I was never so happy as when I was a bartender, working with Griff Luneburg, Mary Ganzon, Jay Whitley, and the rest of the gang at the Cactus Cafe, UT campus, Austin, Texas--being a literature/cultural studies professor is ok but being a cantinero rocked! I worked there and in the Texas Union from 1982-84, and in the summer of 1987, as a bartender/barrista. Recently, the University of Texas went another way and the legendary Luneberg found himself out of the director's chair there for the first time in decades. Long live Griff! Best wishes, old chum!
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Mexico in the throes of its worst domestic violence since the early 20th century--but there are no Villas or Zapatas afoot, more like Capone and Madoff running the show from Nuevo Laredo to Saltillo and beyond. Mexico at the brink of a renaiassance--a world class, first world embodiment of cultural invention and fusion: from Lucha Libre to futbol to Sabado Gigante to Univision, Mexico, the fountain of next-generation visual culture--del Toro, Cuaron, and Iñarritu, the three horsemen of the cinematic apocalypse.
So happy bicentennial, Mexico--buena suerte! May mala Fortuna turn away from you in the near future, in our newish century.
The show I am opening along the Rio Grande river in McAllen in two weeks, Mextasy, is dedicated to the old motherland and my peculiar fatherland. Mextasy is more than a representation of ecstasy about or for Mexico; it is about the sensuous tracings Mexican culture leaves on both sides of the border. More existential state than archive, Mextasy speaks to the living organism of Mexicanicity as it osmotically moves between the bodies of Mexico and the United States--an overt and covert delicious miasma that arouses as it excites, excites as it provokes.
¡Que viva Mexico!, within and without its borders.
I don't have the time I need to weigh in on this story of sweaty men's genitals, bombshell Latina journalists, the mass media, the blogosphere, etc. I will leave the round-up to The New York Times and the New York Post, where I lifted the video below.
With chapters on Lupe Velez and Rita Hayworth (and cameos by Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz), Tex[t]-Mexargues that Mexican and Latina/o bodies become synecdoches (a fancy word for short-cuts, part for whole, like 'all hands on deck') for the realm of the sexual--no doubt Ines Sainz's antics with Jet jocks will do a lot to cement this trope for the next few weeks.