Interesting. Never realized that MoLAA had been sticking to such a myopic policy in terms of what qualifies as “Latin American” …and apparently, according to the LA Times, any Latin American born north of the US/Mexican border is a “Chicano”. On the surface, the new exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach doesn’t seem unusual. A series of more than two dozen paintings and mixed-media works by Mexican American artists from around Southern California depict various guises of landscapes — from a tight city grid by José Ramirez to an expressionistic procession of figures painted by the late Carlos Almaraz.
What is it about horror films and Spain? 9 out of these 10 were made by Spaniards. Anyone out there theorizing on post-Franco fetishism of the genre? Even Mexico’s Guillermo del Toro went to Spain to film his most notable trilogy of fantasy/horror films: Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Orphanage. Or maybe Spanish distributors just have a better relationship with Netflix…? “Whether you love to be scared or just want to laugh at a ridiculously gory film, here are 10 horror movies in Spanish you can stream on Netflix.”
In Brazil, there’s the big parades during carnival with all the pageantry and choreography that have made the lenten rite a global phenomenon. But across the nation, it’s the smaller street parades or “blocos” that everybody loves. They don’t have the same pedigree. Sometimes their origins are unkown. They’re cute, they’re adorable, and occasionally they’re so low budget and ugly that you have to hug them. They are the mutts of carnival. And now one of these mutts of carnival will be exclusively dedicated to….mutts.
Behold the BloCão
The word street parade = Bloco.
The word dog = Cão
(In portugueses via O Globo / Watercolor by Irina March).
The editors and contributors at Revista Trip have an uncanny knack for pinpointing the what is most awesome about… us. In this blog piece, Luiz Filipe Tavares compiles some epic YouTube footage from the golden days of skateboarding’s late 80’s renaissance – a time when Orange County and the South Bay still had some legitimate punk rock street cred. Middle class, no doubt. But with just enough edge to keep outsiders humble and just enough grit to keep living at the beach an affordable reality. Vision Skateboards and Epitaph records were the outlets for the last authentic screams of post-Reagan Era angst. When junkies and biker gangs were a far greater threat to suburban bliss than today’s steady stream of sloppy drunk frat dicks in Pier Plaza. Classic footage of Hosoi, Gonzo, and a ton of others. And big ups to Luiz for garnishing this collection with an older gem like 1978’s Skateboard Kings – a foundational film that includes absolutely brilliant faux-anthropological voice over work by Peter Malinker who manages to inject a little James Fennimore Cooper into the post pubescent porn-stache antics of a young Tony Alva and Co.
““You’re young male and live in the city. How do you prove yourself in the most materially comfortable country on earth? How do you show courage, daring, skill, strength? How do you prove you’re a man? If you’re a Massai tribesman in Africa you kill a lion. If you’re an aborigine boy you go on walkabout. If you live in Dogtown Los Angeles …you ride a skateboard!”
“Another Casualty of Venezuela’s Revolution: Work Ethic | Transitions“ is a somewhat bizarre stream of consciousness piece by Juan Nagel for Foreign Policy Magazine. The argument is that Chavismo put a ceiling on the benefits that could be reaped from a strong work ethic by stifling competition through a series of government interventions into the economy. Nothing new. Really. Nothing at all. Except perhaps for the mental gymnastics and metaphorical pilates necessary to frame the Miss Venezuela pageant as the country’s last bastion of free market competition and merit based rewards. Interesting to note that Nagel is not calling his compatriots lazy – just saying they lack incentive or legitimate outlets for competition. Nagel suggests that the lack of opportunity in Venezuela has actually had the effect of re-channeling any residual work ethic into criminal, corrupt, or grossly manipulative exploitation of the various black market opportunities that have emerged as a result of Venezuela’s socialist policies. There’s plenty of free-market enterprise, it’s just that most of it is criminal. There are certainly far more coherent critiques of Chavismo but leveraging the uncanny dominance of Venezuelans on the world beauty pageant circuit was a nice gimmick to boost web traffic (almost as shameless as me reblogging the link …with photo). While I generally agree that Chavismo is a highly unstable house of cards built more on empty rhetoric than effective policy, I find the most worthwhile part of Nagel’s blog post to be the revelation that the Miss Venezuela pageant is sponsored by none other than Diet Bimbo …er, “Bimbo Diet”.
Actually, if we’re gonna sell out, let’s go the distance and throw in another shot of Irene Esser: a beacon of hope for neoliberal values in Venezuela.
“Creíamos que el socialismo del siglo XXI no había sido capaz de crear al hombre nuevo. Pero no es cierto. El hombre nuevo existe. Es una bestia de rapiña. Se venía formando desde antes. El chavismo lo doctoró”.
– Tulio Hernández
Venezuelan sociologist and columnist for El Nacional
The quote is taken from the end of an article in El País on perceptions of social and political crisis in Venezuela. Well, the article is pretty clear what perception is most accurate – the author sees Venezuela on the fast track to an Escape From New York style post-apocalyptic anarchy. So with angry mobs of drivers taking control of the streets and people lining up around the block for toilet paper, is president Maduro -when not busy accusing the US of plotting his assassination- merely overseeing the final death knells of Chavismo? Or has the demise of the neo-Bolivarian dream been greatly exaggerated…?
The World Trade Center was so simple in its design. An incredible feat of structural engineering but ultimately just two parallel sets of crisp clean lines stretching skyward. LA Times’ Bob Griever took this stunning shot of the WTC sprouting above its much older neighbors in July 1986. Bob used the WTC as his perch to photograph the Statue of Liberty during her rededication after renovations. See below for a link to the full photo essay on Liberty Weekend and Operation Sail.
Brazilian coverage of the NY surf scene. Montauk to Rockaway through the lens of Brooklynite Joni Sternbach. Interpretado por From not so deep in the baú da Revista Trip. See below for a link to Revista Trip’s article on Sternbach’s photography.
Philosophy student, Political activist, Punk rocker. This is Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot. The arrest and subsequent conviction of three members of Pussy Riot for hooliganism has made international headlines and launched the girls to global fame as celebrities and NGOs around the world critique the conviction as emblematic of a retrograde state of human rights and freedom of expression under the Putin regime. The T-shirt that Tolokonnikova has been photographed in while in custody has also highlighted the syncretic blend of influences that feed into Pussy Riot’s music and political message. ¡No Pasaran! became a battle cry during the Spanish Civil War that was given new life in the 1980s by Carlos Mejia Godoy, a Nicaraguan musician who used “No Pasaran” to anchor his eponymous folk ballad that served as a de facto anthem for the Sandinistas. Just part of an interesting genealogy for the ladies of Pussy Riot.
Of course, as a punk rockers, the lion’s share of Pussy Riot’s lineage traces back to the American and British punk scene from the 80s and early 90s. According to John Harris, Pussy Riot takes many of its cues from bands like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile, two scions of the “riot grrrrrl” movement out of Olympia, Washington. The Guardian published an interesting article by Harris where he explores these connections and dissects how modes of cultural protest that have grown tired, cliché, or otherwise drained of their original urgency in the west are finding a new voice and new audience in the higher-stakes political arenas of the east:
“What does all this tell us? That the Anglo-American world still sleeps, having sent forth cultural archetypes that have exploded all over the world. That in some places, culture actually still matters. And that in the macho dystopia of Putin’s Russia, where everything cultural is political and vice versa, three remarkable women have gone to prison to prove it.”