Four Days in May

(There will, eventually, be some references to mansex for Cinco de Mayo, so use your judgment.)

Four occasions that come around every year on the same date: yesterday, the silly Star Wars Day and the sad Kent State Day; today, the pleasantly celebratory National Cartoonists Day and the wildly celebratory Cinco de Mayo (which I’ll focus on in this posting).

Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you — posted on yesterday on this blog.

Kent State Day, which appears on my calendar as 4 Dead in Ohio. The iconic photo:

(#1)

The iconic song, which you can listen to here. From Wikipedia:

“Ohio” is a protest song and counterculture anthem written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970, and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It was released as a single, backed with Stephen Stills’s “Find the Cost of Freedom”

On the shootings:

The Kent State shootings (also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre) were the shootings of unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970. Twenty-nine guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.

Some of the students who were shot had been protesting the Cambodian Campaign, which President Richard Nixon announced during a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.

There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of 4 million students, and the event further affected public opinion, at an already socially contentious time, over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War

Days of grief, terror, and anger. 46 years ago, and I still rage and weep.

National Cartoonists Day. On this blog, it’s essentially always Cartoonists Day: my cartoon postings average out to about one a day.

Cinco de Mayo. On the holiday; on the Mexican national flag (which I’m inordinately fond of); on food for the holiday (which I sometimes think of as Guacamole Day, though Super Bowl Sunday is stiff competition for that title); and on the Lucas gay porn company’s idea of mansex for Cinco de Mayo.

Refresher on the holiday, from Wikipedia:

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is a celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. In the U.S. the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day — the most important national holiday in Mexico — which is celebrated on September 16, commemorating the Cry of Dolores that initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

Festival posters feature iconically Mexican things. A relatively uncrowded one:

(#2)

A sombrero, maracas, and Mexican colors (here green, yellow, and red; elsewhere, green, white, and red). Other possibilities: a saguaro cactus, nopales, chili peppers, a margarita, guitars, a bandit mustache, Mexican fiesta dresses, serapes, a piñata, a skull (representing the Day of the Dead).

The Mexican colors come from the national flag:

(#3)

Like the Italian flag, but with darker green and red, and with the Mexican coat of arms, or seal, in the center. It’s the seal that I adore:

(#4)

Here were are in the desert — the nopales, the snake, and the eagle — as far from the symbolism of Spain as possible. And in fact the flag overall is about as far from the Spanish flag as you can get:

(#5)

So: vexillary independence. But also an appeal to an indigenous, rather than European, origin story. From the GoMexico site:

The Mexican Coat of Arms is taken from an Aztec legend which recounts the way in which the Aztecs came to choose the site where they built their capital city of Tenochtitlan (where Mexico City stands today). The Aztecs, also known as the Mexica…, were a nomadic tribe traveling from the north of the country.

Their leader Tenoch was informed in a dream by the god of war, Huitzilopochtli, that they were to settle in the place where they would find an eagle on a prickly pear cactus holding a serpent. The place where they saw this sight was quite inhospitable – a swampy area in the center of three lakes, but this is where they settled and built the great city of Tenochtitlan.

Food time. It’s a holiday, so of course there’s food. Just as the Cinco de Mayo festival posters tend to deal in images that are Anglo stereotypes of Mexico, so goes the food. From today’s bon appétit spread for Cinco de Mayo, two sets of dishes (these are not BA’s labels):

snacky things and accompaniments: BA’s best guacamole, The 2 Mexican beers to buy today (Dos Equis for light, Negra Modelo for all-round), Fully loaded black bean nachos with red and green salsasMargarita

main dishes: Double-pork carnitas, Tex-Mex-style beef enchiladas, Chorizo breakfast tacos with potato hash and fried eggs, Contramar’s red and greeen grilled snapper (pork, beef, fish, sausage and eggs — missing only a chicken dish)

Cinco de Mayo porn. From the Lucas studios, this ad today:

(#6)

Sombrero, maracas, and two sexmen: one clearly African American (hereafter, black), the other presented as Mexican or Mexican American (otherwise, what would be the point of him in a Cinco de Mayo sale ad?) — for short, Mex. In fact, a pornstar presented as Mex might be in real life any sort of Latino (including Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Argentine, etc. men, as well as Mex men), or indeed any man of “Mediterranean” appearance (including Italians, Italian Americans, Greeks, Greek Americans, and many others). What’s important is that the actor appear to be (sufficiently) Mex. My impression is that there are not many Chicano gay pornstars; but there’s a great market, among white American consumers of gay porn, for Chicanos as a “type”, so others are pressed into service to play these roles.

The attraction of Mex men is partly a matter a race/ethnicity — brown and black men (men of color) are seen as hyper-sexual, brutish, even dangerous, therefore as intensely, powerfully masculine — and partly a matter of class — men of color are seen as working-class, engaging in highly physical work, or as off-the-books gangbangers, again as intensely, powerfully, masculine as a result.  There is in fact a thriving business of thugporn, framing men of color as thuggish objects of desire, dominating and using white men sexually.

What I would have expected — hoped for? — in a Lucas CdM ad is two Chicanos, or reasonable simulacra of them. There certainly are such things, but instead what we get is black on brown — literally on. as you might have expected from the way the en are positioned in #6. This becomes entirely clear in the hard-core images that accompany #6, assembled into a 4-panel display you can view in an AZBlogX posting “Cinco fuck”, with the panels labeled:

1 TEQUILA…  2 TEQUILA…  3 TEQUILA…  FUCK!

Panel 1: they kiss, Black holding maracas, Brown a sombrero. Panel 2: Pleasurable smiling at one another, hands on each other’s asses; the sombrero is on Black’s head, Brown has a margarita in his hand. Panel 3: Brown on his knees, about to swallow Black’s enormous cock. Panel 4: Black is fucking Brown, in a position designed to maximize our view of both men’s cocks.

Latino and black is in back a common gay porn pairing, an encounter that ends up, much more often than not, with the black guy fucking the Latino (as here). Both men are high-masculinity, but black trumps brown. The encounter allows viewers who enjoy bottoming to identify with a thoroughly masculine bottom.

Notes on race/ethnicity. The US has plenty of Afro-Latinos, people of mixed black and brown heritage, and like others of mixed heritage, they often have trouble negotiating the shoals of identity. I’m not sure how many Afro-Latino men have worked in gay porn; it seems that they are framed as members of either one category or the other.

Then there are Afro-Mexicans. From Wikipedia:

Afro-Mexicans (Spanish: afromexicanos; negros; afrodescendientes) are Mexicans who have a heritage from Sub-Saharan Africa. Also known as Black Mexicans… The history of blacks in Mexico has been lesser known for a number of reasons: their relatively small numbers, regular intermarriage with other ethnic groups, and Mexico’s tradition of defining itself as a “mestizaje” or mixing culture.

… The creation of a national Mexican identity, especially after the Mexican Revolution [1910-1920], emphasized Mexico’s indigenous and European past; it passively eliminated the African ancestors and contributions. Though Mexico had a significant number of African slaves during colonial times, most of the African-descended population were absorbed into the surrounding Mestizo (mixed European/indigenous) and indigenous populations through unions among the groups

So, for the most part, Afro-Mexicans have disappeared into the mix. This in contrast to Irish Mexicans, who have tended to maintain their dual identities. From Wikipedia:

Irish Mexicans (Spanish: Irlandés-mexicano or Hibernomexicano… ) are inhabitants of Mexico that are immigrants from or descendants of immigrants from Ireland. The majority of Irish immigrants to Mexico were Catholic and arrived during the time when all of Ireland was under British rule.

During the colonial era a few ethnic Irish entered Mexico.

… A few Mexican Irish communities existed in Mexican Texas until the Texas Revolution. Many Irish then sided with Catholic Mexico against Protestant pro-U.S. elements. The Batallón de San Patricio was a largely (ethnically) Irish battalion of U.S. troops who deserted and fought alongside the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican–American War of 1846 to 1848. In some cases, Irish immigrants or Americans left from California (the Irish Confederate army of Fort Yuma, Arizona during the American Civil War in 1861) and blended into Mexican society instead.

(I have an Irish Mexican acquaintance — first met, as it happens, on St. Patrick’s Day — who has markedly Irish facial features combined with with a notably dark-brown skin tone. Other Irish Mexicans are relatively light-skinned and have red hair. And so on. They tend to be proud of their mixed heritage and of their association with Ireland. In my friend’s case, his Irish ancestors arrived in Mexico as mercenary soldiers — one of several mechanisms that spread Zwickys through much of Europe and then on to the rest of the world, starting with the Napoleonic wars.)

But all this has taken me far afield of the original puzzle: why the Lucas company chose to advertise its Cinco de Mayo sale by having a (putative) Chicano fucked by a black guy. Ok, with maracas and a sombrero, but still a black guy. Is the Chicano a pushy bottom, demonstrating his independence? (Up the Mexicans!) Or what?

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