¡Ask A Mexican! for Apr 02, 2009
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Dear Wabette: You’re wrong. The mainstream media has spilled mucho ink over the North American Free Trade Agreement recently. The Right fears the free flow of Mexicans into the United States, while the Left has tracked the devastation the free market wrought upon a state-controlled economy. Meanwhile, the Mexican plain ol’ folk have spoken many times against NAFTA—with their feet.So, I’m in a Mexican restaurant, and it’s panic time: Here come the mariachis! What can I request so as to not appear to be a dolt by asking for the 12th “La Bamba” or (worse yet) “Guantánamera” of their shift? I want something the players will know, and be happy to play for a change. Maybe something a little dirty, even, or with a subtle anti-gringo inside joke? And please make it easy for me to remember. I’ll be drunk. Modern Luxury
Dear Gabacho: For once, the Mexican is stumped. Simply too many choices, amigo! You can get the mariachi happy by requesting “El Rey” (“The King”) or “Volver, Volver” (Return, Return) because it’ll fill them simultaneously with bravado and wussiness and encourage the audience to sing along with the chorus, but the Mexican finds these songs to be the “My Way” and “Freebird” of Mexican music. Personally, I like to ask for “La Malagüeña” (“The Lady from Malaga,” a song of love) and “Un Puño de Tierra” (“A Fistful of Dirt,” a Sartrean ditty of existential angst that goes wonderful with Herradura tequila). But I’m sure readers have better picks. OK, cabrones: What mariachi songs do you recommend? Give me the title and 50 words or less explaining its beauty and I’ll print the best picks for my Cinco de Mayo column!