Tag Archives: videos

I’m Writing a Story — Bring Me a Blond

There’s a little something I’m trying in the new year. It’s writing for other women, instead of exclusively nerdy pubescent and octogenarian males. Some time next month my first articles in a couple major women’s magazines will start to appear on newsstands, adding some softer edges to my portfolio — and some rougher ones to my personality.

Though writing for chick rags has been a welcoming entree into a world of puffy stories and exclamatory emails, I’ve also come up against the industry’s Spanxed underbelly, a cavern of cantankerous cuntery and fantastically unreasonable expectations buttressed by some of publishing’s most solid ad numbers and reader loyalty. The video above is frighteningly accurate. It’s not as much of an exaggeration as you think. I have received some of these very instructions from automaton editors. Get me three whiteshoe professionals from the midwest, one told me, no temps. From another:  I get most of my story ideas just talking to my friends and turning it into a trend piece.

Hit play for a glimpse into the terrifying trials of freelancing for the ladymags. It gives a good sense, too, of the general humility and humiliation veritably wrapped up in the freelancer’s job description.

[From Slate. Thanks, Jolene.]

Fundraising the Old Fashioned Way, the New Fashioned Way

I don’t like panhandlers. Because they make me feel like a jerk. Because I’m usually too selfish/heartless/lazy/jaded to help them. And anyway, face to face interaction is so outdated. That’s why I like Craig Rowin’s direct but distant digital approach. Plus, when someone asks for an (M)-note instead of a dollar it means that when I say “Sorry, guy, I don’t have it,” I’m not 100% lying. I can pat my pockets all I want. It’s not showing up. Ever.

That gives me an idea for a video.

This Week’s Top Nerd Mail: Japanese 3D Hologram Pop Star

The email began like this:

Hi Amanda

I wanted to send this quick pitch through in case you were thinking about doing a piece on the Japanese Pop sensation, Hatsune Miku, who is actually an animated 3D hologram.

It goes on to explain that “the invented idol’s DVD is selling out and she/it is becoming a legit phenomenon.”

Did you know about this? Apparently she/it has performed to capacity crowds at stadium concerts in Japan. I had no idea. So I checked out the video the flack sent me and… holy shit:

According to the LA Times tech blog “Miku is a singing, digital avatar created by Crypton Future Media that customers can purchase and then program to perform any song on a computer. Crypton uses voices recorded by actors and runs them through Yamaha Corp.’s Vocaloid software -– marketed as ‘a singer in a box.'”

Vocaloid recently announced a new addition to its holo-talent roster, Utatane Piko, a twee little digiboy with a USB tail. Beginning December 8 he’ll be available from Sony Music Shop for 15,750 Yen.

For reference, that’s over $190. Jesus. There are countries where you could get a real boy for that.

Google Game: Videos

Honestly I don’t really know what to make of this. Why is it almost entirely in Spanish?

Even if you don’t speak-a the spanish, it’s not too hard to decipher what la gente is searching for: funny videos, adult videos, videos of captured Puerto Rican drug lord Jose David Figuera Agosto, and of New York-born Dominican band Aventura, who made their way from the Bronx, to the Lower East Side via Chico’s mural artistry, to MSG and beyond.

In fact, I think more translating is needed to figure out what the English-language searches are getting at. Um, you guys know you’re already online, right?

Why Carl Paladino Scares Me [Separated at Birth]

It’s not so much his policy ideas as his unnervingly gruff demeanor and striking resemblance to Oswald Cobblepot.

Hey, Carl, you weren’t raised in the sewers. How’s about a little polish on those public appearances? Our research tells us that voters like fingers:

Die Antwoord, Die

I know I should be over it by now, but I’m just not. It kills me — a deep down painful kind of death — that Die Antwoord got famous.

I first heard about them from my friend Brian on his blog in February. (I feel compelled to clarify, if you see my comments on the post, that I was quoting the song. Which sucks. For the record.) Meme soon spread, garnering the group’s YouTube videos millions of hits in a few weeks. By May they were opening for MIA and had signed with fucking Interscope. Now they’re returning to NYC to headline at Live Nation’s 600-seat Gramercy (nee Blender) Theater tomorrow night.

With them returns my ire over the power of the internet and the ever obscuring causes of popularity.

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And another thing about the Twitter

….it makes it real easy to go off message. Like really, really off message.

One Politician's Incredibly Unfortunate Tweet

Monday night, a spokesperson for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman left a letter off the end of a bit.ly address in a campaign-related tweet. In a world of tiny urls, one letter makes all the difference. Think genetic mutation.

What Sarah Pompei’s followers were treated to wasn’t the promised endorsement by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of San Diego County. Instead, the truncated link takes you here:

So, vote Whitman! Recommended by cross-dressing Asian pop dubbers the world over. And please, people, remember to tweet responsibly.

[Via Gizmodo]

Time(s) for the Weekend(er)

I never tire of watching 92Y’s brilliant parody of those insufferable New York Times Weekender ads. And neither will you:

It’s based on a couple TV spots in the NYTimes Weekender campaign. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find the full version of one of them. It’s a real shame, because there’s a lot of douche to enjoy. Perhaps you remember the I’m not a call now kind of guy guy. Oh! Hate you! After the jump, the best I could do to wrangle up the referents.

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Google Game: Gloria

Suddenly I was overcome with a need to listen to Gloria, by Laura Branigan. I lifted my already-plugged-in mp3 device and searched for the song. To my dismay I realized that– what the fuck? — I don’t have it on there. Other Glorias, yes. U2’s Gloria. And Mineral’s. But not Ms. Branigan’s, the one I was currently butchering a capella.

Too lazy to rummage through my CDs and ruing that visit to a record shop in Kansas City when my friend picked up the Flashdance soundtrack before I did, I went to the YouTube for the quick and easy way to play it. I noticed a number of other Gloria tracks up there, so I decided to do a little Google investigation:

That’s a lot of Gloria. And that’s not even all of them. (See Mineral, above. Cross ref: Emo as fuck and still in rotation.)

I’ll let you poke around and find your own favorite Gloria, but read on for a couple suggestions.

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Cries of a Digital Degeneration

Take in this rather brilliant modernday reinterpretation of Allen Ginsberg’s seminal work by filmmakers Tiffany Shlain and Geralyn Dreyfous.

I look forward to their upcoming project, Connected, from which the images in that video were drawn. The film, say Shlain and Dreyfous

explores the visible and invisible connections between the major issues of our time — the environment, population growth, technology, human rights, and the global economy – demonstrating how they are all interdependent. … It reveals how the interdependence of people and forces lies at the core of our existence, and imagines what the world would look like if we lived in a way that acknowledged this reality. The film suggests that for centuries we have been declaring independence and perhaps it’s time to declare our interdependence.

In the meantime, click here, here and here to listen to Ginsberg reading Howl (in three parts). Read the whole poem here.

[Thanks, BJ]