Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chilango dude goes crazy and meaty

Serial killers have always fascinated me. I think, in silence, we all feel either intensely attracted to or disgusted by such reckless characters. There's no gray zone when it comes to assess them, for they question the good name most people give to human nature. They remind us we're merciless mammals, iPhones and Al Gores notwithstanding.
When I was a child growing up in a small town of Estado de México where major studios movies always arrived later than in Mexico City, serial killers were an exclusively-American thing. You could see them in horror movies such as Friday the 13th or Pesadilla en la calle del infierno (what a silly translation), or talked about in TV news, but they would always come from el gabacho. It made sense, everyone that I knew in Mexico agreed, since "los gringos están bien locos". Only a sick country like los Estados Unidos could produce such broken human beings.
Almost three decades have passed since then. I moved from Toluca to Mexico City, then to Madrid, then to Austin. Growing up was realizing serial killers are everywhere, it's just that Hollywood and American media mastered the art of presenting them as irresistible candy.
However, many Mexicans and OTAs(Other Than Americans, that is) keep thinking gringos are the only ones super crazy, that's why shootings only happen in American public high schools and Michael Jackson doesn't sing rancheras, or so they say.
I'm wondering whether they are rephrasing themselves now, after meeting and greeting not only La mataviejitas--a serial killer who took the lives of dozens of old women in Mexico City, and who turned out to be a 60-year-old woman named Juana Barraza--but, get this, El caníbal de la colonia Guerrero.
Don't worry, sensitive readers, I'll omit any detail regarding the reasons he got such well-deserved nickname, but I encourage you to read what the Mexican press has published on him, whose real name is José Luis Calva Zepeda. There's something disturbingly demystifying about us all in Mr. Calva Zepeda. His personal story and his own writings (he's an amateur playwright, poet and storyteller) reveal he's the ultimate next-door Mexican, profoundly affected by Mexico's savage gap between the elite and the underprivileged, fatally driven by Mexican society's obsessive imposition of family tradition over individual freedom.
He so fits the average-Mexican bill, it creeps me out.

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