Independence Day is about freedom, apparently.

18 Sep

Independence Day in Mexico. Día de la independencia. The holiday of the nation. Ah, this day… Most of you, O my readers surely have a similar day in your respective countries. I bet at least one of you—at least one, seriously—must know of a holiday in where we celebrate the deeds of our historical figures which, somehow, changed the nation and put it in a new path of existence. Yes, yes, I am sure most of you have the overall idea of what I am talking about. These are the days in where we raise our cups, say “Hooray! Long live our historical heroes!”, and get extremely proud of our roots, lifestyles and identities…

“Cheers, honey~!”

Now, before I begin, I would like to explain a bit our context in here, starting with what happened in this particular day. You see, in Mexico, nobody (sane or aware of the facts, at least) is really in the mood to, this time, celebrate our past heroes and the ones who freed us from the colonization. Several things are the cause of this. One: several debates, regarding the actual facts and deeds of some heroes, are making people rethink if some of our historical figures actually did what the storybooks say (and I found a little gem explaining a little theory that one of our stories was actually modified so it could become a romantic tale of patriotism to brag in front of several foreign diplomats). Two: our government has seen the return of an almost centennial authoritarian party who has a clear record of violence and censorship towards the citizens who oppose it. And three: said party just recently suffocated violently a huge teacher march in this weekend just to sweep the streets and prepare everything for the celebration of the Independence Day, and there are records that the policemen were terribly violent. And four: what are we celebrating again?

“We want you to leave the goddamn place so we can celebrate that you’re free of oppression, silly people!”

No, really, care somebody remind me what are we celebrating…? Huh? Independence? Freedom of rule and chains? Oh, good. So glad to know we’re now free of colonial rule. So glad to know that nothing’s controlling our life. It’s so really nice to be free, to walk outside without fear, to have our own identity, to not feel pressed by other people, to breathe and say “Darn, I am so free!”…

…Now, you can guess where I am trying to go. We really have nothing to celebrate in here. Independence Day is, in my opinion, supposed to be a holiday of freedom, of being ourselves, of not having anything to be afraid about, of—mostly, which is kinda the point of the day—not having somebody controlling us. And yet, our little vendors and national merchandise are shunned and left to rot in the corner while international merchandise, such as McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, etc., come and devour the life of people, and make them forget that our people needs help too with their businesses. We’re the playground of these international merchandises. We’re at the hands of the foreign people. They even passed a bill in where foreigners can buy land in Mexico and do whatever they want with it. And most of that land’s usually home of many indigenous people who are shunned and left to rot in the corner as well. And the TV has this mania of ignoring the pleas of these people, putting them as troublemakers, and then airing commercials in where people with warts and pimple are bullied and shunned by prettier people, and tells you that your sole solution is to buy this cream so you can be accepted again!

And yet, we’re supposed to celebrate a holiday in where we’re all FREE of domination…! Seriously!

Name an area Shelltania and save us from trouble already.

But see, this is the Mexican context. I am posting this not entirely due to Mexico, but because I am sure that this is not the sole case. I am not saying that all Independence Days in the world are celebrations of nothingness (in fact, I bet there’s a country I don’t know whose similar holiday surely celebrates the whole glory of freedom; I believe that, if Cataluña wins its independence from Spain, the celebrations would be some of the most sincere in these years due to its recent status, specially if Spain remains with its little issues around), but rather that I am sure that there are people who have noticed that we’re not really that free as we’re supposed to celebrate. I remember watching an RT documentary, titled “La feria de las caridades” (sorry, can’t remember the English title >.<; If anybody knows, please do tell), which spoke about the delivery of American food support to several African countries not entirely out of kindness, but also due to political intentions. That is: winning a good position inside the continent just to keep a good watch in the surroundings. That can be bought once you deliver food to the needed people. Because they are ignored by their governments because they’re glad that other people are doing their job. When they could just help them get some water to work their own lands and agriculture. And so, the drama continues.

Some help to bring water to their areas could solve all their problems, but noooo…

That documentary, alongside this holiday, made me wonder about this. It made me wonder if we really should keep celebrating something (at least in the usual way, I am not saying “Let’s cancel all celebrations! They’re evil!” ;P) that we haven’t achieved yet. In my opinion, marking a holiday involves the culmination—the unanimous vote that we have achieved—of a certain value that will stay with us forever. And celebrating independence of colonial rule or even a national identity is a bit awkward. I feel that we’re still a colony not only from foreign powers, but also of fear. How “fear”, you ask? Well, simply that: fear. The fear of not being the person you want to be. Fear of not being what the media you must be, of not having the “correct” clothing, of having the “incorrect” clothing, of becoming silly nerds, of having an ugly smile, of not having sex lots of times as the “champs” of the TV, of not being fashionista enough… Fear which can be “solved” if you buy this brand of clothing, if you buy this toothpaste so you can finally have an acceptable smile, if you buy all the insignificant things from the malls just because they’re cute and in the mouth of everybody… Solutions offered by you by most companies, who are almost everywhere around the globe. Who don’t like competition at all from tiny and modest local places and bribe to get more stores (am I right, Wal Mart?). And who, by complete irony, also celebrate the patriotic holidays with discounts and special products, as if they never were fighting for land to sell themselves.

Basically, they tell us of what to be proud of, but not why. And they start these campaigns to create the image they want that both safeguards their interests and keep us satisfied. Let’s take Chelsea Manning as an example. She just wanted to help her country in an unusual way in the common standards (by showing everybody the Collateral Damages video to park debate); and what does she get as a thank you or a “Well, maybe we should indeed debate because we love this country and humanity”? 35 years of prison. Why? Because she broke the law… So yeah. And then they released a photo of her in a wig and make up for no reason, but with a clear intention of ridiculing her and ignoring her intention and actions. And thus, give to the public an indirect statement that no, no, people, this is not the patriotic attitude you must take, it’s wrong, it’s breaking the law, you’re loving erroneously your country. As if this was worse than the many war criminals that she wanted to denounce.

The irony? I bet she needs 100 years to be finally hailed as a hero… Hopefully, she will be well remembered in the Independence Day when that time comes.

And thus, her attitude was wrong, but the soldier’s is correct because he fights directly and in a clear way for the country, and more importantly: by not doing what Manning did. You must pamper the good ol’ nation because it is already perfect, correct, and better than other places; because we’re already free from the terrible chains and from the evil Others! Because our problems are now in the past! And what better way to keep it than a holiday that celebrates such thing. A holiday that repeats the same speech over and over again—our heroes of the past, people!—, but never updates itself to the contemporary issues and that opens the debate that we’re also in an epoch in where we can see and create more heroes of liberty and identity like Manning. Oh no, it’s just a celebration of the past. Because the problems were in the past, so let’s celebrate we’re now better!

Independence Day’s supposed to celebrate our identity, our freedom. In Mexico, and other places like Africa and Latin America, we’re still bombarded by foreign powers. Identity’s a keyword in these holidays: they’re the cause of the celebration. We must celebrate that we’re who we are and are protecting our mother land by just shouting proudly “I am from this country, the best one of all!”. But it’s really hard to celebrate when they insult you for protesting for the sake of your own people (who happen to be the offenders too), when the foreign powers come to dictate what stays and what must leave in the nation, and when the government jails you for “treason” just for wanting to spark a debate about foreign policies in one of the most sincere, if not uncommon, expression of patriotism. I recently readed José Vasconcelo’s essay “La raza cósmica”, which deals with some racial identity in Latin America, and said that we can’t really celebrate our independence holiday if we can’t look at the other liberty heroes, way before the official ones, who did other things. And I would like to take his statement, but also add “the heroes of the future and contemporary”, which nowdays are taken as terrorists, vandals or criminals. And need a century to be finally recognized as warriors by the media and the governments.

The four races of the world create the fifth one, which will bring the ultimate glory and peace of humanity, according to Vasconcelos.

I am sometimes afraid to think that this holiday’s saying “We’re in the best condition now. Let’s celebrate! We are perfect, so there is no need to keep struggling to reach something we already have” instead of “Let’s celebrate we managed to get freedom, which means we can keep getting it with more struggle”. I am this afraid, people. This afraid.

I remember myself as a child, who would love to go to the church festivals to celebrate this holiday and say “I am so glad to be of this country!”, and it wasn’t until these years in where I finally took a seat and wondered what I was celebrating. What identity I am proud of. From whom I am free now. Because I just recently realized that we’re not free. We will never be free as long as ignorance in the past, in our identity and in the understanding of the word “colonization” keeps going in our collective mindset. I really feel a bit irked when I read somebody say “Viva México” because I want to ask them “What is it that you’re celebrating? What makes you proud of?”. And I know some of them would say “We’re free of the colonial rule, what else?”. And then I would point them that a Spanish company owns a bank in Mexico, so we’re not really free, but… I tell myself “Maybe later”, but I am afraid the chance might never come. And I am sure this is not only in Mexico, but around the world. Are we really free? What are we celebrating…? Why do we remember such days? Why? And what for? What’s the point of it?

I forgot Texxon had a city called Dell Paso. I need geography classes again.

I am not saying that foreign products are evil, mind you. Oh no, I am just saying that either people sell themselves to these powers and let them interfere in the country or lifestyle for their own benefit, despising the local markets with people who need to make a living with their hands too and playing foul games to win power and influence inside, or are a bit contradictory and hypocrite in their own notion of national identity, just to protect their own interests. I am just telling an opinion and a preoccupation towards the world. My greatest reference is life itself. It’s what happened to the teachers in Mexico, to Chelsea Manning and Africa’s new colonization for its goods. I am afraid, O readers. I am afraid of what’s going on. But we’re on the Information Age. We’re now on the new age predicted by the Mayans. We’re living an Apocalypse—a lift of the veil—and understanding truth finally. And now that we’re getting it, we can finally help each other once we get what we did wrong and where we did right. And I believe that we will be able to celebrate independence in the future once we get rid first of the fear colonization—by not being afraid of what others will tell and teaching our future generations to care about the world (which is becoming a rare value among the youth who are becoming obsessed with junk TV and violent games) and to protect it, not only to honour it (and not with wars. Seriously, please…)—and then we can finally change the way our societies are handled.

dog enjoys a beautiful sunset

Let’s meditate together, looking at the sun… Not directly, though: you’ll go blind.

Any comments, corrections and/or expansion of this post are greatly appreciated. Just for the sake of building truth, people.

*Images not mine, found in the internet. Some do go back to some pages in where I found them, and others I believe are free of use. If not, I apologize and will remove them if I receive a complain*


4 Responses to “Independence Day is about freedom, apparently.”

  1. Jeff Nguyen November 8, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    Manning will be remembered kindly by history as someone who follower her conscience over obeying orders. She paid a heavy price for it. We owe it to her and all political prisoners to do what we can to ensure her efforts were not in vain. Great blog, by the way.

  2. Emilio Arroyo January 23, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    Good day! you are using my picture of “La Raza Cosmica” from here … can you cuote me please? thanks

    • krikli01 January 23, 2014 at 5:42 am #

      Oh my God! I am so terribly sorry I forgot to link you back! I will fix it right away…! I am sorry!

    • krikli01 January 23, 2014 at 5:45 am #

      Ready, I linked back to your page. I, actually, just saw the description of the image, and I remember that I found the photo in La Jornada’s page, but if it was taken by you, then no worries, the link’s up there now, when clicking at the image! Sorry for the inconvenience!

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