Saturday, March 15, 2014

LaBloga's million hits! NYRB whitewash. Writer opportunity, warning. Your soldier boy? 300. Fracking quakes.

La Bloga hits a million!

Last night or early this morning, the counter at the bottom of this homepage reached 1,000,000. You, our readers, did that. In our 10th year, we're not only proud to say we endured, but also that we believe we produced some great things in that time. This week, other La Bloga contributors might add to this.

Please add your comments below or to the posts of La Bloga contributors throughout the week. And have a traguito on us.

NYRB's colorless list for U.S. kids

Of approximately 70 books that New York Review of Books listed in its most recent Children's Collection, none are by latinos. Maybe none with latino characters, even. Unfamiliar with the books, I can't assume that NYRB even thought a book about any minority group was worth mentioning.

What attitudes do U.S. Anglo children learn from a whitewashed list? How narrow can Anglo childen's tolerance be if, literally, nothing of minority lit is presented to them as being literary worthy? Should we be surprised if a list that omits half the darker Other population of U.S. children reinforces, not only privilege-mentality, but racism, for that matter? Maybe they should rename themselves--New York's Racially Biased. Or determine your own answer.

NYRB forces us to create our suggestions that will reach narrower audiences than theirs. Otherwise, White Americana uber alles, que no?

Throwing writers under the train!

Amtrack is offering 24 writer’s residencies consisting of one (1) round trip, a 2-5 day excursion on an Amtrak train to a destination of your choice, including private sleeper car, desk and window-view. Value: $900. Sounds great, huh?

BUT wait! Clause #6 of their rules requires writers who apply to assign irrevocable, World rights to their work, even writing samples submitted with the application. If you submit, be certain you want to give this away in exchange for a ride. Or you might end up like this photo. Read more about it.

Intensive workshop for aspiring spec writers

The 6-week, summer Odyssey Writing Workshop is one of the most highly respected workshops for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror in the world. April 8th is the deadline to apply for the workshop to be held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 9 – July 18, 2014.

"Challenge yourself and pack two years of learning into six weeks of intense work:  Four-hour classes five days a week, an advanced curriculum, daily writing and critiquing assignments, weekly stories/chapters due, in-depth feedback on your work, personal guidance. Writers in residence will be Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem. Four scholarships and one work/study position are available. I don't know how many latinos have won these, but somebody out there deserves to. Read more about it. 

MFA scholarship in Writing for Children & Young Adults?
The Angela Johnson Scholarship for New Students of Color or Ethnic Minority info is available at the Vermont College of Fine Arts for incoming students. That includes latinos.

Ah my little soldier boy. . . .

If you think you should encourage your kid to join the Army, check out a regular soldier's account of what your kid could face. Penguin Press just released Redeployment by Phil Klay. It's a collection of short stories about soldier life on the front lines and the home front. "Klay's alarming but eloquent short stories should be required reading for all of us — civilians and soldiers — as we grapple with the last decade of war."

To give you a taste of it, this is one of the lighter moments from the book: "We shot dogs. Not by accident." Beyond that, it becomes worse than imaginable. Something you should know. Read one chapter of it for free and decide if you would ever want your kid to experience this, whether he's latino or not. Or read more about the book.

What's wrong with the 300 movie?

Mucho. Demasiado mucho. The best analysis I've read is by spec author David Brin. Read how Hollywood got into the business of praising mercenary brutality over civilized Athenian society. It says more about our times, and army, than what the CGI portrayed as "heroes."

Hazing in our army? The Spartans invented it. A professional army to spread our control to other countries? The Spartans tried it and failed, like Iraq and Afghanistan are ending up. Distorting history was the only way to glamorize the Spartans. Read how it was done.

Feel a little shaky? Thank the fracking supporters.

From Dallas to San Antonio and beyond, if you like fracking, you may get rewarded with more earthquakes. "Texas has seen the number of recorded earthquakes increase tenfold since the drilling boom began several years ago. Studies have linked the quakes to oil and gas drilling activities." 

Check what fracking's bringing to your neighborhood. It's not more jobs, except maybe for disaster clean-up. Allowing fracking is opening the way for this (sampling based only on one part of Texas):

Coming soon to your part of fracked Aztlán
8 days ago 2.8 magnitude, 5 km depth, Victoria, Texas
18 days ago 2.8 magnitude, 5 km depth, Snyder, Texas
about a month ago 2.8 magnitude, 3 km depth, Snyder, Texas
about a month ago 2.6 magnitude, 5 km depth, Snyder, Texas
about a month ago 2.3 magnitude, 4 km depth, Benbrook, Texas
about a month ago 3.0 magnitude, 5 km depth, Azle, Texas
2 months ago 2.9 magnitude, 4 km depth, Snyder, Texas
2 months ago 2.7 magnitude, 3 km depth, Snyder, Texas
2 months ago 3.1 magnitude, 5 km depth, Azle, Texas
2 months ago 2.2 magnitude, 5 km depth, Azle, Texas
2 months ago 3.5 magnitude, 5 km depth, Hereford, Texas
3 months ago 3.3 magnitude, 6 km depth, Azle, Texas
3 months ago 3.3 magnitude, 5 km depth, Azle, Texas
3 months ago 2.1 magnitude, 8 km depth, Azle, Texas
3 months ago 2.8 magnitude, 4 km depth, Azle, Texas
3 months ago 2.6 magnitude, 4 km depth, Sherman, Texas
3 months ago 2.6 magnitude, 5 km depth, Sherman, Texas
3 months ago 2.5 magnitude, 5 km depth, Sherman, Texas
3 months ago 2.7 magnitude, 5 km depth, Azle, Texas

In a totally Global-Warming-related way, you can check for local activities to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline that Obama will be tempted to sign this year. We need to slap his hand before he lifts the pen.

Es todo, hoy,

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msedano said...

One million twenty-eight visitors is a beauteous number, que no? Que si!

Thank you, Rudy, for getting the ball rolling almost a decade ago. Wow.

Thelma T. Reyna said...

Congrats to you, Rudy, and all the bloggers and other co-founders. You have much to feel good about, and may you all continue to flourish. Your successes are our society's collective success. Adelante!

Guillermo Luna said...

Congrats on your million hits! Now, on to 2 million.