Thursday, November 20, 2008

Viva La Revolucion!

It's Revolution Day in Mexico.

I can't help it. Whenever I see or hear the word "revolution" I get excited. It makes me smile. It makes me want to raise my clenched fist in the air. It makes me want to stand up on a bank counter and swing my AK-47 in a graceful arc, with or without stylish beret. For a kid that grew up in the Shadow of the Boom, who was too late for Flower Power, too early for Disco, my pop culture icons were Angela Davis, Che Guevara, Jerry Rubin, 70's John Lennon (not at all in that order) et cetera. OK, so I'm the shallowest, flimsiest revolutionary there ever was, but...

It offends me that "socialism" is a dirty word in so many countries.

I love going to May Day Rallies.

Seeing the kids moshing to Rage Against The Machine made me unrealistically optimistic about the future.

I can blame most of Japan's problems on its never ever having a real revolution. (Its "people" have never fully realized its "power.")

And it makes me happy that here in Mexico, they have a special day to celebrate their People's Revolution of 1910 -- Dia de la Revolucion -- which is separate from their Independence Day (in September.)

The middle school students had a parade in the morning, with flag bearers and drummers and horns. Then, in the afternoon, the elementary school and kindergarten kids had their parade through town. There was a group of maybe first or second graders dressed in traditional peasant garb: girls in braids and ribbons, boys with vinyl-and-duct tape bandoliers and wooden rifles.

Every so often, a whistle would blow and the parade would stop in its tracks. From the sidelines came cushion-y mats. Boys in gym wear would then scrambled onto the mats to make human pyramids. The whistle would blow, we'd all clap, and the parade would move on.

"I'm not sure what that has to do with the revolution," admitted the Japanese Dude's wife. (For those of you who didn't read the posts from earlier this year, there is a Japanese Dude and Family living here who run a restaurant by the highway.) Her third daughter (and the only one living with the parents now) was in the morning parade, as one of the flag bearers.
"Maybe it's to stress the importance of health and fitness in a revolution," I suggested. In corpore sano...right? But now I am thinking, we were focusing on the action, rather than the form, the result -- a human pyramid. Of course! It's not about gymnastic skills at all! It's about Power to the People, right on, right on!

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