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

sábado, setembro 28, 2002

Just came back from a house party where two great bands played. Augie and the VW's. You'll hear more about them soon.

They were a great bunch of kids, all barely out of high school. It was fun talking to complete strangers. Sometimes, strangers are so much nicer than those you trust.

sexta-feira, setembro 27, 2002

It's done for good. It's done for good.

I'm most definitely sure of it.

terça-feira, setembro 24, 2002

Argh.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Argh.

segunda-feira, setembro 23, 2002

Some nice words from my friend Romulo Rivera, editor of Rockero3000.Com regarding my Morrissey article...

Props on the Morrissey article. Not surprising, I am another one of those Latino fans. Peeps on the Morrissey-Solo site are giving you mad love.

My response...

As always, thanks for the kind words.

What else is there to say? I am grateful, of course.
Someone told my boss that they really like my writing. That's always good to hear. I even got to say my last name to fill in the anecdote.

The weekend was uneventful, save for a Chicano punk show at the Long Beach Infoshoppe. I kill myself too much straining over things, though. End result: my back hurts. Amongst other things.

domingo, setembro 22, 2002

I think I read way too much negative stuff and not enough positive material. Part of my ethos as a crusading muckraker is to be kept abreast of the latest updates in the cretin world like those separated at birth monsters American Patrol and La Voz de Aztlan.

Reading these sites constantly make me forget that there is beauty to humanity. I'm really not seeing much of it nowadays, only avarice, greed, and selfishness. Most of it from me.

Scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen
This means you really love me.
So many things to say, no one to say them to...

sexta-feira, setembro 20, 2002

School is almost here, but writing will always remain.

I'm going to go to a Green Party meeting tonight to check out Pete Camejo's message. Will see SH for the first time in a year. My god, I graduated from Chapman more than a year ago. I don't feel old--I don't think I ever will. If I do, then my life should finish.

quinta-feira, setembro 19, 2002

I'm not sure why I don't update this blog as much as I used to. There's important things going on my life right now, life-alterting decisions, conversations, and actions. Yet I'm not writing about them.

There's no excuse on my part. I'm very busy, but I've always said that if something is important to you, you'll do it. This is getting less and less important as the days go by.

Don't want me to stop? Write me a letter showing that you read. That tracker at the bottom of this page don't tell me shit.

quarta-feira, setembro 18, 2002

Busting out the articles as always but I cannot put up the emails regarding my Latinos-Morrissey cover story.

In the meanwhile, read this fascinating account of feral children. Yes, I read a lot of weird things.

terça-feira, setembro 17, 2002

It's that time of the year again: school.

By now, school is a big nuisance that I'm doing only because I have nothing better to do. Yes, I will continue to write for the Weekly, but 'tis not that time yet where I'm on salary. Dios va cuidar todo.

Here is the AAN'stake on me going back. They're the organization that gave me that diversity scholarship that tidied me over this past summer...

AAN Diversity Grant Recipients Head Back to School

By AAN Staff

The two recipients of summer AAN Diversity Internship Grants have finished their stints in alt-weekly newsrooms in New Orleans and Costa Mesa, Calif., and returned to their classrooms at UCLA and Wells College.

The program, which awards two $2,500 grants twice annually, was instituted by the association in 2001 to help alternative weeklies hire and train top-quality minority journalists.

The two summer/fall recipients were Tomarra Campbell at Gambit Weekly in New Orleans and Gustavo Arellano at OC Weekly.

At Gambit Weekly, Campbell worked on a variety of projects for all sections of the paper, including news, entertainment, and special issues like "Best of New Orleans," says Editor Michael Tisserand.

Campbell, a New Orleans native, is entering her junior year this fall at Wells College in New York. She is a regular columnist for the Wells College student newspaper and a contributor to the campus literary magazine. She plans to write a paper on her experience in an alternative newsroom.

"AAN's diversity internships are an invaluable resource for editors to be able to hire (and convince your publisher to hire) a paid intern," Tisserand says. "By offering these matching grants, AAN prods us to discover talent in our area and better accomplish a longstanding goal of diversifying the newsroom."

Arellano, who interned at OC Weekly this summer, is the son of Mexican immigrants and the first person in his family to graduate from high school and attend college. He is now a graduate student in Chicano Studies (my note: it's Latin American Studies! Second time they've done this mistake. For some reason, Chicano Studies is more appealing to them) at UCLA. He has contributed to OC Weekly since his senior year at Chapman University, writing cover stories and investigative pieces, as well as music.

"I thought I wanted to get into alternative journalism before I started my internship with the Weekly," Arellano says. "But after a summer of working under the expectation that every week I had to produce a news story which was hard-hitting, original, and hilarious, I know that the weekly lifestyle is for me. … The diversity grant ensured that I had the luxury of full-time devotion to develop vicious wordsmith skills..."


It's all true, it's all true. My stomach hurts.
For some bizarre reason, some of my postings are not linking up correctly.

If it's not one thing, it's another. Here are some emails for my Pacific News Service article on why Mexican regional is excluded from the Latin Grammys...


Very good and fresh article! Thanks a lot!

Let's face it: regional music is NOT the coolest sounding

But: it's what we (as a majority) REALLY dig, dance, and can relate to.

My response...

Thank you very much for your kind words. I disagree: Mexican regional is the COOLEST music around! But it's also one of the few musical forms in which our community can truly relate to one another based on its history of uniting our community. Thank you once again for your comments.
--
I read your article on the Latin Grammy's with interest. I am somewhat of a musician myself. Your article made me think of my trip to Italy last year. I was deeply disappointed as an Italian-American with the absolute absence of any regional traditional music. I thought I'd hear some tarentella, a little mandolin, God forbid even some Opera or traditional songs like "o sole Mio". But there was nothing, nada, niente!! It was all English ( and I mean British) Language pop, rock and electronica music. The only music that qualified as "Italian" was some rock music where they tortured the beautiful Italian language until it sounded like the "artist" was having a bowel movement. When I asked some of the Italians about the absense of any good old fashioned music of Italian origin, they seemed puzzeled by the question, As if they've forgotton what it is.

anyway ,the grammy's may ignore mexican regional music, but at least they still have some.

My response...

Thank you very much for your comments. You gave me a perspective that I hadn't considered but is probably the case in today's musical landscape: that of outside cultures dominating traditional ones. What's interesting about Mexican regional, though, is that the same culture that it is a part of is what's denying it from the rest of the world. In the case you described, it was nothing less than Anglo musical imperialism; our case is Latino. Thank you once again for your comments.

More comments on my Morrissey-Latinos story soon...

segunda-feira, setembro 16, 2002

A full post will be on tomorrow. But let's do a little talking:

Nah, better not.

domingo, setembro 15, 2002

Many things to report but my back hurts like crazy. Outside of that, things are good.

Life is bizarre, to say the least.

sexta-feira, setembro 13, 2002

And the responses are coming in for my

Dude, you did a really well-written cover story re: Morrissey in OC Weekly (though I wish Jaguares could have figured into the piece more). I'm glad you acknowledged the condescending tone of both Spin and LA Weekly towards Moz's Latino fans.

I think you should send a copy of your story to the writer at Spin. Let me know if you need his contact information. Could you also mail me a hard copy in the event I don't run in to you at the concert tonight?

My response...

Thanks for the kind words regarding my article. Definitely send me the contact info for the Spin guy, although it would be kind of like shoving my article's superiority into his face. Go for it! I'll get you a copy soon. See you tonight.

I'll have more later, but I need to prep for an interview and go see the damn concert with NGF

quinta-feira, setembro 12, 2002

I've been working all day and am still working. I'm loving every minute of it. I'm sure to get letters for some of my articles this week. I will keep all 1 of you posted...
Sometimes, all I can do to stay sane is laugh.

Right now is not one of those times.

quarta-feira, setembro 11, 2002

9/11 prompted this web-blog. 9/11 is also the day I fell for !. Needless to say, 9/11 will always be a part of me.

Rather than think of something new to say on top of everything else out there, I will rehash what I wrote last year (a year already!) and then present links to excellent artictles on the subject...

Amazingly, I am back to some sort of diary, although I am not even sure how many people will read this or how many people will actually care. But anyway, I shall write since only writing can comfort me from the dark abyss that is existence.

I have met this great girl--but I shall talk no more about her since A. She will most likely be reading this, and B. Well you'll find out later if you keep reading my site and I continue publishing. Anyway, we have been talking a lot about the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. She once read a self-help manual that was based on Ecclesiastes so she liked the book (the biblical one, that is). I let her know that it is my favorite book in the Bible because it gets to the core tenet of my view of life--mainly that it's futile and there is no ultimate meaning to it. She disagrees with my interpretation of Ecclesiastes and says that she finds the book very life affirming; the uncaring continuance of life and dearth of originality which she identifies with I abhor. I argue that people should make a lasting impression while she feels comfortable being the latest in a long line of rabble rousers and so forth.

Which brings me to the NY and DC bombings. I have never been so physically ill in my life without a real disease as I have these past two days. I have barely eaten, I frequently lose it and have to control myself, and seemingly every 5 minutes tears come into my eyes. Why, I ask myself? Over the years, I have acquired a thick skin of skepticism and cynicism and my "journalism" has also given me an objective viewpoint on many things. So when death in the family occurs, I barely react. Natural disasters, nothing. Yet this has just crushed me.

It is not just the loss of human life. It's not the symbolism of the WTC and the Pentagon. It's not even a fear that "nothing will ever be the same." Or maybe it is. This is the reality of life: absurdity. Randomness. We cannot count on anything. Right now, a nuclear warhead can explode in my house and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it since I wouldn't know about it. This is life. It's terrifying.

I do not claim a special insight, but I think most people delude themselves into thinking that they will get what they need in life on demand. Judging by people I have talked to and the general serenity of things, I don't think people have looked into the abyss of life. That is the most frightening thing I can think of.

posted by Gustavo Arellano @ 10:32 PM Wednesday, September 12, 2001


Here are the articles...

Something by Justin Raimundo from the great libertarian website Antiwar.com

Howard Stern's broadcast

I swear to you, Howard did a magnificent job. Of course I do no not agree at all with his jingoistic tendencies but the man was on the air live when it happened. And I heard it. I also give him respect because he had on many local entrepreneurs to advertise their struggling NYC business' free of charge. A man who truly loves New York.

A much too-kind article on American bigotry towards Muslims by my sometimes-employers at Pacific News Service

My faith's pope.

Nothing else for right now except may God have mercy on all of us.

terça-feira, setembro 10, 2002

As always, the writing life is for me...except for this humble webspace, it seems.

segunda-feira, setembro 09, 2002

I guess I should write something, but who on earth reads this blog anyways?
I need story ideas and quick.

domingo, setembro 08, 2002

I'm not sure if the Drudge Report will take this link off, so let me reproduce it here. Then read my comments on the bottom...

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SUNDAY SEPT 08, 2002 19:58:02 ET XXXXX

ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: SADDAM SEX, USES VIAGRA, SAYS MISTRESS

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein needs help in the bedroom, ABC NEWS is set to report in an exclusive interview with his alleged mistress.

The Dictator of Baghdad may not be all the man he's cracked up to be, reporter Claire Shipman will reveal -- he uses Viagra for sex sessions!

The provocative interview is to be aired nationally this week.


SHIPMAN EXPLORES SADDAM SEX


Shipman traveled to a safe house in the hills of Lebanon for the big exclusive with Parisoula Lampsos.

Lampsos says she saw Hussein on almost a daily basis for years and is able to provide unique insight into what the dictator was saying, thinking and feeling behind closed doors.

Not to mention his physical prowess in bed.

Claire Shipman goes where few network reporters have gone before -- and zeros in on Saddam's sexual appetites.

On Saddam's use of Viagra:

LAMPSOS:

He took sometime.

SHIPMAN:

He took Viagra.

LAMPSOS:

Yeah, sometimes, yes.

SHIPMAN:

And did it help? Did he think it helped him?

LAMPSOS:

Yes, of course...

SHIPMAN:

Was he affectionate?

LAMPSOS:

Yeah. He was tender, he was warm, he was nice.

SHIPMAN:

Did he force you to have sex with him?

LAMPSOS:

Saddam, he don't need to force anybody. Because...you are afraid, you are afraid to say no.... I was with him because I was afraid of him...

SHIPMAN:

What is Saddam Hussein's favorite drink?

LAMPSOS:

Whiskey...on the rocks with ice.

Lampsos claims Saddam uses an herbal relaxation mask to try to reduce wrinkles, dyes his hair and likes to wear suits by Pierre Cardin.

Lampsos now wears a veil to disguise herself on the street because she fears retribution for telling her story, which will air Thursday on ABC's PRIMETIME [10 PM ET/9 PM CT].

shipman's interview is more than Sex Journalism.

Lampsos, 54, who left Iraq a year ago, not only offers stories of the Iraqi dictator's personal life that she says few others know, but tells of his alleged effort to have his oldest son killed, his take on President George W. Bush, his extreme vanity and love of American films and music.

Lampsos tells Shipman how Saddam's favorite movie is the GODFATHER. And his favorite song is "Strangers in the Night."

SHIPMAN:

He likes Frank Sinatra?

LAMPSOS:

Yeah

SHIPMAN:

And would he play it, would he dance to that?

LAMPSOS:

Sometimes.

Lampsos says Saddam swims almost every day, drinks milk and honey in the morning and his favorite food for dinner is fresh gazelle. She says he raises and nurtures the gazelles -- and then handpicks each one to be slaughtered for his meal.

Hussein met Osama bin Laden on two occasions and gave money to the al Qaeda leader in 1996, Lampos explains to the cameras.
---
This is the most pointless story ever. Who the (excuse my language) fuck cares who Saddam bangs?! This is just the latest tool of the Bush administration to humiliate Saddam.

I'm not going to stand up for Saddam--the man nearly wiped out the Kurds and used biological warfare against Iran during their war. But this is the ultimate in character assassination by the Bush administration. And people wonder why America is going to hell...

BTW, I heard that the reason why the National Enquirer offices had anthrax was because they published a story saying Osama Bin Laden's penis was small. Probably an urban legend, but hilarious nevertheless.
Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

Blah, blah, blah.

sábado, setembro 07, 2002

Zuco 103 was great last night. ! had a good time. Whether she had fun is a different question.

sexta-feira, setembro 06, 2002

I don't mean to impose my linguistic abilities over Uds., but read the following article.

Let's remember we're already bombing Iraq and have been for the past decade. What more do we want? Oil--and lots of it. Times like this makes me want to give up my car. If our culture wasn't so dependant on cars, we'd live in a much more peaceful world.

We've bombed Iraq 30 times this year!

quinta-feira, setembro 05, 2002

I've not written much this week because I've been so busy with Weekly stuff. I'm going out tomorrow with ! to a concert. More specifically, to see Zuco 103 at the Conga Room. Now the only trick is to find a good dinner joint. I might know my places in Orange County, but I'm still pretty lost in LA County.

My cousin got shot in a drive-by shooting. Isn't that special. He's OK, but the doctors cannot find a bullet on his body. Sounds strange to me.

terça-feira, setembro 03, 2002

Many things to say, so let's say them:

SATURDAY

Took care of the kids as my parents went dancing and my sister went out with her boyfriend BC. Bought birthday books for my sister and !. Somehow completed two articles even though I was sick beyond belief. Kids: don't drink alcohol.

SUNDAY

!'s birthday. Spent the entire day with her. Helped her entertain X, a friend of hers from Portland. We had fun and I took them to Santa Monica, Olvera Street, Espresso Mi Cultura, Thai Town, and Amoeba. These are places ! hasn't really visited either. Afterwards, gave ! her birthday present.

MONDAY

Stayed home and entertained family. Went in the pool and swam, something I didn't do much this summer. Wrote even more.

TODAY

Wrote even more. Found out some great news that I shall reveal as soon as I find out more.

TOMORROW

Only God knows.

segunda-feira, setembro 02, 2002

I'll say something tomorrow, but everything's pretty fine right now.