Tags: internet people


bronies before honies: fandom is magic

Shit, there's no way to measure it
Not everypony grows up to be a pegasus
You gotta let people be hypocrites
Count your blessin's and mind your business

- Atmosphere, "Like the Rest of Us"

If, twenty years ago, you had told me I would be voluntarily attending a My Little Pony convention, I probably would have run into traffic. Twenty years and two death-defying auto accidents later, here I am, dancing to a techno remix of a song about dressmaking with a bunch of teenagers in homemade unicorn costumes.

This isn't as Lord of the Flies as it sounds. I can explain. Honest.

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next level beats from south africa

Some background. I am aware that these guys aren't actually Afrikaner zef (the cultural equivalent in America is what we call "white trash") and that the entire act is South African hipster performance art. Who cares. It's a brilliant piece of performance art, with far more to say than "haute couture is awesome" (Lady Gaga) or "people are too uptight" (all of Sacha Baron Cohen's personas).

On a related note, fellow Americans, our worldview is way too small. I reiterate my position that races are nothing more than arbitrarily drawn lines in the sand.

every day's great at your junes

Most of the people on my flist who still read this journal won't get this, but anyone who's been to Japan, Taiwan, or South Korea will. Within seconds, at most.

This song is far more catchy than any of FamilyMart's actual advertising--and more relevant to their brand. (Nooooo! I'm half the world away from the nearest FamilyMart and I still can't get that little jingle out of my head!)

You know you've transcended from "mega-corporation" to "cultural institution" when people not affiliated with your company write a sentimental pop song* about your stores. Taiwanese blogger MUTEBKTK, who was immediately inspired to make an unlistenable remix of the song the moment he heard it, observes that the song is not just a commentary on Japanese convenience stores but on the loneliness and alienation of contemporary urban life. In the past, we had family to welcome us with a bowl of warm food when we came home from work; now, the one who welcomes us home with a warm bowl of food is FamilyMart. (全家就是你家!) The blogger finds this poignant. I find it sad.

(The attitude is a little dated, too, but hey, Taiwan and Japan are still very traditional, patriarchal societies; modernity is just now bringing them through the same kind of familial separation anxiety that America experienced fifty years ago.)

*"Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" is only a sentimental pop song if you're high

(edit) Oh, hey, looks like there's a Taiwanese version. This one incorporates the jingle with the advertising slogan from the Taiwanese television commercials (some commenters are calling it the "FamilyMart brainwashing song"), and, as such, it is quite possibly the most annoying song I have ever heard.

meddling in the affairs of slashers (fanfiction fanfiction)

Earlier this year, out of good-natured annoyance at the growing pretentiousness of Internet slash fandom, especially RPS, I wrote a satirical work of erotic fanfiction about erotic fanfiction writers. It has been sitting on my hard drive for about half a year now, and so far no one has read it but me.

Me 1: Oh dear goodness, don't you dare show this to anyone. You love fangirls. If you ever publish this anywhere on the Internet, even LiveJournal, this will ensure that you will never have sex with one. Ever.
Me 2: And this would be different from my current situation how?
Me 1: Point taken.

Warning: Not even remotely safe for work.

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introverts en masse

I guess I should write about my day, huh.

(Even though it's over, and a new one has already begun. Stupid off-kilter unemployed sleep cycle.)

The Brooklyn Book Festival was pretty neat! I guess I was expecting something like a trade show or a convention, what with Brooklyn having a huge and storied literary scene, but it turns out it was both bigger and more laid-back than I expected. (And free! And almost completely outdoor!) I've never been to an event this big and this crowded with this chill of an atmosphere. Lots of tents set up over folding tables in the plaza outside the courthouse, which is pretty small by New York standards, with a couple eight-wheeler trucks opening up into stages for invited authors to talk about their books, and maybe half a dozen hot dog stands patrolling the perimeter. It felt like a county fair crossed with a library.

Hello, sir! Would you like a copy of our new self-printed alternative literary magazine? (Watch the staples, they're sharp.) Our editor is sitting right over there, next to that little lady with the ice cream cone and the baby carriage...

It was kind of reassuring to discover that novelists can be pretty boring people. I got there late so I missed all of the big-name panels (Jonathan Lethem! Jonathan Safran Foer! Paul Auster! The guest list reads like my bookshelf!), but the rest of the writers would bore you to death if you hadn't read their books. One of them was responding to a question on why so many of her books took place in New York with a long, rambling monologue about brownstones and pizza parlors and how she felt about living in the city, and another three were talking to each other about how the iPod takes something away from the experience of listening to music because unlike a boom box it doesn't project a sense of space. It felt like the International Blogger Symposium on the Deliciousness of Cheese Sandwiches. Perhaps these details would please their fans, and reveal insights about the context of their novels, but I always thought the purpose of a panel was to come away enlightened about a subject, or take away a new perspective, and I don't see how these panels achieved that. I'm sure these people could have come up with something witty, intelligent, and interesting if they had prepared something ahead of time, but I guess that just because people are eloquent on the page doesn't mean they're eloquent in real life. I mean...look at me. :(

(p.s. i would totally write an entry about how cheese sandwiches are delicious)

Otherwise, the festival pretty much belonged to industry folks. Big publishers, little publishers, workshops, fledgling trade associations (I didn't know poets had a union!), bookstores...The Strand was there, as was Forbidden Planet, but most of their catalog looked like discount inventory they were just trying to get rid of...

Incongruously set in the meadow of bookstores, literary magazines, and independent publishers was a small section devoted to the New York Comic-Con, at which TopatoCo had a table. I confess that despite my literary aspirations this was the main reason why I went. I got to meet Jonathan Rosenberg, who draws Goats, and Jeffrey Rowland, who draws Wigu and Overcompensating. As these three webcomics have been part of my daily routine for quite a few years now, it was a pleasure to meet the people who make them. Jon is pretty much what you'd expect--he looks like any random New York barfly, which makes sense considering how much of Goats takes place in bars--and, well, I've read Overcompensating and I used to hang out on Dumbrella, so I kind of knew what to expect from Jeff the Cowboy Poet. Jeff recognized my nick from the Dumbrella forums! And he gave me a random high-five on the way back to the subway. I did not think J. Rowland could get any more awesome but oh snap he totally did. And I think Chris Hastings was there, too, but I'd never recognize him without the ninja mask and the doctor's coat.

There is always a profound awkwardness to first meeting someone you know online, but have never met.

Halfway through my time at the fair, I heard a snatch of song I thought was a little familiar, and naturally I brushed it away as a coincidence. But as I got closer to the courtroom--wait! Is that--no--it can't be--yes! It was Jonathan Coulton! Performing "IKEA!" It turns out he lives in Brooklyn! It's funny, I've been listening to his stuff for so long (before he did that ending song to Portal) and I never even knew that he lived around here, much less gone to a live show. It was a lot like the live performances I've seen of him on YouTube, except...three-dimensional.

...Yeah, I need to get out of the house more often.

Considering that I was there with maybe a thousand people who like the same books, read the same webcomics, and listen to Jonathan Coulton, some of whom looked like they were in the same cohort, it's kind of sad that I didn't meet anyone besides a handful of minor web celebrities. Then again, I guess the thing about people like me is that they're...like me. That dude, curled up with a book in the corner, or surfing the web, invisible.

also, i held a picnic for most of my neighborhood friends in prospect park and no one came.

david beats goliath at his own game

I am always wary of posting explicitly partisan stuff on LJ, since that's not how I roll. But I just saw something on YouTube that totally made my night...er, morning.

Regardless of how you stand on sex education in schools, you can't deny this kid's remarkable courage, composure, and intelligence in responding to a very intimidating public figure on a television show watched by millions. He's got a bright future ahead of him.

(The other kid reacts the way most kids would.)