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?


Lorena said...

i like your list better...

Anonymous said...

I don't know, do we really want to reify the whole "prince" concept? patriarchy, royalty, etc? also, this list is full of cool men, no doubt, but it's heavy on the spectacle/star power. again, reifying the whole media superstar spectacle creation of (male) identity.

you know who I think is really redefining chicano male identity? queer chicanos and their straight chicano allies, more than anyone else, and they're doing it every day in their families and communities, not just in superstar positions. also: everyday folks like you, P3000, who are trying out new ways of fathering and creating familia and who are even exploring the concept of chicano male identity at all in the first place. your previous post on "Q" is a beautiful testament to this.

these are the people and experiences I like to honor and focus on. the superstars already get enough limelight.

cindy said...

I thought the piece was rather tongue in cheek, and kinda funny. I've always been wary of anyone touting the Horatio Alger type stories. Those are old and tired, but folks eat them up because they're also compelling. It's no surprise so many of those politicos, businessmen and actors play up that aspect of their heritage. No one wants to seem like they had a silver spoon in their mouth.

I had a problem that it was so male-centric. You know the only reason those men got any where was because a mujer (or mujeres) did all the work. :D

pushing30 said...

Me gusta tu lista, pero no se, ósea, ¿sabes quien falta? Piolín.
Si, ya se, ese chavo es un poco naco y la verdad, como que no, ¿sabes?
Pero, le tengo que dar “props” por ser emigrante, llamando la atención a asuntos Latinos, y por tener el programa mas popular en la radio en las mañanas, ¡hasta le gana a Big Boy! ¿Te imaginas la influencia de ese chavo? Eso tiene que valer algo ¿no crees?

Me pregunto, ¿cual es la definición de un M.A.P? ¿Tienen que haber nacido en los EE.UU.? ¿Por que tanto enfoque en Mexicano-Americanos?

Pero sabes, me choca que todo sea mexicano. En Los Ángeles ay una gran variedad de Latinos que tomarían el lugar de un príncipe, pero no cualifican por no ser Mexicanos. Eso me da, no se, un sentimiento de exclusión, y en la temporada que vivimos, seria mejor incluir que excluir nuestra gente ¿me entiendes?

Pero no por nada, tú lista esta chida. Me gusta Marcos Aguilar, ese tipo tiene un corazón muy grande y le deseo mucha suerte a el, y a Academia Semillas del Pueblo. También Lalo Alcaraz es todo dar, su caricatura disputa todo lo que es ser Mexicano/Latino en los EE.UU.
¡Bueno echo Pachuco!

yaneth said...

Pues ya te dije lo que yo pienso...

I agree with everyone's comments. Everyone has made very valid points.

I especially like the idea of highlighting regular people, that are not in the 'spotlight' but are making changes everyday in their lives...

those are inspirational stories to hear, because the majority of us will probably relate better to 'regular' people, more than those in positions of power or fame. and we need to be inspired and motivated by regular people making change, so we can be reminded that we can have an impact even with the smallest changes that we make in our daily lives and our children's lives.

Your piece is great... and yes, I loved that you put Zach... LOL... capricorns are special.

Now we need to write something to highlight las mujeres... I agree that with every strong man, there is a strong woman behind them (is that how the saying goes... but you get my drift)...

Anonymous said...

I dig this man!

You got a very important point across in a way that the average Jose would understand and not walk away wondering if you used $10 words that just insulted them.