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.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Santa Muerte: More about US (us)

Yesterday saw the site exploded with hits. Silly me, I thought folks might have developed an interest in Cuban urban agriculture. It turns out, however, that Hollywood and death are driving folks to the site.

Santa Muerte is back in the media, this time on the serial killer show Dexter from Showtime on US cable. It turns out that the show has introduced a character and a plot line dealing with some sort of Santa Muerte cult in Miami and decapitation. Great. Santa Muerte plays an interesting role in anglo society that I doubt it was intended to in Mexico: titillation. The adoration of St. Death in Mexico is an alternative worship for the marginalized whose lives feel the strain of life and recognize the ultimate equality in humanity via death. It creates an alternative divine space. In the United States, it gives us a cheap thrill and another way to show the barbarity of the other, often in the form of drug dealers and the generic term "immigrants" without recognizing the economic and social conditions that create drug use and immigration. Santa Muerte is being used here as a cheap thrill and a distraction when it should be used as a wake-up call.

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