Saturday, April 13, 2013

Assimilation Doesn't Equal Liberation

At one point in my life you may have heard me say that I want to be an American. And at that time, I meant it. But as with anything else, time changes things and I no longer desire to be American. There are several layers to that statement, but it basically comes down to assimilation doesn’t equal liberation.

English is technically my second language and the only reason I’ve adapted to the US is because I’ve spent the majority of my life here. The culmination of my time here has guided me to the kind of understanding I have today, that at the end of the day, all want is to be a citizen of the US, but I will never call myself an American.

I’ve invested in this countries system just as much as it has in me, and to not attain citizenship would be like giving up on everything I’ve gone through and worked for. It’s the principal of the whole thing. It’s principalities in this.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Help me get to Netroots Nation this year

Warning: Self Promotion Ahead

Occasional readers of this blog, I need your help. I'm trying to get to Netroot Nations this year. Netroots nations is, "We amplify progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Through our annual convention and other events, we strengthen the community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere."

That being said, the scholarship competition works like a popularity contest. The folks with the most votes are given a scholarship to attend the conference. I applied last year and sadly, didn't make it  :( That's why I'm applying again this year, and doing a HUGE push, flexing my social media muscles.

So take 2 minutes of you time and CLICK THIS LIKE RIGHT HERE and vote for me. Once you do that, take to more minutes and vote for my home girls Nancy Meza and Meagan Ortiz. They both bring in something that is critically needed at these kind of conferences, woman of color in media.



Tuesday, April 09, 2013

La Santa Cecilia: ICE El Hielo

I've had the privilege of seeing La Santa Cecilia grow as a band. They'v been putting in work for the last couple of years and the community has supported their efforts at every step possible. At the same time, the band has returned that same kind of suppor by always playing at fundraisers, parties and marches. They're a band for the by people by the people and it shows through and through.

Their latest video, "El Hielo" is a perfect example of the bands commitment to supporting the fight for social justice through their music and art. The video is part of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network's campaign #not1more. The video hit close to the heart for alotta folks and it has some familiar faces for those that organize and do work here in Los Angeles and Arizona. If you haven't seen a LSC show in person yet, be sure to follow them on facebook and catch them next time they're playing near you.

Monday, April 01, 2013

How I learned English and American pop culture from the Simpsons

I’ve been re-watching old Simpsons episodes. I’m talking about the first 10 seasons or so, which are the classic episodes folks grew up with. I started watching them because I don’t have a TV or internet connection at home, so these old episodes help me zone out and by happenstance, revisit some childhood memories.

In the early days of when I fist arrived to the US, watching Saturday morning cartoons was one of the things that didn’t really change. In Mexico, I reveled in the time I got to spend in front of the TV watching the same shows everyone else watched, but in Spanish. I asked my mom about this once, and she told me about how I use to sing the Thudercats song when the show came on and I’d be swinging a sword while watching.

And like some latchkey kid, whenever I wasn’t in school, I’d be playing video game or watching TV with my younger sisters. There are too many shows to name that contributed to my mastery of the English language at an early age, but also a wealth of useless pop-culture knowledge that is increasingly becoming irrelevant with the passage time. All these nuclear family sitcoms also instilled false sense of what it meant to be “American,” social norms and what to expect out of universal experiences such as high school and college.

It took me a while to filter out all of the subliminal brainwashing that comes with pop-culture, leaving only a chewy, nugget center of nerdom and knowledge that has helped me navigate different paths throughout my life. Real fans of the Simpsons know that it was much more than a situational slapstick comedy. It parodied old movies, historical events and nuances that can be over looked if you don’t know what to look for.

To me, it’s happenstance that all of the gems dropped into every episode sank deep into my psyche and molded the foundation for my logic, sense of humor, sense of sarcasm and partly, my view on life. But this goes numerous other things such as some of my favorite movies, books, music, comic books, video games etc.

But what makes the Simpsons the exception is that I found the show at a time when I was starting to laying the foundation as I was learning English at home with the TV and at school with other kids.

I guess more than anything, as I laugh hysterically, I’m appreciating the true uniqueness of the show, noticing things I didn’t before and appreciating the simplicity of it all. That I learned English from watching shows like the Simpsons.