Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The ugly side of globalization

Here's an Indian version of "Thriller". Joe likes how frantic it is compared to the original. I like that the girl being chased by the zombies looks concerned and walks rapidly, like she's being harassed by a street vendor, as opposed to looking deathly afraid of having her brains eaten to a funky beat.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Doppleganger Dinner

In a previous blog entry, I revealed an on-going fascination I have with a woman who possesses the exact same name as me but whom I have never met. Her existence became known to me thanks to the magic of Google. Through the tidbits of information gleaned from random webpages, I became convinced that I knew enough about her to give updates about her life to her own acquaintances.

I was reminded of 'mein doppleganger' at a recent dinner. The hostess had invited people using Evite and hence, guests were able to see who was attending and who was not. Upon arrival, there was some surprise when the person that some guests had expected to catch up with was really a stranger with the exact same first and last name. Being adults, everyone swallowed their disappointment about this fraud with tight throats and a wonderful time was had by all!

The experience got me thinking about creating opportunities for people to meet with their dopplegangers; a Doppleganger Dinner if you will. After agreeing on a safe, public place to meet, guests would troll the internet for people possessing the same name as them then try inviting them to the dinner. Even in failure, the stories of confusion and restraining orders should provide chuckles all around.

Please tell me if you are interested and I will finally have an excuse to contact a stranger who will, without a doubt, regard me with horror and distrust.

Or just try using Google to find out about the lives of people with the same name as you and leave your findings in Comments. I'll settle for that, too.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The latest sexy corporate commingle

This afternoon, Scotiabank and Cineplex Entertainment assumed the 69 position on each other in the middle of the clubbing district. At the Paramount, soon to be renamed the 'Scotiabank Theatre', the two companies announced a rewards program that would allow bank customers to earn points towards free movie passes and concessions.

Corporate types love this sort of 'mixing of the bodily fluids' so their enthusiasm about the program is predictable. What I found laughable were the assessments of Ashwin Joshi, professor of marketing at York University, who was quoted in The Toronto Star.
"It's a very good idea because it will be attractive to young customers. A 25-year-old is asking, `Do I want air miles? Travel's not high on my agenda or do I want movie passes? Movies are high on my agenda,'" Joshi said.
Joshi assumes that 25 year olds are incapable of planning for the future then he proceeds to act out the thought process of that 25 year old. While it is impossible to prove in a newspaper article, Joshi was probably wielding a sock puppet to represent said 25 year old.

"(Young people) is a good segment to go after because if you can catch them early and keep them for life, you'll do well."
Whereas I think Joshi did not give 25 year olds enough credit with his previous statement, I think he gives them too much credit with this one. My generation are a bunch of johnny-come-latelys whether it be towards employers, social causes, or products. 'Easy come, easy go' is our motto.

Joshi does come to his senses in his disapproval of the changing of the Paramount's name to Scotiabank Theatre. However, I won't bother quoting him there since a 15 year old moviegoer quoted in the article says it so much better:

"I don't like it. It's a little irritating. It's like the SkyDome becoming the Rogers Centre"
True enough. I have my own list of new names for the Paramount Theatre:
  • "The Videodrome"
  • "The Bank and Tank"
  • "Pay bank fees to withdraw your money so that you can give it to the entertainment corporation that we are sleeping with - har har har"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Everyone do the Algorithim March!

It started with a Japanese children's program, "Pitagora Suicchi" in which the Algorithim March was an exercise break for the audience to prevent them from becoming like little North Americans.

This was obviously silly enough to appeal to European university students so they did it, too.

And apparently, what works for children will also work for hardened criminals in the Philippines.

I want to perform the Algorithim March. Please tell me if you would like to join me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

For sale now

When I'm not writing in my blog, I like to go out and take photographs for my blog. Voila! Life beyond my keyboard.

Just when I think every little girl is going to be in a thong by the age of seven thanks to pop culture, along comes evidence of sanity. "Barbie Bling", an obvious rip-off of Bratz, is not selling well despite her sparkly napkin and denim belt. Whatever the reason for the poor sales, I am relieved. Combine this with the fact that Britney is becoming an obvious mess and maybe girls will start emulating Janet Reno. Only in my wildest dreams.

As I turned away from "Barbie Bling" with a sigh of relief, "G-taste" jumped out and stopped my heart. After being defibrillated, I was able to gaze at these dolls and think, "What the hell is wrong with the Japanese?" and then, "What is wrong with boys these days?" Well, at least half of the future is in safe hands.

One last thought: why is it that a scantily clad female is used to entertain both sexes? This applies for both dolls and magazine images. Personally, I find scantily clad anything acceptable - just see Harvey Keitel in The Piano and tell me you're not entertained.

This is available at Chapters right now. You might as well save your money; get a piece of string, connect it to a piece of cardboard then write "Rob me now" in big letter. Hang it around your neck as you "travel with ease!"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Arrested development continues

I have been obsessed with a new video game but I have an excuse for this obvious regression into immaturity: I have been sick. I have been suffering from exhaustion and a cold due to 'grown-up' wedding MC duties in early Janary.

In the days leading up to the wedding, I had trouble sleeping and suffered from performance anxiety. But in the end, I fell back on shouting and my trusty stock of sexual innuendoes, which made for an entertaining and 'klassy' evening for all.

The cost for this excellent evening was illness, which I quickly embraced: no exercising, and lots of eating and sleeping. I even got sympathy from Joe, who felt the need to treat me by buying a PS2 game called Psychonauts. Now, my cold is virtually gone and I am still pounding away at the PS2 controls.

Creator, Tim Shafer, was also the genius behind Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island games. Unlike Tim's previous outings, Psychonauts is not an adventure game, but it still retains the humour, extraneous yet interesting details, and puzzles that require creativity.

Shown above is one of my favourite levels, "The Milkman Conspiracy". I get to explore a creepily psychotic suburban neighbourhood while breaking into people's houses and their possessions to gain points. I could do this all day!

Adventure games may be dying a slow death but I can continue to game thanks to games like Psychonauts. So, thank you Tim Shafer, for prolonging my adolescence.

By the way, I must applaud Gears of War as a worthy contributor to the death of adventure games. It made the purchase of the XBox 360 totally worthwhile.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

2007: Last hurrah for Peter Pan

It's 2007 and sadly, I think I'm growing up. Some construction workers visited my apartment a few weeks ago and it shamed me to realize that, between the foam swords and "Guitar Hero", we looked like adolescents. As I discussed possible improvements with the contractor, I plotted how quickly I could hide the action figures, not to mention my blankie.

I think my extended adolescence is symptomatic of my generation and my culture. Now that cartoons, video games and toys are no longer the sole domain of children, I need never leave my comfort zone. And we celebrate the juvenile alongside the clever; the Simpsons and Jon Stewart just don't appeal to our parents' generation because the former's cartoon format and the latter's smarty pants attitude are just not mature.

For a long time, I have enjoyed my arrested development but meeting those construction men made me realize that if I came face-to-face with a preadolescent from any developing country taking care of younger siblings, I would cover my head with a sac, which would promptly catch fire from my burning face.

This is not to say that I will throw away my toys and complain about 'kids these days', but it is probably time I became a contributor rather than a consumer in society.

However, no one becomes a man or dame overnight so for the rest of 2007, it will be an uneasy combination of this and this.

PS I hate the fact that Blogger has finally forced me to switch to the Google format. Now, the police will have an easier time finding me. (kidding!)