Dead in Their Tracks: Crossing America's Desert Borderlands by John Annerino

By John Annerino

In a single of the most well liked, loneliest spots in the world, John Annerino attached with 4 Mexican nationals made up our minds to move the border illegally. Their selection was once easy: possibility their lives crossing the wilderness for a poorly paid activity in El Norte or remain in Mexico and watch their households starve. Annerino and his partners may have died in that massive, unforgiving land had they now not shared the water that they had and helped each other with the encouragement that appeared unnecessary on the time. useless of their Tracks is the genuine tale of a determined human fight in a bleak, attractive desolate tract.

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58 When the Universal Mother rises to return El Topo’s pistol to him, she steps on the glass fragments and recoils in pain; her cries are the sound of a cawing crow (or more pejoratively, complaining like an old crow). Selflessly drawn to aid the Universal Mother, the Second Master begins to remove the glass from her feet in a parody of Aesop’s fable of the slave and the lion (suggesting the lion that roams the camp is a symbol of the Universal Mother as much as the Second Master). El Topo seizes the opportunity to sneak behind the distracted Second Master and coldly shoots him in the back of the head, execution-style.

The duels with the Four Masters are not triumphs where El Topo exacts counterculture retribution against the Establishment (the castration of the Colonel), but a systematic destruction of the very ideals shaping the counterculture. As El Topo eventually completes Mara’s scheme of eliminating the Four Masters, he becomes acutely aware he squandered the immense opportunity to achieve enlightenment through their teachings. In destroying the Four Masters he also destroys himself: a self-destruction prompted by El Topo’s succumbing to the wiles of the woman.

It is the first of several references to Tlatelolco which occur throughout El Topo, the horror of the massacre still ingrained in Mexican public memory. 40 As El Topo and his son wander the horrific scene, a badly wounded man crawls through the blood and mud, imploring El Topo to kill him. Indifferently, El Topo hands his pistol to his son, symbolically bequeathing the symbol of phallic power: the gun-as-phallus. El Topo’s son tentatively grasps it in both hands and promptly shoots the man. The murder becomes the entry into manhood, the ability to briefly wield the phallic power inscribed in the gun through the definitive act of omnipotence: taking another person’s life.

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