Mexican American History MMX


Mexican Americans don’t like to get up early in the morning, but they have to, so they do it real slow. 
Mexican Americans love education so they go to night school  and they take spanish and get a B.
Cheech from Up In Smoke

Mexican Americans don’t like to get up early in the morning, but they have to, so they do it real slow. 
Mexican Americans love education so they go to night school  and they take spanish and get a B.
Cheech from Up In Smoke

The LA County Art Museum, or LACMA, opened a new exhibition hall at the start of October, adding a 7th building to the historic complex that spreads over 20 acres along Wilshire Blvd, between Fairfax Ave and Hancock Park. 

LACMA is the largest Art Museum in the Western United States.

To commemorate the opening with pomp and revelry, there was a gala opening Friday night, Oct. 1st, that my best mate / band mate Chepe Escondido and I attended. One of the featured Exhibitions at this new wing, that will run till January 9, 2011 is OLMEC: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico 

Here’s a bit of history, paraphrased from the museum’s wall, for those unaware of Mesoamerican mystique

    Olmec civilization flourished in the southern Gulf Coast lowlands, in the tropical
    rainforests and watery savannahs of the Mexican states of southern Veracruz and
    western Tabasco. 

     Olmec is acknowledged as the oldest civilization in the Americas to create
     monumental art and architecture
. The term Olmec was coined to refer to an art
     style that came to light in the mid-nineteenth century, nearly three thousand years
     later, after a farmer discovered this first colossal head in a cornfield. 

     At that time, not much was known about the great diversity and antiquity of  
     Mesoamerican civilizations, and the enormous sculpture was perceived as
     unique, both in scale and in the realism of its features.

     A series of major Olmec capitals (San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes) and minor
     Olmec centers, established in regional hierarchies, flourished between 1800 and 400 B.C. Archaeologists
     call the region Olman; the name is derived from the Aztec word ollin (“land of rubber”) and refers to one of
     the area’s natural resources. The language spoken by these ancient peoples is not yet know; although
     fragmentary texts hint at the existence of Olmec writing. Linguistic analyses, however, clearly imply that 
     languages in the Mije-Zoque family currently spoken in this region were strongly rooted in Olman.

     Early twentieth-century studies defined the sophisticated carving style associated with the Olmec in both
     monumental and small scale, and rendered in volcanic stone, especially basalt, as well as precious jadeite
     and other greenstones. The corpus of Olmec art speaks dramatically and eloquently to the artistic and
     cultural innovations of these ancient peoples.

Chepe and I arrived. There was an elegant, indoor, tented area with free drinks and food.
I’ve known Chepe since 1987.  I know his phone number by heart.  The museum’s artisan chefs provided neat Sloppy Joe Sandwiches and other snappy, hearty delicacies.  I dressed business casual, as the Invitation suggested.  Chepe wore a demonstratively dark tee-shirt and jeans.  “I’m an artist.” Chepe told me before we drove over. “LACMA’s commissioned me to do several projects.  I can wear whatever I want.”  The greeters graciously welcomed us.  The bartenders poured us free Sangria. We had a ball.

Chocolate dessert, don’t you know it’s good news…Sophisticated confectionary dessert delights were served by chocolatiers…Montélimar.

If you should be in the LA area before the end of the year, I recommend that you visit this exhibit.  Chepe Escondido, a semi-famous, highly prolific artist from East Los Angeles, a resident of Barrington Hall from 1985-1989 (why isn’t Chepe on the wiki-list of Barringtonian do-gooders?),  a man of Mexican descent, a man whom I’ve known for 23 years and can vouch for at any time, should the need arise; a man who may very well have Olmec blood coursing through his VEINS — Chepe commented on how the NEW WING of LACMA is not like the others in any of their wings. 

The new wing space is very OPEN, so you can see most of the work in one panoramic view. 

I replied that LACMA’s new wing reminded me of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, which was converted from a sprawling indoor train station.  I didn’t really think that, but I wanted to sound knowledgeable of art.  Chepe then told me that Montélimar is not only a town in the South of France, mentioned in the George Harrison song Savoy Truffle, but Montélimar is also the World Capitol of nougat.  Wow!  Like coffee and chocoIate…Like Water for Chocolate to quote an early 90’s novel that neither I, nor my mother really liked.  

I then informed Chepe that Montélimar is ALSO a beach resort in Nicaragua with white sand beach and sparkling blue water. 

Nicaragua is also the site of the MMX Fall season’s SURVIVOR TV series — the first true reality show of the lot, spanning an entire decade, and STILL POPULAR, unlike Beauty and the Geek or Fear Factor which have been replaced by the Iron Chef and The NY Jets Special Teams pre-season reality show.  Drama’s dead in MMX. 

Nicaragua is also the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti, of course.  Haiti shares the same island as the Dominican Republic.  (click to see map). There is a gated fenced, patrolled border that divides the two countries.  While distaster hits Haiti, the DR seems to do okay.  And a large number of hall of fame major league baseball players come from the Dominican Republic like Pedro Martinez and Sammy Sosa.  This has been going on for about 30 years.  Many come to American, hoping to make it. They end up playing lower league ball in Miami.  Thousands of them.

Small world.

HOW did the cocoa bean get all the way to France? Eduardo Galeano has the best answer ever written for you. So good, that Hugo Chavez felt that President Obama should have a copy of Galeano’s 1971 Opus.  Like Chepe Escondido, Galeano’s Veins are Open.

   You can see Infinity if you have two mirrors, but your head gets in the way Barrington Hall Grafitti

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