Friday, October 24, 2008

Sombrero's Off to the 100,000th Visitor!!!!!!

In the next hour or so, the 100,000th visitor to will arrive on our doorstep! Thanks to all of you for supporting the blog and the book! Abrazos, Memo Nericcio.


I wish I could shake hands with my 100,000 visitor, who came to the site like a thief during the night in order to peruse, what he or she thought were, erotic delights. That's right, my beloved, amazing, gifted 100,000 visitor was a websurfer looking for video outtakes of Without Breasts, There is No Paradise, (Sin Senos, No Hay Paradiso), a telenovela I have written about here before! órale!

Gustavo Arellano at San Diego State, Monday, October 27, 2008!

Infamous weaver of magnificent screed, the one and only "Ask-a-Mexican," Gustavo Arellano, cutie-pie puss above, invades the Santa Ana wind-swept confines of Montezuma Mesa, for a special super-secret, reading/signing/lecture at the Little Theatre at 4pm on Monday, October 27, 2008. Though the presentation is part of a series of presentations for an English 220 Naked Mirrors, Fractured Souls / Introduction to Literature course, the general public is encouraged to crash the gates as well--cap and gown optional. Arellano's presentation will focus on his new book, Orange County, A Personal History, published by Scribners (! Who would have thought that the original Big Papi, Ernest Hemingway, and this nefarious Chicano n'ere-do-well-scribe would be stable-mates).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sherman Alexie and Charles Burnett Present Kent Mackenzie's THE EXILES @ Che Cafe, UCSD

A tip of the hat to my tribal co-conspirator in cinematic cultural studies, SDSU's David Kamper, for luring my eyes to a remarkable film restoration of Kent Mackenzie's 1961 noir/native classic The Exiles. The "look" of this film will thrill fans of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique, and Georges Franjou's Eyes Without a Face. Roger Ebert's recent spin on the film is sobering: "How would this film have affected me in 1961? I saw Cassavetes' "Shadows” about that time, knew what the first wave of American independents were doing, would have known it was special. But now it has such a tragic poignancy. These people are doomed, unless a lucky few found sobriety. Their tears and blood have alike dried. The juke box music is so happy, and they move to it so dutifully. I am reminded of Scorsese's "Who's That Knocking at My Door" and "Mean Streets." Different ethnic groups, same dead end. When you can walk into a bar and call everyone by name, that doesn't mean you have a lot of friends. It means you have a fate, and are returning to seek it." But don't let Ebert's down denouement keep your eyes from the screen--sometime between 1958 and 1961 American indy movie magic was made and Mackenzie is able to capture through his lens the beating pulse of something new: Ethnic American figuration that forces us to rethink our right-at-hand stereotypes and replace them with the delicious and complex contradictions of noirish word and image.

Hit the image to screen the trailer!

The film screens this saturday at UCSD's Che Cafe! Be there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ace New Correspondent in the House! Oscar Preciado

Cool City College profe Oscar Preciado writes in to tip my and your eyes to the engrossing graphic semiotic wonders of Malaquias Montoya--hit the image and you are there!


Preciado reminds me as well to tip you to the amazing exhibit of Montoya's work now on display at San Diego's Mesa College--hit the next image for the skinny!

Of Aliens and "Aliens": Mexican's Invade Tribeca!

A thanks to Phillip Serrato for cluing me in on this cool sci-fi Mexican film festival in NYC!

Obama Stereotypes

Anabel Lima writes in on the controversy surrounding SoCal Republicans' attacks on Barack Obama--an LA Times story on the issue is here.

Dear Dr. Nericcio:

I am writing to you in regards to the story of Diane Fedele, president of the Republican Women's Club in San Bernardino County who forwarded the Obama Buck image in her newsletter.

This was one of the responses from a Republican man of color on the Rightpundits website:
"The 'Obama Bucks' image shows Obama surrounded by food that has historically been stereotyped with southern black individuals, most notably fried chicken, watermelon, ribs and Kool-Aid. Those are racial stereotypes from our past that are rightfully repudiated in 2008 when noticed."

My commentary:
So does this author truly believe no one would "notice" these images as stereotypical and racist? Due to its "historical content", maybe those of us not brushed up on history would dismiss its powerful effect on our consciousness?

Our Rightpundits author goes on to say:
"But the good news is that we are progressing beyond the power of such stereotypes. At a basic level, Barack Obama

is merely surrounded by food we all eat. That is the way the San Bernadino GOP woman from 'Chaffey Community Republican Women', Diane Fedele, says she saw it when she sent a newsletter out containing the image which she had found in her email box."

Ms. Fedele response to the L.A. Times' David Kelly, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer on October 17, 2008:

"If I was racist, I would have looked at it through racist eyes," she said. "I am not racist, which is why it probably didn't register."

Club member Kristina Sandoval agreed.

"None of us are racists," she said.

The use of watermelon, ribs and fried chicken was innocent, she said.

"Everyone eats those foods, it's not a racial thing."

Ms. Fedele purports merely making a statement in regards to Obama's socialistic views or approach to the U.S. Economy:

The caption reads: "Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on ????? Food Stamps, what else!"

And lets not forget Obama is strategically drawn as a jackass on the bill. So when does a jackass become a common theme in our culture and as a governmental entity? One might argue she meant to represent the democratic party "theme" but we can easily think of other definitions for "jackass." We are not fools; we know the true meaning being illustrated.

Of course I went on to read the blog responses from many individuals whites and non-whites alike and found so many outraged individuals but less individuals who found the image funny and benign. I found many responses whereby individuals had not progressed "beyond the power of such stereotypes." So should we not be offended by this image since its stereotypically from the South and it is now 2008? Are we being told to move on with our lives and not become so "easily offended" by such depictions?

I for one was deeply offended from the onset of the creator's drawing board of supposed innocence and commonality.  I also find completely absurd the notion that anyone who finds the cartoon racist is simply a racist her/himself and so those who do not have "racist eyes" can opt out as what, unconscious?  It was interesting to me that Ms. Fedele used the word "register" in her explanation of why she is not racist. Was she in a social coma all her life? Truly to be a leader in a group of individuals you must have some cognition and degree of consciousness. Ms. Fedele's reveals to us her lack of social awareness and sensitivity - genuine ignorance. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Thanks to Ms. Fedele, and those who agree with her, these words of wisdom are abundantly clear and well-taken.


Here's an LA TIMES video on the story:

Berlin Redux @ Imperial Beach, California

Caninic Voyeur or Doggie Eyegiene

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

City College, San Diego, CA visit on Tuesday, October 21st at 12:45pm.

Later today I am invading San Diego's City College at the invitation of the Puente Project and the Department of English for a public lecture on Tex[t]-Mex and "Mexican" representation entitled Naked Stereotypes!

City College and SDSU are closely allied in history and people with many of their graduates entering our various and sundry BA/MA/MFA tracks and many of our SDSU populating their ranks in kind. In any event, I am in debt to Oscar Preciado and Elva Salinas (another star alum)for making it happen! Here's the poster....