Thursday, June 04, 2009

Sartre, Books, Narcissism, and Literary Legacies

Sometimes great things happen in the midst of crisis--like today, I was in my Associate Dean's office dealing with our latest round of budget cuts and as she was called away, I prowled her bookshelf and came away with a jewel. Sartre on his love of books:

Obama on Stereotypes, Colonialism and more...

"We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world, tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation but also conflict and religious wars.

More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims and a Cold War in which Muslim majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and western countries but also to human rights.

All this has bred more fear and more mistrust. So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end....

...I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words – within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: 'Out of many, one' ...." [emphasis added]


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Of Puerto Ricans and Piñatas: Sotomayor Brings Out the Bad Taste and Stupidity

gracias to Alexandro Gradilla, CSU Fullerton Super-profe, for the link!

Amazon Reviews Si Vous Plais

If you have not done so, do please consider reviewing TEXTMEX on I want to thank all the readers and reviewers of the book who have blessed it with their attention--anything that takes 16 years to finish deserves a little love, ¿que no?

eyegienic photography by marc philbert

More on the Fight Against Facsism in the United States

Álvaro Huerta in La Bloga on Going Home and More

"I Don't Need No Steenkin' Clinique": The Evolution of the "Mexican" Male

Jon Stewart on Sonia Sotomayor

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The Evening Class on TCM, Latino Stereotypes, and More

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Disney versus Tex[t]-Mex!

Latino Science Fiction Meditation from Lázaro Lima

Eyegiene! The Work of Phyllis Leverich Evans

Equally good!? her photo series on the border wall:

Outing Fascism: Colbert on Beck...

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Rachel Maddow on George Tiller: Must See Op-Ed

My thanks to Profe Maria Carla Sanchez, for tipping my/our eyes to this:

Star Wars Meets Lucha Libre in Xicanosmotic Embrace!

Eyegiene Logo Tests...

and an alternate:

Hip Hop Hoodios! Jewish Mexican Xicanosmosis or Hip Hop in a Sombrero (Wearing a Yarmulke)

This posting is a shoutout and a riposte to my good friend Leon Lanzbom, who wails that the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog gives short shrift to the daughters and sons of Israel!  Check it out:


Carne Masada: Quite Possibly the Very Best of the Hip Hop Hoodios


** ½

Hip Hop Hoodios is a Latino Jewish hip-hop group working triple cultural entendre wordplay (hoodios is for judios, Spanish for Jews). Which should make it just a novelty act, except the music is good, the rhymes rock and it's passionate (if often silly) about the music. No, we can't get too serious about songs like Havana Nagila (with a Cuban Ahi Nama mix) or the klezmer-urban antics of K**e on the Mic (''My sound is fresh, like a pound of flesh''). But we sure can enjoy them. And hey, with Hoodios working a fourth ``best of'' release already, we may no longer be able to ignore the power of Latin-Jewish-urban culture.

The Hoodios are Josh ''Josue Norek'' Norek and Abraham Velez, both of whom work in the Latin alternative music biz -- ergo illustrious guests from Ozomatli, Delinquent Habits, The Klezmatics, and others who pump up Hoodios' musical chops. Juan Caipo of Orixa helps make Ocho Kandelikas into a ska punk Hanukkah breakdown, and there's some real Cuban swing -- and sharp rhyming from Kemo the Blaxican of Habits and Wil-Dog of Ozomatli -- on Viva la Guantanamera, an attack on the Cuban prison.

Hoodios show its conscience in songs like Guantanamera and Agua Pa' La Gente, about the corporate theft, um, buy-up of water rights in Latin America. But they're at their best with gleefully cheesy, sleazy, cliché-takeback songs like D---s & Noses (``You like our [bleep] and you like our noses, you see a Jewish guy and you forget where your clothes is'').

Oh, and if you're disappointed, the Hoodios are offering the ''First Ever Reverse Madoff Digital Money Back Guarantee.'' Anyone who doesn't like Carne Masada can send in their sales receipt for a full refund. How's that for messing with cultural stereotypes?


Monday, June 01, 2009

Contemporary Mexican Photography: Jaime Martinez

June Tunes via

Sonia Sotomayor: Down and Brown with Chicana/o Boriqua Solidaridad

Eliding the Past: The Erased Murals of Los Angeles

The Naked Mirror Meets Sex in Film and Literature

As my Sex in Film and Literature class goes off into the sunset, I just wanted to thank my students for an amazing Spring 2009 and send them off with a link to some course-related art! Hit the link for more info on the art/vision of Favianna Rodriguez:

original posting 10/23/08

Even as me and my amazing students are hurtling ahead with our seminar entitled Naked Mirrors (Gustavo Arellano is in the house next Monday at 4pm at the Little Theatre, SDSU, reading/signing and taking questions about his new book Orange County: A Personal History), I am already looking ahead to next semester [Spring 2009] and my English 493 course on Sex in Film and Literature. A music video by Muse fuses the interests/concerns/desires/obsessions/targets of both classes. Directed by Matt Kirkby, here it is:

You can download a 52mb high-def version of an alternative video featuring the band here.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of Names and Legacies

"My Three Sons" or "Once Again, Innocent Americans Attacked by the Scourge that is the 'Mexican'"

Not to underplay the seriousness of Randal C. Archibold's tragic tale of woe from the American heartland, but the nefarious, deus ex machina role of the "Mexican" criminal in this Sunday slice of life is a Tex[t]mextian* masterpiece for the ages; click the kit below to mainline the skinny:

*tex[t]mextian: adj. motivated crafting of "Mexican" mannequins. {see *Tex[t]-Mex}

Click to the left here for the full sized graphic, and don't shoot up "Mexicans," y'here!

More on the Sotomayor Appointment

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