Happy Cinco de Mayo!  The day that Americans celebrate for reasons they don’t understand or even care about.  It’s…something about Mexicans, hooray!  Despite our efforts to keep them out with a giant wall and a massive deportation force, we love them.  We really do.  Well, we like margaritas.  And we like tacos.  With ground beef, of course.

Years and years ago, I had a conversation with a friend, who was a proud American-born son of Mexican parents.  In our discussion, I commented about how the Hispanic population in KC had just exploded over a single generation.  It seemed like they’d eventually be in the majority by the end of the century.  My friend disagreed.  “No, you see white people have this amazing ability to assimilate everything.  There’s nothing you can’t take and make your own, part of yourselves.”

He said this with admiration, I might add.

“Besides,” he continued.  “You will just start calling us ‘white’ before we take over anyway.”

I still laugh about that last part, because it’s true.  The history of white people in the United States sort of goes: “You have to be an Anglo-Saxon Protestant.”  Then it changed to “you can be German” in the late 1700’s.  Then the Irish were allowed to be considered proper “white people.”  Finally, we let Italians in on being “white Americans”.  I can easily see Latinos being absorbed as well in our historic manner.

My friend was obviously a prophet.  Great guy.  I think he’s a cop now.

In my opinion, once we have taken your ethnic cuisine and converted it either to buffet or fast food form, it’s ours.  White America is literally eating your lunch, minorities.  We will take your culture, your music, your fashion and whatever else we like and there really isn’t anything you can do about it.

You shouldn’t look at it as a negative either.  Once we start taking the things that make you different from us and make it ours, you guarantee your own acceptance into the mainstream of America’s social fabric.  We’re happy because our lives are enriched and you can be happy since Trump’s goon squads won’t be deporting your kids.  Everybody wins!

So in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo and our assimilation of whatever the fuck it represents, let’s have some music celebrating our previous successes in outright stealing the cultural achievements of others!  For America!

Here are this week’s themes:

  1. “Pinche Guero”: Music with foreign language lyrics.  I want to see Spanish well-represented today especially.  This can either be legitimate non-English speaking artists or it can include English-speaking artists using foreign language lyrics.
  2. “Would you like some coffee with your cream?” This is for music from genres that were created by other cultures and popularized by white America to the point of being unrecognizable in origin.  Can also apply to individual songs.
  3. Assbackwardsimilation: Sometimes, those damned subversive foreigners take our American music and adapt it to their own languages and cultures.  By that, I mean they take the stuff we rightfully stole from non-white people and rip it off.  How about some examples of this?  We in los Estados Unidos don’t see it that often.

As you share music according to the themes, it is added throughout the day to the embedded YouTube playlist below.  All are welcome to participate.  No travel ban here and lurkers are encouraged to step out of the shadows, like so much DREAMERS (it’s totally not a trap).

westvirginiarebel: “Hey, it’s Jet Boy Jet Girl!  Whoa, wait a minute…” (It’s a 2)

spootyjim: Let’s go.

zoomwsu: Damn thieving Swedes.

pfluffy: I’m a farmer, I got run over by my plow.  It run me down, down, down…

santino: For you, my friend, from…uh…North of the border: More reggae!

Grendel: AND NO EGGS!

mashav: This one’s great because he flat-out brags about his enormous success at cultural appropriation while doing it.

Zurvan: I despise her as a person, but this is on my very short list of songs by her I enjoy.

Want a dedication of your own next week?  Share a song that robs the unique identity of people who don’t look or talk like you.

One last thing before we begin.  We have a lot of fun with these weekly music threads, and I wouldn’t do anything if I didn’t think it was fun.  However, I periodically find that there are little ways I can use this blog for some good and this is one of those times.  Specifically, I’d like to take a moment to help out a new artist.

We picked up a new Twitter follower last weekend, a musician named Kevin Lytle.  He is working hard to promote his new metal album Trial and Error.  Please go check it out here and give him a like and a comment.  Regardless of any other differences we may have, I know we can all agree that it’s important to support the arts!  You know, just not with my goddamn tax dollars.

Thanks!

22 comments

  1. This was popular when I was in Brazil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6BObNUDgAA

    This is here because I’m pissed that my pre-existing blood disorder may once again make me uninsurable and I’m going to take it out on all of you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlW7T0SUH0E

    I first heard this in Germany in 2001 where they have, apparently, appropriated jazz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Boi5ayokoc

    I’m including the live version of this song because there’s something very aesthetically pleasing about this video that I can’t quite put my finger on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6omsDyFNlk

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd Babymetal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiYtI8Qezt8

  2. My husband and I had a nasty row whilst I was decorating the house for Halloween last year. I bought these cool paper day of the dead lanterns and he went off that I was perhaps insulting Mexicans. Then he proceeded to decorate a smashed pumpkin with blood and eyeballs like Glenn from Walking Dead. I proceeded to hang my lanterns.

    Day of the Dead

    After Dark

  3. Ah, Mexicans are laid back. I can’t imagine anyone being insulted by your display.

    It’s sort of funny how we think they’ll be offended by certain things and they’re really not. I never met any Mexicans who were offended by Speedy Gonzales or the Taco Bell Chihuahua. In fact, they seemed happy to have a Spanish-speaking character in American pop culture.

  4. Finally, we let Italians in on being “white Americans”.

    Hah, I’ve never even thought about that! I’ll have to use that on my wife who constantly blames me for all the ills in the world simply because I’m a white male (although I’m short and bald, so there must be some marginalization). Now I can use the plight of my immigrant parents to my advantage.

    Paul Simon – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I_T3XvzPaM
    Laura Branigan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hQrRfzv1lo
    Nena – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La4Dcd1aUcE
    Village People – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QINoUyrP0BI
    Psy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH1XGdu-hzQ

  5. Babymetal is getting to be a great running gag around here. For my part, I genuinely can’t figure out if it’s truly awesome or fucking annoying.

  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs6Y4kZ8qtw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQbec5NqVTs There are better versions of this song, but this one is appropriated by David Byrne. I immediately thought of Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel when I saw the title, but trying to keep this Spanish-only.
    https://youtu.be/w6l8zrsf4LY except for Portuguese, still
    https://youtu.be/vNc5o9TU0t0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx5CW0Vyvi8 Cohen appropriated Lorca and the Spanish appropriated right back

  7. my best friend, Mexican, from southern Arizona.. LOVEs speedy. thought the Taco bell do was cute as hell.

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