Monday, March 27, 2006

The artery is cut but the bathwater is warm...

One of the indelible scenes from one of my favorite childhood novels, Quo Vadis, is the death of the cynical Roman Petronius. He commits suicide by bathing in warm water and cutting open his arteries. He sips wine and tastes his last meal while his life blood drains away. It is both a horrible and very heartbreaking scene, because Petronius has such nobility and possibility. You want to save him! (Or, at least, I did.)

I am reminded of this scene when I read tales from Mexico such as this one from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

But the export of human labor has been devastating here. It has left the land dotted with near-ghost towns inhabited by the very old and the very young, their lives dependent on whatever money their relatives send home.

In fact the artery has been opened in Mexico and the lifeblood of this country is steadily running out to our own. The beautiful Mexican countryside is being emptied and the corrupt politicians of this land sip their wine and toast each other, uncaring of the increasingly red bathwater that soaks them.

The demonstrations in Los Angeles and elsewhere this weekend don't concern me as much as what happens in the great dying beast that is Mexico. Anyone and everyone who comes to this country sooner or later absorbs into our culture. Mexicans and their Christian, hard-working, family oriented ethos will benefit our country.

Yes, we are drinking from a firehose right now, but the water is clean and pure. These are good people (with the exception of the criminal microbes that inhabit any large number of people.) The influx of illegal immigrants should be slowed for our health and theirs, but our country seems to lack the political will to stop them. At least, I comfort myself, we are being overwhelmed by working folks who will work hard for a better life. But what is left behind...

In Mexico, the gates bang back and forth on the deserted corrals. The old men sit in the sun and the old women sweep the dust from the floors and the sound of children is no where heard. There is only silence. And silence. And silence.


Blogger M. Simon said...

Uh, Mexico is not the only country.

We are doing it to the Brits, the Chinese, India, etc., etc, etc.

We attract the best and brightest, but most of all ambition.

4:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home