¡Ask A Mexican! for Dec 16, 2010
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Dear CHULA: I’ve never heard of gras, but the linguistic phenomenon behind it is as common to Mexican Spanish as tamales are for Navidad. Elision is the process by which speakers drop vowels, consonants and even syllables over time to make pronouncing a word easier. It’s a natural evolution of language, but Mexican Spanish seems to favor it more than American English. Of course you can elide, CHULA! Turn para into pa’, Santa Ana into SanTana, Vicente to Chente, papa to ‘apa – and then go truly baroque by shortening vete a la chingada to ‘ta la chinga’! Sure, the custodians of Cervantes will sneer, but they haven’t mattered since… well, ever.Dear Mexican: Someone wrote you a while back wondering why Mexicans have made a mess of their beautiful country. You got all bent because he called Mexico a Third World country instead of “bottom tier” First World. I think you missed the point of the argument. Mexico should be much better any way you look at it. All you have to do to prove my view is look at New Mexico, the only state in the United States that is 50 percent Mexican. Look at the dropout rate, crime rate, corruption rate, etc. This is all in spite of the fact that New Mexico receives more money per person back for the federal government than any other state; it is still near the bottom of all the states in per-capita income. Chief Afraid-to-Use-Name
Dear Gabacho: Hello – NAFTA? American capitalism demand for cheap Mexican labor, which stunts Mexican economic growth by depriving it of workers? And why the Land of Enchantment hate? Give me its Blake’s Lotaburgers, its Hatch Chile Festival, a smothered burrito Christmas-style, and the Santuario de Chimayó any day over whatever dump you call home. Sure, New Mexico ranks 43rd in per-capita income, but that’s still much ahead of decidedly gabacho states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, and South Carolina. New Mexico places fifth-highest in terms of statesgetting federal pesos back – but ever figure it’s because of all those elderly gabachos and their Medicare and government facilities like the Los Alamos labs that suck up that cash?