CVIndependent

Mon06012020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

We’re not in the business of sharing misinformation here at the Independent. In fact, the whole point of these Daily Digests is to share good info from reliable resources, because there’s a whole lotta crap floating around out there.

However, bear with me as I share a really stupid post from a Facebook friend … that has a really important point embedded within it.

This Facebook friend (a person I don’t actually know; because of the newspaper, I accept friend requests from pretty much anyone with whom I have mutual friends) wrote, in part: “Banning all fun activities while quarantining an entire population is a very, very BAD IDEA. What worked in Chinaor Korea will not work for America. What I feared has already come to pass: an increase in spouse abuse, children abuse, suicidal attempts … and we’re just 4 days in.”

OK … the first part of that post, we can all agree, is bonkers nonsense: Viruses and epidemiology don’t change based on location and nationality. On-the-ground horrific happenings in several countries prove that the social distancing and staying at home we’re enduring right now are, well, REALLY GOSH DARNED CRUCIAL.

However, the second part of that post … it rattled me: While I have not seen any hard evidence that spousal abuse, child abuse or suicide attempts are already on the rise, they’re inevitable consequences of people being forced to stay inside with someone who’s abusive (and stressed to boot). And all this chaos, as I touched upon yesterday, is seriously triggering some people with mental illness.

So … how do we fix this? I don’t have a complete answer for that. I doubt anyone does. And that chills me to the bone.

However, I do have a partial answer: We all need to ask for help if we need it. And we all need to check in with friends, loved ones and neighbors who may need help but be afraid or unable to ask for it.

I participated in two calls with various community leaders today, and this point came up multiple times: We all need to look out for each other in this unprecedented, crappy-ass time. And we need to make sure we reach out when we, ourselves, are in need.

To that end, Palm Springs City Councilwoman Christy Holstege has started a new Facebook group, Coachella Valley Neighbors Helping Neighbors Through COVID-19. The page includes Google Docs where people can sign up to volunteer—and sign up to request needed help.

My friends … if you can volunteer your time, or goods, or anything, please sign up. (Oh, and check out the governor’s Volunteer California site, too.) Even more importantly, if you need help right now of some sort, please sign up.

Beyond this admirable Facebook effort … we need to really live up to the meaning of the word “community” right now. To repeat: Now is the time to be there for each other—and now is the time to reach out if we’re in need.

Please.

Now, for some news:

• For the last couple days, I’ve promised the Independent was publishing a piece that covered the heartbreaking decisions local theater companies endured heading into what was supposed to be one of the busiest theater weekends of the year, as the news got crazier and crazier. At last, here’s that piece, and I am quite proud of it.

• Breaking casino news: Fantasy Springs is closing down through the end of the month (and paying employees during the closure; great move), according to a news release we just received. Meanwhile, the Agua Caliente locations are remaining open for now. Morongo and Spotlight 29 also remain open as of this writing.

Clark’s Nutrition is opening an hour early for elderly and disabled shoppers, at least for the next few days. This is a fantastic idea, and I hope other grocers follow suit.

• If you want or need lunch from Mizell Senior Center, they offered to-go meals today, and may do so in the future. Watch the Facebook page for updates.

• If you suddenly find yourself with extra downtime, why not consider taking a free college course online?

Safeway is hiring in Northern California. The same thing is happening at some local grocery stores, too.

Amazon, too, is hiring in a big way.

• Max Brooks has an important message to share from him and his father, Mel Brooks.

• You’re stuck at home. Museums are closed. But due to the wonders of the internet, you can now visit some museums from home! Even in Paris

• And finally, what happens when a zoo is closed, and they give penguins free run of the joint? Adorableness!

That’s enough for today. Stop hoarding toilet paper. (Really, people. I had to give a friend an extra pack so she could avoid a 25-person-long line at Walmart. Sheesh.) Wash your hands. Check in on someone who may need someone to check in with them. We’re gonna get through this together … and think of the whackadoo stories we’ll all have from this era one day.

Published in Daily Digest

Dear Mexican: Please allow me a little latitude. I’m a resident of Northeast Dallas, a wonderfully diverse neighborhood near the heart of downtown. I’ve lived here for many years and wouldn’t even CONSIDER moving north, south, east or west. However, I have one issue I’d like to address: What’s the deal with Mexicans’ propensity to stop their cars in the middle of busy streets?

I witness this almost every week, usually on Ross Avenue during afternoon rush hour. I (and hundreds of other motorists) will be clipping along at 30-35 mph in the northbound lanes, when all of a sudden, cars will swerve; horns will honk; and traffic will suddenly grind to a screeching halt. What could it be? A lost puppy dog crossing the street? A little old lady who’s collapsed from heatstroke while trying to cross the street? A partially open duffel bag containing thousands of dollars, with bills flying all over the road?

NO! Without fail, it’s a Mexican who: 1. Saw a friend walking down the street and stopped to exchange pleasantries. 2. A Mexican who stopped to drop off or pick up a wife, husband or friend. 3. A Mexican who accidentally passed his/her intended location, but instead of “making the block,” decided instead to stop, and in some cases, even BACK UP in order to reach their intended destination.

I LOVE Mexicans. You all are some of the friendliest, easiest-going, most-family-oriented, hardest-working people I’ve ever known. But put some of you behind the wheel of a car, and all bets are off. Help a gringo out here. What’s the deal?

Stuck on Ross

Dear Gabacho: Ever heard of the Chinese Fire Drill—when you stop at a red light, everyone gets out of the car, circles it and gets back in? I didn’t, either, until I got some gabacho friends last year; gabas are weird, ¿qué no?

Anyhoo, call the scenario you described the Mexican Fire Drill. You also forgot that Mexicans will stop in the middle of the street—traffic be damned—if they’re waiting for a friend who’s getting ready at their house, if they have to go inside a place to pick something up, or if there’s a particularly good banda jam on the stereo, and they want the whole barrio to listen. As por el why? After a lifetime of crossing borders, running away from la migra and hustling from job to job, sometimes it’s just great to relax and be still—and if that annoys gabachos, even better!

Dear Mexican: My name is Burjs, and I’m a gay male. I’m obsessed with Mexican men. I love you guys so fucking much. I love your “machismo” attitude—from the ways you guys walk, talk and look, to the way you make love. But I guess the thing I love the most—and it’s not true of all—is your tempers.

I wonder why Mexican men are mean and aggressive toward effeminate males such as myself. I’m not complaining, because I love it from you guys. Am I crazy because I like my Mexican lovers to sexually and physically abuse me? By the way, I’m a black bottom.

Provócame, Papi

Dear Provoke Me, Daddy: Don’t romanticize our machismo. If you get off on getting demeaned, that’s your deal. But far too many hombres who don’t fit the Vicente Fernández archetype of hypersexual hetero male have had to deal with too many calls of maricón and joto by other Mexican men throughout their lives to make it something cute.

Such aggression, though, proves the answer to the age-old question: What’s the difference between a straight Mexican and a gay Mexican? Two Tecates.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican