Tag Archives: humor

“Casa de mi padre” with Will Ferrell

YouTube will probably remove this trailer, so watch it while you can (Will Ferrell in a Spanish-speaking role!).

Glenn Danzig: Pro Literacy, Pro Spanish

Does listening to Danzig count as a guilty pleasure?

I was in high school and suffering from a severe bout of heavy metal addiction when the first Danzig album came out in 1988—bluesy and heavy with horror show lyrics…it was like manna to my ears. Oh, and the classic rock side of me loved the fact that Glenn Danzig’s voice sounded a bit like Jim Morrison’s–only a Jim Morrison obsessed with Satan and demons. I’ve had a soft spot for that album ever since, and I often find myself spinning it when I’m pissed off about something.

If you’re unfamiliar with Glenn Danzig, you should know that he was the creator and intellectual force behind the Misfits, a horror punk outfit that first came together in the late 70s and whose colorful members over the years have included Franché Coma, Brain Damage, Dr. Chud, and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Danzig disbanded the group over personal disagreements between the members, and the world lost a great and original punk band…until they reformed without him.

So Glenn formed a new band using his own name and with a much less punky style. Unfortunately, between his bulging muscles, horror movie lyrics, and occult obsessions, the man himself comes off as a bit of a nut at times. Some people even like to poke fun at him—but not me! For example, I take the following PSA-like video featuring Glenn and his book collection very seriously. I mean, the man loves to read. How great is that? And who doesn’t show off their book collection shirtless in a b&w video? I know there must be some grainy film out there of this dilettante displaying his Spanish dictionaries and short story collections while wearing only black boxers and white tube socks. ¡Qué guapo!

Danzig should also always be respected for branching out musically. Recently he recorded a new version of “Hips Don’t Lie” with Shakira—a bold move. And as you can tell by the lyrics (luckily the Institute of Danzig Research provides captioning), he’s intent on adding Spanish language skills to a resume that already includes martial arts experience, master iron pumping, wolf whispering, and Wolverine comics reading.

Luckily Danzig also has a sense of humor, as he exhibited in a recent animated guest appearance on Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Ron English on the border

Ron English is deliciously subversive with his art. He throws billboard-sized bombs at advertising design and brand culture through public (often illegal) art that twists images of Ronald McDonald, Mickey Mouse, and Joe Camel into cancerous agents of obesity, disease, and brand subservience. If you’ve seen Morgan Spurlock’s film Super Size Me, then you’ve seen his work.

Here’s a short film about the man:

Recently English decided to play an April Fool’s prank related to the immigration debate through a series of works that popped up at the US-Mexico border. Below is my favorite…though I fear that some in the US will take it seriously and want this sign permanently installed at all border crossings.

Red Hot Americas

I hope to goodness that you’re watching the World Cup this year because it’s mighty exciting. Especially for us folks in the Americas. With only two days left in the opening round of the tournament, teams from the American hemisphere collectively have 12 wins, 5 draws, and only 3 losses (2 of which came from the highly disappointing Honduran National Team—I expected so much more from los Catrachos!). Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and the United States have already advanced to the next round. Paraguay and Chile should join them on Thursday and Friday. Only Honduras is likely to be left out of the Round of 16 party. Wait…you say you didn’t know the US had qualified for the next round of the tournament? Really? Watch this…

While I hope the Yanks go far, I’m not naive enough to think they’ll win the whole thing (actually, maybe I am at the moment, but I’ll come back to Earth in a few days after the euphoria of that Donovan goal wears off). Brazil is always the favorite at these things, but I think folks should keep a close eye on Argentina. They’ve been clicking as a team already, and they’ve got one of the most exciting playmakers in the world on their team…Lionel Messi. And if it’s not the US, we want a Spanish-speaking country to win, ¿no?

Personally, I’ve been watching soccer ever since I took my first trip to Europe fifteen years ago. But if the sport doesn’t float your boat normally, I would still suggest checking out a few games or keeping on top of the latest action in the World Cup. Talking fútbol with folks is almost always a great way to break the ice with locals when you’re traveling anywhere outside of the US or Canada. Unless you support the wrong club team…then it might actually get your legs broken.

Los Hermanos Oritz : Superman es ilegal

Here is the original version of the song I discovered through La misma luna. Good stuff!

¡Es un pájaro! ¡Es un avión!
No, hombre, ¡es un mojado!

Llegó del cielo y no es un avión.
Venía en su nave, desde Criptón,
y por lo visto, no es un Americano
sino otro igual como yo, indocumentado.
Así es que migra, él no debe de trabajar
porque aunque duela, Superman es ilegal.

Es periodista, también yo soy
y no fue el Army, a que camión.
Y aquel es güero, ojos azules, bien formado
y yo prietito, gordiflón y muy chaparro.
Pero yo al menos en mi patria ya marché
con el coyote que pagué cuando cruzé.

No cumplió con el servicio militar,
no paga impuestos y le hace al judicial.
No tiene mica ni permiso pa’ volar.
Y les apuesto que ni seguro social.

Hay que hechar a Superman se esta región
y si se puede, regresarlo pa’ Criptón.
¿Dónde está esa autoridad de emigración?
¿Qué hay de nuevo, don Racismo, en la nación?

De que yo sepa no lo multan por volar
sino al contrario, lo declaran Superman.
No cumplió con el servicio militar,
no paga impuestos y le hace al judicial.
No tiene mica ni permiso pa’ volar.
Y les apuesto que ni seguro social.

Hay que hechar a Superman se esta región
y si se puede, regresarlo pa’ Criptón.
¿Dónde está esa autoridad de emigración?
¿Qué hay de nuevo, don Racismo, en la nación?

La guerra contra las hormigas

I survived my finals this week only to face a battle with a ruthless bunch of hormigas (ants) pouring into our kitchen through a crack near a garden-level window that happens to lead right into the space behind our sink. While I generally find insects a fascinating lot, I don’t take well to them getting into our cabinets, counters, and food. So I did what any red-blooded American would do…I bought a big can of Raid® (sitio en español).

It still amazes me how much Spanish appears on consumer products and in the commercial world these days. Our local Trader Joe’s grocery store, for instance, just added Spanish translations to all their store signage. And Lowe’s® has been doing the Spanish signage thing for some time—what a great way to build vocabulary!  But the impression of this dilettante is that insecticides have led the way in bilingual packaging for years now, and my big can of Raid® gives equal time to Spanish and English on its label. ¡Mata al contacto!

Now while I don’t like hormigas traipsing around my kitchen and I’ll quickly rush out to buy insecticide to stop them from doing so, I’m pretty paranoid about spraying poisonous chemicals all over mi cocina. My OCD immediately kicks in after applying the stuff—I wash my hands over and over after using it. I also tend to avoid the sprayed areas for days after laying down the lethal justice. So I was shocked when I went looking around YouTube for old Raid® commercials and found that people used to be encouraged to spray the poison like air freshener in the past. Take this ad for instance…

Am I crazy? Or is this señora inviting some form of cancer with her liberal use of the stuff?

Quiero que me quieras : Spanish Present Subjunctive Help

Mis compañeros y yo started a long battle with the subjunctive mood yesterday. Luckily, the conjugation of the first form we’re using (present subjective) is pretty easy…even if its usage can boggle the mind of a native English speaker. During class, I couldn’t get Gael García Bernal’s cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” (“Quiero que me quieras”) from Rudo y Cursi out of my head. The chorus is filled with the present subjunctive.

Quiero que me quieras.
Quiero que me adores.
Quiero que me sientas.
Me urge que me ames.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of good resources on the internet to help the Spanish student with the present subjunctive, relative to all sites providing help with basic vocabulary and the indicative mood. But Jason Jolley does have a couple of great videos explaining its conjugation and use. The first video here is on the form; the second is on the usage.

There are also a couple of good sites that let you practice conjugating the form…

*Trinity’s test on conjugating verbs without a stem change.

*Trinity’s test on verbs with a stem change.

*Mix of both.

*This present subjunctive quiz allows you to pick which verbs and pronouns you want to use.

*Barbara Kuczun Nelson’s site has extensive resources, quizzes, and practice opportunities.