Thursday, November 16, 2023

Chicanonautica: Back to a Transmogrified World


Once again, I’m back from a road trip and the world has changed. When we took off on this one, we were about to face it all with a new Speaker of the House, and somehow that went wrong. Who would have thought that the Republicans would suddenly act like a tank full of piranha after a chunk of bloody meat? In the wake of Trump’s trials, they’re too busy going after each other to worry about us nefarious Latinoids.

Even in the face of the boiling international situation–Hey! Look! There are other borders on this planet and a lot of them are hot spots.

Then there’s those mass killings . . .


My wife, her brother Mike–the road trip Zen maestro–and I were having laughs over the news from Washington and Georgia as we wandered while cherchez-la-weirding through NoCal (being born in Eastlos, that’s exotica to me), Sasquatchlandia, and Planet Nevada. I was also taking a lot of photos, scribbling notes. Like Guillermo Gómez-Peña once said, “are we migrating in reverse? or are we simply collecting data for future projects?” When you're a writer, everything is research, and if done right, can be a lot of fun.

But then there are a lot of ugly heads being reared, and when you go looking for America, you never really know what you’ll find.

I enjoy the bizarre rasquache and weird beauty that comes from all the worlds colliding, but the post-Apocalyptic, and dystopian thread running through things is disheartening.

Disheartening. Interesting word. Why is it conjuring images of Aztec sacrifices in my brain?

I’m a dreamer and an optimist, but I believe in paying attention. I’ve got the Odysseus Syndrome–I have to hear the song of the Sirens. Once you’ve heard them, the flashes of utopias are sweeter.

And I realize that what is utopia for some is dystopia for others. That’s what politics is all about.

So, I’ve got all this stuff in my head, my phone (freshly downloaded into my computer), and my sketchbook. More stuff comes in all the time thanks to our modern media. I’m gonna do my usual travelogues both here and in Mondo Ernesto. Some of it will make its way into, or at the least influence, my stories and novels. It’s where I get those crazy ideas.

This time it's going to be more intimately linked with wondering where it’s all going.

Funny, that seems to be one of my favorite themes.

Meanwhile, on utopian flash side of things, nature is still alive and well, if wounded, cannabis is a major industry in the West (it reminds me of how in Norman Spinrad’s Bug Jack Barron, the sponsor of the hero’s TV show was Acapulco Gold), murals, graffiti, and yard art are alive and well, Mexican restaurants (and Mexicans) are thriving outside of Aztlán, and even in crumbling cities and landscapes, people get creative. When the going gets tough, the tough get creative. It’s our secret weapon and superpower.

And I’ll be reporting through mutant Chicano cyborg eyes.

Ernest Hogan's new book, Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song: 15 Gonzo Science Fiction Stories ( formerly known as Pancho Villa's Flying Circus) is finally available, and he will once again be judging the Somos en escrito Extra Fiction contest, and is still hoping for stories that will blow his twisted mind and turn civilization inside out.

No comments: