|Memin Pinguin : The Wrong
Message to Post
by Phil Costas
learned today about the Mexican Post Office, and their unfortunate
decision to release a series of stamps featuring Memin Pinguin, a popular
comic book character first published in the 1940s. Memin is beloved in
Mexico, much like Goofy or Elmer Fudd are in the US. Here's an example of
his early days.
I can't make out a thing they're saying, but
apparently the young lad is enjoying a plate of flapjacks. Or flapjack,
since he only has one. But should we be
enjoying the young lad? Many say no. Even White House press secretary Scott MClellan was moved to
comment on it this morning.
"...[it is] an internal issue for Mexico
and the postal authorities that issued the stamp. With that said, I would
like to make a couple of points. Racial stereotypes are offensive no
matter what their origin. The Mexican government needs to take this into
account. Images like these have no place in today's world."
Jesse Jackson called the stamps offensive,
and I for once am inclined to agree with the highly opinionated Reverend.
These stamps are offensive, but not because of the comical chimp boy
or his equally simian mother. Earth to liberals: These are cartoons,
not real life. Is Goofy an attack on Goofy people? Of course not, and
they're not smart enough to understand it if it was. Is Elmer Fudd an
affront to the millions of loyal members of the NRA? Well, yes, he is, but
we try to remind ourselves that it's just a cartoon.
No, these stamps are offensive because of the
sort of person that Memin chose to become after he was brought back in the
1980's - a boy who's moral compass was always stuck on south.
At first Mermin was content to
simply outrage Christian White People, the very same group for which Howard
Dean has shown such utter contempt.
What changed Mermin from a
garden variety Denis the Menace character into a lost soul with no future?
Some say it goes back to his domineering mother; that when friends found out
about his sissification, something inside him of him was transformed
The day soon came when his
mother would torment him no longer. Was Memin guilty? Is there justice in
Mexico? Ha. He was back on the street within a few days.
The alleyways provide their
own diversions, and Mermin was soon accepted as a member of 'Los Buitres'.
He was a particularly brutal fighter, preferring the heft of a rock to the
power of his own fists. The gang made him their enforcer.
This was the job that Memin
was born for, and he took to it like a fish to water. Before long, he was
one of the wealthiest men in El Ciado.
His money couldn't buy him
happiness, however. Memin's long time love, Becky Quiavo ran off with Perro
Enojado, the driver for 'Los Buitres'. Shortly afterwards, the two were
found bludgeoned to death outside of the oficina del policía. A simple
twenty dollar bribe ensured that Memin would never see a day behind bars.
Memin's life became little
more than an endless search for ever more decadent pleasures.
And we all know how that ends.
Thanks to Presidente Fox, we are now forced to
see yet another glorification of the same 'Gangster culture', with it's
drugs and hos, that has poisoned society to the point where you can't even
go to the mall on a Sunday without being exposed to one of those jeeps with
the big radios playing the loud rap music.
Surely there are greater
Mexicans than this which the invading hordes can put on their postage
stamps. Vicki Carr, anyone? I, Phil Costas, would never befoul my tongue by
licking one of those things, but what about the tongues of others? What
about the tongue of the pretty young devoted-Catholic seniorita who has no
choice but to 'go there', her cheeks turning scarlet with shame? What will
happen to her? How many Hail Marys resolve one from licking a Mermin?
It's way past time to seal those
Phil Costas is the editor
of 'Culture Watch Weekly'