Thursday, November 18, 2010
Dear Wab: One of the few jokes the Mexican knows – and it’s not even a joke, but more of a humorous observation – is that an Argentine is an Italian who speaks Spanish and thinks he’s British. It’s this supposed superiority complex that gets Mexicans’ chonis in a bunch, but I have news for you: all Latin Americans think they’re superior to other Latin Americans, and all of them think everyone else is snooty (ask a Colombian about Venezolanos). Mexis and Argies have no real historical beef outside of soccer, and our countries are more similar than either side would admit to. They welcomed Nazis; we gave Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky a home. Their caudillos (Juan Manuel de Rosas, the Perons, Leopoldo Galtieri) were as buffoonish as ours, but more homicidal. They waged a disastrous war against England for a couple of islands (las Islas Malvinas to the carajos, the Falklands to the rest of humanity), while our efforts to keep Aztlán went laughable. And while Soda Stereo was a great rock en español band, I’ll take Café Tacuba over them any day. So, Mexicans and Argentines: no need to play the superiority game among ourselves – we’re equally jodidos.
I’m thinking of moving to Mexico. I’m a first-generation Mexicano. Speaking with my parents about moving, they’re absolutely against it, insisting that it’s violent and that I should be proud of being an American. I’m not looking to lose my American-ness, but just want to add some more Mexicano to it. Is there a movement of people of Mexican descent moving to Mexico? I am Not Joaquín
Dear Wab: No need to move to Mexico if you’re looking for more Mexican – just move to Los Angeles! El Paso! The non-racist parts of Tucson! Chicago’s Little Village, or even Pilsen! This happens to ALL children of Mexican immigrants. Eventually, we all feel we lack in cultural authenticity and seek out our roots, usually by returning to the towns of our ancestors. Snap out of it, cabrón. You didn’t tell me much about who you are, so I’ll peg you as a pocho desperately trying to get in touch with his roots and think a jaunt in the rancho will have you being más macho than Chente. Eventually, we all feel we lack in cultural authenticity.