Response to “OPEN LETTER TO CARAYCARAY (sic) DEVOTEES”

What follows is my personal response, which may or may not reflect the opinions of El Cohete’s authors, participants, and readers. Any and all are welcome to sign on in agreement.

 

First, I note that this open letter has been posted in the comments of the most recent posts, rather than as a stand-alone post. I believe this accurately reflects the fragmented nature of the blog, where each “patio” is seen as separate and not responsible, or indeed aware, of what happens anywhere else on the blog.

I agree there have been changes to storylines and content of telenovelas and series, but I believe this is going in a more positive direction. I’m excited that we’re moving towards having more representation of people from marginalized communities. At the same time, I want to provide an environment that encourages and supports participation from people who might have previously felt excluded from conversation of Spanish-language television.

With regard to “The English language has also evolved and what used to be offensive is now part of social content nation-wide.” What I’m seeing is that language that used to be socially acceptable is now acknowledged as having a harmful effect. I have no wish to support the normalizing of racism, sexism, or general bigotry.

Absolutely, you can filter out the things you disagree with or find objectionable, but in the words of James Baldwin:

We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.

I do agree that your community is interested in “telenovelas, Spanish language and Central and Latin American culture,” however the tone and quality of the comments has become such that this interest is often expressed in a disrespectful way that “others” those cultures.

I’m not sure how you drew the conclusion that the availability of better closed captioning (I assume you mean in English) is the cause of the dwindling readership and participation on Caray, Caray! Your community has become smaller and several people have formed close personal relationships, which is not an issue in and of itself, but when the conversation drifts into the personal (which it often does) and away from the stated discussion topic, that may not create a welcoming environment for newcomers.

I wish you luck managing the technical aspect of the blog. I’m glad that during my tenure I took the time to streamline and update the template that provides the blog’s sidebar and that I came up with a solution that would allow the blog to be able to display a list of recaps for a given show.

I think it’s obvious we have different ideas about what makes for a good online environment. I hope this change ends up being a positive one for readers, participants, and authors and that everyone finds a place where they can feel at home.

Author: 5ftLatina

Kat is 5ftLatina. She is really 5' tall (and probably shrinking) and Latina. She is not actually a cactus, but she is both prickly and cute. Mr. 5ft is actually married to Kat, but is not 5' tall or Latina. He is also not a form of plant life.

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Linda F.
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Linda F.

One thing I appreciate about El Cohete is that the blog’s principles are stated clearly and put into practice. I know that I won’t have to tolerate casual sexism, bigotry, etc. In so many environments, we’re just expected to grin and bear it, or are told to “lighten up”; otherwise we risk being labeled bad sports who want to ruin the fun for everyone else. Thanks, Kat, for being conscientious and consistent in your words and actions.

Sara
Autora/ Author

On Fragmentation I get that each POST can be like a house and everyone is free to visit each house as they please, but the neighborhood (namely the BLOG as a cohesive WHOLE) needs to feel safe for whoever comes to visit. Kat, as a dedicated lurker of the internet, I’ve always liked that you’ve kept the lurker in mind. We never know who is reading but not commenting…or chosing not to comment based on what they’ve read. I would love for both of our “neighboorhoods” to visit and mingle more. I admit I’m a hypocrite as I won’t visit… Read more »

Mena
Autora/ Author

1/2 Dear Kat, I want to thank you for taking the stance in this letter you wrote Caray Caray! Devotees, and for the integrity that you have demonstrated. It is not easy to be in the position to speak an inconvenient truth and not be validated. This is Mena, a former blogger and sometimes participant in various conversations. I have not been as active in recent years for a variety of reasons – lack of time, uninspired by the telenovela du jour, etc. Nevertheless, I follow along from time to time. However, more recently I have been alarmed by the… Read more »

Mena
Visita/ Guest
Mena

2/2 Before I continue, I will state the obvious in case anyone wonders; I don’t believe that honoring friends and colleagues is mutually exclusive to stating my disagreement with the evolution of this blog. These are my recent observations. There has been a notable increase in racist and sexist comments. It concerns me that sexist and subtle racist remarks presented as having comedic purpose are not lost on others reading this blog. If this blog is seen as a blog primarily frequented by viewers from the US, what does that say about us? It says we are okay making disparaging… Read more »

Sara
Autora/ Author

Thank you for sharing your experience. For me it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. When I first started noticing questionable comments and no one else seemed to think there was a problem, I thought I was going nuts. I even questioned if I *was* too sensitive. Then I decided that if I allowed that kind of talk in my classroom I would be raked over the coals. As a teacher it is very frustrating when society expects me to teach/foster one ideal when society isn’t helping! Lol

Sara
Autora/ Author

Let me also add that I also loved Caray. It may sound hyperbolic, but I mourn my losing it. However, as much as I treasure the time I spent there I can’t ignore the changes over time or my experience. Like I mentioned, continuing the blog as is was more important than the feelings of others. You can disagree and find a common discussion ground. In my opinion Kirby is a bully and once he returned the prevailing attitude was “say nothing lest we lose the blog.” I am saddened that people are forced to choose between principles and a… Read more »