I was making plans to meet up with El Oso in Mexico City. I kept telling him how much I hated Mexico City and how I was going to suffer through Mexico City just so I could hang out with him.
I’d always found Mexico City to have a dense blanket of sulfur permeating through the city that left your skin feeling some how both dry and oily, and always covered with a thick coat of filth. People were pushy and in a hurry to get nowhere fast. I mean seriously what did Mexico City have to offer that I couldn’t find better elsewhere? Even their food is inferior. They can’t grow anything in their concrete sinking wasteland. I like good food, fresh air, and people with all the time in the world—Mexico city has none of these things.
So here I was planning a trip to a city I disliked. Oso being the sweetheart he is compromised and offered that we could meet up in Tepoztlán and invite Daniel Hernández. Tepoztlán sounded like a tourist trap, and who was this Daniel Hernández? Oso was shocked I didn’t know this man. ”What? Don’t you read his blog?” I wasn’t sure, I read a lot of blogs. Had I not read his book? I should totally read his book el Oso insisted. I should totally be friends with Daniel, we would love each other. El Oso and I never made it to Tepotzlán together but it looks like he and Daniel did.
I finally got around to reading the book a couple months ago…and now finally to writing the review. The book was great. Daniel’s personality is clear and amazing in this book. I do want to be his friend and I would totally explore Mexico City with him. Daniel made Mexico City enticing and I want to play with it like a cat with a ball of string.
The book is titled Down & Delirious In Mexico City: The Aztec Metropolis in The Twenty-First Century. The book deals with so many of my favorite topics: self identity, cross-cultural existence, punk movement, music, sexuality, blogging, ”bohemians”, finding a place to call home. I’ve for a long time now identified as punk although the reasons for my identification have punk have changed over the years but it was interesting to me reading about Mexico City punks. Before this book I had little respect for Mexico City punks, I thought of them as rich kid posers trying to be “alternative”. However some of the punks Daniel hung out with were “real” punks, the ones that understood the politics that came with being, the idea of creating and protecting a community. Their struggle to be accepted as political leaders was also interesting to me. In a sense, I guess it is the same everywhere in the world—the punk community is generally politically aware, social conscious and the key is to be accepting of all, and yet we are misunderstood and viewed as a threat when we’d be the first to help your grandma cross the street.
Daniel, also gave me interesting look into Mexico Cities fashionistas…probably the one group of people I had the least respect for. The main reason being that I believe they encourage consumerism and divisions between classes. Anyway, Daniel should me that is not always the case. That fashion, good fashion, isn’t about consumerism, but can be a reflection of identity, and history, and cultural context all within what one already posses.
I wish I’d written this blog shortly after reading the book, but I didn’t so here we are. All I can say is go read the book. It changed my views on things, and maybe Daniel ,el Oso and I will hang out soon enough.