Monday, November 20, 2006


The area I live in is a magnet for illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico and Central America. I have serious misgivings about having a flood of by-definition illegal newcomers taking root here. If we are a nation of government by law, and the newcomers are the products and progenitors of a government by la mordida, that's bad. Tens of millions of people who have an entrenched cultural disregard for the rule of law cannot help but spell trouble, however they conduct themselves individually.

Expatriate curmudgeon Fred Reed lives in Mexico, and frequently shoots barbs at American retirees who live in gated communities in Mexico. Here's a rare example of him turning his wit to a more even-handed appraisal of the two populations:

Americans, here and elsewhere, usually regard Mexicans with unconscious condescension as a race of maids and gardeners. In the local English-language fish-wrapper, the Ojo del Lago, one finds endless articles, apparently written by middle-schoolers, about how the writers just love the culture and why, they just had some wonderful Mexican experience only the other day and just respect Mexico sooo much; the tone reminds me of admiration of a collie’s adroitness with a Frisbee. They do not know that they are doing this. The Mexicans regard the Americans as helpless greyhairs who always seem lost, and walk with the body language of a mouse in a herpetarium; Mexicans do not know that many of the gringos have had lives and know things and were not always old and out of their element. It is an orgy of mutual underestimation.
-- Fred Reed, "Night in Joco"

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