About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mexico Greets Copa with Giant Shrug - Larger Symptom?

The optimism of "si se puede" appears to be in need of a muertos altar this coming autumn. During the South Africa game I was up to my eyeballs in documents at the Cuernavaca state archive when Mexico scored a goal. One of the archivists looked up from his magazine and said "See, I knew we would end up behind" (my translation of his fairly, um, colorful statement). His colleagues had to correct him and tell him that the GOOOOOOOL he heard being screamed was for Mexico, not South Africa. The archivist said Mexico would screw it up by the end of the game - everybody nodded in agreement. The pesero driver, the grounds guys, my landlord ... everybody shrugged off the tie: we'll screw it up somehow, they all commented. Even generally upbeat MexFiles predicts disappointment, or at least says it is the same old disappointing garbage. At least they haven't behaved like Nigeria in front of Greece.

A politician here in Cuernavaca is running a television commercial these days saying that he wants to help change Mexico of Si Se Puede to Si Se Pudo. It seems the general pessimism of the early and mid 80s has crept back into Mexico as democratic reforms (come on, it is better than 1976, no?), urban renewal, and freemarket moves have failed to provide the benefits promised by elites and foreigners. A great manifestation of the national temperature, fùtbol seems to get a shrug as Mexicans have slipped into a general funk of pessimism. How will this play out on July 8, and how will it play out in 2012? Will it mean general reluctance to participate (like the 80s) or to increased particpation out of frustration?

1 comment:

JHD said...

2-0 over France... I hope it helps. But even the commentators on TVC Deportes were going on and on about how they never thought Mexico could win the game.