By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Dear Mexican: Im a first-generation mexicano, and Im thinking of moving to Mexico. My parents are absolutely against it, insisting that its violent and that I should be proud of being an American. Im not looking to lose my American-ness, but just want to add some more mexicano to it. Is there a movement of people of Mexican descent moving to Mexico? I Am Not Joaquín
Dear Wab: No need to move to Mexico if youre looking for more Mexicanjust move to Los Angeles! El Paso! The non-racist parts of Tucson! Chicagos Little Village barrio, or even Pilsen! You didnt tell me much about who you are, so Ill peg you as a pocho desperately trying to get in touch with his roots, and I think a jaunt in the ranchowill have you being más macho than Chente. (Quick aside: gabachos? This happens to ALL children of Mexican immigrants. Eventually, we all feel we lack in cultural authenticity and seek out our roots, usually by returning to the towns of our ancestors. But we return with little more than rancho gossip and a teenage wifewere still American at the end of the día, a fact for which we overcompensate by renaming ourselves in Nahuatl or getting an Aztec calendar tattoo.) Or, maybe youre not a pocho but instead a child of immigrants who accompanied his parents on annual trips to their native villages, and you have a romanticized view of how life in Mexico is gracias to spending a couple of weeks during holidays, when all the expatriates have returned to show off what theyve earned in el Norte. Snap out of it, cabrón. Mexicans do move back to Mexico all the time, of coursethe Pew Hispanic Center report Mexican Immigrants: How Many Come? How Many Leave? cited stats provided by Mexicos National Survey of Employment and Occupation that figured 433,000 Mexis returned to la patria from February 2008 through February 2009, a figure slightly below previous yearsbut ever given it any thought as to why your parents left their home country and never returned?
Dear Mexican: Why do you think Argentinians think they are superior to Mexicans and other Latin Americans? Could it be because they have a British island? Che Chingón
Dear Wab: One of the few jokes the Mexican knowsand its not even a joke, but more of a humorous observationis that an Argentine is an Italian who speaks Spanish and thinks hes British. Its this supposed superiority complex that gets Mexicans chonis in a bunch, but I have news for you: All Latin Americans think theyre superior to other Latin Americans, and all of them think everyone else is snooty (ask a Colombian about venezolanos). Mexis and Argies have no real historical beef outside of soccer, and our countries are more similar than either side would admit to. They welcomed Nazis; we gave Che Guevara and Leon Trotsky a home. Their caudillos (Juan Manuel de Rosas, the Perons, Leopoldo Galtieri) were as buffoonish as ours, but more homicidal. They waged a disastrous war against England for a couple of islands (las Islas Malvinas to the carajos, the Falklands to the rest of humanity), while our efforts to keep Aztlán went laughable. And while Soda Stereo was a great rock en español band, Ill take Café Tacuba over them any day. So, Mexicans and Argentines: No need to play the superiority game among ourselveswere equally jodidos.