Fair Makes Fun of Spanish
February 3, 2003
By Jose L. Llanes
February edition of Vanity Fair, which features Mexican star Salma
Hayek on its cover, has a "humoristic" racist attack against
commentaries are found in the column "Ask Dame Edna,"
where the author, the popular Australian diva of the same name,
responds to questions from readers. In this case, a West Palm Beach
reader asks for advice on language studies.
Dame Edna, I would very much like to learn a foreign language, preferably
French or Italian, but every time I mention this, people tell me
to learn Spanish instead. They say, "Everyone is going to be
speaking Spanish in 10 years. George W. Bush speaks Spanish."
Could this be true? Are we all going to have to speak Spanish?"
reads the question,
signed Torn Romantic, West Palm Beach resident.
about Spanish," Edna responds. "There's
nothing in that language worth reading except Don Quixote, and a
quick listen to the CD of Man of La Mancha will take care of that.
There was a poet named Garcia Lorca but I'd leave him on the intellectual
back burner if I were you. As for everyone's speaking it, what twaddle!
Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help?
Your leaf blower? Study French or German, where there are at least
a few books worth reading, or if you're American try English."
commentaries have provoked a campaign against Vanity Fair and Edna's
column. The range of complaints sent to the magazine (email@example.com)
have mentioned the 11 Hispanics who have received the Nobel Prize
for Literature, as well as the 2000 census statistics, which establish
Latinos as the largest minority in the United States, with 37 million
am a fan of Dame Edna and the publication (Vanity Fair), but I don't
see the humor in this attack. Instead, it reinforces the negative
stereotypes of other cultures," one of the offended readers
Translated from Spanish
by Jonathan Charnay
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