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Ask a Mexican! Special SA-Only Edition 

I always knew Gustavo Arellano was baaaaad.

His early LA and OC Weekly music reviews in the ’90s were the type of stuff that would scare even the most confident music critic. I and my fellow struggling rocanrol writers admired his work and liked him personally (he’s the coolest cat), but silently celebrated the fact that he spent most of his time in Orange County. That meant more work for us. His humor is hilarious, his sense of sarcasm, lethal. But none of us ever thought his ¡Ask a Mexican! thing would be so powerful and successful. Cheers to a good, talented guy who made it. And double cheers for the fact that Gustavo Arellano is officially visiting San Antonio for the first time next week (see details, this page).

Just make sure he goes back to LA.

Dear Mexican,

I’m a South American blue-eyed güero. Mexicanos ask me where I learned to speak Spanish, and gringos tell me they didn’t know there were white Mexicans. Whenever I fill out a form, I want to check both “White” and “Hispanic” boxes, but I can only check one, and the person behind the desk (whoever s/he is) looks at me as if I lied or something. What can I do? Who am I?

You are a chingón writer whom I’ve admired for years, and I’m wondering what the hell are you doing in San Antonio — come back to El Lay! Don’t bother with racial classifications — they’re for pendejos.

What are you doing in San Antonio, anyway? Or I should say any güey? You get it? You get it? Ha-ha.

I’ve been invited by San Antonio College to speak to its student body `Ed. note: and the general public`. It’s my first visit to the city, and I’ve been getting bugged by residents to visit ever since the Current began running my column. Also: I need puffy tacos!

By the way, why don’t you move to SA, as many starving, formerly well-off Angelenos are doing? LA’s too expensive and you can’t eat gorditas there, can you?

Of course I can eat gorditas — my mami makes the best ones. And how dare you accuse me of being an Angeleno — might as well call me a Guatemalan ...

What’s that about you writing a Tex-Mex cookbook? I hear there is no such thing as “Tex-Mex food,” just like there is no such thing as real Mexican food in the U.S. Please enlighten me.

Not a cookbook, but a history of Mexican cuisine in the United States — how it’s become a multibillion-
dollar industry, its best manifestations, and the like. Tex-Mex, of course, plays a huge part in this story. Won’t be out until 2011, so everyone: Buy my other books in the meanwhile!

¿Quién es más macho? David Beckham or Cuauhtémoc Blanco?

Blanco, totally. Beckham es una fresa! •


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June 2, 2021

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