Monday, March 19, 2007

El corrido de Alberto Gonzalez

El corrido (ballad) is a Mexican folk genre, part oral history, part cultural myth. It was a sure thing that sooner rather than later, the saga of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez would become the stuff corridos are made of. And here it is: a new corrido, to be moaned rather than sung. Ay.

El corrido de Alberto Gonzalez
By Lola la bloguera
Poor Alberto Gonzalez made his camino all the way to the top
His father was un borracho but his mama was requete wise
Al graduated from Harvard, was a Texas Supreme and knew about big planes
But then poor Alberto Gonzalez hitched his wagon to a poisonous bush
And although he made the White House and became the country's A.G.
his jefe, el patron The Decider kept him on a very short leash
Now the big caca has hit all the fans and Al gets kicked in el tush
The serious hombre de San Anton gets thrown to the lobos
all because he hitched his wagon to a poisonous bush
Ay ay ay, adios Al Gonzalez you'll go back to las siembras tejanas
Aunque republicano, once we were proud of you for all that you achieved
but it now seems you were too brown-nosed even for the White House
y ahora pronto to esperan potatos, tomatos and chiles picantes
but Lola just wonders what would Molly Ivins have said about all this
Ay, ay, ay. . .

Sick and tired of immigrant bashing

I don't know about you, but my bilirrubina gets sky high every time I see the same TV news clips showing people jumping over border fences over and over again. (I swear I've seen that guy in the red shirt jump over about 150 times.) The current anti-immigrant paranoia affects all Latinos -- even if you are an American citizen who's been here forever. But the nativist rantings of so many is nothing new in American history. At one point or another, almost every immigrant group, from Germans and Irish to Chinese and Japanese, have suffered the slings and arrows of bigots and ignoramuses. Check out Same Old Song, a fascinating article on nativism by Daniel Tichenor in The Nation magazine.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ask a Mexican Answers

Gustavo Arellano reacts to my machismo comment (see Ask a Mexican post below) by sending this link to a column he did on the subject a while back.
Soon I'll be blogging on the subject of Latino comedians' penchant for vulgar and sexist humor--not to mention stereotyping our own gente. Not funny, amigos...

The Trouble With Diversity

Are we being fooled by the illusion of "diversification"? A few weeks ago, I saw Walter Benn Michaels discussing his book, The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality, in C-SPAN's BookTV, and something he said caught my attention. He said, more or less, that diversification of the elite doesn't change anything if all it means is "people of different colors saying the same thing."
Michaels writes in The HuffingtonPost: "Diversity is useful. But what it's mainly useful for is selling people a bill of goods, the main one being the idea that as America becomes an increasingly unequal society, everything will be OK if all the rich people -- like the stars of TV shows and the executives on Madison Ave -- come in the right colors. Right now America leads the developed world in income inequality and the top 1% of American families is richer than the bottom 90% -- would those facts be less disturbing if the 1% were black and brown as well as white and yellow?" But Slate Magazine's Alan Wolfe takes issue with Michaels propositions in his article, "Should We Shut Up About Diversity?" .
What do you think?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ask a Mexican

Gustavo Arellano tries to explain Mexicans to gabachos in his weekly Ask a Mexican column in the Orange County Weekly. His answers to readers' letters are witty, outrageous, clever and quite intelligent most of the time, but too often his machismo rears its ugly head and ruins the whole thing. A book of his columns is coming out May 1 (Ask a Mexican, Simon & Schuster, $20 hardcover).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fear of Foreign Tongues

Xenoglossophobia—fear of foreign languages—is a communicable, but curable, disease.

“Speak American! You’re in America now.” I’ve heard this more than once from total strangers who’ve heard me speak in Spanish to someone else.

The first time it happened, the rudeness and ignorance of such a statement left me speechless. I didn’t know what to say, but by the second time, I had my comeback ready: “Do you mean Navajo? Dakota? Choctaw? Nahualt? Sorry. Wish I could, but I only know two European languages: English and Spanish.” That always leaves them speechless. read full column, titled "Speaking in Tongues," go to the New York Daily News website.

UPDATE: Sheila Donnelly writes on this subject in the Austin Daily Herald. Douglas Bower, an American living in Mexico talks about how American "expatriates" (they never call themselves "immigrants when living abroad) don't want to learn Spanish. Go to ezinearticles to read his column.

Dolores dice

Latin-style tongue-in-cheek advise for the lovelorn, the forlorn and the just torn. From Latina magazine.
Dolores dice June/July 2007
Dolores dice May 2007
Dolores dice April 2007
Dolores dice March 2007

Dolores dice February 2007
Dolores dice Dec. 06/Jan. 07

Monday, March 12, 2007

Do Latina Blondes Have More Fun?

Belen Aranda Alvarado, a dark-haired Latina, reaches for the bleach as an experiment in ethnic identity. Published in The Washington Post Magazine, Sunday, March 11, 2007.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pimp My Wallet

A trillion dollars.
That's what Latino purchasing power, currently at $700 billion, will be in about three more years. That's a lot of dinero to spend and businesses, big and small, are bending over backward to sell us stuff - sometimes our very own stuff, chewed on, regurgitated and repackaged to catch our eye.
From dulce de leche ice cream to piña colada toothpaste to sangría eye shadow and tropical fruit laundry detergent, we're bombarded with products that are familiar, semi-familiar or just plain make-believe familiar. read my full column, go to the
New York Daily News website.