Archive for the 'Random' Category

27
Feb
10

An Interruption

You’ll have to trust me when I say that I had a witty and urbane post scheduled for today’s update. But I’m deviating from my usual set-in-stone, overly planned life to write a quick update on yet another devastating earthquake to hit Latin America. If you haven’t heard already, a monstrous 8.8 temblor nailed Chile early this morning.

This quake was hundreds of times more powerful than the one that devastated Haiti just a few weeks ago. Upwards of two hundred people are feared dead, and parts of the country are in ruins. This shift in tectonic plates was centered not far from the biggest earthquake ever recorded, a 9.5 horror that struck in 1960.

As you know, the focus of this blog is on Hispanic culture in the United States. However, when something this major happens in Latin America, it can’t help but affect Hispanics here. Indeed, I’m sure many Latinos with family in Chile are going to have very long days ahead of them.

And if I really want to push the American angle, it has crossed my mind that my new home state of California may be due for some major earthshaking soon. It seems to be a trend. In that case, many American Latinos, including yours truly, may be woken up in the middle of the night by a most unsettling feeling.

I’ve been through one significant earthquake, a 6.1 when I first lived in LA years ago. It’s not as fun as you might think. However, that tremor pales in comparison to what just hit Chile.

The country is  going to need some serious assistance. Once again, if you can help, please do.

17
Feb
10

Machinations Behind the Scenes

First, let me thank Louis for his comment on my post “Business Time.” Also, I’m pleased that Nellie found my post “Mazel Tov” to be relevant to her efforts to raise JewRican children. Check out her comment on that post; it’s most cool.

Next, I have to remind you that I occasionally take a break from posting new articles when something pressing comes up, be it a vacation or a move across country or an attack by Martians. None of those things are happening at the moment, but there’s still going to be a short gap between posts. I figure it will be a week, tops, so don’t abandon me for all those other cynical Latino bloggers you have bookmarked.

The reason for the brief hiatus is a combination of personal demands (I’ll be away from the computer for a few days) and the effort required to make improvements to this site. With hope, those improvements will be implemented soon, and they may surprise and delight you, or they could repulse and terrify you (by the way, that’s what we call a “teaser”).

To keep you entertained in the meantime, here is a video of my favorite breed of dog (a boxer) going crazy on a trampoline. Enjoy, and be sure to check back, because new updates will be coming soon.

16
Jan
10

Land of the Dead

I’ve written often about the difficulties of pinpointing exactly who is Latino and who is not. You’ll remember some of the familiar arguments (eg, Costa Ricans are Hispanic, Spaniards are not, Mexicans are Hispanic… unless they’re Chicanos who reject the label… wait…). In sum, it’s a messy process with no clear delineations.

In my most recent post, I mentioned that Sammy Sosa is Latino. Sosa is from the Dominican Republic, which is the only nation that shares a border with Haiti, one of several countries in the Caribbean that are not considered Hispanic.

When one thinks about it, this is rather arbitrary. Perhaps it is because Haiti has a French, rather than Spanish, cultural tradition. Or maybe there’s a racial element there.

In any case, the country’s non-Hispanic status was irrelevant to the cataclysmic earthquake that killed an estimated 100,000 people this week. Even before the disaster, the nation was the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. At this point, Haiti is so desperately miserable that one wonders if it would just be easier and more humane to ship the survivors to other countries and abandon that part of the island.

You don’t need me to urge you to donate to relief efforts. You will if you can or want to. Here are links to a few sites where you can make donations. Let’s hope that someday the country – indeed, no country – is so synonymous with human suffering.

09
Jan
10

I Already Write This Blog for Free

As I’ve mentioned before, the one-two punch of getting downsized and moving across the country has forced me to rethink my career options. I’ve made a living as a business writer for awhile now, so other word-centric professions are a natural fit.

That’s why I’ve ended up bidding on freelance projects to write company blogs, handle social media, and the like. So far, I’ve landed little work – not because people disrespect my qualifications, but because of a sticking point with potential employers:

I’d like to make more than minimum wage.

Yes, back in the pre-recession days, freelance writers could make a decent living, with the best or most experienced rivaling lawyers on a per-hour basis. Now, the market is flooded with people who can fling words together, along with those who think they can, driving down wages to laughable levels.

A company posted an ad that said, seriously, they would pay one dollar ($1) for a writing-heavy assignment. And they had bidders (I was not among them; good luck to my competition on landing that plum gig).

So now there are even more similarities between me and the trabajadores who hustle for work. They too get paid less than they’re worth and have to deal with people who want scam them.

Those are already more similarities than I would like. If I start hanging out in Home Deport parking lots, flagging down passerby in the hopes of snagging an editing assignment, I will know that I’ve taken the connection too far.

21
Nov
09

Taking Care of Business

OK, I have a few technical details to address here.

First, you may have noticed that I redid the right-hand column of this blog. It better reflects my status as a multitasking, cutting-edge Latino who is always plugged into the zeitgest of a hectic, speed-of-light society.

By that, I mean I have finally signed up for Twitter. My tweets will appear on this blog, but it would be grand if you clicked on the supplied link to sign up as a follower of Hispanfan. I will, of course, reciprocate.

The second change to the column is that I have finally gotten around to adding a search function. So now, if you’re looking for a post I wrote about, say, artichokes, you can go directly to it (by the way, I never wrote a post about artichokes).

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that WordPress has taken care of a nagging bug that has afflicted my site for a while. As such, I finally have a Share Button on the site. So now if a post amuses, intrigues, or infuriates you, you can click the button and send it to StumbleUpon, Delicious, or myriad other social-networking sites. Feel free to do this as often as you can, as that will accelerate the day when the Fanatic has as much media saturation as the cast of “New Moon.”

And what a day that will be.

18
Oct
09

Another Way to Continue My Stranglehold on the Media

Hey, thanks Zeus, for commenting on my post “If Only His Name Leant Itself to Some Obvious Joke.” Your opinion that “without Catholicism, there is no Hispanic culture,” is certainly one of the more… interesting comments that I’ve received. As you can imagine, I don’t agree. In fact, I find the idea terrifying. But let’s move on.

As I’ve mentioned before, my rants can also be found on the Huffington Post and TC Daily Planet. Those outlets have editors who read my stuff, inexplicably liked it, and agreed to run pieces from time to time. I remain grateful to them.

Well, I’ve also recently started contributing to All Voices, which to be blunt, doesn’t have the same standards. There are no well-trained editors acting as gatekeepers. In fact, anyone can write for them. You could claim to be a talking cat, and they would take you.

However, the site is popular and may even pay well if I get enough fans to follow me (take this as a hint). So I’ve decided to gamble and put my name on the site. It seems like All Voices will either be the next frontier of citizen journalism, or it will turn into a scattershot clearinghouse for the shrill and deranged. I’ll do my best to tilt that scale in one direction.

This blog will still be my main outlet. I’ll send pieces that are more political to the Huffington Post, where hordes of angry leftists will be eager to pounce on me if I misspell “Napolitano.”

I’ll send pieces that are more news-centric to All Voices, where from the looks of things, hordes of angry rightists will lash out at me if I don’t push for the immediate deportation of myself.

So it looks like it will be a fun time.

09
Sep
09

See You Out West

I am hitting to road to California this week, so the computer is getting packed up. This means that it may be a little while before my next post. Trust that it’s coming, however.

In the meantime, here’s a picture that my good friend, the infamous Nichole, sent to me. Maybe it’s Photoshopped, but I’d like to think that it’s authentic. It should keep you entertained until I get back.

are country




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