Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On the Proposed Santa Ana Wellness Corridor

OC Weekly archives
Conceptual gentrification from back in 2009, I believe...WHICH CAME TRUE

A decade ago, I wrote an article called "Embrace the Mexican," in which I argued that SanTana, instead of running scared from its Latino super-reality, should double down and make it a wab destination. No one listens to me, though, so the City Council and activists ignored my proposal as the downtown became gentrified as fuck.

Flash forward to this year and last, and a coalition of groups has figured out that the silver bullet for gentrificiation is...making downtown SanTana more Mexican under the guise of a Wellness District. I swear, cabrones, you can't make this stuff up! Anyhoo, the proposed Wellness District is what I talked about this past Monday on my weekly KCRW "Orange County Line" commentary.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On the Retirement of Labor Boss Nick Berardino!

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OC Weekly archives
Since we don't have a good shot of Berardino in our archives, let's go with the OCEA barbecue pit--another Berardino innovation!

We haven't necessarily cheered on all the moves of Orange County Employees Association head Nick Berardino, and you're just gonna have to find them (hint: churros!). But we have always respected the man for bringing true, populist labor politics to a county so hateful of organized labor that everyone declared war on striking Mexican orange pickers in 1936.

Berardino is retiring in July, and he was the topic I discussed this week in my every-Monday KCRW-FM 89.9 "Orange County Line" commentary.

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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on What Part of "Illegal" Don't Mexicans Understand

OC Weekly archives
What's up, Joesé???

The epitome of Know Nothing cleverness is them asking Aztlanistas, "What part of 'illegal' don't Mexicans understand?" I took that question on years ago in my ¡Ask a Mexican! column, but since no one reads anymore and relies on videos for knowledge transmission, I've brought it back in video form!

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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Why Mexicans Play the Radio So Damn Loud

Usually blasting one of these puppies, of course...

So you ever driving only to hear a spleen-destroying tuba riff, a eardrum-bursting accordion trill, or bone-rattling bass line? Yep: A Mexican is coming! In the latest edition of my ¡Ask a Mexican! video series, I take on the question of why we Mexis have to bump it so damn loud (hint: because 11).

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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Whether Mexicans Should Move to the South

Collage from the Mexstasy Collection
Welcome to Mexington!

If I seemed more quiet than usual last week, it was because I was traveling through Kentucky for a oral history project (leave it to me to work during my vacations). Sorry not sorry to say this, Know Nothings, but there's now a chingo of Mexicans in the South--and more are on the way. That's the topic of the video version of my ¡Ask a Mexican! column this week.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On Bao Nguyen's Stance Against Little Saigon's Status Quo!

Garden Grove
Mayor Nguyen making waves

Anyone who knows anything about Little Saigon politics knows the routine: someone brings up something condemning anything remotely related to the commie Republic of Vietnam, and every politician follows forth praising refugees and freedom and damning the Reds--never mind that trade between Little Saigon and Vietnam goes into the hundreds of millions annually. Leading the way, of course, are Vietnamese politicians, who know any deviation from this script will result in angry protests and retribution at the ballot box.

Enter Bao Nguyen, new mayor of Garden Grove. As we wrote last week, Nguyen refused to sign a letter condemning Riverside for agreeing to enter into a sister city partnership with a Vietnamese city, leading to threats of a recall. This is what I talked about this week in my weekly KCRW "Orange County Line" commentary.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On Anaheim, Santa Ana's Different Approaches to Pot Dispensaries!

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Illustration by Jeff Drew
You must be Ana-High!

This infernal rag has long documented the fight for medicinal marijuana, going back to the heady Prop. 215 days (when publishing a photo of a guy smoking a reefer still offended folks) to today, when Anaheim hosts the Kush Expo while cracking down on small dispensaries while SanTana instituted raids...until they didn't, and instead issued a lottery so only a couple of people could sell in the city. The double approaches is the topic of my KCRW "Orange County Line" this week.

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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Why Mexicans Don't Vote

Illustration by Lalo Alcaraz
Be careful with us Mexis, Dems and GOP, or we'll burn ya

THE political story of the young year so far has been how Andrew Do presumptively beat Lou Correa in the First Supervisorial District special election last month. Now comes the second-guessing, all focusing on why Latino voters didn't come out in droves to elect their savior Lou--and, really, if you read that sentence again sloooooowly, you'll understand why Mexicans didn't vote in this particular instance. But in general? That's where we need to consult the trusty ol' ¡Ask a Mexican! hat. I might have more on Correa's epic loss, depending on how many more articles I need to write to impress our future owners...HA!

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On the Little Saigon Voting Machine!

Andrew Do campaign
Don't do what Do does...
I'll have more thoughts on Andrew Do's presumptive victory over Lou Correa in the First Supervisorial District special election last week, specifically what it means to OC politics in general. But for this week's edition of my KCRW-FM 89.9's "Orange County Line," I decided to focus on how Vietnamese voters vote in Orange County, specifically in Little Saigon: often, early, and in such numbers that it leads to the easy wins of shady politicians like Do and his mentor (and former boss), State Senator Janet Nguyen.

As I explained to host Steve Chiotakis, the Little Saigon machine is almost overwhelmingly Republican, but has led to the election of Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen. Bao also represents the future of Little Saigon politics as a 1.5-generation politician, part of a generation for whom communism is no longer the rallying cry it is for the elders. But that moment hasn't happened yet, so let's sit back and marvel at the Little Saigon machine--and laugh at the idiot local Democrats who have let this happen.

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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Who Mexicans Should Root for in the Super Bowl

They should have some cholla silhouettes, too...

So this Sunday is Super Bowl XLIX, and even Mexicans are going to be watching the game--and I'm not talking the Oakland Raiders/San Diego Chargers kind. There's going to be actual Mexicans watching the game--raza, paisas, wabs, whatever you want to call them. And many of them won't have any allegiance to the Seattle Seahawks or New England Patriots--so who should they root for?

That's where this handy-dandy video comes in, explaining who's who, why Bill Bellichek is the devil, and even working in a Tony Romo insult for good measure.

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