Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Robotic Erotic Electric Meets Tex[t]-Mex Meets Mextasy! The Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine! #mextasy


As readers of this blog know, my interests in the world of film and literature are not limited to domains Textmextian--side interests in Man Ray, Surrealism, Pop Culture, Deconstruction, Comics, and Robots being but a shortlist of my addled brain's obsessions. So it always with great joy that I meet with imagebombs from friends and colleagues who are in sync with my nefarious semiotic fetishes--special thanks to my Digital Humanities @ SDSU partner-in-crime Noah Arceneaux for zapping me these odd fusions of Robotic Erotic Electric and Tex[t]-Mex!!!.

Case in point, the Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine album by Richard Hatman!

Here's electronica historian Bjorn Werkmann on the album!
Even in hindsight, it is crystal clear what the fuzz in terms of this album is all about. A title as vivid and bold as Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine better worships a histrionic concupiscence, relies on antipodes as well as antidotes and genuflects before the gigantomachy that is called Moog versus the world. It is not necessary to hail the crap out of Richard Hayman’s album, this is neither the time nor the place. Besides, Exotica fans will distill much more value and fun out of Voodoo! (1959) and possibly Havana In Hi-Fi (1957), two of Hayman’s glorious string-infested albums. And yet there is something wonderful about Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine, and no, it is not necessarily the Moog organ in the epicenter. It is true that once the listener grows tired of the Moog craze of yesteryear, there is absolutely no need for him or her to check out this opalescent gem. But there is majesty found in them sparklers: the much more conventional and convenient Hammond organ revs up the apocryphal antra with its ebullient warmth, a few harmonica tidbits make the bystander ponder the source – i.e. whether it is really a harmonica or a cleverly tweaked Moog preset – and last but not least, the real-world percussion sp(l)ices the bleepy and farting keyboard prongs. Even though the effects, swooshes and stereo effects become a tad gaudy, it is the melodies which know to enthrall. Even in this malfunctioning state, the classics breathe and exude verve. If you favor Moog albums, Richard Hayman’s Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine is a no-brainer and strong album overall, an artifact of an exciting time. It is, alas, no Exotica album as played by a quartet, but Space-Age fans shall triple-check its glaring red complexion. Available on vinyl and digitally.
Before diving into the images below, give it a listen:






UPDATE:

I should have known it and done my research, but my colleague up the street at USC, music/cultural studies maven, Josh Kun, was onto this in back in 2008--hit the image below to be instantly teleported to Kun's cunning site!


http://trailofourvinylbook.blogspot.com/2008/08/genuine-and-persuasive.html

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Strange Sightings! Apparitions of Chicanos/Mexicanos in Classic Underground Comics #1--Robert Crumb's ZAP cover | ZAP COMICS #8 1975

One of the peculiarities of my tendencies when it comes to semiotic hoardings, as you well know, are cameos by Latinas/os in mainstream American media artifacts. Now ZAP Comics were anything but the mainstream back in the day, but they have, over time, entered the effluvial, miasmic flow of pop culture leavings that typify a certain moment, a certain groovy time in American cultural history.  So it is that I chanced upon this cover below, at the REMARKABLE site, The Golden Age Site.  It is classic Crumb fare, a cover for Zap #8, 1975, featuring a psychologically befuddled protagonist (he appears to have auto-trepanned his brain in order to ferret out some sort of existential conundrum), and some top shelf Crumb lines and colors. But what caught my eye in this issue, which I don't own--one of the few--is the Mexican kid in the window looking to make a dime.

It's not offensive, really, though the affected "Mexicanized" pidgin English might move one to think so at first--I was actually moved by it.  

Click to enlarge {*source}

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mextasy: Donald Trump's Nativist, Neo-Fascist, Hate-filled ...



Mextasy: Donald Trump's Nativist, Neo-Fascist, Hate-filled ...: My Mexican-American father took bullets and shapnel from Nazis in France, whilst my Mexican/Mexican-American mother repaired fighter pla...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Special Star Guest Posting on the Textmex Galleryblog: Brian D. Behnken and Gregory D. Smithers on "Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito" (from Praeger's Racism in American Institutions)



Having dipped their eyes into the radically charged history of American stereotypes, Brian D. Behnken and Gregory D. Smithers have just published a record of their findings.  Their dynamic tome, Racism in American Popular Media: From Aunt Jemima to the Frito Bandito (from Praeger's Racism in American Institutions) is well worth a careful perusal by visitors, lurkers, stalkers, and scholars (!) of the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog.

Funny things happen to writers on popular culture, however, on the way to fame, fortune, and print--sometimes publishers are leery of publishing illustrations.

We, however, as you know, harbor none of those fears, so it gives us great pride to host here postings from the redoubtable Doctors Behnken and Smithers (I love their last names, as they sound like a distinguisted Manchester law firm out of the pages of a Dickens' novel!).

Without further ado, I give you their dispatch {all the images get bigger if you give them a click!}

In Racism in American Popular Media, we explored how race and racism have been critical organizing principles in the popular media. Racism punctuated virtually every facet of American life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and was woven into the very fabric of the American entertainment industry, which became both larger and increasingly specialized over the two centuries discussed in this book. In other words, popular forms of media – from books to advertisements – became institutionally embedded in American cultural life. In the constantly changing entertainment and advertising industries that our book introduces readers to, the representation of racist and sexist beliefs and behaviors was re-inscribed in American culture with each new book, film, advertisement, and/or cartoon. Through these mediums, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Americans were exposed to visual and aural cues that naturalized white supremacy at the expense of African Americans, American Indians, Mexican Americans and other Latinos, and people of Asian ancestry.            
Race and racism became such a central part of popular media during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that the presence of discriminatory stories or visual representations became naturalized and ubiquitous. A number of the most common stereotypical character types had their genesis in popular literature, only to morph on film or in cartoons. These include African Americans as indolent, unintelligent, comical; as Sambos or Mammies; as oddly speaking or dressing. They also include portrayals of Latinos as thieves, bandits, or urban thugs; as lazy; Latinas as sexually “hot”; as law breaking border crossers who solely dress in sombreros or serapes. American Indians were either doomed to extinction, bound to an impoverished reservation – or both. They were either a drunk, or a noble savage; assimilated (and hence, not an “authentic full-blood” Indian), or a fierce warrior. Asians were shown as unhygienic people who spread disease or as individuals who were perpetually foreign (the same could be said of Indians and Latinos). Asians were depicted as being evil or demonic; as wily or sinister; as possessing mystical powers that they used for evil, and occasionally for good.            
Many of these archetypes found expression in numerous depictions in advertising, in books, in movies, and cartoons. The Mammy character is a good example, appearing in countless forms from Hattie McDaniel’s “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind to the unnamed “Mammy Two Shoes” in Tom and Jerry cartoons. The Latino/a stereotypical characters could be seen in popular forms such as the Cuban fireball, the Mexican border bandit, or in characters such as Zorro or Speedy Gonzales. Asian archetypes found popular expression in books and films focusing on Dr. Fu Manchu – the evil, sinister Asian – or Charlie Chan – the good Asian who uses his mystical powers of deduction to solve crimes. These character types also have their female equivalent in the sinister “dragon lady” and demure “China doll” archetypes. While real life native peoples, such as Geronimo or Sitting Bull, often were the fodder of writers and movie makers, the fierce warrior or noble savage also came to light in hundreds of stories and films, especially “cowboys and Indians” movies and books. So often could Americans see such characters, so ubiquitous were they, that these types of characters and the racist baggage that accompanied them became normative for many Americans. Moreover, their ubiquity shows how racist depictions could become institutionalized in the popular media. 
It is one thing to read a stereotypical racist description of blacks or Latinos or Asians; it is another thing entirely to see such depictions. Racism in American Popular Media includes many of the words written about nonwhite people. Take for example a few short lines from Charles Carroll’s famous The Negro, A Beast: “the Negro a beast, but created with articulate speech and hands, that he may be of service to his master – the White man.” Carroll also helped originate the black-as-monkey stereotype, writing that “the negro, in common with the rest of the animals, made his appearance upon the earth prior to the creation of man.” Or perhaps George Lippard’s description of Mexicans/Mexican Americans in his book Legends of Mexico merits some attention: “As the Aztec people, crumbled before the Spaniard, so will the mongrel race, moulded [sic] of Indian and Spanish blood, melt into, and be ruled by, the Iron Race of the North….You cannot deny it….God speaks it.” 



He further referred to Mexicans as “a semi-barbarous horde of slaves.” Finally, Sax Rohmer famously described his fictional creation Dr. Fu Manchu thusly, “Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, a close-shaven skull, and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green. Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present, with all the resources, if you will, of a wealthy government - which, however, already has denied all knowledge of his existence. Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man.” 
Reading those words communicates a great deal. But seeing the depictions of blacks or Asian or Indian or Latinos in popular advertisements or films or cartoons is another thing entirely. We were able to include only a handful of illustrations in our book. What we offer to our Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog readers is an expose of those images. They show in a way the written word cannot a visual clarity that exemplifies institutional racism in the American popular media.

More images that should have been included with the book:

















Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog, Eyegiene, and Mextasy are all now on Instagram!

A photo posted by bill nericcio (@memosdsu) on

More Stereotypes than you can Shake a Stick at... Spicy Western Stories Covers via The Golden Age Blog


The curator at the Golden Age blog is a tireless servant to our compulsive appetite for garish stereotypes.  The latest entry, jump here, with tawdry Spicy Western Stories samples, has almost every flavor of ethnic criminality and swarthy viciousness that one might imagine--see sample above. 1937 was a particularly good year for scary "Mexican" covers with two, by H. J. Ward, that belong in the Tex[t]-Mex Stereotypes Hall of Fame.


Here are a couple more, from the Spicy-Adventure Stories line:



Sunday, May 31, 2015

REPOSTING: UCLA Chicano Research Center Lecture: FROM TEXTMEX TO MEXTASY TO EYEGIENE | William A. Nericcio


(CSRC) UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center Talk: William Nericcio presents "From Tex[t]-Mex to Mextasy to Eyegiene" from Tex[t] Mex on Vimeo.
Published on Dec 11, 2013 | Lecture given on November 19, 2013

William A. Nericcio presents the talk, "From Tex[t]-Mex to Mextasy to Eyegiene: Televisually Supercharged Hallucinations of 'Mexicans' in our Digital Humanities-laced, Technosexually Voyeuristic Tomorrow(s)." Alicia Gaspar de Alba, professor of Chicana/o studies, English, and women's studies, provided the introduction.

William A. Nericcio is a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, where he also serves on the faculties of the Latin American studies and Chicana/o studies departments, and as director of MALAS (Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences), a cultural studies graduate program. He is the author of "Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of"Mexicans" in America" (2007), and editor of "The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works Plus [+]" (2008) and "Homer from Salinas: John Steinbeck's Enduring Voice for California" (2009). 
Nericcio blogs at http://textmex.blogspot.com/ and http://eyegiene.tumblr.com
This event was co-sponsored by the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies. 
For more on the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, visit http://www.chicano.ucla.edu
This video is a resposting of http://youtu.be/O7sMyagImLk

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mextasy/Eyegiene/Technosexualities in Kentucky! Filmatics Film Festival @ UCSD!! Cinco de Mextasy @ Grossmont College!!! Latin American Studies/Technology/Race in NYC!!!!

The middle of the 2015 finds me hopping all over the place sharing new iterations of my dabblings in cultural studies/social theory (focused on Lacan, to begin with, at any rate), Tex[t]-Mex/Mextasy, my pop-up museum exhibition, Mextasy.TV, my new television venture with Miguel-Angel Soria (of Taco Shop Poets fame/infamy) and Carlos Solorio, and, last but not least, a new venture, focused on Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer that combines my interests, and doubles down with new heights of madness/desmadres!


April 23, 2015, finds me the guest of the Committee on Social Theory, College of Arts and Letters, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington for a lecture entitled ""Chicanosmosis and the Transnational Imaginary (Imaginary): 21st Century Mextasy In and Beyond the Ivory Tower"--Imaginary (Imaginary) is not a typo as part of my lecture will include a harangue against theory-laden jargon that only continues to alienate cultural studies workers from the great "unwashed" masses--with
Chaka Khan, Nericcio, and
Jacques Lacan, back in the day!
whom yours truly would rather party with in the first place! Those lovely locos in Kentucky are not so interested in my Mextasy show (forcing me to revert to my prior guise as a Derrida/Foucault/Sarduy mouthpiece), but I am sneaking in elements of it anyway for my presentation that will focus on Alex Rivera, Izel Vargas, y mucho mas more! Part of said rant includes verbal tracings of Jacques Lacan (not to be confused with 80s diva Chaka Khan, though the homonymics at play in their conjoined names will, hopefully, lead to mirth and deeply ciphered deconstructive nonsense!


As I intend to utterly submerge myself into the rich, bourbon-saturated offerings to be found in Lexington, it's good that my next gig does not happen until the afternoon of May 3, 2015, when I will be hanging out with my aforementioned socios Miguel-Angel y Carlos, at the World Premiere of Mextasy.TV at the Filmatics Festival @ UCSD!  The screening is taking place at the loft which is one part events space and one part bar--the PERFECT locale for the debut of our madcap documentary television series. Here's the 'teaser' in case you have missed the 14,876 emails and Facebook postings I have shared to promote the beast of a show!





The next event is on Cinco de Mayo or Cinco de Mextasy at Grossmont College, where I will be dragging my traveling Mextasy museum exhibition for a performance, reading, book-signing, schmoozing extravaganza!!!!   I can't wait to share the Mextasy circus here in San Diego after traveling with it all over the place at NYU, Brooklyn @ the Observatory, Boise State University, UTEP, Ohio State University, Adrian College, Richland College, and god knows what other wild locales!  More news to follow on the time and place for this San Diego mexycircus!



Last but not least, I am jumping on a red-eye for the Big Apple, NYC, for a May 14, 2015 lecture with Mark Dery, Naief Yehya, and a host of other Latin American cultural studies superheroes for the launch of Review 90: Latin America and the Technological Imaginary in the Digital Age, a publication of the Americas Society & the Council of the Americas!  The talk goes down at 7pm at the swank Americas Society headquarters, 680 Park AvenueNew York, NY.


I will share more details on this page with updates to this page!



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sylvia Pinal in Luis Buñuel's VIRIDIANA

Back in the day when I first moved to San Diego, I had the run of a remarkable 16mm classic movie archive run by Instructional Technology Services at San Diego State University.  A couple of those films changed the way I think about literature and storytelling--films like Les Diaboliques by Henri-Georges Clouzot (left) and M, by Fritz Lang (below, right).

But the film that had the biggest impact on me (and my students) was Viridiana, filmed in Mexico during his exile by Luis Buñuel--this tale of an innocent, defrocked nun on the loose seeking to change the world via philanthropy and self-flagellation had a great impact on the way I read film, the way I taught, and just about anything--no doubt my 'recovering Catholic' disposition had something to do with the nexus/fusion of this film with my psyche (that and the nuns!).  In any event, here are some stills and other cool high resolution semiotic tchotchkes from the movie along with a blurb on star Silvia Pinal (Viridiana herself), a Mexican movie star extraordinaire!  The Criterion Collection site has a high quality streaming trailer for Buñuel's opus here: http://www.criterion.com/films/373-viridiana

Silvia Pinal (born Silvia Pinal Hidalgo on September 12, 1931 in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico) is a Mexican actress and producer. She is one of the most recognized and versatile Mexican actresses worldwide. She is internationally known for having starred in a famous movie trilogy with the famed film director Luis Buñuel, highlighting the classic film Viridiana (1961). 
Pinal is considered one of the last living legends of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. She is also considered one of the pioneers of the television and musical theater in Mexico. Her daughters and some of her descendants have dabbled in the stardom world, making Pinal the head of one of the most famous artistic dynasties of Mexico.
{source: wikipedia}






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