Y'know, when you do what I do, you're going to get your share of e-mails. Some of them are nice; most of them aren't, but that's the nature of letter writers: You have to be fired up to actually sit down. Just so you know, I read them all and respond to most. This past week or so, I've carried on a fascinating e-conversation with an immigration lawyer, who had some very interesting things to say. (One of her letters ran in last week's Mailbag.)
That exchange was prompted by a column I wrote suggesting that the Democrats might want to take the policy step of calling for the United States to gain some semblance of control of our borders (Nov. 29). I thought this was a rather modest proposal. There was no call for sending people back or taking kids out of school or forcing employers to hire American citizens. Just get control of the border, and then we'll talk about all that other stuff later.
Well, along with the people decrying my stridency in suggesting that America might want to enforce its own laws, I got more than a few letters from people claiming (in the words of one clown) that I was "soft on Mexicans." According to his definition of "Mexican," that being anyone who can trace even one ancestor back across the southern border, I most definitely am soft on my wife and children.
But that guy's idiocy pales in comparison to the stuff I've received from one Roy Warden.
I get stuff every couple of days linked to a Web address called "wardenburnsmexicanflags.com." I guess that was better than the second choice of "wardenhastoefungusand it'sspreading.org." Most of it is redneck kook stuff: Round 'em up; put 'em in jail; send 'em back. (Yes, he wants them put in jail and sent back.)
But then he sent me the Citizen Kane of stupid e-mails, with the words (and, believe me, I quote): "Mexican dwarfs seek respect in bullfighting, love and revolution." Oddly enough, the headline seemed familiar to me, so I checked, and sure enough, there it was in a stack of USA Today issues I had yet to recycle. It was also in the Tucson Citizen and other smaller Gannett newspapers.
The original article focused on traveling troupes of dwarves who put on shows across Mexico and even in the United States. The dictionary says that "dwarfs" and "dwarves" are both correct, but the article's writer kept going back and forth. Don't they teach them anything in journalism school? Speaking of which, how would you like to spend four or five years in college and then be sent to write about bullfighting dwarves?
The troupes used to do well in the United States, but crowds are dwindling because of fears of immigration raids. Doggone narrow-minded Americans! We'll turn on the TV to watch four women (at least one of whom is Whoopi Goldberg) sit around and talk, but we won't go watch dwarves get calves drunk (that's part of the act) and then pretend to fight them with fake wooden swords? Unlike real bullfighting, none of the animals get hurt, although there is the public-drunkenness thing and the stigma of being whupped by Guillermo Barty.
Anyway, Mr. Warden took this article, inserted some lines of his own and then sent it along as (you ready?) "political commentary." He writes (or belches), "Several observers have reported rumors that Mexican dwarves, posing as immigrant children, are infiltrating Arizona schools as part of La Raza's plan to take over America. 'Some are trained in the art of deception and fornication. Although of diminutive size, Mexican dwarves are prodigiously endowed.'"
He then goes on to add, "One of (the) members, Che, is rumored to be the secret lover of (three well-known Tucsonan women whom I will not name) and other American left wingers eager to donate their vaginas for 'La Causa.' The plan is to breed a secret army of Mighty Mexican Midgets who, because of their small size, will fool the authorities and enter schools, posing as children of migrants."
Well, Roy, I hate to piss on your political-commentary parade, but I have a few questions:
· How exactly does one donate her vagina? That's gotta be painful.
· Why "Che?" Che Guevara was born in Argentina, became famous in Cuba and died in Bolivia. Wouldn't "Emiliano" or "Benito" have been more appropriate names for your fictional studly dwarf?
· Do you understand that if a dwarf has a child with a normal-sized person, there's only a slim chance that the child will be a dwarf as well?
· And finally, if those women did bear Che's children, do you realize the kids would be U.S. citizens and wouldn't have to pose as children of migrants?
Nice plan, though.
So, Roy, Gannett might not be happy with your appropriating its articles, but if they let you slide, please keep sending me stuff. With the Writers Guild on strike, I need all the entertainment I can get.