31.12.08

Yes. It Gets Worse.

So, this New Year's Eve, I managed to answer one of the questions I've had about Ecuador since I got here: namely, how much racism is there in Ecuador? And it got answered in the most horrible way. I could never have imagined, but Stephen King says God punishes us for what we can't imagine.

But I'll get to that later. First, let me set this up by saying that every year on New Year's Eve, there's a big party in Atuntaqui where Anita works with loads of people, so Anita suggested I go and take pictures! Yay for not charging my batteries. But I still got pictures. (pix or it didnt happen kthnx) She says it's a lot of fun, and they burn an effigy of the old year, and it's a lot of fun. She said the "fun" part a lot. I should have known. She also mentioned that men dress up as women, again, with the "fun," and I thought Senior Crossdress Day at Spruce Creek. No. No. Much worse. So, I show up, and there's a lot of people there, like LOTS of people. So everyone's just chilling, waiting for the parade to start, and I go and stand out on the side, trying to find a good vantage point, right? And I do.

I think this might be supposed to be the president, Rafael Correa, but I don't know. Correa doesn't have a mustache...
That's the effigy they're going to burn. One of many. They like burning things, here.

That's what happens what someone reads 'The Raven' and doesn't realize it's supposed to be scary. Even so, I see that thing in my nightmares.
And then this bird shows up, and I say, "WTF, mate?" for the first time that evening. The first of many. But I can handle the bird. It gets worse.

'The thing I had killed in the cave, it was, or had once been, A MAN!!!' - H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Beast in the Cave'

If you're wondering what that is, you're not alone. It took me a while before I realized that that was a man, dressed up as a woman, complete with facemask. Apparently his chin was too rugged to be taken for a woman's. Or something like that. But it gets worse... I was going along fine, until I saw this:

I think the guy looks better with this on than with it off, though.
Yes. Yes it is. Yes. And it gets worse. Much, much worse.

He kept trying to hand people a styrofoam watermelon with a straw in it to get them to drink. One guy actually did. WTF, mate?
If you can't tell, that's a cart of watermelons. Because blackface just isn't insulting enough. Or maybe the guy thought you wouldn't be able to tell it was blackface without them. I dunno. But it gets worse...

I actually like the Chinese food here more than the Chinese food in America. You wouldn't think it'd be different, but it is.
That's a guy dressed up to be Chinese. There were about thirty guys like this, and some kids too! He's selling ladybugs and stuff on a stick. Other people had rats. Yes, at least there was Equal Opportunity racism. Some of the young girls had Chinese dresses on, and looked pretty nice, but then there were these guys... Urgh. But it gets worse...

He started doing pelvic thrusts. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't do video, so you don't get to suffer like I did.
If you can't tell, That's a man. Your argument is invalid. Yes. It is a man, in panties and a see-through teddy, I think it's called. But it gets worse...

At least they weren't singing old-timey Negro Spirituals. I might have had to choke a bitch.
And here I thought only one guy was gonna do blackface. I was wrong. That is a couple of black guys chopping and processing sugar cane. Three, actually. There's also a whiteface guy (some Ecuadorian guy with a white guy mask) carrying a whip. I thought I had the picture, but I can't find it. But it gets worse...

I didn't even upload the picture of the guy impersonating a black woman with the American flag bandana, giant breasts and an even larger butt.
I'm going to let this picture speak for itself. But it doesn't get any worse than this.

Thankfully, he didn't have the presence of mind to put yellow or brown stains on the diaper. Or maybe he did and I couldn't see it. Either way, Thank you.
At least, that's what I thought before the guy in the diaper started riding his bike around. But it gets worse...

Incidentally, I learned the term 'nido de pajaro' which means 'bird's nest' in a conversation about Chinese food. Unrelated.
That's a guy dressed up as an Asian woman lip-synching to American music. In honor (is that the right word?) of the Olympics this year, there was a serious Olympic theme. The singer was perched on top of a mock Bird's Nest, the Chinese stadium. But it gets worse...

It says 1000kg on the side of the barbell. Why they don't just say MEGAGRAM is beyond me.
Okay, this one isn't much worse than the other one. It's a continuation on the theme, with the STRONGMAN. There were two of these guys. But it gets worse...

I'm not sure if he's supposed to be Mohammad Ali, Joe Fraiser, or Rocky Balboa, but either way, he still looks like he could beat any of the other guys up.
That's the American member of the faux-boxing match they set up at points along the route. The American guy was the most bloody and beaten up, but he was also the most buff. So, okay. The other guys ganged up on him... *Tear* But it gets worse...

There was music playing, but it wasn't bagpipes. Unfortunately.
Hey, it's the Scottish Bagpipe Brigade! If you check out that guy on the left, you'll see he stumbled into the wrong stereotype when they were setting up, got a bagpipe, and doesn't quite know why he's out there. He's lost, and he needs help. But it gets worse...

I'm going to Hell for laughing at this. And you're all coming with me.

Yes. That is the Pope. With naked women, on his hat. He was also riding a motorcycle. All in all, the most badass depiction of the Pope I've ever seen."
But it gets worse...

Why he's wearing a mask, I don't know.
That's the front of the cowboy.

Maybe he didn't want his mom to know he ruined his best pair of pants.
And that's the back.

Okay, it gets better from here.

It takes guts to ride out into the middle of a crowd wearing nothing but a thong. I sure couldn't do it.
As a special reward for anyone who could sit through all that (I couldn't. I left and nearly missed this part.), they included a float with four actual FEMALE models, all of whom were wearing nothing but body paint. Yes, it was all worth it.

The girl hopes she doesn't see someone she knows, because she'd be morally obligated to kill them. The grandmother hopes she does for the same reason.
As a side note, because I know my mom wants to know, there were other black people there, and I think they were just as disgusted as I was. I didn't see any Chinese people, though.

2 comments:

M said...

Hm. Usually I don't read this, but I just read a bunch of them at once and laughed almost until I cried. Aren't racists so adorable?

M.

Victoria said...

hey Jacob. It's Vicky, Silvia's youngest sister..yea you don't know me, but that's ok. So I heard Jesse talking about your blog and was curious.Ecuador sounds very much like Mexico, or at least Nogales Sonora.. with the dogs in the streets, the crazy driving,and the trucks with like 20x more passengers than it was designed for. fun stuff.

you have inspired me to write in my journal with more devotion.. . i think my last entry was two years ago lol!

p.s. i wish i could take that many art classes! Instead I'm stuck with a bunch of IB classes

p.s.s you've probably heard this abagillion times... congrats on getting into MIT!