Monday, November 23, 2009

¡Viva la RevoluciĆ²n!

It is the 99th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, and hundreds of moustached, rifle toting bandoliered second graders march through the streets of San Miguel like miniature Pancho Villas.

I am watching the parade from the sidelines, crowded under the shade of the laurel trees with the rest of the onlookers cheering on group after group of children and adults, including one band of old ladies in colorful skirts, toting rifles and marching left to right, left to right. Ten year old kids wielding machetes clashing them together over their heads in unison, enormous flags bearing portraits of Villa waving over dark heads shouting Viva! Que viva!

The other night from the comfort of our king sized hotel bed we had watched Antonio Banderas’ personification of Pancho and his bloody revolution and subsequent rise to power and eternal legend in a somewhat askew version of Mexican history.

But isn’t all history a romanticized retelling of monotonous and flawed facts of human blunder?

What makes Pancho Villa particularly juicy is his larger than life persona, his rise from rebel peasant to power and corruption, a story that seems to repeat itself over and over throughout the world. The eternal promise of change continues...