Baby Yoda standing in what looks like the side of I-10 heading to Lordsburg, New Mexico after a rainstorm... Image by _freakwave_ from Pixabay

Gentle cabrones:

And your feedback on my columna is in…

And you want more random crap!

So here’s a hell of a curveball.

In anticipation of the Oct. 30 premiere of the second season of The Mandalorian — a show I’ve never seen and probably never will because I’m not a Star Wars geek — writer Elena de la Cruz has penned a corrido to the show’s star:

Baby Yoda.

Elena is a mujer of the OLD SKOOL (and actually exists; I ain’t her), so the tune to her ballad ain’t no corrido tumbado pendejadas. Instead, she picked one of the classics of the genres: “El Corrido de los Perez”, which only the REAL Gs can hum.

I’ve had this one in my inbox for months, so want to put it out now. Besides, I need a little break after the busy week I had. Back to the regular cantos next week with a personal story, of which ustedes want more of, too — HWUT.

So, without further ado. “El Corrido de Baby Yoda.”

¡Música, maestro!


First time reading this newsletter? Subscribe here for more merriment! Buy me a Paypal taco here. Venmo: @gustavo-arellano-oc Feedback, thoughts, commentary, rants? Send them to

Corrido del Baby Yoda
(Sung to
“El Corrido de los Pérez”)

En una galaxia lejana
Muy clara fue la misión
Matar la creatura verde
Mas Mando tuvo corazón

Ya había caído el imperio
Aun rondaba el mal
Vivo o muerto querían
A ese escuincle especial

Mando entregó el mandado
Su alma no quedó bien
Llegó hechando balazos
Al rescatar el rehén

Por los planetas buscando
Un refugio y un hogar
Había roto el código
Pero no se iba rajar

Asuntos quedan pendientes
Detalles para aclarar
Es baby Yoda o su hijo
Eso vamos mirar.

The Ballad of Baby Yoda (English Translation)

In a galaxy, far far away
The mission was clear from the start
To take out the little green creature
But Mando couldn’t do it, he had heart

The empire had fallen
Yet evil they hadn’t fully rid
Dead or alive there was a bounty
For this mythical kid

Mando completed the mission
But his soul felt ashamed
He returned guns a’blazing
And the hostage he reclaimed

From planet to planet they went
Looking for a safe abode
He wouldn’t back down from trying
Even if he had to break the code

There’s much to uncover
Details of what might be
Is it Baby Yoda or its offspring?
This we are yet to see


This is the column where I take your questions about ANYTHING. And away we go…

Since you’re gonna be teaching this [journalism] class totally online, have you considered just straight up selling access to a live stream of the classes (or recordings of them) on the side to your newsletter subscribers? Would be just as happy to pay you directly and not worry about the middle man, and since I’m a researcher and not a journalist, I’d also worry about taking up a spot in the class that could go to a kid who’s actually hoping to make a career in journalism.

If I get to take your class it’d feel more like one of those MasterClass deals to me, like when people shell out to hear Stephen King teach how to write horror for 10 hours even if they’re not writers themselves. Just a thought!

I can, and probably get some good money out of it. But I never will. I teach journalism nowadays exclusively for Orange Coast College, my beloved alma mater. And it’s for a reason — community college students come from all walks of life, pay relatively affordable fees, and are usually using my class on the way to a degree instead of just self-fulfillment.

And nothing against the latter folks — you can still take my class, of course, although it’s too late for the fall. In fact, you should apply for my narrative journalism course this coming spring semester because I fully expect to Zoom away — unless we can start each class with a collective polyclonal cocktail, you know?

Got a question for Guti? Email me here.


Enough rambling. This was the semana that was:

IMAGE OF THE WEEK: Tunas from my nopales, which grew HUGE this year — and now, I must trim…

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The enemy always wins, and we still need to fight him. That’s all I know. You and I won’t find much joy while we’re here, but we can keep others alive. We can defend those who can’t defend themselves. Maybe we don’t need to understand more than that. Maybe that’s enough.”

–Beric Dondarrion

LISTENING:Son Tus Perjúmenes Mujer,” Carlos Mejia Godoy y Los del Palacagüina. The most famous Nicaraguan song in the Spanish-speaking word, a bawdy singalong with nica Spanish that Mexicans never quite understood (you’d be surprised at what sulibeyan means, for one) but nevertheless covered, from Los Tigres del Norte to Lupillo Rivera to even a shoutout in El Chavo del 8. But here’s the original, as hummable and delightful as any.

READING: Inside the Breakup of the Cellino & Barnes Law Firm” Great to see New York still puts out hilarious, deep, moving and street-level great journalism. Go ahead, sing the jingle — and say a prayer for the latter, who died in a plane crash yesterday.

SHOUTOUT TO: Juan, who kindly donated 50 tacos to sponsor a full month of MailChango! He want to plug a Los Angeles Times subscription, and I’m all for it!

Also, Diane from last week actually donated 87 tacos in honor of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. My apologies for not allowing this #respect — but I just did!

Gustavo Community Office Hours!

I’m rebooting my stint as scholar-in-residence at Occidental College’s Institute for the Study of Los Angeles! Every Tuesday, from noon-3 p.m. people can book half an hour with me and we can Zoom (over a secure line, of course) one-on-one about WHATEVER. Interested? Email me to book your time NOW!

Gustavo in the News

Evan Kleiman on what makes for a delicious tortilla”: A shoutout from KCRW’s resident food chingona on Madeleine Brand’s show to plug our #TortillaTournament.

Arts District’s Big New Mexican Rooftop Restaurant Looks to Open Within Two Months”: Eater LA shouts out the obituary I did last week for the Diana’s Mexican Foods co-founder.

Los Angeles Times reconoce errores”: Spain’s EFE news agency talks about a series of articles the LA Times did about our past, nasty coverage of minority groups — I got to write about Latinos!

The Times drops the mother lode on Trump’s taxes”: Columbia Journalism Review plugs the same series.

The notion of “Diversity and Inclusion” upholds assimilationist thinking”: So does USC’s Daily Trojan in a way.

L.A. Taco’s Javier Cabral on scouting for tacos in Mexico and reporting the pandemic”: The editor of the badass local-news website shouts me out just because.

Newsletter: One million deaths around the world”: Another LA Times newsletter shouts out a columna of mine.

Newsletter: Trump’s diagnosis and the test ahead”: Another one.

Newsletter: Trump tests positive for the coronavirus”: Another one.

California Playbook”: And now, Politico’s Golden State newsletter!

Gustavo Stories

OC schools are starting to reopen. Families and teachers have questions” My latest KCRW “Orange County Line” talks about OC schools and coronavrus.

Photos: How LA’s tortilla masters make magic with a handful of masa”: I provide some captions for L.A. journalist Samanta Helou Hernandez’s beautiful photos of Southern California tortilleras for my KCRW #TortillaTournament

Tortilla Tournament, Week 2: Shocking upsets on the road to the Suave 16!”: The latest update for my KCRW #TortillaTournament.

Grítale a Guti, Ep. 15”: My Tuesday-night free-for-all where I vamp out answers on questions about ANYTHING.

Debate scorecard: A round-by-round analysis of the chaotic Trump-Biden matchup”: In which I join the LA Times’ politics team to offer my thoughts on the first (last?) presidential debate.

Column: For Latinos and the L.A. Times, a complicated past — and a promising future”: My latest columna for the LA Times tackles the paper’s bad past covering Latinos. KEY QUOTE: “Over the last 139 years, Los Angeles Times readers have seen in their newspaper the best and worst of how the American media have covered Latinos.”

Column: Latinos find a piece of Old West dream in ‘Bonanza’ country, fires be damned”: Another LA Times columna, this one on the Mayorgas of Juniper Hills, zacatecanos whose house nearly burned in the Bobcat fire. KEY QUOTE: “Then, he paraphrased a line from a Roy Rogers ballad, in equal parts English and Spanish.”

Column: Trump’s war on election integrity follows a racist playbook used in 1980s Orange County”: Yet another LA Times columna, this one on evil O.C. politician Curt Pringle, and his 1988 foreshadowing of Trump. KEY QUOTE: “That morning, 20 goons hired by the local Republican Party spread across Santa Ana. They haunted voting spots with special meaning to the city’s Mexican community: a Catholic church. A Boys & Girls Club. A senior center.”

Column: Welcome to the Latino coronavirus club, President Trump. Get well”: Still yet another LA Times columna, this one a visit to SanTana and what Latinos who have deal with la corona feel about Trump’s recent dance with it. KEY QUOTE: “This virus is like that drunk, shady friend of a cousin at a family party you don’t really know who has you counting the minutes until he leaves; if you’re lucky, he just warbles a Vicente Fernandez song. If you’re not, maybe he brawls with your cousin from Vegas.”

You made it this far down? Gracias! Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram while you’re down here. Don’t forget to forward this newsletter to your compadres y comadres! And, if you feel generous: Buy me a Paypal taco here. Venmo: @gustavo-arellano-oc