What Does Mexico Have To Do With My Week?

Now that the deep and cold winter lassitude has lifted from the slumbering hamlet of Charlottesville, UVa is becoming more and more active. Unfortunately, most of said activity revolved around a group of highly-stressed 1Ls frantically scrambling to get those library printers to create their red title pages so they could finish their brief on time, and in my case, also included this particular 1L frantically scrambling to finish his genetics paper on time—even though, the words ‘highly-stressed’ and ‘frantic’ did not really apply in my case for, I coming from a place where the winter lassitude never lifts, I have developed the ability to adopt a wonderful sense of apathy towards a great many things.

Other activities this week include softball, which I have already mentioned, admitted students weekend, where I got to stand in the rain for an hour at 8:00AM, just so I could tell a couple of misdirected students that, “no, you are not allowed to park in this lot,” and our wards “Many Nations” party, where members all brought food from all over the world and we gathered together to happily gorge ourselves on the tastes of the globe (and gorge ourselves we did). Concerning this last activity, I could not help but be reminded of the last such activity, where I was commissioned by my ward in Edmonton to design and man the Mexican table. Sufficiently nostalgic, I looked back trough the dusty files of my computer and was able to find the poster that I created for that event, which I thought was quite clever. (I pretty much think that everything I write is quite clever—hence this blog) Anyway, I have reproduced it below in Internet form, so that you all can enjoy with me my wit and intelligence:

Fifteen Mexicans You Should Know (In Case You Ever Meet Them)

Name: Quetzalcoatl
AKA: The feathered Serpent
Important Dates: Born, ~947 AD
Is Famous As: the white and bearded God that outlawed human sacrifices, much to the dismay of the Aztec priests who believed that without daily human sacrifices, the sun would go out. Often confused with Spanish conqueror, Hernan Cortés.

Name: Montezuma II
Important Dates: Born, 1466
Is Famous As: the last Aztec emperor. Conquered many rival tribes and had a penchant for looting, taxation and murder in the name of religious sacrifices to his favorite God, Huitzilopochtli. He mistook Cortés to be a God and invited him to stay in his fathers palace. Died of stoning, either by the Spanish or Aztecs (depends who you ask).

Name: Eagle
Important Dates: Founding of Tenochtitlan, 1325; Appears on Flag, 1821
Is Famous For: helping the Aztecs found their city. According to Aztec ledged, the Gods told the people to settle where they see an eagle standing on a cactus eating a snake. Unfortunately, they saw the sign in the middle of a lake, but they built their city (present day Mexico City) anyways.

Name: La Malinche
AKA: La Chingada, but don’t call her (or anyone else) this to her face
Important Dates: Born, 1505
Is Famous As: the native princess who betrayed the Aztecs and joined Cortés, serving as his interpreter and mistress. Is the mother of the first Mexican (born of both Spanish and Native parents). Feel free to call any Mexican who betrays you Malinche to leave a powerful impression.

Name: The Virgin of Guadalupe
Important Dates: Appeared, 1531
Is Famous As: the patron saint of Mexico who represents the blending of Spanish and Aztec cultures. Appeared to the native, Juan Diego and, in an innovative printing technique, used rare Spanish roses to imprint her image onto his poncho, which can still be seen in La Basilica de Guadalupe.

Name: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Important Dates: Born, 1651
Is Famous As: one of the most important Mexican authors, who composed hundreds of poems, stories and plays. Was a gifted child became a nun because of the limited carriers available for women at the time, but spent her days reading, picking fights with world-famous theologians and generally infuriating her superiors.

Name: Miguel Hidalgo
Important Dates: Began War of Independence, Sept 15, 1810
Is Famous As: the father of Mexican Independence. Called the peasants to arms by ringing his town’s church bell, thereby beginning the long struggle for independence and making the bell a national symbol, (for which Taco Bell is grateful).

Name: Benito Juarez
Important Dates:Elected President, 1858
Is Famous As:the most loved president of Mexico. In an amazing display of progressiveness, Mexico elected Juarez as the first Full-blooded Native President in America. As President he reformed the constitution and defeated the French in the battle of Puebla, which we now celebrate on Cinco de Mayo.

Name: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Important Dates: Elected President, 1833, 1841, 1847, 1850 etc…. (total. 11 times)
Is Famous As: the most hated president of Mexico. The villain of the Alamo, the scoundrel who sold over half of Mexico to the USA and an all-around nutcase (for example, he lost his leg in battle and had an elaborate—and expensive—military funeral for it).

Names: Emilano Zapata and Pancho Villa
Important Dates:Mexican Revolution, 1910
Are Famous As: two of the most important Mexican revolutionaries. In the North, Villa lead a poorly equipped army of mercenaries and criminals and in the south, Zapata lead an army of peasants with machetes. Surprisingly, both were defeated, but not before they were able to make a profound impact that led to more peasant-friendly laws.

Names: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Important Dates: famous, ~1920s
Are Famous As: Mexico’s most famous husband and wife artists, although the term “marriage” should be used loosely because both had more affairs than famous paintings. Were quite eccentric and active communists. They hosted Trotsky during his exile and he was killed in their house with an ice pick (presumably imported from Russia).

Name: Subcomadante Marcos
Important Dates: Beginning of EZLN uprising, 1994
Is Famous As:the mysterious spokesperson for the Zapatista National Liberation Army. A masked, pipe-smoking, lyrical, philosophical, web-savvy, post-modern revolutionary who uses more ink than bullets to fight for indigenous rights in southern Mexico, and has recently began publishing children’s books.

Name: Chivas Vs. Club America
Are Famous As: The biggest soccer rivalry this side of the Atlantic. If you thought the Oilers and the Flames were rivals, most games between these competitors usually ended in a riot and at least one death. So next time you’re the lone fan wearing an Oilers Jersey in the Saddledome, be glad you don’t have to be worried about being beaten with a corner flag.

Name: Felipe Calderon
Important Dates: Elected President, 2006
Is Famous As: The current president of Mexico, whose election was so controversial that he was rapidly sworn in while the legislatives were (literally) duking it out in the National Palace. Succeeded President Fox, whose landmark election ended over 70 years of corrupt, single-party rule

Name: Randal Miller
Important Dates: Mission, Mexico City South, 2001-2003
Is Famous As: the creator the Mexican Booth at International Flag Day, 2005. OK, maybe he isn’t actually Mexican, but, aside from being the best looking on this list he’s probably the only one you will actually meet.