Sunday, October 26, 2014

Soy hijo de LA…

la tienda de mi abuelo y su papá

Soy hijo de LA…

Soy hijo de la mujer que es mi madre
Soy hijo de María, María del Pilar
La patrona de España, con el mismo día de Colón

Soy hijo del hombre que es mi padre
Soy hijo de Felipe, Felipe de Jerez
El cantinero del oeste y el mesero de algún Sansón

Nací con ojos y con pies
No soy insecto ni soy un nuez
No tengo espada ni corona
No se andar a caballo, pero si a pie

Soy hijo de un hombre y una mujer
Soy hermano de un hombre y una mujer
El nació antes de Navidad y ella hasta que la rosca se partió

Yo nací en verano
Aprendí a bañarme en la noche y despertarme tarde en la mañana

Mi vida pasada no la se
Fui un sastre o albañil como mis abuelos

Mi vida siguiente no la se
Leeré la biblia o matare cerdos como los papás de mis abuelos

Seré una catedral de piedras viejas, entre nubes, llena de luz y cosas de oro por dentro
Seré un hoyo en la tierra, entre paisajes, lleno de nada y cosas olvidadas por dentro

Nací en los tiempos de ti, coincidí contigo

No nací ayer y ojala no muera hoy

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Telenovelas reveal a culture about passion

From tequila farmer to First Lady of Mexico: Popular novela actress Angelica Rivera is famous for numerous roles, especially her character "La Gaviota," a noble and hard-working jimadora, or tequila farmer. Now she lives in a novela turned reality as the current First Lady of Mexico.

Telenovelas reveal a culture about passion

                Telenovelas have been a constant during the last three to four generations of my family’s identity. Growing up, I learned that my dad watched fútbol and my mom watched novelas. Inevitably, I perceived these to represent rituals celebrated by men and women separately. Soon enough, I realized my confusion about not knowing which gender exhibit to follow, instead pretended not to be more eager about dramatic love stories than twenty two men chasing a soccer ball.

Eventually, my closer relationship to my mom allowed me to gravitate more to soap operas and gradually consume three hours of every weekday night through the time I finished high school.  Although the development of telenovelas in Mexico during the late 1950s was intended to educate women about social values including work ethic and religion (some say as a political campaign from Mexico’s 71 yearlong “dictatorship” to brainwash or educate the population) they became the most common television entertainment for Mexico during the 1980s and 1990s. Ultimately, numerous novelas have been exported; either translated or modified to non-Spanish speaking countries to create a powerful international industry for Mexico. Perhaps this product has remained so appealing because it commercializes Mexican culture. The unique excitements created by the words and combination of these existing only in Spanish, the nostalgia of old hacienda backdrops, or the exotic regional landscapes culminate in a product about a passion for romanticism.

Essentially, these stories describe a very basic love story that is melodramatic, but also uncomplicated, illustrating characters and situations that are either very “good” or “bad.” The emblematic story expressed hundreds of times is most successful: the poor girl who falls in love with the rich man and must challenge a conservative society’s stigmas to reach a happily ever after. Effectively, this poor girl resembles the best virtues of a Mexican character past-and-present. She is the hard working, generously sympathetic, always brave, and piously Catholic who will stop at nothing to reach her goals of providing for her family. All her honesty will pay off and suffering will end during the final episode’s elaborate wedding scene. All, or most novelas, end with marriage accompanied by the cursive words “FIN” (or END) flying across the TV screen. “The point here is that while Latin American soaps may showcase morals and values… they are ultimately about the value of the family and the authority of tradition, which are reaffirmed by rewarding the good, the moral, and the worthy (that is, the asexual, pure, and innocent woman, and the remorseful and repentant man), with heterosexual love, marriage, and fortune.” (Davila, Arlene. Latinos Inc. p169)

Accordingly, I consider telenovelas responsible for indirectly creating a perspective for many Mexicans that represents the ideal sequence of life events leading to a romanticized outlook of a prosperous life. They continually instill Mexican and Latino families to be “traditional and committed to family, to community, and to the espíritu de superación (spirit of overcoming)” (Davila, Arlene. Latinos Inc. p158)

Nonetheless, this everlasting concern for being romantically hard working, yet romantically family oriented is what makes Latinos so different from White Americans. In my opinion, success in the USA is measured by how busy a person can be. White virtues are not so much about being a certain character, or displaying values like sympathy or nobility, but more about what you do. Typically adventurous, self-confident, White Americans portray an attitude that is down to business, or sometimes competitive. “Hispanic marketers’ emphasis on speaking to people’s hearts, and the sensitive nature of the ethnic consumer, who does not demand information so much as words spoken to the heart.” (Davila, Arlene. Latinos Inc. p240)

Perhaps novelas’ emphasis on love is evidence that Latinos are a more sensitive people. Novelas are proof that the “spiritual Latina” is passionate about dreams coming true through reverence for tradition and family. “You should do things because of your family, you should do this because it’s protective of the land, you should do this because it’s going to make you feel more like a man, this macho thing.” (Davila, Arlene. Latinos Inc. p239).  The “rational Anglo” is also passionate, but maybe their passion lies more directly to themselves, becoming a person about tight schedules, balanced budgets, and calculated adventures.