Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicanonautica: St. Patrick’s Day with Damballah, Quetzalcoatl, and Latinopia

by Ernest Hogan

The Phoenix sun is making things looks and feel more like summer than winter. It’s getting warm and bright. And oddly enough, I’ve been seeing people dressed in green on the streets.

It must be the approach of St. Patrick’s Day -- and to the strange way that Irish culture has taken root in the Southwest, the Celtic virus penetrating deep into zones considered to be Aztlán.

That must have been why the folks at asked me to do a guest blog about the Irish/Mexican connection, which I provided in my best Aztec Leprechaun style.

It may have been Damballah, the voodoo serpent god, who in Santeria uses St. Patrick as a disguise, who sent Jesús Treviño of Latinopia, and Michael Sedano of La Bloga through my part of embattled Arizona on their way to cover the Librotraficantes bringing the banned books to Tuscon. Jesús set up a camera and lights in my backyard, and interviewed me about Cortez on Jupiter and my writing career, for Latinopia (watch for the video, coming soon). Michael greeted the plants and flowers in my wife’s garden as if they were old friends. Later we all dined and talked at Popo’s, a stand-out in a town full of Mexican restaurants.

I was delighted to discover that Jesús Treviño is another sci-fi Chicano. He credits the A-B-C of Science Fiction -- Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke -- with saving him from the gangs of East L.A., and is well versed in the genre’s classics from the Forties and Fifties. He also directed episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and Babylon Five.

Besides science fiction and Chicanismo, we discussed Latinopia, and his vision of the site becoming a center for Latino culture on the web. I look forward to these videos and blogs about art, film&television, food, history, literature, and theater, attracting a global audience and generating networking and marketing that will create the Latino culture of the future.

Stay plugged into Latinopia and La Bloga -- we’re making the culture of the World Wide Barrio!

Recomboculturalism is in the air. St. Patrick and his celebrations are being Mexicanized as well as Africanized. Quetzalcoatl may sprout green plumes this weekend. Meanwhile, we can celebrate with jalapeño soda bread. And a friend in California has told me of her experiments with corned beef rolled tacos.

Ernest Hogan’ s novel Cortez on Jupiter is available as an ebook for Kindle and other devices.

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