You shut your mouth you dirty gun
October 25, 2013 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Mexican Standoff (SLYT)
posted by PenDevil (42 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, man. That ending killed me.

Or did it?
posted by brundlefly at 4:55 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You shut your mouth, you dirty gun" may become my dismissal of choice.

But why is it a "Mexican standoff?" Wikipedia has some unconvincing suggestions, and the entry is illustrated with an illustration entitled "Steampunk enthusiasts enacting a Mexican standoff," which just seems odd.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:58 PM on October 25, 2013


The OED cites a 1891NY Sporting Times reference as a sports term.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:03 PM on October 25, 2013


That was pretty great. And yet, I feel like I've gone back in time and seen this before...
posted by bicyclefish at 5:03 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, so far as I am able to determine, it is a racial slur, much like some people call a glass of water and a cigarette a "Mexican breakfast".
posted by Samizdata at 5:05 PM on October 25, 2013


"Well, so far as I am able to determine, it is a racial slur"

Only if you consider the word "Mexican" a slur. Which, weirdly, some (non-Mexican) people seem to do.

Also, this was an amazing sketch.
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:14 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Atom Eyes: ""Well, so far as I am able to determine, it is a racial slur"

Only if you consider the word "Mexican" a slur. Which, weirdly, some (non-Mexican) people seem to do.

Also, this was an amazing sketch.
"

Which I don't, but the etymological angle got me really interested. And the sketch was a hoot+.5.
posted by Samizdata at 5:25 PM on October 25, 2013


I'll just leave this here: the stand/off from Face/Off.
posted by The White Hat at 5:26 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you want a real slur, consider the fact that Americano means "weak, watery coffee" everywhere else in the world.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:29 PM on October 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Wait, even if the hacker's wife filed for divorce, there's still someone that's been kidnapped...

And I always thought FreddieW has great special effects, but his brand of humor is very Internet/Gamer based. The joke dragged a little too long.

Only if you consider the word "Mexican" a slur.

I don't, but the whole "crying like a little girl" line was kind of off-putting. What's wrong with saying "crying like a baby"?
posted by FJT at 5:31 PM on October 25, 2013


The 'Mexican Standoff' is a situation of three opponents of equal strength facing off at once - it would seem that it would be no more of a slur than the terms 'Sicilian Defense' or a 'Russian Opening' in chess. Exactly where is the negative connotation implied by 'Mexican Standoff'?
posted by chambers at 5:36 PM on October 25, 2013


Well, as per:

Several sources I have found suggest that the “Mexican” modifier in the phrase refers to a supposed proclivity of 19th century Mexican “bandits” for running away from a fair fight. But the first example of “Mexican standoff” found so far in print used the phrase to describe a baseball game ending in a tie, and subsequent uses employ the term as a simple synonym of “stalemate” with nary an actual Mexican in sight. The “Mexican” in “Mexican standoff” is thus almost certainly just another entry in the long and shameful roster of US slang terms employing “Mexican” as a slur meaning “fraudulent, inferior, or marked by poverty, poor sanitation, lack of sophistication or ignorance.” Such formations as “Mexican bankroll” (one large denomination bill wrapped around a roll of smaller bills), “Mexican athlete” (a phony braggart) and “Mexican breakfast” (a cigarette and a glass of water) all reflect the same derogatory national rivalry. A “Mexican standoff,” in this light, is called “Mexican” because it is pointless, inconclusive and unproductive, not because it has any actual connection to Mexico.
posted by Samizdata at 5:38 PM on October 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lost it at the spatter on the wall.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:46 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


ADAPTIVE TRAINING PISTOL
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 5:49 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


the term as a simple synonym of “stalemate” with nary an actual Mexican in sight. The “Mexican” in “Mexican standoff” is thus almost certainly just another entry in the long and shameful roster of US slang terms employing “Mexican” as a slur meaning “fraudulent,

Wait a minute. Those two sentences contradict each other. The next sentence would have made more sense if it said:

Thus, the “Mexican” in the present use of “Mexican standoff” contrasts with the long and shameful roster of US terms employing "Mexican" as a slur meaning “fraudulent".
posted by eye of newt at 6:01 PM on October 25, 2013


Well, as per:

Interesting. I had not heard of any of those terms before - my understanding of the origin of the term that it was concerning the situation before the Mexican Expedition, between Pancho Villa, the US, and the Mexican government under Diaz. The US didn't want to invade and start a war that could find them facing both sides of the revolution, Pancho had to consider the US response to his actions against Diaz as well as to not turn those in Mexico who might join the revolution later, and Diaz had to ensure that his actions the revolutionaries would not inspire others to join the revolution, or force Pancho into the US, which would just bring more problems than he had already.

While not exactly a historically accurate portrayal of how things happened at the time, that is what I had understood the origins of that phrase to be from several different people over the years. The fact that not only was the term used at least 30 years earlier in print, and the general consensus that the exact origin is somewhat vague, it could very well be that the origin of the term is of a more slanderous nature.
posted by chambers at 6:02 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is about the thread I expected after watching.
posted by kbanas at 6:10 PM on October 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


note- after reading up on the Mexican Revolution, my facts about the government Vila was fighting are incorrect and all mixed up. Apologies, my memory is not what it was.
posted by chambers at 6:12 PM on October 25, 2013


I bet that while writing this, somebody nearby was burning one of those candles that smell like blueberry pie.
posted by angrycat at 6:15 PM on October 25, 2013


On a lighter note, I was hoping during the part where they are all taking off the masks would end up in 3 Mark Wahlbergs looking at each other, in that classic 'baffled, confused, and a little irritated' way that Mark Wahlberg has mastered so well.

However, I gotta say the gun was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.
posted by chambers at 6:19 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep wanting Key & Peele to fill the politically incorrect, masterfully observant void Dave Chappelle left behind. And they just never go there. They favor escapist, supernatural tones. With their noticeably higher production value, their skits mimic tv shows and film genres, but they rarely connect to any underlying reality.

Take Tron Carter's Law & Order. Drug dealer Tron Carter switches places with a white man convicted of the same crime. Hilarious insight ensues. Instead here you end up with Law & Order: Wizard City. The reveal is Key's a gun and Peele's a blueberry pie.

Suburban Zombies, one of the few times K&P bring up race, just doesn't stack up to the simplest of Chappelle skits, like When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.

I know I'm supposed to die laughing, but I don't. Just airing out a personal regret. I guess I prefer racial humor and K&P are totally entitled to not go that route. Which leaves me wondering. Chappelle was able to draw outrageous laughs over the sickest social inequities, but something happened in Hollywood that was real serious. And he was never able to make us laugh about that.
posted by phaedon at 6:36 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


...and how often does a Mexican Standoff turn into a Chinese Fire Drill?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:59 PM on October 25, 2013


Instead here you end up with Law & Order: Wizard City. The reveal is Key's a gun and Peele's a blueberry pie.

Did they write the sketch? The Youtube caption thanks them for "appearing" in the video, so I assumed that Freddie Wong's team actually wrote the skit.

I do agree generally that K&P are not as subversive as Chappelle, but I still find them funny as comedians.
posted by FJT at 7:02 PM on October 25, 2013


I keep wanting Key & Peele to fill the politically incorrect, masterfully observant void Dave Chappelle left behind. And they just never go there. They favor escapist, supernatural tones. With their noticeably higher production value, their skits mimic tv shows and film genres, but they rarely connect to any underlying reality.

Perhaps this is a middle ground between supernatural tones and an underlying reality. Dueling Magical Negros
posted by chambers at 7:03 PM on October 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


“Mexican breakfast” (a cigarette and a glass of water)

Change the water to diet coke and we used to call that a dancer's lunch.
posted by Diablevert at 7:07 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


To paraphrase Chekhov; If you introduce a gun in the first act you have to use him.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:15 PM on October 25, 2013


That's not a Mexican standoff, this is a Mexican standoff.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:35 PM on October 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Whenever someone refers to my toast as "French", my blood boils.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:37 PM on October 25, 2013


I don't, but the whole "crying like a little girl" line was kind of off-putting. What's wrong with saying "crying like a baby"?

He said "Crying like a little gun."
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:56 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep wanting Key & Peele to fill the politically incorrect, masterfully observant void Dave Chappelle left behind. And they just never go there.

I also can't figure out why everyone else seems to think these guys are great - I'm often disappointed when someone says I "have to watch" one of their skits. It's like they are always approaching the line, but never quite cross it. Personally, I've had my taste for comedy honed by stuff like In Living Color, MST3K, and excessive doses of raunchy stand-up and Whose Line (thanks, early years of The Comedy Channel), so maybe that skews my expectations of what should be funny.

I feel like I want Key and Peele to go into Mr. Show territory - to push the envelope and to be a bit absurd, as well as smart - but it always seems like they're pounding the wrong nail. The whole "he's a gun" and "he's a blueberry" thing is kinda funny in an absurdist sense, but it's an example of how K + P are much better at building up tension than they are releasing it. Their comedy is just not "satisfying" to me for some reason - the initial premises are often great (I'm thinking of the football player intros and the classroom name pronunciation skit), but the execution doesn't really go anywhere - it's just one take on a concept and never dynamically strays from the formula, which would make the skit funnier.

Anyway, I didn't write all that to spoil anyone's fun - if you think it's funny, then it is, and you shouldn't listen to pans, and you shouldn't listen to British people.
posted by antonymous at 8:02 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


But why is it a "Mexican standoff?"

OK. This is going to sound weird. It's because the Australians were very, very confused as to what the American Civil War was all about.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the term came about because port authorities in Williamstown, Victoria, near Melbourne, thought the South was trying to secede... and join Mexico. Or perhaps that Mexico was the "south of the United States" the USA government was fighting. In any event, a Confederate privateer was in Williamstown under a false flag for resupply and repair and to gang-press some sailors. The Australians were British, and officially neutral, and told them they had to leave, as the USN was very cross with them, and they didn't have a giant fleet nearby like Liverpool. The CSN Shenandoah then trained its guns on the town, and told the authorities that if fired upon by the nearby fort, they'd start shooting up the place. Governor Darling, who had been wining and dining Captain Waddell and his officers the whole while, intervened and let them sail away scott free, conscripted Aussie sailors and all.

This just goes to show you that the editors of the Cambridge English Dictionary are stone cold nuts.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 PM on October 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


I keep wanting Key & Peele to fill the politically incorrect, masterfully observant void Dave Chappelle left behind. And they just never go there.

You think? Auction Block.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:04 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


For Metafilter to make the term "Mexican standoff" into a pejorative would be a Pyrrhic victory for multiculturalism, in that it would likely leave Greeks offended.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:12 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I keep wanting Key & Peele to fill the politically incorrect, masterfully observant void Dave Chappelle left behind. And they just never go there.

It's great that we live in a day when black comics can do comedy about what they find funny without having to make a statement about race in every other bit.
posted by empath at 12:27 AM on October 26, 2013 [16 favorites]


I guess I prefer racial humor and K&P are totally entitled to not go that route. Which leaves me wondering. Chappelle was able to draw outrageous laughs over the sickest social inequities, but something happened in Hollywood that was real serious. And he was never able to make us laugh about that.

Well, I don't want anybody to be anybody else. This is like people who want Jef Mallett, whose style superficially resembles Bill Watterson's, to imitate and/or be Calvin & Hobbes. Key and Peele are allowed by me to take their comedy in the direction that pleases them.

That said, you may want to read the story in the last Chappelle thread. It pretty much explains why even Chappelle got fed up with being Chappelle.

To vastly oversimplify the theme of that piece, it's that -- partly since white people are culturally forbidden from making racial humor -- making racial humor, call it satire or what you will, is something that black comedians like Chappelle found themselves responsible for. While the intent of the humor may be to subvert and criticize racism and bigotry, it creates in effect a new minstrelsy that in its own way is just as offensive and in the case of a quiet, thoughtful individual who happens to be a comedian faced with just that responsibility, a cruel coda to a career.
posted by dhartung at 12:48 AM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


What's wrong with saying "crying like a baby"?

Surely that's ageist?
posted by walrus at 12:59 AM on October 26, 2013


Wow. Key and Peele push every silly note in my body. Sometimes they go into dark places (the zombie skit, the idea of whether or not referring to your wife as 'bitch' is horrible/manly/whatever, the slave auction block, the skit that that played off the opening scene in Inglorious Bastards, the two guys on cell phones who mimic the stereotype of what a tough black man would sound like).

Chappelle's skits often were dark (man, remember N-word please cereal? or the N-word family?). But sometimes it was just about motherfucking Prince playing b-ball and making pancakes.

/wrote the white girl, please be easy on me if I've been ignorant.
posted by angrycat at 6:24 AM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I still think the world owes K&P a debt for a creation of Luther, Obama's anger translator. Not only does that have a go at the idea that a black man cannot be angry w/o being, say, Luther, it has a go at Obama for keeping his emotions locked up, and gave glorious riffs on the debates. (BAM! (which is a city in Iran))
posted by angrycat at 6:30 AM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I really like Key and Peele a whole bunch for a number of reasons, but my serious absolute favorite things are the school sketches. I thought Substitute Teacher was the absolutely greatest thing I'd ever seen until I saw the one about an Inner City Wizard School.

The tricky thing about the substitute teacher sketch is that I think a lot of people find the humor in the mispronunciation of the names, and I get that, it's pretty funny, but I think the ACTUAL humor is in the reactions of the teacher. I used to teach in the inner city and I've done stuff a lot like that because, unfortunately, a lot of the kids respond to it, to yelling and threatening. When he leans across the desk and says "Y'all wanna play" I basically lose it because I have said, not literally that, but "What, y'all think you can play in this classroom? Is that what you all think?" It's really really funny because it's spot on but it's also heartbreaking because it seems so out of place in suburban/primarily white schools.

In that way, I think Key & Peele actually have a lot of the same things going on as Dave Chapelle; some people are going to laugh at those wacky names black people have and that's really tricky because yeah the sketch is funny but when white people go around saying Balakay it's maybe a little iffy even if the word actually does sound funny (I had a kid with the last name Blake and I called him Balakay in my mind for a while). At the same time as it's walking that iffy line, there is actually a really serious commentary there on the fact that this guy's behavior is so hilarious and off-the-wall in many school contexts. Yeah, we all laugh at him because he looks ridiculous in this suburban high school but that's actually really sad because we kind of accept that teachers do need to act this way, this scary, loud, threatening, kind of inappropriate way, in inner city schools. There's a lot going on with that sketch (and also with the Inner City Wizard School which everyone should watch three or four times in a row), but it sometimes gets boiled down to just "Ah ha ha wacky hilarious names!".

That said, yeah, I liked the sketch linked to here. Thanks!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:55 AM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


One of my favorite aspects of K&P is how animated they get, both in facial expression and body movement. They really sell it, and it's fun for me to imagine how much fun they have doing it. My favorite bit so far has to be their "Deal or No Deal" bit on Mad TV. And if the reason we're comparing them to Chappelle is because they fit into the category of "black comedians who appeal to white Americans", can we not?
posted by Brocktoon at 9:03 AM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's great that we live in a day when black comics can do comedy about what they find funny without having to make a statement about race in every other bit.

Yes, how profound the days are that we live in.
posted by phaedon at 3:58 PM on October 26, 2013


I really like Key and Peele a whole bunch for a number of reasons, but my serious absolute favorite things are the school sketches.

Key on MadTV: Coach Hines.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:09 PM on October 26, 2013


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