"Remember El Alma" First On-site Performance Challenging the Alamo, March 2010

"Remember El Alma," First on-site performance
challenging the Alamo
original poem written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

Adapted by Virginia Grise; Produced by Bihl Haus Arts, Kellen McIntyre, Ph.D; Performed at Luminaria!
San Antonio, Hemisfair Plaza, San Antonio, Texas, March 13, 2010; 5 Actresses, 1 Musician
A cast of beautiful women, all ages and colors, from
all over San Antonio
; Foto Credit: Joan Frederick @2010

Friday, November 17, 2006

Media Watchate! The San Antonio Express-News loves ClearChannel and won't publish this letter

If you barely listen to our local radio stations anymore, you know it's because of ClearChannel and the media acquisitions that happened after the Republicans took the lid off media regulation - now we have media Deregulation - so much for local ownership and diverse voices. It's all about the money.

We, the people, deserve local radio, television and radio stations that are vitally interested and accountable to us. We get way too much ambulance, sex, and gossip, and all of us lose because there is no place to debate, discuss, get educated about the stories that affect our lives.

That's the way Big Media wants it.

Chuck Robinson is a media advocate and former television intern.
Here is a letter he wrote to the SAEN regarding their anemic reporting of a new, smart, report on How Bigger Media Will Hurt Texas: A Report on Texas Media Markets and the Impact of Newspaper/TV Cross-Ownership Mergers, funded by national media reform organizations and written by Mark Cooper of McGannon Communications Center.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Dear Editor,

You buried and misnamed the study “How Bigger Media will Hurt Texas,” (“Report says diversity lost in media mergers,” Oct. 21). In that story, the well-intentioned Melissa Monroe faced severe editorial discretion—forced not only to conceal facts (in Texas and most of our nation, TV and large local dailies have a duopoly of news, rabidly splitting 65% or more of the market), but to include the unsolicited opinions of a radio baron and editor Bob Rivard. Thankfully, your closest competitor, La Prensa, made the story front page news that Sunday (“Local activists fight cross-media mergers,” Oct. 22). Obviously it was a sensitive topic, because the E-N dressed Monroe as a scarecrow on Halloween ("Express-News also hit by US newspaper slide," Oct. 31) to ironically lament the paper’s loss of circulation; please excuse my lack of sympathy.
Want to beat TV in market share? Help the South, West and East sides get discount internet so they can read stories on mysanantonio.com—turn your writers loose to report news, not bury it—publish front page stories on voting fraud and the oil, development, weaponry and media industries lobbying our candidates. Your endorsements (11/3) of Perry, Dewhurst, Abbott, Combs, Patterson, Staples, Ames Jones, Hutchinson , Bonilla, and Smith clearly show the E-N’s GOP loyalty and tip the hat to corporations, not our community. Sadly, the issue remains unreported: two-thirds of our media (including E-N owner Hearst) are beholden to massive conflicts of interest, and can’t objectively report news, much less speak on behalf of public interest. Stop suppressing news!
Chuck Robinson
San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, November 02, 2006

When a Tejano star is a rapist

Que bueno que Tejano star Joe Lopez, 56, the former lead singer of Grupo Mazz, and now lead singer of the band Joe Lopez y La Nueva Imagen Mazz, got convicted and sentenced to twenty years for raping his then-13 year-old niece.

I know there are men out there - and some women - who will say that this young girl
deserved it, that she must have seduced him, that she wanted money, that she's pura slut, etc. etc. etc.

Bullshit. No woman deserves getting raped, I know so many who have. One of four women is raped - at some time in our lives.

We get raped by our fathers, brothers, cousins. On a first date in high school, or college. Or by a complete stranger walking home from work or school.

And yes, it almost happened to me in college. I fought my date off, a guy I'd been seeing for about a month and trusted.

Understand something. A woman's desire is healthy and vital. It is
not an invitation to be raped, to be touched in any way without her permission. There are women who do stupid things, like getting drunk at a party, or provocatively flaunting their bodies. These are women who are idiotas but innocent about what men will do to them if they get a chance. They don't deserve to get raped, either.

My father used to warn me not to get in a car with boys. And generally, I didn't. But even at eighteen years old, I couldn't figure out
why. We women don't think about hurting men, while many of them need to hurt us. And if our mothers or fathers don't teach us this lesson, we remain naive about what a man - or men - will do to us if given a chance.

And a thirteen year-old girl, no matter how much cuerpo she has, is especially innocent. It doesn't matter whether she's a virgen or not, she doesn't want to be raped by an uncle.

I don't know if Joe Lopez is a pedophile, though raping such a muchachita is awfully borderline, but I've seen the fun musicians have backstage with women of all ages. These women
don't deserve to be raped either.

I blame
los musicos and the groupies equally. These men believe they're desirable because we women are seduced by their power and money and celebrity. Remember: men run the television stations and newspapers and magazines that profit from treating us as pieces.... Ridiculous. One woman has more power in her heart, hands and mente than any disgusting Joe Lopez.

Claim that power, girlfriends. Don't let Joe Lopez take it from you.

And my
aplauso goes to that young girl who told on her uncle Joe Lopez. No matter what happens next, whether or not he appeals, or what people call you - you did the right thing.

Because he's not the only one out there, just the most famous.

Self-Portrait, after Frida, 1990, oil on canvas, copyright 1990 by Pilar Aguero

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Senator Kerry was right: 94 brown Texas soldiers have died so far

From my count, 94 brown Texan soldiers have died in Iraq so far because they were uneducated and ambitious. Let's get real, Senator Kerry was right by botching the joke - if our young people had a chance at a good education and a way to go to college, they wouldn't be in Iraq in the first place.

At least 55 of the 94 are from South Texas.

The recruiters and the mainstream media pay attention to our soldiers - making them believe they're special. And they are special, they have dreams, hope, all they want is a chance. But they're being used for the dreams and ambitions of our leaders who don't send their own children to Iraq. Medals, handshakes, thankyous, a little money - that's alot of cheap reward. If our government really believed in these young people, they'd put the real money in education. But that's too expensive, not when the wealthy in this country are getting more taxbreaks.


Do you know what it's like to lose someone you love? Of course you don't want to even think of it. Well, think about it, because 94 families, mothers, wives, girlfriends, children, relatives, will never be the same again.

Do you know how many men, women and children these soldiers had to kill before they were killed? What will happen to those widows, children, angry brothers and fathers?

And what is heroism, anyway? Remember MLK or Cesar Chavez or the mothers who raised us at personal great sacrifice? How can soldiers be heroes when they don't understand the context of their sacrifice? When they are too young to believe they are mortal?

Senator Kerry was right, if these soldiers understood the political and economic causes of our invasion of Iraq, most of them wouldn't be there.

These uneducated, brainwashed, soldiers, what do they know about global politics and imperialism? Or American hegemony, and our own history of American state-sponsored terrorism in other countries like Chile when we overthrew their democratically elected government on September 11, 1973?

Can our community afford to lose these young people and their potential? When one of them dies, all of us die a little, even if we don't know it. Can we afford the personal and collective loss to their families and to our country?

If we don't stop this war, then we haven't learned the lesson about war, and these soldiers will have certainly, tragically, died in vain.

Photo: Pfc Kristian Menchaca, who was abducted on June 19, 2006 and brutally killed in Iraq. He was from Houston, Texas.