Undergrad Rag

Cinco de Mayo: Is it More Than Just a Rationalization to Get Drunk?

In College Social Scene, Student Issues on May 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm

4 out of these 5 men have horrible VD

On the fifth of May every year, English speaking students gather for a fun-filled night of margaritas, sombreros, Corona with lime, and a myriad of other regrettable decisions. For many it will mark the emergence of summer and the end of finals. For many more, it will be yet another blurred remembrance punctuated only by the fact that they wake up with half a mariachi band in their bed and severe burning south of the border.

But is it possible that this random day with an amusingly ethnic name is more than a frat boy’s last stab at drunken poon, or a slutty girl’s last chance before the school year ends to blame a foursome on jumbo margaritas? While our basic human instincts would assume that a holiday could not hope to reach loftier heights, this is not the case. As two minutes on Wikipedia (a site only useful for last-minute plagiarism when you don’t even care if it’s right) will tell you, it is actually a legitimate holiday!

We can hear the letters to the editor now: “But guys, it’s a Mexican holiday. This is America; a place where kidnappings are far less frequent, our meals are not countless variations of the same four ingredients (beans, rice, corn, and low-grade beef), and apparently, the colors of our flag never run together in the wash. Why should we give a shit what anyone in Mexico does?”

Well for starters, the holiday isn’t the same depending on where you are. In America, the fifth of May is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage. We can act like that doesn’t matter – and for the most part, we will – but is that really fair? We treat Columbus Day with at least a minimal amount of reverence. Even African Americans get the month of February without turning it into a four-week drinking binge. Granted, we only observe Columbus Day because we fear the Italians will knee-cap us, and we did manage to convince African Americans that celebrating them for the shortest month of the year will heal wounds that are centuries old.

This also goes a long way. If not, well they're just being greedy at that point.

However, at least we make the effort to pretend. While we may not identify with our Mexican brethren every day, there is a solid reason for us joining hands with our fellow swarthy citizens on May 5th.

In Mexico, the purpose of the holiday is to celebrate the victory of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin over a French force double the size in the year 1862. That’s right, while America was having its “Family Feud” that took the form of mass slaughter, the Mexicans were still repelling European invaders.

To make it doubly impressive, the French army was considered the best army in the world at the time. If you’re saying to yourself “Hold on a minute, the French? The people who were basically a nation of fops for the better part of two hundred years? The same people who got steam rolled by Germany so fast they didn’t have time to pack away their beret and finish their cigarette before Hitler was dancing on the Arc de Triomphe?”

Yep, they are the same smelly, rude (in case it’s unclear, I do not care for the French), frog eating Europeans I’m referring to. They actually have a proud military tradition dating back a thousand years, and when they were facing the Mexicans, they weren’t known for their coffee and whores. They were known for kicking ass.

These were the Rambos of 19th century Europe


When the 4,000 poorly equipped Mexicans beat 8,000 Frenchmen armed to the teeth, it was a major boost for the Mexican resistance. Granted, a year later the French marched in 30,000 troops and captured Mexico’s capital, in what had to be the snootiest  conquest ever.

Enter America. Since the North and South were done having their slap fight, the U.S. could take the time out of its day to come in and whoop some French butt. We didn’t cotton to the idea that the only reason the French invaded Mexico was to use it as a base to back the Confederacy, so we came in and helped the Mexicans rise up again. In 1865 The French Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I, was executed, ruining his favorite powdered wig in the process.

To sum up Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day that a Mexican David beat a French Goliath, and bought America enough time to finish its war before the French could get involved. While the victory is not really about America, we should be grateful for the bravery of 4,000 under equipped Mexican fighters, many of whom were not even professional soldiers.

So every day this year, lets us join hands with our brothers to the south and sing a common refrain that can resonate with all of us:

Fuck the French.


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