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Hi. I'm Mike. This isn't updated often.

Tag: geek culture

More Reflections On… Well… People (And Being Online)

A review of recent comments on the Daizenshuu EX YouTube channel and playing some Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on Xbox Live last night reminded me just how jaw-droppingly incomprehensible people can be online. I have come across a couple good bits o’ reading over the last couple days that somewhat tie in with this subject, and I just wanted to pass them along. A lot of these thoughts will come around again when I finally decided to do a WTF EX podcast episode about current internet culture and the (non)value of feedback/comments as a whole, but until then, I hope you enjoy some of these bits.

First and foremost, let me make it explicitly clear that I hold absolutely no (serious) delusions of grandeur and hardly see myself as any sort of true “celebrity”. With that being said, I also have been running prominent (for their community/audience) websites for well over a decade, moved on up in several hobbies, presented at conventions, etc. I’m out there. People know my name and plenty of other things about me. People have come up to me in public. I’ve been asked to sign things (OK, just once that I remember). OK? OK. Just sayin’.

While I occasionally read a little too much idealistic and unrealistic prose over on Techdirt, as a whole I really enjoy what is posted there, and tend to agree more than disagree with what Michael Masnick has to say. Above-mentioned review of my YouTube comments and a few e-mails to Daizenshuu EX perfectly mirrors the title of an article from the other day, “Reading Comprehension: A Terrible Thing To Waste“.

In 2007, some people who somehow signed up for the program without meaning to, started Google searching the program — and commenting on that post, often complaining that they were signed up against their will. In April of 2007, one person noted that the charge on his credit card was denoted as being for AMZ*Prime Club. Within days, if you did a search on that phrase, we were the top result. At first, our comments started to fill up with angry messages from people who claim they never agreed to sign up for the program. Then… people started emailing and calling us demanding a refund.

Particularly with our “Rumor Guide” and detailed explanations of things from the originial Japanese reference material, many people write in to “correct” us, but end up saying the exact same thing, simply in their own words (and typically with FUNimation-only verbiage). It is almost always followed and ended by some snarky comment, demanding praise for their valuable time wasted on us (that’s if it hadn’t already started with a horribly-written insult). Just like Techdirt ended up:

Five minutes later, she replies:

How the hell do I contact Amazon – it seems to me that you and Amazon are probably working in collusion to fleece people.

And… with that I give up. Apparently, it wouldn’t matter how clearly Amazon explains their program. There are still some people who will not be able to figure it out.

… I have had too many instances where responding back and forth with readers/listeners/fans ends up with me tossing my hands up in the air. While the following example is not one where I responded back and forth with the author (I didn’t bother replying at all), and is also not an example where they don’t realize they are actually agreeing with us, it still fits in with the whole mentality of these sorts of comments. This may be completely over-the-head of my non-DBZ-fan friends and readers… but chances are, if you’re here reading this, you have some familiarity with DBZ ^_~.

In your rumors guide, u said that Trunks can’t reach SSJ2.. and your reasoning was that because it was a big deal when Gohan ascended to SSJ2 and beat Cell..

However u didn’t consider that the “big deal” could have been over Gohan’s power and NOT over the SSJ2 transformation. We all know 2 Saiyans can have different strengths even if both are SSJ form. For example, Trunks and Goten in early SSJ form can’t beat Vegeta or Goku. Also, SSJ Goten was slightly weaker than SSJ Trunks.

What I’m tryin to say is, ppl weren’t surprised at the new “SSJ2” form that Gohan transformed into. The big surprise was over the fact that Gohan’s SSJ2 form was even more powerful than Goku’s and Vegeta’s SSJ2 form.

Now, back to Trunks. During the Cell saga when Future Trunks fought Cell, he clearly became an “Ascended Super-Saiyan”. Even the episode was titled “Trunks Ascended”.

Later on, during the Majin Buu Saga, episode “230 – Super Saiyan 3!”, Goku CLEARLY stated that an “ascended super-saiyan” is also known as “super saiyan 2”.

So there u have it.. Future Trunks WAS indeed able to become SSJ2.

There are so many things wrong with this e-mail. They are clearly writing in response to one particular entry in the “Rumor Guide“, and yet despite having a well-researched and correct explanation in front of them, there is some… I don’t even know what to call it…? I don’t think “sense of entitlement” is the right way to explain it, but it’s along the same lines. As I’ve noted time and time again, there seem to be a large contingent of FUNimation-only fans that yearn to “correct” information based off the original Japanese… and while that’s not to say there isn’t the opposite (I mean, hello!… I’m right here!)… oh, you can see where this is going (an “It’s FUNimation’s own fault there’s a fractured fanbase, not mine” editorial is too much effort for me, these days). Let’s just move on.

The other article I wanted to point you over to was “Some Things Need To Change” by Michael Arrington over on TechCruch. Arrington takes a lot of flack for things he does and says, but at the end of the day, I think he’s pretty accurate in saying:

I write about technology startups and news. In any sane world that shouldn’t make me someone who has to deal with death threats and being spat on. It shouldn’t require me to absorb more verbal abuse than a human being can realistically deal with.

Again, please refer to the beginning of this entry where I plainly state that I’m not placing myself among the larger crowd of genuine success stories in the tech world. I’m just some guy on the internet talking to other nerds. There are clear parallels and warning signs, though. Do I really want to take any of my projects “further”, whether it’s a legitimate business or just a highly-expanded-upon hobby-venture? If there are already fake YouTube accounts set up with the sole purpose of insulting one of my websites (whoops; just legitimized it by acknowledging its existence!), repeatedly have to delete anti-Japanese comments from my actual YouTube account… blah blah blah. I don’t mean to make it out to be a larger situation than it really is (let’s be honest… it’s not). At the same time, they’re all horrible reminders about what kinds of people are out there, and how easily they have access to provide “feedback” to you. Why should anyone have to put themselves in a position where that’s even a realistic situation? Perhaps I’m being the unrealistic and delusional one, expecting and hoping to just go about my business having fun with enjoying things without receiving negative comments in response.

The problem is that I love what I do when I’m not hiding from some crazy fucker who wants to kill me or being spat on by some unhappy European entrepreneur we didn’t write about.

CONCLUSION: My buddy David summed it up pretty well when he told me…

I think YouTube, Hulu, and similar large online forums just show how the world really is: loudmouthed, hateful, and ignorant.

Also, if your first name is “Michael”, you appear to be doomed on the internet. Even further additionally, does John Gabriel’s theory just make that much sense?

As I’ve stated before, I’m not looking for “sympathy” or even agreement with the topics discussed and relayed in these types of posts. People seem to like the “behind-the-scenes” look into how things are done at Casa de EX (like my podcasting setup), and I figured this all worked together nicely to provide yet another view. Especially if you disagree with what I’ve presented, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Pretty interesting how I’ve essentially degraded internet comments to a worthless pile of trash not suitable for a second glance, and then say I value them. Let me instead end it on a funny e-mail.

From: < name removed >
To: vegettoex@aol.com
Sent: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 7:04 pm
Subject: PLEASE RESPOND¡¡

You know Yoshio Anzai (shueshia) ?
Please give me information about yoshio anzai and contact information for yoshio… please
ATT: < name removed >
Bogota Colombia
Thanks

Hey, it’s snowing outside!

(Any uplifting things you’d like to hear about? :P)

What’s a podcast…?

So I was down at Anime Weekend Atlanta (or just “AWA”) this past weekend doing all sorts of wonderfully nerdy things with a whole bunch of seemingly-equally-nerdy people. Saturday afternoon I happened upon a couple DBZ cosplayers, and felt obligated to take a few photos. Here’s the first one I snagged (off the ol’ iPhone):

DBZ Cosplayers at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2008

After I took a couple pictures, I started up a little conversation with them, and found out there was going to be a larger gathering of DBZ cosplayers at 12:30 pm. Awesome! Not only people of my own kind, but multiple super-nerdy people of my own kind! Once we got a little dialogue going, I figured it was as good a time as any to mention the website. I asked if it was OK to put the image up on my site, and then if they had ever checked out the DBZ podcast that we do.

Yajirobe (the one on the far left) stared at me blankly for about four/five seconds, and then replied, “What’s a podcast…?”

As the guys over at GeekNights have said time and time again, it’s all well and good that we are trying to get other podcast listeners to check out our own shows, but what we really need is for more people in general to listen to podcasts in general… not specifically our own shows. If they don’t even know what the word means, how on Earth are we to expect them to listen to our piddly shows?

What came next was the real killer. After briefly explaining that we do this cool show every week talking about what’s going on with news, in-depth topics about the series, etc., the same guy blankly stared at me again for a couple seconds and replied, “Well, I’m not that big a fan…”

I did everything I could to hold myself back from saying, “BUT YOU’RE $%#@ING COSPLAYING GOD-DAMNED YAJIROBE~!!!!1”

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