My Cinco de Mayo Rant, 2014

So, I woke up at 4 this morning and clicked on the tube so I could watch (or hear as I dozed some more) the news.

It didn’t take long for TV-landia to piss me off when I noticed KHOU had one of their reporters at some bar drinking “virgin” drinks of some sort and some mariachi music in the background. I think I caught a one-line mention of the history behind the holiday.

nachoSo, I fell back asleep and ignored the news, but not before posting one of my favorite quotes by the Texas-born Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza, “Las armas nacionales se han cubierto de gloria.” (The national arms have been covered with glory.) Which was actually the one-line letter he sent to President Benito Juarez upon winning the Battle of Puebla against a formidable French military.


Courtesy: Getty

So, I made it to the living room and Good Morning America was on. The day got worse! There they are wearing sombreros, drinking fauxgaritas, and, were those annoying “Mexican” noises they were making? And did she just say “Cinco de Drinko”? (Apparently, MSNBC wasn’t far behind.)

I must say, I was a bit miffed. I’m sure they think it was all in fun–people have found any reason to drink on special days like July 4, Memorial Day, etc. Why not 5 de Mayo? Right? But the fact that it was all about getting drunk made for a crappy morning.

In fact, Cinco de Mayo is a very American holiday and it should be celebrated. But, hell, learn a little history about it! Or, if you know about it, don’t minimize it with drunkenness! Whether the Cinco celebrations were started by Mexican expats living in the states after the victory, or by Chicanos establishing and celebrating their identity here in the Southwest, the bottom line is there is some real history to this holiday. But when news agencies take the “drinko” route, they’re doing a huge disservice, especially when such a teachable moment exists.

Then again, this is a nation of fools who still haven’t figured out the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day (I’m pointing at you, Tea Party!). So, I guess I’ll just enjoy my traditional Cinco de Mayo meal of hot wings and a Miller 64, and try to plan-out a battle re-enactment for next year. I’m stuck between hosting a French Toast eating contest and a croissant toss, but I’ll get back to you on that.

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