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“¿Soy Punkera,Y Que?”: Sexuality,Translocality, and Punk in Los Angeles and Beyond

  • Michelle Habell-Pallán

Abstract

The xeroxed flyer advertising Pretty Vacant, Jim Mendiola’s 1996 independent short film (figure 12.1), depicts the much loved figure of the Mexican La Virgen de Guadalupe strutting, of all things, an upside down electric guitar a la Jimi Hendrix.1 As a U.S. born Chicana who, in the 1980s, was rescued from the suburbs of Los Angeles by the Ramones, X, and Dead Kennedys, I must admit that I was captivated by this image and intrigued by the film’s title, an obvious reference to the British Sex Pistols. A guitar jets out from La Guadalupe at a right angle, transforming the familiar oval shape of La Virgen’s image into the shape of cross, or an intersection of sorts. What was this flyer suggesting by juxtaposing these deeply symbolic, yet seemingly unrelated, cultural icons? How did the title relate? And why did this deliciously irreverent image prompt me to think of the critically acclaimed photonovela/comic series Love and Rockets by Los Bros. Hernandez? And the title? Pretty Vacant is one of the “hit” songs of the infamous 1970s British punk band, the Sex Pistols. Again, what is this flyer suggesting? With all due respect, what and who lies at the intersection of Guadalupe and punk?

Keywords

Public Sphere Popular Music Youth Culture Cultural Nationalism Musical Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 3.
    José D. Saldîvar, “Postmodern Realism,” in The Columbia History of the American Novel, edited by Emory Elliott (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991 ), 521.Google Scholar
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    David Reyes and Tom Waldman, Land of a Thousand Dances: Chicano Rock ‘n’ Roll from Southern California ( Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998 ), 135.Google Scholar
  10. 43.
    Norma Alarcón, “Cognitive Desires: An Allegory of/for Chicana Critics,” in Chicana (W)rites on Word and Film, edited by Maria Herrera-Sobek and Helena Maria Viramontes (Oakland: Third Woman Press, 1996 ), 18 7.Google Scholar
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    Evey Chapa, “Mujeres Por La Raza Unida,” in Chicana Feminist Thought, edited by Alma Garcia (New York: Routledge, 1997 ), 179.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Neferti X. M. Tadiar and Angela Y. Davis 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Habell-Pallán

There are no affiliations available

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