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¡Viva Mexico! ¡Viva San Miguel!
vs Bloomberg's Fake News

by Dr David, Publisher / Editor

My friend Jay in Connecticut, who has been showing some interest in moving for part of the year to Mexico, sent me an email the other day, which contained only a link to the recent Bloomberg article, smearing San Miguel as being under the control of crime cartels.

I responded:

Well, yes and no.

Saying that a tortilla shop owner was killed in Celaya so San Miguel is dangerous is like saying that people are getting murdered in Bridgeport so you shouldn't live in Hartford [50 miles away]. And claiming that a restaurant owner was killed in a "hail" of bullets seems extreme. How many bullets does it take to kill a restaurant owner at close range?

But extortion has closed one of 2 major health-food stores in town and civilians are getting killed as one gang drives by and shoots at another. It has gotten a lot worse since the new mayor took office 2 years ago. Still, so far gringos are immune.

Then, you'd have to be the Grinch to rob Santa.

He wrote back:

Glad to hear your more positive take, David. The Bloomberg article made it sound like you’re in the thick of battle there.

Thanks for sending the pic. You never age. Must have something to do with that easy lifestyle you’ve chosen for yourself.

Do you know of Puerto Escondido, down in Oaxaca? A buddy of mine who I knew in Thailand and Cambodia moved there not long ago and tells me it’s paradise.

***

Jay is a very interesting man. In the 60s he was a famous as the radio and television personality Uncle Jay. His radio show was aired in all the major markets. Twenty-eight cities carried his television show. Think Howard Stern, but with culture and couth. All US presidential candidates appeared on his show. He interviewed Charles DeGaulle various times, in perfect French.

Jay, nearly a generation older than me, was friends with my Uncle Jimmy. His family's bakery truck would give my father a ride home to Hartford's North End when they came upon Dad, at that time a mere boy, trudging along in that direction.

I met Jay because we were dating 2 sisters. He married his, one of his five wives. At that time, I was 16 years old, he played me an audio recording of an interview he had with Abbie Hoffman. Abbie's main mission at that time was to blow people's minds, to challenge the system, to outrage.

Uncle Jay used the phone on his show. This was back in the day before you had to tell people that they were on the air or even being recorded. Abbie was outraging a woman who had called into challenge him. He parried each of her questions, turning it back on her, ridiculing her conservative sensibilities. Tension built. The woman was about to explode. She leveled her atomic bomb of a question at Abbie, asking, "Do you believe in God?" Not missing a beat (the man was quick!), he replied, "Oh, lady, I am God!" Knowing the lady had exceeded her limit, Jay masterfully interrupted, "Thank you very much, madame," and hung up the phone.

In the late 60s Jay dropped out. Turning his back on fame and fortune. When I met him in 1975 he was going off, with my girlfriend's ten-years-older sister to live in a Volkswagon camper on the beach in Mazatlan.

We stayed in touch over the years. In need of an income, he found himself working in the basement of Aetna Insurance Company's home office, in the bowels of "the largest colonial style building in the world," as a file clerk; in those days before computers there were a lot of paper files that needed to be kept in order.

One day, while he pushed his cart down the hall, a well-dressed woman stopped and asked him, "Aren't you Uncle Jay?" "Yes, as a matter of fact, I am," he replied. Right there and then she took him by the wrist and led him up to the executive offices. There he was put in charge of writing letters and such for the executives, who could not turn a phrase nearly as well as Jay.

No one kept track of his hours. As long as he got his work done, he was free to come and go as he liked. He told me that on a typical day he'd arrive at 10am and go right to the executive gym. From there he went to lunch. Then it was up to his office for a few hours, leaving work at 3pm.

Jay was very impressed with my maturity when I was a teen, speaking to adults more or less as equals. Once, I think he was particularly impressed with my ability to recite poetry (mine) by heart, he told, "David, you are the smartest person I know." Coming from him, it was really a compliment.

Now the first thing a really smart person does when you tell them that they are really smart is deny it. So let me say that I've met plenty of people who are much smarter than me. Then there are a lot of different types of intelligence. What I am is quick; and I've met a lot of people much quicker than me. I also am synthetic, good at making connections and comparisons, recognizing patterns. They say that Bobby Fisher could lose 20 pounds playing a game of chess; of course his games of chess could last a long time. I myself do burn a lot of calories thinking.

A couple of other folks have told me that I'm the smartest person they've met. One of them was my sister, but she threw the fact in my face, "Until I was 21 I thought you were the smartest person in the world." I don't know what happened to her judgement when she turned 21.

Now she doesn't speak with me. She used to respond with one or two words to the emails I sent, but she hasn't to the birthday wishes I conveyed to her last week.

When he worked at Aetna, every winter Jay would leave for a few months in Sotheast Asia. Every spring he'd return to his job at Aetna. He has long since left Aetna, but he continues his yearly pilgramages to Asia. Lately, though he has been thinking of trying Mexico instead. If the Bloomberg article sounded alarming to him, veteran traveler and counter-culturist that he is, it must have cancelled a lot of average people's travel plans. I am afraid to use the term "fake news," but that article was, at least, yellow journalism.

All the news I hear from the States makes me glad I'm in Mexico. Yes, the endemic corruption creates the cartels and there is a tragic fatalism everywhere you look. But, also, there is less confusion and a more direct connection with the joys of life. Come on down, Jay, the weather is fine. ¡Viva Mexico! ¡Viva San Miguel!

****

Final note: I sent Jay this article to let him know that I was going to publish an article about him and to fact-check. He answered:

Nice piece of writing there, David. I’m thrilled that Uncle Jay is remembered by somebody, and in a positive light. Thanks for the strokes.

You’re good with prose, but your memorable forte is really poetry, and I sure hope you haven’t let that part of yourself go completely. I still have the poems you once shared with me, and I think of that hoarding as you might think of keeping paintings of an unknown and unrecognized master you know will one day be recognized as one of the greats. That’s how I think of you and your poetry.

We still haven’t come to a decision about wintering in Mexico. I’ll give it more serious thought after the holidays.

**************

Dr. David:

My Open Mind Project

Buddhists masters insist that "Normal reality is enlightenment." So, if we are not okay with normal reality, if we have a problem with how things are going, then we are somehow missing the point. Our experience has a point, a point of view, and we are missing it. What we need is a new, more inclusive perspective.

Normal reality is enlightening. As I quoted above, "As long as you don't know how to be people in the midst of enlightening realities, you only exercise your minds in the mundane world." We have been conditioned to interpret our experience in certain narrow ways. We suffer because we rely on those faulty interpretations.

We shouldn't blame others for our experience: feelings, emotions, hurt... We shouldn't blame our experience, judging it as wrong or bad. We need to see things in a new light. We need an open mind to learn the lessons of our experience. Then we can graduate to other experiences, or become more comfortable, friendly, positive, enlightened with reality as it is.

That's what my Open Mind project is about.

The website is coming soon.
To learn more now write me at:

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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