Skip to comments.Mexican culture about more than beer commercials (CULTURES CLASH !!!!!)
Posted on 05/04/2012 10:32:59 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
Last summer, the family and I found ourselves in Durango, Colo., in the southwest corner of the state. Thinking to take in a bit of the local pageantry, we headed to the Bar D Chuckwagon for dinner.
It was exactly what youd expect outdoor seating, cowpokes ladling out hearty food on metal plates: chicken and steak, beans and biscuits. Our tablemates were mostly retirees, and while our politics were, shall we say, not in harmony, we managed to carry on general conversation without taking our butter knives to each others throats. Respect the elderly, I told myself, repeatedly, through gritted teeth.
After dinner came entertainment, in the form of the Bar D Chuckwagon Wranglers, an energetic quartet of men representing the old-time Roy Rogers school of country music, with big cowboy hats and big belt buckles and kerchiefs jauntily tied around their necks.
We knew we werent in Chicago anymore when they launched into a parody of Old McDonald Had a Farm, only this was a misfit farm populated by crippled animals a stuttering cow, a harelip dog, a lisping snake (with a hith hith here, and a hith, hith there) that sounded remarkably like the stereotyped parody of gay mens speech youd hear served up as humor in the 1970s.
My wife and I exchanged glances. What to do? When in Rome, all in good fun, right? Besides, what could we do? Storm out of the Bar D Chuckwagon because its show offended our finely tuned, big-city, liberal sensibilities?
Then came Low Riders in the Sky, a parody of Ghost Riders, sung in a thick Cheech & Chong growl. Their tires were all on fire, and their hubcaps they did steal. . .
The crowd roared those funny Hispanics and their low-slung, hoppin, stolen cars!
I couldnt have been more surprised if the Wranglers had come out in blackface and straw hats, strumming banjos and singing about watermelons and the Swanee River.
It bothered me enough to consider going up to the owner, who joined the Wranglers onstage for a few final tunes, to explain that it is the 21st century now, perhaps time to put away the crude racial stereotypes. But I couldnt imagine that conversation going well, and besides, the Arizona border was 100 miles away. Who knows how theyd react out here?
Since then, it occurred to me that this kind of prejudice may not be safely limited to the Southwest. Recently, I visited the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. And was reminded that maybe we arent as far removed from Low Riders as wed like when, thinking to share my thrilling columnists life with my Facebook friends, I went to write in the update section that I was on my way to the museum. But before I did, I had to pause, worrying about what might get written in my absence, concerned that just the word Mexican would spark something ugly from all the otherwise pleasant Chicago-area folk trading photos of comic squirrels on Facebook.
I decided to risk it. My Facebook friends did not let me down, and the National Museum of Mexican Art turned out to be a revelation. I dont want to say that beforehand I thought of Mexican culture as big sombreros, Lucha Libre and the cucaracha; but the truth is, if you put a gun to my head and asked me to name three Mexican artists, Id be a dead man.
The museum is spacious and airy and colorful no white walls here, but shades of tangerine and fuchsia and robins egg blue.
Mexico is about color, said museum founder and president Carlos Tortolero, who showed me around. The place is small it isnt the Art Institute but whats there is filled with engaging contemporary and political art, sweet Day of the Dead tableaux and pieces with a wry worldliness and humor, such as Mona Lupe, Cesar Martinezs delightful blend of the Mona Lisa and the Virgin of Guadalupe. The museum is fun, has a great gift shop, and admission is free.
Its always been very important to us to be free, said Tortolero.
Cinco de Mayo is Saturday a historical holiday commemorating a military victory. But also a day that has been embraced by beer companies as just another party Halloween for Hispanics. Which on its face is fine. But it could also be something more. Mainstream Americans could use the day as an opportunity to learn a bit about a complex culture that is either unknown or maligned by too many of us. Hispanic immigrants are going to increasingly define the U.S. over the years to come. Their public face who they are or seem to be for too long has been set by the Bar D Chuckwagon Wranglers crowd, all too eager to use the illegal entry of a few to indict everybody else, and as a free pass to let their wildest racist fantasies roam. America needs to do a better job of understanding this culture that were absorbing every day, and a visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art is a great place to start.
A fine idea!!!! A better one, though, would be for Mexican-Americans to learn about our American culture - it is, after all, a two-way street.
Where’s the link?
I do Oktoberfest at the Chicago Berghoff every year !!!
A N D.....
They are HERE in OUR country, not the other way around!
I have been in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo. Down there it is a day like any other day. Nobody observes it and nobody takes the day off. However September 16th (Mexican Independace Day) is like New Years Eve and our 4th of July combined. Cinco de Mayo is strictly for us gabauchos. Maybe tomorrow I will drink a Tequila Mint Julip as I watch the Kentucky Derby.
I've heard that it is a bigger deal near Puebla where the battle was fought. One winning battle in a losing war which ends with yet another country marching its troops through your capital and putting in a new government isn't exactly a party occasion.
Gads, this guy’s a whiney putz.
“a lisping snake (with a hith hith here, and a hith, hith there) that sounded remarkably like the stereotyped parody of gay mens speech youd hear served up as humor in the 1970s.”
Sometimes, a snake is just a snake.
When I think of Mexican Culture, I think of the hot actresses on the Mexican soaps they show on the Spanish channel.
So much for the tolerance and appreciation of the local culture.
If it’s Muslims mutilating their daughter’s genitals - no problem. Southwesterners poking fun at a protected group - oh, the horror.
I’m sure this whiner is equally offended when his leftist friends malign all things southern. Right, Neil?
If I’m ever in Durango I know where I’m going.....
The funny part is that most Mexicans or Americans with Mexican ancestry don’t drink Corona. They call it Mexican Budweiser, and not as a compliment.
A "guy" writes a description using these colors?!?!?
Say, did you hear about the snake family that was so poor they didn't have a pit to hiss in?
Hot! Hot! Hot!
And at 35°C the weather is pretty warm too.
Why is it that the Mexican-Americans, celebrate 5/5 in our country but not in Mexico, We used to live in Laredo Texas. 5/5 was just another day. No Viva La Squat.
If Detroit were fire-bombed, no one would be able to tell.
If Chicago were napalmed over-and-over, no one would care.
So now all lispers are gay?
Is this from 1972?
Technically they won the war. Eventually.
Though to a considerable extent because General Sheridan moved an army to the Texas border and the USA suggested to the French that they might want to start looking for transport back to Europe.
It's kind of sad the Frogs didn't decide to fight it out. The Union Army would have gone through them in nothing flat.
Cinco de Mayo weather woman looking good
I do like Negra Modelo, though!!
This woman apparently doesn’t use her hands to point out features on the map.
“Mainstream Americans could use the day as an opportunity to learn a bit about a complex culture that is either unknown or maligned by too many of us.”
Unknown? Hardly. It’s in our face everyday in every town USA, graffiti and all.
(”Hispanic immigrants are going to increasingly define the U.S. over the years to come. Their public face who they are or seem to be for too long has been set by the Bar D Chuckwagon Wranglers crowd, all too eager to use the illegal entry of a few to indict everybody else, and as a free pass to let their wildest racist fantasies roam. America needs to do a better job of understanding this culture that were absorbing every day, and a visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art is a great place to start.”)
Typical Liberal, seeing they do not see and hearing they do not understand. I’ve lived in Durango a ways back and what you experienced at the Bar-d was obviously way over your head and you’d be described by the locals as simply just another TOUR’I. Not from here (obviously). The Mexican culture is as diverse as our own and they laugh at themselves as we do ourselves. What if you’d instead visited
one of the tourist trap resturants with the singing sombrero
big guitar foursome that is done to death, talk about stereotype (you’d have loved it) that’s as fake as can be.
Instead you should have gone to “Geutiereses” (horrific spelling) pronounced goo,tee,air,es,es drive-in if it’s still there, for the most awesome fast food Mexican I’ve ever had Bar-none and you’d see how our cultures intertwine
and coexist. For Gods sake man Mexicans and Americans have been living together in Durango and all across the region for hundreds of years and they need you to critique their very existence with your Chicago big crime mindset? I think not. Go write about the Mobster clan in your own neck of the woods and their contribution to our culture as a whole or you could start a theme restaurant there where the waiter in an Obama mask comes to the table with a Tommy Gun and says “you’ll be enjoying the health care platter, won’t you”! At least the Durango folks know how to laugh at themselves. Please print a retraction or maybe just a “NEVERMIND”.
A "guy" writes a description using these colors?!?!?
Yeah, I would have used "hunter orange" and "gun metal blue." I don't know what color "fuchsia" is.
Look up The Battle of the Capes, September 5, 1781.
Without de Grasse and his French fleet, Cornwallis escapes the trap at Yorktown. Not to mention the contribution of 8,000 French regulars who fought alongside the Continental Line from 1780 on to victory at Yorktown.
The SAR continues to honor the French contribution to American independence.
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the U.S. much more than in Mexico. Mexican food is delicious, but if you eat a large Mexican meal with some good Mexican beer, you’ll discover a whole new level of lazy.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Time for another siesta!