Friday, April 29, 2005

Two Shorties

I've been meaning to post these pithy reflections on mi barrio nuevo for a while now. First, a little humor with a big debt to Tom Lehrer. Perhaps you recall his "National Brotherhood Week" song. Here's a site-specific version, updated for the new millennium:

Oh, the Mexicans hate the black folks
And the black folks hate the Mexicans
And everybody hates the Polish
Until some of the Mexicans marry them

I must add the observation that as a generic white person I get to hear my neighbor to the north refer to his Mexican neighbors as "Taco Bells" and I get to hear my neighbor to the south comment on how much he dislikes his black neighbors because they don't keep the place up. This comment was made in a car that within minutes passed through gentrifying, majority-black Bronzeville. I could not help pointing out that really, Bronzeville looks a lot nicer than Back of the Yards does.

If that was just straight-ahead sarcastic, this one is mordant:

They crossed la frontera
So their kids could have a better life
Not crossing Ashland

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