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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Ask a Mexican

25 Oct 2017
Dear Readers: Many of ustedes must be scratching your heads right now: “What happened to ¡Ask a Mexican!” You’re preguntando yourselves, “Who the hell is this cholo nerd where the Mexican logo used to be?” It is I, gentle cabrones, your eternal Mexican: Gustavo Arellano, child of immigrants from Zacatecas, one of whom came to el Norte in 1969 in the trunk of a Chevy driven by a hippie chick from Huntington Beach. And I’m triste to say that this columna is coming to an end. My day job during the life of ¡Ask a Mexican! was at OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, where I was born and raised. (Don’t believe The Real Housewives of Orange County: there’s a chingo of raza here.) I started as a staff writer, then became managing editor, then was editor for nearly six years until Oct. 13, when I resigned instead…
18 Oct 2017
Note: The Mexican has been deported from his job at his home paper, the OC Weekly, because he didn’t want to lay off half his staff, so we’re re-running a column from a few years ago. Like any good Mexican, he'll return next week with some news. In the meanwhile, enjoy a bacanora for him, porfas! Dear Mexican: I'm 39. My stepdad—who raised me—just died. This freed my mother to tell me (my stepdad always forbade it) that the man I thought was my biological father all this time is not. The man who IS my biological father is Mexican … totally (e.g. both of his parents were Mexican). He was married twice, and had seven kids (five with the first wife, two with the second) other than me. It appears I was conceived during his first marriage, as he remained married until his death from leukemia in 2008. He…
11 Oct 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m very bothered by the fact that football player/coach Tom Flores is not in the Hall of Fame. I could go on and on as to why Mr. Flores should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but I will provide you and your readers with only three incontrovertible facts. First, Tom Flores coached the Raiders for nine seasons and won two Super Bowls. John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons and won one Super Bowl. (John Madden is in the Hall of Fame.) Next, Tom Flores is the only person to win a Super Bowl as a quarterback, an assistant coach and a head coach. Lastly, Tom made it from a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. He never had any alcohol, drug or womanizing problems. He is a role model for all people in our country. My question for you is this: Let’s…
04 Oct 2017
Dear Mexican: With all these NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, how do the Mexicans feel about this? Do they still resent the United States for robando their territory, or do they appreciate the U.S. and its oportunidades? Jerry Juero Jones Dear JJJ: Both—but none of those feelings have anything to do with how we feel about Colin Kaepernick and the movement he inspired. Frankly, Mexicans LOVE those kneel-downs, because we’re all about inconvenient protests that make gabachos angry. Whether it’s undocumented students chaining themselves together while shielding their handcuffs with PVC pipe and laying down in busy intersections, or hundreds of thousands of us taking to the streets in 2006 to demand amnesty, or hundreds of our youth waving around the Mexican flag in the face of good liberals who beg them to wave the Stars and Stripes, Mexicans know the power of pissing off the powers that…
27 Sep 2017
Dear Mexican: I love ethnic foods, and I always ask people of ethnic origins which local restaurants at which they like to eat. Whenever I ask a Mexican what Mexican restaurants they like best, the answer is always, “I don’t like the way any of them make their food.” I live in Phoenix, which has a Mexican restaurant on every corner that is run by Mexicans. Don’t tell me that they all Americanize their food for us gabachas. What gives? Fajita-less in Phoenix Dear Gabacha: Phoenix and the cities around it have a great Mexican food scene, from the alta cocina fare at Barrio Café to the Globe-style buttered burritos at Casa Reynoso in Tempe to un chingo of Sonoran eateries with their fabulous caldo de queso, the greatest soup on Earth. But it’s never good enough for Mexicans. Oh, we’ll go out to eat at Mexican spots, but no…
20 Sep 2017
Dear Mexican: I’m an Arizonan of the anti-SB 1070 ilk who has just adopted an Arizonan 5-year old boy who is obviously (visually anyway) of Mexican descent. I want to do right by my son where his heritage is concerned; I have my own ideas about what that means, but I value your opinion. I’m enrolling him in a public elementary school that has a Spanish-language program (and hoping that the state Legislature doesn’t kill such things), and have a passing knowledge of some of the pertinent literature. (Among other things, I once produced a radio reading of Bless Me, Ultima for the local station for the blind.) I expect we are destined for difficulties from intrusive questions to downright racism in the future, so my immediate goal is to continue to grow my relationship with my son in such a way that he has no doubts that his family…
13 Sep 2017
Dear Mexican: I have a Chicana friend who comes from an upper-middle-class family, goes to a prestigious Ph.D. program, and has never had to take out student loans or work a real job—but she is constantly complaining about how “oppressed” she is. Examples she gives are seemingly trivial things, such as not being called on in class, a professor being mean to her one time, and not feeling “emotionally safe.” She even said my questioning of her micro-aggression stories was itself a micro-aggression! I don’t know what to make of it—hanging out with her is hard, because I have to walk on eggshells constantly. I know Chicanos and Chicanas who come from objectively worse circumstances and have had way harder lives than she has, yet they don’t act like the world is against them. Does she have a victim mentality? Gringo Blanco Dear Gabacho: We’ve got a name for people…
06 Sep 2017
Dear Mexican: How can I get my new Mexican girlfriend to calm down about Trump and being deported? We safely live in a sanctuary city. I have no intention of just marrying her unless something horrible happens, but I want to help her out. She is a kind, rational human being who simply has bought into the fear-mongering that Trump is instilling in her. While a triple-orgasm might make her feel temporary relief, how can I get her to realize that we are not in a place where she is going to get deported unless she blatantly breaks a serious law? Good Gabacho Who Gives It Good Dear Gabacho: Wow, you’re a special kind of pendejo. Sanctuary-city status doesn’t mean shit to Trump or U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is threatening to cut federal funding to such cities. Sanctuary cities can’t stop la migra from picking up people for…
30 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: Why do so many Mexican women feel so jealous when other Mexican women achieve success? I have to deal with this all the time. Please explain. A Successful Mexican Woman Dear Pocha: Because cishet patriarchy—DUH. Dear Mexican: How do I get over my consciousness about being seen as a “sell-out” for dating a white guy? I think if I were a receptionist, I’d feel less troubled, but I’m a professional and hate fitting into the stereotype of the successful Latina with the hyphenated last name. Is there any way that a chola from East L.A. and a surfer from Malibu would not be seen as an odd couple? Loca Pero No Naca Dear Crazy but Not Trashy: You’re not a sell-out for dating gabachos; you’re a vendida for thinking you’re better than others because you’re a “professional.” A secretary isn’t a professional? Maybe the Malibu crowd thinks you’re…
23 Aug 2017
Dear Mexican: I recently relocated from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and am longing for my Mexicans. As you know, in Los Angeles, it is easy to find amazing Chicanas—whenever I wanted to meet beautiful, intelligent Mexican ladies, I would head to Main Street in Alhambra on any Thursday night and be in utter heaven. But I have not been able to get my bearings in Vegas. Do you have any insight into the Mexican social scene here, or can you offer some advice on where I should look? I would also be interested in learning some history about Mexicans in Las Vegas generally, and their current status out here. Buscando a Mis Chicanas Desiertos Dear Pocho: My cousin Raymond moved out to Vegas from La Puente about 20 years ago to find the good life, so you’re not looking hard enough. And once the Raiders relocate there, you’ll have…

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