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Samhain 2008

Issue the Thirteenth: Broken Bones
by Zabet Stewart

We've put sex in front of you and bacon in front of you, but this is the first issue where I feel genuine trepidation about our subject matter. No, it's not sex with bacon, you pervs.

I'm hispanic, my father's mother's line hails from Seville in Spain and Bejucal in Cuba (shhhh... don't tell anyone, they are touchy about that Cuban part; never have figured out why). There were times when my dad would tan so darkly he gave my black cousins a run for their money. However, he wasn't raised bilingual. My mother is as fair and Irish/Scottish/German as can be, but grew up in Tampa, FL with a Cuban best friend and was well-schooled in Cuban culture (and food!) by the Servia family. Mr. S refused to speak English once he got home and would ask his daughter and her red-headed friend about their day at school. Mom was allowed to reply in English, but was still expected pick up enough español to know what was being asked.

I'm telling you this so you'll understand where I'm coming from, and in turn where this issue is coming from. I'm an odd mix. I'm hispanic—but not chicana, not really latina. (Cubans are divided on whether or not we count as latinos—go figure—and I've got enough European stock in me to not even remotely resemble any of the latinos I've ever met. It made Minority Visit Weekend at Amherst quite awkward.) I grew up in the military and our family had friends from everywhere, but I can only remember one other hispanic neighbor. (She would make fresh tortillas, oh heaven.) I learned to speak slightly Puerto Rican flavored Spanish in high school, and while I'm nowhere near as fluent as I used to be, I can still hold my own in the present tense. I was chided once by a puertorriqueño for dating a chicano. ("We're Caribbean!" he insisted, explaining why he would be my better match.)

Because of all this, I have an endless fascination with what I like to term Pan-Hispaña. I am very aware of the cultural appropriation that happens in the West, and even more so in the US. So please understand that this issue was approached with all these things in mind. It is not an anthropologist's account, but it's not just collection of brightly-colored crap. It is about inspiration, sharing and interpreting culture, and creating things that are meaningful, silly, and/or painfully complex (because dude, we're still The AntiCraft).

Also, let me address the issue of timing. I am many stunningly awesome things, but I am sometimes often usually bad at time management. Couple that with a trip to Yarn School right before the issue was due up (Hi Nikol!), and yeah, I sort of doomed us deadline-wise. That said, there are several fabulous projects available now that range from a fun afternoon playing with clay to possibly ending up in the ER because you overestimated your hobby knife skilz; and there are five (count 'em, FIVE!) fabulous surprise projects that will become available throughout October (keep an eye on the blog), including—but not limited to!—socks from Erssie Major and cupcakes from Raellyn Hatter.

Lastly, for those of you who pay attention to copyright matters, with this issue we've switched over to Creative Commons licensing. It's a change that is long overdue, Gods know I've been talking about it for a good 18 months or more here at AC Headquarters. Anyway, each designer chooses how restrictive they would like their license to be (or they don't chose and we slap our default most-restrictive license on there), so you can look for the CC graphic at the bottom of each project and click on it to see exactly what is and isn't allowed. As always, you can contact us or the designers if you have questions about copyright (sometimes we might have to refer you to the designer, but we're always glad to try to help).

Madre de dios, these long and thoughtful letters are no fun to write! Go make some sugar skulls already!

P.S. If you are a US citizen over 18 who hasn't registered to vote yet I might just come break your legs. 'Nuff said.


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