Monday morning boo: KIA que tontería.

Ok, it’s Monday. Bear with me as I rant about a meaningless item I ran across during my morning commute.

As I sat down to relax on the  metro and browsed through Real Simple magazine’s May issue, I came across this double page KIA ad that made me upset:

What in the world does a KIA Optima have to do with Hispanic indigenous culture?

What a weird concept: Slap a new silver car with a background that looks like Chichen-Itza, add a Latino looking dude in pseudo-Maya Indian looking gear and hope it sells cars to women in the 18-49 demo, right?

Looking for an "ancient chief"? Just make him look ethnic, put plumas on his head and a long skirt on his legs. There, that will do it!

Why should I even care, you ask? No es para tanto, nobody reads print ads anyway, right?

Well I do, and I am irked that some anglo copywriter and agency creative, who clearly has no clue about the Mayan culture or whomever they were trying to represent, used some generic crappy wordplay to convey an absurd message:

“This ancient chief could have asked the gods for absolutely anything. As you can see, he chose the all new 2011 Kia Optima…it makes perfect sense.”

Hmmmm, the “chief” asked the gods for this? Obviously they’ve never been to Tulum, Chichen Itza, or Uxmal.  The Ad Agency who produced this doesn’t know of the brilliance and mystical wisdom that characterizes the Mayan civilization.  Scientists, writers, astronomers, architects, math geniuses… they were advanced beyond our comprehension. But noooo, that’s not important. According to KIA,  what they really wanted was a car.

Another thing, KIA probably spent more on this 2 page spread in a magazine than what they care to allocate to their Hispanic media spending budget. Si supieran que we would probably be interested in this brand sólo por el price point if we knew more about it. We like and buy Honda, Toyota, Nissan. But Kia, nah, not so much.

La J-Lo tiene más vidas que un gato.

According to People Magazine, Jennifer Lopez is the World's Most Beautiful Woman. (Photo from

Pues fea no es… ¿pero J-Lo as the “Most Beautiful Woman”? Tampoco es para tanto, People!

Como que le han dado muchas alas últimamente a la Jenny from the Block. Parece que the Idol judging thing has really helped her carreer again y’knoww?? (asi como dice ella).  She’s a spokesperson for Maybelline and Gucci; they won’t stop playing her annoying Lamabada song on the radio (que copiona eres J-Lo, de veras) and she’s on TV during the week, so now with this magazine cover there’s no avoiding her newest comeback. Is this a Ryan Seacrest deal? I would not be surprised. Hay que ver quienes escogen a los Most Beautiful and what their parameters are.  I say it’s fixed!

(Just for the record, my vote is for Natalie Portman: Beauty AND Brains.)

Algunos “piensos” al cruzar la frontera.

El regreso a USA via un puente forterizo siempre es un reto: un reto a la paciencia individual; al performance del A/C de tu automóvil y su sistema “anti-freeze“; a la creatividad para pasar el tiempo; a la mente para tratar de borrar todo lo que ve en 2 horas plus de larga espera, mientras hay 10 filas de running cars en estado “idle” consumiendo gasolina inútilmente y contaminando no sé cuántas toneladas de carbono que atacan al planeta. Yes, I feel like venting. And yet, I continue to participate in this mindless but necessary to and fro that crossing the border entails. No hay de otra.

Ayer, en mi análisis del tiempo as I waited to cross, me percaté de las nuevas modalidades en el comercio fronterizo. Piracy is the most common thing in the world. Fácilmente conté 15 vendedores con the newest releases, no sólo en dvd, sino películas que a penas se estrenaron este fin de semana. Por ejemplo, Rango, the #1 movie in America this past weekend, was already on sale for 40 pesos at the border…complete with nice artwork cover and hard plastic case.

Otro ejemplo: “Presunto Culpable”, un recién estrenado documental del sistema judicial mexicano, del que todo el mundo habla en México en estos momentos, y que hoy nadie puede ver en las salas de cine porque fue suspendido (censurado) por algún juez de tribunal, está disponible en versión pirata. Es la primera vez que un documental en México tiene este éxito, y no dudo que los productores y realizadores emplearon todos sus recursos, todo lo que tenían para poder contar esta historia… y dos semanas después alguien la está comprando chueco. Ni hablar de cd’s de música y juegos para los xbox, wii, etc.

Tal vez ustedes conocen a alguien que compra estas cosas, que no piensa dos veces en el daño o en el robo que está cometiendo y no le afecta en lo más mínimo aprovecharse de estas tranzas. En el ratito que estuve en la fila, me tocó ser testigo de varias “transacciones” de gente que de plano se llevaba 3 o 4 cosas. Y me dio coraje y me dio tristeza, que cada vez hay menos respeto por el trabajo y por los derechos de autor. Parece una lucha que no tiene fin.  Yo sé que un simple blog post no contribuye mucho…Pero si lo hacen ustedes mismos, piénsen si les gustaría que alguien les robara su trabajo y su esfuerzo, que se ganara algunos centavos a sus costillas, sin que ustedes pudieran hacer algo al respecto.

Les dejo las fotos de los hechos y algunas de uno que otro comerciante que aguantó sol y calor, fumes and contamination, a Sunday at the border bridge in no man’s land, between Mexico and the US.

Por el retrovisor, una vendedora con "Rango" y "Presunto Culpable" en las manos, y una mochila llena de dvd's piratas.

Vender dvd's y cd's piratas en la frontera es cosa de todos los días.

21st century commerce along the border.

These movies are not even in theaters yet, and here they look like the real thing.

If you're thirsty or hungry, this guy sells water and fruit snacks. Imagine he's been there all day long, inhaling the car fumes.

Need some artwork? There's plenty of posters to choose from. No falta Pedro Infante ni la Virgencita de Guadalupe.

Religious stuff is always available: a "pop" version of the Last Supper, also for sale.

Starbucks nation?

You thought we had enough Starbucks in the US? Well then you haven’t seen the invasion “our little coffee shops” have made in Mexico City. They’re everywhere!

(Not sure quite how I feel about this yet and have not bought coffee at any sbux. Call me a “nacionalista” when it comes to basic things like this. El café mexicano es mucho mejor.)

It's easier to find a Starbucks than a gas station en el Distrito Federal.

From Prada to Nada…Oh give me a break!

Dear East LA community,

Don’t you just love being reduced to a cultural  stereotype?  Here’s the latest, plastic, fake, novela inspired, cinderella story produced by Televisa, a co-production with Lion’s Gate. Only this time it’s showing at your nearest movie theater.

From Prada to Nada is a new movie “coming pronto.” I just ask you, can we please skip it? Just by watiching the trailer, I feel both speechless and wanting to rant.

There are so many clichés and corny references, I can only imagine the Televisa producers had a blast mashing them all together in one big blob of a movie.  And why not! Al cabo que nosotros no sabemos distinguir cuando estamos viendo un CHURRO en el cine, no?  Here’s just a sample of  the elements of the story, seen on the trailer: People with weird Latino accents (check!); lowriders (check!); gangsters (check!); cholas sin cejas(check!); Mexican mechanic (check!); women “costureras” sewing in the hood (check!); immigation issues (check!); casas de colores fosforescentes (check!); gringos afraid of Mexicanos (check!); everybody falls in love at the end (check!)…

Let’s see, what are we missing? Oh yes, the Frida Kahlo disguise and unibrow reference? Check! Check! Check! (Ya ni la amuelan Televisos, de veras!)

Ugh..I am so upset right now I can’t even tell you. Wonder how Jane Austen would feel if she read the synopsis:

From Prada to Nada, a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility is a new romantic comedy starring Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, Kuno Becker and Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza. It’s a whimsical fish-out-of-water story of two spoiled sisters: Nora (Camilla Belle), a law student, and Mary (Alexa Vega), an undergrad party girl, living with their father in a luxurious mansion in Beverly Hills. Mary has become so “90210” she refuses to admit she is of Mexican descent. When dad suddenly passes away, their posh lives are turned upside down…


Clever title, churro of a movie!


what’s wrong with this picture?

Hummer Bummer. This “vehicle” (alias humongous carbon emissions monster) was parked for a quinceañera at a church near the house.

Pobre planeta nuestro, de veras.

Is this really necessary?

La reunión de Garibaldi: bad idea

TGIF! Time for the meaningless video of the week.

Resulta que a los Garibaldi, the mexican musical group that sang all those catchy, empty calorie, guilty pleasure party songs back in the 90’s, decided to reunite… and it doesn’t feel so good.

Who thought of this? Why?

Bueeeeno ahora que se prestan al tijereo, llegamos a la conclusión que es cierto lo que dicen nuestras abuelitas, “Juventud Divino Tesoro.” Los que somos, ya no somos los de antes… Ya no tienen tanta agilidad para bailar, todos están más gorditos (ok… aren’t we all?) y siguen teniendo super mal gusto para vestirse. Did they borrow their outfits from the Village People or what?

Y luego…que no se divorciaron la Paty Manterola y el Javier? Aqui como que no les gustó que los pusieran a bailar juntos. Y OMG ¿qué le paso a la Luisa Fernanda? El cae-me-bien del Sergio Mayer tiene cara de “Uuuttts, prefiero estar bailando con mis Mexican Chippendales.”

Anyway, very awkward reunion with a lame choreography. Televisa casi siempre acierta con sus refritos, but I think this is one that should have stayed in the vault.