There's a commonality between media in Latin America and media in the US.
And that commonality is where they try to publish articles for clicks and profit.
Obviously, most media companies need to be aware of that.
And that brings in the question: what sells?
Well, quite often it's sex, drugs and violence.
Shit that is more interesting to people.
But at times it could include appealing to what will trigger the audience in other ways.
In the US, that'd be CNN demonizing some random white people or Fox News demonizing some random immigrant.
Here in Latin America, there are ways in which they invoke the gringo to get clicks.
For example, as I wrote quite a bit in this article here, you have Latin American media throwing around the "tolerable gringos" that do a song and dance like a monkey for local Latin American audiences with an inferiority complex and an appetite to be told by foreigners that their country is the best in the world.
Here are an example for those who don't feel like clicking on the article.
On the flip side though, Latin American media will sometimes play up a story of outsiders not being too nice for those clicks and profit.
The first example involves the gringo being bad because he likes to fuck YOUR WOMEN and any insecure Latino man will hate the idea of HIS women being taken by "the white outsider" and any local woman will hate the idea of them being seen as "easy" and to be "pumped and dumped."
In the second example, it's more of a play on the Latin American obsession with class and the envy some carry when they see others having the easy life versus the life they have living in a shithole neighborhood of Neza.
Similar to how AMLO, in trying to demonize the journalist who exposed his corruption, was trying to show his supporters how much money he makes because that'll somehow make him seem bad like you can see here.
AMLO Loret income
Over time, it becomes easy to predict how a lot of people think here and, if you wish, exploit that to your own advantage with someone who has very basic ideas like I've written about before.
Still, going back to the media, they don't even necessarily have to bring up a story of a gringo involved in sex, drugs, having an easy life, etc.
Of course, there's plenty of examples. Some of which gain more attention for obvious reasons like this case here of Obama's security agents being involved in prostitution in Colombia.
But let's go to something simpler.
Similar to Colombia like you can see in the comment section of this article here, you have Latin Americans who are insecure about how others perceive their culture.
It's quite funny actually.
They will huff and puff and INSIST that they don't give a FLYING FUCK about what gringos think about their culture but then shit themselves with raging anger at the sight of a gringo not thinking so positively of some aspect to their culture.
No matter how small that aspect of their culture is.
It's the exact opposite of the first example we saw with Latin American media bringing up the gringos who act as cheer leaders for the region.
A lot of Latin Americans will EAT that up and then get pissed at when the gringo doesn't like some aspect of the culture and act very insecure about it.
Food is a classic example of that like I mentioned before with the comment section of that article about Colombia.
But let's take things back to Mexico.
Just recently, we had an article make the rounds on social media that you can read about here where some foreigner claimed that the "torta de tamal" is one of the worst street foods on the planet.
The basic idea is that there's some website called Taste Atlas that has ratings on all different types of food.
The ratings are based on some voluntary participation of random people who claim they have tried the food in question (though no verification of that is ever required to give a rating).
For obvious reasons, there can be bias issues with the ratings of different foods on there.
Anyway, the news about the "torta de tamal" being rated so badly got covered on a lot of Mexican blogs and Spanish language news sources.
Here's some local media covering it also.
Did you hear the news?!?
The Gringos are INSULTING our CULTURE!!!
And, outside of all the articles that ran with the story for the clicks, you've also had it presented on the TV for the ratings. Here's a few examples.
And here's another popular video that I can't link to on my blog but you can find it here.
Now, to be fair, I have no idea if this person is right.
When you check out the opinions on social media, some people didn't focus on the detail that it was a foreigner who gave that opinion.
Many, to be fair, just gave their opinion on if they like the "torta de tamal" or not.
Personally, I've never tried it.
It doesn't sound appetizing but I do know the "torta de chilaquiles" is good so maybe I'd be surprised if I gave it a try.
Still, after the article made the rounds on social media, I figured I'd dig around looking for the expected rage online by locals who get bitchy when that small aspect to their culture is critiqued.
I didn't have to look very far after going to the obvious places to find it (Twitter and Reddit basically).
Here are just a few examples (among many others) of some of the locals taking this opinion of one person as a personal attack against their entire culture.
Shots fired. Shots fired.
One has to wonder what their opinions were of torta de tamal before this and how often they actually choose to eat the thing.
What's also funny is the whole "we don't care what they think" but then they come across as extremely pissed off and take shots at everything (no matter if it relates to the torta de tamal) including the typical ol' insult against expats for "not making it work quite well back home" that has been around since forever.
One thing that I will say though is that I don't think it's just an insecurity about what a foreigner thinks about their food but also an insecurity about knowing what they eat isn't the highest quality food.
I have a theory that some of the Mexicans who are most insecure about the opinion of some random dude on the internet on this specific torta are those who actually have to eat the torta de tamal because they don't have much money in the bank.
To have richer foreigners come by and critique the food you have to eat -- and that you know sucks -- probably burns for some.
Which would also explain the one comment shown above trying to bring down gringos on socioeconomic grounds. Above all, it's probably just a cope for the fact that said Mexican who wrote that most likely don't have as much income as the average gringo and is salty about having to eat food that a lot of people consider to be crap.
Of course, some of them could just be richer white Mexican types who are still salty about being kicked out of Roma Norte and Condesa.
And, to be fair, I'm sure there are some Mexicans who are not working class who actually enjoy the "torta de tamal."
But, having said that, it is more of a working class food as one comment on one of those Youtube videos kinda hits at that here:
"En una urbe cómo la Ciudad de México la clase trabajadora no tiene en ocasiones de sentarse hacer una comida bien hecha por lo cual se recurre a los alimentos callejeros y la verdad una torta de tamal te saca de apuros por la mitad del día, así como otros alimentos que te hacen tu vida laboral más llevadera."
Outside of that, you can find other comments on the Youtube videos showed above.
Here's a few that come to mind.
" A quien le preguntaron ? Si les gustaban las tortas de tamal, o las tripitas para poder decir que son las peores comidas callejeras a personas como el conductor que dijo guacatela con sólo decir que no le gustaban no había necesidad de hacer esa expresión se vio muy mal"
"Este "conductor" aprendiz de aristocrático, se nota que NO conoce de platillos del pueblo mexicano, refresco de cola a las 8 de la mañana??? haaaay, mana, no venden en los triciclos y puestos callejeros, solo tortas, café y atole, tacos de tripa solo en la tarde y noche, mensa, has de ser pariente del gobernatore de nuevo León samuel garcía, uuff...."
"Y qué nos importa??? Es muy nuestro gusto, pues que no los trague y ya!! Fuchala! Macoy! Ignorante, nada es monedita de oro!"
"Lo bueno que lo que opinen o digan ellos no nos importa y seguiremos desayunando una torta de tamal y un riquísimo atole ya sea de chocolate, fresa, nuez, guayaba, pinole, arroz, champurrado, o blanco de maiz cacahuzintle, de mamey, etc etc. El que más nos agrade! Y ese periodista igual de sope por no decir otra cosa!"
" ¿Y porque creer en una pagina más de Internet, la cual se puede modificar la opinión como las votaciones?"
" Por favor.... Quien dice esto???? Los que no paran de comer hamburguesas, refrescos, papás???"
" A los únicos que les duele ésto es a los chilangos..."
Sure seems like the crowd isn't as tough on the Youtube comment section than what you see on Reddit and a few examples of Twitter.
There's a few last things to say anyhow to wrap this up.
First, you have those who say that the opinions of some votes on that website shouldn't matter. They aren't professional. Not sure I agree with that. After all, you don't need to be an expert to know what tastes good or not. If a consensus is reached that not enough people like the food, then it's garbage for most people.
Nobody says though that, if you truly enjoy the food or eat it out of necessity, that you can't. Go ahead!
Second, I find the second to last comment a bit ironic. You saw people bitching about American food in the Reddit comments also.
It's funny to me to see that because, whenever I go into a Burger King, Dominos, Subway or whatever down here in Mexico City over the last 5 years, I have NEVER seen another gringo in those places like I wrote about here.
It is ALWAYS full of Mexicans and not a SINGLE gringo in sight.
Not only that but every neighborhood that has a Little Ceasers has countless people walking around on any day of the week with those boxes and they are always Mexican.
Not to mention all of the normal, non-American businesses and street food that sell hamburgers, pizza, hotdogs and whatever else to the locals and almost always the locals.
So, if the fast food from the US is so shit, why do Mexicans eat it?
Of course, they might say "well, it's unhealthy still."
Yeah, but given how Mexicans are as fat as Americans as you can see here, I don't think they can critique the healthiness. Most of you all (Americans and Mexicans) are unhealthy here.
And you know what?
It's tasty as fuck so you'll keep eating it.
And, while Mexicans complain of foreigners not knowing enough about Mexican food, I'd argue the same for them as there's way more to American food and regional variety than fast food.
Third,one could argue that the audience most triggered by this are chilangos of Mexico City as you can see in the last comment.
That's probably fair.
And some Mexicans of other regions never miss a chance to take shots at the regional foods of other regions of the country to feel better about their specific part of Mexico.
So I'm sure some Mexicans in other parts of the country would not care about these comments unless they just take them as an attack on all Mexican food and don't like foreigners in general.
Which, going back to the point of the article, hits again at how all the media needs to do is put up an article like this and they'll know they get clicks from a wide variety of Mexicans.
Some who agree or disagree simply. Others who take it as some national attack on the homeland and their culture and begin bitching about foreigners. So on and so on.
And, above all, I should be fair in saying that obviously not all of the social media attention came down to bitching about gringos as a way to cope about some random internet gringo not liking one small aspect to the local cuisine.
You have plenty of others who just stick to the topic away from xenophobia and gave their opinions on if they like the torta de tamal or not.
Not every Mexican is an insecure little bitch. Just some but those types exist in any country.
Anything to Add?
If I ever casually come across other examples of locals getting enraged at the latest article about the opinions or behavior of a gringo, I'll include it here.
Above all, I think it comes down to three things:
For one, an inferiority complex that I wrote about before with major sensitivity beyond what is normal in other countries to the opinions and behavior of outsiders.
Two, there is a certain stereotype that some locals hold that all gringos (not just US types but a broader sense of the word) are doing drugs, sex tourists, arrogant and rude because they didn't like one aspect of the culture, etc.
In the same way that outsiders of any other culture get certain stereotypes about them that are both negative and positive.
Because, to be fair, the stereotypes of the locals about us are not always bad like I've written about before (even if they are not always factual either).
Though, when it comes to the negatives, it becomes to possible to trigger the preconceived notion that all foreigners are coming here to exploit the region.
In those exact words.
Makes you wonder how many of the locals who think that way have some "Colonialism PTSD" built into their DNA from being conquered by the Spaniards and Portuguese for centuries.
Where they just see ANY foreigner as being the same as those pesky Spaniards and Portuguese.
Third, in cases where the media puts out an article about a gringo actually being busted though for drugs or prostitutes, it gives the local the chance to smile and jerk off to the idea of "YEAH WE STUCK IT TO THE FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE BEEN OPPRESSING US FOR SO LONG!"
Anyway, it is what it is.
Like I said, if I ever casually see other examples of this thrown around on social media in the years, I'll try to include them here if I remember to do so.
Or, if you wish, you can provide examples below and I'll include them in the article.
But leave any comments as you wish. Agree or disagree. Whatever.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.