Here are a few questions for the Mexican: 1. Why are wages so low in Mexico? 2. Why is Mexico such a violent country? 3. Why is Mexico so corrupt? 4. Why have the drug cartels taken over large swaths of Mexico? 5. Why can't one drink the water in most towns in Mexico? 6. Why are there so few public libraries in Mexico? 7. Why are Mexicans so fat? 8. Why is public education in Mexico so miserable and pathetic? In many years of working there, I have yet to come across a worker who could multiply, divide or read a map. 9. Why don't more Mexicans up here go into physical science and engineering? 10. If you are a Mexican, why are you here? Is it possibly due to 1 through 8 above?
— Dickhead in Denver
Dear Gabacho: Answers 1-4 are easy: United States. Número 5 is bullshit — though water quality isn't pristine in Mexico, it's not at California levels of scarcity yet. And we'd be better if the U.S. didn't muck up the water in the Rio Grande, steal the water from the Colorado River, and have factories making cheap products headed to the U.S. that use up precious water and foul up the rest of the supply. No. 6 is a flat-out crock of mierda: Mexico has roughly 6,000 public libraries, .049 libraries per 1,000 Mexicans — barely below the U.S.'s .052 per 1,000 Americans. Spare me 7, since the U.S. and Mexico have flip-flopped for the crown of world's fattest nation for over a decade now — and it's all the U.S.'s fault. For No. 8, U.S., just for the hell of it. I'm not sure how to answer No. 9, because the same could be said of American students — why else are we importing un chingo of Indians and Chinese? Finally, Mexicans are here to make a better life for themselves — thanks to los Estados Unidos.
I'm a gabacho, but I've been loving menudo for about 45 years. What are your thoughts on why menudo is the Food of the Gods?
— I Ain't Mexican but Mi Estómago Damn Well Is
Dear No Soy Mexicano But My Stomach Sí Es: You are one smart gabacho! Most of your ilk only think of the tripe soup as an edible donkey show: a horrific, disgusting artifact of a horrific, disgusting people. But menudo is so much more than boiled cow guts or something to soak up the booze that fueled your previous night. Menudo is a socio-historical lesson in a bowl: the fat, pale kernels of pozole have nourished Mesoamericans since time immemorial; the use of tripe and not the better parts of a cow is a testament to its status as a poor person's meal. Menudo is delicious, the trinity of firm pozole, chewy tripe and fiery, blood-red broth producing a comforting, fatty flavor. More important, menudo is amor. It's the soup Mexican women slave over for their hungry families on weekend mornings, the dish over which families unite and teens fall in love as they pitch woo along with the wicker of tortillas. Menudo nowadays exists in can form, but that's heresy. True, menudo is a difficult feat, taking hours to create, but it comes with a payoff that transcends taste buds and strives for the sublime. Will menudo cure a hangover? No doubt. But if that's all you eat it for, then you truly don't know love.
I'm writing to ask about an epiphany I had recently about government-sponsored clamors for crackdowns on immigration, especially against members of a certain race/creed/color/ethnic group. It seems to me that whenever there is a cacophony of support for deportation and closing our borders, there's also a war going on that's going rather badly for us. Is this just coincidence, or is there more to it?
— A Farewell to GúantanaManzanArms
Dear Pocho: You're off. World Wars I and II went splendidly for us, but that didn't stop Americans from demonizing Germans in the Great War and interning Japanese-Americans (and more than a few German- and Italian-Americans) in the Good War. If anything, it's when wars are going bad for us that the American government makes a push for Mexicans in the military — look at what's happening during this War on Terror, or the Vietnam or Korean wars. To paraphrase South Park, call it Operation Get Behind the Beaners.
Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be a fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or Instagram @gustavo_arellano!