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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ask a Mexican

Posted by on August 22 at 18:00 PM

The new owners of Seattle Weekly have ordered the paper to shed its older readers and start pulling in younger readers who actually go out, listen to music, have pulses, etc.

First move, get rid all the old hippies. Bye Skip, Chuck, George, Geov. Second move, attract some attention to the “new” SW by generating a little outrage. To accomplish this, SW is going to be running a new column. Or not a new column, but a syndicated column that runs in many other New Times papers. According to a distraught SW staffer, the venerable Mossback has been permanently replaced with “Ask a Mexican,” an advice column that originates in the OC Weekly down in Orange Country, California.

Here’s the graphic that runs with the column…


Here’s the concept…

Bienvenidos to ¡Ask a Mexican!, the world’s foremost authority on America’s favorite beaners! The Mexican can answer any and every question on his race, from why Mexicans stick the Virgin of Guadalupe everywhere to our obsession with dwarves and transvestites.

Here’s a sample.

Hmm… I wonder how “Ask a Mexican” will play here? We don’t have as many Mexican immigrants—legal or illegal—as Southern California, so the satire hardly seems as relevant. Still, Phil Dawdy in the SW’s PR department will do all he can to present this as some shocking and wild move on their part, but it just goes to show how unshocking they really are. I mean, this is all they’ve got? The column is fine, it runs in a dozen or more other papers without incident, and it was offered to us last year. (We passed.) It’s not anything worth freaking out over, and it’s hardly a bold move on the part of SW to pick it up.

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I guess they're trying to get Seattle's underserved population of those who don't find racial generalizations revolting and dangerous... maybe it'll work.

isn't savage love syndicated in "many other new times papers." if you're so anti-new times/vvm, dan, why do you permit them to run your column?

If it isn't relevant, isn't bold and isn't worth freaking out over, why bother bringing it up at all? You're wasting our time.

Unless, you secretly consider this to be the beginning of a relevant, bold Weekly that's worth freaking out over.

This can't be accurate. Either you've been scamed or your pulling our leg.

Hey Faggot got a lot of attention. Frat boys would read it because - hey if a gay man calls himself a faggot, then straight frat boys can do it to.

Imagine the press you'd generate with a "Hey Nigger Scholar" column! The Stranger would be an internatinal sensation overnight. If The Stranger had any balls they'd do it.

"Hey Mexican" was a stroke of genius for L.A. readers. Everyone is sick of the PC bullshit and ready to laugh at people who'd make a big deal out of it.

Imagine a "Black Sambo" type cartoon mascot and a "Hey Nigger Scholar" masthead! WOW! That'd really shake things up in this town were every five minutes someone's being called racist.

Ask an English Person would be so much better.

Seattle Weekly is racist and anti-semitic. They won't put Hip Hop acts on the cover and now this anti-Mexican column. It's white males who cause all the oppression in this world. If a black woman was president there'd be no wars.

Dan Savage sold out gay men with his "Hey Faggot" column years ago. He became famous and wealthy by cashing in on the Faggot moniker.

If someone can generate reader interest with "Ask a Mexican", more power to them. It looks like a well written, funny column. There's so many people moving here from L.A. anyway, why not run something their familiar with in the paper?

I read a bunch of the columns, and they're actually pretty good. A lot better than anything I've read in the Weekly in a long time. They're not "anti-Mexican", they're anti-stupidity about Mexicans. People in Seattle are so PC they think the word "Mexican" is a slur. They think the same thing about the word "Jew".

This is great news! I read this column every week when I lived in Echo Park. It's smart, funny, and really nails dumb PC readers who don't understand the anti-stupidity about Mexicans angle. It unpacks a lot of current racial discourse and delivers it with a punch that's accessible to all readers. I can't wait!

Please, don't feed the troll.

Fnarf: That's cool, then. I shouldn't criticize without having read any of it.

Anti-semitism is everywhere in Seattle. I've even heard people say "Mercer Island is mostly Jewish." That is hate speach worthy of Mel Gibson.

This new column is hateful to Mexicans. All thinking, educated, cultured people in Seattle must oppose it.

Now, Dan. You aren't trying to poison the air, are you?


just FYI, i know a few gay men who don't read the stranger at ALL anymore because dan STOPPED using "hey faggot" in his column. i can't say i understand caring strongly either way, but there it is...

Hey Faggot:

I'm confused.

Am I supposed to be outraged at the column due to the graphic at which you've gone to some trouble to direct my outrage, or am I not supposed to be outraged at the column because the text is "not worth freaking out over?"

Please advise.

Might as well just run a daily column by Carlos Mencia.

"Ask a Mexican" sounds funny. Is it racist or something? Was "Hey Faggot" homophobic? I can't say I understand caring strongly either way. If "Ask a Mexican" is funny I'll read it because like everyone else I need as much humor as possible.

The "Hey Faggot" moniker caught the attention of the straight Frat Boy readership. Gay men knew the column was based on "isn't it funny when straights asks gays for sex advice". After the "Hey Faggot" column took off, Dan Savage then proceeded to eviscerate many beloved local gay organizations and got tons of press doing it.

Getting press attention is never wrong if that's your business. Some gay men love Savage, other's hate him. That's how he moves newspapers. The Stranger will kick New Time's ass right out of Seattle. Jus saying.

so the stranger writes about some stupid new column the weekly is running. then all the weekly people put up a bunch of comments calling dan and stranger stupid. why should i care?

I read Slog entirely for Racist Watch. Go Racist Watch. Keep on keepin' on!

Racist or not, I don't know. If the Mexican community has no problem, who am I to say. I think the real problem is that it seems out of place here in Seattle. I mean, we don't have a large Mexican community like California. Now, if the column was "Ask an Eskimo" or "Ask a Speed Freak", that might work.

This situation must be dealt with!
What are we talking about?
Next post please?

New Times Weekly is even more embarrassing than earth shoes Weekly. What desperation!

I'm a little puzzled at the commenters who claim that Seattle doesn't have a large hispanic community.

Do y'all perhaps mean a large middle class hispanic community? Because it sure isn't polynesians or bushmen washing the dishes or cooking the food you scarf down in those hip restaurants, or trimming the hedges out in the Great Hated Suburbs, or doing day labor out of the Home Depot parking lot, or occupying housing in South Park.

Ah, I see, it was Dan Savage who suggested that Seattle's hispanics don't count, seeing as how we don't have as many of them as Southern California.

By that logic, I guess we don't have to bother ourselves with acknowledging hispanic culture anywhere in the US, outside of Southern California or Texas. Or wait, maybe also in places where there's a visible hispanic middle class? Ah, and we probably have to include those oppressed agricultural workers The Stranger sometimes writes about, no?

Dan? Could you help clear this up? It would be nice if you could tell us which hispanics are worth white alterna-yuppies' trouble, and which ones aren't.

Sure is funny when newspapers fight. The medium is dead. It's like watching those Tall Ships out on Lake Union do maneuvers and shooting cannons with no balls in 'em.
I think everyone posting on this subject (except fnarf) must work at either the Weekly or The Stranger. Who else could possibly care about a syndicated column in a free chain paper in Seattle?

It's meta. Spy vs Spy!

Whatever. The column's dumb. The Stranger's (over)reaction is dumb. The fact that everyone's arguing this is the dumbest thing of all.

Jamie Moyer got some run support tonight and what do you know he also got a win. Thanks M's. This is an encouraging start to the home stretch. Go Phils!

Oh yeah, go Mexicans too!

Speaking of dumb. "...arguing ABOUT this"

In a weird bit of synchronicity, this month's Utne [Reader] has an article on the Ask A Mexican column with a few excerpts. A noteworthy quote:

What’s strange, though, is how modern-day gabachos forgot the Protestant work ethic long ago; meanwhile, immigrants continue to pick up Max Weber’s flame without forgetting to enjoy life. Bested in both works and pleasure, gabachos seethe, grow fat and elect evangelicals—and don’t get me started about faith without works and its relationship to American sloth.

What a weird comment thread. I saw the Ask a Mexican guy on Colbert. He seemed like kind of a tool, but it's a good concept for a column. Either way, the Weekly's been a joke for a while, but with the really nice cover story last week, they may be getting better.

If thinking up ways to spin flotsam like this keeps Dawdy away from the "news"room then I'm all for the new direction at SW. It's unfortunate (for us occasional SW readers) that the no-talent hack wasn't flushed with Skip and the gang.

Hola, Seattle! Seattle might not have many Mexicans as of yet, but be warned: we're coming.

seeing as none of you ass-wipes (assewipe in spanish)have an ounce of hispanic blood ... you can all kiss my brown ass and keep your comments, opinions, small-minded judgement and pompous small dicks to your selves.

Who the fuck do you people think you are?

que se van a la mierda!

Actually, Almost A Mexican, it's not

que se van a la mierda!


que se vayan a la mierda!

"Almost" indeed.

sorry .... even latins make typos. But we look good doing it.

Bite me! (thats english for fuck -off)

Almost a Mexican:

You'll find you draw a lot more sympathy here in the North if you call yourself a "latino" instead of a "latin."

The latter term is only heard south of the border these days, and then almost exclusively amongst the hacienderos... erm, that is, "westernised upper classes." Sabes... er, you know?

Robot slave: The fact of the matter is Seattle has a much more Asian/Scandanavian vibe than Mexican vibe. It's not racist to state that fact. Nobody has said that Mexican culture doesn't matter or is somehow less important than other cultures.

It's great that Seattle Weekly isusing a syndicated Latino writer. It's better than none.
But you couldn't find one local Latino to write about local issues. Not one? Things are different up here than they are in OC.
And Gustavo you should look into the companies that own the chain you're making money for. They give major amounts of money to republicans who are fucking us over. I don't fault you for making a buck but now that you're on TV and well known couldn't you do it for someone who doesn't give giant amounts of money to GWB?

who is this dawdy guy now? i thought he was a reporter. pr guy? hmmm weird

This is the worst conversation on this blog ever!

I keep hearing that the Seattle Weekly owners give money to Republicans. I'll bet you that that is an gaint urban myth. Fact please. Links please. Because I don't buy it.

Utne reader had a piece on this on its latest issue and people should give this writer a chance, he is funny, political and provocative.

As a Latino, I've found his writing funny. I read the OC Weekly from time to time.

My favorite:

Gringos call themselves Gringos, we Mexicans call you "Gabachos" or pinche gueros!

One thing Dan is wrong about, there are huge numbers of Latinos in King County, you just have to get out of Capitol Hill, Greenwood and Ballard.

There are Latinos in Greenwood. The main shopping strip along Greenwood, from 85th to 87th, has two Mexican markets and a pretty decent (and crazy cheap) taqueria, and there's another even better taqueria down kittycorner from the Greenwood Market. Can't remember what it's called, but it's almost as good as what you'd find in South Park, Burien, or White Center. There are no taco trucks that I know of (I have seen one on Phinney and about 82nd, but not regularly), but there is a fantastic one to the north, on Northgate Way just west of the freeway, in the McDonald's parking lot.

Were everywhere! Orale! Gots to get to Greenwood sometime.

The Weekly *adding* it does smack of a feeble cry for attention not unlike Carlos Mencia.

The column itself seems fine.

There are way more Latinos than there used to be in Ballard. Not a huge #, but noticeable.

I think a good column would be "Ask Rick Anderson." First question: Why are you still at the dumb ol' Weekly?

Or "Ask Nina Shaprio," same question. The Weekly's new sub-editor said in the P-I he wants it to be like The New Yorker. Today, their headlines include the words "Dude" and "shit." Guess he was referring to another New Yorker.

Al Romero:

When you refer to "Mexican Culture" instead of hispanic culture, you're digging yourself into a hole. As to your assertion that "nobody has said" that that "culture doesn't matter or is somehow less important than other cultures," allow me to quote Dan Savage:

"We don’t have as many Mexican immigrants—legal or illegal—as Southern California, so the satire hardly seems as relevant."

At a minimum, Dan is indeed saying that Seattle's hispanic population is "somehow less important" than that of Southern California. He might not believe that, but he certainly did say it.

I wonder what my brother-in-law, the Hispanic actor, will think about this?

My guess, since his family has lived in Texas since before the US existed, is that it's intended as an insult.

Too bad, as most people have no idea about how fun it is to spend all day cooking the day before Christmas, or how fun a big family gathering can be.

My two cents:
As a second genereation Mexican-American, I found the column pretty funny and true.

The art, though, is a bit gross. I don't mind people asking me questions about my culture or heritage. In fact, I enjoy highlighting the intersting differences between cultures and learning about others. But when you put "Mexican" next to a caricature like that, you're reinforcing the negative stereotype.

Finally, I LOVE the term gabacho. Chinga madre pinche gabachos!

xui: Ask a Mexican is first and foremost Entertainment. I agree that it may not be the best fit for the Seattle market, but hiring a somebody locally to write about latino issues isn't exactly the same thing. I would love to see a locally written humor article, but what are the odds? Humor only originates in New York and LA.

It's in the news section. How pathetic is that? Dategirl will be next to show up there, as the reporters leave.

Hector, chulo, ¡Ask a Mexican! is in the news section wherever it publishes 'cause it's a news column.

Wow, you weren't kidding. It really IS gonna be a fratboy paper.


No te feces, pendejo. It's no more a news column than Savage Culo is a news column. A few facts don't make it a news column.

Ha, ha. This place is full of Weakly Trolls. Put the Mexican thing on the cover, then run over to the Stranger site to see how it plays/troll it up.

Ay papi Hector, sĂ­ es un news column! Or is Seattle still not sweating over Mexicans like the rest of America?

No, they think they're over sweating Mexicans, and not sweating over Mexicans. No vale la pena.

O.K ,I'm part Mexican and I find the "Ask a Mexican" article very crass and tacky. I work as a Museum Educator (surprise!)not a dishwasher and reading articles like these only encourage stereotypes. It might be trying to shake up the P.C minded people or encourage cultural discussion but it's not. The Weekly has successfully singled out an ethnic group and embarrassed itself in the process. I guess the Weekly was trying to grab a younger audience - it didn't work. Making fun of P.C people should be fun not crude.

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