Space the final frontier...

The California Science Center had the exhibit 'The Science of Star Wars.'
Sorry, today was the last day.
I think I've mentioned my love for Sci-fi in other posts. I'm not a big big fan, no full on costumes in my closet. I have just one TNG Federation shirt and a pair of Vulcan ears.

Sadly I didn't understand Star Trek until I was in community college. As a young adult at LACC seeing and speaking with Africans from Africa, multilingual Europeans, Asians from countries I had never heard of, and people of the Middle East (none of whom thought the same on any issue) I felt like everyday at school I was going where few Chicanos had boldly gone before. I would record Star Trek repeats on Ch. 13 at 11pm for as long as they aired them, and I finally could follow along the issues of race, peace, tolerance, hope, honor, determination, sacrifice, the prime directive, warp drive, light years, and how green alien women can be hot. Star Trek, even though the Raza characters were few and far between, was filled with a promise that we could all get along and could one day live without money, greed, need or racism, at least on Earth.

A few years ago there were a few docs on Star Trek fandom and how most of the peeps are super intelligent and have kick ass science jobs or creative jobs or are the nicest peeps and they credit Star Trek for giving them the dream. It made me proud to be a Trekkie and a sci-fi fan. I could never laugh at anyone for their following the concepts of Star Trek or of the Jedi, like I would never laugh at someone following Shaolin kung fu. Both are seeking to reach into the human and bring out the exceptional, the best within.

I hope my Q gets the sci-fi bug. I have her watch the videos and films from the Sci fi cannon with me and we talk about how the future might look with flying cars, transporters, space travel, new beings and how we need to be open and ready for this always. So today we went to see the connects between what Lucas dreamt of in the mid 1970's and how we have been trying to match it with hard science. We still have a long way to go on the science end, but what was still awesome was seeing young and old living in the openess of possibility and remembering old friends and heroes. Many had a sparkle in their eyes as they viewed a costume, a prop, a model of a spaceship, or a robot. I got choked up watching a 6ft tall goth boy with spiked purple hair stand between a Jedi, and a Stormtrooper for a pic. His cold, pale demeanor dissolved as he stood there nervously chuckling and he became that kid with big dreams of acceptance of difference who probably got picked on until he got to be 6ft tall. I overheard an Asian family looking at the interrogator droid from Episode IV. The young son said "I don't remember this." His mom quickly replied, "When they had Princess Lea captive, before Han Solo and Luke rescued her." The boy jumped slighty "I remember!" His mom was very cool at that moment for him and me.

Granted scientifically we probably do have all the nasty things that kill ready. We still need to work on the good stuff. But what Star Wars and Star Trek have done to many of us is more valuable than any gadget, it is the hope of a better future filled with infinite diversity, in infinite combinations, it is the love to explore further outward (while honoring the prime directive) and inward to find the Jedi in all of us.
May The Force Be With You!!!!
Live Long and Prosper.


Mexican American Princes

On the cover of last week's L.A. Weekly was Daniel Hernandez's feature story about Mexican American Princes.

I was perplexed about whether this was a tongue in cheek/satirical piece or not. Hernandez includes a 'who's who' in MAP land titled 'All Over The M.A.P.' A list that includes too many big & not so big name politicos (some whom we should be ashamed of), two pretty boy actors who haven't had a hit in years, two sportsmen, one reality show wannabe champ, one true champ, and an OC based writer.

One thing that irked me about the MAPs listed was that they all were the basic archtypes of a capitalist society. Working for some fame, power and bling, playing the game. Not really rocking the boat so much as rolling with the punches. I don't want to knock anyone's dream to accumulate and have material goods. I recognize many just want to lay low and get theirs, fine.

What I do want to offer is other examples of MAPs who aren't just seeking temporal gains, but are also speaking to our consciousness, identity, beauty, heart, soul, mind, intelligence, and wit. Men who aren't afraid to bring up the tough questions, our contradictions, our ancient past and that help us dream about nuestro futuro. Men who despite the brightness of the spotlight don't shrink in fear of saying the wrong thing, even if it is. I'm just saying there is more to life than politics, real estate and the 4th estate. Also, we shouldn't replace one gap toothed sombrero wearing stereotype with a new shinier stereotype of 'cold hispanic ambition.'

So here are my inductees for MAP-dom or as we call them here in Pachucoville, Bad Ass MuthaFunkas:

George Lopez. Who uses the term Chicano on national TV every week? Can sell out the Universal Amp like only him and Chente can? Talks about loving golf because he gets to hit something white with a club? and tells it like it is -like no other brother can? G. Lo cabrones.

Marcos Aguilar. Co-Director of Academia Semillas del Pueblo. He saved his school! Well he and the staff, parents, students, community, and anyone with a clue about what our Raza filled schools need. ASDP is now sueing KABC and one of their talk show pendejos for creating an unsafe learning environment at ASDP when he targeted them and called them future terrorists. Aguilar is a danzante who danced the whole march route from Olvera Street to LAUSD on Beaudry and 3rd. How many principals would dare (or could or would be allowed) to take off his shirt and dance bare chested for 2 miles? 'nuf said.

Lalo Alcaraz. Come on. Who are we kidding? This is thee OG muthafunka: LA CUCARACHA cabron! Can you say POCHO HOUR OF POWER? What about POCHO MAGAZINE? If not? I won't even ask you about CHICANO SECRET SERVICE.

Zack De La Rocha. Sunday at Coachella on 4/29 is going to have more brown and proud people than that festival has ever seen. His free concert last year in support of the South Central Farm helped launch media coverage of that battle which subsequently inspired many toward working in community gardens for health and sustainability. His support of the EZLN in the mid 1990s helped forge in a new strand into Chicanismo. And his band's music and videos are bad ass.

Culture Clash! Where would we be without Culture Clash? I mean the MAP article kicked off with a bad ass quote from Richard Montoya's award winning show "Water & Power" then left them out of the list! Here in Pachucoville C.C. gets props for everything they have done siempre! Teatro, carpa, stage, TV, video, Big Top Loco! (I 'member homes) and all the chingon plays, books and verbage.
We will forever know that yes, we are "confused and full of rage."

You know here in Pachucoville we gotta have some DJs a.k.a our digital shamen:

Raul Campos is the only on air Latino left at KCRW. His Monday - Friday 10-midnight show "Nocturna" has been fullfilling night time musical cravings for nearly 7 years. The show has won serveral distinctions from artists groups, magazines and the music industry for helping to break new music and artists. He also can be found in dark underground clubs spinning the latest.

David Delano can be heard practically every night of the week spinning in a club from Hollywood to City of Industry, Long Beach to Glendale. He draws a young hip Latino crowd that shake their best and finest to his beats and that is just his night job. During the day he helps his family business as Vice President of La Gloria tortillas. Now you don't get any more Prince than that ese.

Overall I appreciate the effort to frame a Chicano male experience. We need to do it. We need new images and icons of Raza men. We need to show more of our diversity in thought and actions, jobs and dreams. If we don't start doing it, who will?


(P-3000, Sandra De La Loza, Gronk, Marisela Norte & Dr. Ramon Garcia. Photo by Alejandro Rodriguez)

What a great week we have and what a great way to kick off the week than running into Gronk and Marisela Norte in the hallway at CSUN.

We have several artists working in our department: Harry Gamboa Jr., Yereina Cervantes, Maria Elena Fernandez, Sandra de la Loza, Dr. Toni Orozco Garcia, Fermin Herrera, his son Xocoyoltzin (sp?), and Veto Ruiz to name a few.

Tonight: Maria Elena performs her "Confessions of Cha Cha Feminist" at 7:30
Thurs: Sesshue Foster is coming to talk about his bad ass book "Atomic Aztek" at 4:20


What a week...(embargoed)

The hip hop summit.
The Virginia Tech massacre.

Both rooted in reaction to and born of racism, and classism in a society that incorrectly values purity and monoculture.

Hip hop use to be about the voice of the poor, ghetto residents and how they make do, have a good time, dream of self determination; the nation couldn't hold them back.

Today hip hop reflects a rich white man's existance who drive Bentley's, have pool parties with prostitutes, use all kinds of illegal drugs, are not afraid of resorting to violence and act like they are above the law. Hip hop is now rich white people's music and Black is slowly becoming the new white.

A smart (smart enough to get into Virginia Tech) student, with some obvious anger management issues, saw through the rhetoric of this country and took out his frustration on rich white, privledged people. I am sorry for their families loss.

Now imagine if we had 32 people get shot, killed, blown up or tortured every day for 5 years. How traumatized would we be then? How many convocations would we have?

In Iraq every day this happens.

Iraqi land and oil, become rich white guys land and oil.
People are shot and killed by a military led by mental illness.


Saturday w/ Q

I was up puttering around the house, heating canela tea, wondering what to make for breakfast. My Q was still asleep when her greatgrandma called to invite us over for hashbrowns, eggs and bacon.

After a great meal, showers and a few rounds on the PS2 we headed out with no particular destination.

Filled up the tank and thought for moment that we should be taking public transit, but we did have to end up in Burbank to drop of PT sometime.

Heading west on Sunset, south on Glendale, west again on Beverly, I was thinking the Beverly Center for some people watching. Q was telling me about her Spring Break camping trip with grandparents and cousins. I told her about the latest break up. She mentioned that she was getting hungry, she barely touched her hashbrowns, so when we hit Fairfax it was over to Damianos for a slice of peperoni pizza.

Across the street I saw an old face of an all too brief minor celeb in the house music scene. He was now panhandling out front of Canter's. He was homeless back when he recorded his seminal track. The track got him into all the clubs and made him friends with all the DJs and promoters who were in the know. He seemed happy to be always happy in those days. He would always tell me about the DJs we had on PT and how he liked the deep stuff over the trance. Sightings of him in the clubs diminished, but his visits to record stores to talk to peeps, who talked to me let me know he was still out and about looking for another producer to capture his voice. He is a very nice guy. We went over to talk to him and see how he was doing. He was glad that later that night we would have some deep house on the show for him to groove to. We gave him some money to eat with and continued our journey.

Over at the Beverly Center it seemed like Christmas time with all the traffic and chaos. Seems NOBODY walks into the Beverly Center. My Q mentioned how weird the architecture of the BC is. 'It goes all over the place, and no place at all. Parking this way and that, but boring at the same time." Getting on the elevator was an exercise in squeezing in, but once inside the place was fine. "Where did everybody go?" We went to the new HnM and thought that the clothes looked nice, but cheaply made. I'll take my chances at Marshalls. Walked in to Godvia to get my Q her Easter chocolate, since I didn't see her the week before. I get her one great chocolate versus a ton of cheap chocolate. She wanted a chocolate covered strawberry, fine. The associate on duty offered us a Godiva scratcher to see if we would win anything. We did! 'A free chocolate.' She looked a little dissapointed, but then got nice with us, after I said "You didn't think we would win." She then gave us another one. 'Buy one get one free.'

We sat in the ultra modern seats and couches they have throughout the mall and ate our goodies: one chocolate covered strawberry for Q and one dark chocolate bar with dark ganache inside for me. The people walking around the BC were so United Nations. Africans from Ethipoia and Senegal, whose accents I learned so well back at LACC. Asians, Europeans, and Latinos, from every country, and of course a smidgen of tourists all getting along in the sacred confines of the Church of American capitalism: the mall. Passing the Ferrari store Q asked "Why would they have a Ferrari store where they don't even sell Ferraris?" I said some people need just a label to feel better about themselves. We then decided to leave.

Getting out of the BC was worse than getting in. I'm sure this was by design. We stood and watched as three elevators filled with people opend their doors and forbade anyone getting in, even the super fine 6ft tall model with legs for miles. I decided we need to go up to get down. We hopped on the next one going up, then rode back down. When the doors opened on our starting floor, I looked out to see the super model girl laughing at her predicament. She had been waiting there before we got there. She saw me laughing at her, and then she ran off looking embarassed and upset at the same time. Sometimes you gotta go up to get down.

North on La Cienega to Santa Monica I pointed out Norms, Barney's Beanery and then Gardens of Taxco, all places I've taken Q but she might not remember. North on Crescent Hts. to Sunset, La Brea to Hollywood, to Highland, the energy level was on high in this heart of LA as street performers, tourists, bachelorette parties crawling out of oversized Hummer limos, mixed with Latino workers, cops, kids in pocket rockets, and residents, like us, who drove/strolled through and soaked it up.

Through the Cahuenga pass we made plans for the Hollywood Bowl and John Anson Ford. Hitting Barham we enter another region of LA, where the traffic thinned out, the people thicken slighty (compared to the BC), and things slow down: Burbank.

Back home to Boyle Hts. for homemade burritos and watching George Lopez and LOST on tape from the last two weeks, we settled in for the night.

Sometimes we stay in all day in our pajamas. Other days we go to events where history, art and culture collide. A museum here, an aquarium there, a movie, a hike, trip to the mall. All of them are a little sweeter with my Q.


Music Theory #1

Controversial Theory Number 1.

The era of hierarchy is closing and Rave culture helps to prove it.

This theory began as a discussion about live music and DJs. It also began with looking at a dollar bill and hearing “Sacred Circle” by Aztlan Underground many, many times.

The pyramid on the dollar represents our society. Up until now we have functioned under a hierarchal paradigm where there are a few leaders at the top and the masses on the
bottom. Our religions/politics/homes are shaped this way: Christ, Buddah, Muhammed, kings, presidents, heads of household. One/few at the top, the rest follow.

This is ending.

Collectives, boards, committees are now becoming the more common way to make things happen. The EZLN emphasizes that Marcos in not the leader, only the spokesman. Bush does not lead so much as follow the orders of his cabal of corporate donors. Corporations have taken out much of the power of CEOs and placed it in Executive boards. And DJs have made going out for a night a participatory event, not a spectator event.

People who want to go and see a band perform want to be entertained, like at home, quite passively. Watch the skills, see the faces of the voices and musicians you heard on the way to the venue. Maybe a fist in the air, a sway, a whistle, an applause of course. But that is all you really HAVE to do.

I was at a band show and saw people doing three things: holding their partner, swaying to one or two songs, or hands in pockets or at the side waiting for the cue to applaud. Even if the music was danceable, people were too concerned with what the singer might do rather than to just feel the music and dance. It is not like the singer was going to do a head-stand or light anything on fire. They were just singing.

The time between songs seemed to me to last forever. I thirsted for a beat, a rhythm, a melody to wrap myself in. I don’t want to hear you love me from some singer I don’t know or care about. I want to hear some frickin music! Shut up and play already!

People who have been exposed to the good and healthy version of Rave culture know that they are a part of creating the vibe for the party as much as the entertainment/DJ. You dress up to dance, maybe to look hot, to sweat, to move, to mingle, to meet new people and to basically feed the DJ back as much as he or she is feeding you. Sure there are some rooms where a lot of people are staring at the DJ, but overall, people are there to dance their butts offs. To participate.

Rave took the emphasis of going to be entertained and made everyone a part of the party. “In this illegal party, we might all get busted. We are in this together.” Rave is not about celebrating the DJs/entertainment, so much as celebrating life, freedom and expression. Not many people are comfortable in their own bodies to be able to close their eyes in a sea of people and dance like no one is watching.

Some people, get it, some people don’t.

This new era of participation, of engagement, is the new era that some call the 6th Sun, or the Age of Aquarius. Either way it is about raising one’s consciousness / knowledge to be able to then contribute to the whole. OR it is raising your self-esteem and endurance to dance the night away. It has to start somewhere, somehow.

The paradigm has shifted, is shifting, we all need to step it up. Have something to bring to the table. Have something to contribute to the party. BRING IT. Be in it, not just watching.

The end of the pyramid is happening. The re-entering of the Sacred Circle is calling. What are you bringing to the circle? Start by supporting your local DJs. Bring back the ideals of P.L.U.R: Peace, Love, Unity & Respect. Dance like no one is watching. Be in dancing shape at the least America! Join an idea. Critical Mass bike rides are a great alternative.

Critical Mass is an idea. No leaders. No set routes. Just meet on the day and ride in a group, let the mass lead.

Learn to be in community with others for something. We don’t have to know EVERYTHING about the person next to us, just that right now, at this moment we are in PLUR. Is this getting too hippy for you? It is for me. Blast away.


Emotional Reflux

The other day I learned how/why my parents got married. It was not good. Equal parts: grand ma’s misunderstanding, brother’s exaggeration and a whole mess of complacency on both the future ma and pa.

I never have seen them hug and kiss. Nor look at each other with desire or pride. Never heard one compliment the other. Never seen a random act of kind love. Never have seen a couple in love.

Except on TV and films and there is so much drama there, you know.

“I wanted to run away. If there was some family to go to, I would have. I didn’t love him, I just liked him. I kind of felt sad for him. Always talking about his hometown and how he missed it.”

Drama, but no love.

I admire resiliency, strength, conviction, faith, endurance, consistency, dependability, responsibility, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and positivity.

I’ve seen that.

I’ve also seen: fear, jealousy, greed, selfishness, non-communication, aggression, passive aggression, resignment, insecurity, absence, stagnation, complacency, loss of hope, pettiness, and stubbornness.

So it is, por vida.

Friends have said we can change or act in the opposite of what we have seen or learned. But what do we do with the teachers? Do we continue to witness and absorb? Do we alter the relationship? How much?

Over many fights, disconnects, re-connects and drama, I now recognize some of my bad habits and have not acted when they come around and want me to scratch the itch. That is different. How long and how many mistakes must I make before I recognize all my bad habits and begin to not do them any more? I often feel like Heathcliff who thought he did everything he could, everything he should, but time, place, and old scars get in the way. Will I be like Heathcliff waiting on the moors since hindsight is usually 20/20.

One friend just told me to “Stop and do not get involved with anyone, anymore, ever again.”

That would be different.




SENT BOX: Is it 'happy Friday?' Or Good Friday, or both?

INBOX: Well it is good Friday until noon. Now that jesus has died it is happy martini friday : )

Endings & Beginnings & endings & beginnings

Everything that has a beginning, has an end.
Everything that has a beginning has an end?
Everything that ends starts a new.
Everything that ends starts a new?

Old axiom(s) that never ceases to confuse. To give hope. To sting a little.

Nothing has a beginning nor an end.
Nothing has a beginning nor an end?

What if Janis Joplin was right and it is just the same old shit?
Unless we are able to relinquish our will there is a little relief in that.

Ending is liberating, relief, growth, breath, clear (hopefully), painfull, shocking, awakening, scary, uncomfortable, etc...
Beginning is too, so are they the same thing?

Open to possibility
Is this an illusion? Is it all laid out for us already? Is there any choices? Or is there only left, right and back each with pre-determined paths? Even the choice of direction may be hardwired into us so it only seems like a choice but we seem to always make the same choice, so how is that a choice?


(It is Good Friday, lots of Catholics are fasting, attending mass, and feeling guilty over Jesus' persecution by the Jewish/Roman government. I remember when I was much younger, still faithful to the church and feeling so guilty over havng sex with my girlfriend on Good Friday, right after we got home from church. Lately, I often fast on Fridays for meditative, health and cleansing reasons. Today I feel like going in the opposite direction and indulging in everything. Is this a new direction or simply responding to an old cycle that emerges in me every so often? Am I just rebelling still against a church I left so many years ago? Or am I 'in tune' with my needs? Let's go have some carne!)




Spring break update

P-3000 y La Red-y
Thursday: Rode to Olvera to roll with Semillas, caught Teatro Campechana, headed out a lil after 1pm, lots of support, green t-shirts of hope everywhere. Great rally, took over the street, rode back to BH about 3:30 to meet ma'. Eat at overpriced Pasadena eatery, end up watching equally pretty but vancant film, good talk time with ma'. Home to relax and put aloe vera on. Got word on charter approval later that night. A-ho!

Friday: got Q, ate bad, came hm., chilled out, got out to Critical Mass, rode west, south, west again, north, east, rest at Pan Pacific Pk, down to Hollywood Blvd., and flew down Western from Franklin, loved it.

Vega, Mendoza, Orozco y Gamboa

Saturday: Gamboa's shoot is great time. Old friends and new. All have some form of degree from a university, 25 Chicana/os, dressed in black, on Lake, gathering at Borders, over to Trader Joes, load up a cart, eat on the terrance, walk to Winchell's looking like am unplanned procession, sit at tables as Gamboa directs us. DOPE.
Aterciopelados was Arteciopelados. A skilled live act. A later blog on music and me will explain my ambiguity. Great time overall.
La Virgen de Guadalupe, Pachuco 3000 y Cyber-Fabi

Q climbing high
Sunday: Picinic with the Noodle Family at Griffith park: delicious food, cards, soccer, catch, people watching, magic, clowns, hiking, monkey in the middle, saw a party with a full on copper pot making chicharones. Love the Noodles. No DEEP. Sleep. The Sun can burn me out.

Johnny Blaze & P-3000
Monday: CSUN, $, bank, get Johnnies Blaze & Vegas in Montebello, over to El Rodeo in Pico for the buffett, tacos de ojo like only in the Eastside, looking like a painting came to life, unreal. Munch down on the Birria! Back to BH to drop and pick some stuff, to Elysian park for a lil hike, back through Antigua to get some cafe, in Montebello Boom Boom Studios in time for 15min into the first half of the finals. I mix a mix solo, then 2x2 with J Blaze.

Tuesday: Home here writing to space & to you. Later today need to visit Bob's on Whittier and cut down the virtual stack of essays awaiting.



I am passive...

I am passive as I wait for a leader, instead of using my own voice which truly speaks from my heart.

I am passive as (some) of the government is on trial for high crimes and misdemeanors that have left people homeless, penniless, illiterate, lifeless.

I am passive as the nation loses civil rights once thought necessary to keep tyranical leaders at bay.

I am passive as a war rapes, tortures and kills at the request of corporations who were born in this country.

I am passive as I watch someone else do their thing, as I may not necessarily know what MY thing is all the time.

I am passive as the planet heats up, cooking me, maybe drowning me, eventually starving me off of her for abusing her.

Are you being passive?
Have you been passive?
Can we all stop being passive?
Really, do have any time left to keep being passive?