Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dance This Mess Around

Well the Sharks and the Jets managed to make it through the opening day festivities in Oaxaca without a rumble. Fifteen thousand tourists paying more than the average Oaxacan can afford sat through the Guelaguetza festival (that's a Zapotec word meaning "jazz hands"), surrounded by the kind of security cordon you usually see at a G-8 Summit Meeting. Down the hill, a crowd twice that size protested peacefully. Bottom line: the show went on, nobody got their skull cracked, and the state's douchebag governor is still in office. Kind of a mixed scorecard.

The complaint about the Guelageutza is that it's a prostitution of the indigenous culture, which is true. But prostitution is what desperate people do in desperate times, and that pretty much describes Oaxaca right now. Judged by that standard, it was a failure.

Hotels here usually fill for the event. But on Monday, occupancy ran at a paltry 38%, according to the Mexican Assn. of Hotels and Motels of Oaxaca.

"The authorities have to do something to fix this," said Jesus Torres, manager of the Fortin Plaza Hotel, where the few occupied rooms emptied out last week when an earlier protest against Ruiz turned violent. "Tourism is down to a trickle. People are afraid to come, and I don't blame them."

There's really nothing sadder than a failed prostitute.

My complaint about the Guelaguetza - and this is a profession of my own personal tastes, in no way intended to denigrate anyone's culture heritage - is that it is just excruciatingly, fuck-all boring. Judge for yourself:

Admit it, you didn't watch the full 7 minutes and 46 seconds, did you? Now imagine you'd flown to Oaxaca and sat for hours in the hot sun. See what I mean?


Anonymous said...

you're right. I lasted two minutes. dreadful.

Here's my question: why is it Mexican bands play SO poorly. I remember hearing drum and bugle corps in Acapulco that couldnot come close to holding the tune. Are they tone deaf down there? Lacking basic musical skills? What?


Burro Hall said...

Well, rehearsal is scheduled for 11AM. But by the time everyone shows up, it's getting close to 1:15, and the concert was supposed to start at 1:00...you know how it is.

(re: the drum and bugle corps...you should see the rest of the army.)