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Showing posts from December, 2006

Why are we afraid of this Virgen in San Antonio, Texas?

In San Antonio, this rendering of La Virgen de Guadalupe by the artist Anna-Marie Lopez was censured - though these days we don't use that word -there's too much terrorism in it - at the Centro Cultural Aztlan, a Kool-Folk Chicana/o institution on the fast-track to mainstream inclusion in this town.

I admire Centro Cultural and all the people connected with it - but - we need this Virgen. Look at her:
She's naked, a serpent wraps her body, she's behind barbed-wire, and her jewelry is a ruby-red human heart. It seems to me that she's a woman of the times, evoking an imprisoned, marginalized, suffering, loving, woman, whose power is seen but not realized.

"They missed the point," says Lopez, who barely gets by on her disability paychecks, and who created this piece after much research especially for the Guadalupana exhibit. "At this time, people are scared of us," she said, referring to the post-9/11 world and subsequent immigrant-bashing. "…

San Antonio and the War: It enriches us, it owns us, it orders us

San Antonio, Texas is the most soulful city in the state, we're a haunted city with the Alamo, the ghosts that wander around it at night, and a river, now over-developed and touristized, but a river nevertheless that haunts the memory of the descendants of the people who have been here since before the Alamo...

So many wars and battles here, the Alamo itself is the centerpiece of its glorification, and the modern-day equivalents are the four bases here.True to San Antonio, and the magical world of paradox we embody, is the irony of how it's been the military that's taken so many latinos into middle-class life. The textbook case is Henry Cisneros, whose late father was a colonel, and Henry himself was in the ROTC at Texas A&M, where he graduated from college.

San Antonio was defined by a war, the Texas Revolution, and continues to serve the interests of the military-industrial complex. The San Antonio Express-News, Hearst-owned, gives us stories every day it seems, abo…

Christmas in San Antonio

Outside my window this Christmas morning, I see my neighbor's children and grandchildren arrive from the suburbs to share their traditional tamales, everybody bringing bags of presents, smelling of new colognes and soap. One of the daughters-in-law is pregnant, and her new leather coat is wrapped tightly around her pansa.

As usual, I'm just watching, there's probably something wrong with me because I just like to look, admire, and write about Christmas.

Christmas always makes me feel weird. There is nothing sweeter than seeing las familias coming together like this, and I can feel their love for each other all the way to my upstairs apartment. It reminds me when I was married, and my ex-husband's family had their Christmas-frenzy on, lots of wato and Santa Claus-dressing, a buffet of food, teenagers trading secrets, scrabble boards opening up, football blaring on the television, and children crying because they're overwhelmed, I guess.

One year I tried to get my ve…

Ciro Rodriguez Wins: The San Antonio Express-News Loses

In case you didn't read it, the SAEN yesterday endorsed Congressman Henry Bonilla (R) despite having nothing good to say about him. It was weird, and it took the queque for bad editorials among zillions served. The editorial clumsily attempted to find something negative about Ciro Rodriguez (D), a progressive congressman who was a victim of Tom De Lay's redistricting tactics that were overturned by the Supreme Court. And tried to put the fear of God in us by suggesting we'd risk gaining a military medical center, yea right. Like we don't know the difference between good and bad pork. The SAEN never even attempted to closely examine the candidates as people, their ideals, their achievements, their failures, etc. etc. etc. Porque you ask? Because they know Bonilla stinks, but the newspaper, like all the media in San Antonio, wants this war, wants its profits, and to hell with the soldiers dying over there. Keep us poor, keep us fat, keep us ignorant, that'…