Monday, February 27, 2012

Ignorance & Hate Now Available as a Thong

I really can't help but just laugh when I see things like these for sale online. Following a link from a friend on facebook, I learned that Cafe Press is selling anti-immigrant apparel, house wares and stickers online. Cafe Press, is an online corporation that basically allows anyone to sell everyday items, like thongs, add designs/messages to it and either buy or sell them to others. It's no different than when you go to the mall to buy a shirt of coffee mug with your face on it.

Given the strong sentiment of folks out there who appose immigration, it really isn't a big surprise that someone was clever enough to market hate and xenophobia on everyday items and be a good capitalist. Found under "illegals" through the websites search tab, everything from shirts, stickers chonies and calendars are all available for purchase, but they sure ain't cheap. At this point, if someone wants to wear a sheriff Joe Arpio thong, there's little to no chance on coming to a reasonable conclusion with them. 

And while I think paraphernalia like this is hilarious, it speaks more to the capitalism that profits and feeds on hate, ignorance and xenophobia. Much like the private detention centers that treat immigrants like things because of the money they'll receive from the government. Idiotic items like this thong only serve as vehicles of how this kind of hate is being normalized to the point that it's found in everyday items. Taking away from the severity and crisis it is causing to families and communities not just in the US, but all over the world. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

As of late, my mind has been preoccupied with all sorts of matters, but that's nothing out of the usual really. No, my thoughts tend to stray into things that needn't be. A sort of questioning of where things are, can or will be going in terms of the undocumented student movement. There's more to this movement than the Federal Dream Act and that in a sorts is confusing and refreshing.

For me, all of my experience being an activist, organizer and being politically conscious has been through and with the Dream Act movement. It's only been in the last two years that I have been growing and seeing the threads that connect everyone together in all their different shapes and forms. But, it's with the Dream movement that comes feelings of possession, not ownership.

Feelings that are reminiscent of a five year old who doesn't wanna share his toys, a teenager who doesn't wanna ask for help of that of a 27 year old who thinks his way is the best, and anyone else doing other wise is wrong and can't compare. That last one was all me btw, thus in reflecting and taking a step back and breathing, I have move forward.

There's no point in spending my energy and time in being mad, upset or just annoyed with other things going in Los Angeles, CA or the US. To put it bluntly, this movement is big enough that no one will ever have total control of where it is going, who is doing and what will be shared. That kind of control is more of a dictatorship really. So, while it takes a conscious effort, I just pay no mind to work being done by people who I have little faith in. I remember being like that once myself and in I learned better. So, it's easier to just handle your scandal and only worry about those in your circles, rather than what isn't.

Friday, February 03, 2012

OC to LA Dream Ride 2012

Riding in celebration of the passage of the California Dream Act and connecting the immigrant rights movement with the biking community, Dream Act Riders, Dream Team Los AngelesOrange County Dream TeamEl Centro Cultural de MexicoSolidarity Ink and City of Lights are proud to be sponsoring the OC to LA Dream Ride 2012.




For those that couldn't be part of the ride, be sure to join us at the kick off press conference in the OC happening at the starting point of the ride at El Centro Cultural de Mexico: 313 M. Birch Street Santa Ana, CA 92701 starting at 8 a.m.

You can also join us at for the welcoming celebrations at Solidarity Ink as the riders arrive: 1749 N Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90031 starting at 6 pm

And be sure to check out all the pics our friend VĂ­ctor EntrePuertas took of last years ride:
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
Set 4
Set 5 
Set 6

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Truth that Ruins the Dream

For the last few days this has been on my mind. Thinking and pondering and contemplating and reflecting on the lies of the world. It's all one big as lie, sure, but for me it's all at the personal level. Maybe I should just stop taking things so personally then, ahh but alas every fiber in my being twitches at the idea of me knowing something and but not being able to say anything about it. Instead I'll be all cryptic about it and not say anything.

However, this is a lesson to be learned here. One of patience, self restraint, respect [at the very least to myself] and of understanding. I have to power on through and stay in my own lane, ignore the other ones and just do my thing. Continue building my own self as others are crumbling around me. Like the tortoise that beat the rabbit, slow and steady.

Art that keeps me going

El Mac Artist Statement, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam from Viet Nam The World Tour on Vimeo.

Art is something that defines my life on a daily basis. There are times when I go to exhibits or see something out in the streets and it feels like I just drank a glass of ice cold water in a desert. For no other reason than to share, check these two videos on two amazing artist. The one on top is of El Mac and his time in Vietnam in 2010. I had the pleasure to meet him at Self Help Graphics in 2010 when he came in to sign a print he finished there. One of the best experiences in my life to be able to just sit there and have the most casual conversation. The second video is of french artist JR who does these AMAZING portraits of folks in extreme close ups of their wrinkles. His works are all over Los Angeles and this video gives some of the background on the faces folks see out on the street.