Why Do Mexican Men Like Classic Cars?

Dear Mexican: What is it about Mexicans and collecting old cars? I have three Mexican neighbors with middle-class incomes but in each case, when the old car or truck wouldn't run anymore, they would buy a nearly new replacement and then just let the old clunker sit in the driveway up close to the house or garage ... for MONTHS! Hood up, radiator out on the ground, flat tires, etc. Flying with my ford

Dear Gabacho: When my brother became of age, I lectured him on what would make him a man: when he could afford a classic car. Just like our fathers and abuelitos in la patria weren't real men until they had a beautiful horse to call their own, modern-day Mexican males in the United States aren't real hombres until they have enough disposable income to afford a classic car, be it a bomb or boat. It shows you have money, you have taste, you know your way around an engine and you have an investment you can sell in a second if you ever need bail money for some primo or other.

Dear Mexican: What's so great about the USA? War, bad politicians, Social Security gone, stereotypes, drunken driving, gang wars, scary public schools, no respect for anybody who doesn't want to live the way they live. I know my family risked their lives so I could be born here, but I hate it. The jobs aren't that great and there's crime everywhere. How is that any different from the Mexico they left? Is the American dream over? Pocho ready to go

Dear Pocho: As I've written before, the United States basically is Mexico at this point without Aztec pyramids thanks to Republicans. Horrible violence (14,043 murders in the United States in 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal), an ineffectual government, stuck-up fresas who insist there's such a thing as "authentic" Mexican food — we've become Mexico in its worst manifestations. But is the American dream done? Not as long as we have Mexicans and other immigrants who flee bad lives and want to improve themselves in the country where it's historically been possible. That's becoming harder — net migration from Mexico to the United States has been nearly zero for the past couple of years — but the American dream will live as long as we have someone crossing the desert, as long as we have fake passports and as long as people willingly stuff themselves into cars for the opportunity to hear their gabacho bosses bitch about how horrible life is.

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