Last week was a busy one for our audio/visual crew. The Man, adamant that he receive a decent return on his investment, had us out pimping the Dropout Nation documentary harder than Honey Boo Boo's mama. This led to our vice-president of audio/visual affairs (North America) becoming a ubiquitous presence on the airwaves for a few days. It was a terrific Kabuki ritual in whereby interviewers who had not seen the program asked random education-related questions of man who knows nothing about education - sometimes for as long as an hour (see here and here for just two of the many examples out there). The listening public was none the wiser, in any sense of the phrase.
Which brings us to today's topic: Fakes. Frauds. Counterfeits. Phonies. Pirates.
Yes, pirates. Pirata is the general Mexican world for cheap bootleg knockoffs - and Mexico, as you can tell by strolling through any mercado, is full of pirate treasure. Not just movies, clothes, and accessories - but heavy equipment such as water trucks, tow trucks, and buses. There's literally no object too large or small to constructed out of complete and utter bullshit here, bless them. Gas stations? Fugghedaboutit!
And it's not just the stuff - it's the people. At least 13 doctors here aren't really what they claim to be - but there's a bunch of fake nurses and chemists, too, so, hey, whatever. Five hundred taxi drivers. The Central American migrants panhandling their way towards El Norte? Eighty percent of them are full of shit. Well, maybe 70 percent. Okay, 60. Clearly, "pirate studies" is an inexact science. Take the lawyers. In January, it was announced that 30 percent of Querétaro's lawyers were fake - some 1,300 bogus attorneys. By April, that number was up to 1,800 - but the percentage was down to 22%. Maybe the statisticians are phonies, too.
Priests? Fake. Travel agencies? Fake. Outsourcing firms? Overwhelmingly fake. We're starting feel like maybe we're not so out of place here, after all.