Thursday, February 10, 2011
Dear Mexican: I’ve been watching you speak about your column; you keep reiterating that this is supposed to be a joke. I have a question for you: It would be okay for a Caucasian to speak in an insulting yet joking manner about Mexicans, right? When my daughter comes up to me and asks me why some of the girls at her school call her a white bitch, what am I to say when adults make it acceptable, that it’s a non-issue because she’s white? If it were the other way around it would be a big deal. I do not believe you understand the damage you create by making it socially acceptable to speak this way. - Tiger Mom
Dear Gabacha: I’ve never said my column is a pure joke – it’s a satirical response to the bigotry Mexicans must endure in this country. A joke’s only intent is to elicit laughs. For instance, did you hear the one about the guy who left a banjo in the back of his truck, only to return and find the windows shattered – and two banjoes? Okay, so bluegrass humor isn’t Seinfeld territory, but there are no ulterior motives behind the chiste other than a ridiculing of banjo players. Satire is humor laced with stinging facts and points to make specific commentaries attacking the status quo – think Twain, Colbert, Chapelle, and the mess that I make trying to copy them. And when have I ever said it’s okay to make fun of gabachos for their race?
You often use Spanish words and I would appreciate it if at the end of each column, you allot space to defining that Spanish. For most of us, the alternative will be to look it up on the Internet. It would be nice to learn a little bit about the language at the same time, and in the same context, that we are learning about the Mexican culture through your column. - Muchos Gracias (which means “Thank You”)
Dear Gabacho: No, you’re very much a gringo and a gabacho. I do love slipping in español words whenever possible, but I also make it a point to make easy-to-decipher choices. For instance, look at the Spanish words I’ve used so far. Tiempo? Use your cabeza – it’s “time,” as in the idiom “from time to time.” Cabeza? Head, as in “use your head.” Pretty fácil, right? In the rare cases I do use palabras that you can’t understand, keep reading – I’ll explain it sooner rather than más tarde.