Mexico

 

Chapter 13 of Love and War includes: The First Embrace, Papers, Germans, Mexicans, and the Struggle for America's Soul, and One Border Don't Stop No Show.

The First Embrace

The stage is dark.

 

An unseen harmonica player plays some blues.

 

There is a table in the center of the stage with a chair on the left and a chair on the right.

 

The music fades out. The lights come up. Two men enter the stage from left and right. The one stage right is Mexican, the one stage left is Anglo. Thirtyish. Dressed for business in the nineteenth century style.

 

The Mexican (extending his hand): I am Sebastian Camacho, Secretary of State for the Republic of Mexico. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance...

Papers

My name is Jimmy Lee Jenkins

Everyone calls me Boo

 

I play fiddle in a country and western band

We sing songs about our families and the land

We’re out there playing three hundred nights a year

Wherever there’s bright lights, wherever there’s beer

 

One night in Tulsa right after the show

I’m walking toward the bus

When up comes a fan with a pen and a piece of paper in his hand

Autographs? Man, I’m so tired but it’s part of the job

I sign it “JLJ” and hand it back to the man

“You’ve been served!” he yells...

Germans, Mexicans, and the Struggle for American's Soul

In Denison, Iowa: Searching For the Soul of America Through the Secrets of a Midwestern Town, Dale Maharidge describes how, over the past fifteen years, Mexican immigration to Iowa has changed the small town of Denison (population 7,000) until it’s now somewhere between 30 and 50 percent Latino. Denison is where a boxcar with eleven Mexican immigrants suffocated inside was discovered in 2002.

 

Maharidge lived in Denison for a year. He depicts a town in which immigration has led to both integration and embrace on the one hand, and discrimination and occasional violence on the other...

One Border Don't Stop Now Show

In 2003, Metallica performed in the prison yard at San Quentin. Frontman James Hetfield was uncharacteristically introspective at the mic: “If I didn’t have music in my life it’s quite possible I’d be in here or, not even here, be dead. I’d much rather be alive. Everyone is born good. Everyone’s got the same size soul. So we’re very proud to be in your house and play some music for you.”

 

Six years later, Metallica played in front of 50,000 people at Foro Sol stadium in Mexico City. Their pride in being in someone else’s house to play some music was as heartfelt there as it was at San Quentin, as can be seen on the DVD Orgullo, Pasion, Y Gloria. But this time Hetfield is anything but introspective. He begins the show by screaming “Mexico!” and then uses his limited Spanish at every opportunity (the crowd responds by singing the songs word-for-word in English)...