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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Dear Mexican: Why do so many Mexican women feel so jealous when other Mexican women achieve success? I have to deal with this all the time. Please explain.

A Successful Mexican Woman

Dear Pocha: Because cishet patriarchy—DUH.

Dear Mexican: How do I get over my consciousness about being seen as a “sell-out” for dating a white guy?

I think if I were a receptionist, I’d feel less troubled, but I’m a professional and hate fitting into the stereotype of the successful Latina with the hyphenated last name. Is there any way that a chola from East L.A. and a surfer from Malibu would not be seen as an odd couple?

Loca Pero No Naca

Dear Crazy but Not Trashy: You’re not a sell-out for dating gabachos; you’re a vendida for thinking you’re better than others because you’re a “professional.” A secretary isn’t a professional? Maybe the Malibu crowd thinks you’re a maid, and perhaps the Eastlos crowd thinks your surfer is some hipster douchebag.

Dear Mexican: Why have you all kept Astrid Hadad such a secret? I just saw a show about her, and for God’s sakes! A woman who has a skirt that looks like a huge set of tits? THIS woman really, really needs a bigger audience for her act. Does she ever come to El Norte? Could you ask? Please? She has a wit like a razor for EVERYONE. Pretty cool—if nothing else, get her name out, as she is very cool.

Galloping Gorda the Pavement Crusher

Dear Gabacha: Haddad is a chingona, but there are a bunch of similarly subversive mujeres in Mexican music and performance art, from the days of Lola Beltrán and Gloria Trevi through the late, great Jenni Rivera and Rita Guerrero of Santa Sabina. There’s more to Mexican female art than Frida Kahlo, gentle cabrones.

Dear Mexican: My “Mexican” workmates get very excited to see go see Latin bands. (I say “Mexican,” because some have been here so long, they don’t speak Spanish well.) These people put salsa on the jukebox whenever they get a chance. They clamor for Mexi music at holiday parties. They seem to wrap themselves in the Mexican flag. I’ve seen their record collections, and there is a bunch of classic rock and reggae—but if it has Latin flavor, they’re all over it. They even start speaking with accents. We’re talking post-grad degrees, third- or fourth-generation.

Question: Why can’t they be motivated to see rock or reggae at free shows around town, but get so easily excited about Latin bands?

Bruja in HB

Dear Huntington Beach Witch: Because free rock or reggae shows tend to vale madre.

But I really don’t get your question. So you’re mad that assimilated Mexican Americans like Mexican music? Why aren’t you mad at Italian Americans for worshiping at the altar of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra? Or Southerners for wishing to see bluegrass remain as pure as a mountain spring in the Bluegrass? That’s right: Because they’re not Mexican. To paraphrase the old Annie Get Your Gun song, “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”—anything Americans can do, Mexicans can’t, because we’re just illegal alien savages to them. And they wonder why we planned the Reconquista …

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: My fiancé is trying to learn Spanish so he can speak to my grandmother when we get married next month. Lately, he’s been listening to CNN en Español to get an ear for the language.

A couple of days ago, he told me that, after several weeks of seeing the channel, he noticed there are ALWAYS chickens clucking in the background of the commercials. He wants to know: “What’s up with the chickens?” and, “Is worshipping chickens a Mexican thing?”

Madre Hen

Dear Wabette: Does your gabacho not speak English, either? Can’t he ask the Mexican a question on his own?

Not only that, but your gabacho is either a liar, or he mistakenly tuned into the Rural Farm Network for his Spanish lessons. I see CNN en Español and have never once heard chicken clucks during a commercial. In fact, the only time I can recall hearing chickens in the background of any program is when gabacho talk-show hosts rant about Mexicans. That sound clip cliché isn’t used exclusively for Mexicans, though: Entertainers have associated chickens with the poor since the days of vaudeville, and even famed reporter Borat Sagdiyev unleashed a chicken on unsuspecting New Yorkers in his recent documentary to hilarious results.

As for the chicken-worship question, your gabacho is wrong again: The Mexican reverence toward gallus domesticus is reserved for the gallo giro, the fighting cock. Rural Mexicans treat their hens as they treat their women: as purveyors of breasts, eggs and little else.

Dear Mexican: Not long ago, I attended a Los Tigres del Norte concert at a small hall with no dance floor. The people attending were supposed to sit down and enjoy the music. Five minutes into the show, these jumping beans started dancing in the aisle. Within minutes, half of the attendees were going up and down the aisles, dancing to the music. It’s not the first time I’ve seen Mexicans create improvised dance floors.

Why do Mexicans love dancing so much?

Lambada Louie

Dear Gabacho: Anyone who needs to ask why people dance to Los Tigres del Norte—the norteño supergroup that combines traditional polka beats with socially conscious lyrics to create something that’s part Clash, part Lawrence Welk and puro mexicano—has no soul, or is a gabacho. How can you not sway to their metronomic bass, their lush accordion trills, their canned sound effects, and member Hernán Hernández’s mexcelente Mexi-mullet?

Mexican music is among the most danceable outside Brazil, because its practitioners understand that nalga-shaking stirs humanity into the realm of ecstasy. Almost all the genres that constitute Mexican popular music—the aforementioned norteño, the brass-band strut of banda sinaloense, son jarocho’s twinkling harps and guitars, and even the dark riffs of Mexican heavy metal—put the focus on rhythms rather than lyrics. (The exception is ranchera, the domain of drunkards and macho pussy men.)

But dancing for Mexicans is more than a mere physical act. Every hallmark moment in Mexican society centers on dances—weddings, baptisms, informal gatherings, birthdays and anniversaries. More noteworthy are the dances held by hometown-benefit associations that raise billions of dollars for the rebuilding of villages in Mexico.

Tellingly, Mexican society does not consider girls and boys to be women or men until they begin to dance. Once they’re eligible to dance, Mexicans are eligible to take care of their community, too. Mexicans know that dancing solidifies trust, creates community, and repairs the injured civic and personal soul. Besides, it’s a great way for Mexican adolescents to grope each other in a parent-approved environment.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I’m reading the redneck rhetoric in one of your recent columns, and I feel retarded to continually be surprised by the hate posing as nationalism that so easily flows from mouths of these degenerates. At least we don’t have to worry about that “nice” stereotype like the Canadians.

Isn’t it possible that no one wants to make taxpayers out of all the illegals, because this would entitle them to minimum wage? I agree that if you’re going to enjoy the benefits of this country, you should maintain your culture, but also become a legal American citizen—but can we afford to actually pay full price for the labor foundation that we currently enjoy at such a discount?

Dr. W

Dear Gabacho: Interesting punto! Gabachos don’t want undocumented Mexicans to become American citizens, because they’re Mexicans, and they really feel that once we become the majority, we’ll rip out their hearts, wrap them in bacon and serve them as a breakfast burrito. And they also want us to remain perpetual peons, even if making us legal brings more money to the American economy.

A 2013 paper by the Center for American Progress found that if undocumented immigrants were granted legal status and the possibility of citizenship that year, the United States’ gross domestic product “would grow by an additional $1.4 trillion cumulatively over the 10 years between 2013 and 2022.” Not only that, but analysts Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford forecast the creation of 203,000 jobs per year in that time frame with amnesty. On the other hand, if said undocumenteds only got legal status in 2013, but weren’t eligible for citizenship for a decade, the GDP would grow by a relatively modest $832 billion.

That’s more of an economic stimulus package than Trump could ever possibly conjure up—but since gabachos hate truth nowadays, the prospect of amnesty long ago went the way of the Paris climate accords.

Dear Mexican: I’ve been to a number of Mexican-sponsored events that include the typical banda, those bands with 40 members and every instrument known to man. My question is: Why do those grupos bring such enormous speakers? For a party taking place in a backyard or a room that fits no more than 50, they’ll bring speakers large enough for a stadium.

And since we’re on the subject of bandas, why do they have so many friggin’ people in them anyway?

Split Eardrums, but Happy

Dear Gabacho: The more speakers any Mexican band use, the angrier gabachos will get. This isn’t rocket science, pendejo.

Dear Mexican: Why is it that if you call anybody from Latin America who’s not from Mexico a Mexican, they get mad? But everybody from Latin America calls any white person a gringo, no matter if they are Canadian, English, German, French, etc.

It seems to me that Latin Americans want to be called by their country of origin, but don’t give a crap about a white person’s country of origin. Would this be racism or prejudice?

Gringo Greg

Dear Gabacho: Because a “gringo” is technically a white foreigner regardless of country. Besides, spare me: You gabachos call us “illegals” even if our families have lived in Aztlán since your ancestors were dying of the Black Death.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I’m interested in a job that says it is a plus to have an understanding of Latin, Spanish and Mexican music. I found out names of musical styles such as Tejano, norteño, mariachi, banda, cumbia, merengue, flamenco and so on.

I’m wondering if there is a way to form a “good ear” for the different styles of music, and, if I’m asked, a way to learn how to explain the different styles of music on a structural basis—and know something about the artists in the different genres. I know they have introduction books and CD programs for classical and jazz, but was wondering if there was a similar one for Latin music—or some similar learning method. Can ya help a gabacho out here?

Also: Will this kind of knowledge give me an “in” with the Latin ladies, or does that just come with salsa-dancing?

Gabacho Who Seeketh Knowledge

Dear Gabacho: True story: An amigo of mine once texted me that he was going to a Romeo Santos concert and wanted to know who he was. I immediately texted back that he was going to chichis heaven: There would probably be 14,999 shrieking women—all of them 10s—to see the bachata superstar, and he’d be the only straight male. He replied that he wished he knew that information beforehand, because he had taken a date to the concert: “A 10,” he wrote, “but I’m surrounded by 12s!”

For the last time, men: Women in general love to dance, but it’s a requirement to love music if you want to bed a mexicana. You need to learn the slow groove of a cumbia, the flips of salsa, the hip-shaking beauty of meringue. You’ll need to know a proper waltz or polka to be able to dance to norteño and banda sinaloense—and all of it will lead to choni-melting abilities.

I’m not going to direct you, Seeketh Knowledge, to any books or CDs to learn Latin music’s many grooves, but rather urge you to become a quinceañera crasher—cute second cousins for días!

¡FELÍZ BIRTHDAY, ¡ASK A MEXICAN!

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of this infernal columna—10 pinche years already! The Mexican is not much for retrospectives—that’s a gabacho thing—but I do want to take a moment to offer thanks to a couple of cabrones: former OC Weekly editor Will Swaim, for giving me the idea for the column; Vice Media chingón Daniel Hernández, for writing the Los Angeles Times profile that changed my life; Scribner, for printing ¡Ask a Mexican! in best-selling book form; mi chula esposa, for all her support and pickling my peppers (and that is not a metaphor); Tom Leykis, for hosting a call-in-version of ¡Ask a Mexican! all these years (subscribe to his podcast at www.blowmeuptom.com); all the haters, whose vile words remind me why I started writing this in the primera place; my friends and familia, for the obvious reasons; and the Albuquerque Alibi, for being the first newspaper besides my home periódico to have the huevos to run the column. Lastly but not leastly: ustedes gentle readers, whose eternal curiosity about Mexicans makes this weekly rant an eternally rollicking bit of DESMADRE. To the next decade or 50!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican