The best politicians — or worst, depending on your politics on politics — are the ones who can successfully work semantics and ambiguity to their benefit. Cantinfleando or cantinflear, is what we colloquially call it in Mexico, and the term takes after the popular actor Cantinflas — specifically for his tendency to speak in puzzling and vague dialogue. The technique needs to be mastered and constantly practiced because otherwise a politician can end up like Bolivian President Evo Morales: shamed for saying dumb, homophobic remarks:
Morales has had to apologize for scolding his health minister, Ariana Campero, for not paying close attention to his speech on Monday at a ceremony to hand over some new ambulances. ‘I hate to think you are a lesbian,’ he told Campero.
This isn’t the first time Evo makes outlandish and homophobic proclamations. Back in 2010 he said dudes go bald and gay because they eat chicken — which is actually a hilariously terrible theory.
Anyway. Understandably, lots of people got pissed at Evo for hating to think that his own Health Minister may be a lesbian. But did Morales really say what he came out of his mouth? Not according to his apology:
‘To say, or to ask, or to think whether someone is lesbian or gay is not an insult or an offensive remark,’ read Morales’ statement, posted on the Communications Ministry’s website. ‘I and my government have nothing against anyone’s sexual preferences […] I humbly and sincerely apologize. It wasn’t my intention to offend anyone.’
You see, Evo meant to ask Ariana Campero if she is a lesbian, and not that he “hates to think” she’s a lesbian. Or something. I don’t know.
Vague insinuations, nebulous and equivocal meanings — if you ever want to try your hand at politics and government, kids, remember: talk a lot, say nothing.
Oh, right. Old-school Mexicans humiliate their children by pretending they don’t exist.
I’ve been visiting my mother, and all of our immediate family, for the last week. They’re old-school, rural Mexicans. The kind who always offer food, even if they hate you.
I’m in my mid 30s now, and have been living on my own since I was 18, so at our gatherings I get a proper adult seat at the table. They listen to what I have to say, but it wasn’t always like that.
It’s not like that for my younger relatives, either. At family reunions, I see them out of the periphery of my eye. They’re trying to get a word in, but those older Mexicans won’t allow it. Why would they? What have those mocosos (snot-nosed kids) done to deserve anybody’s respect? Did they pay for their food? For the roof over their head? For their car, gas, clothes? No? Then they don’t exist.
Yes, they’re physically there, but unless they can prove their worth through monetary independence, they’re no one. If they try to make their voices heard, they’ll be silenced by a death stare, or an abrupt change in conversation.
If they persist, other humiliations will be flung at them, such as being asked to do something entirely meaningless, just like their opinion. “Vete a ver si ya puso la marrana” (go see if one of the pigs laid an egg) is a classic. My grandma had one of the most bizarre just-get-the-fuck-out-of-here phrases, which I’ve never heard elsewhere: “Vete a descular hormigas” (go chop the asses off ants).
I know these Mexicans sound like assholes, but they’re like that because they believe in resilience, not fragility. Giving encouragement to a mentally and physically healthy person seems redundant to them. Those people already have all they need to succeed, they’ll think.
To gain their respect, at the very least a person will need to become self-sufficient. That’s how you earn the right to sit with them. Either you’re with that, or you’re not there at all.
“Trump Dating” site doesn’t want the gays, but allows the “happily married” to join
You can even be mad at Trump Dating, a new website for lonely — or not so lonely, but just promiscuous — maganogamous people. It’s a perfect representation of their cherished administration, since it’s also homophobic — it only allows “straight” women or men to sign up — and, just like Trump, it’s all about adulterous relationships:
“When you kick off the process of starting a profile, you get two options for labeling yourself — ‘straight man’ or ‘straight woman.’
Yet according to Trump Dating’s rather strange drop-down menus, married people are welcome. For a relationship status, the site offers options like ‘have a significant other,’ ‘happily married,’ and ‘unhappily married.'”
And since no self-respecting republican-specific dating site should exist unless it takes an issue with race, Trump Dating allows their users to be super specific about their genealogy:
“The ethnicity options also seemed oddly specific. In addition to the typical categories, the site includes choices like ‘Scandinavian,’ ‘Polynesian,’ ‘Eastern European,’ ‘Western European,’ ‘Mediterranean,’ and ‘Eskimo,’ a term used to label the indigenous people of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland that is considered offensive and inaccurate.”
OMG, you guys. There better be a second menu where users can identify which of the five Aryan subtype races — Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic — they belong to. Otherwise the server room of this Trump Dating is gonna get tiki torched.
Culture3 weeks ago
Calm the f*ck down with your “Despacito” Grammy outrage. It’s not that serious.
Culture4 weeks ago
Dating a Latina from another country gives me the right amount of separation from my culture
Culture3 weeks ago
Just because I’m not dating a Mexican doesn’t mean you shouldn’t
Culture3 weeks ago
Adultery, greed and hypocrisy: The dark side of Chespirito