¡Ask A Mexican! for Sep 09, 2010
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, September 9, 2010
SPECIAL MEXICAN INDENDENCE DAY EDITION
Dear Readers: ¡VIVA MÉXICO, CABRONES! Happy 200th cumpleaños to America’s favorite country, to the land of pretty señoritas and eternal economic crises, to the world’s greatest, drunkest bola de hijos de la chingada! Celebrate this Sept. 16, drive safe, and guys: Remember to wear a helmet before going into battle with a gabacha, if you coger my drift. On with the questions!
Dear Mexican: On the Fourth of July, my mother’s neighbors in Pico Rivera decided to rope off the street and have a block party. She was given a flier that said in English, “Come Celebrate Independence Day!” but on the flip side, in Spanish, it said, “Vengán a Celebrar el Día de la Manzana!” I’ve Googled my culo off and I can’t find any reference to celebrating Apple Day in July. Is this just a made-up holiday by illegal immigrants so they can party down on the Fourth and still thumb their noses at the gringos by NOT celebrating American Independence Day? It doesn’t make sense – my wife’s family snuck over here illegally in the 70s and they always looked forward to the 4th of July barbecues, etc., and the only Apple Day I can find is in Great Britain in October. My mom said that if they had put “Independence Day” on the flier, they would have all shown up two months late on Sept. 16. What gives?
-Ready to Pop Some Picollo Petes
Dear Wab: I think what we see here is what Chicano scholars like to call rasquache: the uniquely Mexican art of creating beauty from crap. I’m talking black velvet Elvis portraits, additions to homes, fitting 19 to a car, the entirety of Mexico City, and the comedic styling of George Lopez – all rasquache. In this case, it seems your neighbors apply rasquachismo to semiotics by associating the Fourth of July with apple pie and creating a new nickname for the holiday, so don’t take offense. Hey: at least they translated the invitation, instead of the usual gabacho ruse of calling the police when Mexis start parking on lawns because they invited too many people to the house again.