What's up with this hot weather in L.A.? Someone lied to me before I moved here. Thankfully, Lucy's is properly air-conditioned or I'd never get any blogging done. Will soon be posting the new Girl in a Coma video, almost finished with that...till then here's what's happening with All Things Latino and Pop...
Colorlines reports the latest from the multiculti front...seem American Express has chosen fellow Texan Beyonce to represent AmEx in their newest TV commercials. An attempt by corporate America to reflect contemporary demographcs? That's the good news. I guess. Will save Marxist critique for another post. What's interesting here is that Colorlines also slyly provides the casting sheet listing the OTHER non-white characters needed for the national ad spot. Check it out. A quick deconstruction shows how ethnic stereotypes persist in even the most well-intentioned of pursuits.
Sunday New York Times tells the fascinating story of six monumental, Diego Rivera-esque, old-school murals on the walls of the dining hall of San Quentin State Prison. [See photo above.] Unfortunately, no one outside of doing five-to-ten has ever seen the amazing work. And of course, given the art's invisibility, it just had to have be painted by a Mexican American. "Remarkably powerful and almost unknown to the outside world, the
sepia-tone murals were created more than 50 years ago by a young
Mexican-American prisoner...serving four years for possession
of heroin" A High School dropout with little art training, Alfredo Santos was thrown into prison in 1951. Two years later he "submitted the
winning sketch in a competition among the inmates to paint a mural on
one side of a dining hall." He was paroled in 1953, just enought time to finish the six 100-ft murals chronicling the history of California. An interactive tour of the art can be found here.
Since every blog post needs a villain, a quick click to the latest column by High-spanic pundit Ruben Navarette Jr. always provides a needed conflict. Only problem is deciding what particular right-wing drivel of Jr.'s to choose from: this one where he argues workforce diversity is "passe," not a thing to worry about, big business in their altruistic wisdom will rectify historical wrongs?; or maybe this one extolling the virtues of Jr.'s latest hero, Hispanic ad man Lionel Sosa, who has been using his formidable bi-lingual powers to hawk every GOP presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan to Latinos, George Bush included?; or maybe his column on--...Wait a second. Too many to chose from. My head hurts.
And speaking of coconuts, Dave Mann at the Texas Observer blogs Alberto "the Geneva Convention is Quaint" Gonzales was recently spotted back in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas. Apparently the vato rolls in a white Hummer preceded by a motorcade of black SUVs. Sounds like Alberto is contemplating life as a rap star after his White House gig. Fellow Tejano hip hop star Chingo Bling, I'm guessing, is quaking in his Nike Ostrich boots. I mean, if you're talking about street thug props, Gonzales has them all beat. Besides eliminating civil liberties and generally laying waste to the Constitution, Alberto's a stone cold killer: As Mann aptly puts it..."perhaps [Gonzales] is reminiscing about the good old days or as so many do, just returning to the scene of the crime. Since Texas is scheduled to execute its 400th prisoner tonight, maybe Gonzales is here to commemorate his contributions to inflating that number."
And finally, it seems white kids are happier than black and brown kids. Huffinton Post reports "according to an extensive survey of 1,280 people ages 13-24 by The Associated Press and MTV, 72 percent of whites say they are happy with life in general, compared with 51 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of blacks...The study also found a split in how the races perceive the keys to happiness. Among minorities, the most important factor was lack of financial worries."
File this one under "no kidding."