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

quinta-feira, outubro 31, 2002

Had a final for my Chicano studies class. Please pray for me. In the meanwhile, had a great pastrami sandwich.

Note to those who either haven't read my blog in ages or have never read my blog before...

Welcome to my blog! This is primarily set up for my friends who I don't talk to due to distance but also serves as a place where I post any hate mail, threats, compliments, or weird web sites. Enjoy!

Now back to my regularly scheduled nonsense...

One of the weirdest conspiracies I've ever heard is that the US faked the moon landing. I've seen the websites claiming a cover-up (such as this beauty) but something about it strikes me so odd as to deem it the worst conspiracy theory ever. But now the government is playing the game, as this article attests

Government trying to prove something to be true? Must mean it's fake. Perhaps I am naive.

By the way, NASA's $15,000 spent trying to prove the moon landing is the greatest use of government money ever.

quarta-feira, outubro 30, 2002

I finally feel like writing a bit more in this infernal diary, but first I must slay yet another mid-term. Pray for me and my following wishes...

no missed Simpsons episodes

So scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen; this means you really love me

Or something like that.

terça-feira, outubro 29, 2002

Grad school is seriously boring me. Maybe if I had majored in something I had a background in, I'd have more interest. As it is right now, I have no idea what I'm studying and am struggling mightily to stay afloat. Of course, "struggling mightily" for me means that in my recent mid-term, I received an A-. Ah, academic arrogance.

I do not suffer any regrets, although I do worry if I do the right things. But I also know that once I start on something, I carry it to its bloody conclusion. Make sure nothing lingers except a memory.

segunda-feira, outubro 28, 2002

I'm such a nervous wreck, I'll be surprised if I make it to my 29th birthday without having suffered a stress-related illness.

In the meanwhile, my wrist hurts from typing so much. And I need to find more time to read. All I'm reading write now are boring academic texts (although the life of the Aztecs is very fascinating). I wish I could read more. Heaven knows I have the free time to do such a thing.

domingo, outubro 27, 2002

Angels won. This being Anaheim, there was no riots.

I think I'm a good writer, but once in a while I need reassurance that I am. Lacking that, I need someone to tell me I'm not so I can motivate myself with the sole intent of proving that person wrong. Ain't the written craft beautiful?

I ain't not a dorkus

sábado, outubro 26, 2002

Played tennis (something I don't do as much as I should) with NS (someone I don't hang out with as much as I should). My pockets hurt.

terça-feira, outubro 22, 2002

Two people read this blog today. That's the most readers I've had in about a month. Sorry: I have other things to write nowadays. But my archives at the left of the page give you an indication of why I am the way I am today.

segunda-feira, outubro 21, 2002

There are a bevy of CD's to review at the moment, all of them surprisingly good. Unfortunately, I can't get them all at once as I'd like. Oh, well.

Friday, went with NS to check out my future mayor. I'll be voting for none of the above. And yes, I do vote and am damn proud of it.

As I'm getting older, I'm realizing that I know much more what I'm not than what I am.

quinta-feira, outubro 17, 2002

Went to a Weekly party today and had a lot of fun. It was mostly ad people who I had never spoken to. I'm glad I spoke to them today.

Midterm over, but writing predominates this weekend. That's just the way I like it.

terça-feira, outubro 15, 2002

Saw the Kronos Quartet tonight at the Barclay. They were great but disappointing, since they didn't play the tracks I liked best from Nuevo. Oh well, at least I have the album.

I also wish more people had gone, but what can you expect from a population where the part that should be naturally drawn to such a concert doesn't even know about it and the part that usually goes to these sort of things isn't knowledgable enough to understand the beauty of the night? Ah, Orange County.

Hadn't been to UCI in a while. Of course, it brought back bittersweet memories. And none were created tonight to drive those out.
Nothing to report right now except I'm hungry, I have a midterm on Thursday, and I'm supposed to ferry around someone from the San Francisco Chronicle. Good fun had by none.

segunda-feira, outubro 14, 2002

I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everyone else does

domingo, outubro 13, 2002

I am the godfather of AS, a delightful little boy. I don't even think he's a year old. It's amazing to see children grow. I remember when he was always quiet, never uttered a word. Now he's learning how to talk ever so slowly. I'll make sure he learns right from wrong. Then again, Gustavian philosophy isn't the brightest life-outlook.

sábado, outubro 12, 2002

There's yet another person not happy with what I wrote about them in an article for the Weekly. You know what? Screw them.
I was quoted today by the St. Paul Pioneer Press regarding Anaheim. As always, I did a service to my city...

Liu said Germans — Minnesota's largest nationality, by the way — still have a strong presence in Anaheim, where the city's Oktoberfest is being celebrated right now with large steins of beer, yah. But not every Anaheimer (I am not making that label up) cares for schnitzel.

"Anaheim and Minneapolis are the same place," says Gustavo Arellano, a writer for the Orange County Weekly. "They were both founded by European plunderers."

I think Arellano was joking, but only partly. Anaheim, where no minorities sit on the City Council, is a place of some, mostly political, tension between whites and minorities. The city of Disneyland, the largest employer, and where Cesar Chavez once organized Hispanic farm workers, has a rapidly growing Latino population, a growing Somali influx and a thriving Arab community. One neighborhood of many Arab restaurants is called "Little Gaza."

Anaheim also is home to some of the most prominent supporters of laws barring the entry of new arrivals.

"The Germans still really hold the power here," said Arellano, whose Mexican ancestors arrived almost a century ago. "This is the birthplace of the anti-immigrant movement."

But back to the more pleasant business of baseball, where, if you can play, it doesn't matter where your Pop came from, it seems that Anaheim disease may be more widespread than Angels fever.

The Orange County Weekly puts it bluntly: "Angels fans since Saturday," it says, referring to last weekend, when the underdog Angels knocked off the Yankees and belatedly captured the enthusiasm of the team's blasé fan base.

"Most people really don't care, and the immigrants are too busy trying to make a living to pay attention," he said.

"Angels fans are front-runners. They didn't start getting excited until the Angels beat New York."

How soon until Mayor Daley hangs me in effigy?

sexta-feira, outubro 11, 2002

Got back from a concert with two of the Fabulous G sisters. No, it wasn't those poseurs Mana, it was the insane Victimas de Dr. Cerebro. Will write more later...

quarta-feira, outubro 09, 2002

Writing just for the sake of writing is never good.

terça-feira, outubro 08, 2002

But you, what have you given me?
False promises and love

Though this line from Los Tigres del Norte's "Falsas Promesas y Amor" could be relevant to my life, I say it today only because I heard the song in the morning. What a great song.

The following lyric applies to me for the rest of my life. It's by Morrissey from "Rusholme Ruffians"

Though I walk home alone
My faith in love is still devout

segunda-feira, outubro 07, 2002

Some comments on my article for Pacific News Service on the Mexican brown-out at the Latin Grammys. The first one is from a South Asian journalist based in Canada. I get read in Canada!...

just read your article on the Latin Grammys @ the Pacific News Service site, and i couldn't resist sending you a note of thanks for trying to open some eyes with this news. i'm South Asian music journalist up here in Canada, and to some extent our music scene faces the very same problems. i was a bit taken aback recently at a press conference in which a well-known Punjabi producer suggested that what his new record label was looking for was an
"Asian Ricky Martin" and went on about the necessity of the almighty
crossover--artists who are able to submerge their South Asian-ness and market themselves as exotic. and of course, postcolonial literature in English faces a similar dilemma.

there are very, very few really good music articles out there (i certainly
haven't written any). thanks for writing one of them!

My response...

Thank you very much for the kind words regarding my article. Sad to say I was not surprised by your comments regarding the Punjabi producer's mindset regarding crossover success. The only way to succeed in the "white" world, most non-white artists feel, is to play off Western conceptions of the exoticness of the other, and two of the worst victims (in my opinion) are Latin America and South Asia. Shows like the Latin Grammys are simply the worst manifestation
of this. Thank you very much once again and I'm glad to see there are fellow music writers who feel the way I do.

The following comments are from LatinoLA.com, which re-published my article. They are not directed towards me and as such, I will not respond...except to the negative one...

"I thought the article made it's point well...even though I have never cared for the music."
"Well, once again Gustavo Arellano has hit the subject squarely on the head, or is that the sound of his own blockhead being struck? Sure, Mexican regional music may sell more copies in certain cities here in the U.S. (read L.A.) but Salsa music is universally loved the world over. From France to London to Japan, salsa fanatics can't get enough of their favorite bands. It sounds like Arellano is jealous of the fact that salsa music is quite a bit more popular than traditional Mexican and other Latin American music.Yes, I do admit, the Latin Grammys (a divisive event that I do not support) should include music from all Latino regions. How about some traditional Peruvian music like you hear at Pollo Inca when you eat lunch? Or Nicaraguan music? Or some plenas from Puerto Rico? This brings back the same old conflicts between Mexicans and Cubans. Seriously, they have very little in common other than the same language. They're about as different culturally as Americans and Canadians. But it's the tone of Arellano's article that's ridiculous because as much as all Latin American countries differ, we must all come together to continue our political struggle and put aside our petty differences. I mean, who really cares what music the they showcase on the Latin Grammys? In the end, it's just the Estefans patting themselves on the back anyway."

This person didn't like an article on the Latin Lover phenomenon I wrote a while back for the same site. Obviously, he didn't read my article closely enough. He makes the same mistake others do when justifying exclusion of Mexican regional to a broader audience: that its popularity is somehow limited to Los Angeles. I won't bring up the Arbitron ratings here--my article does that. But once again, when a sub-genre sells more than half of all the product of its broader genre, the only thing that can explain its exclusion is anti-Mexican sentiment. Salsa music is not "quite a bit more popular"--not even close when it makes up less than 17% of total sales (remember: the 17% figure is all tropical music, not just salsa).

There are very few issues that make me a militant Mexican and the exclusion of Mexican artists is definitely one of them. A soon-to-be published article for the Weekly will carp on this even more.

Here's an email that refutes the previous email...

[The person who wrote the last email] misreads the statistics in Arellano's article. Mexican regional music doesn't just sell in a few cities; it generates over 50% of the sales in the Latin music genre. When the organizers of the Latin Grammys made their pitch to CBS, they included those profits as proof of Latin music's popularity. They need to include this music in the Latin Grammys and let the American public decide for itself if they like it. Otherwise, they should stop calling the show the Latin Grammys and call it something else.

Like the "Everything but Mexican" Grammys.

Que viva banda!

My stomach hurts.
And now, for a whole bunch of stuff...

First off, came back from a weekend in San Francisco with The Boys. Saw the San Francisco 49ers demolish the Saint Louis (formerly Los Angeles despite the fact they played the last 12 years of their Southern California existence in Anaheim) Rams 37-14 at Candlestick Park. It's great to sit in front of drunken football fans.

The weekend was fun, if a bit unnecessary to my own hectic schedule. I'm way too busy to have the luxury of taking vacations at this point in my life. Too much stuff to do...

I can post many e-mails I've received in the past couple of weeks, but I'm not in the mood to post much of anything anymore. I'm in the dregs, actually.

There's various components to my depression and my depression is markedly different from that of everyone else. For one, I don't let it interfere with the rest of my life to the point that it ruins it.

But something is bothering me and the question/observation is this:

Everyone around me is changing. I remain virtually the same. Everyone around me is leaving me. Is it my fault or theirs? Should I change alongside them or be myself and others come into my life.

It's really a difficult question that is answered only by living this sporting life.

quarta-feira, outubro 02, 2002

Maybe I should continue this blog despite the fact that no one reads it.

Maybe more people would read it if my link wasn't broken from my web page.

All answers will be given soon.