Cinco de Mayo pretty much means nothing to Mexicans, but to Mexican-Americans and middle school language and social studies teachers it’s a day to recognize Mexican heritage and cultural contributions; for functioning alcoholics it’s a day to pound margaritas and Pacificos until you finally feel free to just be yourself.
But let’s take this time to admire what I think are a few of Mexico’s greatest cultural, geographic, and historical assets which are all extremely badass.
1. Communists in 1940’s Mexico: In the ’40s Mexico became a heaven for exiled communists and blacklisted Americans who then seduced the wives of Mexico’s most famous men (ie: Leon Trotsky and Frida Khalo) and continued to produce great works (ie: writers Hugo Butler, Dalton Trumbo). A total crew of badasses.
2. The Mexican Coat of Arms: A Golden Eagle eating a snake on a cactus is more badass than having Rambo on your flag.
3. Tenochtitlan, the island capital of the Aztec Empire. The Aztecs dominated a swampy island in the middle of Lake Texcoco, carving the soggy land into a series floating gardens and insane palaces. By 1516, Tenochtitlan was 5 times bigger than London and like a billion times cooler (example: Aztec Warriors had their own special sect of free prostitutes and everyone had amazing jewelery). Mexico city now rests in the dry bed of Lake Texcoco.
4. The Mesoamerican ballcourt: The Mayans, Aztec, Olmec and every other crucial tribe invested a lot into the events held at their ballcourts which featured a hybrid contact hip-hand-racquet ballgame with ritual sacrifices to pump up the crowd. Sometimes wars were fought by proxy on the court with the best players from each tribe. Oh also, they thought that the ballcourt was an entrance to the underworld- as do I.
5. Zapatista Women: Although many women contributed to the Mexican Revolution and supplied factions with supplies and services throughout the county, only Emilio Zapata had female soldiers and even officers in his army- and these women were cool as hell. There are Zapatista Women organized today in Chiapas fighting against an oppressive Mexican government as part of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation who wear ski masks and look like they could eat the Code Pink soccer moms for breakfast.
6. Catholics: say what you will about the Catholic church, but in Mexico and Central America, Catholics have contributed to progressive social movements and built some totally badass churches.
7. Gael García Bernal.
9. Mexican Pharmacies: Yes, amigas y amigos, the Mexican pharmacy is your friend- but the friend who doesn’t care if you get arrested for smuggling prescription drugs across the border or die taking the wrong pills.
9. Mexican and Tex-Mex Food: Burritos, carnitas, fish tacos, queso, cholula and hot sauces, enchiladas, tamales- do I honestly need to go on here? Crushing a taco doused in hot sauce is clearly more badass than crushing a soggy piece of pizza sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
10. Mexican Acid Rock: Mexicans know how to rock, here are some badass Mexican acid rock videos curated by Peter.
La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata