Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stereotypes and Propaganda, Germany, circa 1944

This is one curious and provocative wikipedia entry. My thanks to the robot-surfers at StumbleUpon for revealing it to me. The full-size jpg is here.

Comics and Stereotypes: Another Chapter in the History of an American Pastime

No doubt my obsession with stereotypes is a hangover from my early days as a comic book fetishist--days when Little Dot, Richie Rich, Big Lotta, Superman, Batman, and Plop filled my days, afternoons, and nights with pleasure and that inspired me to be a cartoonist; unfortunately, my academic career as a literary critic and, now, film studies writer intervened and I have to rest content designing books and web-pages on the side as a way of assuaging this passion for india ink and paper inside. I have tried to put the two loves together at times--my work on Los Bros. Hernandez in Tex[t]-Mex and my long theoretical piece on comics, "Artif[r]acture," that was published by Mosaic in Canada.

The downside of comics of course, puerile medium that it can be at times, is that it plays right into the hands of "comics"--funny comics often feature funny looking folks, and a damn lot of these jocular representations just happen to be of people of color.

Now revealed? A primer to "Typery"--a kind of introduction to stereotyping revealed and archived in a recent flickr photoset by Dave Blog (yes, that's his real name.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stereotypes are Funny as Shit Until the Proverbial Shit Hits the Fan...

Distracted from my day to day life as the chair of an English Department, I was indolently reading my favorite columnist and BFF* Gustavo Arellano, aka Ask-A-Mexican, OCWeekly's irreverent, peculiar, and delicious ace detective of the the Latino/a dasein, and, as per the usual, I was laughing. Try not to read and enjoy this ghost-of-Rita Hayworth-inspired rant--that crazy Chicano Mesican can write! [click to enlarge]

But the flipside of all that laughter and something Arellano has helped to out more than anyone is the fact that Mexican stereotypes feed the self-loathing lusts of Mexican-hating fools everywhere. After all, these gobs of semantic and semoitc hate are so right at hand. Next to dumb blond jokes, Mexican-slurring chistes are manna from the skies for Glenn-Beck- and Lou-Dobbs-channeling-doofi (plural of doofus) from Calexico to Boise, from West Lafayette to Storrs, Ct.

Sorry for the downer post, but you read this, watch CNN Headline, and Fox New,s and its about all you can do to smile in the morning. Luckily Arellano's pumping some gnarly-good correlatives and correctives!

*Best Freakin'-fulano Friend

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