CVIndependent

Wed07172019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Ask a Mexican

29 Apr 2015
Dear Mexican: Why do Mexicans make up such glaringly obvious lies? Like this galán who had his sister call me and say it was really him—with a cold. Or my friend who pretends to be traveling around the world, but is really sending emails from his mother’s home computer. Or the random person on the street who tells you he knows how to give you directions, and then makes them up. Do these Mexicans have something against reality, or do they really believe themselves on some level? Clara la Dudosa Dear Clara the Doubter: “There is nothing new about Mexico’s tradition of lying, of course,” wrote Andres Oppenheimer in his 1998 Bordering on Chaos. “Since as far as historians could remember, double-talk and deceit had been part of Mexico’s culture.” This line has been used by Know Nothings ever since as proof that Mexicans are never to be trusted—never mind…
22 Apr 2015
Dear Mexican: Why do Mexican men have thicker hair than Caucasian men? Is it because it runs in the genes? (I am only asking about hair on the head, not body hair.) Frankie Dear Gabacho: It’s ALWAYS about the genes for Mexicans, whether it’s our love of tortillas and tamales (indigenous ancestors), beer (Germans) or frizzy hair (the negritos in our family tree that no one ever acknowledges, even though your brother was born with a Jheri curl that made Lionel Richie’s mane seem as florid as a high-and-tight). The same influence applies to male-pattern baldness: Native Americans are the least-affected ethnic group on Earth when it comes to being pelones, a scientific consensus that is so prevalent that you can find it repeated without citing any study in multiple medical dictionaries. The Mexican couldn’t find any study specifically focusing on Mexicans, but don’t forget that a bunch of us…
15 Apr 2015
Dear Mexican: Do Mexicans know that if at least one of their grandparents was born in Spain, they can immigrate immediately not just to Spain, but any other country in the European Union? I know this is not an option for a lot of Mexicans, but it certainly seems like a better one for those who have the “Spanish” option. Spain is a First World country with free health care and seven-hour work days—and quite simply, Spanish people seem to share much more in common with Mexicans. Don’t get me wrong: I think Mexicans are a great thing for America, and that anyone who wants to live here should be able to, yet I am also a realist. I only bring this up because, well, it just seems like it might be an easier option for those grandchildren who fled Spain to come to Mexico during the times of Franco.…
08 Apr 2015
Dear Mexican: I’m a 23-year-old Latina attending a Texas university. I’m taking a class on Latino culture and history. I’m a first generation Tex-Mex kid, and lately, the documentaries and the other course work have been making me feel angry/sad/and overall confused, for lack of better phrasing. I don’t know how to handle these feelings, and it is making me be more introspective about the Latino/Mexican part of my identity—as if I didn’t already have enough issues there. I don’t want to overthink it, and I don’t want to always wonder how people perceive me because of my background. But I don’t know how to feel about what I am learning, and if it’s OK what I am feeling. Did you ever go through something like this identity-crisis-type thing? And any advice on how to feel/handle it? Down in Denton Dear Mujer: Was I ever confused about my ethnic identity?…
01 Apr 2015
Dear Mexican: Why do so many cholos like the song “I’m Your Puppet” by James and Bobby Purify? Is there something about this song, or do they like all oldies? Aspiring Puppeteer Dear Gabacho: It ain’t just cholos who are down with oldies-but-goodies. Mexican Americans of all social classes have largely kept alive that particular music genre—the brown-eyed soul of Thee Midniters and Sunny and the Sunliners, as well long-forgotten R&B artists like The Penguins and Billy Stewart who aren’t crazy enough for hipsters to worship à la Esquerita and the Five Du-Tones, but who are still too threatening to oldies fans whose idea of soul is The Crew Cuts doing “Sh-Boom.” Oldies-but-goodies speak to the softer side of machismo—match up “The Town I Live In” with “Canción Mixteca,” and you’ll find they’re one and the mismo. But rather than me trying to explain further to gabachos why Mexicans are…
25 Mar 2015
Dear Mexican: Why are we put down by our own people for being educated and articulate, while the Anglos accept us for being smart? (I’ve been called gabacho, and I’m as brown as the next guy.) I work in Santa Ana as a high school teacher and am considered very good at what I do, but when I meet with Mexican parents, it almost borders on mistrust. What is it—envy, paranoia, jealousy? Smart Mexican American Reading Teacher Asking Serious Stuff Dear SMARTASS Wab: Don’t flatter yourself too much. Anti-intellectualism is rampant in American life—witness this country electing Dubya as president for two terms, liberals slobbering over Hillary Clinton, and conservatives elevating Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt to sabios when the thinking part of this country rightfully relegates them to pendejo pendejos. Tell you what: You’re enlightened, so guide those hater Mexicans to the Light. Let them know that the only…
18 Mar 2015
Dear Mexican: Why do wabs, regardless of age and body size, always have one hand rubbing their bellies under their shirts? Is this something inherent in all wabs? They all do it, especially the “fresh from the border” ones. I don’t get it. I’m a pocho, and I’ve never seen other pochos do it. Are wabs finger-banging their belly buttons, or what? They all look so fucking stupid doing this. Just go to Home Depot and watch them. Pocho With Albóndigas Grandes Dear Pocho: What’s with the panza hate? In previous eras, girth was a sign of bounty and promise—I’m thinking Santa Claus, William Howard Taft and the Earth Mother. That’s still the case in Mexico: Next to a broom-thick mustache and a gray Ford truck, a glorious, well-rounded stomach is our ultimate proof of machismo. A panza’s layers of fat fuel our insatiable work ethic; its orbital shape is…
11 Mar 2015
Dear Mexican: So there I was, sitting in Spanish class, like the good half-frog/half wop (i.e. “frop”) that I am, when I observed the Spanish teacher write the word “esposas” on the board. Imagine my shock/horror when the teacher told us “esposas” has two meanings: “wives” and “handcuffs”! PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A COINCIDENCE! Fropito From Laguna Hills Dear Gabacho: On one hand, I can point to Latin—esposas is the feminine plural of esposo, which comes from the Latin sponsus (same root word for “spouse”), which comes from the Latin spondere, which means “to bind,” which is exactly what handcuffs do. And then I can carry the misogynistic theme and mention that wrists in Spanish translates as “muñecas,” which also means “dolls,” and that the Real Academia Española doesn’t know the etymology of the word, or why the two words mean the same thing. And I can conclude by…
04 Mar 2015
Dear Mexican: Recently, I visited a viejecita in an assisted-living home. As I’m getting on in years myself, I wondered how I would fare in such a place. Fortunately, I do like to eat cottage cheese, but I would like some salsa with it, or better yet, an occasional jalapeño en escabeche. Are there places for those of us who like spicy Mexican food? Perhaps you have answered this question already in Taco USA, but I have been so busy lately that I have not yet cracked the cover of my copy. Sabor Para Mi Dear Flavor for Me: Time was, the Mexican could boast that we raza would never join cruel gabachos in exiling our aging parents to senior homes—instead, we let them live by themselves because mami y papi were tough enough, or at the most, we house them in their golden años in the casas of our…
25 Feb 2015
Dear Mexican: As I’ve been doing a lot of business in the city of Santa Ana (one of the most Mexican cities in the U.S.), I’ve realized that a shitload of Mexicans are Fox News-type conservatives—yakking out the same kind of shit you hear at a Glenn Beck conference, except for issues surrounding immigration (probably because Tío Juan has no papers). I’ve also met a ton of anti-immigrant Latinos who look like they just hopped the border themselves. In fact, I hear more crazy shit from Latinos in Santa Ana about Mexicans than I do from gabachos in Laguna or Newport (probably because the only time they see Mexicans is when they are getting some kind of manual labor service). I know Mexico is inherently conservative and racist, and I wasn’t surprised to encounter conservative fanaticism from Latinos, but hearing such pendejadas so consistently has been a bit shocking. Is…