The end?

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 I believe that business model is outdated and it’s time that I reorganize things and focus on the future and part of that includes cutting back a bit.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 Blogging, sadly, is outdated.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. 

NO ME LLAMEN “LATINX”

 

 

Recently, amidst all the chaos going on in the world, I noticed a push to rename “Hispanic Heritage Month” to “Latinx Heritage Month.” I could write a full dissertation on this ridiculous topic alone but I won’t – not now – no need, nor interest. But there should be…

I also noticed that there is a coordinated effort, with the Library of Congress, to effectively edit Wikipedia to include “latinx” in already established articles of history and or information. This is blatantly re-writing history…alas, it’s not on anyone’s radar. 

This should concern people but I know it won’t. I often worry that no one is documenting this era of Chicano history the way we did earlier decades…or fighting to preserve what we have and ensure that it is not erased or edited to be politically correct.

If we continue to collectively sit on our hands long enough it will be as if we never existed because that’s the eventual goal of these slash-and-burn folks. The “latinx” movement will see to its complete erasure and then corporate Amerikkka and the politicos will swoop in and finally have one homogeneous bastardization to market to. Ya basta.   

Anyway, reading about this effort prompted this impromptu poem. Enjoy. 

 

Publishing pariah

The older I get the more I feel like I repeat myself. It’s a weird feeling as a writer, especially if you’ve written a ton of stuff and haven’t organized it very well. You start to ask yourself: Did I already write about that? Have I said that before? Twice? Three times?? I know I’m guilty of that and in my mind I feel like some geezer who tells his same war stories over and over to family rolling their eyes back in their heads…bah! Like I said, it’s a weird feeling but indulge me here for a bit while I talk about my experience as a publisher.

Recently, a fellow writer and aspiring publisher asked me for some advice on the business. He asked me what BSP could do for him that he couldn’t achieve on his own as a self-publisher. It’s a great question and I had to be completely honest with him: not much. At least, not any more. Continue reading Publishing pariah

Representation in Hollyweird

Recently, the age old issue of “Latino” representation in Hollyweird reared its ugly head again on social media. People argued. They lamented. They moved on. This is an issue that was covered in ¡Ban This! in an article by Chicano actor Del Zamora titled “Where Are the Latinos in Films, TV?” The article, which was originally written for the L.A. Times in 1996, illustrates that this issue never improves, it just makes a cameo now and again. At the time, I felt the need to include the article in the book because the issue is as relevant now as it was then and also in 1996. Yet, Zamora’s point still stands: 

“After all, as one Hollywood executive explained to me, “We don’t have to put you in movies…there were no Latinos in Gotham City and you still came.”

This is a complex issue with a relatively simple answer. We (and I use that term lightly these days), don’t vote with our dollars. The executive from the 90s was correct: we buy tickets anyway. Continue reading Representation in Hollyweird

The more things change

Photo by Merrick Morton

I found the above image on Instagram the other day. If you’re not familiar, it’s Damian Chapa, an actor. Chapa is most famous for his portrayal of a Chicano prison gang leader. Surprisingly, despite the film being an underground cult classic in niche circles, the characters continue to float around in the Chicano mythos as heroes and icons. 

For decades now, Hollywood, the media, and now even ourselves, have used these characters to brainwash far too many young minds that Chapa’s character is something to aspire to. He is a bizarre antihero based on real-life tragedy that no one should aspire to emulate.  

The film, Blood In, Blood Out, made in 1993, continues to this day as some kind of benchmark for Chicano film, which is sad in itself, but the film also serves as a surrogate folktale for young people to admire and pass on. These characters have survived beyond the screen and forged themselves as some kind of weird and pathetic cultural trademark for kids to immerse themselves in. Continue reading The more things change