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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ask Nezua 3: Why Learn About Other People?

grafik by Nezua GATHER ROUND, inquisitors of the Brown™, and peep the lingual Mexicon that I will now throw down. Brush off the seat, stretch out ya feet, and gobble los Googly lecciónes of Ask Nezua número three.

1. We kick off our newest Mex-Ed class with a question that surely is on everyone's mind these days.

Dear Nezua: Why is it important to learn about other people's beliefs and attitudes?


Dear Reader: Why, indeed. As you suspect, it is not really that important to learn about other peoples' beliefs and attitudes. On top of that, it's really too much work! I find it is much more efficient to simply form an image of other people based on your own existing ideas and sort of "fill in the blanks" with movies and Internet essays. This recent rush to "learn about other cultures" is simply overrated. It takes far too much time, and it only makes it more difficult to spread Democracy in those lands when the time comes for such necessary action. Which is why most of America prefers to study these places in-depth after the boots are on the ground. Ignorance is Bliss, as George W. Bush has said (or was that Churchill?) and La ignorancia es atrevida, Nez will now add: "Ignorance is courageous." I think you'll agree that bliss and courage are far better than having a few facts about other people!

However, if you are really set on understanding other peoples and cultures, the American system of learning about foreigners is the one requiring the smallest amount of personal expenditure or effort. Simply go about your life, and wait (it won't be long) until the Troops (or bombs) are dropped into any given nation—and before you know it, all kinds of neat facts about that country will begin to filter into American discourse! Before the toxic dust has settled or the schools are even rebuilt, new exotic clothing styles and foods will make their way into the Great Melting Pot of this versatile and accepting country, and you will become enriched without even working for it! I think of it like remote-control acquisition of culture.

2. Dear Nezua: I'm searching for a Big Ass Mexican Teacher.

Dear Reader: I understand. When a Hard-Headed Woman won't do, all that's left is a Big Ass Mexican Teacher. Because the truth of it is, absorbing culture at the rate that conquered lands osmotically provide it to America is too slow for some. Too incomplete for others. In these cases, a Big Ass Mexican Teacher is the best bet. Because trust me on this one, amigo: You will learn your lesson en esa cláse! Your hands may end up flat as tortillas, and your mouth may burn all day—reminding you of your new fiery truths—but you will learn. Or, least that was my last Big Ass Mexican Teacher. Perhaps your results will vary.

3. Dear Nezua: Did Mexicans invent underwear?

A. Dear Reader: ¡Ojo! You have stumbled onto a little known fact! I am impressed! You see, while the scope of this post is too narrow to cover the broad range of Undergarment Evolution and many think that the Australians are ultimately responsible for this, I can tell you that there is a little-known story involving a Mexican, a Whale and a Cigar that lays it all out truthfully. But perhaps I will tell that one next time. Not enough time today. And no, the whole loincloth thing doesn't count.

Regardless, I'm not sure what tipped you off to this much-disputed fact, but I'm glad you brought your question to me, rather than to your Big Ass Mexican Teacher. Probably a wise choice.

4. Dear Nezua: I hate Mexicans!

Dear Googler: This is only because you don't know enough about Mexicans. And that's not your fault. America has not formally invaded Mexico lately, and so the culture is only slowly coming to you. Give it a while. Sooner or later, a police action will be called for, or perhaps the American government's Mexican CIA-escapades will get more press, and then—Watcha!—a wide spicy smattering of Mexican culture will seep into your conversations, your mind, special sandwiches at chain restaurants, and even more television shows. Before you know it, you will find yourself saying "Hunh. Those Mexicans. They really are all right!" And not only when you are rolling up on Taco Bell bumpin' Control Machete from your subwoofers.

5. Dear Nezua: I want to get rid of Mexicans in America.

A. Ah, yes. A favorite search, it seems. Well, lucky for you, we already covered this one. Enjoy!

6. Dear Nezua: Can I call a Mexican a "Wetback"?

A: Dear Reader: Sure! Why not? I say begin with your Big Ass Mexican Teacher. And prepare to feel the love.

7. Dear Nezua: Are Mexicans a race of thieves?

A: Dear Reader: Hmmmm....I think so. I get it mixed up sometimes myself! Let's see...Blacks are..wait, no it's the Blacks who are thieves? Wait, no...sorry, that's wrong. OKay...Mexicans are lazy job-stealers...Chinese are—what do Chinese do again? Wait...Jews are the thieves? No, no...not thieves...but they do something with money.... Agh, I can't remember. I'm sorry, reader. I can't keep it straight.

I do know that Black Jewish Chinese Mexicans are rich, lazy, tiny, sexual, angry, thief-beasts who lounge about (and control) the Underground Pluribito Laundromat of the Cosmolitos, but aside from that, I just lose track. I may need to reeducate myself on the traits of each Race. I may need to get my self a Big Ass Mexican Teacher. Lo siento!

8. Dear Nezua: Why do White people celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

A: Well, Dear Reader, El Cinco de Mayo provides White Americans with a reason to drink Corona® beer, you see. Corona® beer is made by Grupo-Modelo of Mexico, which is actually half-owned by Anheuser Busch, and so half of the dollars spent on Corona® go to American growth. And it makes White Americans feel good to contribute to America's economy while at the same time toasting Mexico! Two birds with one stone.

Don't get me wrong, though. I don't mean to make light of the White Americans' embrace of Cinco de Mayo. It is true that from what I've seen at various Cinco de Mayo "keggers," that the victory of the Mexican rag-tag insurgents over the French colonizers at La Batalla de Puebla—the Battle of Puebla—means a lot to these people. And why wouldn't it? We Americans are especially proud of battles waged by indigenous peoples to drive out invading forces, as was done to Napoleon's troops on that fateful fifth day of May, in 1862. The fact that the French were well-armed and well-funded and the people of Puebla were eventually reduced to using farming tools, stones, and even stampeding animals to vanquish the occupying Francos makes the American heart swell with happiness. And so we raise our Coronas® to honor those strong and true Mexican people! ¡Bonjour, ese!

9. Dear Nezua: Can a White Person say "Ese"?

A: Dear Reader: Only if s/he is drinking a Corona® and wearing Mexican underwear, my friend. And only then.

10. Dear Nezua: I'm searching for hot, dirty, Mexican girls.

A: Dear Reader: Believe it or not, if you were to open up a Mexican girl, she does not have floor-swept-steaming ground beef, dusty chili fragments, or spoiled cornmeal inside of her. So much for the "hot" "steaming" "filthy" and other such dreams! I know you are convinced that somehow, she will be "dirty," as she is Mexican. I'm not sure why. Is it because of her fingernails having the dirt of tomato fields under them? Is her dirty body "hot" because of the strong sun that shines down on her bronze skin? Or do you find her actions "hot," like caring for the poor? I can't sure sure what entertains your mind, my Google-eyed friend, but if you really wanna get your rocks off, I suggest you one-hand-type your way over to this hot, stinking, dirty page. Mmmmm. Absolute filth. Beats me why it would excite you, but hey. Something for everyone, ¿que no?

11. Dear Nezua: Mexicans don't appreciate America.

A: Dear Reader: It makes me sad to hear this. Because I have to disagree with you! Mexicans very much do appreciate America. In fact, amigo, Mexicans appreciated America before you or your father did! They weren't always called Mexicans, of course. And again, we don't have time for the whole story, but it is safe to say that Mexicans and their antepasados, their ancestors, appreciated much of this land even before it was called "America"! I suggest you ask your Big Ass Mexican Teacher about the Spanish names of so many towns and states in America, as well as about their histories.

Either way, I think you can rest assured that Mexicans love and appreciate America no less than you love and appreciate Mexico. In fact, I'd guess even more so.

12. Dear Nezua: Why are Mexicans so ungrateful?

A: Dear Reader: Well, this is going to sound a bit extraño, but Mexico is short on good editors. You see, being a Hot Dirty Maid™ pays much better than Mexican publishing, and so you end up with a serious lacking of not only editors, but of the entire editorial staff. Proofreaders, factcheckers, assistants, etc. Because of this, lots of spelling errors get into the history books, and due to the lessons of history being typographically mangled, the Mexicans get a very different picture of American presence in the world. These Ungrateful Mexicans have not been instilled with the same clear-cut and properly pronounced visions that are inculcated within American children.

It's really that simple. Bad spelling. For example, what Americans call "The Mexican-American War" is often misspelled as La Invasión Norteamericano or even the Yanqui Invasión. The gratitude-inducing NAFTA Free Trade arrangement is often mispronounced as "El Stranglehold de Los Estados Unidos" or some other such Spanglish perversion. So I guess, like the rest of the Mexican Problem today, it comes down to being the Mexicans' fault for this gratitude imbalance! Mexicans just need to learn more English, as George W. Bush has said, quite brilliantly. And to be grateful, as you suggest, dear Reader. After all, without America, what would Mexico be right now?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little session as much as I have. See you next time, muchach@s!

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez blogs as the unapologetic mexican, and keeps returning to Taco Bell, even though it always makes him ill.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.