Saturday, April 05, 2008

Miguel "Mike" Vargas, Touch of Evil, Rest in Peace!

UK's Guardian; The Independent; and NPR.

When Racist Fears of the Reconquista Meet the World of Advertising and Shilling Yummy Vodka, Yummy Vodka's Going to Win!

Kudos to the LA Times for throwing this under my eyes--don't miss the link to the Flickr site (especially the public comments section) where the original image-post went up to read the reason a lot of Latinos are afraid to go out at night. Other photoshopped takes on the ad appear there as well.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jewish Stereotypes, Woody Allen, and the Magnificent Cultural Studies Oeuvre of Sander Gilman

A few months back, I took the time to tip my sombrero to John Leguizamo for the influence his one-man shows had on my work back in the day of snow and ice, when Ithaca, New York, was my home and Manhattan a playground of sorts. Now it's time to pay my debts again and to single out the landmark cultural studies work of Professor Sander Gilman, who used to hang his mortar board in Ithaca and now works courtesy of Coca-Cola lucre at Emory University. No doubt it was the whispered genius in the pages of his work that suggested to me the link between Jewish-American animators like Friz Freleng and Mexican figuration (Speedy Gonzales)--the foundation of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America.

All this as a preface to this odd tale off of Defamer regarding American Apparel, Jewish Stereotypes, lawsuits, and Woody Allen that fell into my stumbleupon browser this morning courtesy of Michael Wyatt Harper, a professor at Mount San Antonio College and regular Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog contributor. mazel tov American Apparel for taking a break from your Barely Legal-style ad onslaught for your paean to Hasidic figuration.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Turnabout is Fair Play: Stuff White People Like


Lalo's on top of this like cream cheese on bagels!

original post: 3/25/08

Like revenge from the Old Testament God, Stuff White People Like redresses generations of stereotypes with a few types of its own! Check it out.

The graduate school entry is priceless--and, take it from me, too damn true!

My thanks to regular contributor Michael Wyatt "Whiteboy" Harper for bringing this to my attention!


Forget XicanOsmosis (for the moment!) and wrap the velvet lips of your ears around this 'mixtape' via Paris but from the soul of Afro-Latino vibe! Here's feed where downloadable MP3's hangout--more music than you can shake your butt at!

19th Century Latino Legacies: An Ocular Primer to Mexico circa 1850

The only way to diversify our portfolio when it comes to stereotypes is to fill our trough with other, othering images of Mexico--there is only so much you can do against the tidal wave of bandits, bombshells, rakes, and lollapaloozas that otherwise take up so much of our synaptic bandwidth. Hence my happiness is stumbling across this digital portfolio at BibliOdyssey.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

3 Bucks Off at

For some reason, the robots or accounting algorithms responsible for setting the price on Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America went to sleep or something; whatever the reason, the price on my filled-with-seductive-hallucinations-tome just dropped close to 3 dollars and is now available for $15.61--even with shipping, that's a chunk of change off the $22.95 list price and whatever taxes are tacked-on locally. So, with the proviso that you support your local indy bookstore for your next purchase, I hereby point you to the once-union-busting confines of Jeff Bezos, et al.

update April 2, 2008

The price is north of $17 bucks again--Bezos must have not liked the anti-union jab!

New Galleryblog Logo: Eva in Chains

I have always been intrigued (see the July 12, 2007 entry at the old school Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog site) by this photoshoot Eva Longoria did for the UK's Arena Magazine--on the one hand, it represents an erotic and electric staging of the increasingly ubiquitous Chicana star; on the other, it semiotically suggests some odd, disturbing allegory of Geppetto gone amuck, Pygmalion channeled by the Marquis de Sade, with Longoria, in chains, as some odd, naked Pinocchio--Eliza Doolittle with couture by Michel Foucault... or something like that.

I'll bring El Chapulin Colorado back if I get enough grief for Eva!

Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race OR Further Visual Culture Adventures in a Optical Vein...

Eyegiene is the working title of my next book now that I have just finished The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works [+] PLUS for Hyperbole Books, an imprint of San Diego State University Press--I hang my hat there as an editor when I am not slaving away on this blog, chairing my beloved juggling-cats-on-fire English & CompLit department, or shilling my book on the lecture trail.

In Eyegiene, I hope to weave together various and sundry visual cultural studies essays that have appeared here and there over the years (my Pee-wee Herman spectacle of masturbation essay; the graphic narrative piece that appeared in Mosaic, etc.)--plus others that have never seen the light of day ("Almost Like Laredo") and yet others to be pre-authored here on this blog.

The neologism "eyegiene," recently ripped off by a Euro toilet sanitation company (!), is a theoretical attempt to fuse together various interests and tendencies I have observed and written about with regard to late 20th- and early 21st-century culture. As I have tried to show in these pages, practicing proper eyegiene ("Lorenzo! Turn off the TV; Sofia! Get off that Gameboy) refers to a circuit of scenes, a matrix of spectacles wherein the logic and policing of seeing is meditated--imagine a cultural studies volume that fuses together an obsession for Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, a predilection for Man Ray's collaborations with Meret Oppenheim, dreams about Frida Kahlo's illustrated diary, and interrogations of Chris Ware's illustrated visions, and you begin to parse the myriad and electric bodies (both bodies of ink and bodies of light) that Eyegiene voyeuristically surveys.

For an example, let us take the case of a Pancho Villa votive candle I purchased at a H.E.B. grocery store in Laredo, Texas:

It is as if two spectral and spacial universes were conjoined in one artifact: first, and foremost, there is the universe of the votive candle in Mexican Catholic and Mexican spiritual culture--there, the shifting shapes of uncanny heated light moving through colored glass conjure the presence of saints, and God, and gods, and Jesuscristo for millions of believers; not for nothing are altars from Oaxaca to Monterrey, from East L.A. to Chicago, adorned with the colored lights of votive candles' orange tongues.

The other universe, also ubiquitous, also very "Mexican," is the cult of the revolutionary--the Patrón culture of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico is rife with tales of militant luminaries: cult figures with outsized personalities who through a combination of wit, savvy, strength, and luck, change the face of Mexico forever--Emiliano Zapata is one of these "saints," Pancho Villa, aka Doroteo Arango, another.

The syncretic fusion of Catholic spirituality with Mexican revolutionary iconography--not to mention the other "pagan" spiritual traditions of Mexico's rich cultural spaces--ends up on the shelf of a Laredo H.E.B. Proof positive that the gods have a rich sense of humor.

more soon...