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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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06/06/2004 Archived Entry: ""A Day Without A Mexican" review"

Went to see "A Day Without a Mexican" and loved it.

Reviewed by Ginger Mayerson

I thought it was a bit heavy-handed, could have had snappier editing, and fewer MTV moments, but I still loved it and came away from it with a few more facts than I had before. For example, Hispanics, legal and other, contribute about $100B to California's economy while they only absorb $3B in services. We're $97B up; are we stupid, why did Pete Wilson make a career (such as it was) of attacking the very people who make this such a vibrant and prosperous place? I know racism sells, but if you shoot the driver, we all go over the cliff, no?

Alas, my real problem is that a film like this never gets to anyone who needs to see it. I don't need my mind changed and probably this film would not change Pete Wilson's mind. It might make him uncomfortable and, for me, that would be a start.

My wacky theory on how you get these anti-racism messages across is to slip them into action films where the people who need to see them will see them. Let the hero be Hispanic. Let the hero save some Hispanics from something. C'mon, Hollywood, you can do it! Or as it's been done on TV: Nichelle Nichols on "Star Trek", Bill Cosby on "I Spy", and Dianne Carroll on "Julia" did quite a bit for African American representation in the 1960s. Yes, I know African American have always been entertainers, but these entertainers portrayed a Star Fleet Officer, a spy for our side, and a hospital nurse. It doesn't get cooler, more successful and professional class than that, does it?

So, as much as I loved "A Day Without a Mexican", I just don't see it as a protest or a vehicle for change. Being an Angelino, I got most of the jokes, which might go by most other people. Oddly, what I considered the biggest joke near the end was not played for laughs, but probably the producers of this film are better people than I am.

Oh, and here's an important fact: Agriculture is California's biggest industry, not Hollywood, biotech or the IT industry. And agriculture would not exist here without Hispanic labor. So, you can put that in your pipe and smoke it, Dr. Huntington.

Also saw a trailer for the remake of "The Manchurian Candidate", which makes me think pop culture is about to declare war on rich white people again. How many years since they were the bad guys on the "Titanic"? And, based on this trailer, I'm not so sure this isn't going to end up being a documentary on the Bush family. Anyway, all I can say is thank God Janet Lee is too old to be in it; she drives me nuts.

And lastly, my mood and nearly my car were ruined by a confrontation in the Paseo Colorado shopping parking garage. Curses were exchanged, but no lives were lost. However, I've decided the Paseo Colorado shopping center and its theaters will not be getting anymore of my business until they make it easier to get in and out of their parking garage. I'll wait for films to get to the Academy 6, which really rocks.

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