Saturday, October 13, 2007

Margarita Carmen Dolores Cansino, aka Rita Hayworth, Mistress of Electrolysis

I remember writing the first draft of "When Electrolysis Proxies for the Existential" on a plane on my way out to Purdue for their then annual Romance Languages conference. I was reading a biography of Rita Hayworth at the time (guilty pleasures that double as scholarly research) and had run across amazing revelations regarding Hayworth (née Cansino) and her father (incest!) and Hayworth and her "barber" (electrolysis to lift her hairline), both dispatches couriered to my eyes courtesy of Barbara Leaming--Time reviewed the book back in 1989.

Latina bombshell? Spanish femme fatale? The mysteries of Margarita metamorphosis take up the better part of 40 pages in Tex[t]-Mex in a chapter entitled "When Electrolysis Proxies for the Existential: A Somewhat Sordid Meditation on What Might Occur if Frantz Fanon, Rosario Castellanos, Jacques Derrida, Gayatri Spivak, and Sandra Cisneros Asked Rita Hayworth Her Name at the Tex[t]-Mex Beauty Parlor."

Here's a snippet of Cansino/Hayworth in living color from Blood and Sand (dir. R. Mamoulian; 1941). Count the number of fused "Spanish"/"Latina" tropes in the clip--here's a hint: can you say "bullfighting"?

Lovely Rita! What a curious clip--shades of Almodovar's Matador.

A last note on Rita-archeology: I recently ran across a book-length work focused wholly on Hayworth/Cansino published by Adrienne L. Mclean for Rutgers University Press--a scan of it off Amazon reveals a more than decent take on the Alzheimer-felled star.


Let me state here in public and for the record that the only reason Tex[t]-Mex EVER appeared in print, aside from nagging, utterly welcome, periodic chingasos from Davíd Carrasco, was the support and encouragement of Arturo J. Aldama, killer of many trees for all the books he has published in the fields of ethnic studies and cultural studies, and editor, in particular, of Violence and the Body, where the existentialism/electrolysis piece finally got published the way I had imagined it in the first place--snapshot to your right. While the Rita chapter in Tex[t]-Mex is extensively revised and features many new Hayworth pictures, it has to be said that without the Arturo Aldama, my UT Press opus would never have seen the light of day. Gracias con un abrazo fuerte a Profe Aldama!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Breaking News! Minorities Don't Have to Worry About Voting Rights.... We Die First!!!!

Horror of horrors and some peace! Peace knowing that voting rights for minorities are a thing of the past, what with our mortality rate. Ace internet streetdick Josie Nericcio writes in:

To: Bill Nericcio
From: Josie Nericcio
Subject: The BRAD BLOG : VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: DoJ Voting Rights Chief Says 'It's a Shame' Elderly May be Disenfranchised by Photo ID Laws, But Minority Voters 'Don't Become Elderly, They Die First'
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 16:01:20 -0700

Hey Billy, did you know we don't have to worry about getting older? According to this guy, we're going to "die first."

Get your hands on one of my books ...