On celebrating “identity”

My interest in Mexican history is like the Mexican interest in Mexican history: very tame. That third federal republic, and its predecessors, has many interesting and even noble features. Mexico was once, more than the Natted States, a great world power — the original seat of the almighty dollar, and globalist trade — generations before the English-speaking were a credible presence on this continent. She was also a cultural superpower. To this day she is what remains of the still-beating heart of Catholicism in the Americas, and the papist who does not rise to the cry ¡Viva Cristo Rey! must be brain dead. For even under the oppression of the sick and perverted secular tyranny that impoverished Mexico, that heart throbbed.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the First Battle of Puebla on the 5th of May, 1862, when a smaller Mexican force under the possibly brilliant General Zaragoza whipped an awkward French squad, that was a long way from home. It ignores the Second Battle of Puebla, when the French returned and pulverized the Mexicans. I should like to get into the history of the destruction of Mexico by secular progressives, some other day. We are being torn apart ourselves, now, by their triumphs. Satan invariably wins in those conflicts, but never for keeps.

As a cultural event, however, among Mexican exiles in places like California, that First Battle of Puebla was an occasion to remember, starting the next year. In Mexico itself it faded, but up here in the North of North America it has become Mexican Ethnic Day, when we like to drink lots of tequila. It became very popular thanks to beer and licker advertising campaigns in the 1980s, and as this year’s Batflu scenario is an indoor affair, the focus is on tequila-drinking while socially-spaced. Perhaps gentle reader has already obtained his bottle, in the time he has saved from having his church closed down. I understand the supply chain for this beverage is robust.

In the view of P. G. Wodehouse (not a Mexican), “It’s a funny old world.” Or it was Margaret Thatcher who said that (not a Mexican, either): I’ve never checked it out. Thanks to a globalized crass commercialism, I see that the holiday is finally catching on in Mexico itself; the way the celebration of Saint Patrick’s with green food dye has caught on in Ireland. I like fake things to look fake, so as not to spread confusion.

The self-celebration of an ethnicity has always been, as it were, authentically false. When, for instance, “Canada Day” replaced “Dominion Day” it was, arguably, a welcome acknowledgement that a genuine commemoration was being replaced by an expression of our vacuous national pride. Our fair Dominion need no longer be desecrated, for it was now entirely in the past. The kids as well as their elders could paint red maples all over their faces, and feel giddy good about themselves, while hopping up and down. Any deeper patriotism could be warned, to hide.

In the Old World, celebrations were directed away from the people, chiefly towards God. Historical events were commemorated for themselves, not as a reflection of “our niceness.” Ladies, gentlemen, or the civilized, generally, did not self-celebrate. That was for savages and barbarians, or so we assumed. This was unfair, however, for savages and barbarians have more dignity than that.