Monthly Archives: May 2012
I am NOT going to northern Mexico but I appear to believe I am, as I keep singing norteñas. These are the Pingüinos del Norte, who are classic.
We are going out tomorrow, in the country in the night, and this is my life.
I am going to Veracruz Monday morning and it has come to my attention that it is the 18th most dangerous city in the world. The 50 most dangerous cities are all in the Americas and South Africa, and most of them are in Latin America. If I have counted right, 14 of them are in Brazil and 10, in Mexico.
How many of these cities have you been to? Bold them and pass it on.
1 San Pedro Sula Honduras 1.143 719.447 158.87
2 Juárez Mexico 1.974 1,335,890 147.77
3 Maceió Brazil 1.564 1,156,278 135.26
4 Acapulco Mexico 1.029 804.412 127.92
5 Central District Honduras 1.123 1,126,534 99.69
6 Caracas Venezuela 3.164 3,205,463 98.71
7 Torreón (metropolitan) Mexico 990 1,128,152 87.75
8 Chihuahua Mexico 690 831.693 82.96
9 Durango Mexico 474 593.389 79.88
10 Belém Brazil 1.639 2,100,319 78.04
11 Cali Colombia 1.720 2,207,994 77.90
12 Guatemala Guatemala 2.248 3,014,060 74.58
13 Culiacán Mexico 649 871.620 74.46
14 Medellín Colombia 1.624 2,309,446 70.32
15 Mazatlán Mexico 307 445.343 68.94
16 Tepic (metropolitan area) Mexico 299 439.362 68.05
17 Vitória Brazil 1.143 1,685,384 67.82
18 Veracruz Mexico 418 697.414 59.94
19 Ciudad Guayana Venezuela 554 940.477 58.91
20 San Salvador El Salvador 1.343 2,290,790 58.63
21 New Orleans United States 199 343.829 57.88
22 Salvador (and RMS) Brazil 2.037 3,574,804 56.98
23 Cucuta Colombia 335 597.385 56.08
24 Barquisimeto Venezuela 621 1,120,718 55.41
25 San Juan Puerto Rico 225 427.789 52.60
26 Manaus Brazil 1.079 2,106,866 51.21
27 São Luís Brazil 516 1,014,837 50.85
28 Nuevo Laredo Mexico 191 389.674 49.02
29 João Pessoa Brazil 583 1,198,675 48.64
30 Detroit United States 346 713.777 48.47
31 Cuiabá Brazil 403 834.060 48.32
32 Recife Brazil 1.793 3,717,640 48.23
33 Kingston (metropolitan) Jamaica 550 1,169,808 47.02
34 Cape Town South Africa 1.614 3,497,097 46.15
35 Pereira Colombia 177 383.623 46.14
36 Macapá Brazil 225 499.116 45.08
37 Fortaleza Brazil 1.514 3,529,138 42.90
38 Monterrey (metropolitan area) Mexico 1.680 4,160,339 40.38
39 Curitiba Brazil 720 1,890,272 38.09
40 Goiânia Brazil 484 1,302,001 37.17
41 Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (Port Elizabeth) South Africa 381 1,050,930 36.25
42 Barranquilla Colombia 424 1,182,493 35.86
43 St. Louis United States 113 319.294 35.39
44 Mosul Iraq 636 1,800,000 35.33
45 Belo Horizonte Brazil 1.680 4,883,721 34.40
46 Panama Panama 543 1,713,070 31.70
47 Cuernavaca (metropolitan area) Mexico 198 630.174 31.42
48 Baltimore United States 195 620.961 31.40
49 Durban South Africa 1.059 3,468,087 30.54
50 City of Johannesburg South Africa 1.186 3,888,180 30.50
An important principle of Reeducation was that you should do what was uncomfortable. This was because what you thought right was necessarily wrong, and also because you had surely never stretched to do anything differently before.
There are several reasons why this idea did not apply to me. Here are some of them, listed in no particular order.
1. As children, we have to do things that feel or perhaps are wrong all the time. A great pleasure of growing up is to be able to do what is in fact comfortable and does in fact feel right. Why one should relinquish one´s judgement once again, especially when one is now of age, is a great mystery to me.
2. By the time I got Reeducated, I had lived, worked and studied in three U.S. states, six U.S. cities, four foreign countries, and six foreign cities. In each of the foreign countries I learned the language to a very high degree of proficiency. It is not as though I do not know how to adjust to things.
3. By the time I got Reeducated, I had at least two advanced degrees and a great deal of other mind- and mentality- stretching experience. I had scientific training. It is not as though I did not know how to question presuppositions, interrogate methods, and consider alternatives.
4. When I entered Reeducation, doing as I saw fit and what I was comfortable with had never caused me any trouble in life. Acting against my better judgement, under pressure from others, had done.
One thing I was seeking — perhaps the thing, I am beginning to see — was further support for using my judgement. This was why it was so shocking to hear that my judgement had to be off by definition. When I have an opinion which dissents from that of the person in power, I notice, I still quake in fear — especially if that person is ill or feels hurt in some way.
Z: I am very busy and do not want to change textbooks for our multi-section course.
Whiteman: It is selfish of you to give research and more advanced courses a greater priority than this course sequence, and to value current pedagogical practice over the comfort of the older M.A. instructors.
Z: Actually, it is selfish of them and you to put their comfort above the teaching and research goals of this university.
Whiteman: You just want to be in control of everything.
Z: I want reasonable control of my own workday and year. That means setting priorities. A complex change to a program which is running well is not a high priority.
Whiteman: You just want to impose the textbook you like on everyone else.
Z: Actually, the three textbooks I like, I do not even mention out of deference to the feelings of others, so give me a fucking break.
This whiteman is considered «cool» but in my view, everything he said in this conversation is abusive. It is that behavior I so dislike in professors.
I still use the phone book and I want mine.
Incidentally, it is blissful not to be Reeducated, although I am still shaking some dust off myself. It is different because one can just move ahead and do things, without having to limit action and vision somehow.
Reeducation believed in a number of false dichotomies. You could either accomplish things or be «happy», either think in a precise way or be «happy» and so on; also, whatever your first or truest or most deeply felt reaction to anything was, was wrong.
Remaining calm was a sign of «having too much control» or of being «scientific» (a bad thing) and therefore «unfeeling» (false dichotomies again).
It was necessary, then, to renounce calm, instinct, intuition, confidence, trust, reason, precision, and accomplishment, so as to prove that one could «feel» and and also relinquish control, which were the hallmarks of «happiness» and also the «true self.»
The presupposition appears to be that all Reeducands were numb and rigid, and had to be loosened up, so to speak, so they could feel and be happy. More deeply, though, the fear appears to have been of others´ autonomy, of not failing to choreograph them perfectly every time.
I remember long afternoons in which I earnestly tried to explain that calm intuition was hardly rigid impulsiveness, and also that to think rationally was not the same as to rationalize.
I think I was far too kind then, and I renounced far too much.
I think a lot of people are much more conventional than I imagine.
I might be prepared to become kind again, now.