By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Dear Readers: Since the Mexican's sister is getting married to a good man from Zacatecas this weekend, I must ignore my research archives to slaughter a pig and hire a banda sinaloense. So indulge yourselves in some piratería questions I ripped off from my book, and await my return next semana!
Dear Mexican: Isn't brown pride a P.C. adoption and morphing of white power?
—Serapes Scare Me
Dear Gabacho: True, Serapes. And that's why events like Hispanic Heritage Month are lame responses to centuries of gabacho oppression and exclusion. Hispanic Heritage Month is useful only to see how hilariously clueless gabacho administrators, newspaper editors—hell, the entire American power structure—still are about Mexicans. Bake some pan dulce, throw in a salsa band, invite the Mexican as a keynote speaker (note to said power structure: E-mail me!), and that's culture, right? Or run weepy profiles of Mexicans rising from nothing to barely something, as daily papers do during Hispanic Heritage Month, and that pleases those pesky Latinos who clamor for positive, accurate coverage in the press, ¿qué no?
What's worse is the litany of accomplishments recounted during Hispanic Heritage Month to show that Latinos are just like everyone else, but more so. Look—a Mexican astronaut! Golfer! Doctor! No gardeners here! And don't be surprised if you hear some MEChA chapter state some really out-there claim, like that Thomas Alva Edison was Mexican, that the Aztec empire went as far north as Michigan because the state name sounds like Michoacán and that Mexican women take it up the butt to protect their virginity. All those cultural-pride pendejadas get tiresome after a while because it's nothing more than pandering and assumptions. Ask Mexicans what they're proud of, and they'll probably point to their shiny new Silverados.
I've noticed that areas with lots of recent Mexican immigrants have stores that sell nothing but water. I find this very odd. Do people recently arrived from Mexico not know that tap water here is potable? How can these stores survive selling nothing but water anyway?
—Agua Pa' la Raza
Dear Gabacha: Mexicans can never get far from the bottle, whether it's H2O or Herradura. In a 2002 survey, the Public Policy Institute of California found that 55 percent of Latinos in the state drink bottled water, compared with 30 percent of gabachos. It's definitely a custom smuggled over from Mexico, where tap water remains fraught with nasty viruses and bugs and crap. So it seems the Mexican affinity for Arrowhead is another case of assimilation gone dead, huh?
But another possibility is suggested by Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In the 1964 Stanley Kubrick classic, Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper reveals that fluoride-contaminated tap water is a commie plot that's robbing America of its precious bodily fluids. Mexicans want no part of that. We want our mecos healthy and hopping, so when it comes time to repopulate the States after the bomb hits, we can turn all surviving gabachitas into baby mills.