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

domingo, julho 07, 2002

A whole lot of things to comment on, so I'll break it up into parts...

PERSONAL

Yesterday was my cousin's FR's wedding. He got married to his girlfriend of forever, SS, who I've never really liked but is a nice person nevertheless. I impressed almost everyone (their words, not mine) with my choice of a brown pinstriped 3-piece suit complete with fedora and Stacy Adams shoes. Who says I don't have good fashion taste?

I didn't go to the Mass (I was outside, but what can I say God, I find Mass boring) so instead stayed outside with my Oregon cousin SD and his brother (my cousin) D, who had just come in from Arizona. He has changed so much. I always remembered D as a little kid but now he drinks his beers, chases his ladies, and travels a lot. I stuck with them at the reception in Santa Ana, where S quizzed me about the El Cargadero social life. He was amazed at how it had stayed so strong, if not more so, since he left for Oregon. We also talked about the importance of having BS conversations to gauge true friendships. We'll see if I visit him someday...

Did I dance? Of course not.

E-MAILS

This one is from my brother, JT, the pompous asshole. It's a bit long and overly wrought, which is why I love the man so...

So I sit down, prepped for an evening of thought and entertainment, thinking highly of myself as I know that I'm finally going to sit down and do what I've been meaning to for so long.

No, I did not write a novel.

No, I did not masturbate during Conan O'Brien whenever the latino guitarist smiled at the camera while looking at pictures of Janet Reno and listening to Zydecko.

No, I did not read one of the myriad of books that I've been meaning to read.

And, finally, no, I did not pray.

Though, in a sense, I did all these things--or, I planned to when I sat down. For I planned to sit down and observe some of the myriad articles that are provided for my pleasure/edification by a certain friend of mine.

I sat down--excited to be the one who lives up to his promises.

And lo....a subtle note at the bottom of the webpage gives me a start...

"don't even try it with netscape..."

Alas! I have no internet explorer! Ah, curses! The fates be damned! Why must this tragedy befall me on this particular day in this particular province in this particular land in this particular style in this particular idiom in this particular way?!?!?!?!?!

No! No no no no no no no no NO! No, I did not go quietly into the night, pretending as if I had never intended such a thing--I did not put it off until I was at a computer with ye olde internet explorer!

I raged, RAGED against the dying of the light...........and clicked anyway.


And I read of Kronos Quartet and the president of Mexico. I read of Cesar Chavez and the burying of a _latino_, if not bigger, voice.

I read, and I enjoyed. I desired that CD. (No surprise there, however--I'm a fan of the quartet---but, now I'm even more excited.) I learned more about Chavez--and I felt the pangs of a universal man...a cosmpolitan man...a world-historical individual kept ensnared by the blackness of an ideology. I also felt the cool relief of the awareness of a
man on the left not afraid to acknowledge the errors thereof. I smiled.

Most importantly, however: I realized Cesar Chavez, a man whom I am ashamed to admit I know too little about (especially when one notices my political opinions--perhaps that makes me all the healthier though: i don't know all that i "should"), had something universal to say. And it came from an undereducated voice. But what he had to say can speak to whomever will listen.

And they don't have to understand certain dialects of Spanish.

My response...

What can I say except ABOUT FUCKING TIME! Haha, in all reality, thank you for the kind words regarding my article and the philosophy that creates them. I received a lot of flak for my César Chávez piece from Chicanos who accused me of "selling out" to some indefinable movement. That's such bull, of course. Chávez was a great man, but because he is, Chicanos must make him appealing to the world in order to pay truly respects for the man.

Kronos, of course, is Kronos. Most of the other reviews for the CD have been positive. However, let the jingoism in me surface and say that those people did not get the significance of the songs selected because they didn't know their Mexican culture. For example, "El Sinaloense" is one of the most famous songs in Mexico, the genre-defining sound of banda (the music of the Mexican region where my parents are from). To hear it played by classical musicians is especially significant, though. Banda is the music of poor people, sneered at by the Mexican elite (and the more assimilated Mexicans here); Kronos in its vast knowledge knew what they were doing and did a magnificent rendition of a song that's so ubiquitous it's hard to put a new twist on it. But what do other critics call the song? "Bawdy barroom ballad." Hell no! It is the music of dance, the music of a community gathered to raise their spirits and dance the night away.

So glad to have seen you. Perhaps when all the grad school madness is over for me, I will make the trek to Missouri. But I know that regardless of location, our friendship will remain.
---
Congratulations on the recent letters. You are becoming a voice. I think that is great. The review of the Kronos Quartet is pretty slick, and your growing it seems.

My response...

It seems I'm growing? I grow every day.

ARTICLES

There a lot of things I want to discuss, but I'll mostly put up the links.

If you want to get angry and scared, read Marc Cooper's great interview with Gore Vidal in this week's LA Weekly. I've read a couple of Vidal's essays, but this interview is brilliant...and scary as hell. Hope people get angry, which of course, is Vidal's intention.

In today's LA Times, here's two articles that only further muddle for me which side should I support in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Should I support the racist Israelis who want to erect a fence between them and the Palestinians ala our own or the Palestinian leader who flat out says Israel shouldn't exist? Both sides are holy and profane; neither is better or worse. Only God will know for sure.

Here's another frightening article on mankind's utter depletion of this planet. Especially the Americans. Woo hoo! Compare that with that nutcase Norah Vincent's insistence that the entire world loves Americans.

To conclude, all I've put up is depressing, thoughtful links, so here is something for the moron section in you (which must be cultivated in order to be healthy): just another story from our wild wacky world of sports. Kudos to the folks at Daily Rotten for creating the anti-thesis to the Drudge Report.

Enough for now. Many things to do...

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