Americans are deeply attached to what comes from Mexico, whether it's food, music, beaches, or the labor that we depend on even as we criticize immigration. "In two decades as a chef and employer, I never had one American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter’s position," writes Anthony Bourdain on his blog. We even love the country's drugs; "we spend billions and billions of dollars each year" on them, "while at the same time spending billions and billions more trying to prevent those drugs from reaching us." Mexico has "seen many of us at our worst," and it knows "our darkest desires."
Yet for all this, it's a country whose "ravishingly beautiful beaches," "beautiful colonial architecture," "tragic, elegant, violent, ludicrous, heroic, lamentable, heartbreaking history" and "deeply complex, refined, subtle, and sophisticated" cuisines go largely unnoticed. It's "a country with whom, like it or not, we are inexorably, deeply involved, in a close but often uncomfortable embrace." Yet as to "the 80,000 dead" in the war on drugs, "We throw up our hands and shrug at what happens ... just across the border," Bourdain writes. We think "Mexico will never change. That (it) is hopelessly corrupt, from top to bottom. That it is useless to resist—to care, to hope for a happier future," Bourdain notes. "But there are heroes out there who refuse to go along—at great, even horrifying personal cost." Click for his full piece, which is well worth the read. (Read more Anthony Bourdain stories.)