According to an upcoming unauthorized biography by Chilean journalist Laura Landaeta, Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, AKA
the man who ruined watching television on Saturday night for literally half a century Don Francisco, continues to have an adulterous, hot, sizzling, salchicha gigante relationship with La Cuatro, one of the most annoying characters on his infamous show, which used to be played by Gloria Benavides.
Landeta, whose book will drop in February, claims the scandalous romance has been going on for over twenty-five years — basically ever since Don Francisco relocated Gloria to the US — and Mario’s wife, Teresa Muchnik, is fully aware of the ordeal.
Could it be? Listen, José and Yours Truly have spoken quite a lot about Don Francisco, Sábado Gigante, and, for better or worse, its impact on the Latino community at large, but that’s serious adult stuff, and this is just silly, fun gossip (well, fun for us, but probably not fun for Don Francisco and his wife).
In the video below, produced by a gossipy Chilean television show, civilians, reporters, commentators, and just about everyone weighs in on the credibility of this chisme. Almost everyone decries the fact that the biography is unauthorized, and also the fact that Landeta never cites sources which, of course, is journalism 101.
However, at the 7:35 mark, one woman in the show’s panel highlights and interesting point:
I’m not saying that Laura is of my liking in any way because she’s a woman who speaks without referencing sources — in her book about Cecilia Bolocco she never cited sources — just like with this book. But I have to ask: in this country, who would dare to say anything about Don Francisco? That is, anything that’s not to his liking.
I, too, don’t believe Don Francisco has been having a 25-year-old affair with La Cuatro. But a shorter affair? Since Mario has been accused of sexual misconduct by a former Sábado Gigante model — whom he paid off — I definitely wouldn’t put it beneath him.
Here’s the scandal in full:
That time Penélope Cruz accidentally asked for a “blow job”
Penélope Cruz appeared on The Graham Norton Show to promote her participation on the upcoming Zoolander 2 movie. During the interview, Cruz told a funny anecdote concerning her beginnings in Hollywood — the actress says she knew very little English because she studied French as a second language — which once lead her to ask a hairstylist for head instead of a dry head:
“I spoke so little [English]. Basically, I just knew my lines. Once I went to a hairdresser and asked for a blow job.”
Of course, what Penélope really wanted is a blowout, I assume.
Elton John happened to also be a guest on the show, and the funny man took almost too long to quip “I’ve done that, too.”
That’s some good show banter.
Here’s a clip:
The merits of cultural appropriation? Guitar sales have spiked in Mexico post-Coco
Recently Gustavo Arellano Miranda, a well-known writer for Pocho and the LA Times, penned a very interesting column on the success of Disney-Pixar’s Coco. Gustavo essentially defended Lalo Alcaraz, the Mexican-American cartoonist who worked on Coco as a consultant, from a group of Chicanos who accused Lalo of selling out. Part of the argument stemmed from the fact that Disney was appropriating Mexican culture to make a buck while giving very little back.
The merits or demerits of cultural appropriation can be deeply examined some other time — or here, in the comments, go for it — but as of today we’ll be able to argue that Disney-Pixar’s culling of our culture has, whether naysayers like it or not, brought economic benefit to some Mexican residents, specifically, Paracho’s guitar makers.
According to El País, guitar makers from the little Mexican town, which is located in the Mexican state of Michoacán, and is renowned for its guitarreros, has seen an huge spike in its guitar sales post-Coco. Many of the local guitar makers have begun modeling their instruments after the movie’s white, skull-inspired design, and people are loving them:
“Guitarists and merchants can not keep up with the demand for the peculiar instrument. Behind the sideboard of her shop, María Eugenia Gómez says she was not ready for ‘Coco fever.’ ‘If I had 1,000 guitars, I would sell them all,’ says the 76-year-old woman, who loved the film and predicts that sales will continue for a long time.”
There’s some eerie similarities between Coco, who’s main protagonist works together with his family to make shoes — or is supposed to — and one Paracho guitarrero named Salvador Meza:
“Of the 50 guitars he used to produced weekly, he’s now up to 100. ‘Normally, I work in my house with my wife and a friend, but now we added my comadre, my nephew, and a cousin… ¡Todos quedamos locos con el Coco!'”
I really hate to sound like a Disney-appropriation-alt-right-tons-of-other-millennial-academic-terms apologist, but besides making our peoples some good dough, the Coco craze is also getting a new generation of Mexicans into playing music — so, you know, an actual art form.
As I argued before, Disney was going to make the damn movie with or sans the outrage, so Mexicans are making the most out of a no-win situation.
Now, trivia time: Apparently the Coco guitar was designed by a michocanano name of Germán Vázquez. The guitar maker moved to Los Angeles 25 years ago, where he manged to set up his own shop. At 64, Vázquez said he identified with Miguel, Coco‘s protagonist:
“[Miguel] wanted to be a musician and found a way to become one. He fought and struggled until he succeeded. I am also like Miguelito: A fascinated guitarist.”
You still haven’t seen Coco? Here’s what I think of the movie — but it has spoilers, so read at your own risk.