Why Do Mexicans See the Virgin Mary in the Stupidest Things?
SPECIAL MOTHER EDICIÓN
I heard that Mexicans at an Orange County candy factory think they saw the Virgin Mary in a pile of melted chocolate. Why do Mexicans always see the Virgin Mary in the stupidest things?
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UConn Huskies College Football
TicketsThu., Sep. 29, 11:00am
Battle of the Piney Woods: SFA vs. SHSU
TicketsSat., Oct. 1, 3:00pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTSA Roadrunners Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 6:00pm
It's not just Mexicans who find the Holy Mother in weird places -- remember the Florida gabacha who insisted that the Virgin Mary revealed Herself on a grilled cheese sandwich, then sold it for $28,000? Skeptics dismiss that sandwich and the Chocolate Madonna -- a two-inch pillar of drippings discovered August 13 by Mexican workers at Bodega Chocolates in Fountain Valley, California -- as examples of pareidolia. That's the moment when you make something out of nothing -- Rorschach inkblots, for instance, or Catsthatlooklikehitler.com.
But the widespread sneers that greeted the Chocolate Madonna also reveal Protestant America's continued dismissal of Catholic Mexico, an impulse as old as Elizabethan England and Imperial Spain. It allows gabachos to degrade Mexicans as superstitious pendejos unworthy of respect or amnesty primarily because our Catholicism allows for apparitions, and Mexicans keep seeing Jesus, Mary and the santos in chocolate, tortillas (por favor visit the Shrine of the Holy Tortilla in Lake Arthur, New Mexico) and butcher-shop calendars.
So go ahead and laugh, gabachoAmerica and nonbelieving wabs, but refry this: That the Divine mostly manifests itself to Mexicans is just a reiteration of the Nazarene's Sermon on the Mount and further proof we're the Chosen Juans.
A friend recently asked me how to say "motherfucker" in Spanish. I was stumped -- the closest thing I could think of was puta madre, which literally translates as "whore mother." Is there a Mexican phrase that means "motherfucker"?
Dear Vulgar Gabacho,
The closest Mexican Spanish equivalent to motherfucker is Chinga tu madre ("Go fuck your mother"), but that's not the same. Truth is, there are no proper calques for "motherfucker" in Mexican Spanish. (A "calque" is a phrase translated word-for-word from one language to another and not how you fix a leak.)
But there are more than enough curses in Mexican Spanish using madre as their root. As a noun, madre can mean anything from "shit," as in No vale madre ("It isn't worth shit") to "ass," in which Te voy a partir la madre translates into "I'm going to split for you the mother" but really means "I'm going to kick your fucking ass." Madre is also an adverb: Te voy a dar un chingazo en la madre translates to "I'm going to give you a fucking blow in the mother" but really means "I'm going to give you a fucking blow where it hurts the most."
You can also tell cabrones: Vete a la madre, which means not "Go to the mother" but rather "Go to hell." Add an -ar suffix to madre, and you have the verb madrear, which means "to fuck someone up." For example, if you tell your mom Te voy a madrear, you're not telling her that you're going to mother her but are letting Mami know that "I'm going to kick your fucking ass." Shame on you.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.