Argh. I'm Drowning in Español! | ¡Ask a Mexican! | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Ask a Mexican

Argh. I'm Drowning in Español!

Dear Mexican: I have no problem with immigrants. My grandparents were Dutch on one side and Irish on the other — but they came here legally, through Ellis Island. What I can't stand are a bunch of fence-hopping, river-wading illegals telling me I owe them a free education, free health care, and free transportation and then making me speak Spanish at every restaurant, car wash, and public school in the county. Making these people citizens simply because they're here is like letting someone keep my car just because he already stole it. — Angry Gabacho Goes Really Off

Dear AGGRO: Breathe. Relax. Wake up and smell the tacos. Your letter contains enough inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and logical fallacies to qualify as a quiz for high school rhetoric students. Primeramente, you begin by saying that immigrants don't bother you, then switch courses by bashing illegal immigrants. It's fine to distinguish between the two, but don't offer qualifiers when arguing a point — they weaken your conclusion. Also, illegal immigrants aren't demanding free anything — just amnesty for millions. But even if your assertion were true, you're forgetting the libertarian concept of TINSTAAFL (an acronym for "There is no such thing as a free lunch" popularized by Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman). Taxpayers foot the costs of "free" social services, and Mexicans want to join those ranks; hence, it doesn't follow that Mexicans seeking everything for gratis would rally for something that requires paying more for the right to live in this great land. Also, you didn't specify which county you live in, but no Mexican "makes" anyone speak Spanish. Ever heard of free will? If you're speaking bad español to get by, that's your choice, chulo. Finally, your stolen-car analogy commits an informal fallacy — it doesn't follow that a topic as complex as illegal immigration (driven by numerous economic, social, and governmental factors) is the same as jacking a ranfla, which involves only a nominal knowledge of hot-wiring. Most importantly, AGGRO: Where's my pinche question? Warning to all future submitters: Ask, don't rant, lest I reward you with the logical smackdown.

Just needed to know the reasoning behind the BLARING MARIACHI MUSIC AT 7 A.M. ON A SATURDAY MORNING. I am of Spanish descent (my father is Puerto Rican), and I wasn't raised around such BLASTING ACCORDION MUSIC when growing up. Just to add to this, my father also was a professional musician and played Latino music. So, what is it with the Mexi-tunes? Are they trying to wake up, or wake others up? — Boricua Baboso

Why are Mexicans so damned rude and inconsiderate when it comes to blasting that horrible, bass-pounding circus music when at home or in their unlicensed, uninsured cars? They pound that crap at all hours, not caring who they disturb. — Can't Hear Myself Think

Dear Boricua and Gabacho: Ustedes answered your questions without even knowing it. Boricua Baboso: The blaring in mariachi comes from trumpets, and have you ever heard one? The noise it makes ain't exactly rustling leaves. Accordions used in conjunto norteño are similarly loud and high-pitched — even at its softest, a squeezebox screams with all the subtlety of a siren (apologies for the alliteration). Can't Hear Myself Think: Although you didn't specify what kind of Mexican music qualifies as "circus," your reference to a heavy bass probably means you hate banda sinaloense, the brass band genre native to Sinaloa anchored by eardrum-exploding tubas. You can play these genres at the lowest possible levels and their natural reverberations would still shudder through walls, cars, and steel. Mexicans are used to the loudness, but not gabachos — with that knowledge in mind, every Banda El Recodo or Los Tigres del Norte track cranked up to Level 11 is payback for your white noise of talk radio pendejos. And Lou Dobbs — can't forget Lou Dobbs.

Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at [email protected]. Those of you who do submit questions: they will be edited for clarity, cabrones. And include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we'll make one up for you!

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano

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