For many Mexicans, the sombrero (now worn almost exclusively as a costume accessory by mariachis) perpetuates the myth of the backward, old-fashioned campesino, a throwback to an earlier century, chattering away in the heavily-accented, high-pitched, rapid-fire rhythms of Speedy Gonzales, the cartoon mouse, in his big yellow sombrero. In the past one more often saw—painted on dinner plates and tourist knick-nacks, embroidered on felt jackets—a caricature of a Mexican peasant dozing off, drunk or just lazy, leaning against a cactus, his face obscured by an enormous sombrero.
For many Mexicans. Not sure how many. And no matter. They're the ones we have to cater to, not those others who sensibly don't give a damn. I'll bet I know more Mexicans than Francine Prose does. She should come visit my neighborhood sometime. She was, by the way, one of those who protested giving a PEN award to Charlie Hebdo.