Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bernard Krigstein: 50s Graphic Narrative at its Best

Part One; Part Two. Comments soon.

Hayden Herrera, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera's Movida; also, a Cameo by Salma Hayek

I am that one guy (a silent majority) who just did not dig Salma Hayek's Frida Kahlo biopic--I call it Diego Rivera's Movidas to my friends and anyone who will listen to me not because I am not a fan of Kahlo (I love her, like every self-respecting Chicano should) or because I loathe Salma Hayek (my homage to her secretly lurks among the pictures uploaded with my book on Amazon (holy positioned bottle, Batman!)..... more soon..... blog in process...

link to story:

Libreria Martinez en Santa Ana: Help if You Can, Buy a Book...

Bookstores are not yet a dying breed--witness the growth in the last decade of Costco-style behemoths like Borders, and you know the widely touted myth of the "death of the book" has been exaggerated. Here at SDSU in San Diego, we have over 700 English and Comparative Literature majors and, the dioses willing, more in the future, even with the budget axe waving like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre revival.

All that said, bookstores (especially independent bookstores) are a rare, special species. Imperfect, invaluable, and all too rare, they are also almost always IMPOSSIBLE to resuscitate and restore. So do yourself a favor if you are in and about Santa Ana: visit Libreria Martinez, prowl around, buy your regalos de navidad early (Santa's droppings, the translator), and help maintain the cultural richness of the real OC--I recently toured the area through the eyes of local historian and smartypants Gustavo Arellano and left convinced that this is one beautiful, thriving, pulsing, and priceless cultural space.

In honor of independent bookstores everywhere, I redid the web gateway for our English and Comparative Literature department--take a look!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Sleeping Mexican

A quick referral to Maribel Alvarez's new Sleeping Mexican site for meditations on the cultural consquences of Latina/o tchotchkes!

Not Really A Stereotype: Just Incredible Graphic Design

I am such a sucker for these cool, late mid-century artifacts--gorgeous design; the eyegienically blessed collector at this flickr site is to be hyped and lauded!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck, Meet Lalo Alcaraz: 21st Century Swifts and Comedies of Hate

The rise of immigrant-loathing, ethnic-hypochondriac, fascist pundits like Lou Dobbs (Mexicans have Leprosy!) and Glenn Beck (Burn Mexicans as gasoline) is fueling*, pardon the pun, not only a rising wave of anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican hate, it is also, remarkably, helping fine tune a rising wave of Jonathan Swift-style satire. Lalo Alcaraz is our head Chicano artist "Gulliver" in the cause!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lick a Stamp and Honor our Fallen Chicano Scribe!

Ruben Salazar, RIP, again--another sordid tale of anti-Mexican sadism in the Southland. Here's a great piece on Salazar and the spectacle of his death by Edward J. Escobar from The Journal of American History.*

*The Dialectics of Repression: The Los Angeles Police Department and the Chicano Movement, 1968-1971 | Edward J. Escobar | The Journal of American History, Vol. 79, No. 4 (Mar., 1993), pp. 1483-1514


check out Adolfo Guzman-Lopez's KPCC piece on Ruben Salazar today! Other diverse, fine pieces of XicanOsmotic radio-work, aural dulce, by the once Taco Shop Poet can be found by hitting this link. Speaking of TSP, if you are in and around Mesa College Cinco de Mayo, drop by and represent!

High Tech High Lecture on Stereotypes: Manufacturing "Humans"

I get to lecture the genius minds of the young folks at High Tech High in Point Loma here in San Diego today at the invitation of Manuel Paul Lopez, poet extraordinaire; the presentation has the working title of "Manufacturing Humans" and is a blend of materials from my Ethnic Mannequins graduate seminar and my Obscene Machine undergraduate class from 2007. To the left? An example of a "Mexican" mannequin (and, like Data, on Star Trek: Next Generation, utterly aware of her conundrum; like Pinocchio, too).

Xicanosmosis 101

Monday, April 21, 2008

New Oliver Mayer Collection is Out and Available on Amazon!

I am very excited that the volume of works by LA Playwright Oliver Mayer, The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works [+] Plus, that I edited is out and available on The anthology has the full scripts of Blade to the Heat, Young Valiant, and Joy of the Desolate, in addition to critical essays by Howard Stein and Jorge Huerta and interviews, photographs, poetry, and theater ephemera from Mayer's private collection. More on the book is available here.

Mayer's work embodies the XicanOsmotic throbbings I began documenting in the final pages of Tex[t]-Mex, mixing, breeding, fusing aesthetic dramatic traces from Latin America, Mexico, the United States, and beyond. Mayer's blend of eros, violence, machismo, macha divas, show business, and Chicano angst are hard to beat. He really is one of our unique American writers.

Check it out if you can!

If you are travailing in academe and would like to review the book for a journal just send me an email the next time you get a chance and I will work with our crack staff at Hyperbole Books to see that you get a review copy! You can peek at the first 31 pages or so here! ¡Gracias!

If you are reading this and live in the Bay Area, make your way over to Thick Description for its revival of Blade to the Heat, now in production. Here's a quick take on what's presently going down Thick! Lastly, pay no attention to rumors you might have read concerning Madonna and the film version of Blade'--for the moment, at least, she is pursuing other pieces.

Anti-Mexican School Songs

Los Angeles County-beat reporter Anabel Weekly tips me to an impossible to read online story that is, of course, a must-read online story about kids learning anti-Mexican rants to catchy melodies in Ontario, California. The story is here--click on La Opinion as it comes around.

Update to my Posting on Mr. Toledano

Diva Profe of Cabaret and more Laura G. Gutiérrez writes in from Tucson (can you say, Hotel Congress? I knew you could) to update my recent posting on the eyegienic art of "Mr. Toledano." She writes:
From: lgutierrez
To: Bill
Subject: Astrid

p.s. billy, check out the last video clip on the video bar on the right with Astrid--she's singing "la milonga del mono", but check out the outfit...your posted pic of toledano reminded me of astrid's dress!!

So dear readers! Who came first? Toledano or Hadad!

Get more and more and more on Hadad, cabaret politics, and more from Laura at her new blog, Unsettling Comforts!

What All the Best-Dressed Are Wearing This Cinco de Mayo

Ace Fullerton-based Cultural Studies detective, Profe Alexandro Gradilla, writes in to tip our eyes to the costume possibilities that await us at Party City--channel your inner "Mexican" and strut the streets in style! Órale!

Subject: FW: Cinco De Mayo Savings at Party City!
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 2008 21:28:43 -0700
From: Gradilla, Alexandro

Are you ready for Cinco de Mayo? I guess it is a new tradition to dress like a Mexican…I was going to wear jeans and a button down shirt…

Alexandro José Gradilla, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
California State University, Fullerton
Chicana and Chicano Studies Department
800 N. State College Blvd., H314
Fullerton, CA 92831

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Profe Extraordinaire Raúl Ramos on Absolut Vodka, Advertising, Mexico, La Reconquista and More...

My new carnal, University of Houson Historian Raúl A. Ramos, holds forth with a brilliant posting in The Houston Chronicle wherein he waxes eloquent on vodka, Mexico, and the history of Wars between Mexico and the United States. Helan går

Saturday Conference: Diversity Pathways to Student Success @ SDSU

Just a quick note that I am keynoting a student conference Saturday morning at SDSU. The Conference is sponsored by: The Office of Intercultural Relations/Cross-Cultural Center, The Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs, and The SDSU Center for Leadership Career Services--the full schedule is here.