Dear friends and readers,
Say, I was really proud of our little theater company this week,
Teatro Vivo took some “40 graffiti artists of Oaxaca” and our friend
the actress, activist, Jesusa Rodríguez, to the border of Tijuana to
join our voices with the multitude of protests centered around the
change of year. Keep up the good work, gang!
A couple days later our director Sergio Santamaria was back in town.
He came over to help me organize our big collection of posters from the movement in
Oaxaca. Diana Ricci took our photo. Thanks, you both.
And the Mexico City newspaper LA JORNADA saw the year out with this
And the international wire services carried lots of appropriate
photos, don’t you think?
Below, kids playing in Najaf, Iraq, followed by kids playing in
Talk about depressing ...
* * *
Then too, the last day of the year saw the death in Miami, Florida,
of this magnificent creature, Nonja, at 55 years the oldest living
orangutan in captivity. She was born in Sumatra, Indonesia, and
captured shortly after her birth. She was taken briefly to Holland
and then to the United States where she served the rest of her life
behind bars. Let’s send off some good thoughts today for our
* * *
So, I got to say, thank goodness for friends, right? Like my friend
Chris Wurgler who just sent me this nice photo of his living room
table in his house up in Seattle. Nice, Chris. Say what is that
picture on the wall in the upper right, by the way?
By gollies, it is! It’s a framed, full-color photograph of Bill
Wolf’s bloody “Crime of Passion” tableau. Nice. Hmmm. I wonder what his
* * *
Meanwhile, friends, there’s lots of new stuff on my site and I hope
you get a chance to look around a bit.
You probably remember that last month I had begun scanning my old
ZAP Comics. Well, yes, everyone just loved them, of course, and
you’ll notice I’ve added a few more: the moving story of Lyn Jones,
who looses her leg in a terrible accident but gains a lot of friends
in a “swinging adults” of similar amputees, that’s in AMPUTEE LOVE.
Don’t miss it! Then there’s our friend, the fabulous Didi Glitz and
her friend, young “Bunch” whom we get to see loose her virginity (Wow!),
in TWISTED SISTERS. You’ll like it, I know. That’s followed by a
particularly grizzly INSECT FEAR, and finally, the popular YOUNG
LUST, whose cover announces “the HELL with MORALITY!” You’ll find
them all right below ZAP and Other Undergrounds, on our Encyclopedia
Our friend and long-time mentor Dale Meador is, of course, seen all
over this site but I decided he could use his own entry in the
Encyclopedia. Go to MEADOR, DALE.
And a particularly fun new entry on everybody’s favorite Cuban
singer, Celia Cruz. She’s so photogenic, you know. Look in the
Encyclopedia for CRUZ, CELIA.
And while you’re at it there’s a nice handful of new MEN, MEXICO (Heads
up!), as well as my usual smattering of new UNSORTED IMAGES (Heads
up!) at the bottom of the Encyclopedia. Have fun.
On the TIME-LINE, I’ve recently added the complete script of Betsy
Newman and Maria Manhattan’s wonderful ART BY THE POUND, that’s at
1987. And for all you S. Clay Wilson fans, I just came across the
complete script of our memorable version of CAPTAIN PISSGUMS AND HIS
PERVERT PIRATES, from an early 1970. “Nice crank, Captain.” Do
Then, too, there's a lot of new comments from our friends and
readers which I know you'll enjoy. In the Addendum
* * *
Finally, you may have noticed I have a nice new E-mail address, my
friends! Write me a little note, please, at:
It’s a little easier on the fingers, you know? Because …
I love you all!
* * *
P.s. This just in! You remeber I have
been following the arrest and imprisonment of the University student,
David Venegas Reyes, picked up by a band of police thugs in an
unmarked white truck on April 13 of last year on his way to an APPO
meeting. He has been held since then in prison.
(NOTE: See VENEGAS, DAVID in the
Encyclopedia of Images.)
Then yesturday, January 10, it was reported, below, that a local
judge has ruled that the charges against him, "rebellion, attack
upon communications media, resistance to arrest, dangerous activity
and crimes against public officials," are "without foundation and
unproven" by the State Atorney General's office.
His sister, Natalia, said "He is innocent and now it is documented."
He will now be held in jail to give time for the state to file new
charges. He is not expected to be freed any time soon.
It didn't take long for new charges to be filed.
* * *
And then on January 15, my friend Ricardo González, who organized
the "Fetiches" show in Querétaro, sent me these photos from the
installation. The show runs through February 3.
Nice. Thanks, Ricardo.
* * *
A further P.s.:
The end of the month of January saw
a couple note-worthy events in Oaxaca that got people’s blood racing
a bit. First a little background.
December was the one year anniversary of “president” Felipe
Calderón’s taking office against the will of a large majority of
Mexican citizens. He’s had a horrid year trying to “legitimize” his
presidency and has been under a lot of pressure to make some changes.
He decided to change a few faces in his cabinet.
The good news was
announced that Francisco Ramírez Acuña was being replaced as head of
SEGOB (Secretary of Government), with one Juan Camilo Mouriño, who
I'm sure brings his own baggage, but the national Congress was said
to be happy ("alegría") with the "absent" Acuña's removal. (Note:
See ACUÑA, FRANCISCO in my Encyclopedia of Images.)
For the people of
Oaxaca, it was noted that Acuña was the chief backer of the hated
Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz during the last year of the conflict.
It was recently asked whether the arrival of Mouriño means the "protection
of Ulises will run out?
The weekly newspaper, CORREO DE OAXACA, ran this cartoon of wishful
thinking on the part of the populace.
A number of papers reported that Ulises had been called into a meeting
with the new Mouriño in the second week of January and given strong
orders. It is rumored he was given till March to complete five
strategic points, including make peace with the teachers (Hah!),
move his government offices back to the historic government palace
in the zócalo (never happen), release Flavio Sosa from prison (YEAH!),
get his hands out of the “autonomous” state university, UABJO, and
finally step down by accepting an overseas “ambassadorship” to a
foreign country (???).
For the first time in two years, people started to get a little
excited, greeting each other on the street with “March is coming!”
* * *
A few days after that meeting, there occurred a confirming event in
Oaxaca. On January 30, the people woke to the news that the head of
state police, one Alejandro Barrita Ortiz, and three others had been
gunned down by a pick-up load of armed “commandos” in a nearby
recreation park, “El Tequio.” Besides Barrita, the dead included
his armed bodyguard, a morning jogger, and a popular woman sports
instructor at the park. Three others were in the hospital.
The papers reported government suspicions being shown on the EPR, an
armed resistance group know for blowing up oil pipelines and Sears
stores, as well as on the APPO, of course. Our APPO spokesmen were
quick to disavow any connection with the killings and predicted a
further militarization of the state.
That evening, the state police conveniently discovered some big
spray-painted graffiti on a nearby building.
The graffiti read “The EPR does not forgive! Barrita pays with the
The police took lots of pictures and quickly painted it over.
The following day, February 1, the daughter of one of the EPR’s
“disappeareds” said what was on a lot of people’s minds, namely that
“the executions looked to be a calling to accounts” within Ulises’
own administration. She said, “Barrita knew too much.”
The papers were immediately filled with speculation about who might
be appointed to fill out the remaining three and a half years of
Ulises’ term. Some quickly focused on the most bloody of Ulises’
henchmen, Jorge Franco Vargas, nick-named “El Chucky” (yes, after
the psychopathic film character), who has served as head of security
during most of Ulises’s first two years. It rings true; Ulises
himself held that post in the previous administration of José Murat,
before being “fingered” (dedado) for governor.
This could get to be interesting.
* * *
...LAST MONTH'S LETTER