Drummer Permanently Exits Panic! At The Disco

http://fdrmx.com/drummer-permanently-exits-panic-at-the-disco/

That’s another nail in the coffin of my childhood. I can’t say I was a very loyal fan; during Spencer’s original leave of absence I basically forgot about the band, and I didn’t listen to the second or third albums. It was weird when Jon Walker and Ryan Ross left, and I don’t listen to their music when perhaps I should. Ryan Ross was my favorite after all. That was probably a big reason why I stopped listening. Panic! At the Disco’s first album consumed an entire year of my young life, followed me through two more, dropped off the face of my earth, and then came back to me years later in the form of an internet friend telling me that they were listening to the fourth album and that I should give them another listen. He got me to download it.

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JumpStart lays off most of the old Neopets staff

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in my peer group who cares about this, but I’m going to write out a little timeline anyway because it cuts to what’s left of my childhood nostalgia.

Back in 1999, Adam Powell, a programmer and game designer, and Donna Williams, a web designer and graphic artist, started Neopets as a way to “keep university students entertained, and possibly make some cash from banner advertising.” (Source) It soon garnered more than 600,000 views per day, and those working on the site reached out to investors to help cover costs. I probably joined in 2001 when I was about 9 when they had become a serious gaming site, and had taken off a lot of the non-Neopets jokes and branding. It was, at that point, almost totally converted to a children-oriented site where swearwords were monitored and personal information couldn’t be shared, but there were still themes of dark humor (murder mystery complete with decapitation!) in some of the content put up, and some of the female characters of the site were perhaps more scantily-clad than on a regular kids’ site.

In 2004, the team developed a premium membership in place of banner ads and some virtual perks. I never personally took advantage of these because I was still school aged, but I did take advantage of the free trial once!

In 2005, Adam and Donna sold the site to Viacom for $160 million (Source), and by 2007, a lot of the site was completely redesigned. The site itself, the pets, the shops, the worlds, etc, and some of the changes were made to make customization of pets (namely clothing and backgrounds) feasible, which opened up the possibility of pay-to-play features that they launched later in the year. Neopets was promoted through Nickelodeon at that time with lots of different types of merch and gift cards and a minishow. Some people were disgusted that TNT (The Neopets Team, as they are collectively referred to as) had sold out, and along with their demographic aging on them, the site became less and less popular. Users who were still on it however were more or less accepting of the changes as the function and core of it was still the same. Myself included, though I started to use the site less frequently.

In 2014, Neopets was acquired by JumpStart (Source), and basically everyone hated that shift. Server lags, glitches, didn’t add anything new– and on March 6th, nearly all of the Neopets staff were laid-off for unknown reasons. (Source)

It doesn’t look good. I think I may have to say good bye to a huge chunk of my childhood, and it is not a nice feeling.

Fresh Off the Boat

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/01/the-terrible-questions-journalists-have-been-asking-the-cast-of-fresh-off-the-boat/384666/

I found this article which better describes some of the stuff I put in my last post, except in a much nicer, neater, non-emotionally charged way. I’m with a lot of the comments I’ve seen from fellow immigrant-Americans, and Nahnatchka Khan herself:

“When I read his memoir, the specifics were different to my growing up experience, being Persian American and him being Taiwanese American, but what I related to was the immigrant experience of the show, being first generation and having parents who weren’t born here. And that, to me, was my access point. When you take something from the source material that’s such a strong voice and make it into an 8 p.m. family sitcom on broadcast TV, you need a lot of access points.”

Some people criticized the story for being all about that 拉面 and not so much about 냉면 or ラーメン or even like, Maggi. And I understand that how that must feel, truly. But I also agree that the slippery slope is real; if this is accepted into media, and it doesn’t even have to be embraced, but if it gets, say, two seasons, then introducing other perspectives and other cultures and making them the heroes and the protagonists instead of the sidekicks and villains becomes one hundred percent plausible. If the networks see the money, then there’s a huge potential to expand into.

Yes, I’m biased because Fresh Off the Boat reflects my experience as an ABC (haha, ABC, get it? Because the network…It’s really early in the morning…) but I want to see all of my minority friends get their own on the screen without producers having to resort to placing everyone back in their respective countries (or fantasy countries; I’m looking at you, Disney) and their historical timelines that aren’t here and now. If this goes better than All-American Girl, we might actually get somewhere meaningful.

With this show I get to cheer on little Eddie Huang as my little brother if my little brother was awesome (just kidding, my actual little brother is pretty cool too) and as an extension of myself as I lived (R&B and hip-hop, Asian underachiever, strict parents, realization that I might not be worst off), not some random sword-wielding girl I can’t love like a younger OR older sister because she doesn’t exist as far as my reality schema goes.

You know who actually exists? Sophia and Louisa Chua-Rubenfield! The Fung Brothers! Joe Jo! David So! Bart Kwan! Olivia Thai! Ryan Higa! Freddie Wong! Anna Akana! Eddie Huang! David Chang! Ming Tsai! Dale Talde! Hung Huynh! Anita Lo! (if you recognize all or most of these names, we should be friends. Also, I present to you basically all the media I digest regularly. And literally.)

And ME! I EXIST!

Maybe it’s just because it’s really early in the morning, I still haven’t gotten anything done, and I’d really like to sleep, but I swear if ABC takes it off the air too soon, I’m going to send so many passive aggressive tweets, you won’t even recognize my Twitter feed.

Children and Lying

Children and Lying

140515_KIDS_LyingI like the picture Slate used :3

My favorite parts of this article are the fact that they say not to ask your kid if you know for sure they did a misdeed so as to not let them choose to lie, but instead immediately confront them with the appropriate punishment on hand. I absolutely agree that the misdeed and the lying have to be treated as two separate things. They even touched upon tact and the difference between honesty and obnoxiousness; something some “older kids” need to learn 🙂

What to do with too many toys

What to do with too many toys

When I was younger, I was offered a lot of different toys. I was given Barbies I utterly destroyed, stuffed animals that I hoarded, puzzles, play cars, Kinex-type things, Legos, the works. You know what though? I barely remember playing with any of it. My dad was annoyed that I didn’t really want to build things with the map and pieces already laid out for me, and likely took it as a sign that I was a silly, unintelligent kid. I never liked following the directions because it felt like tedium instead of play. Anything that came with an end goal excitedly insert in or on the box bored the heck out of me.

Instead, I remember a scarf I used to tie under my arms and the pillows that would end up all over the floor and the warrior princess I would pretend to be fighting indescribable monsters and losing indescribable friends along the way. I remember going around with my friends and collecting random weeds and rocks and creating potions and casting spells all over the neighborhood. Always wanting to go “hiking” (walking around the few hundred yards of hill and tree around our houses) with the boys in my neighborhood.

Or else I would read.

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Number 146

Oddly enough, I’ve been thinking about this issue more and more. Probably since the End It Movement started their clear truck campaign. Human trafficking and the nonconsensual way we treat some human beings like objects is horrific and shameful, and those who benefit from such…

Thief with a Conscience

Thief with a Conscience

We’re not talking Robin Hood and the livelihoods of the poor here; we’re talking a man who victimized children and teenagers and videotaped it for posterity being brought to justice by a home invader. The guy even reported his house broken into, but obviously didn’t mention the tapes.

It’s a pretty delicious bit of justice and irony, I think. Also, the burglar was pretty smart about how he turned the tapes in.