Mosquita Y Mari (2012) is a triumph for our community. Made by a Aurora Guerrero, a beautiful Xicana, this film is a colorful narration as liberating as a breath of fresh air after a sweat lodge. It felt ceremonial to let the tears roll and our hearts grow heavy in front of the screen. It felt as if a long lost sister held your hand and walked you through mutual secrets of pain and beauty through shots of moving long black hair, smooth brown skin, glowing smiles in the sun and smog, and natural use of spanglish. Finally and thank you.
Oaxacan anarchist, Ricardo Flores Magon (1874-1922) was imprisoned for his spread of revolutionary ideas through his newspaper Regeneracion. When they threw another prisoner into his jail cell Magon said “Welcome to the palace of revolution.” Sadly he died in jail but like Chalino Sanchez said “The brave only go as far as the cowards let them.”
Soy Magonista, y que?!
Riot Grrrls of the world unite and take over.
I am the generation that felt the intense effects of the Los Angeles Riots. White flight took off to gated communities and valleys over Los Angeles hills and by the time I was in 1st grade, all that was left was the Black and Brown. Cop radio played 24/7 in my home as the show COPS ran and ran on the television screen. An LAPD office operated down the street and they creeped constantly through our alleys. Capital was most apparent in La Curacao, an appliance store that replicated a towering Mayan pyramid in the heart of Panorama City. Young “pelones” cruised around and met in circles creating activity in the neighborhood, as did abuelitas walking to the bodega, kids like me running and occasionally scraping a knee. The city eventually shut down my street, Burnet Ave, due to gang activity. It was lively, culturally rich, joyful but also full of tension and a shadow of racial tension and police repression always lingered.
American Appropriation: Pai$as
American Apparel slapped us with a racial reality last week. Paisas are a fashion commodity and play the role of an accessory for young white models. Their round brown faces and humble character tap into the sympathies of consumers to purchase AA products. They dressed up this Paisa “model” in AA to ignite a sense of solidarity with actual AA consumers. One may ask: “You mean if I wear American Apparel I can be in solidarity with brown Spanish speaking immigrants without ever having to actually touch one?” Well, to answer that question, No. A farmworker cannot afford to clothe himself in AA. I am not going to lie, Men like my father, a Paisa from Durango, Mexico got major swag and fashionistas are trying to tap into it in but even when Paisas come up and got the capital they ain’t buying American Apparel. They got their own thang going on and AA hipsters wish they had access to it.
Soccer is political. Political soccer.
One day I will start a Mujeres Tapatias y Parranderas Social Network that my primas will actually be interested in joining. It will be a force to be reckoned with by tios, fathers, boyfriends, and hombres machos everywhere. And if any hipsters call us nacas, we might knock em. If you find nothing liberating by women asserting their right to party and have social freedom, having male friends, and being economically independent while demanding respect through a song that my cousins would actually blast in their car on the way to the banda club then you don’t know my culture. If the mesage don’t got swag, it dont work.
- Una guerrillera de amor
art by Ernesto Yerena Montejano
“Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” - James Baldwin