Associated “Content Producer” Delete-Happy with Reader Comments

February 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Cancun, Internet | 11 Comments

Mexico’s drug carteles are no joke.  Neither is President Felipe Calderon as he attempts to hire the best and brightest to combat the horrifyingly violent and incredibly pissed off elements of organized crime throughout Mexico.  It’s sickening how quickly the narcotraficantes pick off Calderon’s appointed crime fighters, often within days of starting the job.  The most recent assassination occurred in Cancun, where Retired General Mauro Enrique Tello Quinonez was found mutilated alongside his aide/bodyguard and driver. 

But what I find sickening is Julia Bodeeb’s assertion in an article she wrote for Associated Content (and which is subsequently being reposted around the Internet) that tourists should stay far, far away from Cancun:

 If you are looking for a lovely beach vacation, I would recommend you avoid Cancun.  It does not seem therisk with organized crime murdering so many people.  Find a safer place to vacation at.  Cancun, Mexico needs to solve their violent crime problem before tourists return there. 

To read the entire “article,” click here.

I will leave the grammatical errors, torturous syntax, and accidentally omitted words for another tirade.  But this is clearly an opinion piece, no?  And Associated Content allows for comments.  One would think that such a strong editorial, urging tourists to stay far away from Cancun (and indeed the entire country) would be followed by a rousing dialogue on whether such an extreme stance is warranted.  Alas, this is not the case, as the author of this article, Julia Bodeeb chose to continually delete comments that respectfully disagreed with her position. 

Several members of the Cancun Care forum attempted to post in response to her article.  Their comments were almost immediately deleted.  None used profanity, all were respectful, and all were immediately deleted.  Julia Bodeeb then posted a link to a site which discussed accidental deaths in Cancun over the last few years.

One intrepid Cancun lover, Vegas, wrote directly to that siren of journalistic integrity, asking what her problem is and why she is not allowing any discussion about her article if the comments disagree with her position.

Julia Bodeeb’s response? It’s a good one, and one that Vegas posted for us all to marvel at:

VivaLasVegas,

Another Content Producer, Julia Bodeeb, has sent you the following message on Associated Content:

When you are a writer here feel free to expect your comments to stay.  otherwise, you blow.

Julia Bodeeb, are you really a writer?  Because, despite the great publications you seem to have been published in, it seems that you are missing the point of what good Internet writing does.  It provokes thought.  It engages people so that they want to respond.  It starts a conversation, especially when the platform for a conversation is right there in the form of a comment box.  It brings to light different opinions that may even enable the original writer to re-examine her original position.

But Julia, why do you keep deleting comments?  What do you know about Mexico beyond what you’ve read on CNN?  Is it possible that you are so uninformed about the incredible complexity of Cancun that you are threatened by those who possess more knowledge about this dynamic city of almost one million?  Is that why you refuse to engage with them?

And why, oh why, would a freelance writer, one whose Internet reputation is their bread and butter, tell someone “you blow.”  Fo’ real? 

Perhaps you should stick to articles like your Gift in a Jar Ideas for Valentine’s Day.  You TOTALLY rocked that one!

But we all still really want to know: Julia Bodeeb, have you ever even been to Cancun?

To the Cancun Care community: feel free to post here your comments that were deleted from her article.  I promise not to make them disappear.  Unless, of course, you tell me I blow.  But I know you’re all too classy to say that!

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Paint Store Guy Comes Back Into My Life

August 10, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Cancun, M.r Puppers, Weirdness | 2 Comments

Five years ago, Mr. Puppers came to us when we lived right over a paint store on Avenida Palenque in Cancun.  The parents of a student brought him to me where I worked when he was about two months old.  And he was a skinny little thing that I could carry in my arms.

I took him home in a taxi for the first time and when we got out, the owner of the paint store called me over and told me that he hoped that this wasn’t a permanent addition to my apartment.  I assured him that it wasn’t, and that I was just dog-sitting for someone. 

The owner of the paint store bitched and moaned for the next year about Mr. Puppers’ barking.  No big deal, I just ignored him the best I could.

I haven’t thought about this man in years.  Last night, as I brought up one of my favorite topics of conversation (whether Mr. Puppers prefers America or Mexico), Homeboy reminded me of how much the paint-store guy hated Mr. Puppers.  Apparently when I wasn’t home, he’d come bang on our apartment door and Homeboy wouldn’t answer.  Then Homeboy and Mr. Puppers would go out to play in the park and paint-store guy would glare at them. 

Not a terribly interesting conversation, of course.  But later that night, I was in bed reading and Homeboy was watching Atlante play soccer in Cancun.  He comes into the bedroom screaming, “Paint-store guy! Remember paint store guy?”  Um, yes, we just talked at length about paint-store guy.

“Well, I just saw paint-store guy on TV at the game!  He had an Atlante shirt on and was cheering!”

How random.

Prison Break, Cancun Style

December 27, 2007 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Cancun, Village Life, Weirdness | 4 Comments

I was flipping through my journal last night, and found a couple of references to the prison break that happened in Cancun almost exactly a year ago.  Convicts escaping in Cancun isn’t a particularly rare occurrence, but this time upwards of 100 escaped after a supposed riot.  The chisme-vine said that the padrino of the prison was to be transfered elsewhere, and the inmates got their panties in a wad, rioted, and some made a run for it.

When we got home from Canuck’s house on Xmas Eve, the neighbors had put a thick chain around the front gate at the entrance of the apartment building.  Of course, we had no key for it, so we had to jump over a five foot wall to get in.

My sister-in-law returned from the village with some news: some of the convicts had arrived on foot in Chichimila, a two hour drive from Cancun, and spent the night whooping it up with the town drunks and some Chac Pol (what Mayans call aguardiente). 

A couple escapees also wandered on over to Homeboy’s family’s store looking for food.  His mom didn’t have anything tasty for them there, so she told them to follow her home and she fed them at the house. 

Homeboy had to call his mom to yell at her for bringing escaped prisoners into the house.  Her response was: “I didn’t know that they were escaped convicts.  They were hungry, and I had food.  So I gave it to them.”

So simple, eh?

Cancun Hearts Atlante!

November 25, 2007 at 11:21 am | Posted in Cancun, Futbol | 2 Comments

Of course, I didn’t get to watch Atlante beat Cruz Azul live last night in the cuartos de finales, but we did watch it on TV.

 The commentators had a lot to say about how frisky the Cancunenses in the stands were, which made me swell with pride.  Cancun gets knocked a lot for not being a “real Mexican city,” whatever that is.  Yes, it was only created for tourism, and yes, the Hotel Zone looks like Miami, and yes, it lacks the stately colonial buildings and rich, bloody history that other parts of the country have in spades.

 But finally having its very own primera division futbol team seems to me to be a step towards defining itself and creating its own culture.  Cancun is a city of migrants from all over the country, who arrived with attachments to their home teams, and no team upon which to transfer that attachment.  But now there’s Atlante!

And now with the big-time stadium, Andres Quintana Roo, Cancunenses have something to cheer for collectively.  Cancun will always be looking out at the Caribbean and the tourists camped at hotels along the coast, but now there’s popular (as in, of the people, not famous) support for something tangible within city limits. 

With only 30-odd years of existence, Cancun has a long way to go in creating its unique culture, but I think Atlante (if they can keep them there) is a start.

Any other signs of Cancun creating something from within for its residents that you’ve noticed?

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