chapter  6
17 Pages

Death-Wish Aesthetics

The psychology of Mexican drinking in the twentieth century cannot be separated from the social and cultural unfolding of the Mexican Revolution. It is well known that combatants and their caudillos were extremely fond of drink; borracheras were emblematic of the liminal nature of the Revolution itself-a chaotic series of civil wars that decen tered Mexican s ociety, traumatized v ast segments of the population, drastically altered lives, life-expectancies, identities. Alcohol’s role in helping uprooted citizens adjust to their plight or construct their new revolutionary selves has not been adequately explored. It is a fact that Mexicans trying to make some sense of the Revolution have been very dependent on binge drinking for metaphors, concepts of time and causality, ideas about death, and modes of memory. The nationalistic regime that eventually emerged out of chaos found a ri ch source of legitimacy in cultural alcoholization, once Callista fantasies of prohibition proved a dead end.