellectuals, zero. Number of re-tweets (or however you say that): zero. Number of comments accusing the EZLN of being a creation of Salinas de Gortari: zero. Number of reflections about why the EZLN only appears in electoral seasons: zero. Number of newspapers that published in their print version the denunciation: zero. Of course, the text of the JBG denounced the alliance between state and municipal governments and the PVEM and the PRD to attack Zapatista communities.
Number of visits to the Sup’s cartoon that so offended the enlightened ones: more than five thousand visits in less than 48 hours (in addition to the tweets—or however you say that—the pingbacks—or however you say that—the cut and pastes, etc.).
Now, take a look at the period from August of 2003, the year in which the Juntas de Buen Gobierno were formed and when they become the direct spokespersons of the Zapatista communities, and see how many times they speak, in their own words and without intermediaries. Do the math of how many times you all realized that this word even existed. Okay, now, yes, write about the “suspicious” silence of the Zapatistas and ask yourselves why the Zapatistas and Marcos only “appear” when the PRI, which never left, comes back.
P.S. THAT TWEETS (or however you say that) ABOUT THE EZLN:
Tweet 1: “The Zapatistas are those who, in bullfights, root for the bull.
Reply 1: “Well they’re naïve, in the end, the bull always gets killed.”
Tweet 2: “Not always.”
Reply 2: “The flowers are always for the bullfighter, not for the bull, the Zapatistas are confused.”
Tweet 3: (annulled for exceeding 140 characters): The political parties fight over who will be the bullfighter: some say it is better that the picadors wait longer to come out and thus facilitate the work of the bullfighter; others say that one must be merciful and offer spiritual comfort to the bull before it is sacrificed; others say that what you have to do is lower costs so that the bull-fighting administration isn’t so burdensome; others say “by how much?”
Reply 3: (There isn’t one because tweet 3 didn’t go through).
Tweet 4: “Bull fights are going to disappear. In the meantime, the Zapatistas applaud the bull even more when, despite its wounds, it manages to take down the bullfighter.”
Response 4: (There isn’t one, they all went to bed).
The P.S. continues tweeting (or however you say that). After awhile, someone realizes that they’re still there and replies, “How come you only appear in suspicious situations?”
P.S. THAT NOW DOES NOT EXCEED 140 CHARACTERS (I think): “Durito: the Zapatistas are like Doctor House: they are almost always correct in their diagnosis and treatment, but the majority don’t like their methods. And we won’t even mention the patient.
P.S. THAT CLARIFIES: We have read you closely. We see how, when one of you dissents from another, you accuse each other of “pejezombie” or of “televiso” or derivatives of the same.[xiii] We don’t think that differences necessarily have political affiliation. For example, when someone says “the EZLN is an invention of Salinas de Gortari,” we don’t think that person is necessarily a “troll,” a pejezombie, a televiso, or a tvazteco (or whatever names they throw at each other). It could be, we think, that this is just a case of someone with a low IQ, too lazy to read more than 140 characters, or who might be trying to hook up with someone who has already said the same thing.
P.S. THAT CHALLENGES GEOMETRY: The world is round, it turns, and it changes. But the world imposed by those above, no matter how many times it turns, always leaves us on the bottom. The world that we want is also round, it also turns, and it also changes, but nobody is above at the cost of those below.
P.S. THAT CALLS UP A BIT OF MEMORY: While a part of the enlightened left was still doing juggling acts to try to give theoretical foundation to the unfortunate occurrence of the “loving republic”[xiv] and was living a torrid honeymoon with the mass media (dedicating huge quantities of money to electronic and print media publicity), the students that would become known as “#yosoy132” had already denounced the role of the mass media in Mexican “democracy.” Later what happened happened, and that same enlightened left decided it wanted to become the mentors of these young rebels (or “trouble-makers” as they now call them). But since the young rebels are no longer in style, the enlightened left has forgotten about them, claiming that these young rebels have “missed their chance” or that they “made a lot of noise but didn’t achieve anything,” or that they’re just “Starbucks revolutionaries” (or however you say that), or “that you can’t change the world with a smartphone” (or however you say that). The calendar continues bleeding itself out and suddenly, they [the young people] will come back, stronger, more numerous. And those that now forget about them or criticize them will say, “of course, I knew they hadn’t disappeared,” or, “now I’m going to tell them what they should do.” Although there are others who will say “it’s very suspicious that you all appear when something is happening.”
P.S. THAT SHOWS ITSELF TO BE COMPREHENSIVE: No problem, we understand. We are “that” which, at home and at school, would provoke the following recommendation of parents, friends, and other sensible and decent people: “you shouldn’t hang out with those people, there’s a lot of talk about them.” And well about the Sup what can I tell you, it would be something like, “it’s not a good idea to associate with that man, we don’t even know who he really is.” Or, “it’s one thing is to help the poor little Indians, it’s something else entirely to associate yourself with that rabble who don’t even have cell phones, much less smartphones, not even a hand-me-down.
P.S. THAT WINKS: “Nerd is hot.”
P.S. ABOUT THE MILLIONS AGAINST THE THOUSANDS, OR HUNDREDS, OR DOZENS, OR FEW: The argument of majorities against minorities tires us, it reminds me of an old graffiti (or however you say that) on an old wall that I saw when I was old. With a symphony of colors, it dictated: “Eat shit. Millions of flies can’t be wrong.”
P.S. THAT COUNSELS PATIENCE: Oh, don’t despair. Just a few more words (or drawings, or audios, or videos) and soon only those who we are really interested in as interlocutors will be able to hear and understand us.
Vale. Cheers and, believe us, we understand: there are many reasons and not-reasons to ground cynicisms, apathies, to hell with it all, or whatever other synonyms that occur to you; there are many, too many, they are all there is. Finding reasons in order to change and improve is a job very few are willing to take on.
The Sup trying to get a “Fatality”[xv] package for the final words of the season.
(you’re kidding… now he’s going to come out with videogames).
Traducción del Kilombo Intergaláctico
[i] The Jaguars are a first division Mexican league soccer team, based in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.
[ii] Another Mexican league team, based at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
[iii] América is a Mexican league soccer team based in Mexico City.
[iv] Maquina azul (literally the blue machine) refers to the Mexican league soccer team Cruz Azul, based in Mexico City.
[v] Atlas is another first division Mexican league soccer team from Guadalajara, Mexico.
[vi] Mixup is a chain record store.
[vii] “Those going to the IFE to register” refers to the newly formed party of MORENA [Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional] that seeks official recognition as a party from the Mexican electoral system.
[viii] “Los muertos de hambre” was a pejorative term used by supporters of the institutional left to refer to those who were suspected of voting for the PRI in exchange for prepaid debit cards to use at popular chain stores.
[ix] “Supositorio” could imply presupposition but also means “suppository.”
[x] During a one of the presidential debates that took place in 2012, candidate Gabriel Quadri was captured on camera ogling a young female presenter.
[xii] Two Mexican businessmen who are on the Forbes list of richest people in the world.
[xiii] “Pejezombie” refers to those who are thought to unconditionally support Andrés Manual Lopez Obrador. “Televiso” is the pejorative reference to those who support Enrique Peña Nieto, a creation of the Telvisa media machine.
[xiv] This refers to the “la república amorosa” (Beloved Republic) slogan used by Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador during the presidential campaigns.
[xv] “Fatality” refers to the third installment of the “Mortal Combat” video game.
Above is the English translation (with minor edits by the Chiapas Support Committee) on the Enlace Zapatista website. The title can also be translated as “Adding Fuel to the Fire” or “Throwing Fuel on the Fire,” a common expression in English.