Happy ‘It’s Not Mexican Independence’ Day!

by Kirsten Boyd Johnson

Mexico also has war reenactment dorks.

It is Tequila and Mini-Sombreros Day in America, hooray! It always seems like Cinco de Mayo should be Mexican Independence Day — dressing to match a national flag and getting wasted on a holiday named after its date on the calendar is how independence days are done, right? But today is actually the day when much of the United States unwittingly celebrates a Mexican military victory in 1862 over the asshole French army of Napoleon III that was in the process of trying to swoop in for some colonial sloppy seconds and take over the country (which they did, briefly). How did this become an American holiday? New historical research from a UCLA professor provides an idea of the celebration’s earliest appearance in the United States, and it is lovely.

From CNN:

[Professor David] Hayes-Bautista was culling Spanish-language newspapers in California and Oregon for vital statistics from the 1800s when he noticed how the Civil War and Cinco de Mayo battle were intertwined. He researches the epidemiology and demography of Latinos in California because he’s director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture.

“I’m seeing how in the minds of the Spanish-reading public in California that they were basically looking at one war with two fronts, one against the Confederacy in the east and the other against the French in the south,” Hayes-Bautista said in an interview with CNN.

“In Mexico today, Cinco de Mayo means the Mexican army defeated the French army,” he continued. “In California and Oregon, the news was interpreted as finally that the army of freedom and democracy won a big one against the army of slavery and elitism. And the fact that those two armies had to meet in Mexico was immaterial because they were fighting for the same issues — defending freedom and democracy. Latinos were joining the Union army, Union cavalry, Union navy.

“The French goal was to eliminate democracy, and remember that Mexico had democracy only for 30 or 40 years at that point,” he added. “Remember, Europe was ruled mostly by monarchs.”

French emperor Napoleon III “was no friend of the Union and was definitely a friend of the Confederacy and flirted with the Confederacy constantly with the possible recognition of the Confederate government,” Hayes-Bautista said. President Abraham Lincoln never referred to the Confederacy as a separate government: they were states in rebellion,” the professor said.

We’ll drink to that. [CNN]

Related video

Hola wonkerados.

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nounverb911 May 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I'm celebrating the Boston Red Sox losing again today!

NYNYNYjr May 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Please don't be obscene.

Veritas78 May 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

It's all part of our plan.

Biel_ze_Bubba May 6, 2012 at 12:21 am

As always, the Yankees are 1 or 2 games ahead in the standings.

HippieEsq May 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Still, the Cubs and French are much bigger losers.

(Go Sawx)

GunToting[Redacted] May 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

I could never understand why anyone gave a pile of dingo's kidneys about baseball in Spring. Aren't there like 4,523 games in the regular season? Wake me in late September.

Arken May 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm

And here's me thinking it's a cheap tactic to sell booze.

DWW May 6, 2012 at 12:33 am

Just another time the French surrendered…

nounverb911 May 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

France, losing wars for 150 years.

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I think the last one they won was helping some philistine colonials overthrow the benevolent patronage of fine English people.

Chichikovovich May 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm

They had a long winning streak up to 1812, but sadly, in the final they showed they aren't really an effective cold weather team.

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I seem to remember them teaming up with the Spanish in a futile attempt to dominate sea power and getting their arses soundly kicked by Admiral Lord Nelson in 1805.

Of course, then their cold weather weakness was shown for what it was as well. Then Waterloo, natch.

The French were SO ANGRY that the Brits decided to use Waterloo Station as the terminus for the Eurostar.

VicariousMe May 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

The slaves in Haiti also handed their asses back to them in 1803-4. Which is moliminously worse as in … the slaves were blahs.

user-of-owls May 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm

They were a pretty sucky warm weather team too. But I'm sure they would have ruled the world if the entire planet was like Southern California.

Sic Semper Temperate Zone!

Chichikovovich May 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Well, shoor, there was that, but there were many European countries that fell into the trap of underestimating Asians because, well, that's the sort of thing long-time colonial overlords tend to do. The British at Singapore come to mind as another example.

I have the impression that the French consciously put themselves in a position that would be clearly untenable according to classic military strategy, [though the French misunderestimated just how untenable it would be, because they wrongly believed their enemy incapable of moving artillery and antiaircraft weapons through the heavy jungle] on the assumption that this would induce the Viet Minh to discard their guerrilla tactics and engage in a more traditional engagement the French were confident they could win. Ooops.

[I'm by no stretch of the imagination well-informed about Điện Biên Phủ, so if anyone out there knows what they are talking about on this subject, feel free to correct me.]

So it was something like a coach resting his starters against a team expected not to put up a fight, and then getting embarrassed.

Vecchiojohn May 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I didn't know the Red Sox franchise was that old.

BarackMyWorld May 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

France actually won that war, just not that particular battle.
(The emperor they installed to rule Mexico would be overthrown a few years later, though.)

Biff May 6, 2012 at 1:14 am

Emperor Norton?

Steverino247 May 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

A very good reason to be kind to the French. Without them, our rebellion would have had a much more difficult time establishing our independence. They also warned us about Iraq recently, a warning W ignored to our peril.

LetUsBray May 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm

And that was when French-bashing erupted from a vague meme (there were memes before the internet, weren't there?) to a full-blown fashion. The fact that they had the fucking nerve to be right just made it worse.

BerkeleyBear May 5, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Ehh, French bashing has a history that goes back before Washington (there was that unfortunate incident that started the 7 years war, for example). WWI and II were tough calls for Americans in part because so few people really gave a crap about the French.

Steverino247 May 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Actually, they won WW I. True, they needed our help, but they fought damned hard at Verdun.

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm

The whole "the French suck at war and always lose / always surrender" thing sort of irritates me, and I'm not anywhere close to French. It was funny and relatively innocuous until the right picked it up in W's time, but now I can't hear it without thinking of Tucker Carlson and cringing. It's not like the U.S. doesn't lose wars, and lose them in absolutely spectacular fashion…

HistoriCat May 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Yeah, if the US had mowed through most of a generation of young men like the French did in WWI (seriously, their forces suffered horrendously high casualty rates), then our ability to raise sufficient forces to be effective in the next generation's war would have been much worse.

OK, that was a bit of word salad but I think you can get the idea.

glamourdammerung May 6, 2012 at 1:33 am

Exactly. And it was not like the Germans in WWII managed to fight pretty much most of Europe at the same time for multiple years or anything. Of course, outnumbering most of the opposition helped.

dadanarchist May 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I'm a professor of French History (no, seriously), and this "the French suck at wars" thing pisses me off partly because I have to deal with it with my students, but mostly because it's bullshit.

The prime examples are the Franco-Prussian War and World War II. What I always explain to my students is that World War II happened to overlap with a nearly 50 year old French "Cold" Civil War, between Right and Left. 1940-era French Teatards (among whom were many prominent Generals) basically decided that they preferred the Nazis to the French Left (literally: a toast in right-wing circles when the Jewish Socialist Leon Blum became PM in 1936 was, 'Better Hitler than Blum!').

Now, there's a lot of self-serving bullshit about the Resistance in France (cf Francois Mitterand), but in 1940, basically half the country preferred Fascist tyranny to a moderate left-wing government. People ignore the fact that when the French government signed an armistice, there were still nearly 500,000 French troops in the field and they had halted the German advance (though Paris had been abandoned).

The best book about the French and WWII is the French historian and Resistance/Holocaust martyr Marc Bloch's short book, Strange Defeat.


Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 9:54 pm

It irritates the piss out of me and I'm British.

The French are a fine, proud people.

user-of-owls May 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Good grub, too.

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2012 at 2:06 am

Wtf? You typed the worst anti-French snark I have ever seen on Wonkette. "Crack whores of Europe" or some-such.

MissNancyPriss May 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm

oh you're not american, that explains the overabundance of knowledge. and the high levels of empathy.

rickmaci May 6, 2012 at 1:19 am

French Military History. A glorious record of surrender and defeat.

Barb May 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I'm going to celebrate by making beef enchiladas with green chilies and watching pay-per-view "hot girls mud wrestling in an inflatable pool full of guacamole"

nounverb911 May 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Is that the rematch of Palin vs Bachmannn?

Barb May 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I just heard the coolest phrase on TV and I need to repeat it please.
"He's a gold-plated shit gibbon"
That felt good. It's my new favorite saying.

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Bonne cinquième de mai, mes Wonketes!

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Buongiorno, bella ragazzo!

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm

There may be a little gender mistake there, but I'll take it!

Grazie, and same to you.

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Oh, sorry; I thought you were a boy person.
Bella ragazza, then.

You know what that means, right?

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Ha! That's how much I suck at Italian – I mistook ragazzo for ragazza and confused everyone, including myself (who is a boy person)

edit: and thank you again!

Negropolis May 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

This is America, bub. Aqui, we speako de Spanglish, oh que? Tambien. Too.

valthemus May 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

It also happens to be Free Comic Book Day. I'll celebrate Cinco de Mayo by also buying 5 comics by Latino artists.

chascates May 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Jaime Hernandez?

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2012 at 2:08 am

Is he the one who draws the robots, or the one who draws the big-breasted village girls?

valthemus May 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Robert Hernandez draws the big-breasted village girls. His brother Jaime draws robots *and* big-breasted village girls.

LetUsBray May 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Certainly in LA this is one of the top two drinking days of the year (with Halloween) – New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day, and the U$C-UCLA game round out the top five. I'm celebrating not having to drive anywhere.

However, as Professor Hayes-Bautista alludes, this is a good day for the US of A and Freedom: If Napoleon III gotten well-established in Mexico, he most likely would have meddled more overtly on the States' Rights to Hold Slaves' side of our Civil War.

BerkeleyBear May 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Except that there's more than a little evidence that the House of Bourbon (who controlled most of the thrones of Continental Europe) saw the turmoil of the Civil War as a chance to retake the Louisiana Territory and California.

While the North feared France backing the South, the South feared France and/or Spain invading from below. There was even a proposal floated to have the North and South call a truce in the Civil War for the purpose of coming together and kicking Nap III out of Mexico. But it would have required the North to recognize the South, so that went nowhere.

chascates May 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Poor Mexico! So far from God, so close to the United States.

GhostBuggy May 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Not a threesome I envy.

Blueb4sunrise May 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm

vaguely related meta….does anyone else have trouble shutting off the snark? This is a minor example. Got an email from Gittar Centre


two way to get discovered this week: Battle of the Blues and Onstage with Slash.

so I replied that I think someone has already discovered the ' two way', and more!

chascates May 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I went for years repeating the comments from MST3K at what I thought were appropriate times. And before that confused people with my Firesign Theater quotes.

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm

"Not our Hitler building!" will get you weird looks, that's for sure.

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

"Firesign Theater"

"Look, it's the mural depicting the heroic struggle of the little guys to finish the mural!"

GhostBuggy May 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

It was a long time before I could get through a conversation without quoting MST3K in some way. Now I just wear black socks with white tennis shoes and wait for the other kids to beat me up.

Damn it!

Steverino247 May 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Thank you, Presidente Juarez.

GhostBuggy May 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm

That's right. Nevar Forgit that the southern states were a bunch of fucking traitors.

Veritas78 May 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

And lazy, to boot.

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm


stopthemovie May 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I guess this means my lawn won't be mowed today.

Radiotherapy May 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm

so that is why the 7/11 parking lot is empty.

Radiotherapy May 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm

so that is why the parking lot at 7/11 is empty.

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Dude, I upfisted your repeat comment just because I've never seen two identical comments a whole hour apart.

bagofmice May 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

IntenseDebate has a curious understanding of time.It will save your comment in the cookie, but then reject it because of the timestamp.

not that Dewey May 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

I did too, but apparently one of them is exactly twice as funny as the other, according to the fists!

flamingpdog May 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

And it's the second one that's twice as funny as the other one. I hope that doesn't mean that the peoplez at this site have to hear a joke twice before they get it.

Mumbletypeg May 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

my lawn won't be mowed today

"Muchos gracias .. grassy-ass ..'assy-grass'?"

not that Radio June 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I had totally forgotten about this.


Biff May 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm

¡Tacos de la libertad para todos!

weejee May 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

You always learn something new at the Wonkette. Here I thought Sink-o de Mayo was what you got by being sloppy with the Hellman's when making egg salad.

Biff May 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm

El fregadero isn't much to celebrate until you add the Hellman's.

Fare la Volpe May 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm

And we celebrate today by turning tiny Mexicans into slaves jockeys for our horse cockfight legitimate racing venue for the entertainment of racist ass crackers wealthy sports enthusiasts.

Thank God that whole "democracy" thing never took hold in America.

shebeers May 6, 2012 at 12:49 am

Viva la Mexico! Viva Mario Gutierrez! I'm so pissed off my iPad not only won't let me make an ! go upside down, I can't even start a sentence with a ! going, you know, like this ! wtf?

bagofmice May 6, 2012 at 6:11 am

Edit your keyboard settings.

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 6:36 am

Is "edit your keyboard settings" computerese for "fuck your iPad"?

Fare la Volpe May 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

This is my new fetish.

MissNancyPriss May 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I won $700 on tiny mexican slave jockey mario guiterrez and his slave steed. can't help it, i love the races.

Native_of_SL_UT May 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm

So I'm watching the NASCAR race on ABC today when the announcer tells us that if you select the SAP button on your TV, you can listen to the race in Spanish. I could hear the NASCAR fan heads exploding from shore to shore.

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

"you can listen to the race in Spanish"

so instead of all the cars going
They all go

Negropolis May 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Dubbed by Sofia Vergara.

James Michael Curley May 6, 2012 at 10:21 am

But K-Mart?

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

¡Andale! ¡Andale!

not that Dewey May 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

¡Gire a la izquierda!

Blueb4sunrise May 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

This is very cool. I admit to being as puzzled as anyone why it became such a USian tradition. But hey, beer!!!

And this kind of learning stuff is just what the Tucson Unified School District is cancelling as 'Ethnic Studies'.

En Espanol.

EtchySketchy May 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Stupid French. Freedom Enchiladas for all my friends!

chascates May 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Things That Should Fall Out Of A Piñata At A Cinco De Mayo Party

GeneralLerong May 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Hey! If we can't sell the South to Mexico, maybe it's possible to give half of it away? ["Here's your cut."]

LetUsBray May 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Or at least send 'em back Arizona and Texas along with a nice note apologizing for the misunderstanding?

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Personally, I think we'd get the better part of the deal if we paid them to take it.

sbj1964 May 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

The Mexicans beat the French? Well who has not? You attack the French half surrender,and the other half switches sides.Beating the French is just lame for a holiday.

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm
Guppy May 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Scaring the French away was probably the only time the Monroe Doctrine worked as intended.

Toomush_Infer May 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I'm celebrating the day whoever introduced lime to the Mexican people – because, without lime, civilized life is impossible….actually, I'm celebrating heavily….

Blueb4sunrise May 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I think maybe the citrus came with the Germans and their beer .

[not intended to be a factual statement]

Negropolis May 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Yes, Germany has the perfect climate for growing limes.

[surely not intended to be a factual statement]

Blueb4sunrise May 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I did some research [asked my neighbor], according to him, limes came to North America stored in the bowel of the dinosaur Jeebus rode here to write to Constitution.

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

The Mexican lime is native to the Indo-Malayan region. It was unknown in Europe before the Crusades and it is assumed to have been carried to North Africa and the Near East by Arabs and taken by Crusaders from Palestine to Mediterranean Europe. In the mid-13th Century, it was cultivated and well-known in Italy and probably also in France. It was undoubtedly introduced into the Caribbean islands and Mexico by the Spaniards, for it was reportedly commonly grown in Haiti in 1520. It readily became naturalized in the West Indies and Mexico, There is no known record of its arrival in Florida. Dr. Henry Perrine planted limes from Yucatan on Indian Key and possibly elsewhere. In 1839, cultivation of limes in southern Florida was reported to be "increasing". The lime became a common dooryard fruit and by 1883 was being grown commercially on a small scale in Orange and Lake Counties. When pineapple culture was abandoned on the Florida Keys, because of soil depletion and the 1906 hurricane, people began planting limes as a substitute crop for the Keys and the islands off Ft. Myers on the west coast. The fruits were pickled in saltwater and shipped to Boston where they were a popular snack for school children. The little industry flourished especially between 1913 and 1923, but was demolished by the infamous hurricane of 1926. Thereafter, the lime was once again mainly a casual dooryard resource on the Keys and the southern part of the Florida mainland.

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

Google is your neighbor's worst nightmare.

Infrogmation May 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Large amounts of Asian citrus and flowering plant species were brought to Mexico by the Jesuits in the Colonial era. (Some got as far as colonial Louisiana, which is why we still have such an abundance of satsumas, loquats, and camellias in S.E. Louisiana.

DemmeFatale May 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

When my daughter was dating a Stanford marching band man, he told her about a drink called the "Stuntman."
You drink a shot of Tequila, snort the salt, and squirt yourself in the eye with the lime(!), all while your friends are chanting: "Stuntman, Stuntman, Stuntman!"
(I'm guessing you have to be PRETTY drunk to do this!)

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Or a huge liar.

BerkeleyBear May 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Never doubt a Stanford band drinking legend – some dumbass (with great SAT scores) has done it.

Chocolate donuts and beer is the standard gameday breakfast, and it just goes up from there.

They are about the only thing from the 'furd I don't despise completely (but don't get me started on that mother fucking tree).

DemmeFatale May 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

He also told us about how stinky the tree is, and how you HAVE to be drunk to wear it.
(Ever notice how it's shaped like a redwood/conifer, but has deciduous leaves?)

Come here a minute May 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by Americans to commemorate the only thing we remember from high school Spanish. Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, etcetera.

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco

a one, two! uno dos tres quatro!
*cranks "Wooly Bully"*
*dances like a crazy person*

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm

⬆ I'm starting to like this woman.

Steverino247 May 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Many displaced Confederates, especially the arrogant fuckers that started the rebellion, fled to Mexico through Texas after losing the Civil Way to join the French Army. They were hoping to cash in on a French victory and start up their cotton/slave operations down there. Most were either killed in combat or captured and executed by the Mexicans who knew very well what those bastards had in mind for their country. Napoleon III later lost his ass to the Prussians in 1870 (and we all know who ELSE benefited from that victory).

doloras May 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm


Guppy May 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm


Infrogmation May 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm


SorosBot May 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I'm just celebrating by playing Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, and hoping that my girlfriend's (MissTaken, if you don't know) injured back gets better. Actually, that sounds like a totally ordinary Saturday night. But I am going to go and finally see The Avengers tomorrow.

MissTaken May 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Thanks, honey! Back feels a bit better, but still not going out for cervezas and tequila.

Steverino247 May 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Get well soon! I know full well what painful backs are like.

Barb May 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I am glad that you feel better, Sweetie. I completely blame Soros for injuring you, guilty or not.

HistoriCat May 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

You try to warn kids about risky sex but do they listen? No!

Barb May 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I know what you mean, Histori. The minute someone tries to bring a banana peel into the bedroom I balk. Nope, that could be slippery.

SorosBot May 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

Yay at your back feeling better; hope you fully heal it soon.

Fare la Volpe May 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Which character you play in Brawl?

SorosBot May 6, 2012 at 8:57 am

I actually like R.O.B. the best.

Radiotherapy May 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

i sure picked the wrong day to quit drinking.

Biff May 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Timing is everything!

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm

yes, but how do you feel about gladiator movies?

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Can we all get drunk and put all the Republitards in a Turkish prison?

Radiotherapy May 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm
HuddledMass May 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

They would like that, the sick fucks.

JustPixelz May 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

The important thing is Cinco de Mayo helps fill the gap between Presidents Day and Memorial Day. With global warming giving us an earlier start to the picnic season, we could use a good excuse to drink beer outside.

Butch_Wagstaff May 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Then they'll go on facebook with yet another racist comment about how this America dammit! And we speak American here!
Really, I have never understood how so many people get pissed off about such a small thing. They get angry because English isn't the only language option? Is it because they are just racist or are their fingers so fat they are physically incapable of making a choose on a keypad?

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

The answer to your questions is a resounding "All of them, Katie."

Indiepalin May 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Napolean the 23rd, a descendent had a hit in the sixties about being taken away in a rubber truck, if that helps

GuanoFaucet May 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Now that I've put the kid to bed, my night will be spent mixing the Bass Ale with the Guinness Stout while listening to Paul's Boutique, on repeat.

Barb May 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Cheers, Guano!

Designer_Rants May 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

There are other countries?

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Sure … ever hear of Africa? Even Sarah knows about that one.

Designer_Rants May 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Oh, that's right. She can see it from her porch.

Stevola May 6, 2012 at 12:37 am

Of course! That's who we invade!

politics_nerd May 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Presidente is a brand of whisky (brandy), not tequila.

chascates May 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Great neat but I like it with Coke.

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2012 at 2:11 am

Whisky is brandy, now?

dandalion May 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

There is a big difference between brandy and whisky (spelled whiskey for American made be it a blend or a bourbon)… brandy is made from grapes and whisky is made from a grain (corn, wheat and or rye). Presidente is a brandy

Doktor StrangeZoom May 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

So, OT, but new thread, so I'll post this here: Turns out that if you're blah, the cops will also kill you for accidentally setting off your medical alert device.

Designer_Rants May 5, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I realize the vast majority of officers are out there doing the right thing throughout their careers, but for the other ones who are hateful morons, they should at least try to remember that if they can't do the right thing just because, then do it because we now live in a surveillance state, and even MedicAlert bracelets record it when they call an elderly black veteran "nigger" and shoot him in his bed.

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm

On that tape: "“This is my sworn testimony. White Plains officers are coming in here to kill me.”

Much more to this story than meets the eye, no? And this may sound familiar, but nothing was done about it, until the victim's relatives made a stink. NOW, there's a grand jury looking into it.

Doktor StrangeZoom May 6, 2012 at 1:02 am

As one of the commenters there said, "It's cops like these that give a bad name to the other 5%"

Me_K_Cong May 6, 2012 at 12:24 am

I followed the link. Wow. Remind me not to get medic alert. Or a house alarm. Or ever utter the word help in earshot of a cop.

MissTaken May 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Feliz Navidad!

Tundra Grifter May 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Almost exactly one year later – April 30, 1863 – a patrol of some 60 members of the French Foreign Legion found 2,000 Mexican soliders at Camarón. They were wiped out.

Every year the Legion remembers the date.

There are many snide remarks above about the French military. Anyone questioning their military heritage is forgetting it was the French navy that won the American Revolution for us. And the army took huge losses in WW I, among many other wars.

It's popular for some people to question their ability and courage. But the fact that many people do it doesn't make it correct.

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm

As I said in the earlier comment, it really irritates me the way people are utterly dismissive of the French as a military force.

Now, the Belgians …

BerkeleyBear May 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

But cheese eating surrender monkeys is so much more fun to say than sovereign nation and long term ally with a proud military tradition and complex history.

Boojum May 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

I remember when a W era State Department spokesman referred to the French, Belgians, and Germans as a bunch of chocolate makers and rhetorically asked what they know about going to war.

I can understand the perception about France and Belgium, but Germany? Really?

Update: "In unusually blunt language that drew surprised gasps from reporters, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher scoffed at Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg for continuing to support the proposal that they first introduced at a mini-summit in April."

He described the April meeting as one between "four countries that got together and had a little bitty summit" and then referred to them collectively as "the chocolate makers."

DemmeFatale May 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

Boucher sounds like a suspiciously foreign name.
Hmmm…wonder where his "people" are from?

HistoriCat May 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

There's that famed W administration grasp of diplomacy and history. I can't believe we didn't choose to keep their policies going!

John Bolton for President!

Doktor StrangeZoom May 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

And the quick French collapse in WWII was a direct result of the insanely high losses in WWI– something like half of all French men between the ages of 18 and 30 died in the first war. Not half the combatants. Half the male population in that age range.

Tundra Grifter May 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thank you! You made my point better than I did.

To be serious on a Sunday morning, it is my personal theory the decline of the British nation had a great deal to do with (depending on how you count) a hundred years of constant war.

For generations the best and the brightest – and certainly the bravest – died around the globe to preserve the Empire. Then came the absolute horrors of WW I – more casualties (killed and wounded) in one day at the Somme than we lost in Viet Nam.

"A scrimmage in a Border Station–
"A canter down some dark defile–
"Two thousand pounds of education
"Drops to a ten-rupee jezail–"

~ "Arithmetic on the Frontier," Kipling
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

Doktor StrangeZoom May 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Just bought and started reading Adam Hochschild's To End All Wars, which asks, perfectly reasonably, "If we were allowed to magically roll back history to the start of the 20th century and undo one – and only one – event, is there any doubt that it would be the war that broke out in 1914?"

not that Dewey May 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

Well, you're a good man, Albert Brown
And you was wounded in the War
And though you shot some people down,
You're still a good man, Albert Brown.

Infrogmation May 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm
MosesInvests May 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Vive le mort, vive le guerre, vive le sacre mercenaire!

HistoriCat May 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I could be wrong (and I'm too lazy to Google right now) but isn't Cinco de Mayo primarily celebrated in Mexico mainly in the state where the battle happened? My personal theory is that folks from that state continued the celebrations when they moved to the US. Now in places like Texas and California, the weather in early May is good for an outdoor party … so why wait for Memorial Day?

Tundra Grifter May 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

I believe you are correct. I heard secondhand a NYT account that the celebration started to raise money to continue the war.

Negropolis May 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm

OT, but isn't Mexico about to have a president from the left for the first time in quite a few years? I think I heard something about it the other day.

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm

It sure would be nice if at least one of the North American countries had a President from the left.

horsedreamer_1 May 6, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Give us ths day our daily PRD.

Though, at this point, a return to the presidency by the PRI would be better than another six years on the order of El Caballo de Los Pinos (Fox) & his successor, Calderon.

user-of-owls May 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

That's precisely what we're going to get, the Re-PRI. Poor old AMLO is going to get creamed…again…and Peña Nieto of the PRI will roll. The PANistas seem to have decided that as long as they are going off the cliff, they might as well give Josefina the wheel because hey, chivalry.

Negropolis May 7, 2012 at 12:13 am

Well, I meant to the left of PAN. Obrador is a real and serious socialist, and those don't get elected much in modern, Western democracies, anymore. PRI is better than Fox & Friends.

I'm just happy to see these unapologetic right-wingers falling all over the globe, lately. I don't know much about Germany other than that it seems to be doing pretty well, so Merkel seems at least tolerable. But, all the rest seem to have boderline personality disorders apart from their horrible policies.

Chow Yun Flat May 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm

President Abraham Lincoln never referred to the Confederacy as a separate government: they were states in rebellion,” the professor said.

They were revolting as well.

valgal2342 May 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Meh, it is Kentucky Derby Day here in Louisville! Mint juleps all around, on me!

Oh and….25 year old jockey, Mario Gutierrez, won his first KY Derby today on, "I'll Have Another" and he's from MEXICO. So I guess we should break out the tequila too!

Barb May 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Happy Cinco De Derby to you too, Dear!

valgal2342 May 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Gracias mi amiga!

Biel_ze_Bubba May 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

"How did this become an American holiday?"

The invention of the margarita had a lot to do with it.

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm

The good ol' days, when farms were still funny.

ttommyunger May 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Those fucking French, always meddling! OT: Barb gave me an attaboy for tweeting this link, so here it is for those Wonketeers who haven't seen it, my fav is "Get In My Vagina".

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Wait, you're telling me the 9 years of French I took in school and college wouldn't have been wasted out here in Colorado if Napolean III had whupped the Messicans? And I'm supposed to celebrate?

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm

You can still use it to impress the ladies!

Wait, who am I kidding.

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

"I'd love to have my dad involved in my vagina!"

At that point, I completely lost it, and my roommates thought I might be having some sort of attack on account of the laughter.

Barb May 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

This was on Bill Maher last night before it was posted to the Funny or Die site. I had to watch the rerun to catch it again and was so happy when TTommy brought it to us.

Cheers, Mad!

Maman May 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Happy "My Weekend Has Been Fucked Up By Teenagers Again" Day!

shebeers May 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

I saw a Mexican jockey by the name of Mario Gutierrez win the Derby today. Feliz Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky! (you know they gotta be pissed)

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2012 at 2:24 am

Does anybody except downtown twenty-somethings and suburban patio dwellers celebrate Cinco de Mayo, with its dubiously Mexican official drink, the Margarita? Everybody who lives anywhere near actual Mexicans knows that the big independence celebration, with the parades and the Mexican flags on everybody's car, is in mid-September.

not that Dewey May 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

On my birthday, specifically. Living as I do in "New" Mexico, I am quite enchanted by this Real Mexican Holiday.

ElPinche May 6, 2012 at 11:01 am

As a patio dweller and actual mexican, I carouse and drink margaritas even on White Pride day.

Biff May 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

Have you seen Ms. Noonington?

ElPinche May 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Yeah, she's under the table, eating my flauta with one fancy pinky up .

user-of-owls May 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Cuidate Pinche. No puedes hacer mini-pinches sin tu flauta y si la dama mas blanca que blanco come tu equipaje…

Chet Kincaid May 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Bash a Ronald Reagan pinata for me!

ElPinche May 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

We bashed it and we actually got poorer.

user-of-owls May 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm

…and covered in ketchup.

Infrogmation May 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm

We celebrate it here in New Orleans, of course. (Depending on the day of the week, usually while also celebrating Jazz Fest). We also celebrate Mexican Independence Day on 16 September (the day after we celebrate Central American Independence Day). Of course we also have parties and parades for Bastille Day. And the anniversary of Andrew Jackson's defeat of the British, as well as Queen Elizabeth's Birthday. OK, and pretty much any other excuse to drink and party in the streets.

BTWBFDIMHO May 6, 2012 at 4:04 am

Is Italy in war with Mexico? Or Ireland?

johnnyzhivago May 6, 2012 at 6:59 am

So if the South had been allowed to break off, it would have become a civilized, French colony – sort of like America's Morrocco – a land of sophistication and fine food, untangled in American politics?

Fucking Lincoln!

johnnyzhivago May 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

New thing to tell your Southern friends:

STFU, asshole. If it weren't for the North, you'd be speaking French today!

ElPinche May 6, 2012 at 10:57 am

"..Now eat your chimichanga."

BTW.. We're all mescans when chimichanga is in spellcheck .

ttommyunger May 6, 2012 at 7:07 am

Awwwww, shucks, ma'am. (hangs head, shuffles boots in dust)

voodooeconomics May 6, 2012 at 9:51 am

It became a holiday because we wanted Coronas on special, even for a single day we must pay less than $4.50 for that Messican piss.

cheetojeebus May 6, 2012 at 10:15 am

Zoot allurs! sock craw blue? no live blog of Sarkozy's defeat?

weejee May 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

Poor Nicky. He'll have to seek comfort for his sad in Carla Bruni's arms.

/ cues très triste violins.

DahBoner May 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

You just can't depend on those other holidays, the way they move it around all the time.

At least Cinco de Mayo always falls on the 5th of May…

owhatever May 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

See what will happen if we don't build that damned fence? Texas will be overrun. Vive la cinco de Mayo.

MiniMencken May 7, 2012 at 5:13 am

Me, for one, is super-excited about this holiday! We got to kick the French ass, face down on the gravel road! So sweet! Maybe the Wonkette lady, she go out for some bebidas with su amigo? And she wear a nice Poblana skirt, but with the no underpanties, yes?

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hank Scorpio: Homer, if you *absolutely had* to blow up a country, which would you pick — France or Italy?
Homer: Hmm… Ehhh… Um, France, I guess.
Hank Scorpio [to himself, with evil supervillain chuckle]: Heh, heh, heh. Nobody EVER picks Italy!

qwerty42 May 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

I think French bashing goes back to the Hundred Years War (Dutch bashing dates to the Anglo-Dutch wars), and a rivalry that only ended in the 19th Century (it really PO'd the Kaiser that his cousin Bertie preferred the French and Paris to the Germans -Prussians- and Berlin). The Brits were able to export this to the New World because the rivalry was carried on in the Americas, and provided the backdrop to some savage warfare in the colonies. That said, once the American colonists rose in rebellion, they turned to the only power that could (or would) help. For the original issue, I myself find the claims of an English king to the throne of France to be absurd, but of course, the nation-state that we know did not yet exist in a form we would recognize. So the Brits and French fought an pointless, bloody war that weakened both and contributed to the rise of the Habsburgs. Uh …. how did I get off on this?

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

As I'm reading this, I'm also watching "Touch of Satan": "This is where the fish lives".

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Wonkette: more historical knowledge than yer average pundit on any TV show.

This places rules.

user-of-owls May 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Rene: Ces hommes en pyjama noir. Comment pouvons-nous perdre?

Marcel: Ils ne savent même pas ce que le fromage soit. vous appelez cela une civilisation? Hõ Hõ.

Rene: Attendre, n'est-ce pas censé être un mime?

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm

"Good, so we're both in the clutches of the devil because you wanted seconds."

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I like my women slippery.

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Ragazzo is cute young male hottie.
Ragazza is cute young female hottie.
[although it sounds like it should mean ragamuffin, doesn't it?]
Since my family is southern Italian (and therefore drops all the endings of words), we pronounce both ragazz', so it's a genderless term like "hottie" or "PYT".

Steverino247 May 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I could name the participants down to the rank of Sergeant, but that would be showing off.

Barb May 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Good one, Flaming!

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Damn straight. Baguette a l'ancienne with good cheese. My mouth is watering.

tessiee May 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

"Slutting is fun!"

[OK, that's from "Hobgoblins", but that was a perfect set-up; also, I like the word "slutting"]

flamingpdog May 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I thought Ho was a Minh, not a mime.

MadBrahms May 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I think the world would be a better place if soldiers really did fight wars with garden tools.

user-of-owls May 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm


Chichikovovich May 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Baguette fresh from the oven + Vieux Cantal. Mmmmmmm…..

That plus coffee was my breakfast every day for two months when I was working in France a couple years ago. Never got tired of it.

James Michael Curley May 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

Without which we would have to call her Lizzie.

Arken May 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Considering the only holes in an ipad are the size of the charge cable and the size of a headphone plug, sorry about your penis.

MissNancyPriss May 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I wanna know!

ElPinche May 7, 2012 at 12:43 am

Si! Es la verdad , buhito.

Fukui-sanYesRadio May 7, 2012 at 4:05 am

I believe it was calling the French and Italians the "accepting catamites of Europe"

If I meant it then it'd be vicious. Sure, I'll call Brits pasty-faced snaggletoothed chavs, or Americans halfwits whose fat must have invaded their cerebral arteries, but these are people that I like.

BerkeleyBear May 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Supposedly the costume changes every few years (if anyone is the tree 2 years in a row they get to customize it, so for example switch to a palm) but I'm sure smells about as awesome as the Oski outfit does (vomit and b.o. being the main scents).

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