Xicanismo

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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!

Nothing brings me more joy to my hearts delight then when I confuse people about my ethnicity. I just love it. I will give an example of said ventures of mine that tickles my belly silly. I recently came across a Spaniard and spoke only English with him. He asked me where I was from, México I said. Pronounced with that unmistakable ancient Arab glottal sound in the /x/. He even asked me if I spoke Spanish to which I proudly said straight out that not only was Spanish my mother tongue I also taught it as well at a local high school in the Swedish Highlands. He was dumbfounded. I know it sounds mean but this guy is highly educated with a doctorate’s degree.

Today I got to experience once more one of those moments, man am I ever delighted. It sort of boosts the ego somehow, mind you am otherwise terribly insecure of myself so when I met this American guy unbeknownst to me and him, he came and made my day. Before you knew it he was basically left scratching his head. We struck up a spontaneous conversation because he overheard me speaking English and after a while he asked where I was from. No easy daily chore I can assure you. Swedish people aren’t too fond of spontaneity. I noticed he had gotten comfortably secure because we both had the same cultural baggage and it went rather smoothly for the first 5 minutes or so until I said I was Mexican. His look was askance to put it mildly. Normally I reject when people put me in neat little boxes but am getting the better out of this game of language and identity of recently, mostly for my amusement.

Monolinguals and monocultural people live another life period. It’s all black and white so when they encounter people like me they are left on their own devices and they don’t like that. So this new secureness brings a small payback. Many of my insecurities can easily be traced back to the bullying I went through as a language aware person, that is, bilingual. I think many monolinguals have been themselves bullied except they gave up. I did not have the choice of giving up. What was there to give up? I was just bullied for being myself and I could not be accepted as I was. Monolinguals are encouraged to give up their acquired awareness. It becomes too painful for them to live the rejection or the bogey man before them.

***

I don’t understand how is it that people don’t get that we bilinguals, or some of us either way, cannot switch to another language as a means of communicating with a person with whom we have learned to communicate in only one language. Here in Sweden people are left in an aghast state of mind when I tell them that I don’t speak Swedish with my sambo. We have always spoken English and if we go over to speaking Swedish it would change a whole set of rules and it be like getting to know another whole new person. Am allergic to doing that anywheres in the world. I remember that I got teased as a young boy for just that. I happened during my first stint or rather sojourn in the USA, I was but a wee little lad and when I came back to Tijuana I refused to speak Spanish. I flatly refused to do so. I have no memory of the decision for that or when it happened. I wasn’t that precocious mind you. What I do remember is the laughter for having said that. Monolinguals don’t get it but they will get that language is identity. All monolinguals will defend a capa y espada their language but they can’t understand that bilinguals hence have two identities to deal with. Pero no, their monotheistic world refuses to comprehend it. We are ambivalent. We are ambiguous. Even Gloria Anzaldúa doesn’t do it and she is the creator of Borderlands! She doesn’t understand why chicanas are uncomfortable with each other.

Well, it seems that the gorge of buddy making in the so called blogostitlán is done and over with. Many of the bloggers that started out as a chain like minded club barely write anymore or stand out as islands these days with no direction in sight.

I did the rounds on the links I have and many wail that they don’t write anymore and there interests for things Aztlán is long gone. Long gone are also the questions that forced a label upon them and long gone are also the memories that usually permeated the posts of said bloggers.

Many failed to realize that Chicanos are too different from one another to really form any group and many failed to realize that their superordinate label ‘American’ supercedes any notion of Chicanismo in their lives. What I mean by this is that the fear of being labeled alien is stronger than the fashionable chicano, we all love the stars and stripes but even more, we fear the questioning of our americanism.

Many also fell into the trap of racism accusing chicano culture of being essentially racist. Terms such as raza, güero, gringo and other terms raza uses to discuss the Other became a point of contention amongst some bloggers that just wanted to question us rather than explore the origins of said terms or why we used them at all. Many backed off quickly and began recoiling at the idea that their chicanismo was a sort of racism in disguise. They quickly forgot that chicanos embrace all forms of races in its ens.
Others just simply wanted out because blogging requires incredible amounts of energies to pursue its goal, to write on a frequent basis.

Then there is a point of contention being boiled as we speak, what is the Xicano blogsphere? I, for example, prefer a more militant form of xicano blogging that stands in direct verbal confrontation with the Other. I prefer cholo xicano and older more akin to the culture of xicanismo I grew up with.

Then there is a more pocho culture that embraces both cultures more openly which tends to cause friction with the latter above mentioned. Then there are the new arrivals to Aztlán which lack any form of direct contact with Aztlán which tends to cause friction with the latter two mentioned.

Be that as it may while the Xicano blogsphere seems to have dwindled somewhat in some corners though in other corners it blossoms. There are many sites and blogs that bespeak of xicanismo in all sorts of form. It is spreading out and the singularity factor that dominated the birth of the Xicano blogsphere. Even the kind of xicanismo that I spouse seems to be coming out.

Though I have nothing against the xicanismo which embraces Aztec and Maya semiotics, at the present time I give more time to my own kind of Xicanismo, desert related xicanismo which has been but forgotten.

One must understand the vortex
Xicanismo
eyes
everyday

If the aztecs counted 52 for every end
Xicanos can hope for less in one generation.

Renewal
is in door

We face an existancial crisis every 30 years

like a blood transfusion

.

I am so frigging stoked, dang ese, this is HUGE.

Tezozomoc Aug/04/2006

De Suecia, come mensajes de personas that just can’t do without their weekly TEZOZOMOC CHISME! Pues Julio Martinez de yonderlesit.org (de Suecia), Tezzy hasn’t forgotten all his cuates, not only from the barrios del USA, pero también, we especially have you in our hearts and minds when you are so distanced from your Gente!! Glad you are still drawing your Chicano “Alma y Sentimientos” de La Prensa San Diego. We try to keep up our special ALMA de La Prensa and hope we (the hard working staff of La Prensa) will be able to maintain el espírito de mi gente, no matter where you are at. Suecia is a long way off but where there are two RAZA… I know that their will be our special sentimiento in the wind and it will be source of strength to you, when you find yourself isolated and lonely! El Indio TEZZY never forgets his GENTE no matter where they may be at!

Ey! What’s that? Nada ese, just a little rock on the corner of my eye, lemme me rub it off. Chale ese, can no one get a little dust in ones retinas theese days?

Escandaloso, yeah, I know, je!

Güeno, it gladdens me to no end to see myself before the thoughts and presence of good’ol Tezzy. Jo’er that guy has done bundles for San Diego Xicanos, heck, what am I saying? for Xicanos in Tijuana too!

Go give la Prensa-San Diego a read ese! What, still here? What are you waiting for ese? That Rumsfeld give a shit about this treaty? òrale, git otta hea!

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.

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.

I know some in Aztlán, our own extreme right, despise the idea of homosexualism or marimachas, as forming a part of Aztlán though am not persuaded by any of their arguments.

I find the whole marica/marimacha culture rather intriguing not only because I come from Tijuana, where jotos and she-males form part of the fabric of my city but because they are different and at times better than heteros. Of course, what I most admire is their intellectual prowess and sophistication too.

That is why I was cracking up when I stumbled upon queer raramuri out of Austin, Texas. This mariquita is proud to be one and will sell you a shirt with a unique slogan that erodes the negative and pursues the positive in the words that are used to despise a los jotitios and the marimachas.

ramblings by a queer xicano that is not a descendant of warhol, moctezuma or cortez… but of sisnett, anzaldúa & the young tarahumara whose name matters to few

Here are some pics of the slogans in his shirts:

Puñaljotoyou bring out the joto in meI make Juan Gabriel look butchChorizo Lover

You can purchase them at Joto Power where amongst other things you can also buy a poetry book of his titled: Santo de la Pata Alzada: Poems from the Queer/Xicano/Positive Pen.

1970 – Diana vs. State Board of Education of California – Spanish speaking children were placed in classes for children with mental retardation on the basis of individual intelligence tests that were considered culturally biased.

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.

Oh no you didn’t.

Boy do I have bones to pick here.

I shall be dishing out more than I bargained for but one can’t overstate the deliciousness of the subject. Right now I am about to do serious deconstructing over at Wikipedia and give them a verbal whipping or two.

Coming soon, more Xicano rants than expected, stay tuned.

The query at hand is what is a Xican@?

I readily admit that this frase in itself is a rather ambiguos one at that. I may apoligize for that at some time in the future, though that future escapes las yemas de mis dedos in this moment.

Now, I wrote at la Bloga a discourse that has been developing at Academia.

Namely the Spanish factor.

As far as the Spanish lingua is concerned where are we headed?

And I joke not when I ask this because the majority of the narrative that Chicanismo feeds on is anglia rooted.

As much as I am love with English as a language I also despise it very nature. So it is.

Though I confessed an optimism for Spanish I’ve yet to see the fruit mature, will I see a full blown literature, knowingly of itself?

The good xente over at la bloga have a good discussion going on. Not because the comments of the offices at Yonder Lies It received an answer but because it is clear to the xente del más allá, who for an odd reason of sorts, frecuent the offices, seem to be in agreement (though Geronimo keeps rather silent most of the times) that a Chicano Norton Anthology literature compilation is needed and I see it on the horizon. [yeah, that’s a long ass sentence there, got a problem with that?]

Except that instead of naming it Norton Anthology we could name it like Santa Ana or Stockton Anthology maybe Zorro but that would be a long shot perhaps a lady heroine of sorts. Like the Pachuca Anthology literature for the vox populi in Aztlán proper. Cherrie Moraga or Gloria Anzaldua Anthology would read just as well. But the title we could discuss much later.

There are many threads to start a good huipil with here.

There are the linguistics aspects that I brought forth con todo y my cultural baggage. Though the very fine gente at vivir latino raised the issue of racism in the lengua issue I brought forth.

Make no mistake about it, when it comes to languages, the issues are not about racism. They are instead ones of purity. I understand that the word purity has that race purity what not, connotation but it has an entirely new sense when I use it with language. Instead there is what one can very well see as social fabrications of languages. Everybody thinks they speak real english though there isn’t such a thing as pure english. That notion is just a pure concoction from the last century that has managed to creep itself all the way to this century. In fact, english has about as much latin words in its vocabulary as about spanish does. Well, maybe not, but a good chunk of it composes much of the prestige vocabulary of english. [no, am not about to give you examples, you go find for yerself that ese!] American english speaks wads about it since much of its cowboy mythology is composed of words that have a root on the mexican spanish that helped compose the West/pioneer myth.

Be that as it may we continue con la literatura, in this case, literatura Chicana. Now, english and spanish have had a tumultous upbringing in the Southwest.

For the past 150 years or more english has had the upper hand. Spanish has had to bear the brunt of classroom spankings for utering its vowels in the midst of angloparlandia. Though the first european languages that the land of Aztlán heard were spanish vowels in all the splendor that the conquistadores and Friars used back then.

In this lingua fight, it is we the Aztlán generation that have had to bear the whips and lashes of both households. Both from the spanish part and the english part as well. We can not simply speak anything without having a rebuke at hand to remind us that we speak gibberish at best.

We don’t speak good english and worst yet, we don’t speak good spanish and even yet worst we don’t take care good of our siblings, the new Aztlán generations, from this violent circle. We simply allow the violent language to continue unchallenged with each generation taking sides with either spanish or english or every now and then a few wise voices stating that both languages are good this and that. Or having to hear, like Richard Rodriguez argues, much to the chagrin of the many in Aztlan proper, that english is our light that shines at the end of the tunnel.

It is hard to please two cultures. We have not managed to come across as a unifed entity, at best, we are a footnote in the many essays, commentary, books out there.

But that is ok. We are still defining ourselves. Though I must confess that the issues that we blanket ourselves with are very universal and literature, canon literature at that, is universal driven. Perhaps the issues lies in the universitality of our speech. Perhaps we need to take advantage of this. No matter what english or spanish have to say about it because by then, we will be a different lingua to be reckoned with.

I have a swedish-mexican mojado xicana daughter born in Califas. I myself am a mojado, a xicano wetback. Today the star spangled gave me goosebumps when I heard it sound its majestic noise. Am I entitled to celebrate it? I grill today. In my swedish backyard somewhere in the swedish Highlands of Smaland my daughter wondered what is the 4th of July.

Ay güey! Nunca pensé que the day would come. One of the darling conversations that so closely unite us Xicanos is Mexican racism. Nothing would give that cup of chocolate more flavour than tearing apart the thin veil of racism in our culture. Long has been known to us how our brothers and sisters, granpas and granmas, mothers and fathers would slightly through us off with their racist remarks. Specially when babies are born, ay que morenito, ay que blanquito, and it’s the blanquito one that gets the better end of the stick ese, always, yeah, we prietitos have always borne the brunt of the lesser praise at the cradle. Y no te forgets about those damn soap operas, puro whity on the top homes. Híjole, tears us apart our little hearts to see those indios do all those minial jobs. Y qué me dices de the worst insult one can receive en México, pinche indio they say. Let’s see how mexican denial that we are not racist fare in this storm, pero no, look at’em, ya están deciendo que they don’t understand us and the like. Y what about that movie where la güera esa da un baby negrito? Yeah, you know what am talking about, yeah Angelitos negros, that always used to bring tears to Aunt Luchita. A ver que pues.

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