Tags: Mexico

Elegy in an Urban Scrapyard

WHAT: My inaugural post for the blog portal Thought Catalog, a discursive meditation, refracted through the prism of personal recollection, on what I call “the fulsome ’80s” and, more specifically, the industrial aesthetic in music and subcultural thought, on the occasion of the death of the Throbbing Gristle keyboardist—tape-player, to be accurate—Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson. WHERE: […]

Read more

Love in the Time of Swine Flu

Newsflash: the June 2009 issue of The Brooklyn Rail includes “Love in the Time of Swine Flu,” my feature on David Lida, pegged on the softcover release of First Stop in the New World, his addictively readable book about Mexico City. Teaser: Now that the epidemic seems to have peaked, with a global body count […]

Read more

Delirious Urbanism

“I knew Sterling when he was an Aztec pimp”: the SF writer and Fine Young Ballardian Chris Nakashima-Brown, quoting William Gibson talking about Bruce Sterling. Neither of us could parse Gibson’s one-liner, but it had a certain corkscrew logic to it. Nakashima-Brown and I were in Mexico City last week, along with Sterling, Christopher Priest, […]

Read more

Axles of Evil

Courtesy Propaganda Remix Project; all rights reserved.. What with pound-of-flesh gas prices; Bush’s tax incentive to stimulate SUV sales, unbelievably; an anti-terrorist driving school offering tips on high-impact ramming techniques and high-speed evasive maneuvers for dealing with death-racing terrorists (or just garden-variety road ragers); and the cheese monkeys’ recent eco-vigilantism against our gas-slurping behemoths, my […]

Read more

Crossing La Linea

As mentioned earlier, the Sept./Oct. issue of Print magazine includes my feature on Mexican-American visual culture. Last summer, I interviewed cholo, Chicano, self-styled “pocho,” and expatriate Mexicano illustrators and graphic designers in L.A., San Diego, and Tijuana; this article draws on those interviews, as well as an extensive conversation with the brilliant Chicano cultural theorist […]

Read more

Dismemberment of Things Past

Stuck on fast forward, we’ve accelerated to the point where our multitasking, instant-messaging speed tribes are experiencing an eerie nostalgia for the present—an ironic world-view in which every experience is framed in air quotes. Still from Decasia: The State of Decay (Bill Morrison, 2002). Courtesy Decasia website.

Read more

Mexico City Mash-Up

Just back from Mexico City, where I lectured on nostalgia (lecture title: “The Dismemberment of Things Past”) at the Museo Rufino Tamayo, as part of Cabinet magazine’s “Nostalgia” conference, and, later, solo at the Casa del Lago (lecture title: “Evil Empire,” a Baudrillardian critique of late-imperial America’s geopolitical arrogance and excess). Thanks to the bush-beating […]

Read more