You have to excuse me for a moment though because I feel the need to tell you:
A few weeks ago I had a painful breakup.
The people who are reading this column and know me are currently laughing their asses off since they know as I do that me and the fairer sex get along like vanilla pudding and scotch guard. Of course, I didn't say I had a painful breakup with a WOMAN. No, No.....I had a painful breakup with a YouTube channel.
For the past year and a half I've been the face and mind behind “The Captain_M Show” YouTube channel, the old episodes of which are still available online. I've had myself a lovely little time using my little internet platform to score interviews with organizations around El Paso, from high profile ones like those of the very first El Paso Comic Convention to small ones like the now defunct local anime shop HappiRobot, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Which you'll now find it odd a statement for me to make now that you've perhaps seen my latest, and last, video:
I'm not gonna lie to you. There was some anger in that. The people surrounding me in that video, all of whom are now editors of this current blog, know that I used a little anger to motivate myself to finish it. What you have witnessed, however, was not the resentful shrugging off of all the work I've done in the past. Instead, it is an awakening. Like I said, I had enjoyed every minute of my time heading The Captain_M Show, but from the very beginning to this sad little whimper of a closing piece, I've noticed a very distinct problem with the way the show was being made, and it was because of that problem that I decided to shut down.
What is that problem you ask?
If you're learning about this for the first time, I encourage you to take a look at the very first video uploaded to that channel.
In that video I very, and thoroughly state that, and I quote, “As much as I love it (The “it” being the local fan community in El Paso) there are still some problems with it. Sometimes groups like to ignore or get into rivalries with other groups. Big conventions don't get very big around here because of all the fighting.”
I'd like to point out that I didn't have to go back and look at my original video to make that quote. I remember it word for word off the top of my head. Now that little quotation stands as a constant, painful, reminder of what I wanted to really do with the YouTube channel, but never did. I wanted to put a lens to the community and show it for what it was. In what ways it was good, and in what ways it was bad. I wanted to start a conversation about what it is like to be an El Pasoan attending El Paso conventions and events. Why did people enjoy themselves at this event and not this other one. Also, while I've never held a staff or board position at any of these local conventions, I've often dipped my hand into the icy water that is what goes on behind the scenes. I wonder if anyone else knows what I do about those goings on.
So, as time went on we made a whole heaping pile of promotional videos, showing off and highlighting some of the best, the worst, and the mediocre this city has to offer. We also responded for people's requests to make the show entertaining by developing the “Perseus and Quickshot” series and other various self-made projects. However, on the other end of the cameras, I was always in a desperate frenzy trying to fit in journalistic and editorial entries to the show to no avail. I distinctly recall a moment when I asked for people listening to the show to send in e-mails. I didn't get any. The hierarchy of individuals in this community, which I admittedly sit very low on, has completely and totally silenced the voice of the ordinary local congoer.
At the very least you people could complain that the video sucked.
Well, to use an old proverb, the show went on, and while we had made several worthwhile videos, the dark cloud that is the inner politics of the current scene loomed over us every step of the way. The specific ways that we've been inconvenienced I hope to save to write up in later articles. Suffice is to say that being a small fish in a big pond did very little to influence the ideas of a fan community already set in its disappointingly stubborn ways.
So, one night roughly a month ago I sat before the warm glow of my computer screen, tired and frustrated, and wondering what needed to be done. For months my good friend Akia had been asking me about possibly writing text articles for a new online blog that she'd be starting. It dawned on me then that her blog would ultimately be a superior idea to my YouTube channel, and I should close down the channel to accommodate focusing on the content of her blog. I saw it as an opportunity to write the kind of articles I always wanted. To have an open dialogue with the community as I always wanted and to shed away many of the unfavorable ideas I had while working on the show.
People. I stand before you now a man changed forever by the consequences of his own actions. Some of those consequences are good: I now have a small but favorable role in the eyes of some of the people in this community. Some of those consequences are bad: I put myself in the center stage of a circus that was supposed to be a newsroom. There isn't another person in the staff of this magazine that has been so altered by the want and attempt to execute a news magazine based on the anime, comic, and gaming community of this city.
In recognition of the work I've done Akia has given me the opportunity to continue on in the form of an editor of this blog. It's an opportunity that I very much appreciate and I take very seriously. If I've gotten anything out of hosting “The Captain_M show” it's experience in working behind the scenes in projects like this. There's still a lot of value in the wisdom I have had producing this show, and in the lessons I've learned doing it.
And I want to give to you those lessons I've learned as well. Here's just one: I don't want to waste any more time keeping the public's opinions in silence. So now, more important than ever I want you readers to make comments on the articles. I want you to interact with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. I want you to e-mail the magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, give me and all the editors the opportunity to be the voice of the fan community in El Paso.
When all is said and done, I have to very stubbornly admit that....God Dammit! I still love the community in this town! My efforts to become a part of it, despite all of the difficulties I've had, shows how much I care.
People, don't make my sacrifice be in vein. The way I see it, this is your El Paso convention scene as much as....no, MORE THAN, it will ever be my own.