Opinion: One man’s take on his culture’s stereotypes
¡Ask a Mexican!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
SPECIAL LONG-LETTER EDITIONDear Mexican: I live in a little village in England in a house that’s 200 years old, just down the hill from a tiny church that’s so old that it was actually built before God said “Let there be light,” thus proving that Stephen Hawking is a blowhard. The only industry around here, apart from digging potatoes and interfering with cows, is the cement factory, and that has been taken over by Mexicans. It used to be Rugby Cement and now it’s CEMEX. Not much changes around here, and people don’t much like change, but there was an expectation that the new management of the cement works might liven the neighbourhood up; that mariachi bands would stroll the streets; that burros would appear, ridden by sleeping guys in sombreros; that the night’s quiet would be split by the thrumming of guitars, shouts of “Andalay! Andalay! Arriva! Arriva!” and the crackle of brisk exchanges of gunfire as executives settled their budgets for the new financial year. None of this has come to pass. In fact, no Mexicans have been seen in the village at all, despite the village pub having legendary chili nights. Is CEMEX an illusion? A mere corporate fiction that is actually run from Lichtenstein with Arab oil-money? Or are the Mexican managers all brujos who can make themselves invisible by drinking concoctions of jalapeños, tequila and dried armadillo brains from scooped-out human skulls? We need to know the answers to these questions, lest the peace at the heart of England be disturbed, and the beat of Drake’s drum be heard faintly on the breeze, calling, calling. Toodle-pip, old chap! --Baron Botolpho Winkletje van der Griezels
Dear Limey: Isn’t it great that the Reconquista is now global, and that American stereotypes of Mexicans easily crossed the pond? And don’t think this Mexican has forgiven Genesis for their pendejada of a video for their song, “Illegal Alien.” But, yes: CEMEX (a syllabic abbreviation of the company’s original name, Cementos Mexicanos) is one of the world’s largest cement companies, born and headquartered in the city of Monterrey (whose natives are as notoriously stingy as your Scots). Other Mexican corporations with worldwide reach include Grupo Bimbo (bread makers), Televisa (creators of telenovelas) and the Mexican Nalga Fund.