President Donald Trump may have coined the phrase “fake news,” but his administration has certainly dished out misinformation from the get-go. Since Trump’s election, it’s as if the Republicans and Democrats — along with their respective commentators — are quick to draw a narrative on whatever issue or topic even if it’s not correct.
The best way to squash a lie is to have tangible evidence that proves otherwise.
Last summer, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon flat out lied and said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign aimed to impeach Trump.
The evidence of Bannon’s lie was caught during the filming of the documentary “The Brink.” Bannon, who worked in the White House between 2016-2017, said that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez ran on a ticket that was all about impeaching the president. There’s proof that never happened, yet Bannon’s bald-faced lie could be taken as truth because of his manipulative way of speaking.
The documentary was filmed last year during the historic midterm elections in which Democrats took over the House.
The film’s director Alison Klayman told The Daily Beast that Bannon’s comment came just a month after Rep. Ocasio-Cortez had won her election. She said that viewers should note how easily he manipulated the topic by first paying Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a compliment, then outright lying, which makes it harder for people to discern the lie.
The director said was surprised how easily Bannon tried to spin a false narrative without having the facts to back it up.
“AOC has recently won her primary, and I had watched her victory speech online. I was struck by how substantive her speech was (later in the film I used her voice along with other victorious female Dems in an election-night montage precisely for this reason). I wanted to know what Bannon thought of her at this moment, and as you see, his response is pure positioning without real knowledge to back it up,” explains Klayman. “He expresses some admiration for her and then goes on to completely mischaracterize her victory speech, falling back on a caricature of a hysterical Democrat triggered by Trump. She didn’t mention Trump once in her whole speech.”
Danny Trejo is one of the most recognizable Latino faces in the world. He is a common feature in Hollywood films, where he often portrays antiheroes. Among his films, we can think of the classic Heat, Con Air, and Machete, the last with frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez, the Texan director he considers a sort of creative brother. Trejo was born in Echo Park (doesn’t get more L.A. than that!) on May 16, 1944. He is a true example of the American Dream: he survived a rough upbringing and life in prison to become a successful and reformed individual who dedicates big chunks of his time to helping others. He creates jobs through his multiple business ventures and often speaks to youth about the importance of staying out of trouble, particularly if you belong to an ethnic minority.
He is the face of tender “bad hombres” (we just can’t get over this terrible moniker POTUS placed on Mexican men!)
As Daily Breeze recalls, he got a second chance in life after being to prison and suffering from addiction early in life: “Influenced by a young uncle, Trejo was off to a life of crime from an early age and did time in juvenile camps before eventually landing in Soledad and San Quentin state prisons for drugs and other crimes”. Rehabilitation is possible! You can’t judge a book by its cover (hear that, gringos racistas?) and the tough-looking Trejo is proof of that.
He is an entrepreneur at heart, the symbol of Latino hardworking individuals.
Trejo has opened a taco shop, a doughnut shop, and many other business ventures. The Daily Breeze says about Trejo’s many talents: “He’s a successful restaurateur with a growing taco and doughnut empire that shows no signs of cooling down. And even though he doesn’t drink, he’s got a beer out, too, a Mexican lager of course”.
He even has a new beer brand even though he is not a drinker.
This is what Daily Breeze said about Trejo’s cerveza: “Because even though he doesn’t drink alcohol, there really is nothing Trejo can’t do. But surprisingly, while Trejo is pretty much the toughest looking man in all of Los Angeles, his 4.7% ABV straw-colored beer is really smooth with an almost sweet taste, which means you can drink a few and still be able to take Machete in a fight. No, who are we kidding — Machete would destroy any of us”. A rave review in our books! Can you imagine sipping this brew with good old cevichito as you look at the Californian sunset?
He talks about men’s health in an open, frank way.
As The Sun reported, Trejo is on a mission to get dudes talking about their health, including erectile dysfunction. He is quoted as saying: “Every man on earth has experienced this, and if you say no, you’re lying and I’m calling you a liar. So there you go, Danny Trejo, called you a liar and now you don’t have to hide it.” He is even a bit funny talking about the trials and tribulations of not being able to rise to the occasion: “You can be 25-years-old and if you’re tired, you’ve been working all night, it’s late – sometimes it’s not going to happen. But especially in the Latino community where I’m from, men don’t talk about these things – because we’re supposed to be the hunter-gatherer or some sh*t. Well, I hate hunting”. Preach, Danny!
He is funny as hell on social media.
Really, he is like any Latino dad, uploading every single meme or viral trend he finds in a very dad joke kinda way.
He has been able to get meatier roles as the years have gone by: a true underdog story.
Trejo’s acting career has gone from being an extra to having better roles that sometimes play with his badass persona. He told The Guardian: “They Would Always Say, ‘Get That Mexican Guy With The Big Tattoo. I’d Show Up And Have One Line, Like, ‘Kill ’em All!’ Or Somethin’.”
He has one of those faces that just sparks creativity.
Just look at this wonderful piece of street art in Brazil. Trejo’s wrinkled face tells a thousand stories, it is a roadmap of a life that has encapsulated so many experiences that it could fill a hundred lives. Trejo us a symbol of second chances and of the many forms that Latino masculinity can take.
At 75 years of age, he shows that elderly doesn’t mean you can’t work out.
Any 20-year-old flojo would envy Trejo’s sculpted body. He told NY Daily Newsback in 2007: “I look at the script. If I see a part that says shirt-off, then I go to the gym”. Well, he hasn’t stopped working out by the looks of it (by “it” we mean his badass muscles).
He is a living example of how you can kick ass fighting addiction.
Trejo is now clean, but there was a time when he didn’t know if he would live a long life. He certainly didn’t expect to reach 70. The Guardian conversed with Trejo in 2018: “I didn’t even think I’d make it out of the 1960s. I picked the wrong role model. I picked my uncle, who was a drug addict and an armed robber. But he was the greatest guy in the world as far as I was concerned”. He experienced heroin for the first time when he was just 12-years-old, so the road to redemption was steep.
He is a caring Latino dad.
He has two children: Danielle and Gilbert. He often shares messages for them on social media. He has also helped his son on his own path towards rehabilitation from addiction.
Getting clean is something he did with his son.
He has travelled the path of staying clean with his son and has even collaborated with him in a film project where the young Trejo directs him.
He is super approachable for fans.
Don’t think twice: if you ever see him on the street or a fan convention, ask for a selfie.
He participates in most Latino projects, including the new movie version of Dora la exploradora!
Can you think of a better actor to give voice to Dora’s monkey, Boots? Neither can we.
He supports young female boxers and aspiring musicians. Did you know that?
Trejo Music is his new passion project! As he told Daily Breeze: “Everything good that has happened to me has happened from helping people, and I started this record label to help people. Let’s hear you and if you can fit, you’re on”. The label’s first album: Danny Trejo Presents Chicano Soul Shop Vol. 1. Can we please get it, like tomorrow. He is also a boxing manager and promoter and supports champion Seniesa Estrada.
And, of course, he gave us Machete, an icon of resistance against inhumane border policies.
Before the Trump era kicked in, Trejo was already kicking ass at the border by embodying Mexican ire against racist politicians and gringo vigilantes.
Even though Marvel and DC Comics superhero comics are obviously very popular in Latin America (as they are in the rest of the world), the region has developed its own comic book industry. This industry has given birth to iconic characters. These characters and stories speak directly to Latin American reality and identity. They deal with challenges such as economic crisis, class division, racism, and State repression. Of course, they do this in an often funny way. Other comics have achieved cult status even if their quality is, well, not of the highest standards. These are ten titles that speak of the depth and breathe of Latin American creativity.
Title: Condorito Country of origin: Chile So when was it first published? It has been published since 1949 Created by: René Ríos, known as Pepo
The adventures of a Chilean condor that lives among humans is told in short vignettes that always end with a character passing out and the iconic word PLOP. Simple stories deal, however, with issues such as unemployment, the military dictatorship in Chile and class division. Condorito is a working-class everyman who faces class discrimination. Before Pinochet took power the comic was a bit conservative, mocking hippies and left-wing politicians, but after the coup, it changed and silently denounced the dictatorship. A 3D animated movie was released in 2017, with iconic characters such as Cabeza de Huevo, Garganta de Lata and Pepe Cortisona.
Title: La familia Burrón Country of origin: Mexico So when was it first published? 1948 Created by: Gabriel Vargas
It was published for 60 years and told half a million copies, a huge number by Mexican publishing standards. Cuevas got into the hearts and minds of a lower-class Mexico City family. It is a linguistic jewel: it used slang, Prehispanic words and invented words that appealed to the creativity of chilango vernacular. Vargas’s main influence was American comics, but he soon developed a style that was unique and influences generations of Latin American comic book artists.
And this family is a true icon of Mexico City
Up until today, this family is venerated by Mexicans. There are multiple murals, toys and museum exhibitions dedicated to the Burrones. A true representation of 20th century Mexican idiosyncrasy.
Title: Las aventuras de Capulina Country of origin: Mexico So when was it first published? 1970s Created by: Oscar González Guerrero on a character created by Gaspar Henaine Pérez
Gaspar Henaine Pérez, better known as Capulina, was a comedian that became iconic on the 1970s and 1980s. He had a television show and a very successful duo with Marco Antonio Campos, better known as Viruta. The character of Capulina gained huge popularity in a comic book series with stories by comic artist Oscar González Guerrero and art by his son Oscar Gonzalez Loyo.
Title: El libro vaquero Country of origin: Mexico So when was it first published? 1978 Created by: Mario de la Torre Barrón, c
A classic of Mexican kitsch! NSFW content that has plenty of blood and plenty of sex. It was considered mass entertainment for the lower classes but is now being reinterpreted as an important cultural icon that deals with gender, sex and national identity. As the title suggests, it all happens in a microcosm of cowboys and saloons. This comic book has enrolled some famous writers, such as Jordi Soler, to write stories, as it is now a cultural icon, popular among hipsters.
Title: Memín Pinguín (yes, this one is quite problematic) Country of origin: Mexico So when was it first published? 1962-2010 Created by: Yolanda Vargas Dulché.
First things first: this is a very controversial title because of how the Afro-Mexican main character is drawn, and because of the ways in which other characters refer to him. There are plenty of stereotypes here, but also a denouncement of racism. The class division in Mexico is also referred to when a rich student is enrolled in a public school and faces the wrath of the proletariat. An interesting object of study that makes us think of how representations of race that might have been seen as innocent at the time gain new dimensions as the effects of stereotypes are better understood.
Title: Kaliman Country of origin: Mexico So when was it first published? 1965 (previously a radio show from 1963) Created by: Modesto Vázquez González (radio show), Hector González Dueñas (Víctor Fox) y Clemente Uribe Ugarte (comic book)
During the 1960s Mexico was a cultural powerhouse in the continent and Kaliman is good proof of this. The superhero was originally just a voice on the radio, but then became a comic book that was published for 26 uninterrupted years, which spanned 1351 issues. Kaliman is a superhero of unknown origin who was raised in India and fights alongside an Egyptian kid named Solin. Kaliman practices multiple martial arts and goes to mystical places like Tibet! A true transnational creation generated in Latin America
Title: Mafalda (but of course we couldn’t possibly forget her!) Country of origin: Argentina So when was it first published? 1964-1973 Created by: Quino
More of a comic strip rather than a comic book, Mafalda is a young girl who hates soup, loves her family and despairs at the state of the world. Argentina’s answer to Charlie Brown and the Peanuts series is a funny, nostalgic and thought-provoking universe in which childhood’s point of view reveals the idiocy of the adult world. Mafalda is a symbol of pacifism and a true icon of Argentina.
Title: Love and Rockets Country of origin: United States So when was it first published? 1981 Created by:the Hernandez brothers: Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario.
Perhaps the most daring and iconic comic book to come out of the Latino community in the United States. This universe of interrelated storylines have traits that make it uniquely Latino: some stories take place in the Central American fictional village of Palomar, while others have magical realism elements. The Locas series focuses on Maggie and Hopey, one of the first queer couples in the American comic book tradition.
Title: Turey El Taíno Country of origin: Puerto Rico So when was it first published? 1989 Created by: Ricardo Álvarez-Rivón
A unique comic book in that it shows how an indigenous community, the Tainos of what is now Puerto Rico, lived before colonization by the Spanish. It shows the cultural richness of the island in pre-Columbus days and brings back indigenous words and tools. A real standout!
Title: Elpidio Valdés Country of origin: Cuba So when was it first published? 1970 Created by: Juan Padrón
A true Cuban classic and perhaps the most famous comic book to come out of the island. In a truly nationalistic spirit (some might argue that these comic books are in fact propaganda), the story takes place in the nineteenth-century war of independence that Cubans waged against Spain. Elpidio Valdés is a multiplatform narrative, as there are movies and cartoons about this historical character.