A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

terça-feira, julho 16, 2002

More nice words about me. This one's a personal correspondence between PSS of OC Latino and an aspiring writer...

Have faith. Writing makes you a better writer. Gustavo is a great guy for advice, his writing is as sharp, incisive, witty and erudite as he is. Reading good writers also helps yor own writing. I recommend a few of Gustavo's articles to start, with my personal favorite of his writings "Polka Politics The evolution of Los Tigres del Norte", this was in the April 2001 issue of the OC Weekly, in it he gives a history of Mexican pop music, Migrant Workers and the current state of the Mexican family. It also ends with one of the most beautiful formed sentences I've ever read: "In their songs is the struggle of a people and two nations, la querida patria of México and the rich yet corrupt Estados Unidos—all sung in their infectious polka politics, which makes couples move
like gyroscopes to their own plight"

Then, I recommend: Diary of a Day Laborer: A human drama in 5 parts". The title is self explanatory, and it is a powerful, moving story of the immigrant experience. In it he humanizes those people we simply drive by, and pretend not to notice. Good writers illumanate the ordinary into the extraordinary. Gus accomplished that.

The next piece is fun, light and chatty. "Salvadoran Slugfest: Food as a tool of peace". In it
Gustavo does an appreciation of Salvadorian food (treason) and is funny. However, I must tell you that his use of a Salvadorian friend, who was originally supposed to be simply an unnamed Salvadorian, got his name "Sal" from me. You see, while he wrote this, Gustavo and I were at work together and he was sitting at the front desk, covering for the very pregnant receptionist, writing on company time, and I coached Mr. Arellano a bit. Told him to add the Sal bit. Never has he publically acknowledged that, bastardo, well, not really, I don't mind much. I amalways glad to help friend out... In fact, I will go out on a limb here, and say I taught the boy everything he
knows. I am just kidding, of course. Of course.

Gustavo, if you have never met him in person, is a very intelligent man too. It comes off a lot in his writing, to read Gustavo and appreciate it for all its nuances, subtle nods and poignance one must read carefully and be well somewhat well cultured themselves. But, if one isn't so,one can simply enjoy it. Thats what made H.L. Mencken great, that is what made Mark Twain great.

The "El Cargadero Social Club: How a Mexican ghost town lives on in Anaheim", this is by NIck
Schou, but ustavo can rewrite it so much better than that guy. But its worth a read, it gives one a little insight on Gustavo's background, since Gus was the source
and all. I appreciate this story too, because Gustavo's grandmother is in it. And Shou paint a pretty picture of Gustavo's family around, drinking Mexican hot chocolate and pan dulce, I can see it. Maybe this is way too desconstructionist of me, but I think reading this sort of quasi-biographical albeit incredibly indirect, sort of thing helps one appreciate Gustavo's writing. That and Gustavo has immortalized his grandmother. What a good grandson.

But then compare that knowledge of Gustavo's past, with this: "Gaza Strip Mall Meating the paste in northwest Anaheim".

Its an amazing array, and we got this in house. But if this punk can do it, so can you.

Couldn't have said it better myself. The following is a letter from my Portuguese teacher. Although he wrote it in English, I responded in Portuguese to practice. If you want to know what I said, get a dictionary...

I read your article on Jews/Latinos. I agree with what you said, for the most part. You have a good point. However, it's still a fact that Israel has more power than the Palestinians and THOSE WHO HAVE MORE POWER HAVE ALSO MORE POWER TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM, to stop the war, to negociate (alghough it's necessary
that the other part commit itself too). There's only one way to the world not associate Israel with opression: if they manage to create peace. If Israel keeps opressing Palestinians, Latinos will tend to not agree with that them (Israelis) don't you think? I love both Jews and Arabs but it's time for both countries to follow Muhamed and Cristo's path, which is the path of Peace.

Minha resposta...

Em respuesta a seus observaçoes, eu concordo com voc quando diz que o Israel tem mais poder em fazer a paz. Mas porque o Israel tem esse poder, o país deve tentar falar com os Latinos nas universidades e explicar porque a paz é nessesário. Os palestinos hão feito isso e por isso, muitos estudantes Latinos identificem com a causa palestina. Ninguém deve de quer um grup mais que o outro; tudos devem quer A PAZ. Se os judios quer a paz, fazeram o que eu falei sobe no meu artigo.

I should have played tennis today but I didn't. Apology accepted.