BUT FOR A DECADE BEFORE MEXICO Barbaro discovered its name, these dispatches found their way into the San Francisco Examiner
and Bay Guardian, Pacific News Service, Noticias Aliadas in Lima, the Texas Observer, the Nation, and a gaggle of other marginated
weeklies, monthlies, and others.  A 1993 dispatch anticipating a guerrilla uprising in Chiapas, for example, was dismissed by several
publications as "science fiction" until it was picked up by the Anderson Valley Advertiser, an eccentric Northern California weekly, which
scooped the world on the Zapatista rebellion.

BUT TOO OFTEN, MY STORIES FELL
through the cracks and were never picked up.  They were like trees crashing in the forest where no one would ever hear
them fall.  Then in late 1995, I ran into David Wilson at a Zapatista conclave in Washington and he agreed to distribute the
dispatches through Latin America Weekly Update, an offspring of the Nicaraguan Solidarity movement.  Between 1995
and 2003, Latin America Weekly Update passed on 400 issues of Mexico Barbaro.

MEXICO BARBARO SUFFERED
a stretch of serious soul searching in 2003.  The invasion of Iraq was incubating and I went off to Baghdad as a human
shield to place my body between the bombs of Bush and the Iraqi people and penned ten dispatches from the frontlines
for Mexico City's left daily La Jornada, some of which were posted on Mexico Barbaro.  But as I became more of a
globe-trotting troublemaker, stumbling through Palestine and Bolivia, Peru, the Ecuadoran Amazon, Europe, and Turkey
and rocketing across the U.S. looking at this country where my father croaked from the bottom up on a Greyhound bus,
MexBarb began to take on a more global view of who was screwing who.

A NAME CHANGE SEEMED IN ORDER
And so Mexico Barbaro became Blindman's Buff for another 200 issues.  After a dozen years of working through Latin
American Weekly Update, Blindman's Buff  has been self-distributed since the beginning of 2008.  Many readers thought
the "buff" part was a typo for "bluff" but it was not.  Blindman's Buff was a popular if barbaric children's game in another
century in which a player would be blindfolded and then buffeted by his or her playmates.  So it is with those of us who
survive on the left.

THE BLINDMAN BUFF/MEXICO:

Barbaro archive now totals more than 600 dispatches.  We hope to be able to post them all here in a not-too-distant
future once we acquire the moolah and the technology.  For those who can't wait we are posting Blindman's Buff 2008.  
The posted dispatches will run four to six weeks behind those distributed to subscribers.  For further information on
how to subscribe write johnross@igc.org.  

La Lucha Sigue y Sigue y Sigue y Sigue y

JOHN ROSS
Mexico City
Spring 2008                
go to the archives to read past  issues of Blind Man's Buff
ohn rossrebel journalist
WELCOME TO BLINDMAN'S BUFF,
a weekly screed that zeroes
in on injustice and class
oppression south (and north
and west and east) of the
border with a particular focus
on the underbelly of Mexico.
go to the Blind Man's Buff archives
home

HISTORY IS WHAT WE MAKE OF IT

Long-term readers will remember that
Blindman's Buff began life as Mexico
Barbaro, plagiarizing its title from John
Kenneth Turner's remarkable reportage
documenting the demise of the Diaz
dictatorship and the underclass uprising
that became the Mexican revolution in
1910.  My neo-Barbarous Mexico saw
itself as covering the last days of another
dictatorship, that of the PRI which had held
power over the lives of the Mexican people
from the cradle to the grave for seven
decades before finally losing the
presidency in 2000.  The defeat of the PRI
presented an existential dilemma for
Mexico Barbaro: what was its function
without the PRI to kick around anymore?

BUT FOR A DECADE BEFORE MEXICO
Barbaro discovered its name, these
dispatches found their way into the San
Francisco Examiner and Bay Guardian,
Pacific News Service, Noticias Aliadas in
Lima, the Texas Observer, the Nation, and
a gaggle of other marginated weeklies,
monthlies, and others.  A 1993 dispatch
anticipating a guerrilla uprising in Chiapas,
for example, was dismissed by several
publications as "science fiction" until it was
picked up by the Anderson Valley
Advertiser, an eccentric Northern California
weekly, which scooped the world on the
Zapatista rebellion.
Photo by Joe Blum