Friday, April 17, 2015

uneasy lies the head

What do you call an odd concurrent meeting of two apparently-disparate events?

Some call it "coincidence."  Others bandy about that misused word "serendipity."

I call it life.

It happened to me today.

While I was eating lunch, I was watching the crowds come and go from the bank across the street.  I am easily amused by cars and buses veering here and there to avoid a trip to the body shop.

For some reason, a woman leaving the bank with what appeared to be a box of currency caught my attention.  She tossed it into the carrier on her ATV, and sped out of the parking lot. 

Only then did I notice the large flag fluttering on the back of the vehicle.  A PRI flag.

I rue the fact that I did not have my camera handy because the shot would have summed up what a lot of Mexican voters think of PRI.

PRI once monopolized all political power in Mexico.  But, as we learned yesterday, from the 1990s onward, opposition parties are now allowed to run -- and win -- elections.

It may be a very young democracy.  But it is a far better system than authoritarian power.

One of PRI's primary methods of winning votes was out and out bribery -- vote-buying or turning electoral officials.  And a lot of Mexicans still see the party as having dirty hands -- an impression reenforced by a rather unseemly deal where the current PRI president's wife ended up with a multi-million dollar house under a favorable loan from a big government contractor.

That is why I am sorry I did not get the shot for you.  The woman on the ATV may have been doing nothing out of the ordinary -- and I assume that she was as honest as daylight saving time.  But parody is not noted for its fairness.

Last night, I watched one of my favorite movies satirizing British politics and medicine -- The Madness of King George based on an Alan Bennett play.

When the king goes mad, his son, the Prince of Wales, plots to be named regent.  "King in all but name."

When the first vote narrowly fails, the prince, knowing very little of British politics, is confused.  The leader of the opposition, Charles Fox, consoles him:

Pitt and your father have done them very well ... pensions, places ... bribes.

Once it is plain that Pitt is finished and there is no more swill in the trough, Your Royal Highness will be made regent.
That was once true of PRI.  The voters put the party in exile for 12 years, and on probation for three.

This election will help determine if the party is to "be made regent" -- or whether a new pretender will emerge from the wings.

Note: When I was up north in February, I bought a DVD of the movie.  They are now relatively rare.  It has been a joy to carefully pick through the movie.  This is one of my favorite scenes.

Despite the video quality, enjoy good actors performing a well-written script.


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