Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ask A Mexican Estrella Gustavo Arellano Challenges the Ghost of Cesar Chavez to Lucha Libre!

Click here for the skinny!

Tex[t]-Mex Versus the Sleeping Mexican

No offense to the turf of my wonderful blogger-mate Maribel Alvarez, but I have to share a story of irony. My book Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America is about stereotypes--"Mexican" stereotypes that propogate like bunnies in American pop culture. So look what I see every morning as I look out over my breakfast. No, really, here, look:

My neighbor and colleague [!], a Brit and a friend, has a window adorned with a glass sleeping "Mexican." It is an artifact, a glass monstrosity, that cries out to the world and me with eye-bourn tales of Latino woe. Daily, my Cheerios and migas are soured, my psyche harassed, by a stained glass tchotchke that mocks this Mexican with its pithy semiotic "funnyness."

Get this... I have not told him a thing; have not even made a joke about it, can't bring it up!

I am speechless--me!

Somehow, I have to bring it up.... Maybe a gift of the book for X-mas????? In the meantime, I will try to sit in a chair that does not face that window!

Here are some other items I have meant to post and have not found the time--let me throw them up here now and get back to them soon.... The first is an artifact from a store here in San Diego on India Street that specializes in the sale of sleeping "Mexicans" and "Spaniards"--they who wisely siesta at the hottest time of the day:

What I LOVE about this bank is that this "Mexican," or whatever "he" is, is NOT sleeping, and is, in fact, emblematic of industry--he's a BANK!

More on this soon!

Lastly, a photo from US Weekly outing celebrity tackyness but throwing a link into Mexicans in the process:

More to come--remember: almost ALL the images in the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog are clickable and enlargeable! Hence the name "gallery-blog." Thanks to Moises in Chicago for asking.


Regarding the comment below from a former graduate student and future professor: GRACIAS!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

This Has Nothing to Do....

This has nothing to do with eyegiene, stereotypes, animation and more; and it has everything to do with them....

"Mexicans" and Monsters & "Monsters" and Mexicans

...a nice piece on Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. Hit the image above to enter del Toro's notebook.

Memin Pinguin Back in the News

Thanks to LeeSee at Hasta Los Gatos.

Memín Pinguin, who made a cameo here last January, is back in the news with tidings of a ban on sales of his comic books by WalMart in Houston. More here from CNN and here at SFWeekly. More from correspondent Raúl Ramos later today.

In Search of the Black Fantastic

Just time this morning for link to a fine LATimes review of Richard Iton's groovy, new book with Oxford University Press, In Search of the Black Fantastic.

For a related micro-meme, click the Grace Jones picture below--a curious brief meditation on the construction of "blackness." The histories of the figuration of "Blacks" and "Mexicans" coincide in ways that are fascination and unpredictable; the introduction to Tex[t]-Mex, available online in full, sans pictures, only begins to break the surface of this theme!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Godzilla Vs. Gamera? No! Almost as Good--Chomsky vs. Foucault

Click the silly turtle for more!

The Debt that Goes Unpaid: Derrida, Mentor and Muse...

Click the image; this won't be a waste of time, either!

More Eyegiene Poster Children!

A big tip of the sombrero and a shot of tequila as well to ace literature and cultural studies detective Michael Wyatt Harper for this link to a wikipedia page that deserves a chapter of its own in the working manuscript for Eyegiene--my follow-up book to Tex[t]-Mex. More on this to come!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Eva Mendes, Ethnic Studies Critic, on Rita Hayworth and More...

It's bad news when Latina starlets horn in on an Ethnic Studies turf--profe's gonna lose! In any event, as a fair amount of Tex[t]-Mex dwells on the figuration of Latinas/os in Hollywood, an excerpt from Eva Mendes's conversation, forthcoming from Interview magazine but available in part now from the Huffington Post, seems in order:
DC: I have a question for you that's a little more complicated. Do you find it a challenge being Latin in Hollywood?

EM: I would never call it a challenge. I think being a woman in Hollywood is a big enough challenge. It really is, man. I don't want to be one of those people who complain. But the lack of roles out there--it's unbelievable. I read a lot of scripts. I believe you've got to read one that you know you're not going to do, because you've got to educate yourself on what's out there to make the best decision for you. So it's challenging being a woman. Then there are other kinds of obstacles that come your way, but there are many times that being Latin has actually helped me, being a Cuban-American has helped me.

DC: I think it makes you seem very modern and real.

EM: Absolutely. Because whether you like this next statement or not, we are the future. I mean, we're all just mixing together that much more. We are the future in that sense. I don't mean Latinos, I just mean ethnic diversity. I speak English without an accent, and I speak Spanish without an accent. I really do have the best of both worlds. What makes it frustrating is when a director or a studio head doesn't see me for the same part that they'll see, let's say, Drew Barrymore for. Drew's a great friend of mine. But it's like, "No, we want more of an American type of girl." And it's like, American has opened up. I'm an American girl, born and raised. I mean, I was into New Kids on the Block, just like Drew! Actually, I shouldn't say that. I don't know if she was. I'm going to text her on that one.

DC: I was reading recently about Rita Hayworth.

EM: Oh! Love her film Gilda [1946].

DC: She was half-Latin, and she changed her name to her mother's maiden name. Her mother actually was Irish-American, and her last name was Hayworth. She also plucked her hairline so she would look more aristocratic. A lot has changed in 60 years. Back then, I don't think anybody was really ready for somebody with a Latin last name. Obviously, so much has changed. I was wondering if you feel, like, "Yeah, it's changed, but it hasn't."

EM: No, I feel it's definitely changed. Thank God. We are moving forward. Every time there's another successful Latin actress, that's just better for everyone involved. Now, I want to see more Asian girls. People ask me if it's difficult being Cuban-American in this industry. I say, "You know what? Not as difficult as it is being an Asian girl." We have so many Asian girls in this country, and they're so not represented up on the screen.

The Huffington Post, source.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Steven Meisel and Naomi Campbell Refiguring "Blackness" One Image at a Time

... a follow-up posting to this earlier note.

You Know By Twelve, Most of Us "Mexicans" are Married with Movidas on the Side!

Yikes! Double Yikes!

Swarthy Enemies at Home and Abroad

Just a quick link to a Palooka comic from 1956--is the proto-waterboarding "terrorist" Latino? Arab? Both!? An allegory of the U.S. at the height of the Cold War.

New York Magazine on Fox News' Anti-Semitic Photoshopping

Click the image above for New York Magazine's take on Fox's Goebbels-reminiscent image doctoring; Media Matters is on it here. Below, Ailes, with his once-a-literary-critic chum.

A tex[t]-Mextian sidelight--Time is making more and more of their archive available: here, a period, cautionary tale from 1941. The scapegoating of immigrants ("Mexicans"), the manufactutred zeitgeist of the current era, is being driven by engines of hate blasting out the backside of Ailes's, et al's miasmic fascism.

Get your hands on one of my books ...