Every once in a while, folks ask me questions on Twitter. I try to answer them in 140 characters, but that is difficult. And so, I’m going to try to maybe use this blog to get to some of those answers in more detail. Let’s see how this goes.
On “picante” being used by reviewers to describe shows by playwrights of Latino descent: first, my original tweet: Reviewers: stop using the word picante in reviews of plays by/about Latinos. If you use it, you shouldn’t be reviewing that play. And here’s the follow-up, cobbled together from tweets to @rafaelgallegos: ["Picante" is] a sloppy shorthand that doesn’t tell the audience anything. ”Picante” reduces whatever the play is about to *just* being about how Latinos are spicy/fiery. It fundamentally flattens three-dimensionality and perpetuates the idea that the defining characteristic of a play with Latinos in it is the fact that there are Latinos in it, and that they are different from/exotic to the critic/audience.
And to my original tweet: if a reviewer sees a play by/about folks with Latino last names and judges that the thing most worth commenting on in the piece is the “exotic” nature of folks different than them, they’re not judging the play on its own terms. And that doesn’t seem like a relevant contribution to the artistic conversation. It’s infantilizing, and I’m not down for it.
On the Super Bowl: I don’t have a favorite NFL team anymore. When I was growing up, I rode hard for the Buffalo Bills. I even had a Bill Starter Jacket; not the classic black Oakland Radio style Starter, but a light blue one that I can’t seem to track down on Google Image. I suffered through the four Super Bowl losses. They got easier after the Norwood kick. After the K-Gun Era (which for me was really the Thurman Thomas Era) ended, I couldn’t stay invested in any one team. I follow the Jets more closely than anyone now. If I play Madden, I generally use the Ravens. But I’m more of an NFL fan than a fan of any one team.
All of which is to say, I shouldn’t have a team in this fight, but I do. I hope the Giants win. Yes, it’s probably anti-Brady backlash. And yes, part of it is the Victor Cruz dance. But all in all, my heart doesn’t get broken either way. It’s pretty much only the Yankees who I’m invested in sports-wise. Oh, and the Heat. Seriously. That’s another story.