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Showing posts from April, 2007

TRUE STORY: Los Panties en New York City

I"m in New York City this week for the PEN World Voices Festival, an annual gathering of writers from around the world, no Chicana/o writers hanging out here, just me and la colombiana Raquel...
Anyway, been staying with the journalist Roberto Lovato in Brooklyn, and as I left the N Train on 14th Street yesterday, a man rushed to reach me, saying "Excuse me, I think these are yours."
Raquel and I turned around. Nobody hardly talks to anyone on the subway.
He was a big, white, professional-looking man. In a pin-stripe suit, pa' acabar. With my black Victoria's Secret panties in his hands.
If you know me, I always have something to say. This time, I was frozen, stunned with verguenza, what would my mother say? Why does this always happen to me?
Raquel turned to me as he came forward clutching my french-cut calzones with the pretty pink rosettes. She was accusing. "Did you forget to wear your calzones?" "No." "Well, then how come he has them, …

What the Henry Munoz Spin Machine is saying

I got a pretty nasty email from Nikki (?) about my Chingazos postings, relating to FightNight outside the Museo Alameda Smithsonian during the VIP Gala (see previous posts). Don't have time to interview the other side, but here's what I do know.

Artista Franco Mondini, dicen different sources, saw the fight. According to Rina Moreno, who was assaulted by Henry Munoz' family members, Juan Ramos, another well-known artista, talked to Cruz after the chingazos and repeated her depiction of events, telling Cruz that Franco had told him what happened just as Rina alleges.

You know what happens next, doncha? The right thing to do is for Henry Munoz to apologize, he's buena gente, que no? But it won't happen.

Political people, trust me, Munoz is one, don't think in terms of what's right. They think in terms of advantage, appearance, deals, money. They don't listen to their soul, they listen to their ego, which is richly rewarded in this material and arti…

THE CHISME CONTINUES: The fight at the Museo Alameda on Opening Night

Ok, so I got a call from a relative of Rina's, the woman who was beat up outside the Museo Alameda on Thursday, April 12th, during the VIP Gala in downtown San Antonio. Los chingazos were apparently given by relatives of Henry Munoz, the Museo Alameda Smithsonian's empresario, the Alameda Museum's founder, and resident star-maker.

Rina Moreno, the social worker wife of Cruz Ortiz, artista, has filed a police report and intends to press assault charges against Peter Falcon, an actor. Falcon is married to Meredith, Henry Munoz's niece, and they brought their two young daughters to the Alameda VIP pachanga. Here's what happened according to Rina's familia:

It was about 12:30 am on Thursday night, and Cruz was helping put an easel away a few feet outside the museum. While he worked on this, Rina decided to return to the dancing which was still rockeando the museum. On the way there, she wished outloud to no one "Goddammit, I want a fucking giftbag!" a…

Chiiiisme! After the exclusive pachanga at the Alameda, los chingazos

Ok, so everybody I know is mixtiado about Henry Munoz, the (alleged, some say) founder and corporate fuerza behind the Museo Alameda Smithsonian, which celebrated an exclusive dinner for the hoi politicos in San Antonio before the public's opening night on Friday the 13th.
The food was delicious and VIP.

My good sources on the scene tell me that Rina, la esposa de Cruz Ortiz, a chicano artist of repute who was in Henry's Chicano! exhibit by Target some years ago, got into some chingolazos with la wifa de Peter Falcon (the niece of Henry Munoz) outside the Alameda's steps by the plush sofas close to the midnight hour.

Hey, it was meant to be a let them eat cake night (check out the installation by Franco Mondini Ruiz with a Venus de Milo on a stack of pancakes)

Emily Bueche also got into it, Henry Munoz's sister, throwing down puro alamierda style (as it is commonly referred to in barrioesque), according to very good and reliable chismosos working on the inside of the join…

What the media didn't tell you about the Duke University stripper

I can't believe the media hasn't even tried to tell the truth about the Duke University stripper so I will. I'm a writer, who's also worked as a social worker. Contrary to popular myth, las strippers don't w ant sex. They become strippers or prostitutes because they've been raped, sometimes by all the men in their family, and they have been socialized to believe this is what a woman does. They want to please men, and yet they hate them.

Many times the stripper/prostitute will take drugs to escape the pain. Or she becomes an addict because that's how Daddy wanted it.

I believe the stripper in the Duke University case was raped. Horribly. Likely with a broom. But she was too drugged-up and too unstable to tell her story.

The rich white guys have so much power, and who's going to listen to this poor black stripped-down woman? Some of these guys will be judges someday....

I have seen prostitutes, strippers, abused women. It's …

MEDIA WATCHATE! Imus isn't the only one

Let me count the haters: Coulter; Limbaugh; O'Reilly...and our own wolf-in-sheep's-clothing, Jonathan Gurwitz of the San Antonio Express-News.
There's more but I don't listen to talk radio or watch TV because of their rhetoric.

What Imus said isn't free speech, it's hate speech. He said it because he's gotten away with it but there are others who've said much worse. Imus is a symbol of Big Media that places profit over protest. The airwaves belong to all of us, not just to white men like Imus. We need real debate in this country. Diverse, informed, contextual, impassioned, but not racist, sexist... And we deserve to hear other voices besides the haters.

Register your protest to the FCC. See the link below.

artistic credits: http:

MEDIA WATCHATE! Columnist Missing: What happened to Susan Yerkes?

Have you seen this woman? Susan Yerkes disappeared from the San Antonio Express-News a couple months ago. Her society onda reported women's affairs with a progressive, sassy, beat. Sus columns just disappeared one day with no explanation given. A reporter from the paper assured me that she was still alive, but seemed nervous just mentioning her name.

The chisme-mill says that Yerkes, a proud card-carrying feminista threatened by Executive Editor Bob Rivard with her job in the past, neglected to write about a party that retiring publisher Larry Walker hosted. Oops!

Another friend emailed the so-called Public Editor Bob Richter at the San Antonio Express-News on February 14th, 2007. The response from Richter was along the lines of "I don't know and I can't talk about it." This is from the Public Editor who's supposed to represent the readers.

With the disappearance of Yerkes, there are no out-feministas publishing columns at the paper anymore. Melissa Sto…

Latino lite or Latino life: The Smithsonian Museo Alameda in San Antonio opens

Henry Munoz, a vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Smithsonian and San Antonio native, is the driving force behind the Smithsonian-affiliated Museo Alameda, opening with fireworks on April 13th, and a free concert by Linda Ronstadt. The Alameda itself is a historic theatre in downtown San Antonio, a resplendant building that once hosted a milieu of Mexican stars and the films from the golden age of Mexican cinema.

Now, it's a national museum. Here in San Antonio, where the Guadalupe Cultural Center is imploding from its corporate ambitions and wannabe-boardmembers, there is debate about the influence of corporate interests on the depiction of latino culture that the Museo Alameda represents. It is our story, yours and mine, after all, that has the power to change hearts. With this musuem, will we tell it, or will we ask permission from our corporate sponsor? You tell me.

Below is a comment from Pablo Miguel Martinez, noted poet and cultural activist. He's from…

The Guadalupe: MudKing can't clean up the mess

My good sources tell me that Russell Felan, Mud King Extraordinario, will be voted on tonight, April 10th, at the Guadalupe Theatre as the newest boardmember. There's something too about Mike de la Garza getting on the board, though I don't know who he is.

Don't quote me, but I've also heard that both men are connected to Maria
Elena Torralba-Alonso, via family or corporate ties. She's the one
who got the Guadalupe into the mess they're in today. IF they are
connected, this is bad news.

In a conversation just now with Councilwoman Patti Radle, she expressed her frustrations with the Guadalupe Cultural Center, but stopped short of taking the steps necessary to force the Guadalupe Board to resign.

Look, the Guadalupe Cultural Center is in deep debt and deeper denial. Program-stifling, board-silencing, macho-armoring, dinero problems. (Long story, review my past blogs if you want.) At this point, unless the community marches down Guadalupe Avenue, (during Fiesta …

The Guadalupe: Los Paintbrushes

From one of the founders of the Guadalupe:

I remember when we first moved into the was being
used as a flea market.....on the southside (Guadalupe Street)
there was a door and a long room all painted was used
as an arcade........One guy from the neighborhood came to see me...
said he was a commercial painter.......said he had no money for
diapers for his child.........from his back pocket he pulled out
some house paint brushes (4 inch) and said look hold on to these....
give me $15 and I'll come buy them back......I looked at the brushes
and I looked at him....the brushes were used
but they were well taken cared the time there was some
graffitti on the walls...not awhole bunch...and I told
him.......I got a gallon of paint......go cover that graffiti and
I'll give you fifty.......

Another time a guitar player came and we went throught the same this time we were already in the Progresso
building it had to be the second year....…

The Meaning of Easter from El Salvador, that country

Maria C. is a journalist, who just returned from El Salvador on a fellowship. Here is her post (with my edits) from an email she sent me:I live in a country, el salvador (remember)where 10 corpses
turn up every day and they're not just gangbangers, (we all know
that loss weighs less on the soul)400 women are killed every year
by men that promised to love them and yet I was woken up this
morning to some lady with a megaphone asking God to forgive us,
el pueblo,for murdering a man nearly 2000 years ago. What?!Last Friday I wound up by mistake downtown in front of the
cathedral where they stuck Monsenor Oscar Romero's remains in
the basement. A bunch of ladies wearing ridiculously frilly lacy
veils, white,prayed as some pig faced evangelical preacher told
them that the King and Queen of Spain are in town...but you know
what...he intoned...all the powerful people (men, he said) could
come here and it wouldn't make a difference. it won'tchange the
poverty, the violence, the crime, n…

While the Guadalupe fiddles, a Chicano theatre dies

Cara Mia Theatre in Dallas was founded over ten years ago to bring Chicana/o theatre to la raza, and to train a whole new generation of artistas. Adelina Anthony, a highly-regarded actress from San Antonio who looks like a movie star with the conciencia of Cherrie Moraga, founded it with much sacrificio. The City of Dallas has never rewarded them for their community work and grassroot audiences. What has happened to us?

Its funny that in 11 years here with Cara Mia and me about to resign my positions and long journey with Cara Mia it is not because we are in debt. But because we can't get enough funds to pay a director and staff what is due. And the moneys are in the bank as I speak loca, but I have given too much to this beautiful child that every one loves but few understand. I have cried rivers like a baby knowing this will become history for me, but I have to go on with my life. Just maybe I will return if things go well with me, and maybe not Cara Mia but the sa…

The Guadalupe: R. Bret Ruiz Resigns and the Board Must Go Too

I heard tonight from very reliable sources that tomorrow, April 4th, the city's newspaper, the San Antonio Express-News,will report that the Guadalupe's Cultural Center MBA-President, R. Bret Ruiz, is resigning, effective April 18th of this year. The SAEN will report the party line, that he's moving on to better things, that they accepted his resignation...and other b,,,..,,t.

Here's what happened. The Guadalupe has been in serious debt for a long time, thanks to the corporate ambitions of past directors, most notably Maria Elena Torralba-Alonso, and the corporate rubber-stamp board she selected. Some people say the Guadalupe is in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and I'm being careful.

So long story short: The Board hasn't had a clue for a long time, and they're responsible for getting the Guadalupe into this mess of debt, and for the mass firings of women, most notably la Mary Jessie Garza, who was interim director. Instead they hired a direct…