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Life in the afternoon

20 September 2012

The cult of life, if it is truly profound and total, is also the cult of death because the two are inseparable. A civilization that denies death ends by denying life.

(Octavio Paz)

 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 September 2012 7:52 am

    Well, Sr Paz, does this mean we should stand on the rr tracks until the last moment as the train approaches, simply to feel alive?

    Yes, our first breath must be surrendered someday. But we need not dabble in risky behavior, nor wait until our very last day, simply to feel more alive. St Paul said “I die daily.” (1Cor15:31) ~eric.

  2. StephenBrassawe permalink
    24 September 2012 4:19 pm

    Enrique Krause’s review of two new books on the narcos by Ioan Gillo and Anabel Hernández is published in the 27 September issue of The New York Review of Books. I mention it because he does an excellent job of succintly explaining the current spread of the cult of death in its latest form as personified by Santa Muerte from the narco culture out through Mexican society.

    • 25 September 2012 7:37 am

      I kind of question the “cult of death” nonsense related to Santa Muerte…. a variation on a very old Roman Catholic theme “remember you must die”), and a commonplace of Mexican indigenous religions… being used to “explain” some vague “narco-culture”. As Grillo was smart enough to point out, narcotics growing has been a profitable agricultural pursuit here for well over a century (and I’ve argued the only real difference between marijuana or poppies and other “drugs” like coffee and sugar” is that foreign cartels can’t control the crop production) — a rural issue — and Santa Muerte is an urban phenonomon.

  3. 24 September 2012 4:42 pm

    I read a Grillo book last year titled El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency. It was stunning in its journalistic boldness. When I mentioned the author to a Mexican friend, he thought I was kidding, as Grillo’s surname means “cricket” in Spanish.

    I see now that Grillo has another book out this month, but with the same title! However it has a different subtitle — El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels. I’ll have to look into it. I understand that he’s a Brit with a Mexican parent, and that he lives in DF.

    ~eric.

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