Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama Tex[t]-Mex

Laura Gutiérrez, super-cool Tucson based profe at the University of Arizona,  forwarded me the most outrageous video tonight, hosted off the the servers of YouTube via It seems a couple of good-old-boy entrepreneurs are marketing Obama Waffles--ha ha, get it, waffles?

The stereotyping used to impinge the former Professor of Law is worthy of Mengele's shorts depicting Jews as Rats. This shit has got to stop. What are you going to do to fight this? I am going to war!

I actually find kind of endearing the image of Obama with a pencil and a sombrero/sarape: he is both literate and Mexican at once, an icon of intellectual potentiality. Of course the sad fundamentalists "reading" this image see "pointy-headed intellectual" and "Mexican" simultaneously and tumesce with loathing and frothing. Mexicans and "Mexicans" alike can take heart that for once we are are being lumped in with the smart set! Odd, peculiar, and compelling!

Here's the video:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rita Hayworth, Charles Vidor, Gilda | When Electrolysis Proxies for the Existential



Tex[t]-Mex's oldest chapter, the one that started it all in a way, features a mouthful of a moniker that goes by the name of "When Electrolysis Proxies for the Existential: A Somewhat Sordid Meditation on What Might Occur if Frantz Fanon, Rosario Castellanos, Jacques Derrida, Gayatri Spivak, and Sandra Cisneros Asked Rita Hayworth Her Name at the Tex[t]-Mex Beauty Parlor."

If I had the chapter to write over again, I think I would have spent many more pages teasing out the allegories implicit in the Charles Vidor 1946 Rita-vehicle Gilda. Seen here, in an image whisked away from Dr. Macro's inimitable site, is the face (or is it 'faces'), that launched an existential and follicular crisis in the history of Latina figuration. The electrolysis-assisted odyssey that lead "Mexican" Margarita Carmen Dolores Cansino to Hollywood bombshell Rita Hayworth, is one for the ages.

Additionally, in a clip here from via TCM that I wished I could have embedded in my book, I have also included the infamous "Mame" sequence from Gilda.

Don't think for a second that Rita (aka Margarita Carmen Dolores Cansino) and Vidor, the director, are not aware of the irony of the song's lyrics.

Here, in a picture from last year, your Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblogger reveals his affections for Margarita Dolores Cansino!

Semiotics/Art/Art History 101

Xicanosmosis: Jeaneen Carlino

Tim Rice on Affirmative Action, for the Pale Set...

It's Morning in [Facsist] America

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black's Beach, San Diego

First I was a Latin Americanist; then, a commentator on race, literature, and film. Now? Apparently I know something about nudists: here's the proof!

(Read to the end of the linked story for the punchline).

Update: December 16, 2012

As the Daily Aztec link is now broken--here is a plaintext version of their story:

Nearby beach is telling locals the naked truth
Amy Ebersole, Staff Writer
Issue date: 9/9/08

Black's Beach has it all: surf, clean sand, hang gliding and drum 
circles. But there is one thing it lacks - swimsuits.

Located next to UC San Diego in La Jolla, Black's Beach is perhaps 
the largest nude beach in the United States.

So - here is the skinny (dip?).

It's not just the surf that's up
Hard work pays off, right? On a normal day, Black's wave quality 
seduces committed surfers down a 300-foot twisting labyrinth, lugging 
boards, like fruit baskets, overhead. But what goes down must go up.

So, save some energy. Or take a break before the climb. The clean 
black and white sand mixes as smooth as Jack Daniel's and Diet Coke, 
forming a blissful pillowed paradise that leaves surfers drunk on San 
Diego sun.

Fly high Glider Port
The Torrey Pines Glider Port sports hang gliders, paragliders and 
remote-controlled gliders. No equipment? Instruction, certification, 
tandem flights, equipment sales and adventure tours can be purchased 
for those who aren't starving students such as most of us at San Diego State.

A local nightly hangout spot for UCSD students, Glider Port is a 
place to kick back, put the moves on a date or gaze out at the 
endless oceanic view that transforms like Clark Kent from light and 
clear by day to dark and mysterious by night.

Moon me drum circles
Traditionally, when the moon is full, the Rainbow Family full moon 
drum circles last through the night until the sun rises to kiss the 
sky the next day. Sadly, because of a stabbing in July and the 
increasing rave-like drug and alcohol atmosphere, the drum circle relocated.

Last month, hundreds of faithful drummers showed up, only to find the 
street paved with cops who took time (out of their busy schedules) to 
"guarantee safety" by shutting the circles down.

For drum enthusiasts, there are circles held on Sundays in Balboa 
Park from noon until dark.

The naked truth
Let's be honest - it isn't the hang gliding, drum circles, surf or 
sand that give Black's Beach its claim to fame.

It's the nudity. There, I said it.

The famous poet Walt Whitman once wrote, "I will go to the bank by 
the wood and become undisguised and naked; I am mad for it to be in 
contact with me."

Well, it may not be a wood, but if an ocean will suffice, Black's is 
a place to bare it all.

Tired of hearing, "No shoes, no shirt, no service?" At Black's Beach, 
bodies are welcome to freely skinny-dip with nothing but smiles and 
non-gawking attitudes.

The Black's Beach Bares, a local group affiliated with The Naturist 
Society, holds picnics and beach cleanups. Viewing nudity as a 
natural way of life and essential to body acceptance, the Bares 
advocate for tolerance and respect, rejecting capitalist exploitation 
of the body for commercial or sexual purposes.

So wait - nudity but no sex?

Yes! It's true, fellow Americans! It's possible to be platonically 
nude. Fancy that. "The taboo of nudity in America partially spawns 
from the Puritan Christian background and capitalistic system where 
the body becomes an object of shame," UCSD student and nudist 
studying gender theory Hayley Ebersole said. "When you go nude, there 
is nothing left to see, and so the body morphs into something whole 
rather than fetishized."

Exploring the beaches of Barcelona and France, I was finally free to 
go topless and not get a ticket.

My French friend and I tried tanning without tops in an unpopulated 
section of Pacific Beach last year, but were told by a patrolling 
lifeguard to, "Go to Black's; otherwise put on tops or get tickets."

"But, I don't get it, they're just breasts," we answered.

What are we so afraid of?

Complaints by certain individuals who are uncomfortable with nudity 
cause park rangers to sweep Black's, and they make everyone put their 
clothes on.

"There are just too many people scared of having genitals," professor 
and chair of English and comparative literature at SDSU William 
Nericcio said. "Admittedly, most people shouldn't be parading body 
parts about - but for those select few who sport handsome choice 
parts - why not?"

Hmm. So, why not?

Amy Ebersole is a comparative literature senior.

Spread the Word!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Intrepid, Indomitable, Illegal Dad: Gustavo Arellano Piece in the LA Times

[Welcome, bienvenidos, to students from my English 220.19 class, Naked Mirrors, at SDSU--you might want to peek to your left when this page finishes loading for some sale prices that might delight/surprise!]

He's a gifted writer--maybe the raza Steinbeck (with bigger cojones, even) that we've been waiting for; a lefty scribe with the savvy of a Richard Rodriguez without all the numbing psychic baggage. The muses are like succubi to this Chicano whiz, intimately whispering wisdom to his ears, wisdom filtered with a wit and a sass that recall Voltaire, Swift, and Vonnegut--with some Dave Chappelle mixed in to keep it street smart and vital.

What am I writing about? Go here to see!

Here's Arellano from the Colbert Report!

Here's a jpeg of the piece from the times:

Get your hands on one of my books ...