Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mississippi Burning

[We've decided to edit this post slightly because some feelings seem to have genuinely been hurt, which runs contrary to the whole reason this blog exists, which is to spread peace, love and understanding amongst all people of all nations; and because with hurricane season kicking it up to eleven this year, we may find ourselves in Mississippi at some point and, what, we don't have enough headaches?]

Anyway, what we originally meant to say was you should check out this spot-on depiction of life here in the Big Q. It captures some of the more elusive qualities of the place. Also, please restrict your comments to the accomplishments of the Vélez-Alamán-Quintanar Administration of Dec. 1829. (Not that we want to open that whole can of worms, of course.)


MexFiles said...

Uh... actually, Mexican DO know their history. It'd be rare to find one who knows James Monroe was the fifth president, but they certainly know who his ambassador to Mexico was. And often the name of his Secretary of State.

Gringos don't (nor their own -- ask a random sampling of U.S. citizens how Texas and California were acquired by the United States, and try finding anything on the 1840s in a Barnes and Nobel store). An author of a book coming out within a couple of weeks wrote his book specifically because gringos DO need to know Mexican history if they are going to do business here.

Jorge Arturo said...

Totally agree with your post. It is really easy to spot a college student, flipflops, shorts, and alcoholic smell. I can tell which one was the first president of mexico, the two emperors, and the most important dictators. But certanly not the fifht president.

He surely liked Queretaro, or maybe he works for the tourism ministry.

Burro Hall said...

I think a better question would be why we acquired Texas and California. Also, is it too late to give them back?

But since were speaking in gross generalities, I know at least one gringo who correctly named Monroe as #5. I had to Google Sec of State J.Q. Adams, though, even after being educated in Massachusetts.

This sort of in-depth knowledge of history has led me to a gig with the History Channel where, a couple weeks ago, I shot an interview in a house in Springfield that used to belong to Judge Benjamin Edwards, Mary Todd Lincoln's brother-in-law.

Surely every random Mexican who's stumbled across this blog knows who Judge Edwards' father was. Anyone? Bueller?

Burro Hall said...


Ninian Edwards! James Monroe's first Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico! (Every Mexican knows Monroe didn't have an Ambassador, since the US didn't start sending them until 1899). Edwards resigned en route to Mexico (long story) and was replaced by JR Poinsett, inventor of the Poinsettia, and the two countries have been BFF ever since. The end.

Anonymous said...

Well, that article was actually quite funny. It's like he was trying to make everything and everyone sound all cute and folk-y.

"For them, it is not normal for a child to leave home until he or she is married. The majority of college students live at home and attend a school that is in their city."

Um, my boyfriend moved from Queretaro to the DF to attend the UNAM on his own. Silly me, I'd never realised the level of his treachery to tradition.

Also, I have to agree with Jorge Arturo, my knowledge of Mexican history is about the same.

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

If you knew the guy you would know that the dumbest thing you said was that Queretaro is the "whitest" city so people would be used to seeing people like him. You basically blame him for not knowing his material, but you need to know yours. He's a black guy and if the city is so white, then he might possibly have stuck out. Don't assume that people are white. That's as misinformed as you accuse Mr. Cox of being. Your comments are relevant and understandable, but the article was actually relating a favorable experience in Queretaro. Would you rather have had him bash the city? And if you're going to say you're not going to call people liars... don't. He didn't lie and maybe YOU might have a different experience of Queretaro, but he had an amazing time and he related it with words to others who hadn't been there. Perhaps he should've said "mexicans are completely in the dark about the world in general." The point was actually not even about the people of Queretaro, but about how little gringos know about our own country compared with Mexicans to theirs.

Jonathan said...

What's funny is that if you actually know the guy you wouldn't have EVER said that it's the whitest community ever because he's a black guy. So... maybe before you start ripping people apart with generalizations that he was a white guy YOU need to stop being hypocritical.

Julie said...

Yikes, cuz -
You might want to microchip yourself in case the gringo's pals decide to visit Burro Hall to clarify things a little further!

Josh Cox said...


I am Josh Cox, the person who wrote this article that you completely trashed.

I find it quite disturbing that you would criticize someone who wrote an article showing appreciation to the culture and the city of Queretaro. I could have done the exact opposite and made the article completely negative and criticized everything about the city, but I didn't. I made a respectful attempt to share my experience with people here, and you find a way to criticize me. How rude.

Also, don't assume that I am white just because I am from the United States. I am actually a black man, I don't wear shorts, and I have not worn a pair of flip-flops in public since I was 6 years old. And no, I don't drink regularly, so let's get that one right.

And to respond to your update, I am not an African-American. I was born in the U.S., my mom and dad were born in the U.S., my grandparents were born in the U.S.. I am AMERICAN.

To the person who commented on the site, calling me "naive" and saying that we are called "estadounidenses" in Spanish and that everyone in North and South Americans are "Americans," I am well aware of this. I had this discussion with my Mexican family. When you find out the English translation for "estadounidense" you let me know. In the ENGLISH language, people from the U.S. are Americans so to take offense at that is beyond ridiculous and is actually what could be considered as "naive."

Nothing in my article was a lie. Why would I waste my time writing an optional article about my study abroad experience if I had to lie my way through it? I have way too much stuff to do, so if I didn't have anything nice to say I definitely would have said nothing at all.

I am sorry that you have so much against people who visit Queretaro from the United States that you criticize people who portray in such a positive light. So many people think that Mexico is nothing but trash and poverty, and you have the nerve to hate on someone who informs people that this is not a fair representation of the country.

I had an amazing time in Mexico and I developed such a respect for the culture and the people. Nothing you say can take away from the experience I had.

And by the way, if you ever have some crap like that to say about my articles send me an e-mail. If it was really that bad, don't be a loser and hide behind a blog post.

Carlos said...

They only served for a short time, but I believe they took come concrete steps to improve the mail service. And the aqueduct, of course.

Concepcion said...

Oh, bullshit - they were nothing but placeholders for Bustamante, to give his coup against Guererro a patina of respectability.

Aqueduct, my ass.

Anonymous said...


This looks like a record for comments. Sorry I missed the original post. I won't comment on Mr. Cox's sensitivities, but I'm guessing there may be a bit of mistaking wry wit (or attempts at such) for aggression.

Keep spreading the peace...

Dan said...

Wait a minute. Mississippi is in America?

Burro Hall said...

No, it's in los estados unidenses, bro - whatsamatter with you?

[Um, since people are hurling veiled accusations of racism around here, let me point out that Dan actually is my brother, so that "bro" thing was totally cool.]