I recently spoke with a long-time La Bloga fan in AridZona* who used these words, among others, to describe this blog: inconsistent and self-promotion. He didn't elaborate, but I liked the question he raised: What is La Bloga at this point? Here's one opinion.
1. We are not a professional organization, group, NGO, club, association or business. The "unprofessional" look to our site shows that.
2. We are not funded, financed, underwritten, overpaid or financially obligated to anyone but our individual selves. Our blog bank account (nonexistent) shows that.
3. We are not a politically consistent set of gente, although we seem to not be pleased with many things in this country. Our posts show that.
4. We are not one bunch of radical separatists, illegal immigrants, extremists or ultranationalists. Our mortgages, birth certificates/papers and health club memberships show that.
5. We are not the Chicano/U.S. version of El Instituto Cervantes. The pochismos, Spanglish slanguage and opinions expressed in book reviews show that.
We are one of the few Chicano/Latino sites that remains noncommercial, so you don't see ads running down the sides or adsense streaming across the bottom. We aren't in it for the money. [Also see #2 above.] More importantly, aside from personal interests, we can't be bought. Only our books can.
La Bloga is also whoever happens to be posting anytime this century at this URL. The ten faces on our banner that are unnamed just happen to have gathered in the same spot for some time. Some will continue, new ones will be added.
We love writing and we love literature and we love our specific ethnicity, histories, backgrounds and cultures. Hopefully, our posts show the same. Es todo about that.
Yes, inconsistent is how we are, something we probably might worry about more, but don't give much of a chingada about. Self-promotion is inherent to blogging, so in that respect we are very American. Besides, until some of us become much more famous, as authors we want the world to read our published writings and except for our moms, no one but us will do a better job at promoting us.
Every now and then, when I look at the ten fotos or read the Bloga post of the day--except, not usually my own--the title song to the ancient movie Camelot begins playing in my head. (Hold onto your chones because my sensitive girl-side is going to show.)
I always stop the song from continuing in my head at these lines: In short, there's simply not, A more congenial spot, For happily-ever-aftering than here, In. . .
I stop it because my brain wants to insert La Bloga a la cola. And of course, what's on this website is nowhere near the illusion of the Hollywood screen. But I do think La Bloga is very special.
If you don't agree with that, think about when's the last time in your life's work of trying to get a small group of Spanish-surnamed volunteers working together every week for an extended period of time, like years, and that they managed to produce week after week of anything. Was there some . . . Envidia? Mofo, yes! Problemas? Nada más que! Chingasos? Frequently! Caudillismo? Enough to make macho the M-word.
In that sense, La Bloga succeeded in surviving the curse of "what's wrong with our gente?"
So, La Bloga will go on until Homeland or AridZona sheriffs or El Instituto Cervantes put us out of commission. Until then, below are some spurts of chicanada, etc. going on in Aztlán. Inconsistently and definitely self-promotingly.
* I play with words. Since Global Heating brought Sahara Desert haboob phenomena to cities like Phoenix, and since the state's political climate makes it a zone of intolerance toward diversity, I suggest the place should be renamed: AridZona.
by Jorge Gonzalez, Candido Tirado, Carlos Lacamara
Three plays that examine nation-hood, identity, border crossing by three outstanding contemporary US Latino authors who have been part of MetLife Foundation's Nuestras Voces program at venerable institution Spanish Repertory Theatre in NYC.
Published by Nuestras Voces: Latino Plays from Repertorio Español’s MetLife Playwriting Competition (Bilingual) Volumes 1 and 2
"Our goal is to make these plays and playwrights known beyond our theatre's constituency. We are very new to publishing and looking for suggestions where we should get the word out-about these books to attract the attention they deserve. ¡Mil Gracias!"
Volume 1: Vieques (2000) by Jorge González, Momma’s Boyz (2004) by Cándido Tirado and No Where on the Border (2005) by Carlos La Cámara
Volume 2: Cartas a una madre by Marcelo Rodríguez and Locuras en Wichita by Lina Gallegos (Available at lulu.com)
Protest the plan for a new women's jail
Pitchess Detention Center, North Facility, 29320 The Old Road, Castaic
Carpool: 10 AM from Chuco's Justice Center, 1137 East Redondo Blvd, Inglewood, Calif.
LA County Sheriff Baca applied for $100 million from the State to expand the Pitchess Detention Center in the City of Castaic last year. The proposed expansion would cage over 1,000 women and girls. This March the Sheriff was scheduled to submit his expansion plan to the LA County Board of Supervisors but instead called for a nine-month extension to explore other options. They think that we've forgotten about the scheme to lock up women and trans people in their so called 'female village.' Let's prove them wrong!
Come out to Castaic and stand with other community members in opposition to this jail. If we can defeat their expansion plans here we'll defend this city from all of the negative community impacts that jails produce and put Baca on the run!
Critical Resistance - No More Jails LA - The Coalition to End Sheriff Violence - The Youth Justice Coalition
Yo Soy San Antonio
Saturday, May 11, 2013 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Yo Soy San Antonio is the end of year art exhibition for Brackenridge High School Art Students. The power of youth is in their expressions of themselves and their world. Please join us on Second Saturday at Gallista Art Gallery to witness the amazing talent of these young artists. Paintings, drawings, digital art and photography.
Saturday, June 1, 2013 8:00pm – 1:00am PDT
all ages event $5 Donation
1726 S Vermont Ave Los Angeles 90006
An exhibition of urban fine art & music
We invite you to join us on a visual/verbal exploration in identity and personal expression. Come see the radiant colors and hear the heart-felt stories from the resilient lifestyle of urban (youth) culture across Los Angeles.
This is a springtime celebration of peace and prosperity through self awareness. By sharing of our gifts/talents with each other in our community, we cause wisdom to be cultivated in our hearts and heads. In the face of death and destruction, wildly we create with color & inspire with words to heal self and our hoods. This is a calling to all people of the light, reclaim your power and rise, Know Your Roots! Our ancestors wouldn't have it any other way....
Keepers of Sound: DJ Survive (ICDLA) & Dj Warlock One
Warriors of Colors: Artists Dazer RTN, Pocho ONe Photography, Rez, Enuf, Jorge El Pintor, LA Steez, Vdah, Sen K4P, Earn Won.
Warriors of Words: Performances by B'alam Jay, Blind Owl, Naow(DaCollective)Rezen, Dazer (Estado de Emergencia), Luvthe Mezenger, Robwest, Sea One,ONS El Sonador, Inner City Dwellers, Tojil, Letras y Palabras, El Comandante, El Salsa Man, Union Station.
Event brought to you by: SoyLos, ElSalvadorrap.com and Street Inc Media.
Your donation towards food and beverages (I.D. for drink tickets, a must) is spiritual and energetic sustenance for all of us putting in to make this event possible.
Tuesday, May 14, 4:30pm – 7:00pm PDT
To Santa Barbara families, from the East Side, from West Side, to students, professors, workers, youth, elders, men, and women. To everyone with a conscience, to everyone who is humble. We call on all of you!
Poder Santa Barbara and the community will rally to respect our youth next Tuesday, May 14th. After 2 years, the SB City Council will finally address the gang injunction at a public forum. But a single airing is not enough for a decision that will change the history of Santa Barbara and impact the lives of many residents.
PODER will facilitate a conference at 4:30pm to publicly declare why there should be a moratorium on this injunction until there is broad community input. There was no public participation, no transparency, and excessive spending in pushing forward this order that will not address the issues it claims it will at their core. It will only lead to more criminalization of youth, racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. Please come out and support us, the families, and our youth as we fight for real solutions, less criminalization and enforcement.
Garcia's self-promotion of last month
I received word this week that a Columbinesque shoot-em-up short story--which my professor originally asked me to withdraw from a college writing course discussion--will be published in Romania (yes, again), this time in the anthology Looking Back – Short stories of our time. In hardback and paper, in English.
The story's entitled Class Epiphany and is the second-to-last polished story I possess that I can submit for publication. This month, if my last one gets accepted, I'll be out of stock.
As soon as I finish the YA fantasy novel I'm working on, I guess I'd better write some more shorts. Or something.