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In the street, the only mask is a condom

4 May 2009

Welcome Huffington Post link-ees, but … given that I clearly state that commercial sites are expected to ask permission to use my material, and the Huffington Post did not… I would appreciate your letting Huff Po know they owe me for my work as a translator.

I am in no way responsible for the photograph which appeared illustrating the link, which shows high school students, who are not prostitutes.  I, for one, consider it highly offensive and inappropriate (and possibly slanderous, which is a jailable offense here in Mexico).  My thoughts on this post — and the Huffington Post’s anti-Mexican biases are here.  I’ve written on their underhanded way of appropriating work from writers like myself here.

So says Fátima, a 40 year old Parque Sullivan “strolling hostess” interviewed by AFP.

If AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are a industrial illness, I’m not going to worry about this fucking flu, that’s curable.  AIDS has no cure.

(my slightly cleaned up translation)

Sexoservadoras (“sex workers”) have been particularly hard-hit by the santitary contingency.  According to Jamie Montejo, press spokesperson for Brigada Callejero (a streetwalkers’ support and mutual assistance group), 70 percent of the street walkers are out of a job right now, and there has been a 40 percent decline in customer demand.

Jessica, a 25-year old who has only been a streetwalker for two months, sees the recommended cubreboca as a practical impossiblity to workers in her trade.

When I go to the store, yes.  But anyone wearing a mask in this job is not going to work.

Jessica said she has seen only one masked client.

World-wide, 17 people have died of “Swine Flu” (or H1N1, or “Mexican Flu”).

38,500 People die each week around the world from the Aids virus.

But, AIDS is the pandemic that dare not speak its name.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 May 2009 9:58 am

    hey Richard – can’t find an email for you, this is on La Plaza today, fyi – we linked to you:

  2. Joshua L. permalink
    5 May 2009 11:19 pm

    It is a shame that you are not interested in promoting your writing through news aggregate sites such as the Huffington Post. Many bloggers on the web would kill for the opportunity to contribute to such a venture. The amount of linked traffic generated to your website could easily fuel advertising dollars that would compensate you for your online expenses, hours spent writing, and then some. And your musings on the subsequent requirement to sell out and write about commercial topics couldn’t be farther from reality… you must be new to this whole blogging phenomenon or perhaps just a slow learner.

    None of the contributors to news aggregate sites are “paid for their work.” That is not the point of a news aggregate service. It seems to me as if you are hiding behind the creative commons license and rejecting the opportunity to garner larger volumes of internet traffic because you are afraid of or perhaps simply ignorant as to how the internet actually works. This, coupled with your peculiar sense of entitlement, spells a death sentence of obscurity for your quaint little blog here, whereas it could otherwise grow into a platform of substantial weight and influence.

    Why don’t you just write down all of your thoughts on the “The Mex Files” in a paper-bound, and then you can hide it in a locked safe underneath your bed. That way you won’t ever have to experience the fright of sharing your work with with the internet viewing public.

    • Roger permalink
      6 May 2009 12:56 am


      Snide, snarky, and condescending is not useful. Lots of folks share the author’s point of view about the way that Huff Post uses other people’s articles. I personally love Huff Post and check it several times a day. That does not mean that they are above reproach for their lack of editorial review of whats posted and for the rather minimal way they attribute articles and sources. These are both both areas that they could and should improve. It would make a good news site much better.
      Also his comment about the posting of a pic of high school girls with the article is right on. It would absolutely lead the reader to believe that he is looking at a pic of sex workers. That is a flat out editorial f*** up on the part of Huff Post. One that could have easily been avoided if they were doing the kind of editorial fact checking that they should be doing.

  3. Puffer permalink
    6 May 2009 7:25 am

    I see your point. But I have to agree with Joshua. He’s right. I wanted to learn something here and read your story but can’t because of your snit, which now replaces your story. Maybe with some diligent searching I could find your report. But you’re making this hard for no reason (well, for a snitty reason), and are turning up your nose for some huge publicity. You may be right about Huff Po, but I’m leaving your blog, not planning to come back. Sorry.

  4. Yeah permalink
    6 May 2009 8:37 am

    Yes, my first reaction on landing here from Huffpo was the blogger here is either delusional, naive or a tool. This is the worst first impression ever online…

  5. Niki permalink
    6 May 2009 10:56 am

    I, for one, am in full agreement with the blogger here about the creepy and sneaky behavior of the Huffington Post.

    Perhaps reading her post about the strange behavior of the Huffington Post and others who want to repost her work without permission would be enlightening for some of you above.

  6. 6 May 2009 12:25 pm

    The Huffington Post is clearly an anti-Mexican website. I believe many racists from the “Save Our State” website post their anti-Mexican diatribe there. I have complained many times about their anti-Mexican bias. I know they listen because I myself am frequently censored by them. But when I complain about the racism they allow nothing ever happens.

    It is useless to “Flag” a post that is anti-Mexican because they allow the post to remain and they allow the racist replies as well. The moderators are clearly biased and I do believe that some are anti-Mexican themselves.


    You may not like me and you may not agree with me. But stick to your guns. Don’t sell out for a “page view.”

    All I can tell you is that when it comes to people like us there are two kinds of 49 year old men. Those who sold out and those who didn’t.

    You are already on the right track. Don’t let anyone try to derail you. They want more than your writings; they want your dignity.

    Tell them it’s not for sale.


    Daniel Maldonado

  7. royale3533 permalink
    6 May 2009 5:15 pm

    most bloggers WANT to be linked to and read

    (the photo thing does sound a bit sketchy i’ll grant you)

    • 6 May 2009 6:50 pm

      Of course we want “linked to, and read” but we want commercial users (who are earning money from our work) to pay for what they extract for us “non-first world” producers. Intellectual property is no different than any other commodity (oil, agricultural produce, water… that rich countries tend to expropriate to maintain their own high standard of living), and the owner has the right to refuse to sell (which, given HP’s use of the inappropriate AP photo, I would have).

  8. jeanniedanna permalink
    6 May 2009 5:24 pm

    I am new to on-line blogging so WordPress is my first. I discovered the other day that my posts are being fed directly into another site. I’m pissed! So after finding out who or at least where , I have been told by the host site of these thieves that I would need a lawyer to do anything! Welcome friend, come over and read some of me before I’m all gone!!! rodiogal


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