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social media

Dear Mark Z, congratulations on the new baby. And kudos for knowing Chinese. I’ve just added you to the list of “See? These people can learn to speak Chinese. Why can’t you?” to show my kids. Oh, don’t worry. I am not asking you for money like Kanye West just did. To be fair though, he’s also asked Larry Page for help.

Kanye West tweets

I know you don’t use Twitter. Aww. How quaint. But Kanye’s Tweet is the best parody account there is. He’s a parody of himself, a mirror reflecting back on a mirage, a meme of a meme. This somehow makes him the realest paradoxically.

Is your birthday really on Valentine’s Day? That’s a pretty cool thing to include as “The three things about myself that most people don’t know” when you have to do one of those awkward get-to-know-you self introductions.

I am rambling. You are so easy to talk to.

All I set out to write is this: STOP FUCKING SHOWING ME MY “FACEBOOK MEMORIES”!

Seeing pictures from a year ago does not make me happy. The more years it has transpired, the more depressing they are. I have peaked a long time ago. My life has since been going downhill. Those memories mock me for having wasted another year of my life with nothing to show for. (You’ll have to agree that Facebook posts do not amount to “things to show for”).

They are signposts, marking my march downward.

When I see “On this day,” I inadvertently think to myself, “Yup. And ON THIS VERY DAY, I am crying for all the wasted breath I’ve taken and what have I done and I should go jump off a bridge.” Pass the donuts.

Did you know that in the 17th to 19th century, nostalgia was considered a psychopathological disorder? I bet you don’t. I bet you are not a very nostalgic person either. Most winners of life aren’t. So thank you for pushing to cause a global pandemic of nostalgia with this fancy Facebook feature while you yourself has nothing but the future to look forward to.

In Greek nostalgia literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved. — Don Draper

And we all know what that place is.

Facebook.

Nice try.

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Not that Twinkie is on its death bed. If anything, the Twinkie brand is probably the winner in this sad story of labor struggle, failed business and the eventual undoing of the 18,500 underpaid, overworked factory workers.

In the past week Twinkies have been the center of the public reminiscence because Hostess was said to file bankruptcy. I held my breath as the good news that Hostess and its workers were to start earnest negotiations came and then went. Sadly, it was announced an hour ago that Hostess has won the court approval to start selling its assets and more importantly, to start laying off its 18,500 workers.

We have all joked about how “Twinkies are forever”. Well, in this case, because of the sudden surge of attentions being paid to Twinkies, esp. in the social media sphere – now the arbitrator of brand marketability,  I do believe that some VC will quickly swoop in and pick up the venerable Twinkie Brand. In contrast, the workers will be left jobless and most likely fall into the life style of sustaining on cheap, unhealthy food such as Twinkies. The irony is alarming.

I was not going to jump on the wagon and eulogizing Twinkies exactly because I do not believe in its imminent demise. It will live. However, I came across this video posted by my good friend Ry

 

And it reminded me that I have written about the cultural obsession with Twinkies before. The following is from my 2009 post “Twinkies got a bad rep ’cause we find the name irresistible”.

 

In the American Pop culture conscious, there is this curious obsession with Twinkies.  One of the new exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is about Twinkies.  Putting our obsession with this oddity on view.

CIMG7562

A Twinkie was born

For once, let’s scientifically study the myth that Twinkies will never die.  Observe and report.  (I will visit MSI later again to check on the Twinkie that is on view there).

Of course, Twinkies are not the only food that are believed to be evil-incarnate.  Why such revilement?

My theory is that half of that ill-begotten fame came from the name, Twinkie.  What’s in a name? If it were called “Hostess Cream-filled Yellow Cake”, or, let’s say, Snow Puff, it would not have become such a legend, warts and all. Kudos to the marketing team that came up with this name that is now a major part of American pop culture.

Upon further investigation, I learned that the name Twinkie came from a chance encounter with a billboard:

In 1933, James Dewar, a baker at Continental Baking Company in Indiana, was inspired and came up with this name when driving by a billboard advertising shoes from the “Twinkle Toe Shoe Company”.

This is serendipity!  In our collective consciousness for food, Twinkies share a significant space with the shoe in Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush…  Ok. Maybe it is proven once again that I am easily amused. TOO easily.

 

Ode to Twinkies

‘Tis but thy name that makes thou irresistible;

Thou art thyself, though not a Twinkie.

What’s Twinkie? it is nor Monoglycerides nor diglycerides

Nor Polysorbate 60, nor Hydrogenated shortening, nor any other part

Belonging to proper CAKE. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? that which we call a Twinkie

By any other name would induce as much grimace??

So Twinkie would, were it not Twinkie call’d,

Retain that dear longevity which it owes

Without that title. Twinkie, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all the cream.

This March (March 2012), I did go back to check on the Twinkie at MSI, and surprise surprise, it has not aged one bit. Sigh. Perhaps we should start putting Twinkie on our faces?

Twinkie on display (since October 2009) at MSI Chicago as of March 2012

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Ah Jimmy Kimmel. My favorite Late Night Show host. (Sorry darling Wicked Shawn. I know you have the super hots for the other Jimmy. Although it pangs me to disagree with you, I believe that THIS Jimmy is so much funnier as a talk show host… Well, now we won’t fight and each have our own Jimmy to jimmy with… )

My Jimmy decided to take on Facebook, the giant that just became a behemoth now that Facebook is offering a form of uber-email @Facebook.com that aims to keep all our young hooked on Facebook and never have any reason to go anywhere else. The thing with Facebook is that You and I and Jimmy are not Mark Zuckerberg’s target audience: he went straight to talk to high school students when they were designing Facebook email. This is where social media is like shopping on Rodeo Drive:

If you have to ask WHY, it is not meant for you.

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Jimmy Kimmel is trying to save Friendship (as we know it) by urging folks to unfriend friends that are not really friends on their Facebook. He calls today, November 17, the National UnFriend Day, aka NUD.

NUD is the international day when all Facebook users shall protect the sacred nature of friendship by cutting out any ‘friend fat’ on their pages occupied by people who are not truly their friends.

[And more importantly] Without guilt or retribution.

In one of his tongue-in-cheek skit, Jimmy suggested this method to see who one’s real friends are: “Update your Facebook status to say, ‘I am moving this Friday and I need movers”; those who that show up are your real friends.”

The fact that I am undercover as far as this blog is concerned, that I have two Facebook accounts and I update one account a lot more often and with more candor, that I maintain two Twitter accounts and I clearly identity with the one where I am not using my real name, points to the other fact that I have a very different definition and interpretation of “friends” from what Jimmy is based on for his new holiday.

Nevertheless, hilarity (has) ensued and I have been enjoying the comedic aspect of it.

From William Shatner (of course!), Danny McBride, Dr. Oz, Lisa Kudrow (“I know friends. I used to be one.”), Wolf Blitzer,

And there is some truth to what Jimmy presented in one of his fake tirades:

All men were not created equal. Some of them are very annoying!

.

The most brilliant, most awesome thing, up until now, that came out of this fake NUD holdiday is the holiday theme song by WAR, called, you guessed it, “Why can’t we UNfriend?”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vl-kYbgCsI

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Rule No.1: Always log off your account when you step away

May 18, 2010 no manual for parenting

… even when you are in the safe confines of your home. Actually, now come to think of it, especially when you are at home… . . . .

30 comments

I comment therefore I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing…

November 30, 2009 random

November 30. Yeah baby! I am finishing this NaBloMoFo with a special edition of “I Comment Therefore I Am”… … because it is Monday. And Monday, especially Monday after the long Thanksgiving weekend, absolutely sucks ass, especially if you work in an office… In this edition, I will share with you how I abuse my […]

10 comments

Social Networking

November 17, 2009 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

A dear friend of mine passed this comment on Social Networking along to me from none other than the always brilliant Non Sequitur cartoon. She received it from her doting partner whose eyes could not have rolled any further when my friend and I were comparing our notes on using Twitter… I found myself more […]

20 comments

“Raw information will become not just a commodity, it will be a nuisance”

August 11, 2009 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Chris and Malcolm are both wrong… The title says. Once in a while I come across smart people (online only, since you know, we moms are notoriously boring and mundane in real life, and many may even suspect that we have few braincells left so we don’t get engaged in intelligent conversations, in real life […]

Armageddon is here: Twitter is down and Fail Whale is not even there?!

August 6, 2009 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I wish Fail Whale will come back soon! We miss you, Fail Whale! We will never been mean to you and call you names again! Just come back!! You are so much better than a lot of other scenarios, we have now realized! So… by now you […]

3 comments

I GTalked my kid to ask him what he would like for breakfast today…

May 23, 2009 no manual for parenting

As over-thinking, ironically introspective, neurotic, obsessively over-analytical as I am, this incident strikes me as seminal. SEMINAL. Mark it on the calendar. We have all seen those cartoons, parodying the increasing importance of texting in the life of teens and even preteens, showing kids texting each other while sitting next to each other on the […]

2 comments

If I were working on an ethnographic study on the Global Twitter Tribe, I would start here with Twitter Earth…

April 23, 2009 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

If you have some inexplicable fascination of Twitter, the much beloved or maligned or questioned (depending on you hang out with…) but can't-be-ignored, new kid on the block, by my troth! you definitely should check out Twitter Earth…   Twitter Earth is basically a 3D presentation of Twittervision, which shows every tweet, live, and where […]