Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Most Hated Gringo in the World Report - 5

I've been suggesting, no wait, I've been insisting, throughout my five-year harangue about expat issues here in Mexico's Gringolandias that mental illness has to play a role in explaining why what happens here happens!

At first, it really was just speculation on my part. I mean, really, how else could you explain the reactions of Gringolandia's Fakepats to the things I've written? More than one of these addled-minded Gringolandias have wished me death on more than one occasion. So, what's the skinny on these paragons of expat virtue who claim not only expertise in Mexican culture but will even go so far as to claim to have the "Most authentic Mexican" such-and-such business, which they operate out of their homes?

Really, I swear to God this is true. I know of a pair of Americans who operate a business out of their home (I wonder if they pay taxes?) and advertise it as "The Most Authentic Mexican…" and yet they are Gringos and at least one member of the pair could not speak enough Spanish to save their lives—literally.


Anyway, what I've speculated about American's mental illness rate seems to have some basis in fact:

"One-quarter of all Americans met the criteria for having a mental illness within the past year, and fully a quarter of those had a "serious" disorder that significantly disrupted their ability to function day to day, according to the largest and most detailed survey of the nation's mental health, published yesterday." (Rick Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer)

Now does this apply to what I've been writing about? It just might. If behavior (and I'm talking about wild-eyed and off-the-chart behavior here) is any indication, Gringolandias with their Happy Hours certainly provide a strong clue about their mental states.

My situation in Guanajuato not unusual.

We've been collecting data from Mexican chat rooms and forums. I am not the only writer who has not only expressed a doubt or two regarding the choices Gringo make in ignoring the language and culture or practicing CULTURAL IMPERIALISM. Other writers, too, have garnered hideous attacks…verbal as well threats to their safety.

In the Mexican state of Michoacan, an Internet Chat Room-Forum offers a look into another Gringolandia and often with the same results:

Re: hostile forum members

"I have been involved with a good number of forums associated with Mexico for 10 years and it occurs elsewhere. I see it on, MexConnect, I see people ask perfectly
innocent questions and get jumped on, put down, ridiculed, it's happened to me. The Moderators let it slide and it can get mean. I've been told that the same people off-forum are very nice but take on a
different personality when on forum. They seem to get pleasure seeing how clever they can be." (Source protected)

And, ultimately these who dare to offer objections about anything are summarily removed from the forums.

Another Michoacan forum where the poor moderator resigned from the group had this to say:

"But the main reason I need to remove myself from the public eye is that there is an element in the expat community of Michoacan, hate mongers who participate in gossip, spreading rumors that have no basis in truth, intolerant and untruthful people who apparently have such low self esteem that they have to build themselves up by cutting other people down. the fact that the size of my arms has been a topic of conversation here, that people would attack me for my physical attributes, I find absolutely revolting." (Source protected)

Now, remember we are talking about grown men and women who are in their twilight years and should have been growing in grace, wisdom, and humility. That's the whole point about aging. You learn how to get along and handle adversity. Unfortunately, no one told the Americans who join these chat rooms and forums and who move to Mexico.

Mental Illness?

"Although parallel studies in 27 other countries are not yet complete, the new numbers suggest that the United States is poised to rank No. 1 globally for mental illness, researchers said." (Rick Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer)

If the Gringolandias really are microcosms of America, and it is a miniature America they are moving to Mexico to create, then one has to wonder just how many of them fall into the nut-case category?

One just wonders!

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