By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
DEAR MEXICAN: I work in construction in Texas. The mojados at work call me "Chicano" (which really angers me) to make fun of me, and I reply to them, "¡México, bien por su gente!"
This usually leads to debates that the Hispanic population will be the majority in this beautiful country of ours, the USA. However, I usually anger and annoy them by letting them know that either their grandkids or great-grandkids will not speak Spanish. My dad and his side of the family came from Colima, but now I can see that my nieces and nephews speak only English. This does not bother me, but I tell them we will be the new white race in America. What do you think?
Tu Primo Capitalista
DEAR CAPITALIST COUSIN: Oye, güey, get a better insult to get back at those dumb wabs than telling them Mexico should do right by its people. Ever heard of the power of a well-placed "Chinga tu pinche madre"? The rest of your insights are spot-on: The children of those wabs will become pochos; the children of said pochos will become Americans; and the children of those Americans will be named Ashley and Jarrod but assume an Aztec name in college in an effort to reconnect with their Mexican roots, just as gabachas get a shamrock as their tramp stamp to honor their mick ancestors. It's all a process of assimilation (or "acculturation" for the people who think the melting-pot theory is as insidious as Marco Rubio), and your wab workers can't do anything to stop it, as much as Univisión might try. As for the white part? So 1950s . . . this brave new America is José Vasconcellos' much-mythologized raza cósmica come to life, a new, superior race combined from all the razas of the world—and ain't it a trip that its truest manifestation is happening in los Estados Unidos and not Mexico? As with Mexican food, those pinche Yankees beat us at our own game again.
DEAR MEXICAN: Please note that the "Dear Mexican" columnist has long since descended into journalistic ennui . . . and even if he needs to vent personal political insecurities, his take on the richness of cultural differences has metamorphosed into a dank, morbid bin of rotting vegetables.
Kindly Find His Replacement
DEAR GABACHO: As your ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist, I couldn't agree more, and I will pass along your note to the "Dear Mexican" columnist. . . . You mean Richard Rodriguez, right?
DEAR MEXICAN: What's the deal with Ojo de Vidrio? Is he some sort of Robin Hood type with no depth perception?
Enquiring Mentes Want to Know
DEAR GABACHO: You're referring to the legendary corrido ("The Glass Eye," for those who don't habla) best performed by the conjunto norteño group Los Alegres de Terán, performed hilariously by El Piporro (the Mexican Weird Al Yankovic), adapted into a great movie starring Antonio Aguilar, but originally recorded as a radio drama in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike most corridos, "El Ojo de Vidrio" isn't based on an actual historical figure, but that didn't stop the Mexican nation from rooting for the anti-hero Porfirio Cadena, who, as the song goes, "lo tuerco no le importaba/pues no fallaba en el tiro" ("that he was one-eyed didn't matter to him/Well, he never failed in shooting his gun") as he terrorized the rich and the government during the Mexican Revolution. The song is emblematic of Mexico's love for Robin Hood-type characters who battled the powers-that-be to help the poor, but are unfortunately now mostly an artifact. These days, most of the corridos are written to celebrate narco-lords who [censored lest your humble Mexican wake up with no head].