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An attractive feature of Mexicans is a sense of humor, which is a safety valve in politics. Unfortunately, foreign humor is often hard to understand. Every Friday, Televisa runs a satirical program entitled "Vest Sleeves" (i.e. a contradiction in terms). Mexicans find it very funny, but I do not. However, a new comic opera proved to be delightful. It is called "Grillopera", i.e. The Crickets Opera, implying that the singing reminds one of crickets. It is a skillful takeoff on Bizet's "Carmen". There is a bullfight, but instead of the bull there are two pretty girls in which the bullfighters stick "piropos" (compliments for their physical attributes). A new law forbids "piropos" on the grounds that they demean women. Obviously feminists are at work in Mexico. The girls pretend to be offended, and one says she is glad to be from Guadalajara, far from these disgusting "chilangos" (inhabitants of Mexico City). Guadalajara is reputed to be a clerical stronghold, and some pious old ladies appear and scold the bullfighters. It is doubtful that the "chilangos" will be easy to reform. One more reason for staying away from Mexico City. Or to go there.

Ronald Hilton - 8/21/01