Aztec It To The Man

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I just read your interview with film maker Salvador Carrasco about his movie The Other Conquest and its re-release in the states [Film Interview, “ The Other Conquest Conquers America,” May 3-9].

This guy, I mean, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but you guys asked him, point blank, where he got the idea for his movie about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Indians. He skirts the question and talks a lot about being a young Mexican in Mexico City and having wondered of certain resistance to the Spanish, and then how no movies had really been done on the topic—leaving us to assume, incorrectly, that he thought up the story idea. He fails to mention that, by no uncertain fluke, the “idea" for this movie was not an original one, that it was taken from a novel on the same subject. So similar, this novel, that it is about a scribe back in the day, and how we see the Spanish invasion and conquest through his eyes! What an amazing coincidence?!

Aztec , by Gary Jennings (, was released in 1980, back when I was in college and read it for the first time, as perhaps Salvador did when he was at NYU. In the novel, the protagonist survives the massacre at Tenochtitlan as well, and is also taken into custody by Cortez and his goons, however the author has him burn at the stake as many “Catholic-resistant" Aztecs were, instead of converting (a prettier ending, since the character is so likable).

Perhaps Mr. Carrasco did acknowledge Jenning’s novel and you left it out of your printing (seriously doubtful given the direct question), or he simply declined to mention it. Regardless, he’s not the first guy to think
Aztec would make a great movie. Please don’t misunderstand, I am excited and glad The Other Conquest was made, and I look forward to seeing it; it’s an important tragedy that needs more exposure. I just think that credit needs to be given where credit is due.

I think it would be showing a little class to at least give a nod to the man that inspired the tale in the first place.

What Is War?

[RE: Ortiz y Pino, “Stop the Hammer!” May 3-9] Ortiz y Pino delivers a well aimed hammer at Broder but will somebody please tell me why the corporate-owned media keeps referring to the occupation of Baghdad (which is, essentially, all that the U.S. military is in firm control of) as a “war"? Don’t people these days know the difference between a war and an occupation? Does the “enemy" have bases, armored regiments, logistics bases, military headquarters and uniformed troops? Does the “enemy" have anything at all resembling a military organization? And how can there be “insurgents" if there is no legitimate government? A puppet, U.S.-controlled government is rather like the Vichy “government" in France in World War II. Are these rag-tag Iraqis not members of a “resistance"? And why don’t the media ever ask questions about the 100,000 plus mercenary personnel in Iraq? What does it cost us taxpayers for Blackwater and other so-called security organizations to do whatever they do in Iraq and to what authority are they obedient and responsible?

Albuquerque Cynical

After going through the recent DWI checkpoint outside the Spring Crawl a few points came to mind about the efforts to combat DWI’s and the facts of our town.

First of all, the people being interrogated at the checkpoint seemed to be all hispanic with the white people (including myself) being waved through. If one would look at the monthly photo array being distributed in the paper one would see that this fact is true. Even the hispanic officers seemed to target their own. It’s bewildering but, as the recent article in the
Journal about race being a factor confirmed, is very real.

If one were to visit the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, one would find a fully stocked bar for its patrons. Drive by any Friday or Saturday night and one can see 20-30 cars parked outside the building with music and laughter coming from within. Strangly enough one does not see a uniformed police presence or state alcohol agents ready to pounce ouside as one continually sees across the city’s bars. I guess that one speaks for itself. Perhaps someone needs to stake it out with #DWI on speed dial.

Another fact if one were to attend Mayor Martin Chavez’s various fundraisers (especially now as he eyes Santa Fe) what would one find? Free flowing alcohol. Wine, beer, vodka, it doesn’t matter what it is, alcohol is alcohol. I guess $1,000 a plate buys you not only a friend in Marty but a free pass and a wink. For sure that would be one to monitor.

Albuquerque Journal/Tribune sponsors the Bernalillo Wine Festival with its free wine tastings and encourgement to buy wine. That crowd is always a sellout. The Journal Pavallion certainly sells alochol and probably is one of the most heavily cited venues for violations. But the name soldiers on. I guess the crusading local paper turns a blind eye in its quest to have its name on something.

And lo and behold who are the media darlings of Albuquerque? The Maloofs. Yes, the very same people who made their fortunes by providing cheap and abundant alcohol to the citizens of New Mexico. That family may have not provided the smoking gun, but they sure did provide the ammunition and are loved for it. You would think they would fund a treatment facility in New Mexico somewhere. They could even put stripper poles in the rooms a la the Palms. But one doesn’t make face time with that.

One can easily see that Albuquerque is no better than the dregs of history, led by cynics where money, power and privilege rule the land. It’s disgusting to think that one would want this for their children. This isn’t the way our Albuquerque is supposed to be.

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