Thursday, December 29, 2022

Dirty Old Fascists

Back in August 2019 I wrote this post about a discernible gringo subculture here in Antigua: the Mara Apestatrucha.

The piece was intended as a bit of light comedy, yet the sniggers became more ingrained when it was read out in a Guatemalan courtroom supposedly as damning evidence in a case for which it had no relevance whatsoever.

Yet since the pandemic I have come to see more clearly just what these men represent and it is frankly no laughing matter, so let us call them for what they really are.

The scruffiness of their attire should be less concern than the scruffiness of their being.

Most of them appear to have fetched up here as middle-aged, sociopathic misfits, presumably having discovered that in their own societies there could be actual consequences for the toxic attitudes and behaviours they espouse.

Antigua seems to function like a bricks and mortar equivalent to one of those furtive online forums where those who would normally find themselves on the fringe can gather, socialise and mutually reinforce.

Some are more candid in their online self-expression than others. A glance through the relevant feeds quickly reveals a medley of misogyny, anti-semitism, anti-vaxism, pro-Putin Rushist propaganda, adherence to conspiracies and other kooky fanaticisms, a sort of faux anti-establishment bluster that will tend to do little other than bolster those who accumulate actual power...and ignorance dressed up as privileged knowledge. 

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