Xicano Commentary

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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 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”.

Boy, one can’t really go by all the propaganda that spews out from the internet. Worst of all is that I use mostly official mouthspeaks as a news source. Dang, do they tend to be lopsided; everything to fit their customer: government and their ideological minions. Is there any real reporting going on in the world? Does news really change things? I remember when journalism was a realm of the truth. Heck, I come from a generation that grew up hearing the likes that Democracy couldn’t possible exist without the mysterious Third Pillar. Nowadays media doesn’t scrutinize nor challenge. It passively serves to keep badmouths at bay. Government listens to the so called media, except they tend to be choosy about it. No one listens anymore to other alternatives. Heck, I either read what the officially sanctioned speaks say or I turn to disgruntled blogs that cry that no one listens to them.

This has left a feeling of alienation, apathy and incompetence. What is one to do. The only thing left in society is the illusion of things being done. A happens, B reports it and puff! problem solved. Being told. I remember when things got told action followed. A common good was a goal to strive for. Those days are gone. Nothing matters anymore. The collective imagination is torn between that dire apocalyptic vision of the world and greedy rich people with no scruples. Its stupid, the brain that is. Too much ideology and little observation of the world we live in is done. We live not on earth but that stupid beyond every other nincompoop strives to get to by cutting out a deal with the big Honcho.

The third pillar of American democracy, an independent press, is under sustained attack, and the channels of information are choked. A few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape in America. Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media common conglomerates. Two-thirds of today’s newspapers are monopolies.

As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace; and those few significant alternatives that do survive, such as PBS and NPR, are undergoing financial and political pressure to reduce critical news content and to shift their focus in a mainstream direction, which means being more attentive to establishment views than to the bleak realities of powerlessness that shape the lives of ordinary people.

What does today’s media system mean for the notion of an informed public cherished by democratic theory? Quite literally, it means that virtually everything the average person sees or hears, outside of her own personal communications, is determined by the interests of private, unaccountable executives and investors whose primary goal is increasing profits and raising the share prices. More insidiously, this small group of elites determines what ordinary people do not see or hear. In-depth coverage of anything, let alone the problems real people face day-to-day, is as scarce as sex, violence and voyeurism are pervasive.

I seem to recall Bartleby, that old Melville character that so baffles many of us in this so called modern world, whenever I cherish the idea of entertaining thoughts on Chicanismo. I feel am so way beyond that that the mere thought entails and automatic I prefer not to.

I believe I have lost my English voice and I do not know how and when this happened and worst yet why. It seems as though Spanish has taken sole control over what I say, communicate and invent via the written and oral means of parlance. Mind you, this area used to be the sole realm of English hence my bafflement. As soon as I am done with the day’s rant or keyboard orgy of thoughts I am done for whatever reason and pursue only that thought in all the vanities that entail being a blog writer and in Spanish. What is up with that? One reasonable explanation is that Spanish provides a more rewarding exchange. I noticed this when I began communicating with other English writing bloggers. I could never identify with them due to some odd chasm of sorts whereby what would otherwise seem to be on the surface unity factors created deep underlying differences. Mostly because the 2 or3 years I spent peeling off propaganda from my Xicano identity Read the rest of this entry »

I have always had trouble believing am a Xicano. No matter that the evidence points to the fact that I am just that.

This has become even more apparent for me here in Europe. the Nordic corner, isolated from Aztlán. Being away from the motherland has proven a sky that raineth a manna of ideas. I started out by declaring myself a prop. 187 exile. The first Xicano in exile driven away by Pete Wilson and his conservative tirade of this and that of the likes of me. Then I wrote. I wrote and I discovered the real Xicano in me through the written word. I did this both in Spanish and English.

This has proven quite productive because xicanismo is closely tied to language. I am fortunate to love language so in the process of peeling the core that I had in proper Aztlán, using language as a peeler, I discovered layers of myself that I figure I would not have otherwise managed to put in evidence to the naked eye of the I.
Through my language [read: English, Spanish, Spanglish, Espanglish, the southwest dialect] I learned who I really am. I found my roots. Being away from the American psycho identity dominatrix that usually sadomasochistic fellows like me tend to bed with gave airs of freedom unbeknownst. It was a breath of fresh air away from the stars and stripes which hangeth upon the xicano ens like a Democles sword.

We xicanos tend to prefer the gringo in us because it is just the gringo in us which makes us. And because some of us only understand that side, and use our mexican heritage like a mourning gown we never take of, we react defensively to anything that threatens this ‘identity’. Though this theory is hardly embraced because it means that Aztlán lieth not in one nation but precisely in the being of two de facto lands. So don’t expect people to nick away in approval at the latter exposed idea.

Little is known about the degree of gringoness in each and one of us. We discuss this not because doing so would mean too much differentiation rendering atoms a mere metaphorical image. So while we spouse in all glory all México we seldom do so our American side. Yuck say some. Too pocho, too gabacho. Yet it is this very aspect that we tend to let radiate most in us.

We don mexican heritage like a perennial día de los muertos affair, in all earnest, we live a past and live the gringo present. Although some xicanos drape themselves in their mexicanness like a fashion gown, alas! their appearance or self image, shallow like a dead river bed. This gringo alienates us from one another because as gringo nature is we feel different. The kind of different that says am better than you. An am and you world which builds canyons the like of the Grand one. It is a fact which cannot be denied. Tis easy to lay claim to Aztec culture and ignore the rest. Tis easy to lay ink to flesh temples of the Maya when Geronimo, so close yet so far away from Quetzalcoátl, remains in the sands of the Sonora Desert surrounded by the silence of time.

I, for example, have been excluded from my so-called brethren from both sides. My brethren xicano infected by Manifest Destiny from Los, desperately trying to integrate to US society after more than 150 years of ‘integration’ and by my xicano brethren infected by over 70 years of mexican nationalism who are yet to realize how xicanos they are because one tends to cease to be mexican once one ceases to be present in México or adopts strange customs. Never mind those customs have nothing to do with, say, Tijuana.

I feel the difference like a slight scent of garlic because am not fully Mexican and because am not fully American, that is, I lack the papers on the one side and I lack presence on the other. That is my most natural state. A state that perhaps ensued in me a quest for learning to command the whip which castigated me the most, language. So I learned to command what the land gave me as a birthright. And this difference became even more apparent. I went below the shallow.

I was born in Tijuana, raised in Southwestern traditions from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego County. Of recent I have reached a sort of compromise with myself. I say am a xicano tijuanense. Un xicano de este lado. That is, a Xicano which is not born in the US.
By adhering to this formula I allowed myself to become closer to my own surroundings. That is, I saw that which nurtured me whilst I breathed Geronimo’s sand through nostrils filled with muck from other lands. Santa Ana winds cleared the way and I now spouse the indigenous in me and do not let myself be fooled by common Chicano semiotics.

Off course it still irritates me to be xicano in the vicinity of my gringo cousins because though I speak english I am not a US citizen. Here in Sweden they a saying about Germans: there is a little Hitler in every German. I can say this about my gringo Xicano cousins: there is a little migra in every US born Xicano.

rock of predestined relationship. Qingdao Pre-destination. I recall this worm in my belly. It used to be that I felt predestined to be a writer and it often permeated a great deal of my everyday life more oft than not in my love affairs.

This is quite intrinsic to Americans, specially the WASP kind and by default those they embrace in their culture expansion such as the likes of Aztlán. We xicanos are no exception to the rule though this is somewhat meated out by catholism hence the schism that so neatly portrays us mostly through hyphens.

Though right not am not thinking about American culture in particular. Am thinking about one man and the crisis it must be ensuing in him by now because of failre of acomplishment.

This man is a leader of the USA and is obligued to embrace this religious belief of pre-destination embedded in gringo culture thanks to Calvinist thinking.

I wonder how does it feel to have to realize that one is not all that pre-destined to nothing.

Off course, one can always opt for repression, heck, pre-destination is a drug and once you taste it nothing stops you.

This goes too for Israel an their notion of a Greater Israel.

Pre-destination is no dish served on a silver platter. In the event that it is the waiter has to walk a path filled with good intentions and we all know were those paths lead to.

Well, let’s git to the knilly willy of the ninny lilly. Elections in México, el suspenso is killing me.

I wrote in my spanish blog that Calderón was already a winner, ooops, it’s a cultural thing would say this guy who contradicted the IFE’s version of the early poll results arguing that the northern states of México (the least populated of all states in México by the by’s) have better digital infrastructure therefore giving the illusion that Calderón was winning when the South vote wasn’t even yet in. So yeah, norteño me, I single handedly admitted Calderón’s win because, alas! I read mostly norteño newspapers.

Some people are giving out the Bush blue-red state semiotic propaganda. Why is this is beyond me since México is a multiparty system and painting it yellow-blue does not reflect the realities on the ground at all. Then again, what do you expect from a newspaper whose traditional ties to the military are well known.

AMLO is putting up a fight and the Mexican blogsphere did its bit too. Oddly enough there has been going on a wad lots of hacking talk with reports that a site allied to the leftist candidate has been shut down as well.

Mirada Pública, Public Eye, tried to do a site that collected posts related to the election with the specific theme to denounce any irregularities the bloggers saw or encountered during the election day. Drip, drip … sirap moves faster. The fact of the matter is that this is praiseworthy despite my sarcastic sentence back there. It’s a humble start for a nascent internet community and a mexican blogsphere which tallies a membership of 5948 weblogs. According to me a poor reflection of the sphere’s real number as I suspect that site colludes with G men in México.

AMLO presented a video arguing evidence of fraud but that has backfired in his face.

Either way the biggest loser here is the IFE although you wouldn’t know it by either American opinion or hasty congrats on part of the EU as well as Bush Inc. Though Bush has backpedaled a wee bit. Ok, I can’t resist, this exchange of the matter offers an example of overlapping authority on both nations, believe me, it’s funny.

Q All right, then what do you think — or what does the administration say about a foreign politician denouncing domestic legislation in the United States, and particularly Calderon’s denunciation of stronger border security and an extended fence?

MR. SNOW: Last time I checked, Calderon did not have any official authority over the activities of the United States government.

Q Can I follow up on that?

MR. SNOW: Yes, very quickly. Sure.

Q The call the President made to Calderon to congratulate him, that means that the U.S. government already recognized him as the President-elect of Mexico? Can you explain what –

MR. SNOW: Well, I believe the electoral commission had, in fact, declared him President. And according to the laws of Mexico, at this point, he is President. Should there be a recount, should there be another adjustment, should there be a change, then the President will acknowledge that, as well — Mexico, obviously having the ability to decide who, as a result of transparent elections, is the President of the country.*

The last word hasn’t been said yet, Calderón isn’t officially declared a winner. Give Tom Paine a read for more on this.

One thing that bloggers on the progressive sphere are admiring is the paper trail of the Mexican election and reminiscenses of Florida have been flourishing just about everywhere envying the paper trail and hating more and more Diebold. This is intense irony for me because as a Xicano I have what now can be deemed as old fashioned American values. I often pained as a young mexican man to see the democratic system in my country of birth which word by word ultimately was referred to as a dictadura light. We admired the democratic system of the US as an example to follow. And now our gringo vecinos are admiring us? Jesus! What has the world come to? Will pigs now walk on the moon?

Since this is the first time we mexicans abroad get to vote it is noteworthy to note that most of us voted to the right, ajem! present company excluded of course. Of 32, 632 who signed up to vote 33,111 did so from 71 countries world wide. 19,016 voted for Calderón and 11,090 for AMLO including therein my humble and historic participation in the process.

The opposition has decried Felipe Calderón and his party, the PRIAN (PRI+PAN=PRIAN), as hypocrite because Calderón adamantly defended the mexican vote moral validity when he was a congressman for the LV Legislatura (1991-1994). Off course, those principles are now trashed because he and his current cronies are accusing, an intolerant attitude on their part if one may say so, as renegades those who are using the justice system to question the results of the elections. A very dumb ploy and name calling from President Vicente Fox since it reminds people of things like chusma, a lower class of people that well-off mexicans have been avoiding like the pest and which are unworthy covenance with gente decente, that is, nice, rich civilized people.

Well, am sure there are people out there giving other versions of what is going on in the election and I recommend Machete as a good read if this kind of stuff lies in your neck of the woods.

Wish the Kos gang would have been around the turn of the 19th century, heck, what am I saying, just a few decades ago.

History here.

I have never liked the terms latino nor hispanic though I advocate latino more than I will ever do Hispanic.

It seems that whenever the ‘majority’ in the US speak of us they inevitable tend to use either monicker to refer, in essence, to mexicans. I can’t get why the US doesn’t acknowledge the Xicano community in Texas or California. To much linkage to the past, I suppose. But labelling us as latinos or hispanics has other intentions as well.

It ignores us.

Whenever the government and its ‘majority’ speak to us they refer to us not as natives but as something alien to the US. It is not we, Xicanos, who are divisive, its the US government and its lackies who insist in not accepting the fact that we are just as native as they are.

Either way, history has a wierd way of repeating itself in the US. How many times have mexicans been robbed of elections in the US? And who said anything about it? Wish you were there Kos, wish you were there.

Suggested reading: Steiner, Stan. La Raza: The Mexican Americans. New York, Harper and Row, 1970. Chapter XIV: The Secret Politicans

Alright, alright already ese!

So I’ve been recycling news yet there are less folk out there concentrating on the mexican elections than there are concentrating on it. Erhm, did that make sense?

Either way, these elections matter. Lots. Beyond lots. Way beyond. (ok Julio, we get your drift.) I got the gut feeling that mexicans, some of us either way, are causing some kind of like dent somewhere and policy is being formed to mend the dent. Riddles. What am saying is that even though mexicans abroad seem not to be interested in mexican politicians my hunch tells me this is not entirely true. Those in the business of interpreting these kind of things tend to like huge numbers in order to make predictions and tend, as well, to be off the Southwest area making residency instead in seats of power. The Southwest has a life of its own that many suits fail to see.

I have argued that most mexicans who vote in the elections rather take the highway and use the oportunity to visit the motherland instead of going the IFE way. However, there are quite a proportionate number of mexicans who fear deportation the moment they come near a mexican embassy though most mexicans would not have an idea of the kind of services and embassy and its consulates offer the mexican citizen because said places are mostly seen as an establishment of the upper classes. This is very much ingrained in us. I remember how I felt the very first time I sat a foot on the premises of a mexican consulate. One has to understand that the mexican government is at times little interested on its subjects and when they show interest one does well in being cautious. Those who do know tend to be already familiar with the shenanigans of said institutions. These are the people that go and vote in places like Tijuana as they did back in 2000. They are known as emigrados. Amongst other things. Be that as it may, the politization of the mexican masses, illegal, legal, mexican-americans and other identity contraptions of our Gente is in full swing in the good’ol USA.

My question here pertains the Xicano community since the political leverage must balance somewhere and will either alienate or coalesce. The Tomás Rivera Center gave out a lofty little phamplet outlining some of its ideas in 1994 titled Latinos, Global Change, and American Foreign policy. In summary, it predicted that we were to start flexing muscle in our country of origins but since the Bush gang took over the White House they stopped listening to anyone outside their circle of realities. Nonetheless Xicanos who tend to be in positions of power understand the importance of México. Though we haven’t seen much evidence for the aforementioned for obvious reasons. The fear machinery that is intrinsic to American politics has the Latino community in a weird state of mind since most latinos have adherence to their homeland and this is not seen particularly well by the powers to be and is a strategic tool to keep that population at bay lest they begin flexing muscle as seen on May 1st. This in turn keeps many latino leaders off the ramp light as was evidenced by the L.A. Mayor who decided to take of to Texas on the most important day in American politics in many years.

I think that his fear mongering will soon stop having its effect on Latinos. The more they assert their americanness and start painting their own America instead of having others paint it for them. The sooner the better.

If Manuel López Obrador wins I think this idea will accelarate since many suspect that many mexicanamericans will lean towards the PRD. This in turn will fuel a more direct engagement with mexicanamericans and start building the necessary bridges to create a stronger Xicano community both economically and politically as well. Fox realized this only too late as evidenced by his flurry of trips to the USA where he met representatives of the mexicanamerican community. I believe gringo mentality will have a hard time swallowing this idea of a more present México in their midst. We have been in their midst for a long time. We have adapted. Its their turn to do the same in kind.

Related: What a wall can’t stop

Pinches Irish, there’s always something to learn outta them …

The backgrounds to Mexico’s struggle against Spain for its independence have been argued to have taken root as early as 1650, when an Irishman, William Lamport, attempted to revolt against Spanish rule in Mexico, cause an uprising among the Mexican people, and overwhelm any resistance of the Spanish.

Via Military history of México

Some of the Xicanos in what can, & only can, be deemed as a loose confedaration of goodie-two-shoes Xican@s bloggers who can’t seem to make up their mind about nothing, have sent me an email whereby I get accused of not only being a lousy pocho but a traitor to all semiotic principles to which Aztlán adheres to.

Yes, I said what?, too.

I know who hijacked the nascent xicano blogsphere from its craddle and turned it into this ugly no determination sissy crowd that we see now a days. But I won’t say who it was because I might hurt his feelings.

Either way I got the mail. These artificial xicanos would have me believe that because I don’t adhere to the Aztec/Maya mythology I am not a Xicano, besides, they say, you live in Sweden, not Aztlán. Ok.

First of all these are the same Xicanos that will defend spanish above all decrying that spanish is tantamount to xicanismo. That is a lie. For centuries there has been xicanos whose first language is not spanish but one of the 62 native languages from proper México that raza have brought with them to the US as they trekked the land towards Aztlán or that they had way before 1848. I think in particular the Apache languages and the Comanche and Yaqui languages just to name three.

Second of all. While the Aztec culture gave me a sense of belonging it also gave me a sense of feeling betrayed. My raza is Southwestern and most southwestern indigenous cultures are far and beyond the Aztec/Maya duality that tends to nurture the Xicano ens. This means that most of my real history has been erased from my conscience.

I am a proud Xicano from the Southwest and from the Norte of México. My language and manners will attest this any old day of the year for those who want to question my Xicano ens.

Dios mio, I didn’t know California was a spanish word either!

Could someone tell the Israeli friendly newsoutlet called Reuters, yes, I know, I am on the fringe of being called antisemitic, never mind am only 39 and really have not a shred of anything to do with nazis or any simpathies with a destruccion of beautiful Tel Aviv or beautiful arab-israeli Jerusalem under the rule of right wing nuts the likes of Binyamin Netanyahu otherwise known as bibi or the butcher of Lebanon known as Sharon in a coma, that California has and will always have a spanish history?

Or am I to understand that even though Reuters is a well and successful newsoutlet their reporters can and only can deal with the present when and only when the Reuters top honchos deem it it is worthy to dig into the past?

Can you imagine a California, a New Mexico, a Colorado, a Nevada, a Texas without a spansih past? English speaking Reuters seems to think so.

Yes Sean, we knew the moment we read the phrase pinche gringos written across this post that your position was loud and clear. Thank you for stopping by this Xicano nordic corner and we’ll keep reading your posts and keep an eye on your future Iran trip hope your Iran trip comes true. We have good memories of your silk road trip and expect no less from your Iran trip.

I must also say that though the Daily Kos: State of the Nation gang hasn’t necessarily ran deep into the debate about the protests, some positions have been taken to address this hot tamale issue no one seemingly wants to hold for too long in their hands. I just wish they did.

I stood in shock and speechless at the very image that was unfolding like a motion picture right before my eyes. I understood the power of cultural shocks, the power of cultural encounters and the power of feeling superior right after the incident. I know how to eat an avocado, un ahuacatl, and my swedish suegro, my father in-law doesn’t. I was with him last night. We were sharing a meal and I brought some vittles. I slid the kitchen knife smack in the midle of the aguacate, and cut it in half. The one half retains the big seed and the other shows a perfectly shaped half hole, un hermoso huequito. At the same time he asked me what that was, perhaps enticed by the glowing fresh and en su punto green color of the fruit, he picked it up and began to cut a wedge much as you would cut it from a lemon. I saw aghast that he did not take the peel off as his hand promptly placed the verdura in his mouth. The reeling of the movie was almost life like to be true, wait, it was life like, I kindly told him not to eat the peel. He didn’t, he said ok in a non-chalant manner, not noticing perhaps that this was the first time he ever tried the sacred fruit that brings so many memories of an ancient civilization to my mind, soul, the Aztecs.

I realized then how superior can one sometimes feel over other people. I felt pity for my father in-law for not knowing how to eat an avocado. Maybe it’s a mexican thing. On after thought it is also a sign that he has stopped seeing me with those eyes of his that always saw strangeness in me. The differences of another culture that popped, oozed out me, after 9 years, doesn’t seem to bother him anymore and perhaps he is more ready than ever to start trying the very things my strange culture has to offer. Maybeso, who knows. But I still feel sorry the poor lad was about to eat an avocado peel had I not stopped him in his tracks….

I realize that reading Octavio Paz was a bad taste of Castor Oil. I remember clearly refusing to read anything of him after I read El Laberinto de la Soledad. I was extremely offended by the chapter : Pachucos y otros extremos.

For some reason I thought it reflected the general attitude most mexicans have of us Xicanos. And it still does. In hindsight it has given loads of food for thought.

Oso does the chicano ensemble.

Many self called latinos are rather amused when they are made to look at themselves as they are.

Little do they realize that they are in the process of becoming, continuosly.

People who call themselves latino and proudly carry the star spangled banner in their veins, and ass if they could, will shed their latino roots immediately if questioned about their brown origins, as if being american meant not being latino or brown.

It is a state of continuos confusion both for the latino that sees not his or her latino roots as well as the one who dares open the can of worms that represents asking someone their true identity.

Am an American.

And not many americans dare question this oppressive state of being. This is so because America is always at war and hence ones americanness is always questioned. The number one lesson is to never be perceived as unamerican. And one will defend this idea of americanness to the end. It goes beyond citizenship.

To be American is to denounce all that is not american. Even if you are american the idea that you might have another language, another way of being is not only loathsome but immediately sets you apart from America.

So it is only natural to denounce ones origin. One is never at ease with ones americanness if one happens to be brown, or that a knowledge of another language is lingering at the back of ones head or burning flour tortillas in the oven.

It even gets worse when society sends conflicting messages that one ought to embrace ones cultural background. So we allow ourselves a certain tad of permissiveness by admiting our past but never our present. Yes, we were once that but we are not that now.

That is why so many hispanics allow themselves to be humiliated at the registration offices of many government buildings when one pronounces ones first and last name. They twist, chew up and spit out a concoction güero and their assimilees invent on the spot by spelling our names wrong and step on the goddamn form with so many foreign characters if one asks for a correction of ones name. One wonders indeed why such a name like Schwarzenegger sounds better and provokes more patience for spelling than Bustamante or Navarrette. Though hispanics are not the only ones to undergo this process of americanness. All people of color go through it.

Explicate it.

Damn, I just had my time confiscated by gringos. I was reading over at the Agonist chunky bits of wisdom that, alas! goes unheeded by most and, as Dr. House points out, the White House ain’t so cause of the facade. (forget what episode). Either way, just grab a wad of these as we are about to masticate some grungy ideas here:

Most crime is created by the government by choosing to outlaw something.

People like forcing other people to obey their morals.

Then there is what sociologists call labeling. Simply put, if you’re white, you won’t be stopped for driving while black.

This is particular pertinent to us Xicanos and Xicanas as we are indeed on collusion course with gringo mentality. Xicano values differ radically different and we like to put spagguetti onto sanwiches so our normal radar functions in odd ways over at Smiths.

This tends to cause friction and alienates us from mainstream America. Mainstream as white protestant value added society. The very way we think causes a furor. The mentality is that while all are created equal the guardians of procuring said right will act not as an enforcer but as giver, as if equality is to be dished out in rightful portions. This is the current mentality.

We Xicanos need to start focusing on strategies that help us be, allow us to be the way we are, assert our americanness into mainstream america. This needs to be repeated over and over until the normalized curve peaks and we are accepted as one with America not as a part of America but a whole of America. And don’tcha let no one tell you otherwise.

The president’s office said Thursday that all available evidence suggested bad weather led to a helicopter crash that killed Public Safety Secretary Ramón Martín Huerta, Federal Preventive Police Commissioner Tomás Valencia, five other passengers and a crew of two.

The fact of the matter is that arms smuggling from the US into México has increased dramatically. Check this NPR audio for more. Personally I think that Fox is making the blunder of his administration. Then again one does have to contend with a very powerful NRA whose tentacles stretch far and beyond the Río Grande.

Hence the question, why is Fox covering it up? It is in everybody’s lips, this was sabotage with big guns. Off course, what the mexican government doesn’t want to do is produce copy cats. But still. This off course just exemplifies the ineptitude of the major intelligence operations in México. They neglected to imagine that something like this would one day occur., it has now ocurred.

Arms flow from the US has steadily increased for the past years. The border between the US and México is very porous. There is no one checking no one as one crosses from the US into México. México sends drugs and the US sends arms. Powerfuls one too.

So, while it is in everyone’s lips the the helicopter was gunned down nobody wants to see the reality. And Fox, like every US administration when it comes to drugs, will not contend with issues that produce sickning amounts of money. And so Fox allows Washington more time to get away with everything. México ought to bitch just as much as the US bitches about México. In fat, I wonder how Washington would react would México now institute a certification process as well.

One of the characteristics of the 70 year PRI reign in México was its alliances with the cultural elite. If the neocons of the Bush clan in the beginning began to blame the malaise that affected American society on Hollywood only to then raise ‘acceptable’ cultural icons at a later stage (for example when elections came around) then the PRI resorted to more crude methods to achieve the same goals. Questionable methods that so far have not been spoken of such as intimidation, cerrando filas as it is said in spanish, and coertion and influence peddling.

México has always had its cradle of cultural elitism based in DF. So the cultural establishment has always been on a short leash in México. The direction of the movement of whatsoever cultural movement has always had its defenders, often on the payroll of government, and its detractors, who are also on the goverment payroll, yet attain its sacrosanct aura of which my conciudadano Federico Campbell spoke of recently here.

Though allow me to open a parentisis here regarding my fellow conciudadano. I believe there is no word in english that is equivalent of that word in spanish. Federico is making a distinction that is in accord with the accepted notion that writers need to be universal. I agree that there needs to be a universal of humanity in the writer and of what he writes but I am afraid that we, as a people, as a people of Tijuana, are far from it. Ironically enough, while my fellow conciudadano says that it is good that there aren’t any feelings of sacrosanctness in the mexican writer he places himself there, in a sacrosanct position that challenges us to try and dethrone it. I believe that we need to be rural, we need to stay within our borders to explore ourselves. So that when our eyes look further than the horizon we can see and compare and come to a just conclusion about human affairs. What my conciudadano then is saying is a parroting of what is already known and adding very little new to the real debacle that the mexican cultural bearer has to contend with. Our reality, as border town has to be explored, we must understand our demons and our angels within the very fabric of our being to udnerstand ourselves better. End of parantheses.

So México and its powers to be have an unholy alliance with the cultural establishment. It has continued uninterrupted even to this day.

One of the bearers of this alliance is called the CISEN. México’s CIA. It is in charge to keep an eye on the population though it contravenes the constitution and its history is marred with accusations of evesdropping on all sorts of public citizens throughtout its natural institutional history. There hasn’t been a period of government administration that has abused this institution for its own personal gain, sort of what the Bush clan has done with the CIA.

Which brings me to the next point, is the mexican blogsphere infected with CISEN agents?

Historically, the CISEN has had a covert operation, sort of like mandate, that it must keep mexicans on a short ideological leash, whoever speaks of México must do so in accord with accepted norm so as to keep the false notion that México is a homogenous nation. Kind of like following a style book at a newspaper office. Things must be done in accord with what the DF wants. Hence the shutting down of dissenting voices that go against the grain, the voices that differ radically with the notions that are disseminated with the approval of the big honchos at the top. That is why one hardly hears from Yaqui voices in the desert and when one does it occurs under the narrative of the ‘victim’ tale.

Meanwhile back at the yonderliesit.org offices …

-m’ijo, pass me some of that coffee made out of those coffee beans marquitos from Chiapas sent me.
-marquitos? sent me!! a ver a ver, what’s pasando here pop’s, creo que si sent it to the offices, and if memory doesn’t fail me hasta le hiciste fuchi a la idea. Now suddenly he’s you special buddy and their your beans?? Ya lo oiste Geronimo? Bueno, wait a secs pop.
-y no le des al Geronimo, am getting sick and tired of his silence.
-Hold that carabina on its place Geronimo. you guys best start getting along. Quieres yours with piquete too Geronimo?
-pour un chorrito extra to mine, do we still have that stuff Monte Albán from Oaxaca that Porfirio Díaz sent us to kiss up?
-yes pops, we still do.
- Pon that new record, Chavéz Ravine on. Mi compa Lalo Guerrero se avienta those songs you know, corrido de boxeo, los chucos suaves, and I like that rolita, what’s its called? muy fifi.
-by the way that link that you just put there doesn’t do justice to the record, they put links to las rolitas más peorcitas.
-it’s a good record, where you get it from?
-mi compa …
-men, what’s up with all these compas pops?
-ah chamaco maleducado, haven’t I told you not to interrup me when I’m speaking? En fin, mi compa from Sweden, that fine fine lad llamado Julio Sueco borrowed it from the local library allá in those swedish highlands. Can you believe that? Híjole mano, remember he borrowed that cd too del Flaco Jímenez? I still can’t believe it, qué está haciendo la raza over there? Ahhh, this coffee is good, men those piquetes give it the extra punch you know.
-pops, the readers are begging us to finish these payasadas and start writing some real stuff. Our readership went down since we opened this yonderliesit offices dialogue window, que es puro cuento dicen. And they don’t seem to be buying ese cuento de que Geronimo comes to the offices con su carabina 30-30 to hang out.
-Hey, diles que es security, con eso de que los minutemen andan about …, tell’em we had to get some kind of security.
-Ehh, ahora sí comes Geronimo handy, ay pops.

*Chávez Ravine

Well I’ve been slacking.

I was forced upon a swath the size of the Congress Library of work to do, and what did I do today? Slack, that’s right ese! so yeah, and my own personal protestant guilt tormentor from Queen Elizabeth’s time is beating the living crap of any shred of self-steem that still manages to eek a wriggle out of me (Cromwell, is that thou?) for being a slacker. It’s a mammoth sentence I know, so don’t get me started buckwheat!

So i’ve been reading loads of chicano literature in spanish. In spanish you might say raising an eyebrow or two, three would make you a freak. So yeah, Peregrinos de Aztlán by Miguel Méndez which is rapidly becoming a must read and taunted along the lines of Juan Rulfo which is to say a lot.

So my line of studies consists on focusing on the institutions and the making of the destitute in the novel.

In both cultures, because the characters revolve around Aztlán, which gives a huge boost to my theory that Aztlán lies south of the border as well, the institutions partake in the making of the destitute, that have no rights. It spells out in the desert, Califas and Tijuana.

The characters, the downtrodden mock the institutions that are supposed to protect them. The characters speak of the hypocrisy that the servants of the law engage in, specially those servants of the law in the United States which see the Chicano as nothing but a nuisance in all their protestant pulchritude. In fact, the Chicano character in the novel who is sentenced to jail by the judge whose story is detailed in french fetichism can not speak to the judge in the same language because he speaks chicano, not english.

There is also a mockery of the law institutions in México whose servants of the Law only serve the money God. They are depicted with even more desdain since at one point there is girl being used and raped and as she asks for help the police only tell her she is going end up in the can if she doesn’t stop the yelling.

The church institution is also made a mock of here because the outstanding citizens that abide by the laws of the christian Lord do not pay attention to the destitute.

The medical establishment is also made fun of here since no poor person can ever receive the same treatment as those destitute souls ans o eah, you get my drift.

I haven’t the slightest idea who came up with such a catchy name but let me tell you, it ain’t good. It is supposed to resonate in the mind of the gringo and it probably will.

I can imagine some republican speech writer coming up with it in some smokey republican board room saying it in a very zealous and outloud voice ” I know! Let’s call them Barrio Warriors!

The fact is it also smacks of some FBI or Home Guard sting to root out potential Aztlan fervents outthere who might be ready to pull a Reies Lopez Tijerina on the Southwest.

Hopefully it will just stay as a dirty campaign trick from the part of Republicans, wait Julio, you’re not making any sense now, Oh yeah, I do have some readers don’t I? Sorry about that.

It turns out that while minding my own Xicano business and pleasantly enjoying a nice Sunday morning here in Sweden, all while enjoying as well that fine fine internet Aztlan newspaper of Califas, La Prensa-San Diego, with a cup of coffee, like any good hearted citizen of Aztlan would, I read the Xicano spiritual voice of Tezozomoc.

It nearly yanked my quetzal colored eyes out of my sockets.

It turns out that the dirty campaigners of the Republican party are getting help from the Schwarzenegger campaign staff. Remember how they used the Raza word to decry our culture habits as racist? Well the Republicans are sending little chain letters to each other stating the following:

Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Edward Kerry and his wife, Maria Teresa Thiersten Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry are supporting the “Barrio Warriors” a supposable radical Hispanic group whose primary goal is to return all of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico!

So I did a little googling and put the words Barrio Warriors in the search field; heck, the pachyderms are at it again. It looks like a little anthill of comments all whispering and telling each other about how Teresa funds Barrio Warriors. Just the thought that anyone in the R camp is buying this makes my faith in Republican intelligence somewhere there I last had my faith on the Christian God, next to zilch. If that’s what they do to their own ….

Want to read more about it? You do the googling, it’ll come up, I promise you.

Whether Xicanismo likes it or not there is a latino force outhere to be reckoned with and it must embrace it. I say this because I have just been listening to Pepito for the past two days, an SF based band with ties to my birth city of Tijuana and a lad from Cuba. And I mention Xicanismo because Xicanismo/Chicanismo is impregnated with nationalistic hues albeit our nation in the green fields of our collective imagination.

However, the very same force that drives regular citizens away from patriotic jingoisms is making Xicanos of all walks of life turn their sights away from the entrappings of the cultural narcisstic mirror that Aztlán represents; there is a sense that latinos, as a major umbrella which encompasses all spanish related roots in the american culture, are becoming more the norm than the exception. This force must coalesce in order for it to become the norm, so that we Xicanos stop being an unknown force America.

Curiosly enough just as poverty is the hallmark that makes one nostalgic for Mexico, La Causa, immigration and the illegal alien is hindering xicanismo from becoming more mainstream if you will. We cannot see beyond those two issues hence the different types of Xicano that makes up the lot we are. Pochos, Chicanos, Mexican-American, Wetbacks and all that are but an expression to break lose from the chains that bind us to our past; there is no expression of xicanismo without the latter mentioned. Is there Xicanismo without immigration? Is there Xicanismo without la Causa? Does one exist as a Xicano in the everyday life? What does it mean to live a Xicano life? I dare not say lifestyle. Yet one must take into account that if culture is a mass product then we consume culture habits. Does listening to xicano music, Xicano rap and salsa makes one a Xicano? Do I choose to live a Xicano life and if I do is it a preference one can choose away? Apparently so because in our culture lingo there is the dreaded pocho, the dreaded soldout label.

Therefore the gains in latino preference, even our good friend in Chicago, Sandra Cisneros calls herself latina, and even I, have expressed this sentiment as well. In the bigger picture we must become a force within the emerging force of latinos. However, to answer myself the questions posed earlier as to whether I choose to be Xicano or not I believe that for me it represents more of an affirmation. I do not live in Aztlán proper. Like mexicans who live Aztlán and who long after México I yearn after Aztlán due to my exile. It affirms to me that I am a Xicano because I have so much of it and it delights me to read, see and hear Xicano matter. I do not represent your average Xicano. I am far from the marketing kingpins who appeal to the fibers of the Aztlán nation with their gimmicks. So there is no such thing as a Xicano lifestyle, however, I suppose there are xicano-philes.

And we must embrace the latino force in the US. However let us not be deceived as to what latino implies. There are those who will argue that latinos are the white upper class of hispania. When I say latinos I mean latinos in the senseit is used in the US. Latinamerican.

Well I can officially kiss the suntan I adquiered during my sojourn in México adios. Its been raining cats and dogs in Sweden for 6 weeks in a row now and that means I will probably miss not only the summer the rest of the planet is probably indulging itself in right about now (- sticks tongue out to the rest of the whole wide world -) but also because of the cloudy skies that have been carrying all this water, something that ironically enough moved me from the metaphorical to the literal since I am now officially a wetback all day long, hey! try moving the lawn on a rainy day will ya?, (damn, that’s a long ass sentence, but hey! it’s my blog right?) I will also miss the blue moon on the 31 of July, rats!

Speaking of wetbacks, Kevin Sites has a story that one only hears about it in rumours in the press, this (get a load of the phrase) Mexican-Born Marine has something to say.

“When he was nine years old Carlos Gomez crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico to the U.S. with his father, mother and two sisters. They had heard stories about the opportunities in America, dreamed about them, wanted them so badly they ran through oncoming traffic on the 805 freeway to get to them. They didn’t stop until they reached San Diego. Fear, fatigue and La Migra slowly fading into the southern horizon like their homeland.”

Though clearly mr Sites needs to brush up on his geography a tad (or stop trying to romantize this kind of things) …erhm, last I crossed the border to the US via México the Rio Grande was a river in Texas and boy! running that 805 all the way from Texas to San Diego must of have been a real marathon! Wait … isn’t the 805 in San Diego?

On the glader side of the news, wait! There aren’t any with this freaking weather, I suppose that explains all the vodka consumption in this country, gotta get that chin up somehow.

Good thing I still have some of that tequila I brought back from my stint in the motherland. Salud!

The good offices of Aztecpoet.com were kind enough to send me via internet Luis A. López recent book titled Warrior-Poet of the Fifth Sun, innercircle publishing 2004.

I must confess that if poetry has the quality to speak to the soul, Luis’s book not speaks but guides the path to be taken. This is Xicano poetry at its best and represents many of the spiritual dilemmas that we Xicana/os and Chicana/os battle within us in the everyday identity war field. His poetry soothes and describes in detail our inner spiritual wars; the conflict we have in dealing with our Spanish heritage; the loathing we have at times towards catholic dogma and the religious battle within ourselves to either believe the Christian God or our ancestors Gods, Quetzocóatl. There is also the fine fine tradition that stems all the way to Lope de Vega’s El Arte Nuevo de Hacer Comedias en Este Tiempo whereby Lope de Vega urged his countrymen to speak to them in their language. So does Lopez, and not only does he gives praise to other poets, he speaks to the universal in Spanglish. For let us not forget, and Lopez does not allow us to do it, spanglish is the language of our brethren from other parts of the latino world, the lingua franca amongst us latino who are bilingual and connects us to the Cuban, the puertorican, the Columbian. There is a profound sense of wanting to reach what Plotinus calls Beauty and the One. He reminds us of our nation Aztlán and speaks for the voiceless ones who cannot speak to monolingual America. He paints for us the streets as they are, were rutine meets the spirit of Hermes in those of us who need to detail what we see to others, yes Luis, you are meant to be a writer, and we can thank Quetzocóatl for that carnal.

I often find it amazing how America Gringa refuses to acknowledge some of its own history, twist it and bedmake it to sleep with the Other in its own house. I suppose it is easier for Gringo USA to see its own population thus. It is afterall, easier to manage since the Other in the United Gabacho States is a minority to whom the vast majority see nothing more than troublesome sectors, resistance fighters who do not fit in the “Good” category. Such is the misconception that Reuters recently reported on Aztlan and which you will find on the post below this one. I suppose it is easier for gringoland to see Aztlan as a cry of the return of lands (lost/gained?) from the 1848 mexican american war. Nothing can be further from the truth, in fact Aztlan is a concept, a semiotic idea to unite and to give a sense of identity to us who are impregnated with gringo and mexicano culture.

Aztlan can be best described by an act done by a man whose name is seldom seen or mentioned, he represents, in reality, the real cry Xicanos all over demand: Justice.

“ For most Americans the drowsy little village of Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico was first placed on the map June 6, 1967. On the second morning of the Arab-Isreali six-day war, newspaper readers all over the United States turned from the Sinai struggle to a national item that made them hastily recheck the dateline to be sure they were still in the Twentieth century.” Peter Nabokov

Reies Lopez Tijerina demanded that landgrants given to his descendents be honored by the US government, when this failed to materialize he raided a courthouse that sent shockwaves throughout the world wide over.

That is the one of the rallying cries for Xicanos in the US of America, that the Tratado de Guadalupe ne honored and that landgrants be honored, not that Aztlan be returned to a political establishment or institution.

Anyways, allows us to examine the article by Reuters, one done by a person who bears the name of Alistair Bell.

Let us see the repertoire of phrases which caught the eye of this citizen of Aztlan

Phrases from articles 1 to 3 are here:

“a warlike tribe with a passion for human sacrifice, wandered the badlands of central Mexico”
Hmmm, ok, wanna add some background on that that doesn’t give a christian spin to a culture who hadn’t notions of the judeo-christian persuation?

Next!

“Aztec legend says little about Aztlan”

Ouch! Separation without anesthesia is near criminal, if the aztecs have Aztlan as part of their repertoire then why not try to understand their culture in order to find more clues about it?

Next!

“Little stirs on the mosquito-infested islet nestled in a salt water lagoon on the Pacific coast.

An expected tourism boom to the state has mostly failed to materialize and the islanders still scratch a living from fishing for shrimp and lobsters.” [my bolds, not balls nimcopoop!]

Raid anyone?

Next!

“Try telling that to the growing number of Mexican immigrants in the United States for whom the idea that Aztlan was in Utah or Colorado has become a matter of doctrine”

Ok, this is the best example of a reporter who fails in every degree to understand its own history, (hope the newshound is american gringo), as far as I know, the Aztlan notion and concept is a purely Xicano-a/Chicano-a affairs of state since most mexicans coming from México to the US have little or no knowledge of Aztlan because of differences of ideological rearing.

Next!

“With this massive wave of immigration from Mexico now, the immigrants are saying, ‘We are returning to Aztlan,’

Read the above.

Next!

“The issue of where the mythical Aztlan is has been thrashed about a lot. They haven’t located it definitively,”

Try my head, you’ll find it in the area formerly occupied by a Judeo-Christian God.

sources: Tijerina and the Courthouse Raid (1969) The Ramparts Press Berkely, Califas; Reuters.

Yonderliesit.org received two rather interesting emails from two concerned Aztlán citizens just a little less than what it took you to read this.

On the one hand, one email writer, mind you, at yonderliesit.org we faithfully hold to the anonymous right of the writer in question to maintain his or her full anonimity. As this was requested, we at yonderliesit.org respectfully respect the right of the said writer to full anonimity. So having cleared the legal mumbo jumbo, I was saying that the one writer objected with rather strong words to the idea that Aztlán be projecting Manifest Destiny ideas all the way to Tijuana. I quote: I think that Sir Julio Sueco is nothing more than a gringo from the 19th century trying to pull off even further the ideas of Mr Polk himself, who no doubt, is delighting himself in his infernal tomb as he sees with glee, from those burning flames in hades, Sir Julio Sueco expound his silly notions of Aztlán all the way to Tijuana

In our defense, we at yonderliesit.org can faithfully attest that nothing can be further from the Quetzacoatl truth. The only Polk we cherish here at the offices of yonderliesit.org are the polkas from Flaco Jimenez and the accordion sounds of the corridos of the Cadetes de Linares. Here have we, a number of times let it be said for the record, that we are dead set against said nefarious thoughts, notions, inklings and whatever incubating thought that resists the good sound judgement of the Aztlán nation altough truth be spoken, were it not have been for those gringos we in Aztlán could not exist as we are today. Besides, there was no need to offend as the writer referred to this letter answerer, as, and I quote again a “gringo”; that’s hitting below the waist, but in the interest of the public and so as to avoid future criticism of censure, we allowed said insult to remain, but dear readers, please do remain concentrated to the issues that affect all good citizens of the Aztlán nation. Having said that allow us to proceed with the next letter.

The second reader, who wrote in fault-free spanglish, no doubt an educated and outstanding citizen of the Aztlán nation and of the high crema and neta of Aztlán, referred to me, in nicer and kinder words than the last writer, no doubt a real connosiuer and a man of full integrity and taste, that I was somehow allowing, with my thinking, to germanate notions that México was bent on getting back the territories they lost back in 1848 and that the Tratado de Guadalupe sealed forever. I quote: Ese, what’s up homes, first of all, qvo, I was leyendo tu blog homes, and sabes, the idea struck me, like they always do as soon as I read your posts, men, the New York Times has nothing compared to you ese, please forgive me if I digress pero ya sabes homes, ando medio grifo now, anyways, that perhaps, estas allowing and feeding las nociones of the ultra left in México and dándoles ideas en general about getting back the terres ese, that’s not too nice homes, sincerily, Paco el Pachuco de long ago?

Qué onda homes, allow me to reassure that México has but all forgotten our struggle and that their only fear and concern lies at the very border where Tijuana lies. That is why I argue that with them it’s nothing more than jingoism, so allow me to alloy those nasty concerns which have no place in the good hearts of the citizenry of Aztlán.

We at yonderliesit.org have one and only one idea about Aztlán: the boundaries that concern the two nations that have been mentioned before bear no bearing on Aztlán since Aztlán is beyond the USA and México. Aztlán is México and the USA. Aztlán is an independent nation in the hearts and minds of its citizens who are free to be as they choose and can be on whatever side they want to be on. Aztlán does not condone any thinking that comes out of the Chicano/Xicano mind as those very thoughts are what constitutes the very fabric of our fragile nation.

Gracias for the continued and kind readership.

General publisher and editor of Yonderliesit.org, Julio Sueco.

The Republic of East L.A. – Stories (2002) by Luis J. Rodriguez

I am invariably always surprised at the ease with which I can understand Chicano literature. I can see right throught it. I figure it must be the cultural baggage. I mean I understand every concept, image, and connotation implied in those letters. I, at times, can’t help but feel sorry for those who aren’t acquainted with the fine letters my people are churning out, much to my delight, I can sit on any given midnightsummer day and just let the evening run its course while my head roams the loving fields of Aztlán, well, in these case the streets of LA.

I, incredibly enough, along with the Cisneros Caramelo book, bought these books here in Sweden, Stockholm to be precise, yes folk, our literature is going international!

So yeah, this fine fine book maps out rather nicely some of the territories that the Xicano soul has traversed in its relatively young culture. Rodriguez stories handle despair, hope, misfortune, treks, confrontation with the now defunct migra (INS), the confrontation and disregard that gringo institutions have given us, blue collar worker lifestyle (gloomy) have given us and well, the list goes on. His characters all have this snappy survival attitude to them and one can easily relate to them.

He even touches upon the different sorts of chicano manifestations that arise from our unique culture such as chicanos who dislike mexicans and who feel cheated because according to them mexicans from proper México give a bad name to american (USA) chicanos.

There are 12 short stories in this book and I personally loved reading My Ride, My Revolution, Las Chicas Chuecas, Oiga, Miss East L.A and La Operación, this particular one touches upon the migrating patterns of some indigenous people who are forced out of their homes in the Sierra Madre mountains in Chihuahua by drug lords and then by the migra once in the US, in essence, how they live only to be repressed by their governments and discriminated by their fellow brethen both in México and the USA. Heck, there is even one story there about my hometown Tijuana, I liked that one rather much I must say.

Rodriguez is a master storyteller, no doubt, but he has some flops in there but be they flops they are ok regards the theme they present. He uses a lot of chicano language that arises particularly along the border, I can even go so far as to say that southwestern spanish is nearly absent but I won’t. I was certainly surprised to see many words in there that we appearently use all the way up to L.A. This is not just english sprinkled with spanish words, there are unique chicano/pachuco words like wino (although I dislike this spelling since I think that it does not render the full phonological essence of the word. I think it should be why-no, whine-o, or wayno, but since the book is intended for an english audience I suppose the editors thought that this was the best option), neta, qué hubo, (I didn’t like this either, it should be Qvo), cagando el palo, rifar, and the likes of zafada. It is this sprinkling of full phrases in spanish (mind you, surprise! no translation is offered except in one or two cases!) that add its pizzazz to the telling and at times a rather amusing touch to it all.

Oh, and did I forget? He wasn’t born in the USA.

The phoneme /w/ [a voiced labio-velar approximant, lip rounding] has multiple and productive sounds in the spanglish and espanglish Xicano community.

For us there are choices to be made between:

Güey, huey and wey
Güero, huero and wero
What, guat and huat
Wacatelas, guacatelas and huacatelas (seldom seen written as thus)
Wacha
Wayno (although to english this is better represented by why-no)
Wachatelas
Wuacara, guacara
Wacha (watch) (notice the eliptic u [it sounds as guacha]once it is pronunced in espanglish)

The fact is that this phoneme has various representations when it comes to the written spanglish/espanglish Xikano language.

However, there is a clear distinction once it is blurted out of ones mouth.

I particularly noticed this in my trip to Mexico City. They had a curios expression going on there. More than several times I noticed that people responded with a what? when addressed, although their what sounded more like a guat with a /g/ (clear and distinct velar stop), and were, for the most part, unable to render a clear and pure /hw/.

The curios thing about this phenomenon is that it would seem to appear that it is stricly a border phenomena.

Note: Especially in AmE and Scots, there exists two allophones of /w/ that actually become separate phonemes, /w/ and /hw/. The /hw/ is a voiceless labiovelar approximant, like a /w/ with a puff of air (an /h/) to start it off. It normally is spelled with [wh-], as in [what, where, whistle, whoop]. It is becoming increasingly rare in EngE and has no major significance in AmE, some people using it and others not.

Note: Like /j/, /w/ is a semivowel; they are proniunced like vowels, but function like consonants. (notes: David Minugh, Stockholm University)

The point here is that there is a semi-vowel shift going on just now in the border towns, which makes for a pretty interesting thang, so yeah, that.

Citizens against citizens, a view of the blog world led me to interesting commentary on this as they avalanched Cruz Bustamante on his allegiances to MeCHA. There was a conserted effort to question Bustamantes real intentions to get to power as if becoming governor of California would entail the power to return California back to México. We should of ridiculed them right then and there, laugh our heads off all the way to the ballot boxes just like Arny did.

Ah politics, divide and conquer.

Yet they paralyse us like they always have, they paralyse by demanding our allegiances, the age old trick the gringos have always been playing on us, on the meanwhile they get to hoard the goods because we wanna prove to them how good Americans we are.

It is an insult, as a matter of fact, that politicians and the entertaintment industry coalesce to form a front against us Xicanos.

Nobody is questioning that Arnold has charges pending about sexual misconduct yet Judge Clarence Thomas did’nt even get a chance. Tell me there isn’t a conserted effort on part of the white establishment for color preferences? Where was the hounding of the media? Better yet, where is the hounding of media now? So far the pending charges have been given passing mention that Arny should come clean. And there stops the story.

Most disgusting of all was how the entertaintment industry is aligning itself with politics. Oprah Winphrey’s Empire and Jay Leno all pitched in to help Arny. More on this on today’s LATIMES

This is were Latinos of all walks of life should flex their economic muscle to insure that future entertainers do not abuse of the confidence placed on them to promote their politic agendas, they should be boicotted right here and now. I believe it is time we start taking ourselves more seriously and don’t allow the ideology of the white dominated media and body politic to question our seriousness for the American Project. We also have our own Manifest Destiny. Nobody questioned Arny about his ties to Austria where he got some help, nobody wonders whether his ancestral home, as he surely is fond of, is a detriment to the USA and California thereby. Yet We, the Xicano people and thereby latinos of all walks of life who have a vested intterest in the well bieng of our beloved state get chided for claiming our state as ours. We have historical, lingüistic and blood ties to California. California didn’t get named that because some pilgrim came over and named it thus. Yet Manifest Destiny servile agents from out of state do come and try with all their might to insure that California remains within the ideological principles that have California as it stands, so why should we be embarrased about our ancestral homes and our native ideas? There isn’t shame in that, shame be on those who would want to still puppeteer us instead.

Links that contributed to this post California Recall rant …

Michelle Malkin Before it hit the gig time …

Curiously, as we drove down from Sweden’s Highlands to Paris back in July of this year, I noticed along the German Autobahn and other less known roads to Liege to Paris, that trailers from Portugal carried a legend in their back of their trucks that said: VEHICULO LONGO.

I loved it, and I would have taken a picture of it except that it is very difficult to do so in the freeway at those speeds, at any rate, I admired the words in those trucks as my imagination flew to prototype spanglish and how Portuguese has certain elements in its language that can be thought of as proto-spanglish, this came to mind today as the morning progressed with is daily chores.

I was sitting in the cafeteria, by building A at Stockholm’s University, waiting for an Argentinian friend to show up for a date we had agreed upon and as she came promptly and fashionably late a friend of hers tagged along. We had a very lively discussion until we came to the topic of spanglish and this friend of my friend said odd things about it, you know, you have to understand that my friends at this level of my studies are usually friends that I’ve made during the course of my studies and usually, they are at the same academic level as I am, but lo and behold! I had to confront the very face of ignorance while sipping my cup of coffee trying to understand this human being.

Well, suffice to say I was placed at a very odd position and left rather uncomfortable about it, it had been a while since I last seen this ugly sorts of prejudice hate to my language rear its head, so I was quite frankly bent out of shape, I thought that those issues were resolved once I learned that the very enemy of spanglish is ignorance, but ignorance seems to be a pretty nasty beast of sorts.

Well, my love for Spanglish and its Portuguese, as I call it, proto roots, got its reconfirmation today because as I was leaving my dorm, heading towards the computers I heard from one of the windows of the dorms, adios meshicano! being uttered by some Portuguese neighbors of mine! I was so ever glad to hear that …

Now, I don’t know about you, but if Meshicano doesn’t do anything for you, than spanglish isn’t your language …

-mesh (implication: mestizo)

It has occurred to me that Xicanos are a new sort of mestizo, a raza in itself.

While our ancestors are for the most part mestizo in as far as they are of two races, one combining aspects of the more European traits and another one and perhaps the raison de etre for the most of us, an indigenous and powerful trait. However, we Xicanos have attained a mestizaje of a new sorts, we have blended in two cultures, two languages, two religions at the very least. Let us not forget that many a Xicano are not necessarily mestizo, in fact they may be people whose people have resisted mestizaje and therefore warriors who remained to themselves and kept their culture intact, traditions alive and customs enforced, so that while they may speak Spanish their real mother tongue is an indigenous one. Hence they may be already bilingual by the time they assimilate to the Xicano culture which in its most mainstream self is bilingual and bicultural, so as not to exclude that vital link between our brothers and sisters we must keep in mind that Xicanos can have many cultures already in themselves.

This is the new sort of mestizaje I speak of, the intrinsic blending of these cultural traits. So just exactly what is this new sort of spiritual mestizaje anyways, and why is it so important? Perhaps if we seek help from our past can we clear the confusion surrounding this issue now. For many years our existence was denied, our world was repressed, our incarceration bears no tangible, nor physical proof. Throughout the inception of Aztlá we have been denied in the most bastards of ways, curiously enough through this Catholic of acts, the forced relationship of the US and México gave birth to an unwanted child, one that remained in the side shadows of the two nations history up until recently.

We were a bastard child, so generations of Xicanos lived in denial, punished at every institutional level, for how they looked, and how they spoke, and what they spoke. This caused many mutations of spirituality in various forms. We were rejected by both our parents for what we were not. This has caused much pain to many indeed. Because our parents are more than ready to turn away from us, leaving us at the mercy of each other. The US has rejected us because of the color of our skin and México because of the sounds that come out of our mouth and our lifestyles.

However, we are no longer dependent upon the approval of our parents, parents who, like any other child would, still love. We have grown independent from them and are beginning to form our own identity. I can not truthfully say that I am Xicano if I deny one of my parents, as much as my hate still boils in me, they gave me existence, therefore, I am that which was given, a part of an act, Xicanos where born out of two at times out of three intrinsic and complicated cultures that we had to digest even if the taste was acrid and acrimonious.

Yet this Castor oil proved to be a healthy one indeed, seen from a historical perspective of the world where nations have been known to exterminate their offspring. We, while maltreated, grew up and have assimilated our cultures pro’s and con’s. We indulge well in tamales and Hot Dogs; We drink Tequila as well as Bourbon; We fluently speak two languages in one, our greatest source of pride is our own lingo; We love Mariachis as much as we love the Sex Pistols.

Lastly, this new mestizaje has barely shown its multifaceted potential. Our greatest assets is the recognition and acceptance of our many manifestations, we are Xicanos, Chicanos, Pochos, Mexican-American, Mexicanos, and a host of other selves in one way or another, we can the one minute be Xicanos, another Michoacanos, zacatecanos, Californianos, Tejanos, from Chicago this internal diversity is an asset if we are to take into account that this trait is American in as much as Apple pie is. We must rejoice at our selves, and content ourselves that finally, our multifaceted self being is no longer rejected as much by our progenitors.

I for the one consider this flexibility of being an asset of inmense value, I believe that I wouldn’t have had so easy a time to learn another culture, another language as easily as I have and all thanks to my Xicano history.

Good follow up reading:

From the book, Oppositional Consciouness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protests. A tasty essay by Marc Simon Rodriguez titled: Cristaleo Cosnciousness: Mexican American Activism between Crystal City, Texas and Wisconsin 1963-80 that delves into more or less the subject am touching here and points out the consciouness and trasnformation of the U.S Mexicano population and birth of the Chicano Movement.

Am a Californian not only by heart but by residence as well, I lived under its shadow for over 30 years and my daughter was born in San Diego, California, I grew up in Redwood City for a couple of years and during my younghood I lived, worked and studied at some of its finest institutions in the Bay Area and San Diego County as well. My brain has its share of allocated archives of pure and unquestionable memories from California. The state where I was born is called Baja California and further down the stretch there is even Baja California Sur. Two countries 3 Californias’ that share not only historical ties but linguistic ties as well and have shared institutions for over 300 years now. Alta California and Baja California are those three states former names. California got its name because the spanish explorer that came about this stretch of land said of it, in the first comment about the weather in that part of the world that it was a Calido Forno which translates to English as Hot Oven, hence the name California.

I love California, for me it has more than a beachy cling to it, in fact, beaches have never played a central role in my vision of California, it has been more of a home to me, as homes go one doesn’t give much thought to it, one merely lives there, and so, I fluently speak both of the two most important languages that make up the character of California, English and Spanish; I lived there and that is where all of my mexican familia lives, either in California or Baja California, so I think that I can without a doubt call myself a Californiano which by the way, sounds more native than the English counterpart Californian.

Yes, that sounds nativist and I am. That is why it causes me great pain to hear that some Austrian guy that hasn’t even been born there is running for governor of my precious state. The whole idea and fact regurgitates in me. I quite frankly don’t believe that Xicanos and Mexicanos and the whole Hispanic crowd can get together on this one to stave off this Republican nincompoop from coming to power. Senator Dianne Feinstein has openly opposed this guy and I guess that bodes well for this state but I cannot help but see illbodings for the next months ahead, however, I harbor a small inkling that he will stop running for governor as soon as his coffers begin dwindling down in monies and that spells nothing but good.

Cruz Bustamante is my man because he is a Mexicano. We have waited for over 150 years to get back in power, Pío Pico was the last Mexican Californian governor and I believe the time is ripe for a takeover of power there. Although Chicanos are becoming the majority I spouse serious doubts about the coming elections and the results, I frankly believe that we need to start putting aside our differences and let the bickering resume after the election and not before, at best I hope Grey Davis gets reelected.

The only positive thing of all of this is that the anti immigration rethoric has dwindled down a tad and immigrants are being treated more fairly, at least until elections are over. Immigrants, which so happens to be a synonym for Mexicans in California often bear the brunt of the economical woes in Califas and thus become favorite targets for out of state people like Hufftington who relish and spews nothing but hatred for illegal aliens as opposed to her who is a legal alien. The tidings being promised to immigrants these days is actually an appeal to Hispanics in California because those issues are closer to the spanish speaking populace of California than to the average CA man and woman. This litle fact makes me grin with delight because it means only one thing: the Mexican vote is upp for bidding and the best wager gets the votes. I hope we dont bet wrong because the Grapes of Wrath will be ripe for harvesting after the election.

Being Chicano is a sense of essence you see

I couldn’t belong to this idea of democracy because I am what exactly what your idea of democracy demands from you: that you churn out rebels.

I am a rebel, a thief, a frito bandido and I am aware because you gave me free will.

I may come back on occasion and I appreciate you giving me awareness as much as a Cheyenne appreciates you for giving him civilization you see, and it’s funny that you attribute my awareness as your God given gift to me because that is exactly what you always stated: you came to give but instead you came to take and you took and that is whay I can’t belong to you and I know I don’t belong to you because you can’t make buñuelos ni champurrados nor tamales, so there.