November 2003 Archives


I miss my mom at thanksgiving. I call one of my sisters at whose home we used to gather to celebrate and eat turkey with the trimmings: chile verde, beans, tortillas. This year i cooked and had an enriching banquet w/friends who are now family. All is grace and we have so much for which to be thankful.
Then, there is the knowledge that our war with Iraq is causing death-destruction, and I feel that the devil is walking on earth with renewed vigor.
This on-line discusson in a native american comic website is a reminder of the ongoing wars that we live with here and which we export elsewhere.

Tomorrow I leave on a 17-day work trip to Europe and will not have ready access for blogging. Have a blessed Christmas, a joyous Jan. 1 celebration.


La Calaca

This Spanish-language Chicano poem, "Desesperaci�n" is a terribly haunting image of the dangers that we face, that are inside of us. published by Calacapress,a family-owned publishing house in San Diego that "strives to bring about change through the literary arts." Here's a work on "Calacas" by Christina Cardenas who adds to the skeleton the tradition of praying. And Alejandro Corpe�o Dub�n re-interprests the "Calaca" with these wonderful digital works.


Chicano Spirit

I like the many facets in this undergraduate essay, "The complexities of the Chicano Spirit," written in 1997 by sophomore Rebecca Rodriguez at UT, Austin. I found it while looking for any mention of religion in chicano scholarship. I think there was traditionally a general blind spot about religion in Chicano studies and increasingly new scholars are beginning address religion head on. This essay does that.

Of course, David Carrasco has been a leader in this regard, and this article about the way he conducts his courses at Harvard is an insight into the "look and feel" of religion as it is mingled with contemporary culture. Note how in this essay the "religious" is easily blended with other themes. I like that a lot.

permanent, monogamous vows

YES! Massachusetts' highest court ruled today that the state cannot deny gays and lesbians the right to marry and ordered the state's lawmakers to devise changes in the law within six months.
Alaska and Hawaii, when faced with such a decision, passed constitutional amendments against gays and lesbians. We'll see how this goes.
Go to Mary's blog for a concise, insightful comment about what this is really about: "Far from detracting from marriage, I think that this kind of decision supports it, because it validates the reality that significant benefits accrue to people who make permanent, monogamous vows to each other. Having been married for fifteen years myself, I know how hard it is to sustain this kind of relationship, and I think those of us committed to doing so need all of the help and support we can find -- regardless of our gender."


Conference: Media, Religion and Culture

Was reminded about the Louisville Kentucky World Conference on Media, Religion and Culture when I read Jason's description of the paper he is submitting (Nov 12th entry). His blog led me to Jesus of the Week that features sightings and artifacts.


Disability Radio and Faith

Funny how God reveals. Listening to my favorite station, KPFT community radio, while on my way to tennis last week, I heard an interview with Linda Montgomery who talked about her life path change. She was a nature photographer and became blind. There was something in the way that she spoke about feeling "the divine within us," she spoke with complete understanding, clarity and assurance. She opened up new meanings of my life, and echoes of inner God experiences stirred within me. I had forgotten some of those energizing and all-important experiences. If you can tune in to the series, Disability Radio WorldWide Programming you'll enjoy it. It is hosted by disabilities activist Jean Parker and produced in Costa Rica. I highly recommend the program. Pacifica distribures the weekly series and you can also tune in by short wave.


Latinas and latinos HIV Testing

Yesterday I had occasion to recall that testing for HIV among Latinos and Latinas is poor, even though HIV infection in our community is highly disproportionate to our number. Although we make up about 14% of the U.S. population, we account for nearly 20% of the 40,000 new HIV cases reported in the United States each year.

Young latinas and latinos are getting agressive in telling peers and communities that HIV is a real threat and that TESTING is a must. I met some young women in the Rio Grande Valley who teach about condoms, HIV and sex negotiation. And the National Catholic AIDS Network is trying to strengthen its outreach to Latinos. The hushed attitudes in our community about sex need to give way to openness.


Child Soldiers

It is 15 minutes past midnight. I'm deeply troubled by a documentary I saw last night on HBO2, "Child Soldiers." Terrible images and interviews with children who have been through the hell of soldiering in Uganda, Sudan, Burma, Colombia and Sierra Leone. This documentary, produced by Electric Pictures, examines the complex issue of recruitment, kidnapping of children to become brutal child soldiers. For those who escape or who survive the fighting � there are daunting post-conflict challenges that lay before them.

The documentary premiered in October and is being re-run. One way we can help is to make links to the website of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.



Supporting the US troops in Iraq is given lip service by the Bush Administration.
I was at the Baltimore airport yesterday, returning home from a meeting with the US Catholic bishops, and saw many 20 somethings buzzing around the airport, on route either to or from Iraq. They are so young and face death/war. Here From the mennonites is a very well constructed practical worship-centered resource that helps us continue working for peace.

desktop dvd and video

Technical notes: a relatively inexpensive way to capture digital video and format it for DVD is the Sonic Foundry Vegas and DVD Architect combination. Part of Sony Digital pictures, this software, Vegas, is making incursions into the Adobe Premiere market. Sonic Foundry is offering appealing discounts to Premiere users. I am using it with good success, thanks to Alberto who keeps me technically up to date.

Identity from the grassroots

Yesterday I talked and linked about Guadalupe and identity. Here's a blog about identity that made me laugh. Adelante, Marcos.

Guadalupe keeps appearing

Last night on "24" when Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is about to inject himself with heroine, his arm reveals a HUGE tatoo of The Virgin of Guadalupe. He apparently got this (tattoo and heroine) from infiltrating the group of Latino drug dealers.

Guadalupe is still identity and power. She appears everywhere. What an amazingly interesting image. Sometimes I just like to browse at the luminous guadalupe images like these because they are just good to look at. They are indeed the way of identity and otherness, as Jacalyn Lopez Garc�a explains in this one page of a series of screens. I first saw her use the Guadalupe image in a 1999 multimedia work, "chicanolandia" (scroll down pretty far).

The virgin of Guadalupe has made it to prime time TV!


We've got work to do

Healing one another, accompanying each other, trusting. These are evocative words from the video production I have just completed. They are also the words of true leaders in this debate about Bishop Robinson in the Anglican Church. Note this dated but relevant letter from Bishop Cristopher Senyonjo, former Chairman of Integrity-Uganda.

An updated account of him is here.


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