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Cinco de Mayo - Walls can keep people out and keep people in. What kinds of walls are we building?

Updated: May 16, 2020

Originally sent as an email on 5/5/19

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo, mis amigos & amigas!

Here are a few suggestions on how to celebrate this day in the history of our neighbor to the south.

Note: This posting is not intended to be a political statement; rather, it is written with the hope of our becoming aware of our shared humanity. If you are offended by political humor or some strong language, please skip the George Lopez clips at the end.

Walls can keep people out and keep people in. What kinds of walls are we building?

Mending Wall by Robert Frost – read by Leonard Nimoy (0:10:26)

Mending Wall by Robert Frost – animated version (0:02:13)

“The words of the prophets are written on subway walls and tenement halls…”

A Poem on the Underground Wall - Simon & Garfunkel (0:02:01)

(2020 add - let me know what you think is his "...single worded poem comprised of four letters". Truly an anthem for the rebel and street artist!)

The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel (0:03:58)

(2020 add - Another anthem for the rebel and street artist!)

Listen to Pink Floyd’s The Wall or watch the movie (trailer). Here are two movie clips:

There are flesh and blood people involved…brothers and sisters…hermanos y hermanas…

This article features a 2017 NY Times video in which a multi-cultural pastoral family describe what it's like to live in a community where their congregation is now divided by a wall.

The three YouTube videos above and the following text are from the following:

“Walls are back in fashion. Walls and fences. Not long ago, you may recall, Republican presidential candidates expressed their devotion to them. In October Michele Bachmann signed a pledge to support the construction of a fence that would run the entire length of the United States-Mexico border. Not to be outdone, Herman Cain voiced his support for an electrified border fence, one juiced up enough to be lethal: Touch it and die. As someone who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, I happen to know how the device works; in a certain way, we invented it (we should have copyrighted it). The ability to cross the “lethal fence” used to be part of the East-European survival kit.

He continues:

While walls and fences are certainly physical things — imposing ones at that — a good deal of their power comes from elsewhere. As their role in political discourse makes clear, they are also things of the mind. And it is not a concept confined by American borders. The Germans, who seem to have a name for everything, use the phrase Mauer im Kopf (“wall in the head”) to refer to the phenomenon. The Berlin Wall may have been torn down long ago, but many people in Germany still feel divided; the wall is intact in their minds. (As a native of Germany, Niemann may know a thing or two about this.) Walls can be spectacular as architectural structures but they can be even more fascinating as entities that inhabit our thinking and shape cultures.

Walls, then, are built not for security, but for a sense of security. The distinction is important, as those who commission them know very well. What a wall satisfies is not so much a material need as a mental one. Walls protect people not from barbarians, but from anxieties and fears, which can often be more terrible than the worst vandals. In this way, they are built not for those who live outside them, threatening as they may be, but for those who dwell within. In a certain sense, then, what is built is not a wall, but a state of mind.”

Like one member of the Siete family, I, too, have an autoimmune condition and was very happy to discover their delicious grain-free chips, tortillas and other healthy products.

They are available coast-to-coast in most stores.

George Lopez

Watch George Lopez’s full HBO Special The Wall. Here are a few clips but watch the whole show – Lopez’s body language is priceless and the ending is hilarious:

The Wall (0:03:17)

I took the following photos in 2018 while hiking the Highline Trail in NYC.

2020 add - consider the President's recent claim that he wants to make China pay for the damage caused by how they handled the virus pandemic. That's like suing Mrs. O'Leary because her cow is alleged to be the cause of the Great Chicago Fire. UDDERLY RIDICULOUS!

FYI - Here's an article about several theories about how the fire actually started. It includes these interesting comments that address the subject of this post:

"Why has the story of the O'Leary's cow become so popular? At the time, blaming the O'Leary's fed on the anti-Catholic and anti-immigration sentiment of the time."

2020 addition

--links to a post that contains the Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem "Pity the Nation"


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