Tuesday, October 21, 2014

San Ysidro High School Mextasy/Tex[t]-Mex Lecture: Welcome to the World of Great Writers, Christian Villamea

A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to spend a Friday out at San Ysidro High School, the guest of Aaron Magnan and his incredible crew of students (here's a photo album from that  day).  One of their assignments was for them to read Sandra Cisneros' "Woman Hollering Creek" short story, my essay on Laredo and the border ("What is 'Truth' at the Border" in Border Lives), and some passages on deterritorialization by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari--this is no normal high school and Aaron is a one-of-a-kind teacher (and rock star).

In response to the readings, Magnan's students were charged with doing a presentation--this one, by Christian Villamea, blew my mind!  World watch out for this guy, he can write!


Christian Villamea
Sep 25, 2014

    “San Diego, at times, was more violent, more vulgar. San Diego more truly disclosed those seething racial antipathies which in an odd way suture that nation still called the United States.”
   William Anthony Nericcio
"What is 'Truth' at the Border"
    Racism has never been something new to most if not all of the people in this auditorium right now. It’s the color of our skin, the distinct sound of our names that inspire cruelty that spills out burning like lava from the lips of others. For people like me, it’s the shape of our eyes and the idea that we are much too Filipino to be considered American and much too American to be considered Filipino.
    And here we see our first prime example of cultural confusion at the border. I’ve got the eyes of an Asian but the name of a Spaniard and the experiences of Levittown American suburbia if William Levitt had decided to build a subdivision down in Baja. I don’t know what to call that. I don’t know what to call myself. And then I read this essay “Remembering” and realized that even though I’ve heard the words Hispanic, Chicano, and Latino countless times before, I have absolutely no idea what to call those either.
    You see, minorities often feel confused about their identities because the names that have become common for them weren’t made by them. We didn’t choose to have ourselves classified by a color wheel and split apart as if San Diego was the New World and we were the soldiers expected to fight over a mix of territory and respect.
    Other people made that choice for us. Dr. Nericcio refers to those other people as “Anglo Californians;” in other words, the white majority of not only California but the U.S. as a whole. They categorized us for the sheer sake of their own convenience. They told us that who we were was a factor of the color of our skin and not the character of our hearts.
    But that’s where we have to stop blaming them, because we’re the ones who committed the next big crime. We did the worst thing we could’ve possibly done in this situation:
    We believed them.
    And so our steps grew heavier as we felt the weight of the melanin, the pigment resting in each and every one of our skin cells, carrying us deeper and deeper until we’re six feet under a pile of broken hearts and deflated dreams.
    But you know, I think we deserve that. That is our punishment for letting other people define who we are. Look down at your arms and realize that they’re the same color as the bronze medal you would earn in a contest for being yourself. And if you’re not yourself, then who are you? How can you ever hope to find your own truth at the border when truth is being beaten in a dark alley by a group of muggers that you’re not allowed to be angry at because you’re one of them?
    One truth I’ve experienced at the border is that white kids have never been racist to me, at least not to my face. In fact, my best friend here at San Ysidro is white, and the ironic thing is that Mexican kids make fun of her for that. Sometimes people ask me why I’m so intelligent and I don’t really have the heart to tell them it’s because Mexican kids bullied me into a library that I spent most of my preteen years in because of their stereotype that that’s where Asian kids belong.
    But I’d be willing to forgive all of that. I forgive the kids that make my best friend cry at night. I forgive the kids that made sure I never had real friends until halfway through seventh grade. I even forgive the kid that asked me if I was going to bomb him and his family because obviously being Asian means you have a family history of kamikaze pilots.
    It’s not your fault. That’s what I was trying to get at earlier. You didn’t choose a life where you would have to feel burdened by something as simple as who you are, or what parents you were born to. I get it. We grow up so used to racism that it becomes normal for us, and because other people have been racist to us so often, we feel that it’s just normal to be racist as well.
    What I am not willing to forgive is if you hear these words right now and still choose to believe that a life where you cannot be proud of who you are is a life of normalcy. What I am not willing to forgive is if you hear these words right now and still choose to believe that it is okay to hurt other people simply because other people have hurt you before.
    We must work together to wipe this stain of racial vulgarity off the face of this otherwise beautiful city. We must not pay our pain forward or back, but rather transform it into a lesson to be preached into the hearts and souls of our neighbors who suffer beside us. We must remind ourselves that it is not normal to be ashamed of who we are. The color of our skin, the shape of our eyes are not burdens for us to shoulder; they are merely footnotes to the novels that lay within our hearts.
    We must embrace who we are. Only then may we work to find our own truths at the border.
    Thank you.



Monday, October 20, 2014

A Recap: SDSU Alum Jo Raquel Tejada (aka Raquel Welch) and the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog

No new posting today--merely, here linked for your convenience, a recap of postings of the most famous Latina undergraduate to NOT graduate from San Diego State University, Jo Raquel Tejada, or, as you may know her, Raquel Welch!

In her honor, here is a new promo-poster for the upcoming 2015 Dallas Mextasy show!

click to make mucho mas more grande!



Thursday, October 02, 2014

El Paso, Texas, y Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Look Out! Guillermo Nericcio García, William Nericcio, & the Mextasy Exhibition @ UTEP--the University of Texas, El Paso, October 15, 2014, 5pm Quinn Hall 212



Born and raised in the dusty, hot (then unpaved, thanks J.C. Martin) streets of Laredo, I have never really ventured to that other grand bordertown up the Rio Grande, El Paso, Texas! But that fault is remedied the second week of October with the traveling Mextasy roadshow venturing to UTEP--the University of Texas at El Paso. I will be the guest of the students and faculties of the departments of Communication and Chicana/o Studies there!  The main talk is at 5:30pm in Quinn Hall #212--it's free and open to the public. What to expect? Desmadres, readings, screenings, signings, hawking of posters, and some snippets from my new book Eyegiene!
new event poster: click to make mucho mas grande!



older event posters--click to make enlarge






Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cassandro! Lucha Libre Star in the Pages of the New Yorker--New Feature Piece by William Finnegan!


Readers of this blog know that the working-class-opera-world of Lucha Libre is near and dear to this Chicano chronicler's heart--a new, extensive piece on the world of Lucha Libre, more specifically, luchador Cassandro's special universe has just appeared in The New Yorker.  See it online there or via pdf facsimile here. The fine piece is by William Finnegan--more on the author apppears here.

click to enlarge




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beware Latino/a Robots or Fiesta de Cyborgs! Robotic Erotic Electric Keynote Presentation at the Boise State University THATcamp! September 13, 2014 @ 9am!

Just a quick posting with some info on my 2nd Idaho-based adventure in one year! Last Spring I was hanging at Boise State University with my Mextasy show (poster from the April 2014 fiesta-of-desmadres, opposite).

This weekend, September 2014, I have been invited back to shower tons of pictures/videos on all things digital humanities at BSU's third annual THATCamp.


What's a THATCamp?  (¡that's what I said!)...


THATCamp is an acronym-headed neologism for "The Humanities and Technology" Camp. Held at Boise's awesome Discovery Center,  the gathering will draw a diverse and eclectic group of cybernauts, pointy-headed intellectuals, artists, coders, gamers and more. 


Me? I will be holding forth (at 9am!!!! no less) on erotic robots and other cybersexually curious provocations--the result of a semester's worth of experimentation with over 200 undergraduate students at SDSU.  If you like getting up early and are anywhere near Boise, come on out and give a shoutout--a big abrazo to Memo Cordova and Francisco Salinas who made this mad improvisational presentation a reality!! I am on the bill with headliners JP Chastain and Eric Gilbert and host of other cool androids/robots/cyborgs!

Here's the ridiculous, Gilligan's Island/Ginger poster Guillermo Nericcio García whipped up for the event!







If you have read this far, you get a surprise treat! *spoiler alert* A preview of some of the graphics from the improvisational lecture entitled: "Robotic, Erotic, Electric: More Ruminating Thoughts on Literature, Film, and Cultural Studies in the Utterly Perplexing and Delightful Age of Social Media, Ubiquitous Surveillance, and the Selfie!"


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152732440023653.1073741836.555658652&type=1&l=1cbb05eabc


Sunday, August 31, 2014

El hijo de la.... The Semiotic Son of England's William Hogarth and Mexico's Rius! Lalo Alcaraz's Cunning Satirical Illustrations!

If you are not a regular reader of Lalo Alcaraz's LA CUCARACHA, if your daily fishwrap of a newspaper (that is, if you still have a newspaper in your city) does not carry it, get your infusion of top-shelf, satirical genius here: http://www.gocomics.com/lacucaracha

Here's Lalo's most recent entry, Sunday, August 31, 2014--a telling, pointed send-up of neo-fascist, racist, anti-immigrant pendejos from Murrieta:

click to enlarge
Here are some other recent gems by Lalo. Click them to see them in large, living color!






Hogarth and Rius? They are amazing also!

HOGARTH




RIUS

source






Monday, August 18, 2014

New Young Adult/YA Dora the Explorer on the Horizon: "Dora and Friends: Into the City" to Debut! What's Next? Dora, the Sad College Years?


Never one to say no to a good thing, Nickelodeon has opted to cash-in on their Latina golden goose!  The morning mail finds our old friend Dora the Explorer all grown up, ten-years old, hangin' with her posse in the City, and, get this, now she has eyebrows.

I am actually all for the saturation of the vidiot network with pint-sized facsimiles of smart, bilingual, latina animated stars, so I will hold the snark and just point you to some coming attractions!

Here's the LA Times take on Miss Dora Márquez--the NY Times as well.


Here's the cast of characters:


and, for those of you drawing up your Fall syllabi, a lesson plan... click the image below for your assessment-ready curriculum guide:



The series is fully intergrated with an online gaming platform (Dora Does the Digital Humanities)--here's a trailer for the game; the actual game hangs out here!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Welcome Village Voice Readers and Tijuana Bible Junkies! Hola!

It's time for summer re-runs on the Textmex blog--here's an oldie but a goodie from 2008 (original posting: Wednesday, August 06, 2008)


That miscreant Mexican/Xicano wizard of yellow journalism, that wascally wabbit of Latina/o print and online media, Gustavo Arellano, has gone and linked me, via the magic of solicited commentary, with the infamy and sordid black-ink pleasures of Tijuana Bibles!

 Click here for his latest Ask-A-Mexican column. Somehow the knowledge that "Nericcio" and "Tijuana Bible" searches will forever pollute the internets with "hits" gives this poor child of Laredo, this recovering Catholic "raised by nuns," sordid, ironic solace! For more on Tijuana Bibles, the low-tech fore-runner of internet pornography click here (NSFW, and "Not Safe for your Soul," as my 7nth-grade inquisition teacher Sister Veronica would have said!, or, go for the gold, with this full-on google search.

As you can see in this sample culled from the internet opposite, the 'Bibles were as memorable for their variety of racially amped ethnic semiotics as they were for their sexual hijinks! No surprise there--as I tried to illustrate in Tex[t]-Mex, the connection between race and sex in stereotypes is not just connected or causal, it is, as it is in life, intimately linked at the level of DNA!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Jessica Alba, Robert Rodriguez, and Frank Miller Ride Again in Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For: A Sordid Tale that Includes Eva Green's Areola, Frederick Aldama's New Book, and, Oh Yeah, a New Chicano Movie


The biggest story attached to Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For has been supporting actress Eva Green's poster for the movie showing too much areola for the MPAA tastes. The New York Daily News tracks the trail of that case here, and you can search for the changes made in the poster here in a high-resolution juxtaposition:

Ridiculous.

The film marks the return of Jessica Alba front and center as "Nancy Callahan" in the movie best known for fusing the dna of cinema and graphic narrative.  A decidedly tawdry take on the movie with tons of graphics is available here from the Daily Mail (UK).  Frank Miller's cool storyboards for the original Sin City are here.

More on the film as its release approaches will appear here shortly especially later this Fall when Frederick Aldama's new book on Rodriguez's oeuvre appears from UT Press.


Click the screengrab below for the newest HD trailer fed off Apple.com's servers:





click to play the trailer!

The Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog on FACEBOOK!