Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

News: If a petition meant to derail a $280 million streetcar project in downtown San Antonio isn’t successful, two... By Mark Reagan 7/23/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Broadway 5050 is Back, with Drink Specials to Prove It

Broadway 5050 is Back, with Drink Specials to Prove It

Food & Drink: Since 1947, Broadway 5050 has been an Alamo Heights staple. An unfortunate grease fire shut down the neighborhood bar and restaurant last summer for about... By Miriam Sitz 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

ASK A MEXICAN

¡ASK A MEXICAN!

Photo: , License: N/A


Dear Mexican: Is it just me, or has what to call our friends from south of the border become a  partisan  issue? While taking in both political conventions over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that Republicans invariably use the word "Hispanics" while Democrats are far more likely to say "Latino/a." What gives? Is there some nefarious semantic plot afoot, such as when rightwing commentators dropped the "ic" from "Democratic?" Or is there a more innocent explanation? How do Hispanics and/or Latinos refer to themselves?
— Ensuring my future in brown America

Dear Gabacho: Man, I can write a whole book on your pregunta — and I did! It's called Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America — so let me be brief. While you over-generalized a bit — Latinos from the East Coast tend to call themselves "Hispanics" regardless of political affiliation, while Republican Latinos usually call themselves vendidos — you're on to something. It's not just a political ideology litmus test but also a gabacho one, and it boils down to is this: any gabacho who calls brownies "Hispanics" is usually clueless about them, while any gabacho who calls us "Latinos" is a fellow traveler of the Reconquista. Voila — there's your explanation to why the GOP favors "Hispanic," while Dems like "Latino"! A gross generalization, yes, but apply this rule to the gabachos, Democrats, and Republicans in your life, and I guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised!

What is the relationship with the Chicano culture to the song "Crystal Blue Persuasion?" I've seen Tommy James and the Shondells perform it numerous times and never got goosebumps or teared up or anything. But Chicanos ALWAYS request that song, Why? What is the connection? Did Tommy James have a Chicana heina on the side and it's about her? Was it a 1970s drug, a bottle of wine (like Boone's Farm)? What? Dime, por favor!
— Mc cuervo

Dear Readers: It's rare I break my pseudonym rule, but I'm doing it for MC Cuervo, whose real name is Danny Valenzuela and co-hosts along with Ricky O the "Latino Soul Party" every Friday night on KUVO-FM 89.3 in Denver and worldwide on publicbroadcasting.net/kuvo. It's an awesome show spinning the best oldies-but-goodies and new Latin Soul tracks — puro DESMADRE, so tune in! Anyhoo, I'm surprised that MC Cuervo doesn't know his Chicano-soul history: while it's true that hippy-dippy gabachos Tommy James and the Shondells recorded the first (and best) version of the best-seller in 1969, multiple soul groups with a Chicano fan base quickly covered it, as did Latin soul pioneer Joe Bataan. From there, it lived on in muchos oldies-but-goodies compilations, including Art Laboe's Dedicated to You and Oldies but Goodies anthologies, in Thump Records' Old School Love Songs album, and even that Barrio Oldies series with the pink covers that everyone's cholo cousin had a pirated version of in the 1980s. It got a new lease on life in 1990, when A Lighter Shade of Brown incorporated it into its classic "On a Sunday Afternoon," and just got major play on Breaking Bad. But the question remains — why do Chicanos love the song so much, and how did it transition into the pantheon of Chicano-favored oldies-but-goodies? It's basically a Mexican song — the bongos and the acoustic guitar arpeggios come from Latin America, while the dreamy electric guitar and dramatic organ riffs sound like "96 Tears" (another Chicano classic) after a couple of bong hits and the horns and harmonies straight out of Eastlos. Perfect cruising music and perfect love song equals a canción that's more Mexican than Vicente Fernandez's mustache.

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano, or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • 7 Public Art Projects Worth Searching For You’re likely familiar with the high-profile works of public art on view around downtown San Antonio: the gigantic, red swoop of... | 7/23/2014
  • ‘The Other Side’ Tackles the Impossible: Writing about trauma I didn’t take any notes while reading The Other Side because by the time I paused to pick up a pencil, I was already three-quarters of the way through. And for... | 7/23/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): A report in the prestigious British medical journal BMJ says that almost one percent of young pregnant women in the U.S. claim to be... | 7/23/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus