Mexico’s burgeoning youth culture:
Mexico’s cultural evolution has been halted at the hands of Catholic hegemony, parochial cultural conformity, and a ruthless barbarism contained and celebrated within the self-enclosed and cordoned domains of Mexican society. Collectively traditional and conservative, Mexico is a country I would love to see experience a “60s” upsetting of values and ethics. At the risk of praising the Western world’s social dystopian vision which was triggered by the cultural devolution of the 1960’s, I believe that Mexico can stand to experience a little bit of a cultural revolution to jump start its release from the traditionalist and Catholic shackles, constraints which are all the country has ever known.
Disparate aspects of popular Mexican culture represent the old, traditionalist paradigm. Drug cartels, religion, machismo, worship of Spanish, conventional Mexican music and entertainment, all represent the archaic foundations of a culture whose resistance to change has molded it in place and sculpted a society that has proven socially and culturally inflexible, an image and personality that has hampered the kind of trailblazing spirit most societal advancement (in the Western, consumerist sense) is predicated on.
Even in Los Angeles, the “two Mexican worlds” are visible across Mexican youth. There are the “alternative” Mexican youth, those who are into goth, punk, ska, shoegaze music and present themselves in a decidedly un-Mexican-like manner; they don’t share the seemingly congenital Mexican fondness of Church or cowboy boots or SUV bling-rides or various strains of banda music. On the other hand, there is the traditional Mexican youth who follow the prototypical cultural path. They like sports, shaved heads and fades, baggy jeans, Dodger caps, white tennis shoes, and boisterous Spanish exclamations.
This “alternative” Mexican subculture has not been sizable enough to bring about a sea-change in Mexican cultural mores, but this short video documentary I found on BBC’s news site illustrates a modern Mexican phenomena: the proliferation of a strong and vibrant youth culture which at its core is subversive, counter-cultural, and rebellious. This is great! I believe it is Mexico’s opportunity to break free from its oppressive traditionalism and move in the direction of urbanity and sophistication.
I must wonder if this is what we really want for Mexico, however.
As the expression cautions, watch out what you wish for…