Come on gente...

I just read these two posts about Raza in Baldwin Park who are begging to look like every other strip mall 'hood outside the core. Based on this LA Times article it is a sad aspect of the assimilation process. Why do suburban Raza (and some core residents) equate corporate stores with "moving on up?"

The babosadas from the city officials is heartbreaking. Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano is quoted: "We want what Middle America has as well," said the second-generation Mexican American, recounting the meeting. "We like to go to nice places like Claim Jumpers, Chili's and Applebee's. . . . We don't want the fly-by-night business, the 'amigo store,' which they use to attract Latinos like myself."

WTF?!?!? Nice places? Maybe if you gave tax breaks and low interest loans to small existing businesses they could be the 'nice' you want.

Later in the article Anthony Bejarano, a Baldwin Park councilman identified as a Georgetown Law school graduate said, "I love to go to traditional Mexican restaurants. I shop at Vallarta [supermarket], but I can't get everything I need," he said. "At the end of the day, it's all Mexican restaurants here. When we want Italian, when we want sushi, where do we go? If I want a pair of Kenneth Coles, I have to go to Arcadia."

Boo hoo. "I can't get my Kenneth Coles or sushi." MAMON! Your ass chose to live in the boonies what do you expect? Use that Law degree to get better more diverse digs foo'.

The irony escapes these pendejos. Here in Boyle Heights, in Downtown LA, and what use to be Echo Park you have white Americans moving to these "ethnic" neighborhoods because of the "amigo" stores, because of the diversity, because they have a local panederia instead of a Starbucks. If these pendejos are trying to be like middle America, they are missing the point and out of step that middle America wants to be us. One day they will wake up next to their dye blonde family and realize that they had everything they needed but they chose to bury it under the same stucco mall that middle America tired of and did away with.

El Chavo breaks down these 'Lateeenos' mentalities best: "...while Americans are now more interested in leaving a “smaller carbon footprint” (uggh) they’re still trying to buy a Hummer. While Americans are exploring the benefits of “Edible Estates” (uggh, retch) they try to erase all evidence of that small milpa of corn their parents once grow in the front yard, now turned into a worthless patch of wasteful lawn. If anything, Latinos should be sharing the skills of getting by with less, being resourceful and getting creative with what you do have, rather than taking on the baggage of the culture of consumption."

Amen brother!

We are running out of resources and some fools still think they need to consume like the Jones'. Que babosos.

Yes we need healthier food options in the barrios and a Trader Joes offers that, but I still want my Big Buy with the veladoras and chicharones on the shelves. We don't need Starbucks high calorie frapa-cacas, Latinos are overweight as it is.

I welcome this much needed discussion. It is about values and what we think we need to live best by. Like the other bloggers I believe everything can co-exist. Bring in the good, the healthy, and what we can learn from, but keep out the dead, sterile and plain. Keep the funk, keep the low prices. As gas and everything else goes up we will soon all see how much we will need to know how to do with less.


Free mix for you...

Dear readers, here is a mix that I made today.

Click on the link, be one of the first 100 people to download it or do it within 7 days when it expires.


Enjoy it and let me know what you think.


Feelin' this

I read this is the song that Jim Morrison sang to Ray Manzarek on Venice beach that convinced him to start The Doors.

It reminds me of sharing beauty, magic and journeys. Of being open to possibilities un-thought of.

And that we are never really alone.


30 years of DJ Culture from the Eastside of Los Angeles

I have written a couple of pieces here about my involvement and history with DJ culture in Southern California. My academic focus has been on Chicano DJ culture focused on the Eastside of Los Angeles. Chicano scholars have not included DJ culture as part of our experience and DJ Culture/Rave Culture scholars have not included Chicano DJs in their investigations. This makes Chicano DJ culture a truly Chicano experience: ignored by both (our own scholars and outsider scholars), stuck in the middle between two worlds, not factored in. 

This project I am working on with G727 is taking form everyday. We have been holding meetings and gathering friends and participants to make this happen. In researching our experience I have learned that we need to include as many voices as possible. We are not Chicago who has Frankie Knuckles, nor are we New York with a Larry Levan. Detroit's history looks at the Bellevue Three. Here in L.A. we need to look at the hundreds of thousands. There are many factors that lead to the LA experience being different to the East coast. 

We have better weather so we have outdoor parties 10 out of 12 months, in East Los a lot of us had large backyards to host massive parties, we are a car culture so we all could have mobile systems that we could easily transport and we could get to more parties in one night. The list goes on. 
Anyhow, please support our first fundraiser at Eastside Luv next Thurs.
This is what I've been sending out to all my 'social networks':

Based on my Master's thesis "An Oral History of DJ Culture from East Los Angeles,"  I am working with G727 on building a living collaborative archive. All DJs, promoters and dancers who were a part of or were inspired by Chicano DJ culture based on the Eastside are welcome to bring their flyers, memories and music to this project. We are having a few fundraisers for out supplies, please come out and support or send us a check. 


To be or thought they'd be...

Lately I've been running across a similar question. It started with the LACMA "Phantom Sightings" discussions and today popped on my screen here.

It has to do with calling people Chicano or Latino or Raza whether or not they self identify with any of those terms.

For example:
-Artist 'A' is in an art show percieved to be a Chicano art show, yet artist 'A' doesnt' identify himself as a Chicano.

-Actor 'A' has a last name that is Latino, and they look Latino, despite the constant hair dye to look blonde. Some folks want her to call herself Latino. She doesn't.

-Artist 'B' looks Chicano, grew up in a Chicano neighborhood, talks like a Chicano, does art that reflects Chicano icons and roots, but he doesn't want his art to be called Chicano art.

-Actor 'B' was born in Spain or France, has a 'typical' Latino last name and wants to be called Latino to make himself more marketable to the US Latino movie-going hoardes. Some agree he is Latino, others say he's European.

The questions are:
Why do we need to call people out to claim Chicano or Latino if they don't want to? Do we need them on our side so badly?
Is it because they are 'successful' or in the spotlight that we want them to represent us? Even though they don't want to represent us?
Isn't claiming who you are and what you want to be identified as a basic right? Is this the basis of Self Determination?