I write this not only out of admiration for The New York Times but out of love for Mexico.
Many years ago my wife and I took a day trip to Teotihuacán and climbed the thick steps of the Pyramid of the Moon. We stayed a long time on top, marveling at the view, and still recall how it was easier – less scary -- to climb down backwards.
We’ve never been back to Teotihuacán but I have returned to Mexico for work and pleasure. I consider it a dear neighbor.
On Tuesday I read every word of three full pages of superb reporting in the Times about the profanation of that holy place. The article documents how a branch of the American company, Wal-Mart of Arkansas, apparently sent cash to evade zoning laws designed to maintain the green belt around the Pyramid.
Wal-Mart officials apparently found officials in Mexico who would take the money, although other people were suspicious and opposed the new store that went up, that looms there still.
The journalism by the Times is compelling. Everything fits, everything sounds right. I am less upset with venal officials in Mexico who did not mind cheapening their patrimony than I am with the American corporation that overlooked clear signs this was happening. Wal-Mart. Nice folks.
I was going to fulminate about pompous flag-waving self-proclaimed job creators who tell how much good they do by accumulating riches. But read it for yourself, in case you missed it. It really is worth the effort.
12/19/2012 01:47:26 pm
Outrageous, as were the other examples in the Times' story. It will be interesting to see whether the provisions of our law about bribing public officials in other countries comes into play.
12/20/2012 12:29:06 am
Ed, thanks. The food is great at Costco. The part about Walmart that gets me is how institutionally easy it seemed to be to bribe, to get its way. A great example of picking up the rock....GV
8/5/2013 05:39:24 am
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8/29/2013 06:19:42 am
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10/26/2013 03:07:18 am
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5/8/2014 03:46:02 pm
With Tuesday We examine each and every word of three complete webpages of fantastic exposure in the Instances concerning the profanation of that holy spot. This article docs how a department from the American business, Wal-Mart of The state of arkansas, unsurprisingly directed cash for you to avoid zoning laws created to keep up with the eco-friendly belt about the Pyramid.
12/22/2012 12:52:23 am
The hardest part for me is to think about the intractable conduct of big businesses and their trade associations here at home and the public interest vitiating lobbying they accomplish here -- and at every level. Now some even want to change the ethical and moral discussion at its roots. The NRA wants to take us on a discussion of turning our schools into high security prisons. and the NCAA wants to end virtually any restraints on what GV calls "King Football." Maybe the Mayans were off by a year or two....but not much. Oh dear, let's all have a glass of holiday cheer tonight while we still can!
12/24/2012 03:02:35 am
George, Ed and Brian
12/25/2012 04:00:33 am
I have never set foot in a Walmart-not surprising since I don't think there even is one near where I live. Reading this pretty much insures I never will. While covering the World Cup in Mexico in 1986 for Newsweek a woman I had become friendly with offered to take me to see the pyramids. She, very wisely, insisted that we had to at sunrise and also invited me to bring along my new friend Fabio who was working for Italian TV and has since had some success as a soccer coach. We climbed to the top and it was totally magical. There was no one there except the few local people-speaking Mayan and not Spanish-who worked and lived there. You felt quite literally as if you were in a place and time far, far away, definitely NOT in one of the largest and busiest cities on the planet. The idea that if you go there now you see a f*****g pice of crap Walmart big box is totally obscene, almost as obscene as the fact that some crass corporate Norteamericano toads would think it was cool to corrode a sacred cultural space by buying their way in and criminally subverting local laws intended to protect that place. "Poor Mexico", as someone once said, "so far from God and so close to the United States".
3/21/2013 11:50:19 pm
This is a nice story, I've never been to Mexico but I will because there are many things I'd like to see.
3/21/2013 11:51:20 pm
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7/15/2013 09:48:32 pm
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.