I recently discovered your column through the wonders of technology. I want to congratulate you and ask for a favor. PLEASE don't use the stereotype of the overweight dirty revolutionary in the online logo for your column; it diminishes your work. If you don't agree with me, at least ask your readers what they think of the drawing. El Profe
Don't hurt my feelings that's a drawing of my papi, give or take a couple of pounds, whiskers and brown tones. Besides, I publish that portrait for a purpose. Yes, he's an ugly stereotype, but that happy wab is the Mexican that's been in the mind of gabachos for more than 150 years. Images like his have assumed an extraordinary, undeserved power to offend. By publishing the bandito archetype again and again, this Mexican hopes to lessen its sting and turn it into what it really is a portrait of my father, no more, no less.
But I'll take you up on the challenge, Profe. Awright, readers: What do ustedes think of this column's logo? Does it make you laugh? Cry? Am I a genius for using it? Vendido? I'll publish the best responses in an upcoming column. More important: What should I name him?
What's the deal with stupid upscale Mexican restaurants? They're popping up like corn smut. And pretty soon, the yuppies are going to get the idea that it's a sign of class to have your guacamole made to order at your table by some grinning hourly employee! I know there's supposed to be an upper-crust Mexico City foodie scene that these restaurants all claim to be "inspired by."
But come on! After you pay $15 for a fancy-ass margarita and then watch a waiter mash up your avocados, you're still going to end up eating the same old enchiladas or chicken mole. Trust a bunch of gabacho moneygrubbers to turn honest peasant food into the Next Big Thing. What's with the bougie pretense?
Why are you sore? Did someone mistake you for a waiter? Besides, what's wrong with Mexican food being the Next Big Thing? You're fine with our cuisine being treated like Mexicans? It's about time Mexican regional specialties such as mole, poc chuc and aguachile received serious culinary treatment from the nation's restaurateurs. Sure, it's a bit grating to see American chefs such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless make millions by appropriating centuries-old recipes, but they also expose Mexican cuisine to an audience much larger than your neighborhood taqueria. So let gabachos have their overpriced agave nectar and añejo tequila eventually, they'll patronize the real pinche deal. And then we get to rip them off.
Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at email@example.com.