Ask a Mexican

Crazy Like a Fox

Dear Mexican:

I am awestruck by the lack of anger from Mexicans for the Mexican government. Mexican leaders have forced Mexicans from their land. Mexico degrades its citizens like no other country in our hemisphere. The Mexican government and aristocrats despise the majority of Mexican people. The demonic lack of respect shown to Mexicans by Mexico should be shouted from the rooftops! Instead, all we hear is anti-American tripe from these new arrivals. Mexicans do not embrace the country that is their salvation. Pitiful lack of gratitude!

Every Zeitgeist Levels Nimrods

Dear EZLN:

Which Mexicans do you knock back Tecates with, EZLN? No Mexican I know -- and I know more Mexicans than the Border Patrol -- ever badmouths los Estados Unidos. Sure, most of them express a blind, chauvinistic nationalism for a homeland that screws them over again and again, but Mexican pride doesn't translate into "anti-American tripe."

But if you want Mexicans to trash their government, then I urge patience: You will get all the Mexican-against-Mexican anger you desire in 2010. That's when the cycle of revolution will sweep across Mexico again. Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla clanged the bells from his church in Dolores, Guanajuato, in 1810 to signal the start of Mexico's War of Independence from Spain. One hundred years later, Francisco Madero provoked the Mexican Revolution with his Plan de San Luís Potosí, a call to arms against the dictatorship of General Porfirio Díaz.

Who knows what awaits Mexico in four years? But the Mexican can guarantee you two things, EZLN: It'll be bloody, and even more Mexicans will stream across the border than during the previous two wars.

Dear Mexican:

Whatever happened to the "lazy Mexican"? Now all I hear is that they're taking our jobs.

Ronnie Racist

Dear Gabacho:

Isn't that the stupidest paradox? Really: How can someone simultaneously be a yeoman and a layabout unless he's Shaquille O'Neal? But accusing ethnics of being both is America's most cherished immigrant insult. Every group felt its contradictory sting: Chinese (opium smokers or railroad coolies), Irish (drunks or ward bosses), Scandinavians (oafs or Vikings), Italians (slum dwellers or Mafiosi), Jews (rag-picking parasites or international bankers) and now Mexicans. The insult's popularity draws its venom from our Puritan forefathers, who considered life outside of labor sin. What's strange, though, is how modern-day gabachos forgot the Protestant work ethic long ago; meanwhile, immigrants continue to pick up Max Weber's flame without forgetting to enjoy life. Bested in both work and pleasure, gabachos seethe, grow fat and elect evangelicals -- and don't get me started about faith without work and its relationship to American sloth.

Dear Mexican:

I ride my bike through a lot of Mexican neighborhoods, where it smells like farm animals. Why do Mexicans keep livestock (mostly chickens and goats) in their yards? Are the animals raised for a more economic supply of food? Are they considered pets? And doesn't the property owner have to apply for special zoning for that in an otherwise totally normal residential neighborhood? I also wonder if it is sanitary (for animals and owners) and safe to have these animals kept on such small properties.

La Vaca Gorda

Dear Fat Cow:

Many municipal codes today allow residents to keep some farm animals -- mostly chickens, in small numbers. Never mind the laws, though: Don't you want fresh milk and eggs daily? Or a monthly feast of goat cooked in an earthen pit? How about still-steaming chorizo? Mexicans like their food fresh, free of preservatives and free-ranging. Put us and our barnyard in Napa or Chiapas, we're "organic farmers." Put us in a residential neighborhood, we're "wetbacks."