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Fake News and the Ugly American

by Dr. David, Editor / Publisher

Some years back I published an article, in the pages of this magazine, about the municipal government reinstating the running of the bulls here in San Miguel. This had been an actual event, discontinued because of the mayhem it caused in the streets, including public fornication and rivulets of urine flowing downhill from maxed-out porta-potties in the Jardin. (The distress caused to the bulls seems to have been a secondary concern.) It was like a full-participation Los Locos parade without a route, and lots of drunken men taunting already-irritated bulls.

The wisely-anonymous author of that article asserted, most absurdly it seemed to me, "the running of the bulls, also known as Sanmiguelada, has found a new home in the defunct shopping center Plaza Real del Conde." It seemed impossible to imagine that the raucous, chaotic spectacle, which the whole of el Centro could not adequately contain, could be squeezed into an old mall... full of plate glass windows. Still, I got emails, more than one, lecturing me about the dangers of spreading fake news.


A sense of humor is a sign of intelligence. Tolerance of ambiguity is a sign of understanding. Being able to laugh at yourself is wisdom.

Politics is a slippery fish that I hesitate to pick up, but, undeniably, the woke left has no sense of humor. When Trump left office, late night comedians (Colbert, Kimmel...) stopped trying to be funny. It took over a year, and a severely declining economy, before Saturday Night Live produced their first skit poking fun at Biden. And really, whatever your political point of view, there was a lot to caricature.

Elon Musk started his bid to buy Twitter after the social media's ultra-woke staff suspended The Babylon Bee, the right-wing, Christian satire site. Not right-wing nor Christian, Bill Maher weighed in, blasting Twitter as a "left-wing place" and said that The Babylon Bee was what satire was all about.

Tolerance, the unique heart of Western culture, is the hallmark of all relationship, including the friendship I have with my buddy X. We differ on politics, religion and science, but really enjoy each other; mutually compatible pathologies, I suppose.

A couple of weeks ago, X. messaged me:

Hola David, How are you doing? Following are some posts I've collected on Facebook (local groups). Tell me if you think they are real or made up!:

I just made a visit to San Miguel, and I'm thinking of moving here. Are there always so many Mexicans wherever you go?

I've always wiped myself with lilac-scented toilet tissue. Does anyone know where I can find that in San Miguel?

Does anyone know where I can have pillows custom-made here to support me while I lie on my side watching housewives of Ft. Lauderdale?

I'm afraid of the damage to my car when I go over some speed bumps in this town. Does anyone know who I should talk to make them all the same height?

The clerk at city market said they don't accept dollars. Does anyone know who I should speak to?

My ex used to roast marshmallows to eat while we watched our shows on CBS. Can anyone recommend a Mexican who can roast marshmallows for me?

I've noticed people selling seeds and honey and stuff on the street have very dark skin. Are they from India, or do they just need a bath?

The gas delivery guy refused to say hi to my poodle, Precious. Who do I call to have him deported?

I'm new in San Miguel and I find the temperature to be too cold in the morning and too hot in the afternoon, does it get better?

The vendor at the nearby fruit stand didn't understand me when I spoke English to him. Does anyone know where I can file a complaint?

When I walk around el Centro, everybody around speaks Spanish. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that's so rude?

I assume that there is one author of all these remarks and that that author is satirizing the ugly American. I further suspect that X. is himself that wisely-anonymous author. I have no idea if these remarks were even published on local Facebook groups. Wheels within wheels, that's the way X. is; satirizing the satirist.

In response to X. asking me to opine on the sincerity of the quotes, I wrote back that, as points of view become ever more extreme, "satire is harder to achieve. They just might be in earnest."

Then, in a case of life imitating art imitating life, browsing the Civil List the other day, I came across something worthy of satire. I paraphrase:

I am sad to report that our precious cat savior, is not doing well. The stage 4 lung cancer has metastasized quickly over her once strong body. She is now forced to do aggressive and painful cancer treatments, which leave her feeling weak. However, she still remains very much active in her mission.

She had only 5000 pesos in her bank account, not enough to sustain her, pay for the care of over 100 cats, and the shelter she pays to care for them as well as pay her employees. This beautiful soul, has literally sacrificed herself to commit to the care of the cats of San Miguel.

To anyone reading this, I am making a plea for you to please donate as much as you possibly can to sustain her in this difficult and critical time.

To date, $34,000 US dollars have been donated towards the campaign's goal of $50k.

I like cats, and I'm willing to believe that there is no risk posed to public health by collecting over 100 of them together. Moreover, it's your money, and you can do whatever you want with it; click on the link above and get them closer to their $50k, for all I care. But this is why the Mexicans look askance at us extranjeros. This is the ugly American in spades.

You have to be disconnected from the human beings, hungry and sick, struggling to survive, just down the block from you, to think that giving $50k to care for cats, even 100 of them, is a good, charitable use of your money. It's no less absurd than the woman who is looking for a Mexican to roast marshmallows for her, a woman who, no doubt, contributed generously to the cat campaign.


I want to say, in my own defense, and I know that at this point I need defense, that this article, like the previous one about the running of the bulls, is satire. There's some truth to it, but it's exaggerated. I know and am sympathetic to the fact that some of the money will go towards the treatment expenses of "our precious cat savior" .

However, the truth in it is shown by another article I am publishing this week. Casa ABBA in Celaya has cared for 80,000, mostly Central American, people riding the freight train, La Bestia / The Beast, up to the US, all of them very hard pressed, some having had limbs amputated by the train. Fifty thousand dollars would get Casa ABBA one fifth of their way towards their goal of establishing a center right alongside the train tracks.

So you pay your money and you take your choice: 100 cats or 80,000 people. Or, maybe you're lucky enough to be able to afford both.


Some of the above is sour grapes. I can't help but think what $50k could do for my Lokkal project; building community and strengthening the local economy. I'm just letting you know that I too am open to your tax-deductible contribution. Ok... I understand... but at least check out SMA's local social network, our community Wall, with new content daily -


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