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ON THE COVER

You can't catch this arresting image, Gary Smith's "Portrait of My Daughters, How They Remind Me of My Self," until Out of Generica opens July 5 at Drink. But six other Contemporary Art Month shows kick off this week. See our critics' notebook and our complete calendar listings. And tune in weekly during CAM for ongoing previews, reviews, and profiles.


MAIL

WATTS WHAT

You are absolutely right about Watts and his anti-choice, anti-woman position `The MashUp, June 13-19`. I too also want to dump Cornyn in ’08. But if Watts is the nominee there is no way I can support him barring a reverse Romney-like embrace of a woman’s right to choose.

Can’t we grow better candidates in the Democratic party in Texas? I know term limits have been a limiting factor in San Antonio ... but statewide, is there no one else to challenge Cornyn?

Ron Aaron, San Antonio



TV CAN'T MAKE IT BETTER

While I really enjoyed “Big White Lies” `June 13-19`, I couldn’t help feeling a little caustically motivated by the time I got to the end, which is ultimately a good thing.

Henderson does have a point, TV is a powerful tool, and Hollywood really should make an effort to represent peoples and cultures more accurately. But if studio brass ever had any kind of moral compass they would never have polluted the collective sub-conscience with shows like I Love New York or The O.C.

Speaking as a white boy who has lived/taught in predominantly Hispanic towns my whole life (Beeville, Pearsall, San Antonio), my stomach turned violently when Henderson naively asked, “ … is a smattering of Hispanic faces on primetime enough to overcome the historical stereotypes embedded in our culture?”

The answer to her question, of course, is hell no. More importantly, her question is detrimental to the cause. Believe it or not, TV is not the answer.

Even if all the casts on all the primetime shows were racially proportionate to the population, and even if said characters accurately represented their respective cultures (a nearly impossible task since the concept of “Hispanic” isn’t consistent within one neighborhood, much less a nation), it would never be enough to convince the people in Whitebread, Iowa, that there shouldn’t be a giant electric fence constructed to keep all the “criminals and druglords” out.

The only thing that will “overcome historical stereotypes” is time and education. Some people in this world need to be taught that not all Hispanics are in MS13, that not all white people are elitist assholes, and that (as wonderful as it sounds) George Lopez isn’t going to make life easier for your kid when he goes off to college at a predominantly white school.

That being said, I would like to add this: Oye Jen, no te llores, mama. Pero next time you wanna see the gente on TV, just watch “El Chapulin Colorado.”

John Staudt, San Antonio


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