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, setembro 30, 2003

Peligroso Pop...

Ate at El Gaucho Meat Market (the Anaheim branch), and bought G of the Fabulous G Sisters three empanadas de jamon. I bought meself a prosciutto sandwich. I still cannae move.

My Cubbies beat the Braves today. But I became increasingly annoyed at the Fox broadcast for constantly switching to reaction shots of Kerry Wood's wife. I don't care for the wife--I don't care for anything in Wood's life other than his right arm. I'm sure she's an actress of some sorts since Fox is notorious for placing their stars (whether television or film) within the crowds so they can subversively showcase their properties. Synergy is disgusting.

I just realized I don't talk to some of my cousins as much as I used to. Guess it's the division of class--they're bluer-than-the-sea blue-collar workers while I write about porno for a living. I was reminded of this today by my younger brother. His best cousin is the youngest of quintet of giants, each about six feet tall and pulling at least 200 pounds, all construction workers. The eldest asked my brother if I still liked the Cubs. We used to play baseball together when we were younger, but the years pulled us in different directions. We're still on loving terms, mind you. But we just don't talk anymore. And that is sad.

The attacks against me on Foro Abierto are pretty nasty and numerous, so I'll leave it up to the really obsessed to wade through them. I must research now.
Forgot to post the reading from Sunday Mass. It's James 5:1-6...

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2: Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3: Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4: Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5: Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6: Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Who says the Bible isn't revolutionary?

segunda-feira, setembro 29, 2003

The Love Below...

The new Oukast CD is simply brilliant. Buy it now.

Yesterday...

Saw Julieta Venegas with Dorky Angel, who proved a great concert companion unlike so many others. G of the Fabulous G Sisters was there, along with Raunchy Protestant, who--I must admit--I was rather surprised to see. Guess word got on the street...

Today...

Besides the usual work, spoke at Saddleback High School to some sophomores associated with the Puente Program. One of the true joys I get out of life is speaking to students. I know probably 9/10th of the don't even pay attention to what I'm saying, so I usually try to liven it up a bit by asking them questions--make it interactive, if you will. The "speech" usually turns into anarchy--but everyone pays attention to the anarchy. Rather liberating for the kids, I dare say. Did it as a favor to a friend, who wanted to pay me. I refused--I have so much fun doing these, it's almost a sin to accept payment.

Some non-Daily Rotten-derived articles...

The lewd and crude Vice Magazine.

A personal fave of Pinochet Apologist, and I think some of their articles are hilarious--their new book is very entertaining. But this article shows the Vice crew for the spoiled, radical-conservative hipsters they are with passages like:

The [Vice] fashion aesthetic is epitomized by vintage shirts with high school football logos and the foam-front trucker hat. In entertainment, the touchstones are the Southern rock revivalists Kings of Leon and testosterone-charged skateboarder-influenced shows like "Jackass" and "Punk'd." In contrast to older and gentler downtown style guides like Paper magazine, Vice shuns the Nirvana generation's wounded sense of responsibility, instead embracing a frat-boy crudity and ethnic stereotypes. Think of it as a lad magazine for the Williamsburg set.

And...

"For middle-class kids just out of university and living in Williamsburg," he said, "the closest thing right now to bad-ass culture is blue-collar culture, so you have hipsters play-acting blue collar. Instead of saying, `I'm a PlayStation-reared, e-mailing-all-the-time Friendster loser,' they're getting lots of tattoos and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs."

Don't forget...

Few of Vice's fans or customers seem to realize just how deeply hostile Mr. McInnes is to the liberal live-and-let-live ethos of traditional bohemian culture. It is a fair bet that a majority of the downtown population opposed the Iraq war and dislikes the policies of George W. Bush. But in an interview Mr. McInnes advocated changing New York license plates to read "Liberalism Gone Amok." Last month, he wrote an article for Patrick Buchanan in The American Conservative boasting of having converted Vice readers to conservatism.

He actually leans much further to the right than the Republican Party. His views are closer to a white supremacist's. "I love being white and I think it's something to be very proud of," he said. "I don't want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life."

In an interview in The New York Press last year, Mr. McInnes's views came through in the coarse ethnic expressions he used in saying how pleased he was that most Williamsburg hipsters are white. As a result, he became the focus of a letter-writing campaign by a black reader. Vice apologized for Mr. McInnes's comments.

Reveling in the lives of the poor is a classic trait of upper-class society. Marie Antoinette did it in her little play fantasies being a humble pleasant girl, surbubanites do it with their embrace of the "thug" life, and lefties revel in it by embracing everything in the Third World. Take it from someone whose parents grew up in abject poverty--wanna eat kernels of corn from a cow's crap like my father did when he was young? wanna drop out of school and pick strawberries like my mother--and who themselves spent the first 10 years of their lives in a one-bedroom shack and used to throw hypodermic needles found in the next-door alley as darts towards their friends--being working-class ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Today, of course, we're solidly lower middle-class, and I'll probably end up pulling six figures in the future. Yet the poor laborer in me will always live on--to let that person die would be a betrayal of my family. Fuck all hipsters and the trucker hats they pay $30 for. Fuck them


[This rant courtesy of Major League Baseball]

Dreadlocks as spirituality.

A classic example of a great story ruined by an article. The man introduces the idea that most dread-wearers of today sport the 'do without taking into consideration the deep theological implications of dreadlocks. Absolutely fascinating and something I had no idea existed. But how does the man support his argument? Gives links to websites. Terribly disappointing--not to mention lazy journalism.

Enough for now. Work beckons.
Julieta Venegas performed a wonderful samba-fied version of this song last night...

Suelta el Liston de tu Pelo

Me mordia los labios al no poderte besar
Mi piel se estremecia al no poderte tocar
Hoy por fin esta noche estaras junto a mi

Olvida la vanidad y el orgullo dejalo afuera
Que esta noche sensual y bohemia
Es la por la necesidad de que estes junto a mi

Olvida la vanidad y el orgullo dejalo afuera
Y tus labios se entreabrieron para decirme
deseo y te quiero

Suelta el liston de tu pelo
Desvanece el vestido sobre tu cuerpo
Y acercate a mi, que bebere
Del perfume de tu piel
Deslizando una rosa en tu cuerpo
Provocando al amor

Apagare la luz, no puedo esperar mas
Aprendere de ti, hasta el final
Provocame mis labios
Hazme tuya de una vez
Que impaciente estoy de ti
De tu sensualidad que siempre calle

Suelta el liston de tu pelo
Desvanece el vestido sobre tu cuerpo
Y acercate a mi, que bebere
Del perfume de tu piel
Deslizando una rosa en tu cuerpo
Provocando al amor

Apagare la luz, no puedo esperar mas
Aprendere de ti, hasta el final
Provocame mis labios
Hazme tuya de una vez
Que impaciente estoy de ti
De tu sensualidad que siempre calle
--
Aren't cumbia lyrics grand?

domingo, setembro 28, 2003

Was it just me, or was this infernal blog supplicated for a couple of hours by an Indian-based blog?
Umm...is someone trying to push me off-line?
Writing and writing and writing...
Great historical analysis courtesy of Daily Rotten...

Sep 28 1850

The United States Navy abolishes the practice of flogging. Among the crimes for which this was the penalty are: stealing poultry from the coop (12 lashes), being lousy (6), stealing a wig (12), and being naked on the spar deck (9). This reform is perhaps the signature moment in Millard Filmore's presidency.

sábado, setembro 27, 2003

Vamos, Vamos, Argentina...

Told Chastity of the LovelyMoFos crew she didn't qualify to be my muse because she didn't immediately provide me the answers to my question. So what did she do?

Fine. It's not like its hard to find information about the Flag.

Flag Description:
three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon

Wanna know the stories of the origin of the Latvian flag?

It was first mentioned in a Latvian chronicle of a battle in 1280, where a battalion from Cesis, a northern region, bore a red flag with a white stripe which was also the banner of a castle there. Another legend refers to the leader of a Latvian tribe who was wounded in battle and wrapped in a white sheet. The part of the sheet on which he was lying remained white, but the two edges which were folded over him were stained by his blood.

And there's also:

A Latvian castle was surrounded by Estonian troops. The siege lasted several weeks and the starving residents considered surrender. The only alternative was to charge over the battlements to break the enemies lines. Knowing this, an old kokle (Latvian lute) player, suggested a short prayer and full scale attack. A ram was sacrificed and the old man took off his shirt and dipped it in the sacrificial rams blood. The shirt was completely soaked in blood except where it had been held. The old man attached this red-white-red coloured material to a shaft. Waving this as a standard the warriors attacked and drove their enemy away. Ever since then Latvian fighters have used this flag.


Bravo! But the position has officially been taken.

Read LovelyMoFos. Funny stuff, although they don't update enough.

So I wrote an article on Go Betty Go, the Glendale-based punk band that's been getting more buzz than a honeybee. My article argues that they're getting the buzz because they're girls. Sexist? You decide.

Of course, there has been reactions to it, and here they are courtesy of the anarchic postings of Foro Abierto...


GUSTAVO SOCKS GO BETTY GO,GO BETTY GO SHOWS ITS STARDOM

Not sure if it's supposed to read like a headline (I punch them and they show a certain diva attitude) or if they meant I'm a hack and that Go Betty Go is great. Whatever.

NOT TO LONG AGO HE WAS CALLING THEM THE SWEETHEARTS OF L.A., WHAT HAPPENED?...BUT HE DOES STATE THE TRUTH ABOUT THEM....

Bands and fans are funny. I've never really written too good about Go Betty Go, yet people always assume I loved the gals. They're OK musicians, but I've always felt...ah, read the article.

"Go Betty Go ultimately refused an interview request for this story, remarking that they’d rather speak to me "when we have a bigger concert to promote"—bigger than this Sunday’s show at DiPiazza’s"......What are they rock stars now?

I'll let the story passage speak for itself.

"If we can’t talk about gender, we can’t say much. Without that, Go Betty Go is as unremarkable as they come"......I AGREE!

Look above.

(most of Southern California’s rockeros are mop-topped impotents) HA!HA!HA!DANG! THIS FUCKER ISN`T AFRAID TO SPEAK HIS MIND

Thank you, pendejo.

"Go Betty Go is as unremarkable as they come." *** I MUST AGREE WITH THIS MOFO***

See above.

"It’s good stuff, really, but not enough to warrant all the attention. While pleasing to the ear, the group doesn’t differ much from a load of other local bands."**THATS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN STATING ALL ALONG, THIS IS A SHARP MOFO

But a retort now from someone else regarding the above comment!

NOT THAT SHARP HE JUST BROWN NOSES WHEN HE WANTS TO SO HE CAN GET WHAT HE WANTS,EXAMPLE RAVES ABOUT ENJAMBRE BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE ABLE TO STILL HANG OUT AT J.C. FANDANGOS

Another misconception--that I'm 100% cool with the JC Fandango people and Enjambre. Little-known fact: Enjambre hated the articles I've written about them. And Mr. JC still isn't pleased that I refuse to write about his Victimas de Dr. Cerebro. So there.

Dam did he dog my girls or what, they need me to speak up for them not some sissy ass Publist,they need a undercover ghetto girl like me!!

Funny!

THE TRUTH HURTS! GBG ARE OVER HYPED!

See above.

ahh hahahahah sorry girlz but half of what the article states is true if you were guys ...you wouldn`t have this so-called hype.

Ditto.

"Go Betty Go ultimately refused an interview request for this story, remarking that they’d rather speak to me "when we have a bigger concert to promote"—bigger than this Sunday’s show at DiPiazza’s"......What are they rock stars now? **** no they just no better than to talk to this piece of shit. I know we have a lot of bands here in la that arent great, the fucken enjambre aint the fucken beatles either. thats all he cares about, his oc and javiers cock (jc fandangos)

Doesn't resentment bring out the greatest quotes?

Arellano is just saying everything everyone has know for a long time, but he looks bad because it sounds like he`s just being spiteful that they wouldn`t let him interview them.

I don't think the article comes off that way--but I'll leave it at that. Maybe it's just not myopia that's blinding me.

no no, i agree, ive been saying that about them too. ive always said their cool but not as good as the hype around them. thats true... but after he bashes them he wants to interview them? fuck him. he reviewed a show that GBG, VIVA, ? and enjambre played. he bashed everyone to a point that it was just to obvious, because of how he glorified enjambre.

What's wrong with bashing people then wanting to interview them? Play the game, people. You do good, you do bad, the good journalist reacts accordingly. Of course, this statement begs the question: do I even qualify as a journalist?

Enough. Here's the final word from Hopelessly Sweet regarding my critics...


I think people need to read both your blog and your articles. I think that was the heart of the problem with you and those punkera girls. Their manager couldn't "read" exactly what you were
getting at. Pero, al mismo tiempo, no te bajas de tu caballito....HA!

My rather-rude response...

So I'm still on the high horse for you? Let's have an ontological discussion here--by virtue of the fact that I'm writing for a paper and people are reading it, I am assuming some sort of authority. People expect the writer to know what the 'ell they're talking about, so there will be a sense of superiority coming out of the writer's keyboard. If there isn't, then it's little more than scribbles and people aren't interested in that--people want someone who at least pretends to know the subject. My writing is like me--confident but not arrogant, with too many Simpsons references thrown in. Besides, you need to be on a horse to trample over the wicked :-)

My pockets DON'T hurt!
My Friday evening consisted of...

Sushi, Lost in Translation, Oukast, 9/11, samba, CD bootlegging, door opening, Evita Peron, tricksters, afros, Gaucho Market, and this infernal blog.

And church may be in the future. What better way to spend a Friday evening?

sexta-feira, setembro 26, 2003

Hey DJ Keep Playing that Song...

For the past two years, I've spent a early fall evening at Libreria Martinez to hear Ruben Martinez, the lyrical New Journalist, personal friend of mine, and one of the few people I can consider a mentor. He's just great, and we've gone to eat afterwards many a time.

This was also supposed to happen yesterday. However, there was a scheduling error because it turns out Martinez the Author didn't think he was supposed to come in until Friday. Rueben Martinez the Owner assumed it was Thursday--"We never have author signings on Fridays!" he told me.

I broke the news to Martinez the Owner that Martinez the Author wasn't coming until Friday, however. In a previous email, Martinez the Author told me he wasn't coming in until Friday. I assumed it was a mistake on his behalf until 7:30 yesterday evening, when Martinez the Owner looked at me and commented that Martinez the Author was always punctual. I then told him about the email.

I had never seen him upset in my life until last night.

But then he gave an impassioned speech to the students who had packed his tiny bookstore about the importance of education. I'm sure most will come back today to see Martinez the Author speak. I, unfortunately, will not be one of them. Am going to see Lost in Translation with Someone. Should be wonderful.

Here's the letter for this week in the Rag...

THE SHEEPLE

This is in response to Gustavo Arellano’s article "Tearing Down Everything for Nothing" [Sept. 12]. The bars on Anaheim Boulevard were not torn down for nothing. Government never does anything for nothing. You Sheeple have got to stop believing that government cares about you, wants to make life better for you, has your best interests at heart. Government is not for the people. Government is for the government. Those bars were torn down to eliminate communication among people. The government does not want people congregating to discuss government, survival and freedom because it’s going to come down to that in the near future. We are headed for a police state in America under a New World Order. All you patriots out there know what I am talking about. It’s the Sheeple who haven’t got a clue.

Out of all the articles I've written, I'd never think the story in the Covered Wagon would get a crazy response. Y'know what? I should have thought.

Now off to get more carpal tunnel syndrome...wait! This day in Rotten History!


Sep 26 1687

Troops laying siege to Athens led by Venetian general Francesco Morosini rain cannonfire down on the Acropolis and the Turkish soldiers garrisoned inside. One cannonball penetrates the Parthenon, which happened to serve as the Turks' gunpowder magazine. The roof, walls, and 16 columns are blown off by the resulting explosion.

I had always heard that the Acropolis was once used as barracks but never read the actual account. While a small blurb from the Rotten rascals hardly qualifies as academia, this will suffice to satiate my inquisitiveness for about three minutes.

Sep 26 1964

Gilligan's Island premieres on CBS television with the pilot episode "Two on a Raft." This is the one where they almost get off the island.

I see the show of my youth today, and they're almost all terrible. The few I think withstand the test of time is I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and Batman--the latter only because it's s damn campy, how could you not love it?

quinta-feira, setembro 25, 2003

And now, a public service announcement...

Again, someone has clicked on Rotten.com and thought me a disgusting maniac. Let me explain.

The site I take much of my stories from is from Daily Rotten, Rotten.com's news service. It's the same company but completely different tastes. While Rotten.com isn't averse to showing people with their brains blown out or things even more disgusting (let's just say I'll never think of weightlifters the same again after a Rotten.com photo), Daily Rotten is merely the Drudge Report for geeks. It links up to serious publications like the New York Times or moronic rags like the Rag.

Yes, the humor in Daily Rotten tends to run to the smart-ass insulting--this is the place, after all, that ran a story as "Man Regrets not Punching Bob Hope in Face." But the stories I've read here have amused me many a late night while I work on some story. The problem, though, is that people always mistake Daily Rotten for Rotten. This is what happened today, as Someone (that's the person's name until I think of something better) told me she had looked up Rotten.com and was shocked, shocked! to see the stuff there. I explained it to her and she understood.

Lesson to be learned: Rotten.com and Daily Rotten are two different concepts from the same entity. One is vile, the other merely amusing. Check out the merely amusing--and don't think I'm too bizarre.

But now, the DAILY ROTTEN wire!

US soldiers kill tiger in Baghdad zoo.

Great. First, we kill a bunch of Shiites after they get angry at us for disrupting a religious rally, now we're killing caged animals just because they're doing what's natural for them and clawing at predators? If this isn't a metaphor for Iraq, I'm not sure what is.

Woman shoots someone with a pen.

When I was younger, our household would get issues of Soldier of Fortune magazine. I remember the man who owned the house before us was a former Marine--anyway, I never actually read the articles in Soldier of Fortune but do remember their extensive catalogue selling swords hidden in umbrellas, matches that lit underwater, and pens that would shoot bullets. The capacity for the military to invent weapons is amazing. I always wanted an umbrella sword, though. Not anymore--I have my pointy umbrella that makes me look like the Planter Peanut guy.

US created fake mullahs in propaganda effort.

While I don't doubt the charge, this story offers no proof other than unattributed quotes. An example of bad journalism.

Ronald Reagan felt guilty for having marital sex.

Here is the winning passage:

"Even in marriage I had a little guilty feeling about sex, as if the whole thing was tinged with evil," he told the friend.

But Mr Reagan said a "fine old gentleman" had pointed him in the right direction by citing the behaviour of primitive Polynesians.

"These peoples, who are truly children of nature and thus of God, accept physical desire as a natural, normal appetite," he said.

Way to be patronizing, Mr. President!

The Amish have their own coyote rings.

Good for them! Only problem I have is how are they able to transport them since they don't drive cars? By horse buggy? (Sorry, I'm tired and my joke quotient is down to nil right now)

More Mel Gibson Catholic wisdom.

And the quote:

"Modern secular Judaism wants to blame the Holocaust on the Catholic Church. And it's a lie. And it's revisionism. And they've been working on that one for a while," Gibson said.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. Yes, this is the Catholic who doesn't mind baring his ass in every film he's ever made.

Reverend Sun Myung Moon gets cozy with the Bushies.

Can't link up to the entire story since freakin' Salon now charges for articles, but check out this interesting passage...

What sort of proper sexual habits? According to Moon, in order to restore blood purity, very specific practices are prescribed. Sex before marriage is out of the question, and when sexual consummation does happen, it must adhere to very specific instructions. First, a photograph of Moon must be nearby, so that everything occurs under the reverend's watchful eye. After two nights of woman-on-top sex, the couple reverse positions, whereupon the man, according to Moon, restores dominion over Eve, via the proper missionary position. Then, according to the instructions attributed to the U.C.'s American Blessed Family Department, "after the act of love, both spouses should wipe their sexual areas with the Holy Handkerchief" --referring to the church-supplied washcloth -- which must "be kept individually labeled and should never be laundered or mixed up."

For more on the good reverand, check out the Rotten.com library (another non-disgusting portion of the Rotten library) entry on Moon.

And now, sleep.

quarta-feira, setembro 24, 2003

According to Modern Drunkard Magazine's "Which Rat Pack Member are You Quiz?" I'm Joey Bishop:

You're the brains of the operation. While the jokers joke and the japers jape, you sit back and plot your next smooth move. As reliable as a Swiss watch, you're not given to flights of fancy. Some may criticize you for not spending more time dancing with the monkeys of life, but you know those monkeys don't dance so hot when you're not keeping time on the drum.

Umm, OK.
When I was a Robber in Amsterdam...

I've said this many times before but I'll say this again: sweets are my only vice.

A local pizzeria catered the Rag again today. 'Twas terrible--ingredients didn't have any sort of distinctive flavor, it was delivered lukewarm, the cheese wasn't even melted properly. But very good was an accompanying box of coconut cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Guess what? I had four of each--and I'm suffering the consequences right now. Man, am I stogy!

Here's an email from a seems-like-constant-reader...

Your piece on Bustamante was right on, but as always, my little Gus can't seem to get off his horse.<>

Your critics are so harsh and narrow minded. It's too bad for them, in 20 years all their grandchildren and great-grandchildren will all have some sort of mestizo blood flowing through their veins. As much as they hate, they can't deny Latino passion.

HA!

What is it about my writing that people find arrogant?! That I actually write like if I know what the hell I'm talking about? That I snipe at everything I don't like and praise effusively that which I love? Am I really so arrogant that I cannot see that I'm arrogant?

Here's an interesting fact about me: many of the people that now care for me freely admit that they didn't like me the first couple of times they met me. They said I was too haughty, spoke as if I knew everything, and was just a general smart-ass. While I won't deny the last part, I think they misinterpreted the first two characteristics. If I don't know someone, I won't talk to them out of shyness. If I'm with people I know, I'll be my usual loudmouth self. But once people get to know me, they like me for who I am--whatever the hell that means.

Here's another interesting fact about me--my rear right wheel doesn't have a hubcap!


Later on, the wire. Must go to Placentia and try to help a community stave off the evil of the world. No, I'm not their savior nor do I think my terrible writing can make much of a difference. But I can sure as hell try.

terça-feira, setembro 23, 2003

A Gente Samba sim Importar...

And the applications are coming in for Be Gustavo's Muse! So far, one person has answered my trivia question correctly, one has answered incorrectly, and Dorky Angel flat out laughed. Gee, thanks--you're disqualified!

In all seriousness, today was rather fruitful. But we'll see what the editor has to say in a couple of days. Split a Black Forest ham sandwich with Guillermo, but he started to get sick afterwards. I told him that the reason I did not fall ill was due to the fact that I also ate two kielbasas. Afterwards, ate at a Hawaiian restaurant. Screw the mac salad--it was all about the kahlua pig and giant Laihani ribs. Well, I ate only one--my parents stole the other one. 'Tis OK--I stole a tamale from them.

Listen to Daude. The woman is absolutely talented. Not eloquent, you may wonder? Of course not, not for this infernal blog--I save the ginormous words for the Rag.
Why must the corrupt never return phone calls? So now, the wait.
Amazing.

10 emails in my mailbox today...each one worthless.
Gonna Put it in a Want Ad...

Suffered from writer's block earlier in the day, but it appears to have dissipated with a helping of saimin noodles.

I am saddened yet again:Mr. Smoke BBQ closed and was replaced by a terrible Mexican restaurant. The European ethnics are fast disappearing and being replaced by Latinos. Let the segregation begin!

Wanted: Muse
Qualifications: Goofy, brilliant, feminine
Pay: Ummm...free concerts?
Job description: To inspire me to write things of beauty, things of investigations, things of...things
Romantic?: Not necessarily, although it would help
Amount of candidates out there: ???

Send all inquiries to the address above. Write only if you're serious...or know what the colors of the Latvian flag are.


In the meanwhile--fala! To the person who this is addressed to: you know what I'm saying, so faz!

segunda-feira, setembro 22, 2003

So it turns out the Miracle Center reader was Dorky Angel. One reader down, many more to go...

domingo, setembro 21, 2003

Can't win at Solitaire right now. Maybe a sign?
Some more mentions of my work. This one comes from JPMiller.net (whoever the hell he is) and concerns my MEChA cover story...

OC Weekly’s cover story this week, Fear of a Brown Planet, a piece by Gustavo Arellano, looks at the beginnings of the criticism of California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante for his 1970s membership in the Chicano student organization Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan or MEChA. Arellano does a fine job of reviewing Bustamante’s past affiliation with MEChA as well as the origins of the current controversy. However, he does neglect to document the white supremicist origins of the criticism of MEChA.

Bustamante is only the latest victim of this particular racist canard. He’s not likely to be the last. As long as it works, as the 2001 LA Mayoral election showed, it will continue to be used.

In the past, Democrats have played blatantly racist politics - I’m thinking here of campaigns like Dennis Kucinich’s 1974 campaign for Congress (he lost) - but, by and large, we’ve learned our lesson and have recognized the error of our ways. Today, Republicans put us to shame in their effective use of racial politics.

The curious thing about relying on racial politics is how easily it can backfire. Because it can just as easily energize the very group you are seeking to oppress, it is a politics of last resort. When you know you can’t win on the issues, your base is a fragmented minority of the voting population, and you’ve abandoned your principles in the name of winning, you pander to the fears of your core voters.

A solid Bustamante victory could go a long way to ending this sorry phase of American politics.

I don't think I neglected to mention the white supremacist origins of MEChA bashing--I don't even think it's that simple. People have always hated MEChA the same reason they hated the NAACP and countless other ethnic organizations--it meant the minorities were getting together and scheming to improve their lives. Idiots like Glenn Spencer and Barbara Coe might have taken MEChA-bashing to a new level, but the hatred was already there.

Best development of the day--I finally found my Zurdok CDs! God has truly smiled on me. Let's just hope he doesn't laugh.
Some stories from the wire...

Jawbreaker explodes in girl's face.

Remember that schoolground legend that eating Pop Rocks with soda would make you explode. Guess after this poor girl's episode (check out the picture!!!), it doesnae seem as silly anymore.

French fries still referred to as "freedom fries" by our elected congressional officials.

And the quote:

But House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who initiated the menu change with Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said they'll continue to fight for their freedom fries.

Ney said that the day after Jackson Lee wrote her letter the French came out with an untenable timetable for elections in Iraq, confounding U.S. efforts to win United Nations backing for the reconstruction effort. "They were noncooperative and arrogant then," before the war, "and they are again noncooperative and arrogant," Ney said. "I haven't seen a huge change."

A friend that shall remain nameless says she is boycotting French products because her friend told her so. If I wasn't nice, I'd smack her on the head with a pan dulce, which I'm sure she likes. Guess what? They're of French origin!

The surprisingly adult fare of Disney family films.

Good article, but I include it only because it has the line of the day:

"Pirates of the Caribbean," based on a Disneyland ride, was rooted in the new Disney tradition of wringing every single dime from its assets.

Brilliant!

Mel Gibson's calculating promotion of his Passion film.

Frank Rich has done an splending job exposing Gibson for the sanctimonious, anti-Semitic egoist he is. Rich's first article on the matter showed Gibson to be casting himself as a victim for no reason other than people angry they couldn't see the movie. Rich was villified in the conservative press as having a vendetta against Gibson. Can't wait to see what they'll say after today's story, especially with passages like:

Who is this bloodthirsty "they" threatening to martyr our fearless hero? Could it be the same mob that killed Jesus? Funny, but as far as I can determine, the only death threat that's been made in conjunction with "The Passion" is Mr. Gibson's against me. The New Yorker did, though, uncover one ominous threat against the star: "He's heard that someone from one of his hangouts, the Grand Havana Room, a Beverly Hills smoking club, said that he'd spit on him if he ever came in again." Heard from whom? What is the identity of that mysterious "someone"? What do they smoke at that "smoking club"? Has the Grand Havana Room been infiltrated by Madonna's Kabbalah study group? I join a worried nation in praying for Mr. Gibson's safety.

And:

The lines are drawn on seethepassion.com, the most elaborate Web site devoted to championing Mr. Gibson. There we're told that the debate over "The Passion" has "become a focal point for the Culture War which will determine the future of our country and the world." When this site criticizes The Times, it changes the family name of the paper's publisher from Sulzberger to "Schultzberger." (It was no doubt inadvertent that Mr. O'Reilly, in a similar slip last week, referred to the author of a New Republic critique of Mr. Gibson, the Boston University theologian Paula Fredrikson, as "Fredrickstein.") This animus is not lost on critics of "The Passion." As the A.D.L.'s Rabbi Eugene Korn has said of Mr. Gibson to The Jewish Week, "He's playing off the conservative Christians against the liberal Christians, and the Jews against the Christian community in general."

And don't forget:

For the film's supporters, the battle is of a piece with the same blue state-red state cultural chasm as the conflicts over the Ten Commandments in an Alabama courthouse, the growing legitimization of homosexuality (Mr. Gibson has had his innings with gays in the past) and the leadership of a president who wraps public policy in religiosity and called the war against terrorism a "crusade" until his handlers intervened. So what if "modern secular" Jews — whoever they are — are maligned by Mr. Gibson or his movie? It's in the service of a larger calling. After all, Tom DeLay and evangelical Christians can look after the Jews' interests in Israel, at least until Armageddon rolls around and, as millennialist theology would have it, the Jews on hand either convert or die.

My own Passion article, by comparison, was the thoughts of a kindergartner. But at least it tied in the entire controversy with the Simpsons.
Tales from the Anaheim Woods...

Went to see Bugs Bunny on Broadway yesterday with the Fabulous G Sisters and a friend of theirs. Turned out the friend was from El Cargadero. Of course.

It was really fun, even if most of the girls bought disgusting Togo's sandwiches instead of the Lee's Sandwiches GG and I devoured. My meatball banh mi, however, was disappointing--too wet, not herbed strongly enough, and ultimately mushy. The evening was grand--three weeks in a row at the Hollywood Bowl for the Cafe Tacuba/Kinky/Los Lobos love-in, Beethoven's 9th and Bugs Bunny on Broadway. That is just grand.

The funniest cartoon we saw was Long-Haired Hare, which has Bugs Bunny imitating Leopold Stowkowski so he could torture a Mario Lanza-wannabe. When I first saw it with Johnny Arthur about three years ago, he could not stop laughing while seeing it. What could possibly be more funny than Bugs twanging on a banjo? Maybe Bugs in blackface?

And now, a public announcement...

This blog is nothing more than an opportunity to get rid of some of the clutter in my brain. It's not a place for me to insult people truthfully--if I don't like you or someone, I'll say it in person. I don't talk behind people's back--I'll do it to your face. If I call you "some guy", it means that I actually like you because I'm referring to you with a Simpsons reference. Once again, this blog is stupid. Yes, I do mention things that happen to me during my day, but I'm not going to mention someone by name--I'll do it with nicknames, initials, or general descriptions like "my cousin", "her boyfriend", or "that idiot." Why would I name names? You want some perverts to find out who are the people in my life? Please. I have too much respect for the regular readers of this blog to do such a thing.

Once again: this is a stupid blog that does not in any way reflect much about me. I'll share everything about me in person--this is just a way to get rid of the clutter in my head so I can put in some more. Thank you and get a life--oh wait, you do already. It's me who needs a life since he's writing in an infernal blog.

What is the reason behind the above rant? Let's just say someone was offended by what I wrote about them when they shouldn't have. And rather than asking me about it, they now think I despise them when in fact I completely respect them. Something about me truly knows how to get people pissed.

Insult of the week thrown at me: "Stop acting like if you're 49!"
Entry after parents come...

sábado, setembro 20, 2003

I need to go eat...but where do I go?
Funny passage in the Rotten.com library entry on sodomy and the Bible...

Lot of course was horrified by this turn of events and, and felt obligated to protect the man whom he'd taken into his home (another and nobler Middle Eastern tradition was to make strangers welcome and to protect one's guests as if they were family). So Lot did was any godly man would do -- he offerred up his two daughters, so that the crowd might rape them instead. What? Yep. Good ol' Lot. Clearly we should all emulate the godly heroes of the Bible. Or not.

Can government get more stupider than this?...

Sep 20 1986

Officials in Latvia test the structural integrity of a 40-year-old bridge by driving 14 heavy vehicles containing gravel on top of it. A 250-foot span of the bridge collapses, killing ten people.
--
Just came back from watching Oro Solido at JC Fandango. Allowed the Graduate Loves in for free and they danced up a storm. I, of course, was alone, but JC accompanied me. Was a great time, although it would have been nice if that certain someone was there...maybe soon.

And now, bizarre tennis ball dreams.

sexta-feira, setembro 19, 2003

I don't mind others using my articles as long as they cite me, but look at the following case posted on Pacific News Service...

Economic Crisis Fuels Ska and Punk Rock Movement in Argentina

Argentina's economic crisis has dramatically changed the country's music scene, fueling a rebirth of independently produced ska and punk music, reports the Sept. 9 edition of LatinoLA.com.

Ska, the predecessor of reggae, originated in Jamaica in the 1950s and '60s and traveled to England along with Jamaican blue-collar workers, where it mixed with punk sounds in the 1970's. A second wave of ska bands arose in New York City and the underground movements of punk and ska spread worldwide.

In Argentina, political repression during rule of a military junta in the late 1970's served as a target for the pointed anti-establishment messages in punk music and lyrics.

Today the country's economic crisis is stirring a resurgence in punk and ska, says record producer Diego Rives, according to Latino L.A.

Argentina's original punk rock group Los Violadores—formed in 1980 when the country was still under a military dictatorship—was arrested along with the audience during its first show.

Since the collapse of Argentina's economy in 2001, musicians and big record labels can no longer make a lot of money, and record stores and local distributors have reduced prices to make buying music affordable again. Meanwhile, the public is now much more interested in buying from smaller independent producers, whose prices are remarkably cheaper (the equivalent of $5 compared with the $20-$25 larger companies charge) and whose defiant music and lyrics reflect their anger over the chaos of the Argentine economy, reports Latino L.A.

Lately, the 1981 song "Represión" by Los Violadores has been heard on the radio because its message continues to resonate with listeners, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Observant readers of my work--all five of you--will remember that the article on Rives originally appeared in the Rag. I allowed LatinoLA.com to reprint it because I like their work and it gets me more cheap publicity. And I don't mind Pacific News Service to cite my article as a harbinger of a trend--but mention my name at least, no? Ah, the wounded ego of a reporter--nothing more pitiful on this planet.
Work All Day and What do you Get? Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt...

Spent the entire day fugueing like Bach on the keyboards. Pounded out some blurbs for the Rag's coming Best of Issue, then headed on over to Placentia for some good-ol' fashioned sleeping during city council meetings.

Afterwards, commented to an activist that Curt Pringle was a "good 'friend'" of mine. An associate of Pringle asked why I had made such an inappropriate remark. I essentially said that I could say whatever the fuck I want. He said if I felt it was appropriate, being that I was in the guise of a journalist. I said absolutely. He then backed off. Love ya, Curt, but can you please get people who are at least willing to back up their criticisms and not slink away when a wiry reporter stares them down?

Now let's turn our attention to this week's hate mails!

thought Gustavo Arellano’s article on Bustamante ("Fear of a Brown Planet," Sept. 5) was very one-sided. Gee, maybe because the author was Chicano. The three- or four-page story failed to mention the reason why conservatives view MEChA and Bustamante as racists. Their motto or slogan: "Everything for the race; outside the race, nothing." How convenient. I guess that would have screwed up your left-wing propaganda. I fear all racists and can’t believe you employ one.

Rich Zaydel
via e-mail

After 10 years as an importer of Mexican textiles, I have reached several conclusions. One is that Mexico’s indigenous peoples are perhaps some of the hardest-working, family-oriented and decent human beings I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Another is that Mexico’s bureaucracy is rife with Cruz Bustamante: self-serving political slicksters of partial European/Castilian descent who prey on a mostly undereducated constituency to ply their way into office for the benefit of no one but themselves. Bustamante offers Californians nothing more than the same tired policies delivered in a beige wrapper instead of a white one. And, of course, he’s already played the victim race card. What’s so inspiring about that?

Wes Kelley
via e-mail

The first email was rather stupid and insulting. I am not a Chicano--I am a dork. The second one was rather interesting and speaks to some of the greatest immigrants in history--Mexican's indigenous, especially those from Oaxaca. Read Sam Quinones' True Tales from Another Mexico for some fabulous articles on the population.

Now, the Rotten Wire and some Rotten history...


The worst jobs science has to offer.

For some reason, my seventh-grade woodshop teacher would make us read Popular Science rather than Popular Mechanic. His name was Carmine Casucci--and he hated us Mexicans.

The article is hilariously engaging. Here's the list in order:


1. FLATUS ODOR JUDGE
2. DYSENTERY STOOL-SAMPLE ANALYZER
3. BARNYARD MASTURBATOR
4. BRAZIL MOSQUITO RESEARCHER
5. HOT-ZONE SUPERINTENDENT
6. ISOLATION CHAMBER TESTER
7. FISTULA FEEDER
8. PRISON RAPE RESEARCHER
9. CARCASS CLEANER
10. POSTDOC
11. METRIC SYSTEM ADVOCATE
12. CORPSE-FLOWER GROWER
13. ENDANGERED SPECIES ECOLOGIST
14. ASTRONAUT
15. FISH COUNTER
16. U.S. STEM CELL RESEARCHER
17. PLANETARY PROTECTION OFFICER
18. FUSION RESEARCHER

Awesome, awesome article. Also includes scientists reminiscing about their worst jobs and a worst-job Hall of Fame. Please read it.

The weekend comes. Am supposed to go see Oro Solido with the Graduate Duo tomorrow. I'm going alone--I'm always alone. But hopefully not for long...

quinta-feira, setembro 18, 2003

David Laine gets harrassed in London.

Possibly strangest development ever.
Talking Heads...

Talked to some people I wanted to but didn't talk to people I wished I did. Have your cell phones next to you, people!

Let's go to the wire...

More abuse coming from the Catholic Church.

I remember growing up that Father John Lenihan was the pastor at our church. Everyone knew that he had raped a teen in the past, but no one seemed to care. Why is it that so few Catholics seem to care about abuse? Don't ask me--I'm Catholic.

American troops forced to buy own wartime gear

If we can't support Iraq, at the very least we should give money to our troops that are administering Iraq towards chaos, no?

The sex robot lives.

Funny thing about the accompanying picture is that it has no genitals--therefore, how can it be sexual? Genitals are not necessary to sexual pleasure, yes, but can a non-sex entity enjoy sex? Don't mind me--I'm chaste at the moment.

Gotta admire the legless escapee.

No comments on my part--I'm now off for some relaxing.

quarta-feira, setembro 17, 2003

Sweets for my Sweet, Sugar for my Honey...

I am sad.

Went to a Greek market in Orange on the prowl for some Cretan honey, which has a mythological reputation for its taste. Was planning to do a review...then saw that the market is closing down.

The restaurant biz is amongst the most ephermeal, most closing down within a year of opening. Usually, I don't mind the closing of restaurants--most of the big ones are financed by people with money to burn. But--if you haven't noticed already--I patronize the family holes-in-the-walls, the tiny ones that will never be reviewed by the big papers or have enough money to buy an ad. Most of these rely solely on their food for revenue, and to their credit, most of the restaurants I've reviewed in the past are doing well. El Fortin, for instance, has in the year since I reviewed it introduced a glass case filled with bread and is even planning to open a second restaurant in La Habra.

The Greek market was one of those types of places. It was owned by a father/son combo (the son was an asshole, frankly, but the elderly dad was a charm) and sold products from all over the world, not just Greece. And now it's gone. Damn.
Battle of the Newspaper Nitwits...

A couple of days ago, I posted a email sent to me by a daily newspaper reporter that half-mockingly congratulated me. Well, the person couldn't resist responding to my challenge. Following is an exchange that happened today. I'll allow the reporter to reveal themselves in all their Register--oops!--rancor. In fact, let's start from the top...

Gustavo, I read your stuff all the time. More often than not, it pisses me off. But I have to admit that I really liked this piece.

My inquisitive counterpoint...

Glad you liked my article, although your letter begs the question...what about my work pisses you off?

The reporter's rather-resentful response...

Hm. Where do I start?...As a reader, I find most of your work has a pretentious undertone to it. As a competitor, I resent your publication overall. As a Latina, I think you've become the Weekly's token Latino writer. But I guess somebody has to represent, right?

My smart-ass retort...

Really? You resent us? That's the most flattering statement I've heard in a while.

And you "think" I'm the token Latino...what would ever give you that idea?

Her humorless hissy fit...

What? No comment on the pretentious aspect? Does that mean you agree?

And my own comeback...

Sure! If someone thinks I'm pretentious, then that means my effort to write at something higher than a fifth-grade level is amusing at least one eager reader!

I'm sure more will come. Ain't I a stinker?

There's way too many articles to post from the New York Times, so I'll just advise Uds. to subscribe to the damn paper and read it until 1 in the morning like I usually do. Besides trading barbs with newspaper nitwits like myself, pounded out a couple of articles. And...um...that's life. Oh, I go out so that's fun. But I need to go out more...and work more. I need more, more, more!

Oh, one thing about me being the "token" at the Rag: I wish. Sure, I'm the only fookin' "minority" writing for the fish wrap. But if I truly was the token, the powers-that-be would've hired me full-time upon me coming to them rather than just about a month ago after a much-too-long trial period. Want tokenism? Check out the Register and Los Angeles Times, where they have reporters who were hired based on gender or last name only--what else explains why these reporters were hired? They're terrible. I may be the hack of hacks, yes, but at least I have an iota of ability. Most of these writers couldn't report a story if a press release was stapled to their arms.

Speaking of the Register, did you see their article today talking about Latinos in popular entertainment? Most hackneyed piece ever. At least give us Latinos who no one ever thinks of. Martin Sheen as Ramon Estevez? Please--I think Access Hollywood was on top of that years ago.

And for those of you who will accuse me of sour grapes--I don't even drink grape juice.

So let's end this rant with a day in Daily Rotten history...

Sep 17 1965

CBS television premieres Hogan's Heroes, the first and perhaps only sitcom based in a German prisoner-of-war camp. The show is proof once and for all that Nazis are hilarious.

terça-feira, setembro 16, 2003

I'm the Type of Guy that Likes to Roam Around...

So the push is on to get me out into the world. My longtime friends have been saying it forever, people who barely know me have been saying it forever, my boss says it, my family, everyone: TRAVEL.

What stopped me in the past? Legitimate reasons--work, school, school, work. But with school gone and work offering two weeks off, what's a wide-eyed guy supposed to do except travel somewhere, anywhere not in the continental US?

Some are urging me to go now, but I'm bent on waiting. Two weeks per year is precious, and I don't want to spend them now when there's really no need to do it rather than in the future when you might want to visit someone at a certain time. We shall see, but it's definitely time to apply for a passport--I've never had one in my life.

(And what of the travels in Mexico, you may ask? Ha! It's Mexico. Last time around when I returned from the interior to TJ and the man asked me where was my passport, I told him I forgot it in the US. He sternly warned me not to let it happen again, then let me back it. Mexico, lindo y querido, indeed.

Here's a story claiming the Canadian government distributes horrific medicinal marijuana.

Pinochet Apologist would agree, being that he spent a summer in the Cato Institute, and I would also, that if you entrust the government with a responsibility, they'll usually fuck it up. The private sector tends to do things better and more efficiently. I do consider myself libertarian, although I come from a leftist spectrum while Pinochet Apologist comes from the right. Damn morals on my behalf!

Here are some winner quotes:

"It's totally unsuitable for human consumption," said Jim Wakeford, 58, an AIDS patient in Gibsons, B.C. "It gave me a slight buzziness for about three to five minutes, and that was it. I got no other effect from it."

Barrie Dalley, a 52-year-old Toronto man who uses marijuana to combat the nausea associated with AIDS, said the Health Canada dope actually made him sick to his stomach.

"I threw up," Dalley said Monday. "It made me nauseous because I had to use so much of it. It was so weak in potency that I really threw up."

Funny!

Saw Dirty Pretty Things. 'Twas good, if a bit melodramatic at times. I do understand why Earl Ofari Hutchinson would criticize the film for its promotional campaign, however. Would have a link to that fine commentary, but the damn Los Angeles Times charges for calendar content. Babosos.

The day tomorrow is full of promise and hard work. The weeks ahead will be fun. Just have to make sure I eat.

segunda-feira, setembro 15, 2003

Return to Nowhere...

Went up to LunaTierraSol Cafe today to interview the Slowrider gang. Good bunch of guys, and they greatly appreciated the free food I bought them.

Hadn't been to LunaTierraSol since The Last One (once known as !) broke up with me. It was so strange--I never think about The Last One anymore unless someone asks me about previous relationships. As of recent, I've been thinking about her only because more than the usual amout of people have been asking me about relationships in general.

This is not the space to elaborate on The Last One, but it was strange and not more than a bit difficult to drive up to LunaTierraSol. See, she used to live around the corner so I'd usually park close to the cafe when I'd visit her. I remember close to the end, we had breakfast there on a Sunday morning and it was completely silent. The last night I ever talked to her, we got in a huge argument across the street in a donut shop and then she told me she had found someone else. We took the fight up to her apartment--we shouldn't have--but then I told her to get out of my life forever. She bawled and bawled--first time she showed emotion in our relationship!--and I walked out of her apartment around three in the morning. The next day I went to school, and here I am.

Last I heard, The Last One was in Vietnam. Good for her. I wish her no harm, even if she did devastate me for a couple of months. But I have the last laugh--I still love, and my love is here waiting...

Enough personal business. To the Daily Rotten wire!

Disney tourist wins $668,000 for hot coffee spilled in lap

Has not been a good couple of weeks for Disney. First, the derailment of Big Thunder Mountain, the only ride I actually like in the damn park. Now they have to pay a guy hundreds of thousands for a cast member's coffee ineptitude. The money quote:

Testimony showed Allocco suffered extensive blistering as well as pigmentation changes to his genitals and groin from the upended 28-ounce pot of coffee on Oct. 7, 2001.

Ouch!

Great story on weirdo museums.

Haven't been to a museum in such a long time. Haven't done a lot of things, period. Time to start doing them, no?

Horse bomb kills eight in Colombia.

No comment--the violence doesnae end.

Eyeball found in mailbox.

Film was terrible, but you remember the scene in Swing Kids when the mail delivery guy found out he was giving back ashes to families? Pretty disturbing--but terrible movie once again. And it started the swing phenomenon--I'm sure of it.

And I just found out my work might be for naught. Let's hear it for record labels!

domingo, setembro 14, 2003

Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ, Hang the DJ...

The concert was fun, though I received a completely unexpected surprise--an appearance by my sisters!! With boyfriends!! The younger sister, in fact, I had never seen with a man EVER. The first thing I told them was "What are you doing here?!" (imagine gruff, growling voice). I realized it came off as extremely rude and commanding, so I apologized afterward, explaining that I was caught off guard. I was.

To see both my sisters with boyfriends is a disconcerting situation since I have to acknowledge that my sisters are beautiful women with guys trying to paw them. How could an older brother not be overprotective of them. At least I know they're going with good guys. The older sister (still younger than me) once dated a real dipwad, and I was extremely hostile towards her. My sister didn't like it, but she had no say--you have to protect those around you or at least attempt to protect.

I'm blessed to have good sisters. Hell, I'm blessed, period. Except in one category--but I think, hope, pray it's about to turn into something grand...
Big Brother...

Church was fab as always, even if I continue to chant my prayers in Spanish during the English-language mass. I feel I'm slacking off at work, yet I'm gettin four articles published this week, and at least four next week. If the American slacker was like me, we'd be living in Pluto 'bout now.

Sometimes I wish I knew who was reading this infernal blog. As it is, I can only get a tease through this tracker. Talking to people, I have a general idea of what address belongs to whom--for example, my computer is labelled pool1104.cvx4-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net There are a couple of people I recognize but some recurring ones I cannot seem to pin down--for example, someone from the Miracle Center reads the blog daily even though I don't know anyone who works there.

WHICH ONE OF YOU WORKS THERE?! TELL ME NOW!

Such an obnoxious approach works in outing people. I once called someone out at Chastity emailed me to confess it was her. Now I know a cool person!

But the nicer thing is to ask. I'll ask instead.

Going to a concert later on tonight with the Fabulous G Sisters and the Raunchy Protestant. At the show shall be Go Betty Go, Los Abandoned, Las 15 Letras, and El Chivo Expiatorio. Fun times--plus, I get paid $440! Who says austerity packages don't work?

And a quick email from the Coloradian Brit, the only person who actually reads my damn articles:

Great Bronson piece! Don't know aboot the phrase "opiated thugs" though.

Ceviche is the hottest word in London restaurants right now. You can't walk
down the bloody street without getting hit by an old menu flying out the
window to make way for some new chef's amazing French Fusion/neo-Japanese
sushi twist on ceviche! But I guess I get papercuts on my heid for living
so close to Jamie Bloody Oliver's resto.

Fuck that shite. Hook me up with some Peruvian. Not sure how an orange-y
sweet potato is going to give huge contrast anything like a B&W photo by
Mssr. Adams but whatevs.

My response...

Opiated thugs, man...the guys in the films look like zombies, eyes glazed over. At least to me--then again, I don't even know what opium does to ya.

How the hell did ceviche end up in London? Should I even be asking the question? And yes--the sourness of the ceviche stands in sharp contrast to the sweet, sweet potato. Ever see an Adams photo? Of course you have. The man knew how to use his sharp blacks and whites, and that's exactly how the Peruvian ceviche plays out.

Enough for now. My pockets hurt.
Stoke my Ego, Please!...

Here's a letter from a local reporter at one of the dailies. Can't divulge who, although let's just say if the Hoiles found it, they'd be greatly upset...

Gustavo, I read your stuff all the time. More often than not, it pisses
me off. But I have to admit that I really liked this piece.

How beautiful, no? Won't even comment on it lest I get a bigger head. But it is pretty flattering that the competition reads the Rag and feels something about it. We read the dailies every day and usually sleep.

Did nothing today except read. My New Yorker/Nation pile is down three--about 20 more to go.

Saw the De la Hoya/Mosley fight with Johnny Arthur & Midge. 'Twas a travesty--De la Hoya won the fight hands down. Nevertheless, the judges awarded Mosley the fight. I feel bad for De la Hoya because I really think he won--and I was going for Mosley. At the fight, I had a fabulous ceviche made primarily of rubbery, sweet jaiba. Could have been a bit more sour, but the jaiba was superb.

Afterward, Johnny Arthur and I took out our pugilistic frustration on the Game Cube and played Knockout Kings. So much fun even though the game is completely unrealistic--with Sugar Ray Leonard, I threw 2,000 punches in one match! I lost both matches primarily because I've yet to understand the beauty of a defense.

I would have played the infernal digital slugfest late into the night, but I promised a friend I'd attend his club night in Costa Mesa. It was fun, although I spent most of the time standing around nursing my cup of water. I couldn't dance--didn't have anyone to dance with. Ask a stranger, you say? Sorry--this boy likes to dance with people he knows and likes.

But now, sleep.

sábado, setembro 13, 2003

Some comments on my Cruz Bustamante/MEChA piece from various websites. First comes from blogger, Howard Owens...

Good piece in the OCWeekly on MEChA and Bustamante. The article by Gustavo Arellano paints a sympathetic picture of MEChA but acknowledges that the inflammatory language of some of its literature creates an ongoing problem for any Latino politician associated with it.

BTW: MEChA supporters such as Antonio Villaraigosa who say things like this:

"It’s reprehensible what they’re doing to Bustamante and other Latino candidates," Villaraigosa said. "I think these people that attempt to portray Latino candidates as out of the mainstream are doing so for the purpose of injecting race or ethnicity in a campaign where it’s clearly not relevant."

Apodaca says accusing Latinos of subversive leanings because of their MEChA links is like Herbert Hoover’s supporters speculating that 1928 Democratic presidential candidate Al Smith, a Catholic, would take orders from the pope.

"Smith’s Catholicism really functioned as anti-immigrant rhetoric," he said. "Politics is all about the code talk. Anti-MEChA statements are simple code for anti-Mexican sentiments by resentful whites."

Are doing themselves and other Latino candidates a disservice. You don't need to be a racist or a scared white to find fault with MEChA doctrine. You just need to be a reasonable and intelligent person. So long as the Villaraigosa of the world can't see why people have legitimate concerns about MEChA, they'll never do anything to improve the situation for themselves and other Latino candidates. Which also seems to be the point of Arellano's article.

I like to think that my best pieces examine both sides of the issue, praising and bashing both, and ultimately coming to no conclusion other than to acknowledge the phenomenon. The only article I've ever been pleased with, my Latinos love Morrissey piece, had that dynamic--I gave various explanations, held none as the ultimate answer, then finally just let the readers accept the fact that many Latinos like Morrissey and that's that.

The following commentary is from Sneakeasy's Joint...


The cover story in the current OC Weekly is by Gustavo Arellano, and deals with how California, and National Conservatives are having a field day with Bustamonte's MEChA connection.

He begins:

"Cruz Bustamante, along with many other California Latino politicians, belonged to a Chicano student organization in college. And conservatives are livid.
In the Aug. 22 Orange County Register, longtime local Republican gadfly Art Pedroza Jr. used the better part of a 655-word guest editorial to argue from stereotypes that Cruz Bustamante would be very, very bad for Latino Californians."


The accompanying cover illustration of "Cruz Montezuma" by Robert Pokorny is deliciously provocative and sure to get some Latinos and Democrats worked up into a lather. :-)

The full piece is called Fear of a Brown Planet.

No commentary necessary. Time to go see people pummel each other!
From the Daily Rotten newswires...

Man buys groceries with $200 bill

I remember reading an account of a man using a $22 bill. The person at the center of the bill was a hat-wearing chap smoking a Cuban cigar. The cashier accepted the money. The book where I read it had a version of the bill and the man looked hilarious.

The account here is too hilarious to merely link up. The story:


ROANOKE RAPIDS -- Police are searching for a man who paid for $150 in groceries at a Food Lion grocery store with a $200 bill.
The man walked out of the store with his groceries and $50 in change before the fake bill was discovered Sept. 6.

The bogus bill -- the U.S. Mint does not print a $200 bill -- bore the image of President Bush on the front and had the White House on the back. It also included signs on the front lawn of the White House with slogans such as "We like broccoli" and "USA deserves a tax cut," Roanoke Rapids police said.

Instead of being labeled a Federal Reserve note, the fake bill was marked as a "Moral Reserve Note." The bill bore the signatures of Ronald Reagan, political mentor; and George H.W. Bush, campaign adviser and mentor.

Food Lion said normal policy is not to accept bills over $100.

Funny!
For Love of the Game...

Wonderful article on the cursed of baseball.

The Dorky Angel loves her Angels; my brother likes the Yankees and Dodgers. I've always been a Cubs fan. My favorite players growing up were Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandburg, and Ricky Henderson. Sandburg in particular I admired since he played second base, a position I aspired to dominate until I realized I couldn't field grounders.

Who can't love the Cubs? Tinkers-to-Evans-to-Chance? Wrigley Field, named not necessarily after the gum but the creator of the gum? The curse of the goat? The fact that they haven't won the World Series since 19 friggin' 08?!

They might actually get the the playoffs this year--probably not. Such is the worldview of the Cubs fan. Eternally optimistic, aware of the failures of the world--yet eternally optimistic. Yep, that's me.

Had dinner at the Gypsy Den last night with Diamond in the Asphalt, Pinochet Apologist, and the Kahlo Commie. Was fine, although I was in a bit of a rush since my day had been long and I had to read through a week's worth of the New York Times so I could start chipping away at my summer's worth of the New Yorker. What a strenuous life--even I spit at me.

Am supposed to see the De la Hoya-Moseley bout tonight somewhere with someone--the ambiguity is blatant because I'm not sure if I'll be with Nameless Genderless Friend or the Boys. Should be fun.

Anything else? Notre Dame is getting clobbered. My pockets hurt.
I'm Explaining a Few Things...

Yesterday, of course, was 9/11 and the 30th year anniversary of the overthrow of Chile's democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende by the hijo de puta Augusto Pinochet.

Some remembrances from around the world.

Who knew Granma published in English?

Even Chile's left doesn't know how to celebrate Allende's legacy--meanwhile the right is incensed.

Concert to celebrate Allende's legacy which featured Julieta Venegas--who knew she was still political?

The entire Left is mourning this week not because of our 9/11 but because of the death of Allende. Don't listen to KPFK, but apparently they had non-stop reviews of Allende's death and the aftermath.

I've had this debate with the Pinochet Apologist over and over and we'll probably engage in it until the day we pass away. He argues that Allende was spelling doom for Chile, that Pinochet brought stability to the country, and that Chile owes its relative stability to the efforts of Pinochet.

My argument against that rarely strays from "the end does not justify the means" rhetoric. I believe that with all of my heart. I'm also disgusted that anyone would overthrow a democratically elected official for non-corruption reasons--that's why I'm voting no on the California recall even though Governor Davis is a weasel.

When I was about 12, I bought a stack of old Life magazines. One of them dated from 1973 and had the final moments of Allende's life. A particularly chilling set of shots involved a soldier pointing at the camera, telling the cameraman to stop filming lest he be shot. The cameraman was killed.

Incidents like these make a large impact on a inquisitive mind. The utter horror of death that Life captured instilled in me a distrust of terror. Pinochet represents that. I don't give a damn if Allende would have run Chile into the ground--this is what the much-heralded Chilean democracy wanted. Pinochet was not democratic--when he finally faced an election, the general was soundly defeated.

I dislike the brute so much, here's his Daily Rotten bio. I know I provided the link earlier, but here's the body of the text just so Uds. will read it. And if you do read the entirety, there's a Neruda poem at the end!

Augusto Pinochet

Augusto Pinochet was a Chilean general who in 1973 staged a coup d'etat with the help of the CIA. His flair for fashion made him South America's answer to Muammar Qaddafi. But ultimately it was his thirst for reform which produced his most enduring legacy.
After the people of Chile inadvertently elected a communist for president, General Pinochet did what he had to. Which was assassinate President Salvador Allende. Upon gaining power, Pinochet reformed many of Allende's disastrous policies.


One of Allende's failed initiatives involved not sending death squads to kidnap, torture, and murder his political enemies. This was Pinochet's first policy reversal.

Pinochet handed a list of names to one of his generals and gave orders to have them killed. The general assembled a death squad, jumped into a helicopter, and visited a few towns. He checked off the victims as they were eliminated, 71 people in all. This mission would later become known as the "Caravan of Death."

Thousands of leftists, unionists, and various other troublemakers were rounded up and held in concentration camps for up to three years. Many were interrogated, tortured, and killed. Whereas the Allende government had for all practical purposes given up applying electrical voltage to genitalia, Pinochet brought the country back to its core ideals.

These tried-and-true methods were only required because of the serious nature of the enemy Pinochet was facing. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger recognized this. When they met in Santiago on June 8, 1976, Kissinger told Pinochet: "My evaluation is that you are a victim of all left-wing groups around the world and that your greatest sin was that you overthrew a government that was going Communist."

Another failure of past administrations was their complete lack of immunity against prosecution for any crimes committed while in power. This defect was finally redressed with the passage of the 1978 State Immunity Act. It was a stunning legislative triumph.

But some people are never content to abide by the rule of law. Which is why, in 1998, Pinochet was "arrested" in London under orders from Spain. It took 16 months for a court to determine that the elderly ex-president was too sick to stand trial. They sent him home to Chile to live out his final weeks.

Upon landing in Santiago, a miracle happened. In England, Pinochet had been too sick to stand unaided. But immediately upon his return, the 84-year-old servant of the people sprang from his wheelchair and walked around, fully healed. The man who had been too senile to remember his own family's names and faces could suddenly remember all of his former subordinates who had come to greet him at the airport.

Justice was finally served.

As promised, here's the Neruda poem. It was written in response to the Spanish Civil War, although it could easily apply to Chile. A personal post tomorrow--hell, this is a personal post. The title of the poem is the title of the post.

You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?
I'll tell you all the news.

I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks, and trees.

From there you could look out
over Castille's dry face:
a leather ocean.
My house was called
the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.
Remember, Raul?
Eh, Rafel? Federico, do you remember
from under the ground
my balconies on which
the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?
Brother, my brother!
Everything
loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Arguelles with its statue
like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,
stacked-up fish,
the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down the sea.

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings --
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children's blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain :
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull's eye of your hearts.

And you'll ask: why doesn't his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
The blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
In the streets!

sexta-feira, setembro 12, 2003

From the Daily Rotten newswire...

Pinochet's family upset that their patriarch is being depicted as a tyrant.

And the quote...

Military leaders have also warned they will not tolerate any lifting of amnesty laws that protect them from charges of human rights violations during the years following the coup.

Afraid that Chile's years of peace came at an immoral price, comandantes?

Gay kids can enjoy prom now with relatively no problems.

About f'n time. But these kids should still be banned from attending prom--along with everyone else. Prom is a waste of time, money, fun--yep, I didn't go to my senior prom.

The Hustler-ization of America.

OK article. Just felt like posting it for the hell of it.
It's Been a Long Night, Now I'm Coming Back Home...
Nearly forgot General Butt Naked.

And for the record: I knew about the general in the late 1990s. How? Read Bizarre Magazine, the best of the laddie mags. Vice, Maxim, and FHM only wish they could match up to Loaded, Bizarre, and Sky. Fabulous shite.

Today's 9/11. Where's Osama? Where's Saddam? Where's Omar? Actually, Omar is in Mexico. He's my cousin.

Some love from Weekly readers...

BROWNIE POINTS

Regarding Gustavo Arellano’s piece on Cruz Bustamante ["Fear of a Brown Planet," Sept. 5]: Conservatives do not fear Bustamante for his skin color, which is as light as mine. Rather, it is his ideas that we loathe and despise. This man wants to increase taxes and bring back gas controls, while not reducing government spending. Bustamante’s economic plan is akin to that of the fascist president of Venezuela. He also utilizes the tactics of class warfare and enjoys control of his nation’s petrochemical sector, and sure enough he is also facing a recall election. Today’s California Republican Party has made peace with Latinos; we just don’t like those who want to force socialism down our collective throats.

Art Pedroza
Member, California Republican Party Central Committee

Mr. Arellano does his best to explain away the evil and racist goals of MEChA. The most frightening thing about MEChA is its presence on 90 percent of our high school and college campuses. At least for now it is, because I plan to raise hell with my local school board and fight for its banishment from campuses. Critics of MEChA are correct when they say it is the brown version of the KKK. The only element missing from this brown KKK is the white sheets to hide their identities. May I suggest, for disguise purposes only, that the mechistas smear each others’ feces all over their faces? Then not only will they be indistinguishable, but what is on their faces will match what is in their minds!

David Kay
Buena Park

I remember MEChA from many years ago when I was a student at UC Santa Barbara. It was too radical for my tastes but it never came across to me as a racist organization, but rather as a radical group (this was in 1968-70) working with other groups such as the Black Students Union to further the cause of ethnic studies and other issues on campus. I thought your article was very reasonable and I hope it will help counter the racial smear campaign against Bustamante. There is certainly legitimate criticism that can be raised against him, but this racist charge is not one of them.

Stephen Denney
Library assistant, UC Berkeley

Gee, imagine my surprise at OC Weekly publishing a long-winded cover editorial spinning away the racism of MEChA member Cruz Bustamante. I am happy to know that for you left-wingers racism is acceptable as long as it is a liberal who is racist. That’s an amazing admission of hypocrisy on your part! I can tell you that we on the right don’t accept racism from any political persuasion. Our disgust with Cruz has to do with his politics, his leftist/socialist positions and the fact that he is part of the Democrat/left wing in Sacramento that has single-handedly run California’s economy to the brink of bankruptcy. Oh, and the fact that he and MEChA are racists? ‘‘To the race, everything. To those outside the race, nothing.’’ It’s amazing you left that quote out of your attempt to spin Cruz out of being a racist. Who’s words are they? MEChA’s. Time to give it a rest. You left-wingers are starting to stink of your hypocrisy.

B. Dirk Yarborough
Costa Mesa

Gustavo Arellano responds: The quote Yarborough mentions is not—as almost every publication asserts—MEChA’s official slogan; it’s a Chicano chant dating from the 1960s. And my stink is pretty sexy, thankyouverymuch.

SLUR THING

I just read the ridiculous explanation or definition of the usage of pocho/a [Gustavo Arellano’s "Attack of the Pochos," Aug. 8]. It goes to show that when one wants to read more into things, one’ll find the way to do so. Pocho/a in most of Mexico, when referring to a Mexican American, is one who mixes the two languages—a sort of Spanglish, but not necessarily the conversion of English words into Spanish—but such language will bring out the pocho/a designation. It is not necessarily a "slur," though it can be used that way. Typically it is used as a slur toward Mexican Americans visiting who cannot speak correct Spanish but who lord over low-income Mexicans a "we’re better" attitude. Likewise, the word Mexican is not by any stretch of the imagination a slur but is used as such by those who wish to do so. In short, if one seeks evil, one finds evil.

Patrick Osio Jr.
Editor, HispanicVista.com

Gustavo Arellano responds: Pocho not a slur, pocho? Why do you think Lalo Alcaraz, Sandra Sarmiento and others felt it necessary to reclaim the term, pocho? I don’t know of anyone else who uses the word pocho in a nonpejorative fashion, but that’s just me, pocho.

Went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Beethoven's 9th with the Stanford Grad. Treated her to Lee's Sandwich. She treated me to a fruity wine. We both enjoyed ourselves immensely.

And look at these lines from the Rag's content section this week!

“Arellano”: In Spanish it means “write five stories per week, take over the newspaper, and declare it Mexican territory.”

And...

More work from Gustavo Arellano who seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him.

Not to mention...

And you know OC Weekly is a California corporation when you see how many stories the company’s big-name Mexican—I’m talking about Gustavo Arellano—writes. Last week? Five. This week? Five.

What can I do except write? And love.

Some comments about me off the Wild West-wacky Foro Abierto...


to those of you who are somewhat new here, gustavo maybe does like them, but it is just coincidence then that he praises javier castellano, JC`s, emjambre, and the OC. he comes to LA to review shows when enjambre plays and mutilates every la band on the bill, except for... you guessed it enjambre. THE BREAKDOWN: ORANGE COUNTY home of JC FANDANGO, who is owned by JAVIER CASTELLANO, who manages ENJAMBRE. people have every right to their opinion and taste, but talk about i scratch your back you scratch mine. so in reality a lot of the comments in here are not to talk shit, or envy. MONEY, enjambre is backed by a somewhat succesful businessman, with connections to papers and contacts in other countries. enjambre has the backing to make it, now its up to them and their music.

Love that quote: "mutilates." Please--I have journalistic qualms.

But now, work!

quinta-feira, setembro 11, 2003

She Wore Blue Velvet...

Interesting article on the sartorial senses of some of the 20th century's butchers.

Thank you, Pinochet Apologist, for posting this on your site so that I can shamelessly rip it off.

Not a big fan of Vice--too flippant for my tastes. Tiny articles about nothing other than culture, no true bombs against those who deserve it. But maybe that's the smarmy Nationista in me blabbering.

My only criticism of the article--when talking about dictators and their fabulous clothing decisions, how can you leave out Fidel Castro, Mao Tse Tung, and Yassir Arafat? Between olive-green garb, grey overcoats, and headwear that looks partly like Maryland's flag, you have an outfit for the ages.
Freedom's finest fruit for Iraq

Isn't it amazing how men are attracted to porno? Even the most religious amongst us dabble in the blue arts from time to time.

quarta-feira, setembro 10, 2003

Anda mi Linda Vecina, Ya se que Estas Divina...

For some reason Sunday's Daily Rotten wire was obsessed with nudity and crap. First, the nudity...

Man delivers newspapers naked.

Here's the funny lines...

"He claimed to have engaged in this sort of behavior for the last three weeks, including taking newspapers up to people's doors in that condition," Easley said.

Nowadays, newspaper delivery routes are handled by seedy men and women. I once had my New York Times delivered by a woman who had a mullet Joe Dirt would have envied. Paperboys only exist in never-ending video games.

Naked man sleeps in bank.

There was once an episode in Seinfeld where George revealed he goes to the restroom completely naked. This is the same episode where a woman he was courting thought he was a bum after eating a donut that was in the trash and appearing to be washing windshields for a living. Maybe the man has the same tics as George--or as the following quote insinuates:

When police tried to awake him, Whitney said: "This is the bar. Go away," arrest reports state.

Maybe he was drunk.

Soccer coach strips kid naked.

The quote:

Weaver said in a telephone interview Thursday there was "lots more" to tell about what happened but that he did not want to discuss it before his trial, scheduled for December.

He said his actions were "unusual in an unusual situation."

The guy should be done the same. This all happened in Alaska. Who knew they played soccer in Alaska (not trying to be cutely ignorant, but the turf must be tundra-solid).

Now here's the effluvia-related articles...


Silo filled with human waste explodes in the Bronx.

The New York Post is obnoxious and owned by Murdoch, but you have to hand it to them--they are the masters of sensationalism. Even the Rag can't match up to them.

Cows rescued from room filled to the ceiling with manure.

I'm always reading stories of groups of people dying trying to clean animal waste out. One time, I read that a father and his four sons died trying to clear a pig shit trough. They were overcome by the fumes. Death by poop is amongst the most ignominous of deaths. The worst, though, was the man who stood in front of an elephant's butt to check out why the beast was constipated. The pachyderm soon relieved himself, and the man was crushed by what came out. True story.

Now, two rather-disturbing entries...


Sisters get AIDS from using common shaving razor.

Thank God I don't use a razor with someone else. And thank God I don't engage in--no comment. I'm a good Catholic boy.

Dutch cops urged not to smoke out too much on the job.

One of the best headlines ever:

Amsterdam's key stoned cops face drug cafe ban

Funny!

And now, to your regularly scheduled rants of me.


Am going to Felix's to meet up with the Grad School Duo, AAS and MS. Married, both attending graduate school (hence, my lame nickname), and funny as hell. They both crack me up and are fellow Chapman alumni, as is the Pinochet Apologist and Nameless Genderless Friend. I do believe Diamond in the the Asphalt goes there also, or is planning to.

Am supposed to hear Beethoven's 9th tomorrow at the Hollywood Bowl. Went on Sunday for Cafe Tacuba, plans for tomorrow, and next week with the Fabulous G Sisters for Bugs Bunny on Broadway. Each night will be a beautiful concert in a beautiful setting with beautiful women. Except the first one, that is. Darn.

But now, work.