Sunday, July 24, 2011

That's It! I Am Out Of Here.

I am sooo rich, rich beyond belief. I use $100 bills for toothpicks and stitch money together for blankets. Now that I can afford it I am off to buy a floating tropical island mega-yacht. Thank God I am outta here. The heat, the riff raff, the little people and societies' ills. Us rich people should never have to be part of that. That's why we live in our gated communities in NoMa and El Cid and The Peninsular. But with my money I have grown out of that lifestyle, I don't want anyone who cannot match my income anywhere near me so hence the purchase of my boat - the 'Up Yours'.

I am going to power the 'Up Yours' using people. Yes indeed powering it all would be the world's poor, because their slender matchstick frames are akin to brittle kindling, and I imagine they'd be at least half as effective as diesel fuel or whatever it is powers 90-meter-long floating cabana mega yachts these days. Plus, they're free and easily found all around the world, and their self-sustaining numbers are graciously increasing every day!

Just me alone as I will have no friends, no real friends that is, just those superficial bastards who want to have a look at my volcano. I will park near Deer Island just so everyone can get a good eyeful of my wealth as they circle around in their tatty hire dinghys and me and my butler can try and sink them with shotguns if they get too close and them of course if we kill one or two we can cruise into international waters away or off course bribe the officials.

Adios all you poor suckers.

(note from editor - please, please, please sail by Mogadishu when you cruise the Indian Ocean)

Friday, July 22, 2011


Where else can you get tomatoes that look as good as these and taste as good.  Well Mexico of course and nowhere else in my experience unless you go to some country in Africa where the villagers grow their own or maybe in Italy. Those from Europe mostly come from Holland or Spain where they are grown under glass and don't even have soil where computers do the work and the feeding. They are called hydroponic tomatoes.

They taste of absolutely nothing and to make it worse, people have grown used to the taste of nothing that they know no other taste for a tomato. Kids (inner city working class) would probably really feel stunned if they tasted a real tomato taste firstly because it doesn't taste of Heinz tomato soup or tomato ketchup. The only two things to compare.

Here in Mazatlán we also buy small tomatoes off Teniente Azueta in those holes in the walls and out the back of trucks where all vegetable can be had for small amounts. They don't look as good as the market tomatoes but they are sold out of big wooden boxes for 2 to 3 pesos a kilo! You put them in the oven in large trays accompanied by cloves of unpeeled garlic and bake the hell out of them. They are delicious and can be kept in the fridge for weeks adding fantastic flavour to all dishes that require them.

I eat kilos of tomatoes. I love them and when I go to Europe and the US I pay a lot of money to buy a vine tomato that is actually grown in real sun and in real soil.

Another reason to locate yourself here in Mexico.

Monday, July 18, 2011

River Borne Diseases in Mexico vs General Diseases in Mexico

A couple of blogs down from here concerns Mexicans relaxing by sitting in river and I can imagine the first thing going through the head of a person who has never sat in a river whether it be in Mexico or Africa or Asia or even Germany and maybe UK, will be the question of picking up a bug or disease or how can they even think of allowing kids to sit in a mature river?

Here are the diseases that can be acquired by sitting around in rivers.

Bear in mind this list was compiled by the C.I.A. But they do mention that the risks of paddling in Mexican rivers is intermediate as opposed to very high for example Angola and most other African countries. Argentina also has an intermediate risk

Leptospirosis - bacterial disease that affects animals and humans; infection occurs through contact with water, food, or soil contaminated by animal urine; symptoms include high fever, severe headache, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea; untreated, the disease can result in kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, or respiratory distress; fatality rates are low but left untreated recovery can take months.

Schistosomiasis (Uncommon in Mexico but does cause devastation in many parts of Africa)- caused by parasitic trematode flatworm
Schistosoma; fresh water snails act as intermediate host and release larval form of parasite that penetrates the skin of people exposed to contaminated water; worms mature and reproduce in the blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and intestines releasing eggs, which become trapped in tissues triggering an immune response; may manifest as either urinary or intestinal disease resulting in decreased work or learning capacity; mortality, while generally low, may occur in advanced cases usually due to bladder cancer; endemic in 74 developing countries with 80% of infected people living in sub-Saharan Africa; humans act as the reservoir for this parasite.

Here are the diseases that can be acquired just by living:

food or waterborne diseases acquired through eating or drinking on the local economy:

Hepatitis A - viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver; spread through consumption of food or water contaminated with fecal matter, principally in areas of poor sanitation; victims exhibit fever, jaundice, and diarrhea; 15% of victims will experience prolonged symptoms over 6-9 months; vaccine available.
Hepatitis E - water-borne viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver; most commonly spread through fecal contamination of drinking water; victims exhibit jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, and dark colored urine.
Typhoid fever - bacterial disease spread through contact with food or water contaminated by fecal matter or sewage; victims exhibit sustained high fevers; left untreated, mortality rates can reach 20%.
vectorborne diseases acquired through the bite of an infected arthropod:

Malaria - caused by single-cell parasitic protozoa Plasmodium; transmitted to humans via the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito; parasites multiply in the liver attacking red blood cells resulting in cycles of fever, chills, and sweats accompanied by anemia; death due to damage to vital organs and interruption of blood supply to the brain; endemic in 100, mostly tropical, countries with 90% of cases and the majority of 1.5-2.5 million estimated annual deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dengue fever - mosquito-borne (
Aedes aegypti) viral disease associated with urban environments; manifests as sudden onset of fever and severe headache; occasionally produces shock and hemorrhage leading to death in 5% of cases.
Yellow fever - mosquito-borne viral disease; severity ranges from influenza-like symptoms to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever; occurs only in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa, where most cases are reported; fatality rate is less than 20%.
Japanese Encephalitis - mosquito-borne (
Culex tritaeniorhynchus) viral disease associated with rural areas in Asia; acute encephalitis can progress to paralysis, coma, and death; fatality rates 30%.
African Trypanosomiasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa
Trypanosoma; transmitted to humans via the bite of bloodsucking Tsetse flies; infection leads to malaise and irregular fevers and, in advanced cases when the parasites invade the central nervous system, coma and death; endemic in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa; cattle and wild animals act as reservoir hosts for the parasites.
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa
leishmania; transmitted to humans via the bite of sandflies; results in skin lesions that may become chronic; endemic in 88 countries; 90% of cases occur in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Peru; wild and domesticated animals as well as humans can act as reservoirs of infection.
Plague - bacterial disease transmitted by fleas normally associated with rats; person-to-person airborne transmission also possible; recent plague epidemics occurred in areas of Asia, Africa, and South America associated with rural areas or small towns and villages; manifests as fever, headache, and painfully swollen lymph nodes; disease progresses rapidly and without antibiotic treatment leads to pneumonic form with a death rate in excess of 50%.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever - tick-borne viral disease; infection may also result from exposure to infected animal blood or tissue; geographic distribution includes Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe; sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle aches followed by hemorrhaging in the bowels, urine, nose, and gums; mortality rate is approximately 30%.
Rift Valley fever - viral disease affecting domesticated animals and humans; transmission is by mosquito and other biting insects; infection may also occur through handling of infected meat or contact with blood; geographic distribution includes eastern and southern Africa where cattle and sheep are raised; symptoms are generally mild with fever and some liver abnormalities, but the disease may progress to hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, or ocular disease; fatality rates are low at about 1% of cases.
Chikungunya - mosquito-borne (
Aedes aegypti) viral disease associated with urban environments, similar to Dengue Fever; characterized by sudden onset of fever, rash, and severe joint pain usually lasting 3-7 days, some cases result in persistent arthritis.aerosolized dust or soil contact disease acquired through inhalation of aerosols contaminated with rodent urine:
Lassa fever - viral disease carried by rats of the genus
Mastomys; endemic in portions of West Africa; infection occurs through direct contact with or consumption of food contaminated by rodent urine or fecal matter containing virus particles; fatality rate can reach 50% in epidemic outbreaks. 
respiratory disease acquired through close contact with an infectious person:

Meningococcal meningitis - bacterial disease causing an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord; one of the most important bacterial pathogens is Neisseria meningitidis because of its potential to cause epidemics; symptoms include stiff neck, high fever, headaches, and vomiting; bacteria are transmitted from person to person by respiratory droplets and facilitated by close and prolonged contact resulting from crowded living conditions, often with a seasonal distribution; death occurs in 5-15% of cases, typically within 24-48 hours of onset of symptoms; highest burden of meningococcal disease occurs in the hyperendemic region of sub-Saharan Africa known as the "Meningitis Belt" which stretches from Senegal east to Ethiopia. 
animal contact disease acquired through direct contact with local animals:

Rabies - viral disease of mammals usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, most commonly dogs; virus affects the central nervous system causing brain alteration and death; symptoms initially are non-specific fever and headache progressing to neurological symptoms; death occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

So bascially there is one type of disease that can be acquired through a river and that is the one wherein cows pee a lot.

It goes to show that we are more likely to die of walking around than dunking ourselves.

Sunday Afternoon In Rio Presidio - continuing from Saturday.........

You want to see how the average Mexican working family in a small Sinaloan town relax, this is the place to go.

Rio Presidio flows under the bridge linking the north Pacific coast of Mexico with the south passing through Villa Union and on a hot humid Sunday afternoon literally hundreds of people make their way onto the river flood plain and park up their trucks (mostly trucks as these are working people, blue collar, farm people and factory workers.) and make a family day out of it under the shade of trees and sitting waist deep in a smooth flowing brown river with food and beer.

 Some may say the river is crawling with potential diseases - cows crap and pee in it upstream and rubbish is probably dumped in it but to us sensitive souls who furiously clean and wipe our houses and bodies with strong chemicals that purport to kill 99 per cent of germs, we may not entertain the idea of putting our big toe into that water for fear of catching something.

But to the rest of the world who probably don't have the disposable income to purchase these luxury household and body cleaning products and who probably don't carry our paranoia for germs have no doubt developed healthy immune systems that could cope with the occasional passing bug.

True one or two people may get the occasional pathogenic, protozoal, parasitic or viral disease through a cut or by water entering the stomach but it seems these people's primary goal is to try to enjoy life the best they can and surrounding yourself with family and friends and dunking yourself in a cool river on a hot Sunday seems to be the way to go.

To get good pictures you have to become intimate with your subjects which means introducing yourself and maybe they might invite you to join them and their family. I received so many invitations here that I will be going back a few times to drink beer and chat while sitting in the river. They were genuinely interested in my life and very happy to have a camera stuck in their faces as it were.

That's Mexico for you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Down By The River. Rio Presidio Near Villa Union.

In Mazatlán we have the sea to cool off in. If you can call the summer sea refreshing when it is in fact like swimming in warm fish broth sprinkled with quemadores. But here in the river Presidio the water is cool and the residents of Villa Union wander down and sit in the gently flowing river, water up to their necks wallowing like hippopotamuses. It's great and the people are friendly inviting you to get in and join them as they do not often see a gringo swimming here.

© 2011 Matt Mawson

Friday, July 15, 2011

Three Artists That Made Me Realise A Career In Painting Was Futile - Gerhard Richter Artist #2 of 3 (see below #1)

Gerhardt Richter the German Artist has an incredible diverse style (see above)and like all great artists can turn his hand to any medium.
His works after Hockney sell for the most of any living artist.

Painting like photography


Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932 to a middle class family. Like many Germans of his generation, his relatives were involved in the Nazi movement; his mother's brother, Uncle Rudi died a young Nazi officer, while Richter's mentally disabled aunt was imprisoned in a Hitler euthanasia camp. 

Rigorous ideology and death have haunted Richter since he was just a child, perhaps causing his strong dislike for ideology of any kind and underpinning the attraction that nature, as an indiscriminate force, holds for him.

Colour Chart

Painting Like Photography

Support from his mother encouraged him to become an artist during his mid-teens and he embarked on a classical education at the Dresden Art Academy in Communist East Germany. Years later and a few months prior to the erection of the Berlin Wall, he and his wife fled with only a suitcase to Düsseldorf in West Germany. From 1961 to 1964, Richter studied at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Karl Otto Gotz.

Painting Like Photography

Add caption

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Enrique Metinides - A Different Type Of Mexican Photographer To The One Below

From 1948 until his forced retirement in 1979, the Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides took thousands of images and followed hundreds of stories in and around Mexico City. And what images and stories they were: car wrecks and train derailments, a bi-plane crashed on to a roof, street stabbings and shootings in the park, apartments and petrol stations set alight, earthquakes, accidental explosions, suicides, manslaughters, murder.
Metinides photographed his first corpse when he was 12. A year later, he became an unpaid assistant to the crime photographer of Mexican newspaper La Prensa, and his pictures appeared in La Nota Roja - the red note or, more colloquially, the Bloody News, the best-selling tabloid.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Musings on 6th July.

As you know we at MazReal use monkeys on Macs to write our blogs as do many other online magazines and blogs. Whereas they generally use one common or garden resus or capuchin monkey chained to a desk we use near on ten thousand unpaid black macaques pounding away on computer keyboards in the hope they will produce another Danté but most as you know if you read this, produce crap. We do it because it is difficult to sue a black macaque if it offends people's sensibilities as they have done on one or two occasions and they are cheap on salaries but expensive on jungle fruit.

On rare occasions the editor of this online publication has to write an editorial without the help of the lower primate simians. Here at MazReal we like to equate ourselves with the man himself below, our hero Clint Eastwood because we believe in his early screen persona - a man of few words but when he spoke, each word was deadly important and it generally meant a quick death by gunshot a few seconds later. We abhor guns and think they should be forcibly stuck up the arse of the owner and discharged in a public viewing. But instead of placing a bullet in the chamber, an enema should be introduced instead. (what a laugh that will be. All those gun owners running around trying to find a toilet)

We don't really know what direction this editorial is going but will continue anyway and follow some random thoughts.

Blogs are private musings made public by a population of social networkers (as most of us have become) who think their lives are really so damn interesting that everyone should be involved. Many bloggers seriously want to share ideas - recipes, travel information and news and most of the bloggers from this city do just that. I have found a great restaurant in Villa Union from one blogger and a bread shop from another and the state of the road to Durango from another. Really important stuff.

But I do miss the bygone days of ignorance when you had to go to a public library to find information, saying hello to people on the way, chatting to a corner-shop owner who might happen to have a jewel between her eyes and come from Uttar Pradesh, doffing your cap to some old man who hangs around the street talking to himself. Electronic communities build nothing. They cheat you out of becoming. You wind up with nothing. We are dancing animals. How great is it to get your butt off that revolving chair and go out. "We are", as Kurt Vonnegut says, "here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anyone tell you any different."

Ignorance can produce a kind of frisson or excitement to a journey or cooking food or driving around an unknown town till you encounter somewhere unexpected to eat or finding yourself someplace that is so damn out of bounds and dangerous that your adrenaline level explodes and you come out of the situation alive and hyper-excited. I know, because I have used ignorance to enhance many journeys and assignments.

We have to leave Mazatlán soon for a while and have so far luckily sold our troupe of black macaques to Fox news so they may write for the replacement of Glenn Beck who only had one senile baboon of the super lower primate family writing for him.

Our team leading macaque was this young lady Geraldine who took this charming self portrait grinning like a mad person from behind sexy bedroom eyes and she promises (using monkey jibbering and squeals) that she will ensure that Fox news will bring out un-biased rantings such as the tweets (see below) that she has already tweeted from her monkey computers here at the abandoned Mazatlán tuna factory where she and her macaque colleagues used to work.

Geraldine's tweetings seems to infer that the President of the USA was assassinated on July 4th while eating at Ross's. So it seems she has settled in nicely slotting her hairy legs neatly underneath those Fox desks and furiously banging away on those right leaning Fox keyboards. Good luck Geraldine and when the 'Mad Digger' Rupert Murdock swings by don't forget to take a big chunk out his arse, from us.

Anyway, in honor of the inspirational figure who has provided hope to insane people seeking broadcast news jobs all across the country, here’s a montage of some his most splendidly disturbing moments by way of Media Matters:

Sadly, he is planning to reemerge, but it will be in a lesser form on some bullshit platform that doesn’t have nearly as much reach as the latter.

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