What These People Need is a Honky… Taco

I live in the Southwestern US, and I have the requisite mild distaste for Taco Bell. There are lots of places around here that serve much better tacos, some of which even offer drive-through convenience. But though I am not a Taco Bell customer with any kind of regularity, I have for some time enjoyed the radio commercials they’ve been advertising with around here.

The basic premise of each commercial is that a Taco Bell menu item is doing something anthropomorphic (trying to work as a temp, going to a doctor, being a personal trainer), is questioned about it by a person, and responds with something on the order of “but I’m not just a fast food entree, I’m a special kind of fast food entree!” This, of course, doesn’t make the menu item any more qualified to actually do whatever it’s doing, but it is pretty funny.

I started hearing one last week that I don’t think is funny at all, though. Til now, all of the Taco Bell radio commercials I’ve heard featured voice actors with nondescript middle-American accents, both those playing the questioning person and those playing the menu item. In this latest commercial, however, the questioning person is identified as a mariachi musician, with a fake-sounding Mexican-ish accent (which I thought was pretty messed up to begin with), while the menu item, a fiesta platter, sounds white. The menu item is not qualified to join the mariachi band, but apparently he is necessary in order for there to be a fiesta. The (presumably) Mexican or Mexican-American mariachi musicians need a white, fast-food menu item before they can have an authentic fiesta.

…WTF, Taco Bell. W.T.F.


  1. says

    Maybe the ad has a backstory we’re not getting. Like, say that the Mariachi band is led by the Fiesta Platter’s uncle, who is from Mexico, but the Fiesta Platter is maybe a 2nd generation American, explaining why he speaks with an American accent. This Fiesta Platter, intrigued by aspects of his ancestral culture he feels he may be missing out on, being somewhat Americanized, appeals to his uncle to join his band (I’m imagining the players in this ad as male on account of the “mariachi” setup). His uncle feels that this would be the perfect way for his nephew to learn more about his culture, but feels the need to make him “work for it” a little, demanding reasons as to why he should let the Fiesta Platter into the band. The Fiesta Platter appeals to his uncle that he is a Special Kind of entrée, and his uncle agrees that, “there couldn’t be a fiesta without [him!]” In this way, the fact that it is “necessary” for the Fiesta Platter to be there in order for there to be a fiesta isn’t about this celebration of Mexican culture needing to be sanctified by white America in order to be considered “acceptable”, it’s the touching tale of a young person’s discovery of his own cultural background. The fact that the Fiesta Platter was “needed” for their fiesta doesn’t imply that they needed his sanction, but rather that the party was held for his sake, as a form of cultural initiation.

    Of course, I’m just grasping at straws here, having not heard any of these ads, but you must admit that it’s an intriguing possibility.

  2. says

    Why does it have to be a fanwank? Why can’t I just wank for wanking’s sake?

    I just wanted to bring a smile to everyone’s day…


  3. MaggieCat says

    It’s always kind of sad when there’s clearly 20 times more effort put into the fanwank than there was put into the original media.

    (I mean that as a compliment, since Sam’s version is far more entertaining.)

  4. says

    I’m sorry, Sam, but the wank of the century award always goes to someone in politics! :( As SBG says, fanwanking is a prestigious line of work.

    (And you did bring a smile to everyone’s face. Maybe we should start a separate blog where we ask people to send us the most misogynistic claptrap they can find, and Sam rationalizes it all away. We could call it – I dunno – Fox News? No, that’s taken…)

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