Fourth and Goal

Yes, we’re all getting ready for the Super Bowl this weekend (even though my team was eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs, which sucks).

kickoff-1a

So I’m not going to dwell on this study that points out how far Latinos have to go to achieve political power that is commiserate with our growing population.

But basically, if Hispanics had representation in Congress that matched our actual presence in the nation, there would be 90 Latino representatives or senators. Instead, there are 37. Just nine of those are Latinas.

Like I said, it’s too depressing to rant about at length. So you may now return to your preparations for the big game.

I’m betting on a Seattle upset.

 


Between the Lines

Perhaps it’s no surprise in a culture that has produced such literary geniuses as Garcia Marquez and Vargas Llosa. But the news that reading is a vital part of young Hispanics’ lives is heartening nevertheless.

lastbookstore

According to a recent study, Hispanic children read for more than an hour a day (68 minutes on average), or an average of 14 minutes more per day than white children do.

Still, it’s not all literary highlights. The study also found that Latino kids average about a half-hour a day more TV time than their white counterparts (127 minutes verses 98 minutes).

That’s over three hours a day that Hispanic kids are either glued to the tube or have their noses in books.

Apparently, we really, really like a good story.

 


No Relaxing Allowed

As I’ve written before, we Hispanics are known for our fierce work ethic.

Think of immigrants slaving away at grueling tasks that native-born Americans refuse to do. Or consider that last year, “the number of Latino entrepreneurs grew more than white, black, and Asian entrepreneurs.”

Yes, we sure like to work. It’s unfortunate, then, that so many Hispanics who reach old age have nothing to show for it. This is because “fewer than half of … Latino workers have retirement plans on the job, leaving the vast majority of them with no savings designated for their golden years.”

hammock

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Copz in the Hood

Congratulations to BananaPajama, who won passes to see Ice Cube’s latest movie, Ride Along.

By the way, isn’t it odd that Ice Cube, the guy who rapped about how much he hated the police, has portrayed a cop gazillions of times onscreen?

I’m sure there’s something psychologically deep to be uncovered there, but I’m going to skip that opportunity because I’ll be too busy cranking up AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.

AmeriKKKa's_Most_Wanted_(Ice_Cube)


Yes, It’s the First Contest of the Year

Back in the day, nobody was more intimidating than Ice Cube. Then he entered a mid-career phase of playing the cuddly teddy bear. But recently, he’s returned to being the toughest mofo on the block.

You can see his latest incarnation in Ride Along.

2423_FPF_00267R

I’m offering you the chance to win passes to a screening of the movie in one of the following cities:

Chicago

Dallas

El Paso

Houston

Los Angeles

Miami

New York City

San Jose

 

The film is about a fast-talking guy who joins his girlfriend’s brother—a hot-tempered cop—to patrol the streets of Atlanta. The guy gets entangled in the officer’s latest case, and to prove that he deserves his future bride, he must survive all kinds of hijinks over the next twenty-four hours. John Leguizamo is around to represent la raza.

All you have to do is comment on one of my posts (including this one) about anything you please. Just make sure to tell me what city you plan to see the movie in, so I can allocate the passes.

If you win, I’ll email you the tickets. By the way, I won’t make your contact info public, so don’t worry about that.

I’ll announce the contest winners in the next week or so.

If you’re lucky enough to win, just remember to tell ‘em where you’re from.


Onward to 2014

This year, I became a father. I can assure you that nothing that monumental and awesome is going to happen in 2014.

But among the few downsides to parenthood is the fact that one has less time to update blogs. So I’ve written less this year. In fact, I’ve missed out on a few stories that I normally would have been all over.

For example, there was this little tidbit from the fine state of Texas, where a Latina politician tweeted her hatred of immigrants, her support for apartheid, her belief that the Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks, and her opinion that Muslims are “vermin.” Why yes, she is a member of the Republican Party. Why do you ask?

Now, I would usually get a lot of mileage out of a self-loathing Hispanic with strong anti-Semitic and Islamaphobic tendencies who also appears to be a paranoid lunatic. But what new parent has the time?

time-travel2-photo-courtesy-of-junussyndicate-on-deviantART

So here’s hoping that in the new year, the little guy will give me a breather now and then to write about such characters. I can’t wait.

 


The Ultimate Insult

I was at a wedding reception when I saw her — a blonde woman trying in vain to get down with Kool & the Gang’s Jungle Boogie. A man seated near me gestured to the woman and pronounced her, “the whitest person I’ve ever seen.”

We all knew what he meant, of course. She couldn’t dance. She was awkward. She was way uncool. And he summed up all that negativity with the single word “white.”

the-21-most-awkward-family-photos07

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Double Agents

So it looks like many of the bugs have been worked out, and Obamacare is more or less chugging along.

Or is it?

questionmark

According to some commentators, the key to the ACA’s ultimate success or failure is, as with many aspects of American society, none other than Latinos.

This is because “as the youngest, fastest growing, and least likely demographic in the United States to be insured,” Hispanics “represent a huge opportunity to inject a broad swath of young, healthy adults into the healthcare system.”

However, a mix of “cultural barriers, mixed-status families, and the delayed launch of Spanish-language enrollment tools” could limit “efforts to encourage Hispanics to get coverage.”

So will Latinos accomplish what the GOP could not? Could Hispanics kill Obamacare? 

Well, I find that hard to believe, since Latinos are among the biggest supporters of so-called socialized medicine. Unless, of course, we have been GOP spies all along who are intent on undermining Obamacare from the inside.

Wow, that’s either the best or the worst political thriller of all time.

 


A Matter of Confidence

Well, Obamacare has rolled out, and the results thus far aren’t exactly spectacular. This fiasco has illustrated the vast gap between liberals and conservatives.

Now, I’m not talking about ideology, or even about Obamacare specifically. I’m referring to the differing mindsets of the opposite ends of our political spectrum.

Simply put, conservatives are perennially more confident and exhibit greater faith in their causes. Liberals, in contrast, seem perpetually on the verge of giving up.

white-flag

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Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

So once upon a time, and by that I mean just a few months ago, it looked like comprehensive immigration reform was going to happen, and soon. After all, you had Democrats fresh off an election triumph. And Republicans had finally caught on that you don’t repeatedly insult the fastest-growing demographic in America (Latinos) and expect to win.

But then government shutdowns and botched healthcare websites and Ted Cruz all happened. And now we have reached the point where people are asking, “Hey, whatever happened to that whole immigration reform thingy?”

girl-shrugging

The answer is that all that forward momentum was “no match for the absurd illogic of today’s Washington, where political imperatives, voter preferences, and even the desires of moneyed interests are powerless to move House Republicans off a default stance of ‘no.’”

So there you have it. I’m glad we spent all that time and energy on something so very, very doomed.

 


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