Yes, Cinco de Mayo. A "holiday" I think I first heard of maybe 12 years ago. In that time, Cinco has become a Latino St. Patrick's Day, a drink-drink day focused on Corona instead of Guinness, with tacos and salsa verde instead of corned beef and cabbage. Whoopee! Let's party!
And just like St. Patrick's Day, you've got bluenoses decrying the way the day has been turned into a marketing opportunity by breweries/food companies/everyone. This whining is typical; this is the one that actually set me off today. "Waaaah!" the chorus goes, "this isn't Mexico's Independence Day (I don't remember anyone actually saying that, they usually just say "Happy Cinco!" and hand me a beer), it's about Mexican peasants beating invading French troops (according to this much-more detailed account, they were actually Mexican troops in fortifications, armed with older muskets, not peasants with machetes fighting guerrilla-style). They don't even celebrate it in Mexico, you stupid Anglos. Don't drink beer!"
Hey, grow up. Where are you, as Mexican-Americans, when President's Day is a white sale, and Memorial Day is the day grill sales start in earnest, and July 4th is a chance to sell cars? Where are you for Christmas, which sells a hell of a lot more booze than Cinco? Where's your outrage then?
I'll tell you where. You're saving it for Cinco, because you're using the day too, using it for your agenda: Latino pride, anti-alcohol propaganda, getting a byline, whatever.
I'm not wild about any day being used as an excuse for stupid drinking. See the previous post: I like days dedicated to having a good time, while there's beer around, not just pounding down drink after drink with the aim being getting drunk. That's pathetic, and if you can't see the difference, well, come to the Goat Races next year.
As usual, it would be nice to find something in the middle. Binge drinking bad, history lesson-poetry reading-folk dancing boring. How about...we do all the fun stuff AND we have something to drink if we want. And if someone does get drunk and offensive, well, kick them out. Video the drunk and send it to the event organizers, tell them to shape up.
But don't give me this "Cinco is not about beer" crap. Reading the different accounts, it looks like most people don't really know what Cinco is about (which is about par for the course), but look on it as a day to have fun, celebrate their own Latino heritage, or get some good food and hear some music. Is that so bad?
Comments from whiners welcome.