[Marxism] Reply to an arrogant and ignorant gabacho

Stephen Homick clio at sover.net
Sat Aug 19 21:41:08 MDT 2006

El 19 Aug 2006 a las 11:44, Joaquin Bustelo <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu> scripsit:

I'll reply to Bustelo's tantrum between the lines, so to speak.

> I don't know where Homick got his ignorance, but I know where his
> arrogance comes from, it comes free with being American.

Golly gee, don Joaquín, doesn't it pain you to call me, unrepentant 
spawn of heartless ol' Caliban that I doubtless am, "American?" If 
memory serves, it wasn't all that far back when the Republic's 
collective ear was beleaguered by waves of high-pitched whining from 
you folks about how godless, capitalist yanquis had brazenly ripped off 
"your" gentile name--American--and taken it as their own. Reputedly at 
one ivy-walled scholastic shrine not far from NY's Leather-stocking 
District, a certain world-changing, difference-making prof. actually 
"challenged" his students to concoct a replacement for it. They came up 
with "Unitedstatesian" or some such shit. 

Guess it was an idea whose time hadn't arrived yet, eh? In any case, I 
suppose interest has waned in rescuing the moniker from Caliban's grimy 
clutches, and it's once again kosher to call us "Americans." I'm 
relieved, sincerely relieved.

> I raise the issue of his ignorance because he's quite uneducated.
> Mexicans have been calling gringos "gabachos" since the French put
> Maximillian on the throne, or shortly thereafter. The original
> gabachos were the French, but the term was quite logically extended to
> encompass the Anglos.

Sure, d. Joaquín. And even though your reasoning leaves considerably 
more than a tad to be desired, I guess it'll suffice to explain why  
The Mexican Academy of the Language [Academia Mexicana de la Lengua], 
which has been around ever since don Porfirio "el perpetuo" Díaz and 
his científico brain-trust put up the seed money for it back in the 
1880s, has yet to enter it in its lexicon of Mexicanisms. In turn, this 
compilation got started in at some point in the mid-1700s and continues 
growing in the present. Gringo appears in it early on; but still nary a 
passing footnote on gabacho. 

Perhaps d. Joaquín might deign to muster up his superior powers of "lo 
real maravilloso" to figure out what accounts for the lacuna.

> I'm sure the conflation is abhorrent to a (non-francophone) Yankee
> from Vermont, but quite understandable, given that all white people
> look alike.

Is that the best you can do for ad hominems, d. Joaquín? You're turning 
into a real disappointment. 

Just to give you an inkling of what cantankerous, crotchety ol' 
curmudgeons we are up here in the Great WHITE North, we've a special 
greeting for flatlanders like you, particularly those with Georgia red 
clay caked on their shoes and a patina of sea-pine pollen clinging to 
their clothes: "Welcome to VT! Now go home!"

> Especially when they're invading your country.

Hear, hear, d. Joaquín! That's why we curb flatlanders an' keep 'em on 
a short leash up here.

> In my experience gabachos is the preferred designation among vatos
> locos for white folks although subject to override due to aesthetic
> considerations (hence, "Gringos, Matenlos" -- "Gabachos, Matenlos"
> doesn't work nearly as well as a *chant*  though I imagine it wouldn't
> make much of a difference as a matter of practical policy).

When it comes to flatlanders, d. Joaquín, I must confess that I 
couldn't agree more with you. They're a worse blight than tent 
caterpillars on a sugar bush.

By the bye, d. Joaquín, aren't you mixing up your Bs & Vs? I've always 
seen the word spelt "bato," not "vato." I can't fathom what sort of 
creature a "vato loco" might be, but suspect the noun may be related to 
a popular expression for father that can be rendered in English as "old 
man," and that's on loan to Spanish from Caló, the Gypsy tongue. I 
recall once having read that erstwhile "Chicanos" had begun calling 
their brand of Spanglish street patois Caló, but can't remember when or 
where. If that's the case, then I wonder what behooved them to rip off 
a word from peninsular Spanish instead of using one from the veritable 
trove of Indian words that's always been well within their reach.
> If I were Homick, I'd go easy on linguistic proclamations, at least
> until he learns to use Google, which would have spared him making a
> complete jackass of himself by claiming gabacho doesn't refer to
> Anglos. 

Tho' this may astonish vossa mercé, d. Joaquín, I deliberately 
refrained from taking the easy route of "Googling up" info. 
specifically to avoid the pitfall of that perverse tendency to accept 
what conventional wisdom claims to be true, without first ascertaining 
what the facts are. Google is a boon to slugs, slackers and sloths, to 
be sure; but it'll never supplant solid spade work in research. 

Just because some people choose to call Americans gabacho doesn't 
change the word's habitual, longstanding meaning one wit. Its meaning 
may change at some point in the future; but for now it still refers to 
things French, whence it came originally.

> Of special interest in Homick's conceit that calling children Latino
> suggests that they speak Latin. Worthy of a racist but not too
> intelligent ninth grader in High School.
> What's this about? Defense of white privilege and white supremacy, by
> way of denying both that it exists and that its victims exist. Like,
> duh....

Ah, swallowing hook, line and sinker all the fibs his teachers foisted 
on him, with brilliant panache d. Joaquín trumps in with the race card. 
And at this point, I fold, cash my chips and make tracks. 

My hide is thick enough to deflect Joaquín's race-baiting hissy fits; 
but after a while, they become an insufferable bore.

Can't say it's been a pleasure to have locked horns with you, Joaquín, 
but I'll bid you good evening anyway.


No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.11.3/423 - Release Date: 8/18/2006

More information about the Marxism mailing list