Gustavo Arellano
Gustavo Arellano

Gustavo Arellano is an author, journalist and editor of OC Weekly (in Orange County, Calif.). He’s best known for his syndicated column “Ask a Mexican,” which appeared for a stint in LEO Weekly, a few editors and owners ago.

Arellano is bringing his humorous and informational take on Mexican culture to U of L on Monday, Feb. 9, in his lecture “How Mexican Food Conquered America — Even Kentucky.”

Coming off the heels of his recent release “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America,” Arellano has tailored his lecture to focus on us, since he’s currently working on an oral history project on Mexican restaurants in Kentucky.

He’ll also tackle everything from margaritas and burritos to how Doritos were invented at Disneyland.

Arellano began writing his “Ask a Mexican” column in 2004 in an effort to explore issues like immigration, labor and Mexican culture by using humor. He’s won numerous awards for his books and columns, and he’s currently a consulting producer on the upcoming Fox animated series “Bordertown.”

Arellano’s free lecture is sponsored by U of L’s history and anthropology departments, liberal studies and Latin American and Latino studies programs, and the Office of Diversity and International Affairs. It’ll begin at 5:30 p.m. in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium. For more information, call 852-6818.

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s “Ask a Mexican” column in OC Weekly:

DEAR MEXICAN: Why is rock en español so mellow? You’d think that with so much injustice, Mexican rock bands would sound angrier. —El Gigante de Anaheim

DEAR ANAHEIM GIANT: You’d think so, right? Back in the Mexican’s rockero days, groups such as Maldita Vecindad, Café Tacuba, El Gran Silencio and so many more were laying down tracks as political as they were moshable—for crying out loud, death-metal icons Brujería once recorded a song imagining hateful California Governor Pete “Pito” Wilson getting assassinated with an AK-47. And who can forget rock gods El Tri singing about wiping their shit-stained culos with the border wall in “El Muro de la Vergüenza” (“The Wall of Shame”)? But those days are long gone; nowadays, you’re lucky if the latest pop chanteuse even gives a shoutout to the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa. The answer is simple: Maná. Oh, “matando güeros/estilo O.J. Simpson,” where art thou?

Sara Havens

Sara Havens

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog ( daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."