Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"The Godfather", Cocaine, Semantics, Freewill, Human Violence, Moralism, Apathy

When I was in Junior College, my philosophy professor (who should have been a Linguistics professor) explained to the class that in war, the concepts of "homocide" and "murder" do not exist, they cannot exist.  By virtue of the event where it's a given that people will be killed by others, you must remove the concept of culpability from the event.  Since soldiers are "working" for an "employer", otherwise known as the military and given arms such as rifles, bayonettes and grenades, it's a given that part of their main responsibilities is to kill other human beings.  Being workers for the military, part of their duty is to follow the killing orders...  So, those humans who kill other humans can't be convicted of murder or homicide, since they were only following orders given by one division of the government of their country.  But, if that same soldier kills someone outside the environment of war, outside of the military work environment, without having been given the order to kill by their military bosses in the name of war, in the name of their country, that soldier has just committed a crime called homicide or murder...  

I'm writing about this while reading "The Godfather", while living in Mexico more than 8 years, while watching how this country has become dramatically more violent over the past 2-5 years, thinking about how the Sicilian Mafia perfected the "industry" of organized crime in the U.S., how they became principal actors in the international drug trade, how the CIA introduced that industry to Mexico, how the Mexican cartels, usurped the industry from the hands of the Sicilians and the Colombians in the U.S. and how today there is so much killing all over Mexico, so similar to that described in Mario Puzo's book "the Godfather", but 40 years later.  

Here in Mexico the fabled drug lords are both feared and admired much as I imagine were feared and admired the "heroes" of the great Italian mafia families.  Saturday evening visiting friends of ours in the center of Guadalajara who were participating in an artesans fair with their Guayaberas clothing business, I noticed a man who looked like a thug standing vigil over a traditional ice cream business.  I couldn't stop looking at this "thug" with the shaved head because he looked so much like the lead character in the television series "The Sopranos" who became the gay assassin character in the Julia Roberts-Brad Pitt movie "The Mexican" (at least that was the name in Mexico).  It turns out that the "thug" is the owner of the ice cream business...  

In any case, why are we fascinated with these characters and the characters portrayed by Al Pacino, Robert Dinero and, especially, Marlon Brando (in The Godfather) if they are delinquents, assassins, murderers?  If they represent insecurity and disorder?  When we go to the best selling movies that tend to be about mafia, drug, CIA violence are hoping that the "bad guy" will be put in jail?  But who is the bad guy in these movies?  James Bond always fought to protect the interests of the civilized countries and with minimal violence.  But, the Scarfaces, the Godfathers and their offspring, the Government-paid spies, the CIA only work in the benefit of the interests of the very few...  But truthfully, how many of us wish for cinema and real life without CIA operatives, CAPOS, sophisticated national and international gangs and international conspiracies?  How many Americans would be truly satisfied to live a decade or so without hearing about U.S. military operations?  

And I think that's why in the end, these groups of highly trained and extremely violent people continue existing in supposedly democratic judicial regions of the world but with impunity, because those permitting their existence understand that, in the end, the public reveers them...  

This is a capitalist world much more concerned about improved lifestyles and increased freedoms than it is a moralist world concerned with all levels of human responsibility and human rights.  It's also a high-stimulus world of increasing rapid instant gratification.  The average 21st century human being seeks information that stimilates their imagination and enables them to continue feeling alive.  Each year that passes makes increasingly obsolete the environmentalist slogan "Live Simply"...  You become increasingly accustomed to receive increasingly intense inputs and have the increased ability for changing your internal stases with ease increasingly differing ways.  That's one of the reasons why the U.S., the #1 consumer society in the world is also the #1 drug market in the world...  

That said, there is a hell of a lot of money invested in and to be earned from the drug trade and from a capitalist perspective, "the War on Drugs" is illogical, much like Prohibition was in the 20s...  Why doesn't the U.S. government fabricate their own arms?  How is it that maintaining the fabrication of arms in the private sector doesn't create a conflict of national security interests?  Being able to fabricate arms gives a hell of a lot of political power to the leaders of that industry...  The U.S. military is a government organization.  The FBI, the CIA, the State Police, the Municipal Police, the City Police are all government organizations.  But who manufactures the arms they use are private organizations...  Does that seem logical?

This is not a political diatribe...  I'm always trying to understand our nature, our true desires in contrast to the things we say... I thought that Mexico in the late part of the first decade of the 21st Century was different from the U.S. and had more violent tendencies.  But then, after seeing and hearing and reading about so much that is going on here and understanding that the origins/the models of the violence here have their base in systems of organized crime and espionage, torture and terrorism in the U.S. (The CIA is expert in torture and terrorism tactics used for influencing social and political change)...  Is this a diatribe against the CIA?  No.  Why not?  Because I'm not a political activist and this game is so much above our heads and even of the heads of the presidents and of the generals...  

So, what's it about?  

Control of markets, control of information, control of power, control of energy...  What does it have to do with us?

What it has to with are fantasies about who we are and how we believe we wish to live; what we believe we wish of our governments and of our world...  It's not about religion, since religion is a socio-political construct shrouded by the concept of moralism and spiritualism.  Religion can be used for aquiring the same political-economic ends as is used the CIA, but on a macro scale instead of a micro scale...  

The truth is that most people give a flying hoop what the governments, the militaries, the CIA, the multi-nacional corporations, the leaders in the financial industry, the leaders in the communication, information technology and publishing industries, the leaders in the energy industries and the Vatican and other religious headquarters of the world do as long as the individual continues living within their comfortable "life as usual" with the fantasy that they will be able to increase themselves over time...  What do I care if there is so much violence and corruption here in Mexico as long as we can live healthfully and safely?  Afterall, this is a war on drugs.  The violence is between the cartels and the cartels and the government.  It has nothing to do with me.  

Would you believe that in the 28 years between entering high school and now, I've never seen cocaine in person?  My last girlfriend in the U.S, aside from being an NYU Film School graduate and a ballet and modern dancer, was a prostitute.  I've spent a lot of time in Spanish Harlem with two girlfriends who lived there.  But, I've never seen cocaine.  I grew up in central Jersey in the 80s, but I've never seen Cocaine.  I had friends and have family members who used it, but I've never seen cocaine.  I was a social worker for the Salvation Army Veterans Homeless Shelter managing 44 "clients", many of them cocaine and heroin addicts. But I've never seen cocaine.  I worked as a social worker in the Salvation Army foster care services in Manhattan, many of the parents of the children in foster care had problems with crack and were true monsters, but I've never seen cocaine.  

What does this mean?  

Well what does it mean to you that the number one killer in the U.S. is alcohol and probably the #1 killer of innocent people in the world too (car accidentes etc.).  Knowing what effect alcoholism has on families and on communities, I'm still not an activist against the sale of alcohol.  Why not?  Because it's inevitable.  Human nature my friend.  

What it means is that millions of people will buy drugs for recreational use regardless of what I think and regardless of the known consequences, and certain people will maintain the market because of it's incredible monetary value.  And this has absolutely nothing to do with me, just as the alcohol and the arms industry has absolutely nothing to do with me.  Does this sound apathetic?  As I have said before, "we are 1 or 2 people in almost 7 billion on the planet"...  Do you remember what you saw looking down towards the street from the observation deck of the Empire State Building?  What seemed like ants walking along 6th Avenue below...  When you are running across the dirt path in whatever forrest or park in which you find yourself, do you worry about all the ants you may be squashing?  Well, that's the truth about the difference between being within the 7 billion mix and the difference between you and I and those who somehow ended up in positions of looking down upon us and upon everyone.  That's what the "pawn" signifies in the game of Chess and why there are so many more of them than there are of the specialty pieces such as the knight or the rook etc...  That's why the inner city black mothers raly on the capital everytime there is a "war" involving the U.S., because it's their sons who end up on the front line... whom are the pawns, who don't go to West Point or Annapolis to become knights or rooks or towers...  But they do enlist in the service for the opportunity of a university level education, technology training and the ability to be respected later on...  Life is a crap shoot, birth is the beginning of that crap shoot.

I've never held a gun in my hand, never seen cocaine, never been in the military and never had "enough" financial security...  And I question my own value systems and constantly wonder what is the truth within and around me.  Should we be critical of these governments and their systems when we have access to the history of governments and we know that this is what governments do?

That's part of the constant question.  Maybe you don't want to get down to the truth.  Or maybe that's why so many people are so apathetic.  

My mother believes in the "one shot deal" that justifies all her decisions, especially the ones against taking risks and addressing and confronting the truth.  She believes that "the one shot deal" signifies that we only live once, nor do we have an afterlife as is fantasized in so many religions and mythologies...  So, she decides that she wishes for pure enjoyment and all that is difficult is put aside...  Even if there wasn't a "one shot deal" and we live for eternities in so many different bodies and experiences, she still has the right to live as she chooses.  I have the right to be alcoholic or a drug addict or an assassin.  I accept the consequences (if that was my choice)...  I accept the consequences of having moved to Mexico without the slightest idea of what it was I was entering.  It's my life.  I also accept the consequences of being conscientious and devoting much time and energy worrying about and caring for other people who are in my life, although I may find myself destitute later on, without the assistance of anyone, since I don't have children.  

Selfishness, hedonism and lack of concern for others have their merits if we think rationally and consider the concept of the 7 billion human ants...  In the end we all die and in infinite ways, so many unplanned.  From the beginning we encounter so many different human interpersonal styles and even our parents may do things to us that we believe parents shouldn't do to their children...  If I can accept that, then I should be able to accept a CIA opporative in Mexico and all the desmadre created here...  

The more disfunctional the family, the more probability that the governments and the private sector has increased free reign for doing what they wish without considering the needs of their people.  Do you understand?  If a child can't criticize his or her parent or his or her aunt or uncle, less would they believe that they can criticize their government or the masterminds of industries...  

Life is a circle; everything is interconnected in some way or another. Acceptance is difficult, especially if we grow up in a culture that installs the illusion that we have the right to speak our minds and demand justice...  But truth is truth.  The question is, "how do you know when you are nearing that truth?"  

How much of your life is based upon fantasy and illusion? of yourself and of the world around you?     

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