Ecuadorans have a unique way of celebrating on the new year. They dispatch the Año Viejo (‘old year’)—along with effigies of the famous and infamous—in bonfires that are lit up just about everywhere.
These are the widows of the old year. They stop traffic and passersby, begging for alms with which to bury the old year.
And here we go…bonfires on every block, bonfires by the thousands. By morning Quito was covered in a smokey haze, but you know…I didn’t mind. Dispatching 2009 seemed somehow right. Certainly more appropriate than welcoming 2010. (More photos here.)
More ‘Dispatches From South America’
Two years ago on this date, I was kvetching about all the regimes that had fallen due to their interactions with the criminals that comprised Bu$hCo. I was depressed and thinking abstractly about the notion of expatriating.
One year ago on this date I noted in this post that for numerous reasons, most acutely the fact that education as the road to a better life may be the single biggest scam in the US today, the ‘American Dream’ is many decades past its death. Nonetheless, with Barack Obama’s election and the end of the Bush regime, I was cautiously optimistic that America would soon be on the mend.
Today, after a year of ‘Bush the Third’ we find that, not only are we are committed to many more years of war in the Middle East and Asia, but that money still speaks as loudly in Washington as ever—perhaps even more loudly with the near collapse of the financial system and the wholesale indemnification of Wall Street to the detriment of most Americans. We find that Obama has neither the nerve to stand up to entrenched corporate interests nor the stomach for any type of real change. He is, at best, a shill for the same interests that held sway during the Bush Administration.
And on this day… I find myself living abroad and no longer treating the notion of expatriation as an academic exercise. Happy New Year everyone. I’m hoping for better for the US in 2010 but frankly have stopped believing that anything is really going to change.