To be honest, I did not have Blogbabble in mind when I thought of the BlackTime E-Press brand. It was going to be straight up fiction, readers’ submissions & comic strips. That was all, the idea of a blog of any kind wasn’t something I really wanted to delve into. I did want to do something like what comic books from the 90’s, 80’s have done which was a sort of editorial from the publisher, sorta like Stan Lee‘s Soapbox or the Penumbra from Eclipse Comics. One problem that always affected me, I have a bad habit of announcing projects & not getting to said projects. That’s when I started reading any random blog I could reach (Excluding gamer blogs, movie blogs, all Entertainment based blogs). I started seeing stupid blogs about food & clothing & all this uninteresting crap that has been getting all this stupid crazy audience numbers. Apparently people like to read about other people who eat food that costs $40 per plate. I’ve never found the interest in what you rich folk call ‘Fine Dinning’. At this time I started seeing things go downward in not just society, but in the world. At this time Putin was in the news again, the BP oil spill happened, Syria was free (For a brief while) which then spawned ISIS. SOPA and CISPA were two bills that were borderline nearing approval and all that shit was happening, but nobody was batting an eye. Instead, people were having their attentions diverted to Miley Cyrus’ no ass bottom. So at this time I wanted to shine a light on that stuff as well as talk about some stupid stuff that isn‘t important & have fun. That’s when I saw my calling, as it were. The way I put it was: ‘If I talk serious issues & important matters in my own style, then that will give me permission to have fun & talk about the not so important stuff like Mexican Soap Operas and rant about my slice of life BS. That’s how Blogbabble happened. Since day one I had this notion of thinking that if people read my commentary on current affairs, It would let them think that I’m some wannabe journalist. That would be the question I would run into, but I always had to remind myself that this was commentary & not reporting.
I never wanted to be a journalist, never perused a career in the newspapers or local newspapers. My sights were directed at fiction ever since middle school. Though I wasn’t writing prose fiction, I was drawing comics where visuals were first and the story was formed as I went along drawing the insides of the panels. Despite that goal, come senior year I was enrolled in Journalism as an elective. Here’s some advice for all you kids out there. If you do what’s necessary, take all the required classes early on, later in your High School stay it’s party city for you. At this point all my required classes were done with. Two years of math, a year of Health & Two years of P.E all done! So senior year I could have had two classes, then left for home or spent the whole day at the library because that’s where all the dank kids hang out at. I didn’t, instead I explored my learning horizons & tried new things. Besides AP English, American Government & Economics, most of my schedule was elective classes. It was either stay in school & hang out with people or go back home & be depressed with the parents. I got Digital Art in my second semester, I didn’t learn shit there. All I learned was how to make a 3D house on some Photoshop thing. I was a TA for an awesome teacher who had too many TA‘s, so I spent most of that time reading comics while she taught her stupid class (They were idiots). After that semester I was sent to another class who made me do some errands, but after three days he transferred me to a pregnant teacher next door. Apparently TA’s are in that big of a demand, it was a good experience & taught me that I would be a great secretary. Along with helping teachers I took a painting class taught by a teacher who tried so hard to act & look like Salvador Dali. Something told me after school he loved to sniff a lot of paint & get angry at people who use up too much paint. That class was cool, learned a lot of interesting techniques that I’m still using for my artwork today. Then I had photography, which I hated. Taking pictures on film was pretty fucking abysmal for me, that was until the teacher decided to let us upgrade to digital cameras. My pictures were still shit, but in my opinion that class was kind of a pretentious. As a lark I took a picture of a Psyduck figure I had with me & sent that picture in for a final grade. I was in class trying to contain my laughter as the teacher dissected & interpreted the picture of Psyduck. Imagine that, a teacher talking about framing, the whole juxtaposition of subject/object, lighting & artist interpretation. All that for a picture of a pokemon toy! Then I got what I was begging for, Journalism. Like I said, I wasn’t out to be a journalist, but I wanted to expand my horizons when it came to writing & maybe even offer ideas to make people read the school paper. At that time I was reading ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ so of course that also made my interest skyrocket.
“Oh man! I could be an investigator & get down to the nitty, gritty of the school because everyone has a dark side. I will make people learn the truth, we‘re being colorized, man!”
That didn’t happen and I slapped my face for getting my hopes up for something pretty dumb. I didn’t, in fact, slap myself for getting my hopes up that I would be part of a group of smart people. Boyyyy was I wrong! So all the editors were that type, you know which type I’m talking about. These were the popular people who were of that specific group that would make the gang in ‘Saved By The Bell‘ puke. Somehow they all had the same class together, they would get straight A’s in class despite the constant fucking around, get the dates & they were the kind you would hear about going white water rafting on the weekend as a group while you’re here working your ass off, trying hard in every exam & aren’t making the cut for shit. It’s not jealousy, it a social injustice.
Here’s one of the faults about the newspaper they don’t want to admit. Besides nerds like me who still read, the people who got their picture taken for the paper, editorial staff & teachers, nobody else in the school reads the paper. People are stupid & the students just don’t care. Now I’m not condining making news to boost readership, I’m no James Bond villain. The problem is that there are so many things happening in school, yet they only decide to report on the boring shit that nobody, except teachers, care about. That was unless some heavy shit happened like a student death, but there are so many other things happening that don’t require that morbid outcome. There were students doing big things like starting a band, raising money for a charity & the like, but that always never made the news because the news of a staff meeting or a reminder of a state test would get top billing. Sad, but true.
The only type of ‘On the field’ reporting I did was I went to the principal to get his opinions on solar panels that were being built on the parking lot. I tested him a little, asking if this was paid by out of pocket from the school or if LAUSD paid for it, despite their excessive budget cuts. Then that led me to what could have been a revelation that I failed to realize at the time. So LAUSD, the school district didn’t pay for the solar panels, nor was it paid by the school but he said a private group donated the solar panels. Typically when someone donates something to the public, the acknowledgement would be on display for all to see. Say the Calendar Girls of some retirement home adopts a road, that road would have a sign that would say something to the effect of ‘Road adopted by Calendar Girls of VFW’ or something like that. There were no signs & when those solar panels began development, there were groups of chinese people in business suits looking the construction over. Then it wasn’t until several year later that I heard news that America borrowed money form the Chinese to pay for the debt & after that point Chinese interests scoured America to fund buildings & solar panels on US soil. This reminded me of that whole thing I read about 80’s America feeling threatened over Japan’s presence as the economic & technological superpower of the world. Once again I refer to my childhood of watching 80’s & early 90’s movies in the 2000’s. I always saw a pattern with films like Robot Wars, Robocop 3 (The robot Yakuza), Rising Sun & to an extent ‘Black Rain’. Not that the Japanese were vilified like in World War II with the racial caricatures, but they were the types of characters that hit the zeitgeist of that era just by the way they were presented. Rich, powerful, filled with honor & ready to buy out America. To shorten this, without the xenophobia & the WWII grudge, China is pretty much buying America out economically, the same way Japan ‘tried’ to do. Japan has it’s place in the market where it kicks America‘s ass, but it’s nowhere near the exaggerated predictions a film like ‘Blade Runner’ took it. I’m seeing the same shit happen with China, except this time I don’t see any backlash or xenophobia from it, which is a good sign that nobody is a racist bastard. I’m not kidding, that shit in the 80’s got so bad, there was a commercial that had a narrator talking over footage of a Nissan car driving on a road. I can’t for the life of me find that commercial on YouTube, or the BBC documentary I saw that commercial on, but the commercial’s narrator said something like: “Imagine, it’s December 24th. You & your family are driving your new Nissan to the Christmas festivities in Time Square. Except, it’s no longer called Time Square & Christmas is banned. Time Square is now called ‘Fukushima Square’. DON’T BUY JAPANESE!” Serious to na’an, that was a real commercial & it was one of thee most xenophobic things I’ve ever seen. FYI, while there is a population of Japanese that are Shinto, a lot of them celebrate Christmas. I see a lot of Chinese influence on American things. I’m not talking about the inclusion of Gun-Fu & Kung Fu in movies like ‘John Wick’, but I’m seeing American movies coming out today that are made with Chinese production companies (One of them being HY.Brothers), most of the big budget Hollywood movies are being made with the intent of making a return in ticket sales off the Chinese market, most of the products I see on store shelves are made in China (But then again that‘s been happening since forever), Chinese Investors are spending money in for development projects in America. This is what 80’s American yuppie Capitalists warned us about, except it was from Japan & not China. So I missed the bullet in not reporting that, but then again would that even make the school paper seeing the paper is for school news & not global conspiracies? Not a chance, pooped pants. I don’t even think they’ll understand what I’m talking about, because the editorial staff just didn’t get me. So I turned in the quotes I gathered for the editor who assigned me that job & didn’t get my name published in that article. Now that’s the real stinger there, bitches played me.
I wasn’t into writing about sports articles or articles about whatever the hell the performing arts crowd was up to, but for some reason as part of the grade (Oh yeah, we got graded over whether we write) we had to write for all topics. We had to write an article on social club happenings all over school, we had to write a sports article which meant you had to attend the big games. Not only that but they gave all of us Press Passes which I only used once & that was for the interview with the principal. Looking back I should have used that to get into the girl’s locker room & said something to the effect of: “I’m writing an article on what women want. First question, what is a deal breaker on a first date?” I’ll say it here first, asking someone who isn’t into sports to write a sports column is like asking a lizard to visit Antartica.
So all throughout that unpaying career as journalist I spent most of my time writing stuff on the Lifestyle page which would consist of life stories or opinions as well as the Entertainment pages. Not only that, but I spent many a week kicking back & doing homework. Why? I don’t fucking know, it’s not like Kids WB would be on the air when I get home. The editor in chief (as I called the teacher) was cool about it in a way. Of all the stupid people in that class & all the egocentric editors, I respected the teacher. He was one of those guys who spent the whole course listening to Bruce Springsteen, reading hilarious news reports from his computer, writing his Young Adult novel (Don’t know if it got off the ground) & one time he brought over his Jack Chick collection which I spent most of that day reading all of them & laughing my ass off. He was a cool guy, always had something interesting on his bookshelf. Not only that but he lead us into a neat debate on affirmative action, something not all teachers were doing. Nobody was yelling (I’ll give editorial credit for not being loud) & everyone provided interesting arguments.
Besides going on the field for someone else’s article, I wrote four articles that saw print. The rest of the articles I was assigned were written, edited, but did not see print. Sadly, those are lost forever. I typed them, printed them & turned them in to editorial. One I truly remember writing was for an April Fools installment of the newspaper. It was a fake news story about how pregnant women protested for the right to give birth everywhere they’re at. Oh man, I went full on ’The Onion’ with this story by adding in fake witness quotes like a guy saying “I was in the elevator with this pregnant woman & out of nowhere her water broke & a baby flew out of her & knocked me out cold.” This was like my chance to shine here, write a mock article about pregnant who named their special interest group the ’Pregnant Initiative for Granting Solace’, also known as PIGS. I went all out, not very politically correct with this one, right down to adding a flooding of placenta at a shopping mall. Now that article was pretty much rejected, not because it was deemed ‘offensive’, but because the editors didn’t get the humor of it. That is why the April Fools edition of that newspaper was full of stupid shit articles like “We’ll be taking extra testing” and some stupid ‘pranks’ that nobody believed for a milli-second. The humor that was published was so stupid, it makes Family Circus look like a bastion of high comedy! Though I will admit, they fired shots at the school literary magazine once, calling them ‘100% Angst, 0% Substance’. Whoever wrote that, I bow my head to you.
I tell you, after writing & editing & handing in rough drafts over to editorial, you would expect the editors to help you with grammar, spelling & pointing out the way some sentences are oddly written or if it diverts from writing in the required newspaper format. I would understand that. Imagine getting corrected & being asked for a rewrite because the article contained ‘Big Words’. Can you believe that? This is a school, you can’t go an inch without hitting your dick across a dictionary! This was at that time when everyone has a smartphone with WiFi. So you mean to tell me someone can’t read an article because I used the word ‘Rudimentary’ in an article? FUCK YOU EDITORIAL! They say the choice to not use big words was because they wanted to attract young readers. Well those said young readers aren’t reading the damn newspaper because there’s nothing interesting in that newspaper. So I wasn’t in the business of dumbing down my writing just to let that dumbass kid who sniffs glue know what the article is about, I was writing the articles the way I wrote.
Before my first article, I did some art for an article about relaxation.
When it came to reviews or doing something fun, other school papers did it & I envied them. Seriously, when nobody was on assignment, the editor in chief would hand us school papers from other schools for us to examine. Other school papers had a review section for movies that were out now, not only did they have comic strips (Which I really wanted to do) & they also had a sense of doing something fun that was all inclusive than just a silly group photo in front of the classroom with the editorial staff’s friends. These motherfuckers didn’t want to think outside the box when it came to the newspaper and that was one of the paper’s biggest shortcomings. It seemed like every month the classroom would receive a care package from all these independent companies that wanted exposure. It would either be a CD from some indie record company or a pack of cards. The editors did not know what to do with that stuff so they just gave it to the writing staff who got the right answer on the teacher’s trivia. I remember wanting a pack of trading cards featuring rappers. I’m not kidding, there were trading cards featuring Notorious BIG and a bunch of other current singers. I would of killed to get those cards & review them for the paper, sadly they went to someone who didn’t even try to write an article on them. What a waste. That saddened me, but he also gave away a CD for some popstar girl who sang with an acoustic guitar. You bet your ass I wanted to review that the way I review shitty movies. I guess you can say the editor in chief didn’t want to be a kind of a sellout, but the newspaper wasn’t being sold. The paper was breaking even by lending out ad space to local businesses, so there was nothing to loose. It’s not like ’Nenos Pizza’ would get pissed by a comic strip. That was my problem with the newspaper, it felt like it was owned by the students, but the students didn‘t want to take artistic risks. Despite that, it beats doing math for last period. It gave me a taste of writing under specific restriction which should be experienced by everyone who wants to be a writer. While I don’t like keeping art under a bubble, it’s a neat test to see how well you can circumvent BS.
To end this, I encourage people who love writing to write for the school paper or any type of newsletter in school. You’ll learn a thing or two & you’ll either befriend everyone in the staff or stay out of the loop & not mesh in with the crop of mainstream society, like moi.
It wasn’t easy finding my old articles & scanning them, but I’m kinda glad that now I can share them with someone such as all of you, my readers. It wasn’t easy gaining the gumption to scan them, I’m pretty guilty of writing these, they’re baaad. Except for my Ray Bradbury article, I like that one a lot, brings tears to my eyes.
There are still some hard copies of the comics I did back in middle school & early high school that I’m still not ready to share. They’re awful, god awful. I’ve been looking for a time & place to share this old stuff & thought ‘Why not in an anniversary, that is if we’re all still alive to see a Blogbabble ‘5 year anniversary.’ Our little baby turned five, aren’t we all proud?
As I open up a bottle of Canada Dry, I say a toast. To BlackTime E-Press & Blogbabble. Thank you for these five years & I hope we get another 5 years!
Make a wish, I WISH I HAD A MACHINE GUN PENIS!
Just kidding, I can’t really tell you my wish or else it won’t come true.
And now, to play something from my High School days.