Criticism! | Mexico | Living in Mexico


This blog has been harshly criticized!

A reader writes:

"Hey, I love your web site. I've read a whole lot of your blog. I love the photos that accompany the topics -- indispensable. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed to see that you'd cleaned up some of your original writing. For example, the Japanese toilet discussion mentions "douche" whereas your original email to Suzy used the phrase "pussy washer". I mean, what has more color and flair, douche or pussy washer?? I REST MY CASE.

"In either event, I love the tone of your blog when the audience is one good friend (Suzy, for example) instead of a generic public. (See "pussy washer" example above.)"

He's right, of course. I replied to his email:

You have seen right through to the crux of my dilemma. When writing to Suzie and, say, you, I can be my profane, politically incorrect self. But when I write stuff that can be read by anybody, should I pull my punches?

Your criticism is most helpful. Lately I have not been enjoying posting to my blog, which has been sounding more and more like corporate-speak. Sort of like eating wheat gluten.

Well, I'm not gonna take it anymore! Toning things down for "sensitive" readers gets me comments like these:

From a reader:

"Boy, have you ever worked hard to put together this extensive report on Japan! Everything from religion to toilets. I enjoyed every word and will spend time going back over every word and trying to get a better sence [sic] of your experience. The report is detailed. Thanks."

From another reader:

"What a lot of work you have gone to; what energy you have put into this, and it shows. Wonderful commentary. Great pictures. We\'ll look at the site again. This was our first quick look-thru."

Reading between the lines, they're saying, "We glanced at your blog and see that you wrote a lot and put some pictures in it, but we really haven't read it yet, so don't ask us any embarrassing questions about the content."

Incidentally, you might be interested to know that the term "pussy washer" was itself a circumlocution for a term coined by Suzie when she was maybe five years old. She referred to women's crotches as "guddies." So my original draft used the expression, "guddy washer."

You see what self-censorship does. Tragic.

It'll probably be hard to find my voice. Tough to use terms like "greasers" without people thinking I'm racist. But Joe Bob Briggs got away with "Meskins" and "Babtists." And Gustavo Arellano, in his OCWeekly column, Ask a Mexican, dealt with the issue of gringa love for a Mexicano by writing: 

"[N]othing eradicates ego and all of its clunky superficialities (race, class, culture), nothing says I love you, nothing says 'Welcome to America' like an old-school blowjob."

THAT wound up on news stands in Orange County. So I guess I can loosen up in my thinly-read blog. And I'm gonna begin by posting this email.