Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Athens Only Once"

1) Consensus of what the chapter is about
-Use what the most appropriate active verb

"In Athens Once", Rodriguez meticulously alludes to an identity confused Tijuana that sits in an indeterminate cultural state between the constant influencing north and its unforgiving homeland.

2) Identify 3 concepts

a) Animosity (Mexico City and American on Tijuana)
b) Religion
c) Mexico as a crowd
d) Tijuana in San Diego/ Tijuana is the new "American Dream"

3) For each concept, 2 representative statements in different discussions

a) pg. 91 -- "American has long imagined itself clean...and vulnerable to the foreign. Aliens are carriers of chaos -- Mexicans are obviously carriers of chaos -- their backs are broken with bundles of it: gray air, brown water, papacy, leprosy, crime, diarrhea, whithe powders, and a language full of newts and cicadas.
pg. 83 -- "Consider Tijuana from Mexico's point of view...People in Mexico City will tell you, if they have anything at all to say about Tijuana, that Tijuana is a city without history, a city without architecture, an American city."
b) pg. 88 -- "Spanish Catholicism bequeathed to Mexico an assumption of Original Sin. Much in life is failure or compromse. The knowledge has left Mexico patient as a desert, and tolerant of corruptions that have played upon her surface."
pg. 90 -- "For Mexicans, the border is not that right Puritan thing, a line. (Straight lines are unknown in mexico.)
c) pg. 81 -- "The point of Mexico is the crowd. Whatever happens in Tijuana, I caution myself, do not imagine you have been singled out. You have entered into the million."
pg. 96 -- "Because Mexico is brown and I am brown, I fear being lost in Mexico. When I get out of the cab, I am in a crowd."
d) pg. 92 -- "Californians use Mexico as an opposite planet."
pg. 87 -- "We are a generation removed from that other city, the city generations of American men mispronounced as "Tee-ah-wanna," by which hey named an alter-ego American city, a succubus that could take them about as far as they wanted to go. [...] When boxing was illegal in San Diego, there was blood sport in Tijuana. There were whores and there was gambling and there was drink."

4) Discern how each concept relates to one another and how they all work to support the overall topic.

There is a clear division between San Diego and Tijuana established in this chapter. However, Rodriguez claims that together, Tijuana and San Diego are "one city," and there is no doubt that Tijuana exists in San Diego. Mexico attracts a crowd of Americans because of the religious tolerance of the Catholic faith for alcohol, prostitution, and any other thing outlawed in the U.S. In fact, Tijuana has become the newly renovated "American Dream" where one is able to unleash guilty pleasures. Rodriguez sheds light on the fact that this causes animosity towards Tijuana from both Mexico and the U.S. Tijuana is seemed as dirty and filthy from an American perspective and Mexico views Tijuana as a lost city to America for it being a city "without history, a city without architecture, an American city." Rodriguez uses all four of these concepts to support the modernity of Tijuana. According to Rodriguez, Tijuana may have lost its appeal to Mexico, but has changed with the influence that San Diego has had on the city of Tijuana.

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