Losers Keepers

What is it with you Mexicans who want to take back California? Is it that conquistador blood that's driving you?
Go Back to Granada

Dear Gabacho,
Besides beards, light skin and bad wine, the Spanish conquistadors brought with them to Mexico the legacy of reconquista, which has replaced WMDs as the número uno doomsday conspiracy espoused by conservatives. Originally, reconquista was the period from about the eighth century A.D. to 1492 in which Spain's Catholic nobles united to expel the North African Muslims (they called them Moors) from the Iberian Peninsula. Today, reconquista refers to a hypothetical master plan by Mexican officials to reconquer the southwestern United States -- territories lost in the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War. Their ostensible weapon is unlimited migration. It sure seems reconquista is a reality, what with a 2002 Zogby poll showing that 58 percent of Mexicans believed that the U.S. Southwest rightfully belonged to them.

But as a member of the invading army, The Mexican can say without a doubt that reconquista is a myth. The Mexican government is incapable of formulating a sound economic policy; can we really expect it to successfully take over former territories?

So why does a concept as loco as reconquista earn such an enthusiastic reception amongst conservatives? Simple: It's easier to point at Mexicans for the problems of illegal immigration than to critique the American economic and political structures that require cheap labor. If conservatives believe in any gospel in these days of international aggression and ballooning federal spending, it's this: When all else fails, blame the Mexicans.

Where can I find a dictionary of Mexican slang? Something geared for the curious gringo?
Güero Loco

Dear Gabacho,
Visit "Ay! Definition" to find the Ask a Mexican! glossary, which defines the most commonly used terms in the column. In the tradition of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary, The Mexican also provides alternative definitions for Spanish words popular amongst gabachos.

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano