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Why do Mexicans put Tweety Bird stickers on their cars?

 Dear Mexican,

I see Jews, Asians and Persians making something of themselves and creating safe, walkable communities. Of course they're not perfect, but I don't see high Jew-crime communities, either. I see these people sticking together and helping each other out instead of envying their own. Why can't Mexicans get their act together and promote the message behind the Christian billboards they have on their chests?

Writing from the Bueno Side of the Tracks Dear Gabacho,

Is that the best you can do? Fault Mexicans for crime-ridden neighborhoods, despite a recent study by Harvard sociologists that found lower rates of violence among Mexicans than gabachos or blacks? Claim no community solidarity exists among us even though Mexican immigrants maintain an extraordinary fraternal society network that sends back billions of dollars in remittances to Mexico? Then end with a lame tattoo joke? Where's the wab jab?

Of course Mexicans aren't perfect, but the rough ethnic enclave is as American as Uncle Sam. The forlorn, decrepit immigrants squatting in tenement slums that Jacob Riis memorably captured in his 1890 photojournalism exposŽ How the Other Half Lives were the same Jews, Asians, Italians and Slavs you and so many others now celebrate as "good" immigrants different from the Mexicans of today. Give Mexicans time, let them move from barrio to suburb, and they'll join the descendants of previous waves of immigrants in forgetting history and bashing the new guys in the slums. Dear Mexican,

About a year ago, you said Mexicans favored Calvin-pissing-on-stuff car decals over Tweety Bird. The explanation for Pissing Calvin worship was much appreciated, and makes total sense, but Tweety Bird shows up on just as many cars, trucks and tattoos as Pissing Calvin. There is nothing macho at all I can see in Tweety Bird, or anything that a Hispanic youth would admire. So what's the deal?

Half Gabacho, Half Japones

Dear Mexican,

What is it with Mexicans and Looney Toons stickers on their cars? Specifically, Tweety Bird. Mexicans act tough, but Tweety is a total pussy. What's the connection?

El Diablo Blanco

Dear readers,

The chino who asked the first question refers to a May 26, 2005, column in which I claimed Mexicans preferred to decorate their cars with decals of Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes pissing on various logos instead of Tweety Bird.

Tweety, along with Bugs Bunny and Speedy Gonzalez, always maintained a large following among Mexicans because they personify the Trickster, the universal archetype who uses mayhem and wits to wile his way through tough situations.

Nowadays, however, slapping a Tweety sticker on your truck or carro also signifies allegiance to El Piol#&146;n ("Tweety Bird" in Spanish). He's the Los Angeles-based Spanish-language DJ who used his nationally syndicated show to help organize the immigrant-rights marches that gripped the United States this spring. Born Eduardo Sotelo, El PiolŪn sports an appropriate nickname (it came from his Tweety-like frame and big lips). And Tweety is muy macho and definitely not a pussy. Consider Tweety's constant escape from Sylvester's jaws a metaphor for the Mexican immigrant experience, with Mexicans assuming the trickster Tweety role and gabachos personifying the clueless, fat cat who fails to stop his short, colored antagonist again and again. garellano@ocweekly.com

 
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