Archive for the ‘ Mediamash ’ Category

Land Down Undead

Land Down Undead

After a furious stint of hard work I have finally released my Zombie Comedy Backpacking Guide to Australia: Land Down Undead. It is out now on Amazon for Kindle and as a paperback. I will follow with other eBook formats in a few months.

“Why would anyone want to write a Zombie Comedy?” you might ask.

Or

“What is a Zombie Comedy?”

Well, those are both interesting questions, both of which I find myself answering a lot. In a sense zombies were always about comedy, they are shambling brainless relics of humanity with one thing on their minds: eating your flesh. Zombie films are in a sense a combination of slapstick humor with grotesque imagery. We are transfixed by the sheer stupidity and hopelessness of the situation.

At some point in the history of zombie literature the connection with comedy became more explicit. A film like Shaun of the Dead, revels in the slapstick aspects of zombie movement and behavior. The film Zombieland, uses zombies as an excuse to make humorous observations about modern society. The film Fido, uses zombies as a vehicle to do an amusing spoof of the cross social-class love story. The many books of Max Brooks use zombies as a vehicle to perform an intelligent and amusing critique of the state of modern society and global politics.

These are all fine example of the emerging high art form of zombie comedy. Call it Zomedy, Zomedie or Zom Com. It offers a chance to take this world, twist it slightly and see what pops out.

The Backpacker’s Guide to the Land Down Undead is my own addition to the genre. A brief and whimsical tale about the shallow world of zombie tourism in Australia.

Buy Land Down Undead Now for 99 Cents

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YangGuiZi (洋鬼子)

While in China I produced a track that I think will spawn an entirely new genre of Chinese white gangster rap. Bring the beat back.

I sold my soul to Twitter

In a more elegant time I might have made a pact with the devil so that I could play a mean slide guitar riff. In our world I have to choose between facebook or twitter, both of which have the devil licked when it comes to controlling your soul.

Endless dialogue rages on in both places, people post, and post, and comment and star, and like, and retweet and post irritatingly positive quotes from dead people who never had accounts on either service.

“Why do we do all this?” you might reflexively ask yourself. Or if you are one of the few who stand in the sidelines, you might be screaming “What are you narcissistic morons doing?”

The truth is it is more probable than not that you are actually already on facebook now, playing in the walled garden, and you only stumbled on this because someone posted it. That is the big ugly fact of facebook, it won, it has done what AOL tried and failed, it has created a curated internet. And we use it simply because experiencing the web through the lens of our friendship network is either more useful or fun, I am not yet sure which. Will we ever know which of these is the truth?

If facebook is still here in 10 years then I would err on the side of usefulness, otherwise,… well it was an entertaining way to spend 100 billion dollars.

As for me I have walked over to the twitter side, it is even more shallow and narcissistic than facebook, with a cult of personality culture, and frivolous follow and unfollow ethic.

But there is a certain kind of honesty to the open shallowness of twitter. No one on twitter thinks it is anything other than narcissism, and they still read things that don’t exist only inside twitter. People come back to twitter for a moment of entertainment, but they are not trapped there, it is a game, it doesn’t have your photo albums, or your videos, or your friend’s birthdays or farmville. It is just people talking, joking, bullshitting, flirting, and desperately trying to be famous or sell stuff.

So I sold them my soul, I don’t need friends, I need followers.

Osama Follows Your Tweets

Even if you have been living under a rock with Osama Bin Laden you probably know that he is now dead. Apparently, one of his wives helped identify him as a priority target as the strike team that will not be acknowledged stormed through his secret compound. Sadly, Bin Laden lived his last days without access to the Internet, so if he was ignoring your friend request on Facebook it really wasn’t personal. It numbs the mind to think of all the LOL Cats and free music that he denied himself in order to avoid leaving a digital trail that would betray his location. Ironically, it was exactly the absence of Internet access that created enough suspicion to identify his hideaway. Had Bin Laden been kicking back surfing the web, he may have been able to avoid his premature expiry as his neighbor Sohaib Athar was merrily tweeting a complaint about the attack helicopters hovering over his secret compound. However, this would have only helped him if he had been explicitly following Athar’s tweets, or if Athar was using GPS based location mapping for his tweets. So while you are all complaining about Apple and Google grabbing too much of our data, just take a moment to think about that poor little terrorist, who kept us all entertained for the last decade, and how he might have at least gone out with a decent chase scene if he had just embraced the end of privacy.

My website smells

I was just pondering the topic of website content, when I remembered reading about technologies back in 2000 that would allow us to transmit smells over the Internet. Just think of the possibilities, you could sample flowers or coffee before ordering over the Internet, when you read you favorite trashy gossip blog you could smell your favorite movie stars, pop stars, not to mention the bloggers themselves. I realize of course that there are some things that you might not want to share, but the applications are enormous. Just imagine next time you are on Facebook, amidst all the sheep that are thrown at you, you also get sprayed with skunk juice, or monkey pheromone extract. The mind boggles, the possibilities are indeed so exciting that someone has dedicated a blog entirely to this magical technology, although the PhP errors in the sidebar don’t inspire a great deal of confidence.

If you are completely freaked out about the idea that next time you Skype with someone they may be able to smell your onion breath, you might find a myriad of other gadgets that will come to the rescue. Of course an easier way is to simply set up a virtual smell, like digital cologne that is sprayed in place of your physical aroma, a sort of smelly avatar (smellatar, smavatar, or smell-o-tar). That way when you are in second-life you can really smell like a vampire, or whatever the hell kind of body you inhabit in there. But until all these wondrous inventions are materialized we will just have to rely on word associations to conjure appropriate aromas. So if i had to pick something appropriate which captures the ideals and environment of this blog it would be: old socks.

WikiLeaks: The Musical

I spent Christmas in a somewhat sad old hotel on the coast of Mallorca with my girlfriend. Every evening the lobby bar filled up with a small number of European misfits, who sat glumly smoking and drinking.

We ventured out on bicycles during the day, and in the evenings we lounged around our room watching films dubbed into German. For some reason the ABBA musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ played two evenings in a row, along with a documentary about the rise and fall of ABBA. The decline of ABBA is punctuated by a number songs that apparently mirror the divorces between band members Anni and Benny, then later Björn and Agnetha. In the video for ‘The winner takes it all” a doe-eyed Agnetha sings to the camera, such that you suspect bloody Björn got the house, the kids and the holiday villa in Mallorca, and she got nothing but a few bedazzled gold jump suits.

I suspect, however, now that poor old Julian Assange awaits imminent extradition to Sweden, the world might be somewhat skeptical about how defenseless Swedish women really are. It seems that they are able to enlist international police agencies to prosecute men who have contravened the unwritten rules of dating. In order to defend himself and pay for his spiraling legal costs the WikiLeaks champion has recently sold the book rights to his life for over 1 million dollars. Even so, this may well not be enough money to save him.

It has occurred to me that being removed to Sweden may be beneficial Julian. Benny and Björn are probably looking a new project to follow up the success ‘Mamma Mia!’ . While WikiLeaks: The musical may seem like an odd concept, I think it could be absolutely huge. But please Julian, don’t cast Piers Brosnan.