Archive for video

Minutemen Videos: Vandalism, Harrassment, Pepper Spray

Vandalism

In Videos, Minutemen Shown Damaging Migrant Camp: “San Diego Minutemen can be seen pulling down migrant workers’ huts and rummaging through migrants’ possessions in a collection of video clips shot by a former member of the group.”

Harrassment

Minutemen Unvarnished: “The Minutemen and related groups are targeting day labor sites–and the laborers themselves–around the country in what they claim is a campaign to secure our borders.”
Minutemen Unvarnished

Pepper Spray

Clandestined Insurgent Rebel Clown Army: “We are clowns because what else can one be in such a stupid world. Because inside everyone is a lawless clown trying to escape. Because nothing undermines authority like holding it up to ridicule. Because since the beginning of time tricksters have embraced life’s contradictions, creating coherence through confusion. Because fools are both fearsome and innocent, wise and stupid, entertainers and dissenters, healers and laughing stocks, scapegoats and subversives. Because buffoons always succeed in failing, always say yes, always hope and always feel things deeply. Because a clown can survive everything and get away with anything.”

Lumiere – A Week’s Worth

Participating in Lumiere videoblogging:

  • 60 seconds max.
  • Fixed camera
  • No audio
  • No zoom
  • No edit
  • No effects

The rules reflect the working conditions of the Lumière brothers, who screened their first moving pictures in 1895.

[ via thestatusjoe | view more videos ]

The Sound of a New Year in Tijuana

The night sky in one of Tijuana’s neighborhoods explodes with energy in the early hours of 2007. My nephews and I share in the improvised community pyrotechnics to welcome the new year. The spirit of celebration emanates all around us.

América

One of my favorite songs about América (yes, that accent means I’m refering to the continent) is a song by Chilean hip hop group Tiro de Gracia called “América” from their album Retorno De Misericordia. Listen here and read along:

Tiro de Gracia

The song begins by describing América as a place of corruption, colonization, corporate exploitation, dictators, murderers.

América tierra vendida, explotada y herida,
América con corrupción, malos trabajos,
explotación, educación, racista, clasista,
hay muchos blancos elitistas
América con dictadores, asesinos
traficantes, mal nacidos
América mi tierra en pie de guerra
América con genocidios
por colonos no bienvenidos
América con Colón igual
muerte destrucción
América con héroes aunque el gobierno los niegue
América con mucha gente inconciente
América con muy pocos inteligentes
América con deforestación
que es igual a la tierra, muerte destrucción

The chorus then states “This is América. When God made Eden, he thought of América.”

América América esto es América
América América esto es América
cuando Dios hizo el edén pensé en América
cuando Dios hizo el edén pensé en América
América América esto es América
América América esto es América
cuando Dios hizo el edén pensé en América
cuando Dios hizo el edén pensé en América

The music and lyrics shift to describe the beauty of América, the people and rich culture.

América tierra de sabor
rimas salchis amador amor
mi tierra y cultura yo Lengua Dura
dura mi gente morena, pelo negro
yo te respeto te amo
América India JAH te bendiga
mi América Pacha Mama esta es mi cama
recuerda que el Perú es igual que tí
who are you bu umbudú guerito explotador
mama la pinga por favor

The song is scattered with references to the white racist colonizer and exploiter (You know that’s why I like it). It’s an ode to the good and the bad, a realistic portrait of a truly complicated landmass.

Dedico esto para tí
porque soy de aquí
con todo el corazón
soy tu caparazón acción
que pocos toman
porque mucho alcohol toman
recuerda que eso a los mapuches hundió
la falsa religión también la muerte apoyó
yo hablo de Historia y Geografía de tierra
y aunque a los maricas les duela
como un dolor de muelas
América suelo y tierra, sudor y escuela

This is the song I often think of when I hear people talk about being “American” in the U.S. I know a lot of people think of themselves as “Americans” but are unaware that others who drink Coca Cola but will never visit Disneyland also consider themselves “Americanos” in the continental sense. The saddest part is that many U.S. Americans mistake the country’s economic power for cultural superiority to the Spanish-speaking Américas, making them unworthy of seeing eye-to-eye as neighbors.

* * * * * * *

About a week ago, I was thinking about writing something up about the song, and on the TdG website (a web disaster, btw) I found the video for “AméricaAmérica,” which I had never seen. Unfortunately, the file took 20 minutes to download… so I figured I might as well upload it somewhere so it can get more access. Out of respect, I thought I should ask. So I did. I sent them an email asking if they didn’t have any problems with me uploading it to youtube. It took a week to get a response, but I got one (which contained the JPG I posted above). Viktor is the group’s Email Manager:

Nathan;

Vaya nuestro mas afectuoso saludo y deseos de paz y respeto para todos los seres humanos. Puedes usar el video de la forma que quieras sin uso comercial …. difundelo y todo lo que necesites …. quedamos a tu servicio.

Adjunto grafitti de la banda

Crew TDG www.tirodegracia.cl

Viktor

I immediately went to upload the video and found someone else had uploaded it while I was waiting for permission. I can’t say I’m any worse off for asking; it is nice to know they care enough to respond. Unfortunately, the video itself is a bit of a let down. From their lyrics, I expected a bit more artistic layering than what they came up with. The song still stands strong, and despite some of the rockstar cliches, they did slip in a few smart scenes and made it clear they are having a good time doing what they do.

Why life in southern California is so expensive

Video postcard from Zulma currently in Troy, New York.

I lived in Troy from 2001-2004 and my limbs still remember the numbing cold. It still hurts a bit watching that video. A snowplow once left my car packed into the snowbank up to the windows, leaving me no option but to dig it out with a piece of cardboard I got out of a dumpster. I don’t miss the pain of thawing my fingers out over the stove. One thing I do miss is how quiet it gets after it snows. Aside from that pesky sense of touch, my other senses really enjoy the winter.

For those of us not living in the tundra, it is a clear reminder why we put up with the ridiculous cost of living in SoCal. And for the rest of la raza in upstate New York, don’t forget to keep an ice scraper and shovel in the trunk.

From the Archives: Behind the Scenes of ‘Scratch’

Going through some old photos from 2001, I found these two stills taken while shooting Scratch:

production still

The beard was a product of below-freezing temperatures in upstate New York. Actually, these are some of the only photos I have when I looked like this – which was how I looked when I was reported to the FBI for being “Middle Eastern.”

production still