San Diego Shit That Matters: A Weekly Update [09/28/18]
Welcome to another weekly edition of San Diego Shit That Matters, where we bring you a whole list of things that happened (or will happen) this week that you should probably know about. In this edition, that means catching up with the Human Colonoscopy Bag Duncan D. Hunter, the resurgence of Balboa Park’s Chicano Cultural Center, this weekend’s go-to festival and much more. Even if it is just to at least form an opinion on local matters, we can assure you it's worth the read.
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DUNCAN D. HUNTER IS STILL OUT THERE BEING THE WORST PERSON IMAGINABLE
The illustrious Young Thug once spoke the age-old adage: "Fuck cancer."
On Monday morning, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter recalled the saying, yet with a characteristic follow-up: "Fuck cancer -- patients and those who provide services to them."
Okay, maybe he didn't say exactly that, but to be fair, it wasn't that far off. The real quote, a diatribe against full coverage for disabled veterans, went as follows: "The Veterans Affairs should focus on guys that are shot. Guys that have had their legs blown off. Guys that have been concussed. Guys that have been in combat and in battle. They should not be doing prostate stuff or cancer stuff."
Even if argued with a minuscule grain of reason, it's still a wild ass take to deliver, let alone to a crowd of brittle, geriatric people at an Intermountain Republican Women meeting. Of course, it was just one of many insane words delivered that morning.
Now, if you haven't read our last piece on Duncan D. Hunter and made up your mind on the man currently representing a portion of San Diego, let us just share some more interesting excerpts from Monday's speech to really drive our point home:
On how much getting Brett Kavanaugh seated in the Supreme Court means to him: "Even if you didn't like Trump, his pledge to place conservatives on the Supreme Court was worth voting for. This Kavanaugh thing... This is a last stand for the Republican Party."
On the border wall actually having nothing to do with immigration: "If a family with kids can sneak right across the border, then a trained Palestinian terrorist can definitely get across the border...same for a trained Pakistani terrorist."
How being found guilty of federal crimes has taught him that the judicial system really don't mean shit: “I’ll tell you what, after what I’ve been going through, when someone says that they pled guilty to a federal crime, I don’t believe they should be in jail until I hear more about it."
On his opposing candidate, San Diego-born and Christian-raised Ammar Campa-Najjar: "He changed his name from Ammar Yasser Najjar to Ammar Campa-Najjar so he sounds Hispanic. He just changed it again; he added a Joseph in there so his signs could actually say Joseph Campa or, or something. That is how hard, by the way, that the radical Muslims are trying to infiltrate the U.S. government. You had more Islamists run for office this year at the federal level than ever before in U.S. history.”
Of course, less than a day later, Hunter's camp retracted some of his statements and made it clear to the public that in no way, shape, or form had Hunter ever called someone a Muslim... which I still think might be missing the point entirely. Though, for a man who spent thousands in campaign money on various mistress outings, international getaways, and extravagant cocktail tabs, and then blamed his wife for the financial mismanagement, integrity probably ain't a character trait we should expect.
Either way, with the November midterm elections looming ahead, it's important now more than ever for us to speak up and help turn the tide for the 50th district, a rural area of our county too long carried under the red hand of wealthy conservative principle and fear-stoking dogma. With Campa-Najjar gaining some steam after a long sequence of widely-reported blunders by Hunter and his camp, this election miracle might actually have some potential.
BALBOA PARK'S CHICANO CULTURAL ART CENTER MAKES IT’S RETURN TO GLORY
In July 1970, on the back of a growing Latinx cultural enlightenment, Chicano artist collective Toltecas en Aztlán accomplished a historic feat for Mexican-American culture when they unveiled the opening of the Centro Cultural de la Raza center in Balboa Park. By successfully petitioning and fighting the city of San Diego to utilize what was just an abandoned water-tank at the time, the Toltecas en Aztlán created a space for the facilitation of artistic growth and cultural archival of Mexican-American history, an unprecedented victory for the Latinx community as a whole.
Of course, as the center became materially realized, so did the widespread criticism and harsh backlash that long followed it. Created from the empty spaces of literal sewage, it wasn’t only until brown faces showed up on the sides of the building that people found the sight to be particularly foul. As such, even with large-scale success in it’s opening years, the center’s position as just a pinprick on the margins of San Diego’s grand park eventually gave way for the space to fall wayward in relevance.
It's an unfortunate reality that San Diego's embracement of youth-oriented ethnic art has been one often introduced at force and, more often than not, carried out by the city's slow hand of reluctance.
This archetype can be found throughout our history: at the heart of the Chicano Park occupations in the 1970s; the arduous petition to transform the two abandoned water tanks at Balboa Park into black and latino centers in the '70s and '80s; all the way to the present, with the long battle against inequity in city arts funding, and the critical stand against gentrification in a district already so, so, so damn white and wealthy.
And even then, when battles are won for the brave advocates who risked more than most, the aftershock of war still lingers above that space of victory.
With the city of San Diego being able to pick and choose what cultural establishments receive long-term funding, care and leeway, traditional organizations often get the better end of the deal, while others deemed unsuitable are liable for harassment, unsubstantiated fines, and policy regulations that reek of mayonnaise spoiled antics. For others who aren't as lucky to fight back, the lack of support and funding is usually enough to go under.
This is why protecting our spaces with our attention, time and capital is a necessity as members of San Diego's creative community, and with the new incarnation of leadership at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, we have the opportunity to hold true to that mission and support it's return to glory.
With new leadership by the Arts Advisory Committee of the Centro, the Centro Cultural de la Raza is finally being spruced up with big plans for new developments, activities, and consistent programming. To prepare for future events at the center, the committee recently held a special volunteer clean up of the space titled La Limpia del Corazon (the Cleansing of the Heart) last Saturday.
In a statement to the San Diego City Beat, committee member Maria Rios-Mathioudakis said, "This is a totally volunteer-ran space and we need more people here. This Centro will represent our community if we have people from our community here.”
THE SAN DIEGO ZINEFEST IS BACK
We don't have many festivals in San Diego that aren't catered to the old and decrepit. It's a sad truth, one that we're working hard everyday to one day soon prove wrong. In the meantime, I guess we have CRSSD Fest, and while I'm not going to knock the festival at all (I can't afford the lawyer to if I wanted), I'll just say this: there is one major event happening this weekend that you 100% should attend, that is 100% full of amazingly talented people, and that 100% doesn't involve spending wild, wild amounts of money to corporate entities and that's the great San Diego Zinefest.
I'd be hard-pressed to name many events in San Diego that epitomize the creativity, culture, and power of community of the do-it-yourself ethos more than the San Diego Zinefest. With over 100 regional and international publishers, including many legendary San Diego names and friends, this year's fest will be held at the Bread & Salt gallery on September 29th through the 30th, free, all ages, and open throughout the day for all to attend. For anyone who's been yearning for a new print pick-up, independent comic, stickers, accessories or anything in between -- and want to keep it local -- this is your place to be.
P.S. CRSSD staff, we’re jk, that CRSSD line-up is cool, please don't take anything we write serious (please)
HELP SAVE A SHERMAN HEIGHTS LEADER
AND HER HISTORIC HOME
From the fundraiser page for Señora Ramona of Sherman Heights:
Sra. Ramona Rodriguez, a beloved leader in the historic Sherman Heights community, and Sr. Rodriguez are being evicted from their home of 49 years as a result of gentrification. They need the support from the community to be able to try and buy back their home or secure housing to stay in their neighborhood of Sherman Heights.
Señora Ramona Rodríguez has been a lifelong champion for the community. Now in her retirement with fixed income and with her husband suffering from a chronic degenerative condition, their eviction is an affront to the values of our community.
Señora Ramona was given a 60 day notice on September 15th to vacate her home. Her home was then bought by developers for more than $400,000. Luckily her house has been registered as a historic home, making it extremely difficult for developers to demolish it. We are negotiating with the buyers to give Señora Ramona an opportunity to buy her house since developers won't be able to build apartments on the property due to the historic nature of the home.
Señora Ramona's 60 day notice ends November 15th 2018. All proceeds raised will go towards a housing solution for Señora Ramona.
EVENT GROUP GLYPH KEEPS THE AVANT-GARDE ALIVE
"[It's] still challenging for me to reach out to fans of this kind of music in this town. It's a shame when I'm told, 'I didn't know that [xxx] came to San Diego,' days after the show," exclaimed DJ and event curator Umenos in a Facebook post last Thursday.
It's reality many show promoters and event organizers can sympathize with. In a market like San Diego, one that is disadvantaged with the combination of a procrastinating purchaser culture and an audience very often underexposed to the avant-garde, it's difficult to successfully bend the status quo in a way that doesn't leave the organizer completely in the red. Umenos and his GLYPH event group don't see that as a detriment, however.
As the latest in the event series, GLYPH will be hosting Houston neo-grime producer Rabit at on October 5th, coinciding with the release date for his latest record, Life After Death.
With music that takes inspiration from an eclectic palate ranging from DJ Screw, German new age group Enigma, down to Japanese ambient artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura, Rabit's music works in the dark, gritty spaces of industrial ambience while equally tearing apart the genre at the same time. It's a kaleidoscope of sounds intertwined to form a raw, time-stretched crunch of noise, one that can only be accentuated to a higher degree by hearing it live in person.
"Exploring sound is alchemy if you want it to be," Rabit says, "but I would be wary to explain these aspects of my work because there’s a raw understated quality to the record that I want to respect. I think the occult term is interesting because I don’t hear this explored in music in ways that I find relevant. I leave it to time and the intelligent listener to make up their own meaning.”
Catch GLYPH premiere Rabit’s new album ‘Life After Death’ on October 5th at the Kava Lounge. Click here to RSVP.