A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

quinta-feira, junho 20, 2002

More fun. This letter's a bit weird...

I have a passing interest in soccer although I do enjoy the international level competition of the World Cup and the Olympics.

I recently read your essay in the San Francisco Chronicle and am intrigued by your theory of soccer as ethnic/cultural payback. As an American of German extraction, I may follow your lead and cheer for the German team to defeat the United States. It would be like payback for 1918 and 1945 and the seizure of Germany's ancient territories by other nationalities as well as for German immigrants who were absorbed into this country.

But then again, I think I just might stick with our American team because if we can get by the Germans, we may have the opportunity to defeat the British in the next round. Now that would really be payback for them burning Washington in 1814!

I'll close with a quote from the great French-Canadian-born, American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac:

"I’m pro-American and the radical political involvements seem to tend elsewhere . . . The country gave my Canadian family a good break, more or less, and we see no reason to demean said country."

My response...

Thank you for your comments. While your sarcasm is well taken, I do believe it is misplaced. My article deals with immigrants themselves, not descendents of immigrants such as you. Immigrants would have more cause to remember past grievances (whether the grievances are justifiable is besides the point) since they’re recent to this country, so it follows that they might very well remember the past the way that you demonstrated. But this historical memory dissipates as a group assimilates into the United States, and past grudges fade away. This is the United States.

BTW, the Kerouac quote is great? Where did he say it?