Jun 28, 2005, 1:57 PM
Post #1 of 20
Further to Bubba's posts concerning the prevalence of the ad hominem attack, it seems to me that a good many posters here on MexConnect will brook no criticism, no matter how gentle or constructive, of Mexico, its people or its culture. Indeed, we have witnessed the opprobrium heaped on those who have dared make such perceptibly negative comments - such as Talosian's standing on principle over the issue of 'redondear', or my own musings on the nature of rudeness.
Furthermore, it seems that a good many well-intentioned folk appear to believe that what holds good in their particular patch of this fair land is good for the whole of Mexico. Clearly, this cannot be the case, given the inclusion on a continuum that includes the 'bohemian colony' of San Miguel Allende and the 'hardscrabble oil town' (as Bubba put it) of Tampico.
In my mind, these two issues spoil a good deal of the discourse on MexConnect. Aside from the fact that it is a useful repository of information (despite many of the pleas for help having common themes), I would expect to see more reasoned replies to some of the illustrative shortcomings of this country, rather than the speciousness, ad hominem attacks and pure emotionalism that so often passes for response.
For example, Talosian took great care to stress that it is the principle of rounding up one's change without asking (on the assumption that one will not object), rather than the monetary amount, that gives offense. For this, the summation of the responses seemed to be, 'Learn Spanish, you moron! That's how it is. Don't be a miser. If you don't like it then leave''.
Yet, in the absence of an organised charitable effort within that store, what is this rounding up if not theft? How is it acceptable for the store clerk to simply put that money (no matter how small the individual amount) in to his pocket or leave it in the till? How are we to trust that store in their business dealings? What integrity is displayed by their employees? What loyalty can those same employees give to their employer in the face of such dishonesty?
From this, it is but a short step to the rationalisation of any kind of theft, fraud, bribery or corruption - they all begin at the lowest level and with the smallest amount. To not criticise such actions for what they are - moral wrongs - is to give one's implied sanction to such acts. A wilfully blind attitude that accepts such moral turpitude as being natural, normal and, even, desireable is as despicable as the thief - more so even, for it attempts to inculcate guilt in those who would criticise such wrongness..
I like this country. I honestly believe that I and my family will have a better life - materially and spiritually - than we could have had in England. For that, I will accept much and still my tongue over much else. Yet there are still many things that exasperate and infuriate me about the place and its people. There are things that disgust me and things that make me want to scream, rant and post harshly illiberal messages on MexConnect. When such illiberality is made public (by myself or anyone else who wishes to post), I for one would appreciate a response that clearly deals with the issue under discussion and NOT the character of the person making the remarks.
" 'The White Man's Burden' - Kiplingesque Fantasies On Kafkaesque Failings"