Aztlán

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Reading the latest stats from the U.S. Census Bureau which I was prompted to do by the feedline @TheAtlantic churns out on its twitter feed I realize that Chicanos don’t exist in that database by any definition. Then again I only did a superficial search, eitherways, it kinda bothers me a twad not to see us mentioned there at all …

where's you at ese?

where’s you at ese?

**need I say to enlarge please click the pic?

In A Scotch Paisano in Old Los Angeles1 a seldom researched area is taken to task, namely, that of assimilation of Anglos in what is a predominantly Spanish-Mexican dominated territory era. Anglos converted to Catholicism and abade by Hispanic customs. So is the case also in Jovita’s book2. There is a lot of intermarriage with Anglos or Americans. Despite the rhetoric of the text that pits Anglos and Mexicans there is acceptance of Anglos in the community. I suppose that a lot has to do with this idea within mexicans that one must improve the race, or as is known in Spanish, mejorar la raza. A little unknown and zealously kept and guarded dirty secret we bear upon us.

Yet one has to wonder if this tactic of intermarriage wasn’t orchestrated or is a little forgotten blip in our history. Who knows. Research certainly is needed to shed light here.

I somehow can’t accept coincidence in California and Texas.

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1 Dakin, Susanna Bryant, A Scotch Paisano in Old Los Angeles, Berkeley, 1978.

2 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

Carmen Fought has done a remarkable job by giving us a structured form of ChE. I haven’t read Chicano English in Context through and through though but I have stopped in certain passages where my eyes have noticed the value in the observations or the examples. One such example that has drawn my attention is on page 104 within the title of the paragraph Part II: Semantic/lexical features of Chicano English and under the subtitle General lexical items. In example 6 we have American, meaning ‘European-American or white’. So up tp this day we still regard ourselves as not American.

I have argued throughout this blog how deeply important it is that we feel American. I have argued for an americanness of our own.

We have for far too long relegated America to the gringo, the blue-eyed even when we ourselves and our kin may have blue-eyes. It’s enough. We are Americans, regardless of nations and regardless of political divisions. It’s time to reclaim what’s ours. As Don Juan Preston in Jovita Gonzale’s Dew on the Thorn we must reclaim our heritage, our position in society.

We Xicanos need to put an end to the centennial bickering Mexicans and Americans have had since inception days. We the children can no longer take sides we are Mexican and we are American no matter what ye old blood feud says. Let Mexicans fear the Gringo; we Xicanos cannot do that. Let Gringos fear the Mexican; we Xicanos cannot do that.

We need to tire of taking sides to move forward, backwards for to remain ackward is no longer an option.

Forest Service warns Coloradans: Beware of camping Latinos
By John Tomasic 8/28/09 6:41 PM

In a presentation on recent discoveries of major marijuana-cultivation operations in Colorado, the U.S. Forest Service said it suspected an international cartel was behind the state’s hidden weed farms. Officials issued a warning that asked forest visitors to look for signs of drug trafficking. The telltale signs according to the officials? Tortilla, Spam and tuna packaging, Tecate beer cans, Latino music and people speaking Spanish.

Officials failed to acknowledge (1) that they were describing roughly a quarter of all campsites in the state and (2) that Spam, tortillas, tuna, Tecate, Latino music and people speaking Spanish are some of the best ingredients you can find when you’re looking to mix up a damn good camping experience.

Yet U.S. Forest Service officer Michael Skinner urged anyone encountering campers who fit the profile to “hike out quickly” and call police.

Polly Baca, co-chairwoman of the Colorado Latino Forum, told the Denver Channel that the Forest Service warning is racist and ill-conceived and threatening.

“It’s discriminatory and it puts Hispanic campers in danger.”

Marvink Correa, spokesman for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said that the next time he goes camping, he would “be sure to play nothing but Bruce Springsteen.”

So was the warning also issued in Spanish?

Source: http://coloradoindependent.com/36662/forest-service-warns-coloradans-beware-of-camping-latinos

By mistake I wrote Dew of the Thorn and once realizing my mistake I came upon a significance for the title of the book. I realized that dew is one of those things that is reminiscent of a new start. A new morrow if you will. Once I corrected my spelling error I proceeded to thank the gods of letters for my discovery, not. But yes, this is nice, this interpretation of mine. Dew on the Thorn allows us to see the new and allow us to realize the thorn in the eye before us. I always wondered why this string of words was a preferred choice for a title and I suppose I found my own interpretation for the book. So there.

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1 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

I have fallen in love with page 150 of Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzáles1. It’s a chapter entitled The New Leader and it’s about the second Fernando of the Olivares family, born 1871. He is a half gringo and a half Mexican.

Fernando grew up, and realizing when very young that he had American blood, felt very different from the rest of the boys. He had a feeling of resentment against his heritage that made him feel he was an outcast among his friends. Doña Ramona’s teachings […] made him feel that he could never have anything in common with his American grandfather. (p. 150)

Gotta love the reverse mestizaje in play. The reverse crossborder where it is the gringo in us that yearns to crossover.

Beautiful.

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1 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

In Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzáles1 the color of races play a significant role, gringos have blue eyes and servants are dark. Yet more interesting is the fact that the Caste system plays a role in the late 1800’s as is evident that society revolves around the color of the skin. Add to this the fact within the narrative that these Mexicans of the late 1800’s in Lower Texas had never seen a negro in their midst and you got yourself a decent cocktail to churn out all kinds of speculations.

But what bothers me the most in Jovita’s narrative is that her main Mexican characters are not considered to be Americans. This binomial bothers me. They Americans and We, Mexicans. I don’t know, I just can’t seem to place myself in that narrative.

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1 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

In Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzáles1, the Anglo plays a rather significant roll not because we are not familiar with the eternal binomial in Chicano narrative between gringos and Chicanos but because it is an early ground we have walked upon before. Jovita is a predecessor of Aztlán geography and topology. It is a common ingredient in Chicano narrative to see the gringo in the distant. Way before we begin to deal with the gringo we have began to see Them. Jovita does this well. It details the aproximation of the inevitable, that is, the gringo in our midst. Then we deal with it. We can see this same technique in Ana Castillo’s novel So Far from God: The Peacock raiser encroaches in the consciousness unannounced. We have only heard of them and then we see them to lastly seek them.

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1 González, Jovita. Dew on the Thorn. Ed. José Limón. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1997.

I have come to realize that Chicano narrative has fitted quite nicely into American folklore because it is a vision. Chicanos in general all share a vision of what it was and what it might become. That is why Aztlán although despised by most Anglo loving philes can accept the fact that we exist. Even though they use the most lethal and potent weapon against us, Ridicule, they recognize something familiar in Aztlán: it is a vision.

El Año en Spitzberg I

El Año en Spitzberg II

I carry in my head the voices I heard through the earphones. A free mp3 download that infiltrated my veins. I can associate. I can relate. I can feel the hispanic virus trying to seek its kin. I refuse to allow such communion. I don’t want that language’s high horse shit yet.

The theocracy of la raza are beyond the streets they study. Something happens to chicano academics that makes them distance themselves from the very culture they purport to examine. I don’t get that. In colloquial language they sell out. For some reason they have transgressed a border and become uneasy with the realities before them. Instead of living the culture they resort to the text version of it. Then they romanticize it and then they crossover to a fantasy realm. Going academic is like a passport to another country which lets you check in but doesn’t let you check out. Few hardcore Chicanos are able to make it back, remain part of the culture studied before one.

I don’t get this. Academia in itself is a cradle of middle class values that will not allow to be tainted by anything it does not approve beforehand. The aesthetics are set and we fit not the parameters of its watermark. The reflection rejects us. And academic Chicanos know this. As soon as we fall into the realm of accepted beings we fall into another category whereby we are scrutinized with a set of values we dare not touch with a ten foot pole. These values are so cherished by the Chicano academic community that anything that threatens it we scamper like silly ninnies back to its refugee. It’s only natural, god featuring children that we are. We would very much like to believe that we are a fused we/I. We would love to believe that a syncretism exudes from us yet alas! In the kingdom of the one eyed we are the purblind.

What’s worst is that once we are accepted we cease to be this militant, question all entity beyond reason, take no prisoners selves. We share not. We become docile denizens of a society we fought so much to be recognized as part of it and once well in place we stand in humble obedience as onlookers as our brethren fight to get across this thin line that separates us from them. Once we have crushed the citadel’s walls we shut the doors and fall behind these academia forts that hold our historic knowledge in databases that restrict the vox populi from sites such as MUSE, JSTOR and ECBHost.

I mean what the F?

I mean, échame una mano compa, no seas puto ese!

I wonder how aztec and maya loving chicanos will react to this.

Specially La Voz de Aztlán. My, my indeed. Moctezuma was gay. He loved to gorgle the mayonesa; le gustaba el arroz con popote. Well, you get the picture. I personally don’t subscribe to the aztec and maya semiotics of the Chicano propaganda machine anymore. I have said that numerous times before. So much I don’t care to enumerate anymore. So am going alphabet baby: A, B, C and D are but a few examples of my distancing. I strictly subscribe to desert semiotics in my xicanismo. I belong to the Southwest indigenous cultures. Apache, pai pai, kumai and navajo traditions first and foremost.

A Mexican consulate chief stationed in the Dominican Republic, who is in transit to Philadelphia and that goes by the christian name of José Luis Basulto Ortega has written a historical novel titled Cuiloni. He explains therein how “el Imperio de México fue un obsequio de Moctezuma a Hernán Cortés como parte del cortejo amoroso que tuvieron” that is “the mexican empire was a gift from Moctezuma to Hernán Cortés as love dowry for the love affair that they engaged in.”

This is heavy stuff. The whole notion of aztec semiology in Chicano narrative is for machismo purposes. Not to mention the notion in México where aztec culture is represented as undefeated and resilient willing to withstand the Spanish masculinity despite the years gone by.

If you can muster some Spanish I suggest these hush hush links:

El jefe de la sección consular de la embajada de México en República Dominicana (cónsul de carrera, en tránsito hacia Filadelfia),, ha escrito una novela histórica, Cuiloni: historia de una lágrima, en la que establece que “el Imperio de México fue un obsequio de Moctezuma a Hernán Cortés como parte del cortejo amoroso que tuvieron”. Basulto, quien fue subdirector del Instituto Matías Romero de Estudios Diplomáticos, asegura contar con “quince pruebas documentales que demuestran la relación homosexual de ambos” y hace que uno de los personajes de su novela, Gerónimo Aguilar, conversando con la Malinche, llegue a decir que “México se perdió por una loca”. El autor de esa obra ha sido diplomático durante 30 años y asegura que su provocativa interpretación histórica proviene de la lectura de mexicanistas casi olvidados y de varios códices antiguos “censurados”. Basulto envió algunas de sus reflexiones a esta columna porque, dice, con lo escrito aquí “se provoca un dolor reflexivo que pocos están dispuestos a asumir, y creo que este tema que propongo es parte de esa necesidad que tiene el actual poblador de México de reconocer y conocer la verdad ‘manque duela’” El libro, publicado por Editorial Felou, será presentado el próximo 24, a las 17 horas, en uno de los auditorios del INAH…

Diversas reacciones causó la referencia hecha ayer aquí de una novela histórica que plantea que “el Imperio de México fue un obsequio de Moctezuma a Hernán Cortés como parte del cortejo amoroso que tuvieron”. Por ejemplo, Guillermo Marín (www.toltecayotl.org.mx) lamenta que haya “mexicanos que son extranjeros incultos en su propia tierra”, al señalar que el conquistador hispano ultrajó no sólo a la Malinche sino también a Moctezuma. Pero, añade, “en Tenochtitlán existía el Tlatocan, el consejo supremo, con dos figuras gobernantes, el tlatoani (el que organiza) y el ciuhacoatl (el que administra), y los dos mandaban obedeciendo a ese consejo. De modo que Moctezuma no era un rey todopoderoso, como los europeos. Las decisiones que se tomaron fueron en consejo, como se siguen tomando en las comunidades indígenas”.

Gracia.

Ordet Gracia.

The word Gracia has never adquiered, in the English language, the significance Ritchie Valens gave it. Gracia.

He knew. We knew. You know. I Knew- I know. And so it was.

Stolen at mouse point from Tijuana/Beirut:

We come from a long line of wanderers. We believe that ideas must travel. We carry information with us across highlands, over mountains. We collect along the way as we skim oceans and dip into valleys or hide in forests. We barter and trade. We never horde. We carry what we can, losing bits and pieces along the way. we can’t take it all with us. We always leave something behind. People look down upon us. Say we have no roots, we are dangerous, we disrupt. We fill people’s minds with stories: lies and falsehoods. Without us they would know nothing of the world outside. We are not confused about our job. We do it willingly. We fill our eyes, ears, hearts — we stuff ourselves — with sights, sounds, emotions. We take it all in and leak out what we cannot hold. The rest we scatter along the way. Spread the word. Beauty. Love. Desire. Tears. Breath. This is how we do things. We find grace here. We are not afraid to wander. We know the way.

Do you see yerself?

Update: For those of you that know Swedish Eva Zetterman has placed on the web a little bit on art and media related to chicanos: Att skapa ett vi – gatukonst i Kalifornien

She has also done it in English, so there is no need to panic: Signs of Identity Processes – Street Art in California Eva Zetterman. And get aload of the title of the pdf file: haina_6_zetterman.pdf

First published: December 31, 2006 @ 21:36

Finally. I found this paper I knew was cooking because I spoke several times to the researcher myself. I managed to ask her once, right smack in the middle of her research if it was possible to see her work but that proved be a no-no and ever since then I have been out of touch from the lovely gal. Either way here is an excerpt of her work and if it interests you one can download the frigging thang here.

Author: Jonsson, Carla
Title: Code-switching in Chicano Theater: Power, Identity and Style in Three Plays by Cherríe Moraga

Keywords: code-switching, Chicano theater, Chicano, Chicano discourse, power, identity, language ideology, third space, style, hybridity, code-mixing

The thesis examines local and global functions of code-switching and code-mixing in Chicano theater, i.e. in writing intended for performance. The data of this study consists of three published plays by Chicana playwright Cherríe Moraga.

Another proyect on the go is by an old professor of mine at Stockholm University, she herself is mexican and has lived many years in Aztlán.

‘Food and Identity in Late Twentieth-Century Chicano Literature’

Even though the importance of food in the individual and collective identity of a group of people already has been studied in detail by the social sciences, literary criticism has paid little attention to the presence of food and drink in literature in general, and, much less, in Mexican and Chicano literature. Still, the presence of these everyday elements in literature in not arbitrary, it is an important part of the literary work; by the use of factors related to food (such as the preparation of dishes, the ingredients used, and the very act of eating), the texts attempt to help the reader understand the association with the Chicano identity discourse.

Mexican identity shows itself in various ways in a great deal of Chicano literature. The Aztlan myth is a fundamental element that both Mexicans and Chicanos have in common. Both groups can be considered as one, since the search for the Aztlan of the Aztecs has been and still is an important factor for all descendants of Mexicans. Aztlan, a mythological place that occupies an important part of the collective consciousness of all Mexicans (including Chicanos) cannot be placed geographically. Thus, what is ‘Mexican’ cannot be defined as something that only exists south of the border, but something that all descendants of Mexicans have.

Sounds rather interesting to me and I can wait to get my hands on this one. I never really gave much thought to food issues in Aztlán so this paper ought to wake ones appetite quite exquisitely.

Lastly, I want to mention a few other goodies. Firstly, Chicano culture is making headlines overhere and in proper Aztlán too!

Gregory Rodriguez: Swedish Mexican Food, Straight From the U.S. Sweden indulges in American culture by going on a taco binge.

You see, here — as in other parts of Europe — Mexican food was not brought over by Mexicans at all. Rather, it was introduced by American TV shows and movies. That explains why there’s a “Gringo Special” on the menu at the Taco Bar, a Swedish fast-food chain, and why nearly all the Mexican products in the grocery stores — “Taco Sauce,” “Taco Spice Mix” and “Guacamole Dip” — are labeled in English.

Beleive it or not a swedish blog got mentioned in the article so it made the rounds quite nicely.

Lastly, this blog is linked in a wiki paper! No kidding joe

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