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Disney is racist.
Disney is sexist.
Disney steals everything…(Finally after three paragraphs)
Back in 2013, Disney approached the US Patent and Trademark Office with a request to secure “Día de los Muertos” / “Day of the Dead” across many different platforms. At the time, an upcoming Pixar movie with a Día de los Muertos theme (read: the early stirrings of Coco) was in the works, and Disney wanted to print the phrase on a wide range of products, from fruit snacks to toys to cosmetics.
Por supuesto, Disney received major backlash for trying to trademark the name of a holiday—what is more culturally appropriative than claiming ownership over an entire celebration? Especially one with indigenous roots?
“The trademark intended to protect any potential title of the movie or related activity,” a spokeswoman for Disney told CNNMexico at the time. “Since then, it has been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our application for trademark registration.”
But prior to withdrawing their application, Disney received extensive backlash from the Latnix community. Latinos all over social media expressed their disdain for Disney’s bold and offensive attempt to take ownership of the holiday’s name, even starting a petition on Change.org to halt the whole process. Within just a few days, the petition had garnered 21,000 signatures.
Although Disney didn’t acknowledge whether the online uproar had influenced them to retract their trademark request, they were clearly paying attention. Lalo Alcaraz, a Mexican-American editorial cartoonist, had expressed open disdain at what he called Disney’s “blunder,” creating “Muerto Mouse”—a cartoon criticizing said blunder—in response.
The artist from the top was eventually hired by Disney to consult for Coco. Sounds like he was panned but he defended the action. The author about faces like that and praises the movie for nailing it and its magic “Coco seamlessly captured the beauty, magic, and wonder of Día de los Muertos, depicting the holiday with reverence and respect. And after becoming the top-grossing film of all time in Mexico, it’s safe to say that Coco helped Disney bounce back from its trademark mishap, even if more controversy is bound to emerge in the future.”
It is believed that the Aztecs worshipped a goddess of death that they alleged protected their departed loved ones, helping them into the next stages.
The skeleton with the hat that we see today came to life in the early 1900’s by artist José Guadalupe Posada. Posada was a controversial and political cartoonist that was liked by the people and who drew and etched skeletons (calaveras) in a satirical way to remind people that they would all end up dead in the end. It is said that he drew the dandy-looking female skeleton with a fancy feathered hat because some Mexicans had aspirations to look wealthy and aristocratic like the Europeans at that time. A satirical drawing to remind people to be themselves and to stop trying to be something that they weren’t. No matter how rich or poor you were, no matter the color of your skin, and no matter what society you belonged to, you would all end up skeletons.
One of his most popular sayings was “Death is democratic”.
From there, La Catrina became a strong symbol for the numerous Day of the Dead activities. Women paint their faces in colorful make-up and dress with elegant outfits evoking the famous symbolic skeleton. Celebrations are held in the cemeteries (panteóns) where the mood is jovial and people cheerfully commemorate their lost loved ones, offering them flowers and some of their favorite foods and beverages from when they were still alive.
La Catrina is about living your true self and it’s also about not pretending to be someone you are not. No matter what you look like and where you come from you will end up a skeleton in the end with everyone else!
Mictlantecuhtli was closely associated with owls, spiders and bats and the direction south.
In the Aztec creation myth Mictlantecuhtli attempted to delay the god Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl on his journey into Mictlán.
Quetzalcoatl was searching for the bones of the creatures from the previous world of the 4th Sun in order to make mankind. Amongst the tricks and difficult tasks Mictlantecuhtli set was to insist that Quetzalcoatl could only take the bones away with him if he went around the underworld four times blowing a conch-shell trumpet. This task was not quite as simple as it seemed as the god of the underworld only gave Quetzalcoatl an ordinary conch-shell and so it would not sound.
Quetzalcoatl got around the problem by having worms drill holes in the shell and placing bees inside it so that their buzzing would sound like a trumpet. Not to be outdone by this, Mictlantecuhtli let Quetzalcoatl think that he had got the better of things and allowed him to take the bones.
Mictlantecuhtli, then, far from giving up, arranged for his assistants, the Micteca, to dig a large pit so that Quetzalcoatl would stumble into it when he tried to leave Mictlán. Sure enough, when passing the pit and, unluckily startled by a passing quail, Quetzalcoatl fell into the trap and the bones became broken and scattered.
However, Quetzalcoatl roused himself and gathering up the bones managed to extract himself from the pit and get away unscathed from the clutches of Mictlantecuhtli. Once safely delivered to the goddess Cihuacóatl, the bones were mixed with Quetzalcoatl's blood and from the mixture sprang forth the first men and women.
The Aztecs did not believe in a special paradise reserved only for the righteous but, rather, that all people shared the same destiny after death, regardless of the kind of life they had led.
How did I get from La Catrina to these??
The Freeharmonic Orchestra - USSA
Crowander - Night Surfing
Tendinite - Be Be See
South Park S3E11
Vitamin Pets - Bird Man
Monolog Rockstars - Ze Gaan Allemaal
Aztec Diet 1-3