Tag Archives: Loco in Yokohama

Book Review – Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Sorry about that. I’m not giving up on this blog or Exploring Japan. It’ll continue. But right now, I’d like to share my review of Baye McNeil’s book Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist. Enjoy!

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

himynameislocoHi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist is  part memoir, part social commentary written by fellow Japan resident Baye McNeil.  He talks about his experiences ranging from his childhood in New York, his time in the Army, and teaching English in Japan.  But throughout this book, there is one common theme: racism.

He starts the book off with something most foreigners in Japan experience, the empty seat on a train.  It’s quite obvious that the reason is that he’s a black man in the homogeneous Japanese culture.  He returns to the empty seat several times throughout the book, sometimes as an enemy, sometimes as a friend.  He talks about his experience with racism not only in Japan, but also growing up and living in pre-911 New York.  But it’s not all about racism against him, it’s more about how he and everyone else in the world has…

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Can bloggers be authors?

Recently, a well known Japan blogger self-published a book.  You’ve probably heard of him if you pay attention to expat bloggers in Japan.  His blog is Loco in Yokohama, and his name is Baye McNeil (more commonly known as Loco to his readers).  I’ve been a reader of his blog for more than 2 years now, and I’ve always found his writing very engaging.  He tells it like it is, no sugar-coating, and is very honest with his opinions about living in Japan.  His blog posts are sometimes controversial, but very thought-provoking.  But what separates him from most bloggers is his ability to tell stories through his blog.  He is a writer.  That’s the impression I get from his blog.  I highly recommend that you read it!

Now, he’s published his first book, “Hi!  My Name is Loco and I am a Racist” at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  It’s an e-book for now, but a print versi0n will be available.  The title stands out, doesn’t it?  I haven’t bought it yet, as I’m waiting for the print version (I wonder if I could make it to his book signing), but if his book is written as well as his blog, it’s definitely a must read!

The whole thought of publishing has been in my mind for years.  Ever since I was in university, I’ve wanted to write a book.  I’m interested mostly in fiction, but I have been considering writing about my experiences in Japan, focusing on the stereotypes and misconceptions of Japan, while comparing its culture to that of North America.  Loco went with self-publishing, which is incredibly easy to do these days.  For example, Amazon supports self-publishers, and there’s pretty much no expense to the author, other than a small cut of the price of the book.  A popular self-publisher can potentially earn far more than an author who goes through a traditional publisher.  It’s very appealing.  The problem with self-publishing, however, is getting word out about the book.  You have to do all of the advertising yourself.  But with a good network of people online, word can spread quickly.

I’m the kind of person who loves paper books.  I’d love to see any book I publish in print.  However, with the increasing popularity of e-books and the diminishing importance of books in print, bookstores and traditional publishers, it seems that e-books are the way to go in the future.  It’s a strange feeling, though.  I’ve never actually bought an e-book, though I do read some public domain classics on my iPhone.  But one of these days, I’m going to have to get Kindle and buy e-books.  My book closet (yes, a closet) is overflowing with books.  E-books take up no space and are easily portable.  Big advantage, isn’t it?  But I like to hold the book and not worry about the battery dying.

So, yes, I am planning to publish a book sometime in the next 2 or 3 years.  I have an entire story in my head just waiting to be put into words.  It’s been in my head for 13 years, but I never got around to writing it.  I have a lot of planning work done on paper, some of it written back when I was in university.  Soon, the time will come for me to start the book itself.

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Addicted to Instagram

Recently, I started using the iPhone application Instagram.  It’s an app that allows you to take pictures and share them through various means, such as Instagram’s own system, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  You can follow other people on Instagram, leave comments and like photos.  It’s another kind of social network.  One thing you can do with Instagram is apply filters to your photos and make them look like old photos.  There’s also tilt-shift.

If you’d like to see my photos, and you have iPhone and Instagram, please follow me at jaydeejapan.  If you don’t, that’s ok.  You can still see my photos if you use Twitter (subscribe here!).  I’ll probably link to the photos in the near future from this blog.  Finally, I’d like to blame/thank the man who got me hooked on Instagram, Loco of Loco in Yokohama.  He has a great blog, and always a very interesting read.

Here are a couple of example photos: The sky is screwed and Fast flowing mini river.

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