Toward the end of Down & Delirious In Mexico City: The Aztec Metropolis In The Twenty-First Century, author Daniel Hernandez talks about encountering a group of seven muses. It’s a credit to his craft and this book that he’s able to weave the entire septet together skillfully, not just with each other, but with the whole other array of characters that inhabit the worlds he encounters as part of his own journey.
Top Gear, the long-running British auto review show, is built upon a foundation of “guy talk.” But an outburst by the show’s three hosts this week once again crossed the line from mildly boorish to positively unnerving, this time prompting a political response.
The incident occurred during Sunday’s episode, when the trio – Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May (above l-r) – turned a review of a Mexican sports car into an exercise in racist “banter” about the country and its’ people. Video and transcript are under the cut.
He’s dead and she’s half naked. Two images I encounter at every newspaper stand in Mexico City– blood and babes. A magazine cover shows a marijuana leaf and a stiletto heel in the shape of a gun. One newspaper regularly divides its front page with a preening bikini clad woman and cadavers. I’m compelled to believe that the graphicness of the individual images is enhanced when harmonized.
I whipped out a video camera and asked a few questions.
Sex and violence in the media isn’t new; but in the case of Mexico, fantasy is built on painfully real violence. Newspaper vendor Victor Luna tells me the pairing is meant to catch readers with a double barrel shot- the violence of “daily life” and sex, for a touch of “glamour.” One, the sex or the violence is sure to hit.
Apologies for the one-day delay, but after the positive response to last year’s Mexican Independence Day post, here’ s another look at some Mexican artists worth keeping track of.
Kicking things off is perhaps the most glaring omission from last year’s list – and I apologize for that – Lila Downs, the Oaxacan-Minnesotan who was nominated for an Academy Award for her contribution to the film Frida. This year, Downs released Live A FIP, a concert album recorded in Paris. So it’s appropriate we spotlight her onstage here, singing “Paloma Negra.”
The issue of long-term and comprehensive immigration reform has gained tremendous momentum over the last month. Be it progressive bloggers, faith-based groups, immigration rights activists, the White House or Congress, the buzz is that those in power must deliver a sustainable and humane solution to the immigration problem. But the disconnect between the mainstream media and the issues of immigration continues to remain challenging.
National Geographic Channel’s new reality series, “Border Wars”, is a perfect example of how the popular media tends to misconstrue the issue of immigration through a sensationalist approach to the problem. Launched on January 10th 2010, and co-produced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), “Border Wars” follows agents from CBP as they go after drug trafficking, human smuggling, and undocumented migrants trying to cross the border.
The U.S.-Mexico border stretches for 2,000 miles, over mountains, through deserts and dividing cities. Each year over one million undocumented people cross this border….U.S. dollars are the answer for many poor people struggling in Mexico, Central America, and beyond….From the skilled tracker on foot to the agent able to see in the dark with special night-vision equipment, the U.S. Border Patrol faces the challenge of controlling the desert every day. In “Border Wars”, National Geographic goes inside the world of the U.S. Border Patrol with unprecedented access to the surprising world of the southern border.