9.26.2012

Viewers' Guide to PARANORMAL STATUS (or, How To Meaningfully Interact With Those YouTube Channels All the Kids Are Tweeting About)

So, honestly, this is what I'm hoping you will do. It will take between 2 and 35 minutes depending on whether you actually watch the vids or not.

Any clever viral/interactive/audience-engagement marketing I might scheme up is a coded attempt to get you to do Exactly This.

For the indie artist/videomaker/content creator, this is the platonic ideal for how a viewer interacts with their videos on youtube. If you are curious about how you can support artist/creators that you like, for free, in no time at all, take this as a case study, a walkthrough.

1.  Start here. Find and click the SUBSCRIBE button that is in the upper left corner of every Youtube video (or sort of near the title on the channel pages). If you don't have a youtube account yet you will be prompted to create one, it is totally free and non-intrusive and will take 30 seconds.***

2.  Click the LIKE button. Copy the link, any link. Share it, embed it, tweet about it. Seriously, you don't even gotta watch it. I mean, we worked hard on it, the episode is there to be enjoyed, but don't let some convoluted sense of "I must watch the entire video before validating it with viral shares and mentions" hold you up from just pimping that link everywhere. Write it on the wall of your office building's bathroom. Email it to HuffPost. Text it to your cat. Paranormalstatus.com.



The episode is arranged with a certain narrative delicacy (if I do say so m'self), but if you just wanna know what happens, I can happily spoil it for you. The high points of this episode are Dave getting drunk and singing a variant of "God Save the Queen" and a colorful dream sequence with a terrifying/satirical cliffhanger.

Go to episode 2 to catch up on some plot points. There is an amusing Sadako gag and a tender death scene that will come up again later in the arc of the series.


3.  Like-button everything. Comment on something. If you don't like something about this whole endeavor, comment on that. Create traffic. (The goal of every web-based thing is to create traffic and go viral, that is, the exact opposites of your goals in real life, haha.)**

Detour to click/view the gag reel, the gratuitous wrestling video (there's only a touch of actual wrestling in it, but a lot of charmingly posh British giggling), or this somewhat clever meta-trailer on my personal channel. Subscribe to channel dommah! too, while you're here.

Click on Episode 1, it's the pilot, so it has the most expositional lag, yes, some questionable cinematography, yes, yet you will still find moments to enjoy the buffoonish heroism of Dave and the sardonic radiance of Zoe and Elle. And again, plot points that will come up again later. And if you comment identifying the characters and context of the Dark Knight Returns reference in this episode, you win a 2012 ComicCon bag full of goodies. It's a rolling easter-egg contest that as yet no one has been nerdy enough to win. :)

4.  And by gum, you can even click on an ad, because in theory that turns into $$$, of which some trickles down to the artist (me & the POO crew). You are obligated to buy nothing, yet your friend/video-creator/artist gets rewarded. Kind of an awesome deal, right?

Like this playlist, where I will maintain a curated "best of" all Paranormal Status videos, maximized for entertainment like a circus routine. This is after all, at base, not about money or fancy filmmaking (or consistent camerawork, to be sure). It's about trying to make you laugh.

And then there's our facebook page, and supposedly it is good when people like that.**

5.  If somehow you have read this far, you may as well also follow @dommah @thorhulkcritic and @phearchannel on twitter, and enjoy my 140-character bursts of smile-causing sarcastic musings.

And really, that's it. Thank you!

***This is really important because YouTube success or failure (I mean, nothing really fails on YouTube, but some things are more successful than others) is judged in hard numbers of subscriptions and viewcounts. So if you just wanna click on the thing continuously while it's in the background of your monitor while you're doing other important things...that would be awesome.

**It's cool if you like the things on Facebook, but keep in mind this key difference: FB just tracks and uses your input as part of their Freaking Massive Marketing Data Collecting Machine, whereas, YouTube looks at that data and actually passes on some of its profits to its content creators. Not in a way that it's like they're giving away money, exactly, but on principle, Youtube rewards the people who, you know, make the shit that is on Youtube. No artist ever gets paid off people liking them on Facebook. (SUM-UP POINT: do the FB thing anyway, but the best thing to do on FB is share, share, share.)

9.01.2012

Affirmative Action, Asian Dating, and Vomit. (OR, Why Being an Asian American Guy Still F**king Sucks.)

I was going to write this piece anyway, but now it is partially in response to this idiot.

The social highlight of my last week was when a pretty girl vomited on me in a karaoke room. Without going into the whole story, I was trying to get friendly with her without realizing exactly how many drinks she'd had, and then she got sad, and I'm like OK maybe you just need someone to hold you, and that was fine, and then her warm and wet weeping on my shoulder suddenly became warm and wet regurgitated shrimp all over my clothes. I am not exaggerating at all when I say it was the social highlight of the week. Also, it was the kind of thing that makes you look at all the couplings and relationships and sexual congress going on in the world and question, "how does that ever even happen?"

Being Asian-American and male is definitely the worst thing you can possibly be, ethnically, in the dating universe. People say, "It's all in your head." Asian-American males themselves say to "GET OVER IT," and do, by obnoxious overcompensation. But let's get back to my head. It is not all in my head. Would you tell a black man that police brutality is all in his head? Police brutality is, of course, much more terrible than not having a date. But the phenomena are equally true. The statement that a black guy is more likely to be in trouble from the police because of institutional racism is AS TRUE as the statement that an Asian-American guy is more likely to have no warm body to wake up to in the morning because of institutional racism.

Also, it's data in the frakking census. As a percentage of their populations, the least-married kinds of people in America are Asian-American guys and African-American women. I think it's safe to say that there is a whole network of institutional racisms contributing to the plight of that second group. With Asian-American guys, it's only one umbrella-able problem, which is not Asian-specific, but in any case it's that Women Like Trouble.
Me and my nongirlfriendfriend A., rocking the
Girl's Got Priorities Goggles.

Asian-American gals have plenty of good psychological reasons for preferring not to get with Asian-American guys, having to do with patriarchy in Asian nations ("I thought I just got away from that..."), sense of self, their brothers, their fathers, and also that America is still run by white people (give or take our embattled president). By the way, none of these good reasons are articulated well or truthfully by this girl (who, again, is either a moron or some sort of troll for the website, or both). ALL gals like an Asian guy if he's Totally Fuckin HOT, of course, but on average will hook up with the indifferent loud white dude over a normal Asian guy who is totally devoted to them.  Or the sensitive hipster who is not patriarchal and had the most amazing experience in Thailand, you should go on a retreat there (because that's what self-aware people do, go on retreats to find themselves in other countries...WTF).

There was a point here...OH, it's that I have no luck with chicks. NO, it's actually that women, like most humans, have a streak in them that craves danger, and will do things for "fun" that are totally against their long-term self-interest. Asian-American dudes, generally speaking, do not convey the sense of Trouble that women like. As the PUAs will tell you, there are good strong biological reasons for this trouble-seeking (the system works better, if ruthlessly, in the lion community), which invariably causes women to get with guys who are angry, abusive, and wrapped up in destructive self-obsessions of their own. Hence the endless cycle of "OMG I just want to find a nice man OMG who is this loser I've shacked up with."

If you haven't observed this in the real world, it is because you live on Vulcan.

The thing is, most guys feel entitled to sex. Women often confuse this sense of entitlement with confidence and are attracted to it, although entitlement has nothing to do with confidence (but it has everything to do with behaving like a douchebag). People of color are generally attuned to the reality that one is not entitled to things, and SOME (Some not all!**) Asian American dudes, being where they izzat on the spectrum, realize that one is not entitled to love; it happens if you are terribly lucky, but there is no natural law that says you can't die alone.

(Level of American-ness is important here: Asian Asian dudes from Asia have as big a sense of entitlement as any guy anywhere; they are all Alpha over there.)

Asian American guys overcompensate for their perceived disadvantage by acting Bro-ish: angry, loud, swaggery, selfish, fighting for position. OK, some of them are like this naturally. The ones who are just putting on a performance of that, ladies, that is all your fault. If you responded to the other thing, we would act the other way. 

....So anyway, that's basically what I said to the girl last Thursday night.

She responded with something like "Asian blahblahglah BROTHER blahblahgah."

And then she started crying on my shoulder.

And then she threw up on me.

Good times.

....This ended up having not much to do with this affirmative action case, except to say: people who oppose affirmative action like to point out that if it were not for affirmative action, the percentage of black students would drop dramatically (at the few schools that currently have affirmative action) to reflect the "true" makeup of qualified students. And to that I say: How could that possibly be a good thing? Don't we have affirmative action in the first place to slightly make up for THAT OTHER FLAWED SYSTEM WHICH HELPED SOME PEOPLE BUT HAD A FEW KINKS IN IT UH SLAVERY? But by all means, if the plan for a better America is to clamp down on those unfairly college-bound black people, do it, level that playing field. I will go to another county and find myself. 

**Some not all! Some not all! Not racist not racist not racist!