Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Shade of Tower Records Goes On and On

I have written about how much I miss prowling Tower Records and I have to thank these ghosts again now for heaving Tex[t]-Mex onto its top ten titles in Hispanic American studies. Gracias!

Camille Rose García: Probing Disney's Unconscious With a Gifted Xicanosmotic Eye

Tragic Kingdom, "The Saddest Place on Earth"--with Camille Rose Garcia's work, we swim the innocence of Walt's imagination as if philtered through Franz Kafka's id. This SoCal Xicana's imagination continues to unfold in beautiful and dark, unpredictable ways. What I love about her art and what I suspect will keep her canvases rocketing up the hierarchy of the art world's ladder is the way she fuses the clever apt eye of high art--her themes of damned innocence and what might be thought of as a blighted existentia will always appeal to the ivory tower of artdom's keeprs--with the lurid, yellow journalistic, cadence of outsider art. Now that Will Elder has entered the marble orchard, she may well be my fave weaver of painted hieroglyphia.

Here's a damned fine interview with her, pictured below courtesy of this blog chronicling a Marion Peck gallery opening.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Checkpoint Charlie in Brownsville, Laredo, etc...

...a quick link to a Newsweek story on the border walls threatening to go up in South Texas. The New York Times has a picture that augurs the future of Tejanolandia, mi tierra, my home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Too Can Be a Sexy Migra Agent for Halloween and Beyond

Eagle-eye correspondent Michael Wyatt Harper writes in again this time with with a link to a saucy company that caters to the costume-seeking set. In a move that certainly must make Lou Dobbs sport a woody (sans Viagra, for sure!), they have seen fit to issue a border patrol costume that's a cross between Fredericks of Hollywood and Nazi Youth garb! Not only can you strut your fabulous stuff provocatively with the best of the pimps and hos out for fun in late October, but you can also give full vent to your pent-up Mexican-loathing/hunting baser instincts in the process!

Check it out:

One understands at a glance that a de Sadean invocation/encantation is afoot here--something violently sexual and sexually violent that I have dealt with before in another context. While I am no enemy of Sade-inspired play between the sheets, dios mio, we all know that--at least since Foucault outed Bentham's panopticon*--sadistic tendencies on the part of the state are far from random anomalies and that hence, we, as cultural workers or citizens or, even, gentle readers of blogs, must always be "on guard." 

Not in border patrol costumes, but on guard!


This marvelous costume is apparently ALL OVER the grand old internet!


Plus-sized fashion Mamas can now give vent to their erotic fascist stylings!


*Surveiller et punir, Paris: Gallimard, 1975 (Discipline and Punish, translated by Alan Sheridan, New York: Pantheon, 1977).

Eyegiene: The Science of Illusion

Testy Grammarians and the "Final Word" on Chicanos, Latinos, and Hispanics!

Internet fetishist and regular Galleryblog columnist Michael Wyatt Harper, writes in with a link to the Common Errors in English Usage page; Harper asks that we peruse their entry on Chicanos/Latinos/Hispanics! Here it is:

I kind of like the testy tone--like some old Catholic nun with a paddle in one hand and Strunk and White in the other!

Monday, May 26, 2008 Pedagogical Ally allows authors and readers (anyone with an account) to anoint images with commentary--this has proved to be a cool pedagogical tool for me as I wander round the country giving readings as I can embed snappy dialogue to pertinent images gleaned from the book. Click the image above to see what I mean.

Wacky Packages

Just have enough time right now for a quick posting to a book that chronicles the rise and legacy of Wacky Packages--at one point in my youth, I was so obsessed with these magificent adhesive parodic thingies that I adorned some of the furniture in the house with their madly vitriolic designs--my mother, god love her, was NOT amused.

Contemporary Illustration from Latin American Women

As you know from the Frida Kahlo/Gilbert Hernandez chapter from Tex[t]-Mex, I am a fanatic when it comes to contemporary art and illustration. One recent find? This special issue on women illustrators from Brazil. Click the example here to your left to be transported and/or transfixed!

Rita Hayworth: When Electrolysis Proxies for the Existential

A new photo of Rita Hayworth, around the time that Hollywood was de-swarthifying her "Mexican" looks via electrolysis--a process detailed in the Rita-laced pages of Tex[t]-Mex.

Eyegiene Book Project Working Logo/Mascot

and one more! a classic:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eyegiene Meets Xicanosmosis Meets...

Basically, I am trying to speak to a cross-media syncretism that somehow already fuses the semantic, semiotic, and erotic exchange of fluids (somaticus eroticus) and more that conjures the space of the border. I am writing about the border, maybe all borders, and more. When I see things like this, somehow, I get it:

Maintaining Excellent Eyegiene: Tag Galaxy!

Every day, new and improved interfaces for mind-melding eyegienically are appearing on the net. Taggalaxy is just one of the more spacey, literally! Click the image above and type "Mexico" or whatever you want into the "Tag" box to begin., the Virtual Version of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, SDSU

When I am not out spelunking the cosmos in search of semiotic intrigue and the nefarious doings of stereotypes, I am the Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University--in my view, the best damned department of literature on the West Coast!

Calm down USC, relax Stanford, ease-up Berkeley, down-down Huskies!!!

We celebrated commencement yesterday, the first with me in the cockpit as Chair. To say there was turbulence is putting it mildly as rare Spring storms in SoCal made for havoc--at the last minute our 750+ croud was shunted inside to a 500-seat auditorium.  Can you say chaos? Angry familia? It all turned out ok with commencement speaker Oliver Mayer, from USC Theatre, nailing a hard and down graduation address.

Here's a little slide-show we put together to close the show for graduates and their families--it gives a nice visual/aural review of the cool things going down on Montezuma Mesa in San Diego. If you are thinking of graduate school and just not sure about the Ph.d., you should come check us out; and if you are an undergraduate who loves literature and cultural studies and is dissatisfied with your present digs, transferring into to SDSU is still a relative piece of cake.

Get your hands on one of my books ...