26 September 2007

The Final Frontier

I've documented my hate for MySpace on multiple occassions. I rail against it, it's totally pointless, it's super ugly, it's more inane than any other social networking tool. So, of course, it's the market leader and worth millions of dollars. Of course.

My old MySpace was created in order to test out the site's blogging function for the book. I added a few friends, played around a little, and then left it alone. Of course, I got in trouble for not adding a certain someone during my brief test run but that's a whole 'nother story. With some prodding and goading (and people actually making it for me), I now have a personal MySpace.

I feel so awesome now. Very awesome. Like very connected awesome. It's almost a spiritual high. Euphoric I'd say.

I'm trying to figure out what sorts of things I can do now but I can't think of a single thing. I guess when I fall out of touch with people, I can publicly message them and briefly and generically ask how they're doing but really, isn't that what email is for? And I guess having a MySpace would enable long lost friends to find me but I highly doubt anybody's missing much in their lives without me around. If they were, wouldn't they have found me already?

You would think that I'd be super big on social networking since I have this constant fear of losing friends. I like making sure I have one or two ways to find somebody in a worst case scenario. I've managed to fall out of contact with only a few friends here and there and each time it's been semi-traumatic for me. Social networking should be my friend tracker but it's been totally ineffective.

Anyway, despite its many shortcomings, I'm giving social networking a chance. I even tossed things onto my Facebook in order to give it some life. I read an article about the recent success of Facebook and how it's really good at (1) connecting people and (2) keeping them apart -- by not accepting an invite, you can bar people from your circle. I can really appreciate this mix of openness and exclusivity so I've decided to embrace the dichotomy.

20 September 2007

Bug Juice

Did you see this show the other night? Kid Nation? Like a supervised Lord of the Flies but hopefully, hopefully, with less disastrous results? Forty children aged 8 to 15 are picked to live in a New Mexico ghost town for forty days. During that time they'll have jobs, they'll have town councils, they'll have fun, and they'll show the world how smart kids are and I guess, how dumb adults are. Or that's what I took from the concept anyway.

During the first town meeting, the kids are asked if they'd like to go home. Nobody takes the host up on his offer until shyly, meekly, one little boy raises his hand and despite protests from the group, makes up his mind to return to mommy and daddy. His reason? "I'm really homesick. I'm not mature enough for this." He was eight. And obviously mature beyond his years.

This show is wrong on so many levels. What kinds of parents let their kids go on national TV to mingle with a bunch of other children? Don't they know that these kids are about to be exploited -- or placed in danger? This is hardly a benign summer camp or a quick sleepover at a trusted neighbor's house. Who knows what will happen behind-the-scenes?
Critics have rounded on parents for signing waivers that stated the program "may expose the minor to conditions that may cause serious bodily injury, illness, or death, including drowning, falls from heights, encounters with wild or domestic animals, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and pregnancy."
The worst thing about the show is that every three days, the council gets to pick a team member to reward with a gold star, and along with it, twenty thousand dollars. Pretty soon this thing's about to get cut-throat and nasty. Just like the producers want it. There's no way something dramatic won't happen and these children will suffer irreparable psychological and emotional damage. I'm already setting my Tivo for "Kid Nation: A Decade Later" on VH1.

Currently I'm ready to devote my television time to Beauty and the Geek 4. While the beauties only get dumber and boring-er each season, the geeks are as real as reality television gets. You can't fake being that weird. And the twist is enough to entice me; although I'd hoped for an entire switcheroo with all beautiful guys and geeky girls. Maybe next year.

16 September 2007

Return of the King

Here's how to live "the life." Quit your corporate job, start your own company, work from home, surf in the morning, travel cross-country attending events like the Super Bowl and Gen Con. After spending a few years working for places like the NFL and Upper Deck, James is now his own boss and using his many talents in combination to create a lifestyle that is the envy of all of his friends.

While the distinction of "Alpha Male" is hotly contested among my group of guy friends, it's no question that Jmz is a Renaissance Man among Renaissance Men. Aside from excelling in art, photography, and graphic design, he's also managed to acquire serious cooking skills, (any)boarding skills, Halo skills, guitar, piano, drums, and singing skills, and an enviable collection of movies, music, posters, and designer vinyl toys. Plus he's high up on my list of people to take on a survivor island should I need someone to hunt, build, or change a flat tire.

Of course, no person this talented can be anything less than a perfectionist and in James' case, very OCD. Put it this way, when I used to wake up in the morning and the vacuum cleaner and duster were strategically placed outside my door, there was no question its intent or purpose. It takes two Virgoes to make an apartment clean apparently -- one to bitch and one to supervise.

Anyway, Jmz was responsible for introducing me to the world of blogs many years ago and while he's been an on-and-off blogger [ 1, 2, 3 ], he's back again. This time in moblog format. Plus, his personal site, jameswang.com, is finally updated, and his business site, Okapix, is rounding into shape.

It's about time Jmz came back on the scene because I'm sick of stealing his pictures. Well, actually, I'm not sick of it, but I'm pretty sure he is. Basically any amazing pictures you've seen on my sites the past few years were probably taken by James. I'm not above appropriating other people's works. It's ethically perverse, I know. But I only steal from the rich to show the poor; it doesn't hurt anybody to have James' work out there in the world. Let's hope he sticks around to put his own stuff up this time.

15 September 2007

Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

It's a tale as old as time: Assassin can't recall why they kill or who they are. They slowly start to figure it out and aim to take out their creators. Long Kiss Goodnight, etc.

The kicker here is that it's taken three movies for Jason Bourne's tale to spin out. Having missed the first two films but willing to watch the third due to rave reviews, the basic jist is this: I can't wait for Wolverine to come out soon; which will be like this movie but with more fur and claws. Snikt.

10 September 2007

Man vs Ink

Admittedly, this is a long shot but Lilly put my good name out there when one of her contacts was exploring casting options for the host of a television show that explores international tattoo cultures. They're looking for writers who write about or engage in travel, international culture, and adventure.

I wonder if having several smallish tattoos would disqualify me from consideration. I mean, I doubt I would have the tattoo credibility to be allowed into these secret cultures with anything resembling credibility. For a moment though, it sounded like an excellent oppurtunity for me to get my breakout role.

I mean, I'm engaging, inquisitive, earnest and male; which were some of their qualifications. Sure they probably want an older gentleman with a sense of adventure -- like Anthony Bourdain -- but casting a 22-year old (looking) Asian would probably bring in millions of viewers. Nothing would bring more street cred to the show than a slightly OCD, sprig looking, tiny tattoo sporting Chinese boy. Nothing.

The show will be looking to follow the host on "a journey to some potentially dangerous places." I was trying to imagine what would qualify as dangerous to them but decided that anything more exotic than the local Target or Souplantation would be pretty risky to me. I imagine I'd have to rough it a bit too; which probably doesn't mean sleeping on the ground of your friend's apartment.

All in all, I'd say I'm ready to risk my life to explore some tattoo cultures. So, History Channel, hurry up and call me so we can get started on this thing. Bring on the pain; we've got a world to explore and I've got skin real estate to spare.

09 September 2007

King of Kong (2007)

Documentaries about little niche interests have been the hottest thing for quite awhile. Crossword puzzles, Scrabble, spelling bees, etc. Inevitably the hisattention would turn to video games. While the set-up and payout for the film is pretty much as expected, it's hard to not be amused/amazed by the efforts that humans will take to perfect one thing.

It makes one wonder what you could achieve if given the same dedication. I hope someone soon contacts me to start filming "Wizard of the Coast: Jonathan and the Amazing Technicolor Deck," to be released in 2010 after I become an International Grand Champion. I'm pretty sure geek fame is worth twice as much as normal fame.