Thursday, October 15, 2009

The secret is out

This month Revue magazine has well and truly blown 'the best kept secret in Antigua'. Cheers mate! we poms say (apparently). Now those mountain-spring pools will feature rows of mochiludos soaking their callos. Well, for a while at least.

In truth we haven't been going to El Pilar as regularly as we used to when old Germán was in charge. His passing was preceded by that of the amazingly loquacious parrot he kept in the gatehouse. He did always seem to say that he'd love it if more people could come and witness the beauty of his finca, but I think he had locals in mind predominantly.

There's also an interview with ever-effervescent eco-crusader Vida Amor de Paz. I had a brief encounter with Guatemala's polar explorer last year and found her a little keener then than she was in her conversation with Laura McNamara to sprinkle her commentary with references to 2012 and the Mayan cosmovision.

I remember wondering at the time whether she really believes in that bollocks or whether in fact it has become a useful hook for a) getting funding for her trip and wider campaign and b) inspiring impressionable young people to become eco-crusaders.

Could it be similar to the great E.O. Wilson's appeal to religious delusionals on his lecture circuit? For Wilson insists — and even Richard Dawkins grudgingly admits — that the godly are far more likely to save the planet than us die-hard cynics and atheists. Anyway, more on that when I get round to reviewing Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood in the next few days.

Next month we are going to be battered with Roland Emmerich's 2012. Tuesday's Guardian had a great piece on the underlying 'tosh' which featured fun soundbites from both Mayan archaeologists and local elders:

"Mayan leaders consider the fuss a ridiculous western obsession. "I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff," Apolinario Chile Pixtun, an elder from Guatemala, told the Associated Press."

Meanwhile, behind schedule, but still very scarily — there will be ice-free summers in the Arctic in 'as little as ten years time' — it was reported yesterday.


Mark said...

Global Warming? That's, like, so 90's Guy!

Laura said...

Wish I could have known German!

Vida certainly still had a passion for the "Maya cosmovision" when I spoke to her... but it was less about "dooms day" and more about necessary change... which I think we can all agree to. And, I'll always support the mission to take care of the environment. It's where I live. I don't want to live in a dung hole... ;) Thanks for the shout Guy!

El Blogador said...

He was a lovely chap and quite devoted to communicating the beauties of the local natural enviroment to the people living around here. He was humble and never thought to make a big profit out o tourism for himself.

He used to tell my wife that his conversion to the environmental cause came after he was diagnosed with cancer and he stared taking local botanical remedies which he was convinced had extended his life.