Scuse me, but was that you in the front row of Chingo Bling this evening? Dang, I didn’t know you were down.
Rancholos of the World Unite
Dear Mr. Unite,
Rather than go on about how it’s like this and like that, the short version is yes, yes that was me in the front row. Bumpin’ it y todo.
Mr. Bling, aka el ghetto vaquero y mucho mas, was a featured performer at the CMAS and LLILAS conference this evening. The decision to include the original Rancholo in an academic conference may have had some people scratching their heads, but Mr. Bling’s self-reflexive, critical respuestas demonstrated that he is not only a Cantinflas de cancion but also so much more.
Rather than discuss his generosity [he stayed to take pictures with everyone present and I'm fairly certain his image was uploaded to about 100 FB pages this evening], his witty remarks about irony and juxtaposition ["everyone knows what bling is but what's chingo cause that sounds nasty, then put 'em together and whaaaaat?"] or his refusal to “perpetuate,” I am going to focus on a couple of key moments.
1.) When asked point blank, “Chingo, tell it to us straight. Do you think academics are doing enough to bring immigration issues to the forefront or do we need to do more?” Mr. Bling responded, “Listen, not everyone is going to pay attention to me or to ‘They Can’t Deport Us All.’ They should hear from the people who know. We got to hit it from every side. I mean, the issues, you know.” [Laughter.]
2.) I was also pleased to hear Mr. Bling call out the “elitists” for trying to put him in a box. [In fact, he had a clear sense about the difference between elitists and academics] Knowing this, sometimes he puts himself in a box only to blow it up from the inside. Who can argue that a black Stetson and old-school Chuck Taylors aren’t authentic?
What I found most interesting about Señor Bling and all his “tamale talk” is that he is incredibly thoughtful and knowledgeable about his art and business. He may be making masa, but he’s also spreading the word. Word.