Flash Giveaway of Autographed E-Book

Though I have taken on a Spanish moniker, my actual Spanish ability is pretty poor.

So….

Simple: the first person to accurately translate the following review from Spanish to English will receive a free autographed e-book of Hi! My name is loco and I am a racist.

Please email the translations to: loco@himynameisloco.com or paste in the comment area below.

Thanks in advance

Here’s the review:

En primer lugar, esa portada, uno podría creer que está frente a un libro de comedia, y la verdad toca temas universales desde la experiencia del autor.

Loco es un seudónimo para Baye McNeil, quien entre otras cosas defiende la posición de quienes van a dar clases a Japón, que suelen ser vistos como lo más bajo de la cadena alimenticia, pero después de todo, ellos dejaron a la familia, los amigos y la sociedad que conocen, y en su caso, en los primeros días se sentían como embajadores.

El libro no habla de “uy, que racistas son los japoneses” (que lo son) y no los sataniza, al contrario, hace que uses el malévolo asiento vació (de nuevo, vean la portada) y te preguntes que representa, que dejes de hacerte o sentirte la víctima, el problema con el racismo en países como México y Brasil es que la gente de inmediato se desmarca, ¿cómo van a ser racistas ellos? , eso sólo los villanos de las películas y los “malos” o “malditos” , y por eso nunca se toma al toro por los cuernos, Japón tiene su fijación con el cabello rubio y los ojos azules, cierto, pero eran una isla, y encima estuvieron aislados, al día de hoy siguen viviendo las secuelas de sus castas y el shogunato, pero hasta que te has visto al espejo, has admitido que algo de racista hay en ti, pues sólo entonces podrás hacer una diferencia.

EL libro no es sólo de racismo, nos cuenta como llego a estar “Loco” en Japón, su experiencia del 9/11, la del tsunami de 3/11/11, su formación, su paso por el ejercito, sus problemas siendo un negro que despreciaba a otros negros.

Es una obra increíble, y pensar que es su primer libro, aunque cierto, él tiene formación de escritor, y aunque muchos lo denostan, también ha escrito por un largo tiempo en formato de blog.

No puedo recomendarlo lo suficiente, todos deberíamos leerlo, porque todos tenemos muy presente el asunto de la raza, aún si somos “posers” (de acuerdo a sus clasificaciones) y queremos creer que vivimos en un anuncio de Benetton.

Book Giveaway for Residents of Japan

Here’s your chance to win yourself a FREE paperback copy of “Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist!”

Just follow the link below to the Goodreads website for more details. No entries will be accepted after August 31, 2012. The three (3) lucky winners will be contacted and books shipped out early September.

***This month’s giveaway is ONLY for residents of Japan***

Got your copy already? Well, tell a friend about this offer.

Thanks in advance,

Loco

.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist by Baye McNeil

Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist

by Baye McNeil

Giveaway ends August 31, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

My Review

Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a RacistHi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist by Baye McNeil

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I tell you? Even though I wrote it, I love reading it. Writing, for a writer, is often as much a time of discovery as it is for the readers, so reading my book reminds me of how much I learned prior to writing it, during the writing and editing of it, and as a result helps me by giving me a hint as to where to go next with my writing. Every time I read a review of this book and the reviewer points out a particular part that made them laugh or cry, or scratch their heads or anything, I revisit that area and sometimes I learn things about what I’ve written that I hadn’t even known was there. In that way, writing is like forging a direct link to the Creator, much like any artform, be it music or painting or quilting, and the word “inspiration” pretty much tells that story. The “spirit” is “in” the artist, and the art is the way to share it with the world. Sometimes what comes out is as much a surprise and enlightenment to the artist as it is to the reader/viewer/listener. That’s what I love about writing and that’s what I love about this book. I highly recommend it if this is the kind of experience you like to have when you pick up a new book.

View all my reviews

On High Sensitivity, Shattered Reality & Panini: A Review

Just thought I’d share this review of “Hi! My Name is Loco and I Am a Racist” with you guys, written by Orchid 64…enjoy

Random Thoughts: Hi, My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist

Shortly after returning to the U.S., I went into a little shop that sold panini and wine. It was small and had one long bar with about 8 stools around it. It was the type of tiny little place that wine lovers and tourists visit for a quaint experience with somewhat upscale cuisine. There were only 3 panini on the menu, and each had a long list of ingredients that were a cut above the usual fixings for burgers, like artichoke and pesto. I bought a vegetarian panino and shared an imported all-natural orange soda with my husband, and felt very much like I didn’t belong.
 
I felt out of place for two reasons. One was that I had been in the U.S. just a little over a week at that time after 23 years in Japan and was still deeply fried from the lightning strikes of reverse culture shock. Here were people in a shop having a normal conversation with me, like I was just another human being rather than some purple alien from Pluto. I was also a bit uncomfortable because I’m not really an upscale sort of person who drinks wine and eats elegantly orchestrated Italian-style sandwiches. We chose that place because we were in a tourist area during the non-tourist season, and it was one of the only games in town that was open.
 
The people who owned the place were engaging in what I’m sure was usual patter for tourists and out-of-towners. The man behind the counter who’d pressed together our sandwiches asked where we were from and grunted with limited interest as we told him our story of where we’d been for the last two decades or so and how we’d come to where we were. An older and younger woman who also worked there and were probably his wife and daughter brightened up at the mention of Japan and started talking about how they’d gone there for a vacation and visited Kyoto and loved it. When the older woman said that she was sure they made mistakes manner-wise in Japan, I said that it was okay because the Japanese quickly forgave foreigners for their lack of understanding of Japanese culture and customs. The younger woman then said, “you’d think we’d be more like that here in America.” I asked her what she meant and she said that she thought, as a country with a diverse cultural mix, Americans should be more easily forgiving of differences and transgressions.

Sometimes you don’t think at all before you react to what people say. You don’t know why you say it, but you know you’ve spoken the truth. In this case, what this woman said seemed utterly absurd and I didn’t think about why until afterward and having had time to reflect on it. To her assertion that the Japanese were exercising greater tolerance in the face of diversity, I said, “they forgive you because they don’t think you’re capable of understanding their culture or language, not because they are tolerant of differences.” After I said this, the woman turned away and my impression was that she didn’t want to hear that. Of course, she may simply have been bored with the conversation, or at least the part where she was talking and I was listening as these people were less interested in what we had to say than talking about their own experiences in Japan.

I’m sure that there are many people who would say that I can’t know what is in the hearts of Japanese people when they do and say what they do, and they’d be right. However, in a country which is known world-wide for having a culture in which “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”, I think it’s pretty clear that there is a weak cultural backbone when it comes to tolerance of differences. I would labor to say that asserting this is not a criticism so much as an observation based on the way Japanese people treat each other as well as how I was treated, but those who would like to see it that way won’t listen to me anyway and those who aren’t inclined in that manner don’t really need to be told.

Getting back to the point though, one thing that I have learned pretty quickly is that Americans are squeamish about anything which resembles critical commentary on other cultures and quick to deride their own. I’ve read plenty of things which are superficial and positive from people who have never been to Japan or only visited as a tourist. Though well-meant, they are sometimes diminishing or condescending. One person called them “adorable”, and I’m sure meant it nicely, but it seems to reduce them all to cute, little children who deserve a pat on the head. People, and especially white ones and Americans in my experience, don’t want to hear anything deeper than talk about temples, anime, and cuteness. They have an image of Japan, and they will fight cognitive dissonance with all of their might to keep it intact. They have to put up with a lot less mental noise if they turn away and eat their panino rather than listening to people like me.

“People like me” are not just people who have lived in Japan for a long time, but those with the eyes, ears, and psychologically-tuned nose for what is going on around them. Many people sleepwalk through life and can’t understand when other people have certain feelings and experiences that they do not. A few of us have the equivalent of an ear capable of hearing a dog whistle when it comes to human behavior. We can “hear” what others can’t. It’s not that we’re trying to do so, but you can’t not hear such things when you’re a sensitive individual. For us, it’s like a blow horn right next to our heads, but others can’t even hear a faint whisper, so they tell us that we’re hallucinating or making it all up. If you try to convince them otherwise, they get angry at you, or stop listening because they have a precious version of reality to protect.

Me, in the bucolic splendor of my temporary digs in the San Juan islands. You can thank my stalkers for the lack of full-face revelation. That doesn’t mean they won’t eat eat this picture up with a spoon and tell me what a disgusting, ugly, old hag I am… It’s all right though. They have nothing better to do with their time than read the words of someone they hate and let me know that I must go away because they couldn’t possibly solve their problem by just not reading what I write. I fulfill a need for them. It’s good to be useful.
 
Some of us are okay with having our reality rocked. In fact, a few are okay with having it shattered into pieces and put together again in a more complex manner, even if it looks a little uglier when we’re through. This brings me to the topic of this long-winded piece and that is Baye McNeil’s excellent book, “Hi My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist.” I’m sure that people who are reading think that when I speak of shattered reality that I’m going to say his book blows apart illusions of what life is like in Japan. That’s not exactly true. In terms of how he discusses his experiences in Japan, and he discusses them well, with passion and in a manner that ups the interest level for the reader, there really isn’t anything earth-shattering there. Many people have had the same experiences as him, though few from the perspective of an African American. The reality that fell apart for Baye was that of himself.

The real story of “Hi, My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist” is Baye himself and how his experiences during his entire life including his upbringing in New York, time in the Army, and, yes, time in Japan created self-revelation. The pretty picture that was torn to shreds and put back together again was that he had of himself. The title of his book is not an obscure statement, but the theme of the entire book. Life in Japan was like a pressure cooker that rapidly advanced his personal growth and it is not only a fascinating read because you can see how his life did this, but how this highly intelligent and sensitive person processed it.

The truth is that Baye is a little like me in some ways and that is probably why I enjoy his work so much. He’s clearly also an HSP (highly sensitive person) and someone who spends a lot of time in his own head and thinking about the intricate connections between people, behavior, and experiences. However, where I tend to process intellectually and try to be relatively dispassionate, Baye is very much more human about things. He paints in big, vivid expressions of anger, love, fear, and excitement. For those who think life should be lived in muted tones of beige, cream, and slate, this can seem a bit much, but I found his passionate style invigorating and properly calibrated for the circumstances he was in. He feels his feelings and then he processes them. People like me try to tamp down those feelings before processing them and I think that living life big emotionally is something I used to do and lost. Baye’s book reminded me of that loss, and made me ponder if I’m really better off for having muted my reactions, especially to Japan. I think too many people remain self-consciously dispassionate in their reaction to that little island country for fear of their emotions discrediting their observations or, even worse, appearing racist.

All of that passion and an extremely colorful life make for engaging reading. I insisted on having a print copy of Baye’s book before I left Japan so that I could sit on the airplane and read it. I also think he’s an incredibly talented writer so I wanted something real with a signature as I think he has the potential to be truly successful if he gets the attention he deserves. And don’t mistake me here, I’m not writing a love letter or fan note to Baye. I don’t hand out compliments about writing talent easily because I strongly feel there is precious little of it out there in the blogging world, or even the published world, for that matter. Mostly, there is a lot of content with little more than boredom and a desire for attention behind it and many people think they can write when what they really do is transcribe their thoughts. Writing is much more than that. I’m saying his work is worthwhile because he’s got the goods, and I really enjoyed his book. I found it hard to put down, and I think others will enjoy it, too.

I’m not recommending his book only because he’s a good writer, but also because there is great value in his journey emotionally and psychologically for all of us. As he dissects himself, he provides a model for how we might look a little deeper into ourselves. The amazing thing about it is that he does it unconsciously, so there’s no element of trying to guide the reader. It just happens naturally to even the most marginally thoughtful reader through his process of living out loud in the book. His growth through a series of unique and colorful life experiences is a key through which we can unlock some deeper truths in ourselves if we can tear down our own self-image and illusions as he managed to tear down his.

Note: I previously mentioned Baye’s book in this blog at a point when I had only read some teasers. This was written after having read the entire book. I’m glad to see that all of my praise in the initial post was well warranted.

 

 

 Orchid, I feel 10 feet tall… Thank you!

Loco

PS: Get Your Copy Here

From Japan-Based Hip-Hop Artist Rhyming Gaijin, A Video Review

Yep, that world renown Freestyle extraordinaire, Fhyming Gaijin, took a few minutes out of his time to put together a video review of Hi! My name is Loco and I am a Racist.

How cool is that?! Check it out!

Nuff said

Baye

 

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, It’s Yours!

***This is a special Love Day offer for you guys and gals living here in Japan!***

Are you interested in getting your physical hands on a physical autographed copy of the critically acclaimed book, Hi! My Name Is Loco and I am a Racist?

That’s Right! Signed, sealed and delivered to your front door…

Sure, you are!

Well, for the first 50 people who respond to this post you’ll get just that!

Just send me an email to: locohama7@gmail.com to reserve your copy!

The cost: ¥1500 (plus shipping and handling) Roughly, ¥2000!!

You make out much better than with Amazon, PLUS you get the author’s autograph! Who knows? It might be worth something someday (-;

PS: And, oh yeah, do me a favor and send me a pic of yourself holding the book and smiling like you’ve hit the lottery!

Loco

 

 

It’s real! It’s Realer Than Real!!

First, a little De La to set the mood!

 

It’s real, it’s realer than real…

It’s not a rumor, y’all! Dreams DO come true! Just do your part, and stay the course…the Creator”ll give you a hand when you need it (-;

Don’t know what else to say…except this:

The Paper version’s coming soon!!

Stay Tuned!

 

Loco

PS: Damn, 392 pages is thicker than I thought…(-;

PPS:My critically acclaimed first book: Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist! (is now available in both Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook online!) and as you can see above will soon be available in print!

This book is more than a “Japan” book. MUCH, much more! Don’t take my word for it. LET READERS TELL YOU: See what they’ve said here on Amazon

For more info, check out the book’s webpage here: www.himynameisloco.com

Wanna Read “Hi! My name is Loco -The not-so Lost Chapters”?

Like any creative work, there are always some things that don’t make the final cut for whatever reason.

In the case of Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist! there were several worthy chapters that missed the cut due to time and length constraints.

For those of you who have read and enjoyed the book, and would like a chance to sink your teeth into some of these missing selections (that btw I’m very proud of and regret not being able to include in the final version) then this offer is for you!

And it’s so easy!

For each person you persuade through strong recommendation and endorsement to buy the book I’ll make one of these scintillating chapters available to you!

By no means should this be done at gunpoint…after all, you are a satisfied reader, right? And this was something you were going to do anyway, right?

Just tell your recruit to holler at me on Twitter (@Hi_MyNameisLoco or @Locohama) or Facebook (@Hi! My name is Loco) using the hash-tag #himynameisloco, or in the comment section below with proof that they’ve bought the book on the strength of your personal kuchikomi recommendation, and by midnight on February 19th 2012, you’ll be one of the elite readers with a copy of the Not-So Lost Chapters from my highly acclaimed book.

It’s that simple!

“Here’s an excerpt from one of these chapters just to wet your whistle:

After University, there was an event in the US that polarized, racially, the entire country…virtually no one was excluded. No one was immune.

At the time I was an account executive, a salesman, working in corporate America at a respectable company receiving, after commissions and bonuses, respectable compensation. I was content.

The company was actually pretty diverse comparatively, and the Sales department reflected this diversity. I had co-workers from several minority groups, (Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc…) and the whites were descendants from a number of ethnic groups, as well (Italians, Jewish, Irish, etc…) And, like my experience in the Army, we were all thrown together and expected to get along. Once again it was in the name of the only color that really mattered: green. But, not OD Green. This time around it was Benjamin Franklin Green, the almighty dollar. And, aside from a few minor bumps along the way, we did just that!

We were a happy group of  Yuppies, Buppies and what have yous. Since the commissions were based on the group effort, we all bust our asses. Slacking was seriously frowned upon. No one wanted to be the guy or gal bringing up the rear. We’d play basketball together, go drinking together; one of my best friends, til this day, actually sat right beside me.

Life was good.

That is, until this event…

It was June, 17th 1994…I was watching my home team, the Knicks, battling it out against Olajuwan (perhaps the greatest center ever) and the Houston Rockets, game 5 of the NBA Finals, and man was I pissed when breaking news interrupted the game. I can’t even remember if I’ve even seen the end of the game to this day, because this event — for reasons that would become clearer as time went on — rocked the world!

Watching that white Ford Bronco cruising along the highway in a low speed chase, police in cold pursuit, all I could think was: this fucker is guilty just for pulling this shit during the game!

Little did I know at the time, that half of America was watching this same scene at that same moment…like it was the Space shuttle Columbia disaster or Bush’s televised Shock & Awe assault on Iraq. Nor did I know how the events that took place afterward would impact my comfy little diversified workplace, and the entire country, bringing out the ugly little racism that dwells in all of us!

Click here to see what readers like you are saying!

Is your whistle wet? Wanna read more? Well, go ahead and do what you’d probably been planning to do already and tell a friend to buy the book! Click here!

This is just a little extra incentive…

yours,

LOCO

PS: If you haven’t read the book yet, no need to feel left out. Go ahead and get yourself a copy! Readers say it’s a page-turner they couldn’t put down (see link on left to read reviews), so there’s an excellent chance you’ll finish in plenty of time to participate.

Thank you to all of the readers who have been saying such wonderful things about my labor of love!



 

 

 

 

 

The Only Critics You Can Really Trust Have Spoken!

Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist is currently:

#1 in Books > Travel > Asia > Japan
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Asia > Japan

Get your copy today and find out why!
Need some more reasons to part with a few bucks for a few hours of thought-provoking edu-tainment? Check out the reviews below from Amazon confirmed purchasers!

The Best Read I’ve Had In Years
I was genuinely caught off guard by this book in so many ways. I didn’t hope to laugh as much as I ended up doing, but I never expected to cry. The book blew me away on three different levels.

The first is that Loco completely succeeds at drawing you slowly into his world, talking to me about things I thought I knew about or was familiar with, but learning I was not. Showing me a whole different life experience through his own eyes.

The second thing that got me about the book was Loco’s writing style. His narrative is fluorescently vivid. Some of his turns of phrase and sentences really made me actually wish I could stop and mark the page. So many quotables, and so many brilliantly and succinctly put insights. I sincerely hope that this book makes it into print for that alone.

The third thing about the book is the structure of the book – I’ve read his blog before and found it a bit jarring to go straight into, as indeed, I think jumping straight to the third or fourth chapter of this book would be. But the narrative is set up so well, and you are eased into it, and then led through a dance between sadness and joy, geographies and timescales, each contrasting and complementing the last before finally and gently returning the reader to the motif used in the beginning of the empty train seat, and the thought piece at the end.

I expected to read a really long blog about Japan made into a book. I got the best damn read I’ve had in the last 10 years by a man who has proven to me beyond any doubt that he is a uniquely talented writer, who I hope gets this into print, and writes much more.

Peace

A Very Talented Writer
Unlike other expat narratives I’ve come across that usually have the same stories of “wacky Japan”, “Japanese people are funny”, etc., Loco’s book remains focused and paints an excellent picture of his life in New York and Yokohama. The train is probably the perfect place to start when one looks at behavior and racism in Japanese society; for example, the time I felt the most Japanese (fitting in, anyway) was when I was literally pushed into a car heading back to Hiroshima and everyone was in the same state of discomfort. Loco expands on what I only had a taste of, as a white-faced foreigner spending most of his time in the inaka (countryside). A great look at an aspect of this culture few are willing to write about.

So Much More Than Expected
I was only a casual reader of Loco’s blog but I found his observations on
Japan, and the experiences he had living here, truly fascinating, if a
little depressing at times. When I saw the book and the cover / title, I
purchased it asap and devoured it in a night. I must say, I was truly
impressed by what I read. I was expecting mostly humorous rants about life
in Japan akin to some of the things I saw in the blog but I was truly
stunned at the depth that he went into and the honest look at his own
innermost thoughts; dark though they may be at times.

It’s a rare thing these days to discuss racism so openly and to really hold
our feelings up to the light of day and take a good, hard look at them.
Makes me know that I’m not really that crazy after all for harbouring
similar thoughts and feelings from time to time as well. Of course simple
logic and reason shows them to be completely irrational but it’s refreshing
to hear someone acknowledge that, regardless of the relationships and
experiences we have in life, the feelings often remain and should definitely
be confronted whenever they threaten to spill out.

Thanks to the author for sharing such an excellent and deeply personal tale with all of
us. I would definitely be recommending this to anyone interested in life in Japan and especially
to people interested in looking racism square in the face. 

The Empty Seat Is A Gift,
I can honestly say that Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist is the most compelling and engrossing title I’ve encountered in a long time. This is the book which inspires me to look deep inside, and ask the very important question: Who am I, and who do I want to be?

It’s a moving story of personal growth, from a man with a very interesting background, which has a great deal of insight concerning the specter of racism. It hides in plain sight, infecting even good people — likely including the individual in the mirror — who often have absolutely no idea of the baggage they carry. Dispelling it involves recognizing this influence, not necessarily a straightforward task, and coming to terms with the ramifications.

It’s hard not to see an echo of oneself in various parts of the narrative, even as you laugh and cry wholeheartedly along the journey.

Shine On, Loco
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

What I love most about this book is that Loco doesn’t position himself as some kind of expert on race relations or activist, he simply tells his story, leading by example, and the effect of his sometimes self-effacing condor is just as powerful as if he were some kind of sociologist or anthropologist with a string of letters after his name, arguably more so.

Loco wears his heart on his sleeve, so much so that I found myself crying on the train, trying to secretly wipe my tears away before anyone saw. He doesn’t hold anything back.

Loco’s mission is simply to make us aware — aware of our motivations, aware of what’s going on around us, aware of “the elephant in the room”, as he puts it. By following his soul-searching journey I think we can all learn how to shake off apathy, face and maybe even triumph over the hidden darkness within.

Like A Slap In The Face, My Eyes Opened
Hard hitting from the get go Loco holds nothing back. Brutally honest with his feelings and situations he tells his story the way we harshly talk to our inner selves. His journey to a self-realization is a story ALL of us can learn from. Loco shows us first the darkness that we all make for ourselves. The boundaries we grow up with. And then shows us the person we can be. Or rather we should become. And like the title of my review, “Like a slap in the face, my eyes opened. . .”

(For more info on the above reviews, click here)
So, there you have it! The Only critics you can really trust–The Readers– have spoken, and spoken with vigor! Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am A Racist is truly a happening! And, it’s happening now!
Unlike the big publishers, us Indie Publishers rarely have flashy paid endorsements, TV ads and publicity machines running day and night, often for books that don’t come anywhere near justifying the trees that died for its flash.
All you’ve seen and heard about this book so far has been powered by sheer determination, word of mouth and the testimonials of real readers like YOU, moved by the power and passion of the work itself!
This is a book that respects the reader, a book worthy of an investment of your time and hard-earned bucks! So, do your mind and soul a huge favor, and cop yourself a copy today!
Thank You!

Loco

PS: And, once you’re done, if you feel like the real readers above feel, then do like they did and pass it forward! Tell your friends, family, neighbors, the people in your various networks and anyone else who respects your opinion, about this book!

They’ll thank you, too!

The highly acclaimed first book by Baye McNeil (a.k.a. Loco of Loco in Yokohama) is available from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble online!

The Kindle version of this controversial new book is available from anywhere in the world at Amazon.com. Just follow this link: Kindle Version. You don’t even need to buy a Kindle. Just go to the order page and download (for FREE) a Kindle Reader for your Mac, PC or smart phone.

Hi! My name is Loco… is also available on Barnes and Nobles’ Nook: Click here to download the Nook version. If you need a Nook Reader for you PC, Mac or Smartphone, you can click here to download a Nook App, also for FREE!