Gustavo Arellano's grounbreaking column Ask a Mexican is saying adiós. Sniff. Sniff. If you've been unaware about what its column's been all about for the last four years, you can always catch up at the OC Weekly's archive--the Orange County alternative newspaper where the Mexican's column was born--or click here to buy the first compilation of columns published in the form of a book (a second installment is planned for release in September).
Aiming to explain and translate the vast complexities of la mexicanidad that we Mexican immigrants have brought over the fence to mainstream America, Arellano has grown, in my humble opinion, into some sort of Carlos Monsiváis for the 21st. century when it comes to analyzing mexicanos. The great thing about Ask a Mexican is (was) that it talks about Mexicans in such a broader and intelligent sense that Arellano has managed to find so many common gestures that both Mexican immigrants and US born Mexican Americans share--not an easy intellectual task, by the way. And not just that. He has also found that nacos y fresas are, in many ways, hermanitos.
Needless to say, his satirical language has proved extremely controversial reaching a point where it's hard to tell whether he agrees with Lou Dobbs' gospel or not--unless you're a Mexican. There you really get the point and can't help but praise his intuitiveness and clever ability to understand and decode an idiosyncrasy that's still a work in progress.
Anyway, es una pena que se acabe su columna, but I will try to do whatever I can to interview Arellano and offer you, dear Mexicanos y Mexicanas, an exclusive talk with him.
In the meantime, I leave you with his palabras de despedida. If you want to read his last Special Last Column Edition in full, píquenle aquí.
"SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT! And with this, the Mexican formally bids adios, effective the feast day of St. Melito. It’s been a great run, cabrones, but all the hateful e-mail, the attacks by PC pendejos and the fact that few of you have bothered to submit video questions to my YouTube channel wear on a guy, you know? Besides, like Mr. Dooley, Olle I Skratthult and The Katzenjammer Kids before me, this column’s time has come: It’s no longer necessary to explain Mexicans to Americans because Mexicans are Americans. Gracias for all the fights, the propositions of sexytime explosion, and the slugged-back tequila shots after book signings, but there’s a little ranchito in Zacatecas waiting for me and a barefoot muchacha ready to cook me dinner. Vaya con Dios, America, and always remember: Order the enchilada-and-taco combo TO GO."