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

sexta-feira, fevereiro 28, 2003

The Aterciopelados show today in Los Angeles was great. Amazingly, the opening band played at the time they were supposed to: 8PM. Which meant I lost them since I assumed the concert was on concert time, i.e., doors open at 8 which means first act is on at nine.

Afterwards, headed down to JC Fandango to hang out with the Fabulous G sisters. The RP was supposed to be there but didn't show. She has school and things more important to work on than seeing Volumen Cero. But...we're supposed to see Aterciopelados tomorrow at the Mouse of Blues. Should be beautiful.

quarta-feira, fevereiro 26, 2003

School's almost over and I will be relieved. There's so much to write about in this world...and I seek to do such a thing.

Talked to SH, one of my Chapman chums, a couple of days ago. He's doing fine, just getting ready to apply to graduate schools. He's amazed at my intellectual whoredom. All I could do was dismiss it as it being me.

Why am I so self-deprecating? I'm not self-loathing by any means. I think I used to hate myself for a while in high school, but my main quibble with life is its unending trek and unsympathetic treatment of everyone. This is where my Catholicism comes in and says to turn to God; this is where my existentialism comes in and clamors to make the most out of each day. End result? As Grandpa Simpson responded when asked if his claim to be being the Lindbergh baby was a ruse to delay Grandma Simpson's arrest or signs of his senility, "A little bit from Column A and a little bit from Column B."

Isn't it grand that my biggest vice is a tendency to quoth the Simpsons too much?

terça-feira, fevereiro 25, 2003

I really like the Raunchy Protestant.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 24, 2003

Sorry. Can't get enough. Here's Rotten.com's summation of the Adolf Eichmann kidnapping...

When the world learned of Eichmann's surreptitious extradition, it immediately sparked an international incident. Argentina expressed outrage over the violation of their sovereignty and demanded that Eichmann be returned at once. Israel told them to fuck themselves, and proceeded in April 1961 to prosecute him.
A magnificent definition from the world's greatest web site...

Pornographers

Pornography is not an easy business. It requires a constant supply of fresh new talent, an eye for new trends in fetishes and desires, a willingness to stand up against the hypocritical anger of your customer base, and a familiarity with organized crime. Between being made an easy target for politicians looking for cheap votes, and having to negotiate what part of your income must be used to pay off those who need paying off, you stand to make a huge fortune indeed...if you live to spend it.
As a result of this, the professional pornographer (those who make a living at it and don't dabble on the edges) tend to be strong, maniacal personalities who can bluster and demand with the rest of them. They're outspoken, brash, and as distrustful of the media as only one who is part of the media can be. They might carry a gun, not to use it, but because that's what has to be done.

They are demonized, they are hated, they are sometimes violently attacked.

They are freedom.
I am going to remain happy. I will trust in God that he balances out my life rather than constantly have one part positive and the other part negative. I hope that what's happening is an abberation, as it's never occurred to me before. I trust this is so.

domingo, fevereiro 23, 2003

I'm writing less and less here...because I'm getting happier and happier.

sábado, fevereiro 22, 2003

A letter from Nativo Lopez...

[NOT INCLUDED BY PERSONAL REQUEST. NO, I'M NOT A VICTIM OF CENSORSHIP; I'M A MAN OF MY WORD]

Second, for a public nature, your second to the last article made mention about my record as a school board member and the quality of education of the SAUSD. I have attached a speech I was prepared to make at the last board meeting of the SAUSD, but was not allowed to deliver the same by Superintendent Mijares, and therefore, it has been sent out as a commentary to many newspapers and email networks. It establishes in summary format the conditions which I found when I first joined the school board in December, 1996. I had only been on the school board for six years. It's not possible to change the conditions accumulated over decades in a mere six years. It just does not happen in this life or any other. Nevertheless, the accomplishments scored in the brief period of six years, in anyone's estimation, is quite impressive, notwithstanding the many things yet to do. The system was truly broken, and continues to have many and great deficiencies, and obstacles to change. The road to change is never straight nor easy, but we made a excellent start. I would measure our accomplishments to any other public school system of comparable size, demographics, poverty, etc.

Lastly, you have made mention on at least two occasions about Nativo's "race-baiting." For the record, I have never made a public speech or written anything that could be construed as race-baiting. My worldview is not one based on race and my struggle is not one based on the replacement of one race over another with respect to political or economic power. This has never been my outlook and no one can demonstrate otherwise. Yes, I raise the issue of racism, both individual and institutional because it is an obvious obstacle to the social advancement of Latinos in the United States. Can anyone deny this? I have described the Apartheid-type conditions that existed in the SAUSD when I was first elected. Are we to ignore these conditions or address them head-on, put the issue on the table for examination and resolution, or pretend that racism does not exist? Yes, this is a difficult disease to examine, and by asking the tuff question I am accused of race-baiting by the purveyors and perpetrators of racism, and by others that get uncomfortable by the issue and discussion. Who can deny that racism is part of the very institutional fabric of our society, which exist as a social obstacle to Latino advancement at all levels of leadership in society? Latinos now constitute more than 30 percent of the population of Orange County, for example, yet do you know what percentage we constitute of the political leadership of this county, the managerial leadership of this county (city and county government, boards of education, water boards, commissions, etc.), the educational leadership of this county (professors and administrators in all colleges and universities, students, etc.), business leadership of the county, information leadership of the county (electronic and print), etc., etc., etc.

Well, Gustavo, I dare ask the question, put the issue in front of us on the table for examination, and seek to struggle to find equitable solutions to these endemic problems - and I run the risk of being accused of race-baiting. And I do so by uniting with progressive whites, Blacks, Asians, and other Latinos of like mind. It's not a race struggle that will bring justice to our people, and all working people, but a class struggle, and our class is multinational, multi-ethnic, multilingual, gay and straight, of all creeds and of no creed.

You may be referring to a dispute I had at one time with Rosamarie Avila regarding her origin and reference to her Latina heritage, but do not be fooled by the discussion that transpired. The real reference was in relation to opportunism displayed by her on the issue. Rosemarie Avila never made reference to such heritage previously until it became politically convenient and expedient for obvious political reasons. Heretofore, she had demonstrated a clear dislike for anything smacking of a language other than English, eurocentric history or Christian Coalition ideology relative to government and politics. My criticism of her was for opportunism not for her claim to Hispanic heritage.

My response...

First off, I'd like to apologize for the lateness of my reply. In addition for writing for the Weekly, I am a full-time graduate student at UCLA and thus am swamped. I wanted to take time to reply to your letter thoughtfully.

[SEE THE BEGINNING OF NATIVO'S LETTER...]

In regards to my accusations of your race-baiting...the quotes of yourself and John Palacio towards Rosemarie Avila appeared as if each of you were trying to define what a "true" Latin@ is and concluded that Avila definitely wasn't. If this is not race-baiting, then it is definitely an unwarranted attempt on your behalf to define what makes a particular ethnicity. We both know race doesn't exist (though its ramifications do, as you point out) and that ethnicity is fluid. For you to say that Avila isn't Latina because of her conservative politics keeps us more shackled than any govermental oppression ever can. Anyone can be Latino if they so please; they don't need a certain blood quota. Perhaps this wasn't your attempt, but this is how I construed your comments towards Avila.

Please know, Nativo, that I nor the Weekly have nothing against you, no grand conspiracy. The only reason I did the articles on you was to tell the truth. So when you had that fundraiser on Dec. 12, I told the truth. When I wrote how our Latino-elected officials are ingrates for not publicly supporting you, I told the truth. When I recommended that voters vote against the recall despite my reservations about your record, I told the truth. As a journalist, this is my obligation and drive--to tell the truth. I do not belong to anyone, either progressives or the status quo. My politics are avowdly leftist, but this doesn't preclude me from criticizing my allies. All in the name of keeping our mission pure from the corruption upon which our opposition thrives.

That said, you have a friend here at the Weekly. Keep either myself or Nick Schou informed of any wrongdoings in Santa Ana, especially with Rob Richardson, Miguel Pulido, et al. But also keep in mind that if you do something wrong, I will report it. It is my duty, and I hope you respect that.

Regards,

Gustavo Arellano

PS: In the last public response you had to my article, you claimed I never wrote anything about the fight to obtain drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Although I didn't write something for the Weekly, I did write a piece for Pacific News Service last year that was translated for publication in La Opinion.

But I have to study more...

sexta-feira, fevereiro 21, 2003

The following was said to me by the Raunchy Protestant...

I am very happy to have met you. Last night I had a wonderful simple feeling- I felt to be a lucky girl, to have such a great companion at my side.You are a silly, strange individual and this combination I find to be extremly alluring.

My response...

You have given me the greatest compliment I've EVER received! There are many hot hunks, fine fellows, and gaga gents in the world. But to be considered silly and strange?! Not too many of those out there, let alone one found "alluring" by someone else. And when it's someone like you? Well, I've just entered nerd (remember: nerds are smart) heaven.

Best part about the above? It's all true

Went to see Julieta Venegas with MS, AAS, and CS. The RP couldn't go since she had school. I felt sad. But I shall see her Saturday, God willing...

quarta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2003

I'm very tired but happy.

terça-feira, fevereiro 18, 2003

This is fucking ridiculous.

I hope God destroys the wicked quick--especially if the wicked is us.
Here's an interesting letter from Prop. 227 co-writer Ron Unz regarding my various Nativo Lopez articles...

C'mon, Gustavo, aren't you trying to have it both ways?

You write story after story, blasting all of Lopez's endless list of
misdeeds and scandals, and even make fun of the Register for its
ridiculously "softball" coverage of him.

Then, perhaps as a consequence of reading your own pieces, the editors
of the local newspaper of record get embarrassed enough to assign a
couple of investigative reporters to uncover what's been happening in
their own home town, run a major series---basically documenting in
greater detail what you yourself had implied---and thereby give some
backbone to all the people who'd been scared to oppose him, such as
Mijares. And your reaction is to denounce the Register for being
enormously biased *against* Lopez.

Now it's perfectly fair to criticize all these locals for cowardice and
jumping on board just as the train was leaving the station. But the
other stuff is just silly.

My response...

The Orange County Register has always had it in for Nativo. I'm sure you're aware of the 1996 Dornan fiasco, in which both the Reg and the Times went after Lopez at Dornan's prodding with a vengeance. Since each ended up with egg in the face after Dornan's vendetta against Nativo turned out to be little more than fantasy, the Reg took it easy on Nativo this time around at first in order not to "offend" Latinos. This is PC reporting at its worst, something the Weekly is not handcuffed by despite our avowdly (at least from me) leftist ideologies.

You're right; my stories (also those of Nick Schou) showed the Reg it was OK to go after Nativo again. But such a decision on their part gave me that much more of a responsibility to blast the Reg and Mijares when they finally went after Lopez. Everyone knew that Lopez was crooked but was too afraid to admit it. The biases were there from the beginning--as was the cowardice.
Are things getting better? I certainly hope so. Lot of junk to wade through, but I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 17, 2003

Saw About Schmidt today with the Raunchy Protestant (that will be how I refer to the apple of my eye per her request). It was depressingly fabulous, the ultimate example of the terror that is freedom. I also had breakfast with the RP yesterday and went to an awesome funk night at the LBC's Que Sera along witht two of the Fabulous G Sisters and the RP's sister. The RP says she can't dance. Ha! I, on the other hand, do not lie. When I say I cannot shake my groove thang, I mean it. I showed it this Friday, also.

domingo, fevereiro 16, 2003

More fun stuff from the world's greatest site...

Feb 16 1959

Failed baseball player Fidel Castro is sworn in as President For Life of Cuba. During his first year of rule 500 are put to the firing squad, an RBI record any dictator would be proud of.

sábado, fevereiro 15, 2003

Some more beauty from the greatest site...

Feb 15 1936

At a speech in Berlin, Hitler confronts German industry with the challenge of creating the Volkswagen. Thus Ferdinand Porsche designs the Beetle which is now widely seen as the final solution to fahrvergnugen. But neither Hitler nor Porsche would have the foresight to realize how groovy the Beetle would be, man.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 14, 2003

Soon to be a major update. In the meanwhile, pray for the world.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 13, 2003

Duct tape and plastic?!

quarta-feira, fevereiro 12, 2003

Here's this week's pick for LA Weekly on Los Tigres del Norte...

Few musicians signify as many separate things to as many different crowds as the conjunto norteño Los Tigres del Norte. The quintet is the proud voice of Latino immigrants, addressing assimilation hardships and longing for the motherland with poignant tales like "La Jaula de Oro." Chicanos cite the formerly Sinaloa-based San Jose group’s smash-all-borders cumbia "América" with the same revolutionary zeal they accord Che’s diaries. Drug barons hope Los Tigres will immortalize them in bouncily ominous narcocorridos on the scale of "La Banda del Carro Rojo" and "Jefe de Jefes." Labor organizers, familiar with the pro-worker sagas "De Paisano a Paisano" and "El Mojado Acaudalado," invite the ensemble to wield their accordions at rallies. Rockeros openly profess their love for the three Hernández brothers, cousin Oscar Lara and compadre Lupe Olivo, covering songs such as "El Circo" (Maldita Vecindad) and "La Tumba Falsa" (Ely Guerra). Record executives court los ídolos del pueblo, amazed that after 30 years the group continues to attract new audiences despite remaining faithful to its proletarian polka rhythms. All of these cliques will fill the Universal Amphitheater on Valentine’s Day. And they will dance.

My other article is nearly complete. Then, 30 pages begins

terça-feira, fevereiro 11, 2003

When a girl is willing to kiss you even after you've devoured radioactive onions, you know she's special.
Turns out that Genghis Khan was the greatest pimp in history.

Doing the research from my Venezuela paper. It's motivating me to become a better journalist. The American mainstream press is disgusting.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 10, 2003

Interviewed Lady P. and Don Verde of Los Abandoned today at Farmer's Market. Treated them to some delicious crepes and had one myself after the interview's completion. Methinks I've found another French culinary legacy for Mexico: quesadillas and crepes are one and the same. Or at least copyright-infringing similar.

BTW, I'm about to hit the point where stress is no longer fun but detrimental to my health. A good dose of something can cure that...but I'm not sure if I can attain it soon enough. Now off to researching for no cash!
Seems not many people are reading my blog recently but I dinnae care. Here's more history from the greatest site in the world...

Feb 10 1993

In a TV interview, former negro Michael Jackson tells Oprah Winfrey that he suffers from a skin disorder causing it to whiten.

domingo, fevereiro 09, 2003

Oy vey, I need life to add a couple more hours to days, days, to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. And I need everything to speed up at the same time.
More history from history's greatest website...

Feb 9 1950

Senator Joseph McCarthy announces he has a list of 205 State Department employees who are Communist Party members. He did not mention that J. Edgar Hoover likes to wear garters and pumps.

sábado, fevereiro 08, 2003

These are the type of morons that rule our nation.

I'll excerpt the following passage:

"We were at war. They (Japanese-Americans) were an endangered species," Coble said. "For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street."

Allow me to take a libertarian stance for the moment and say this is a disturbing example of government-sponsored babysitting. This is the philosophy that's rounded up Indians on reservations to "protect" them from the incoming pioneers. Next up: the A-rabs!

sexta-feira, fevereiro 07, 2003

So much work done, so much work to come. But I'm happy...for the moment. Longer blog tomorrow.

In the meanwhile Entertainment Weekly just came out with its 25 best Simpsons episodes of all time. Their selections, while having some beauties, blew. And their pick for worst episode ever would have given Comic Book Guy a coronary.

quarta-feira, fevereiro 05, 2003

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Raunchy Protestant. She's the apple of my eye.
Much work to do. Birthday Week is done. But it was fun...and maybe fruitful.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 03, 2003

BIRTHDAY WEEK, DAY V

NS and his fiancee CF came over and had carne asada. As did mi compadre and comadre and E's boyfriend B. We all had fun; NS and CF in particular love my mother's carne asada. We made sure to send them off with plates. NS gave me a book; B gave me a Borders gift certificate; E gave me a book. I'm so easy to shop for.

Afterwards went out with NC. We went to Borders so I could buy my books. I bought classics of various genres: the gossipy-but-saintly Confessions of St. Augustine, the relevant-to-me Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, and a collection of pictures from the demented lens of WeeGee. Great stuff. Then we went to the beach. It was nice.

BIRTHDAY WEEK, DAY VI

Today's my birthday! Yay! Spent it working, getting my ass beat, and now at school. Am supposed to read 100 pages of a boring book tonight and have dinner at a Pinoy place. Maybe share a dessert with NC. Should be fun. Will write more soon...

sábado, fevereiro 01, 2003

Ah, but life would never be interesting if people were perfect beings. We need the abject failures of this world to disappoint, to infuriate, to mess with one's mind. If everything was bliss, would this really be a tolerable existence?

Of course it would


Saw Fair Game today with Bill Baldwin and Cindy Crawford. Hilarious. Even saw part of Rambo: First Blood. Had to see crappy films in order not to cry.
BIRTHDAY WEEK, DAY IV

Going to my cousin's RF's son's baptism. Afterwards, going to see About Schmidt with NC. Will have a report later...
If I've let anyone down, just know that it was for a reason beyond my control.

I'm sad right now, but great friends like the Augie Gang help in my time of need. God bless them--and may God have mercy on me.