Archive for July, 2012
Advertising is, at times, an art form. It is the ability to connect with another human being through the concept of familiarity coupled with clever presentation. Creating an ad for something sometimes allows a person to avail a product to more people allowing for that connection to thrive.
What better way of doing that then creating an ad meshing TWO beloved properties into on!
(Yes, this was all a set up for a mistake I saw in an ad.)
I saw this on Facebook the other day. It is, allegedly, what happens if Anime Festival Orlando and Florida Anime Experience merged – or so I assume.
Remember that time I went to Japan? Remember when I was blogging about all the exciting adventures I had? The last time I posted part of that particular tale was over two months ago – in the beginning of May. Check it out: http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/8990
I left off at this photo:
So let’s pick up this story again, shall we? Here goes:
After regularly hearing the hype in anime convention fandom, books like Fruits, and that whole Gwen Stefani thing, I really wasn’t sure WHAT to expect when I started walking do that road. The Starbucks across the street from that sign, though, should have been my most obvious clue regarding the hard truth I was about to discover.
Harajuku = American hipster
Don’t get me wrong – it was fun, trendy, and much of the charm was retained since it is a bunch of Japanese people dressed American hipster-esque. Here’s some of them now – and Jason from Otaku Life looking TOTALLY out of place:
They are all so much cooler than we were. Near the intersection was this road sign (across from the Harajuku one.)
Allegedly this sign is a newer one and it has MANY of the locals (and Japan-philes) upset. The original Takeshita Street sign was supposedly much cooler and, while it seems pretty trendy-cool in my eyes, this one just doesn’t cut it for a lot of people. I guess I’ll never know. MEANWHILE, though, past the signs and into the streets…
Dee Snyder would be so proud! Glam rock style of the Seventies and Eighties in America, it seems, lives on in Japan. This colorful group drew the attention of everyone around us as they walked by. They could have, for all I know, been local rock gods in Japan and I wouldn’t have known. That said, I could have been Justin Bieber and they wouldn’t have recognized me, either. Perks of being on the other side of the planet. Either way, they seemed pretty cool. Next up:
Alice in Wonderland is really trendy in Japan. (This will come up again later when I finally write about my adventures in Tokyo Disney SEA.) Aside from the obvious gothic lolita action in this photo, take note of all the t-shirts for sale in the shop behind them. That’s right – trendy American culture. (Check out the larger version here.)
Now, I present you with the sign for this shop for no other reason outside the fact that it makes me giggle – and I still don’t know why.
That’s right. Store My Ducks.
Down the street from this fine, fine establishment is every American Otaku’s wet dream. A wet dream made even more drippingly epic by random chance and the best luck ever.
The dream? The Evangelion Tokyo-01 store. http://www.evastore.jp/real/index2.html
The epic lucky part? We were there the week the racing team models were visiting. http://sgcafe.com/2012/03/evangelion-store-tokyo-01-hosts-evangelion-racing-week/
We had no clue until we got there. (Grab your tissues, boys.)
That’s right! It’s a zany American taking a photo! Do a thumbs up because that’s what they all do, right? Inside the store:
For the record, I spent over $80 on a business card holder while I was here. In Japan, the damned thing turned out to be invaluable during introductions. I use it in America, too, since a lot of my business dealings have to do with folks in fandom. It never fails to draw attention when I take it out and – by the way – you can only buy it at this store in Japan. (You’d think after all that, I’d post a photo of it or something. Maybe later. I don’t have one available while writing this. Trust me, though. It’s snazzy-cool.)
Now let’s look at more hot chicks:
And the store again:
If you want to see more, all of my Japan photos are posted in this set on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomcroom/sets/72157629780231609/
Thus ends my tale of Harajuku. I found myself in Akihabara again that night… but I’ll write about that later. For now, I leave you with this photo of the Starbucks that serves as a warning for Americans entering this particular fashion district:
This blog post is something that only about 15-20 people on the Internet will understand, but the really resourceful ones of you out there will probably figure it out, too. Needless to say, getting this email from Amazon the other day is chock full of ironical irony.
Maybe I should use my special convention Jedi powers to get a premier of this shown at WasabiCon (www.wasabicon.com) in Jacksonville this year since I can probably find some of the cast and crew. :)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Steve Jobs, it seems, was an asshole.
(Something I have been accused of on more than one occasion.)
The fact is, many “great men” in history are recognized more for their caricatures than their true personalities. Society tends to forget the everyone, even celebrities, are flawed human beings regardless of how the world at large perceives them.
I’ve been on a kick in the past year for reading books about (and by) people who have created and run successful businesses. This is partly out of personal interest, but also because my own “hobby” seems to be pretending, against all semblance of logic, to be a “business.”
(See: Green Mustard Entertainment – http://www.greenmustard.com.)
Let’s talk about Steve and Fruit Computers, though.
I was already a fan of the made for TV movie The Pirates of Silicon Valley long before picking up this book, so my familiarity with some of the folklore (“Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.” – etc.) was already pretty established.
What I didn’t know was the details and (if you’ll allow the cliche) we all know that’s where the devil is. Walter Isaacson did a great job of walking the balance of telling the story of a man who had already reached celebrity of an almost cult status without completely drinking the Kool-Aid. He showed Steve for all his mistakes and glorious accomplishments in a even flowing and well organized tale.
In the end, Steve’s vision of creating the “ultimate user experience” reminded me of conversations I have about how my team and I design our fan conventions. (We tend to use the word “experience” a lot, too.) Thus, my curiosity was piqued regarding Apple computers after reading this book. My last Apple “experience” was in the late 1980s and involved the only Apple computer I ever owned: The Apple IIc.
The IIc was was my introduction into the world of computers. We didn’t have fancy schmancy stuff like “graphical user interfaces” and “mice.” You would spend hours typing in code on a monochrome screen with a flashing cursor and THAT is how you made shit happen. Many an “A” in school was earned because my book reports looked better since they were typed instead of hand written. My Apple IIc and a dot matrix printer made me THE nerd at my school. (Pocket protector not included.)
Since those glory days of being a would-be middle school hacker, I have evolved into a Windows user. I started with 3.11 and pretty much never looked back. I’ve installed Windows on floppies, CDs, DVDs, and who the hell knows how I’m going to get Windows 8 on my desktop later this year. Needless to say, I skipped the whole Macintosh period of personal computing over the previous two decades.
A couple of months ago, Apple announced their new model year computers which meant (like cars) the old versions would soon drop in price. With all my recent travelling via airplane, I began to toy with the idea of partaking in the “Apple experience” via a MacBook Air 11-inch.
Finally, one Sunday about four weeks ago, I used up some Best Buy reward coupons and took home my first Apple in over 20 years: https://twitter.com/TomCroom/status/214418106427256833
It’s been a month since then and I’ve learned the joys of personal computing made simple. It’s not perfect, but it ONE THING that I haven’t really had in computing since the days of coding BASIC on a double sided 5 1⁄4 inch floppy…
Well played, Mr. Jobs. Well played.
I promise to write more. Hopefully soon. Hopefully about Japan and how AWESOME DARE! The Transformers Panel Ultimate went at Anime Expo 2012.
For now, though, enjoy this random photo I took outside the front of the Los Angeles Convention Center the other day.