Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

“Lame Duck” has never held so much meaning

I don’t have to mince words: I’m not a Bush fan. Never have been, never will be.

I’m not going to go off on the myriad ways in which the President has failed us. Today he managed to insult me not as an American, but as a Filipino American. Thank God that people like me can cook:

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Mint Julep Mondays Go Down Nice

French musical icon Jacques DutroncMondays are the anti-hump day, and it was a drizzly summer night in Boston yesterday. I dragged my ass out of the house to hear my friend Christopher spin the 60’s French pop tunes along with some not-so-Francophilic Dusty Springfield. Perhaps the best part is Chris’ excellent video projections, montages along the likes of mod French babes in leotards and berets combined with shoulder-framed members of the Partridge Family. The 60’s sure were White–not a person of color in sight. Also got to chat indie music (how can you go wrong with Yo La Tengo?) and herb gardens with my friend Joel.

Now, someone needs to work on some kind of antidote to Tuesdays.

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Do Real Men Cry?

Daniel Craig in tears

In the course I was teaching on Cultural Diversity this past weekend (an interesting gig that I have yet to post about–I let my DSL connection lapse over the past couple days!), I asked about 60 au pairs from countries like Mexico, Sweden, Germany, and Thailand about words or images that came to mind when I said “Female.” On the board, I wrote their responses:





And when I asked for their ideas about the word “Male”, their voices called out:

“Hairy” (seriously, this was the first response)





Photographer Sam Taylor-Wood took a series of photographs of famous Hollywood men shedding tears as if they were at a funeral. The photographs strike me as particularly moving, both for their emotional impact and the way that it calls into question our ideas of masculinity. I wish that I could throw a couple of these images–say, of Sean Penn with his biceps veiny and masculine–in front of the class and ask how this subverted their ideas of gender. The idea of male goes so much further than biology, no?

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Dorchester, Dorchester, Dorchester

Three things that reinforce my decision to live in the Dorchester community:

1. Dot2Dot Cafe. I’ve been waiting for a cafe to open up in Dorchester since I moved here three years ago. Alden turned me on to Ula Cafe in JP, but I still have to drive over there. And JP–though I love it–has gone the way of post-gentrification: lack of affordable housing for long-time residents, pushing out local businesses like Spanish bridal shops, and strollers everywhere (see The South End 2008 vs The South End 1998). I’m psyched to visit and support Dot2Dot, eat their homemade food, and take full advantage of the wireless.

Dorchester Day Parade 2008 with Chris & Chris (photo by Tony Gale)2. DotOut at the Dorchester Day Parade! Last Sunday, DotOut, a grassroots GLBTQ org for Dorchester folks, hauled out a flatbed truck and did it up with a beach theme. A sunny, breezy day, and the best things about a thriving neighborhood: a mix of long-time residents (Vietnamese Americans, African Americans, and Caucasian Americans) plus the sight of new sources of economic growth–namely young professionals (like myself). Can’t we all just get along?

DotOut is also hosting a Summer Tea Dance at dbar on Sun, June 22. Mark your calendars.

3. Revitalization of Dot Ave. Here’s a great article in the Dorchester News about the excitement brewing in my hood. New mixed-use housing at Field’s Corner, bright T stations, granite both in fancy-kitchens and on Vietnamese storefronts (a sign of prosperity in Asian countries).

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Pissed off at drunk drivers

A universal feeling, right? Common sense, right? Still, there are likely dozens of drunk drivers tooling around the streets of Jamaica Plain as I write (not to mention that I biked around this city for about 10 years).

We should be beyond all of this nonsense. Activism against drunk driving lacks the controversies of, say, abortion or gay marriage, yet it still happens. I have strong personal convictions against drunk driving, as a member of my family was killed by a drunk driver. It’s fueled many a fight between me and my friends. And I’ve often had to chide myself and admit my own shame at my lack of good judgement at times.

The photograph/video at right is particularly shocking. Reveals the horrifying power of documentary journalism, but also the idiocy of a single drunk driver this past Sunday at a road race in Mexico.

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» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
June 2008
« May   Jul »


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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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