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You're welcome and we're sorry...


Latino culture is a very wide-encompassing, diverse thing. That's why it's hard to speak with any real authority on anything Hispanic, Latino or Mexican-American because you're lumping an awful lot of people into these little narrow categories. Not all Hispanics are browned-skin, as the blond haired blue-eyed folks descended directly from Spain (sometimes in enclaves of Mexico) will tell you. (In Spanish). Not all Latin folks are from Mexico (as any Puerto Rican, Cuban or Dominican will tell you, likely with a baseball bat to your head).

Nevertheless, the fear of making broad generalizations has never stopped me before, especially since the International Institute for Hispanic/Latino/Mestizo/Norteño and Ricky Martin Fan Club asked me to compile a list to let the world know about our contributions to world culture. Here are some things you should be thanking our (mostly) brown asses, and things that we apologize for unleashing upon you.


Tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and all Mexican foods not produced by Taco Bell
Erik Estrada
Jennifer Lopez in "Out of Sight"
Hot salsa clubs
All those movies about Elian Gonzalez
Hot salsa
The Macarena
Math, astronomy, calendars; all the cool Mayan contributions
Math and astronomy homework; Ziggy calendars

Ricardo Montalban

Badly executed murals
Red hot chili peppers (the actual pepper, not the band)
That whole Alamo thing (Although, technically, you still owe us Texas)


"Sabado Gigante"
Cheech Marin
Paul Rodriguez
Menudo (the food)
"New" Mexico
Menudo (the boy band)
Most Cuban music
Not trimming your hedges the way you asked us to
John Leguizamo in his one-man shows

John Leguizamo in "The Pest"

How damn cool it sounds when Spanish is spoken in the bedroom
Depictions of large-breasted women, the Virgin Mary and cool vehicles on airbrushed T-shirts and posters
The entire tanning industry
Unkempt moustaches
Ricky Ricardo
The name "cocker spaniels"
Che Guevarra
Tequlia-induced vomit
"No way, José"
"Hasta La Vista, Baby"
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Pork rinds
Cheap-ass piñata candy

The Guayavera

Wife-beater shirts worn in public
Like Water for Chocolate
Not having invented the fortune cookie
Cheap labor
Not always immediately cleaning up after your messy, slobby ass.
Penelope Cruz in Spanish-language films
Penelope Cruz in English-language films
Rage Against the Machine
Cristina Aguilera

The Chupacabra

Love in the Time of Cholera
Any actual cholera we may have given anyone
The Bee guy on The Simpsons
The whole Estevez/Sheen thing

New Smallville recap is up and ready for you. Dine upon it like a beefy, tender steak.

Oh, and this. Pamie is the shiz-nit -- she's nominated for this guest entry:

Thanks to those who nominated it.

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Years later, Charles' children would wonder why they ever believed he could really crash his head through a side of beef.

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