Does counterculture even exist anymore? It’s a legitimate question, and one that’s been on my mind for some time now. This is especially concerning for myself as I consider what I do “counterculture” and have since the inception of this whole publishing/writing thing. You would be hard pressed to find a more concise example of counterculture than a Chicano writer/press – we are few and far between! Continue reading Does counterculture even exist anymore?
Yesterday, after winding down after a long and bitter day of literal fear and loathing in regards to what some refer to as “society,” one of the local propaganda channels here decided to give me gut punch before I drugged myself into a what barely passed for a few hours of slumber. Translation? Yesterday, Folio Weekly, the only alt news paper here folded for good. They are yet another victim of Covid-19.
Why share this news here, you ask? Because as long as I’ve been shipwrecked out here, Folio Weekly has been a constant source of alt news and push back against mainstream propaganda and bullshit. They’ve kept the media and political hacks on their toes and called out bullshit on the regular. They were advocates for truth and most people took them for granted.
But more than that, they were a constant ally of BSP – they reviewed almost every single book I published, helped me with publicity and well as interviewed me several times over the years. I’ve had great relationships with most of the editors over the years. They also allowed me a platform to write many scathing back page editorials, which I enjoyed doing quite a bit. They never censored me or tried to tell me what to write. I had carte blanche and it was awesome. Try that with a daily!
This is a huge blow to the community here and also to BSP, as indie presses do not typically get anything from mainstream news orgs. This will help dirty politicians and cops hide, it will allow corruption to go unchecked and it will deprive a vibrant community of artists a voice.
This is yet another sign of the times. More and more longstanding print publications have folded or are about to. I’ve watched it happen in much larger cities than Jax. The thing here though is that Folio was it – there are no other alt sources of news and I have no hope that another will step in to fill that void.
There is no one else in print here who has the balls to push back against local politicians, corruption or who give a voice to artists, musicians, poets, writers, publishers and more. The void Folio leaves will be impossible to fill and it bums me out as we seem hellbent on sucking the digital teat into the apocalypse.
As I’ve said too many times to count, print – tangible, hold in your hands and read – print, is the last battleground for freedom of speech. Once it’s completely gone, we will have lost everything.
So, if you still have an alt paper in your area, you might consider showing them a little love before there is no such thing as an alternative press. We’re very close to that point now.
Stay safe, stay focused and more importantly, stay away from stupid people.
Death to Videodrome. Long live the new flesh!
If you’re wondering where all my blogs went they’re over here now. You have to subscribe and then they get sent to your email whenever I publish. Try it out and send me some hate mail.
Gather round, kiddies, and let me tell you a tale of woe! Recently, some white lady wrote a novel about some Mexicans. Oprah Winfrey swooned over it and gave her official endorsement and said white lady cashed in. Stephen King and Sandra Cisneros both gave it their official seal of approval and Ka-fuckin-ching, kids. The lady is rich and a movie deal is in the works. The internet, as is custom these days, pissed and shit themselves silly over it. The result? A clusterfuck of fashionably late, butthurt victim culture, best sellers galore and the cherry picking of sacrificial lambs. Huzzah.
Note: I am not going to link any of the “woke” butthurt articles here about this lady’s book or screenshot any tweets. There’s a bunch. Do your homework. The work in question is called American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. Look it up.
I posted the following on my Instagram account the other day:
Dear people crying foul over this book:
You have a point but here’s the thing; Yes, we have a voice that the mainstream ignores, but it’s fucking hypocritical to complain when WE don’t support our own voices! Ask me how I know! It’s fucking ridiculous to watch people bitch and moan about not having our voices heard when WE routinely ignore them ourselves and then wonder why we are invisible. Fuckin’ dummies. Spare me your butthurt and victim complex. 🙄 Continue reading American Butthurt
I’m not dead…yet. Still here – I’ve been quietly stewing over the perpetual chaos that we live in here in The Matrix and considering yet again throwing my phone in the ocean. But! I wanted to chime in here for a quick moment with you all and comment on the super duper long and continued slow death of print. The latest victim? Lowrider Magazine.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of LRM in the world. To be honest, I stopped reading their rag in the late 90s. Sure, I doodled the logo incessantly in high school and even went to a few shows [INSERT EYES EMOJI HERE]. I even owned a lowrider and lived the “lowrider lifestyle” for a short time before succumbing to my own madness. But, as I’ve written about before, I was more interested in the girls than the cars. I often wonder if the magazine suffered the same issue… Continue reading The super duper long and continued slow death of print
No, not the end of BSP…at least not yet. But I am considering the end of this website. For a while now I have bitterly held on to the notion that you need a website with all the bells and whistles in order to survive as a small publisher, however I’m fairly certain that’s no longer true. I believe that business model is outdated and it’s time that I reorganize things and focus on the future and part of that includes cutting back a bit.
You’ve all heard the phrase “video killed the radio star,” it’s a song and it’s also true. Music videos killed radio and social media killed blogging. No one really blogs any more and if they do, there’s not many people reading them. Blogging, sadly, is outdated. People these days much prefer bite-sized tidbits that are easily and instantly digested via social media.
I had to asses what I use this space for and it’s primarily for a blog – my books are sold via other mediums. So really, what is the purpose of this website? That’s a question I’ve struggled with for a long time. The answer is, of course, that it’s a blog but that raises another question; if this is just a blog then why the hell am I paying for it when there are numerous free ways to blog? And that brings me to the present: periodically I have to asses what I am doing and at the end of the day this is a business.
I am not really a social media person – shocking I know. I was at one point, but I ‘dropped out’ so to speak. Social media culture disgusts me so there are no plans to return to Twitter or Facebook. Sorry to disappoint you.
That said, I have been contemplating the idea of using an email-based subscription newsletter like TinyLetter instead of a central website. I’ve seen a couple of colleagues do this and have been impressed with what they’ve done with it.
This format is appealing to me because it’s free, easy to use, it isn’t so archaic and people are free to subscribe/unsubscribe to it if they wish. The money I spend on this website would, in my opinion, be better spent on publishing more books. Plus, it’s hard not to feel so limited in this current space. With a different format, I could potentially share all kinds of things and not just book-things, if that makes any sense. Essentially, I believe TinyLetter could afford me the freedom to return to the kind of stuff I was doing on Twitter years ago, but without all the bullshit Twitter comes with.
Also, just fyi, this website isn’t going anywhere any time soon. I’m paid up until well into next year but I may switch to TinyLetter sooner rather than later. If I do, I will use this space to announce/promote that and I’m hoping you will follow me there.
So, I’m interested in some feedback from you on this idea. What do you think? Would you subscribe to my TinyLetter? Would you miss this site? Do you think it’s a good/bad idea to not have a website? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.