.Aula máxima es la biblioteca, y también lugar de recreo del espíritu. - José Vasconcelos
SOL 88 Contents:
Email lists around the world were sizzling last spring with links to savagely satirical animated cartoons posted at a site called elcerebro.com. As the Iraq invasion followed its deadly course, webheads flocked to the site and snickered at images of world leaders—one, in particular—cavorting, singing, behaving like vicious clowns. José Guadalupe Posada with his engravings stalked similar ground a century ago, making graphic art as astutely insightful as it was entertaining, and rattling skeletons in more than a few closets..
New media spawn new art forms. The political cartoon is undergoing an exciting transformation as it moves into the instant multimedia age; a good guide to animated graphic expression on the Web will show you what we mean. Among the form's most intriguing practitioners, one who has attracted worldwide attention, is a person who calls Posada a paisano.
elecerebro.com is the creation of a young Mexican artist who goes by the name MaklooN. The dozens of animations at the site range from bawdy critiques of pop culture icons to daring send-ups of politicians throughout the Americas.
One of the best appeared during Carlos Menem's abortive bid to retake the Argentine presidency a few months ago. MaklooN cast the crooked politico as a diabolical hip-hop artist in "The Emenem Show" and put a hilariously revealing rap in his mouth; the animated Menem spoke more honestly than his real-life counterpart ever could.
When you visit elcerebro.com, be sure you have Flash installed and your computer's sound turned up. And for a glimpse into the mind behind what you'll see there, here's our recent interview with MaklooN:
SOL: Who are you? Please disclose what you think is important,
and conceal what you regard as unimportant.
Does that pseudonym have a meaning? Any
connection to Marshall McLuhan?
How did you develop the skills that
enable you to produce your Flash animations? What software platforms
do you use?
What has inspired you to create topical
You have a lot
of clever, edgy stuff happening on your site. When did you begin creating
Tell us a bit
about your political formation
education. What led you to your way of seeing the world?
have influenced your style or your thinking?
What else do you want to say about the
El Cerebro site? I think you've designed it as a forum where
others can participate, by programming music shows, displaying their
own animations. How much participation have you had so far?
What's next? Do you have some long-term aims
What do you think of the Marta Sahagún book? (La jefa—an
unauthorized biography of President Vicente Fox's wife)
Who are your favorite bands, and do you spend much time at the Tianguis del Chopo?
The song parodied above, "Sigo siendo el rey" ("I'm Still the King") was written by José Alfredo Jiménez, the legendary ranchera composer from Guanajuato who died in 1973. A new tribute album updates his classic tunes with interpretations by some of the hottest modern artists going. XXX Un mundo raro (that sure-to-be-filtered title was chosen before the CIPA ruling; the XXX refers to the 30th anniversary of Jiménez's death) features Aterciopelados, Julieta Venegas, Elefante, Bacilos, Saúl Hernández from Jaguares/Caifanes, and many more. John Lannert's well-written review in the July 26 Louisville Courier-Journal might convince you to buy this one for your library. It's on the BMG Mexico label.
The arid Imperial Valley of central Southern California is an agricultural hotbed, bursting with cattle and cantaloupe but not much else that would make it an attractive stop for visiting celebrities. Yet several library systems there enlisted—through the miracle of videoconferencing—big-name talent to speak and to draw Spanish-speaking crowds to the libraries. Read about Proyecto Televista in the latest issue of the online journal of the California Library Association.
On July 24, the national radio program Marketplace ran the sad story described (and audiolinked) below. Information scarcity is killing people, folks. Maybe your library can help.
Disturbing trend: Hispanics dying in the workplace
From: Than Nguyen email@example.com
Your Web site is very helpful. I wanted to let you know about a Web
that can be a great resource to Hispanics and you may want to link to it.
(We've added this online telephone directory to Tu Bibliotecario Electrónico, SOL's popular pathfinder for Spanish-speaking new Internet users)
A foursome from Massachusetts hauled thirty duffel bags of books to Guatemala this week and is now busy setting up a library. Find out about the Rural Literacy Project in Kevin Moran's 7/25/03 piece in the North Adams Transcript: "Students to create library in Guatemala."
The tireless Kathleen de la Peña McCook, toughest and busiest Distinguished Professor in all of Libraryland, continues to build an indispensable tool for libraries genuinely interested in serving their communities, all of 'em: A Librarian at Every Table is a website that will arm you with facts and resources you can use as you work on behalf of kids, teachers, linguistic minorities, and a growing list of other folks who get an awful raw deal here in the Land of the Free.
has recently had some interesting talk about good periodicals for
public libraries, a progress report on Seattle Public Library's
community survey efforts, and things you can call a central library in
Spanish. So where've you been while all this was going on?
Read the board, sign up, post a question or
comment...there's nothing to lose, and you won't get spammed.
Bruce Jensen firstname.lastname@example.org Junior Partner/Editorial Intern: Ryujin "Gordito" Magón