Recently, amidst all the chaos going on in the world, I noticed a push to rename “Hispanic Heritage Month” to “Latinx Heritage Month.” I could write a full dissertation on this ridiculous topic alone but I won’t – not now – no need, nor interest. But there should be…
I also noticed that there is a coordinated effort, with the Library of Congress, to effectively edit Wikipedia to include “latinx” in already established articles of history and or information. This is blatantly re-writing history…alas, it’s not on anyone’s radar.
This should concern people but I know it won’t. I often worry that no one is documenting this era of Chicano history the way we did earlier decades…or fighting to preserve what we have and ensure that it is not erased or edited to be politically correct.
If we continue to collectively sit on our hands long enough it will be as if we never existed because that’s the eventual goal of these slash-and-burn folks. The “latinx” movement will see to its complete erasure and then corporate Amerikkka and the politicos will swoop in and finally have one homogeneous bastardization to market to. Ya basta.
Anyway, reading about this effort prompted this impromptu poem. Enjoy.
The older I get the more I feel like I repeat myself. It’s a weird feeling as a writer, especially if you’ve written a ton of stuff and haven’t organized it very well. You start to ask yourself: Did I already write about that? Have I said that before? Twice? Three times?? I know I’m guilty of that and in my mind I feel like some geezer who tells his same war stories over and over to family rolling their eyes back in their heads…bah! Like I said, it’s a weird feeling but indulge me here for a bit while I talk about my experience as a publisher.
Recently, a fellow writer and aspiring publisher asked me for some advice on the business. He asked me what BSP could do for him that he couldn’t achieve on his own as a self-publisher. It’s a great question and I had to be completely honest with him: not much. At least, not any more. Continue reading Publishing pariah→
Recently, the age old issue of “Latino” representation in Hollyweird reared its ugly head again on social media. People argued. They lamented. They moved on. This is an issue that was covered in ¡Ban This! in an article by Chicano actor Del Zamora titled “Where Are the Latinos in Films, TV?” The article, which was originally written for the L.A. Times in 1996, illustrates that this issue never improves, it just makes a cameo now and again. At the time, I felt the need to include the article in the book because the issue is as relevant now as it was then and also in 1996. Yet, Zamora’s point still stands:
“After all, as one Hollywood executive explained to me, “We don’t have to put you in movies…there were no Latinos in Gotham City and you still came.”
This is a complex issue with a relatively simple answer. We (and I use that term lightly these days), don’t vote with our dollars. The executive from the 90s was correct: we buy tickets anyway. Continue reading Representation in Hollyweird→
I found the above image on Instagram the other day. If you’re not familiar, it’s Damian Chapa, an actor. Chapa is most famous for his portrayal of a Chicano prison gang leader. Surprisingly, despite the film being an underground cult classic in niche circles, the characters continue to float around in the Chicano mythos as heroes and icons.
For decades now, Hollywood, the media, and now even ourselves, have used these characters to brainwash far too many young minds that Chapa’s character is something to aspire to. He is a bizarre antihero based on real-life tragedy that no one should aspire to emulate.
The film, Blood In, Blood Out, made in 1993, continues to this day as some kind of benchmark for Chicano film, which is sad in itself, but the film also serves as a surrogate folktale for young people to admire and pass on. These characters have survived beyond the screen and forged themselves as some kind of weird and pathetic cultural trademark for kids to immerse themselves in. Continue reading The more things change→
story by Gabby Vignone | photos by Art Meza aka Chicano Soul
I was in 7th grade now; my boobs came in over summer, C cup, lost weight, got taller and found a new love for cholos.
Yovanny was my best friend as far as boys go, had some girl ones too but they come with so many emotions, drama: my boyfriend was flirting with you, that’s my shirt crap! We met at Dixie Canyon Elementary School, in Sherman Oaks California and sat next to each other in Mr. Wong’s class.
I hated those timed multiplication tests. I knew my times tables but I concentrated more on how much time was left than the problems, but I loved Dixie, had my first kiss there; James was his name and we carved a J hearts G into the tree on the playground.
Dixie is where I found out about Bloody Mary…and I’m still scared, so I will not repeat her name again. Sure people think it’s all a hoax, but Martia took me into the bathroom closed the door, turned off the lights, placed her finger on the mirror, said that name three times, and when the lights came back on, I saw blood. All over Martia’s finger, all over the mirror, that was proof enough! And don’t get me started on the stories about La Llorona, once you hear those you will never walk by a creek the same again.
Martia was a bad ass; she got held back a few times and already had boobs. I had something too cause Fernando ran over mid class one day on a dare and grabbed them. It felt so gross, embarrassing and shameful but Yovanny was there for that kind of stuff. Don’t get me wrong he is the same guy who would steal my D.A.R.E stickers and put them in his book, same guy who teased me, stole my Keroppi pen and same guy I helped Martia throw water balloons at, filled with her own piss. Continue reading Junior High Boobs→