Wednesday, February 8, 2006

The Lariat "gaucho"

bout a week ago, Rebel Girl seemed particularly peevish, and so I asked her what was up, and she showed me the Sports page of the latest Lariat (Jan. 31). Evidently, some knucklehead on the paper had made an unfortunate choice to represent the Saddleback College mascot, the Gaucho.

Here's a portion of the Sports page, sporting two "Gaucho" images:

According to Rebel Girl, the Lariat's "Gaucho" bears an unfortunately close resemblance to the "Frito Bandito," a character used to sell Fritos corn chips in the 60s--until Frito Lay was pressured to drop the bandit, owing to complaints that he presented a negative stereotype (the sneaky thief).

Oddly, Rebel Girl remembered the Frito Bandito song, which she proceeded to sing:

Aye, yii, yii, yiiii,
I am the Frito Bandito.
I like Frito's Corn Chips,
I love them I do.
I want Frito's Corn Chips,
I'll get them from you.

Aye, yii, yii, yiiii,
Oh, I am the Frito Bandito.
Give me Frito Corn chips
And I'll be your friend.
The Frito Bandito
You must not offend.

The Frito Bandito was sly and sneaky, but the Lariat's Gaucho appears to be more angry and cross-eyed. Still, the two characters are cousins.

Like the Frito Bandito, the Lariat's "Gaucho" appears to be Mexican, for he is wearing a sombrero. Mexican cowboys ("vaqueros") wear sombreros, I guess. But the Gaucho is not Mexican, but Argentinean, and he doesn't wear no stinkin' sombrero. (Students, Argentina is on a different continent, the one to the south.)

I found a website dedicated to the Argentinean Gaucho, where I found this image:

I showed the Lariat Gaucho to knowledgeable Latino colleagues, who assured me that that "Gaucho" causes OUCHO followed by GROUCHO.


Anonymous said...

Come on. Don't be so sensitive. It's not like the cross-eyed gauacho is drunk or anything. Or lazy and sleeping under a cactus. Or an illegal immigrant and lacking papers.

Wait a minute...has anyone seen his green card?

one hot tamale said...

The new improved "oucho gaucho is just one of the district's thoughtful efforts at outreach. Think of last summer "wipeout wave."

They are doing the best they can with what they have - which includes, apparently, some tired old stereotypes that should be - for so many reasons, -retired.

This isn't retro.

This isn't satire.

Word Police said...

Hey, that Frito Bandito was pretty menacing. Just listen to the words of his song! Sly and menacing is worse than angry and menacing.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if people want to have a racist sterotype as their mascot they have eveyr rigt to do so - but they really need to call the team the Racist Mexican Stereotypes.

Just be upfront about it, that's all we ask.

Fight on, Stereotypes!

Go team!

Ay caramba!

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