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?