Long-form blog posts and editorials. Topics cover both personal and the world at large. 

Don't be shy - 10 things I think


1. Lots of false outrage going round over the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi sorority recruitment video. Are people really pretending that sorority life isn’t exactly as it is depicted in the video? The University can’t actually be surprised that its campus Greek organizations are hugely segregated and homogenous. Ask most Americans what is their first image to mind when mentioned of Sororities, and I bet that picture is exactly as depicted in that Alpha Phi video. The only outrage should be towards the people who are in denial to the realities of Greek life.

2. I’m glad Fat Jew, a thief profiting off the works of others and none of his own, is finally getting his moment of scorn by the mainstream media. Good-bye, book deal. Farewell, Comedy Central Show. In today’s Internet landscape where content is absolutely everything, stealing the genuine work of other creators for your own gain is a cardinal sin. Josh Ostrovsky ought to just disappear and never come back.

However, let’s not kid ourselves: the issue of content thievery is much bigger than Fat Jew. Tumblr and Instagram alone are rife with accounts that do nothing but re-blog or straight up steal – accounts with immense following, at that. These swindlers make money off the backs of real content creators by selling ad space to companies eager to reach a vast and young audience, without a care for authenticity or originality, or by hawking their own merchandise.

The public prosecution of Fat Jew isn’t at all likely to change that status quo. Unfortunately, it’s up to artists and creatives to be vigilant about the work ending up elsewhere when it shouldn’t be, and to confront the thieves publicly when it does occur.

3. John Oliver’s establishment of Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption church just might be his biggest coup yet. In an attempt to point out the glaring exploitation and hypocrisy of evangelical churches and the IRS, Oliver set up his own place of worship to show just how easy - and legal – it is to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. 

The fact that all proceeds from the exercise will go to the Doctors Without Borders, one of the most impeccable humanitarian organizations in existence, is simply the best. If you got a few dollars to spare, I urge you to donate to Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption; it’s the proverbial killing of two birds (laughing at the IRS and contributing towards MSF) with one stone.

4. It’s been a horrible year for motorsport. Barely off the mourning period for Jules Bianchi, it’s devastating to lose Justin Wilson this past weekend. What’s most troubling and disappointing is that both incidents could’ve been very much prevented. I’ve been an avid fan of open-cockpit racing cars for the longest time (still follow Formula One religiously), but with the speeds reached with these modern cars, and the circumstances of Bianchi and Wilson’s death, the time has come to enact some form of head protection (beyond the lone helmet) for open-cockpit cars. 
I believe cockpit protection will happen within the next few years in all Grand Prix series, though it’s a continuing shame that lives need to be lost for motorsport to improve upon safety. Yes, it’s a dangerous sport, but the strive for better safety should be constant and proactive, rather than reactionary.

Justin Wilson donated six of his organs to save their respective recipients from meeting his same fate; a gentleman racer of the highest order indeed, right down to the very last moment.

5. I’m happy to support artists and buying their prints, but no way am I spending hundreds of a mere frame. Wasting money on such appendages is the domain of the one-percent, which I am most definitely not a part of. However, works of art - even the casual photograph or poster - should never go unframed. I simply purchase the cheapest poster frame on Amazon approximate to size and it’ll suffice very nicely.

6. I don't have much sympathy for people that leave expensive items in their car, and then subsequently it get broken into and the items stolen. I leave absolutely nothing in the car but the necessary documents and a pack of gum. Even a locked glove box or out-of-sight trunk isn’t comfortable enough for me to put anything of value whilst I’m away. For people that grew up in poor neighbors like I did, this is automatic: cars get broken into everyday in “the hood”. I suspect those that are cavalier with leaving their belongings in automobiles grew up in areas where they didn’t have to worry about such woes of society. Must be nice.

7. There was a sizable earthquake in the early morning hours a week back, and I slept through the brief entirety of it. This is not a good. Living in San Francisco, the BIG tremor is all but inevitability. I sincerely hope when it does arrive, it’s during the daytime, cause I’m going to be in a bad situation if it were to occur during slumber hours.

I don’t think it’s safe for me to live alone. I need someone more alert and aware than I to wake me to the danger.

8. Sesame Street has moved from PBS to HBO, so the first question should be: who’s going to get killed off?

9. If you’re the proverbial car-guy or petrol-head, the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has got to be on your list. What a spectacular event! It’s chocked full of vintage racing cars in a full-access paddock, allowing you to be as close to these wondrous machines as you’d ever imagined. And the noise; a cacophony of mechanical whine, chatter, and screams can be heard all day long. You’ll need earplugs, but you won’t want them because the sound is that intoxicating.

And to see these priceless cars (A 250 GTO worth $25 million, as an example) on a race track, with their respective owners giving them the full beans, is just about the epitome of car enthusiasm. I will be back, if not next year.

10. Extremely happy and excited that this year’s Playstation Experience will be held in my very own city of San Francisco. It was in Vegas the previous year, and I had planned a trip this year thinking it would be back at the same venue. The switch to Moscone West convention center saves me the hassle and money of traveling, which is just lovely. I’m most anticipating towards more news of the forthcoming Final Fantasy VII remake come the event in early December.