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We learned via Japan Trends that a Japanese news agency has reported on a boom trend among the country’s netizens in their twenties and thirties: online nomikai (drinking parties!!!).
Funny, we’ve always fancied DISGRASIAN as a kind of online drinking party (or are Jen and I the only ones sitting at our laptops, rantin’ to y’all, while sipping on scotch/rocks?).
For the Japanese, virtual mixers are an adaptation of a longstanding social norm that typically obliges people to booze formally (read: uncomfortably) with their coworkers at izakaya spots. In Hollywood we tend to call such burdensome fiestas “work drinks” (or Jen’s personal form of hell), and spend the time making fun of line producers that can’t stop flirting inappropriately with young production assistants.
More from Japan Trends:
“One way to get around this but still enjoy drinking in groups is to go online. Apparently net nomikai are gaining in popularity, according to reports by J-Cast and others. All you need is a web cam, Skype and a pair of headphones and mic. There is no boss, no seating arrangements — and even no geographical limitations! Obviously it’s a lot cheaper than boozing in an izakaya too, which might appeal to the recession-minded younger drinkers who can’t rely on company expenses.”
Booze? Budget-friendly socializing? No need for designated drivers? No regretful drunken co-worker boob gropes? Fun avatars? An open browser on the desktop so each user can intermittently check in on DISGRASIAN updates? Hell. It all sounds pretty good to us!
Frankly, we see little wrong with the concept of getting hammered with online friends every night… except… hrmm… Dr. Drew might eventually classify it is a form of drinking alone, a subtle sign of alcoholism. But no one else seems to be worried about that, so why should we?
Thanks, Dave and Jasmine!
Filed under: Alcoholism, Bizarre Trends, Budget Boozing, Dr. Drew, Drinking Parties, Formality, Great Ideas, Japan, Japan Trends, netizens, Nomikai, Online Drinking, The Recession, Weird Japanese Behavior
Meet Jialing Chen. He’s 62 years old and works on Wall Street. He’s not an investment banker, however; he’s Sad Panda (and SpongeBob SquarePants some days). The Guangzhou-native-turned-permanent-U.S.-resident–who lost his Chinese restaurant waiter job in 2007 because his mother died and, as the eldest son, had to return to China to make funeral arrangements–makes $30 on a good day as Sad Panda. His wife works 7 days a week as a private nurse so that they can afford health care. Nevertheless, at the end of this month, Chen will lose his health insurance.
(interview/video by Columbia J-School student Michelle Tay)
When people talk about the recession being over, think of Sad Panda (and the other 15 million unemployed Americans). When people drag their feet on health care reform, think of Sad Panda. Shoot, when you think your life sucks or your job blows, think of Sad Panda.
Filed under: Forgotten People, Health Care, Health Care Bill, Health Care Reform, Immigrants, Jialing Chen, Michelle Tay, Pandas, Sad Panda, The Recession, The Recession Over, The Working Poor, Unemployment
This has been a terrible week…for cocaine.
First, Daily Intel reports that NY coke dealers have been so hurt by the recession, they’ve resorted to cold-calling old clients and selling in parks. Then the AP reveals that our cocaine blows–1/3 of the coke seized in America is tainted with a potentially-lethal veterinary drug, possibly because of “economic pressures.” Is this any way to celebrate 25 years since the debut of Bright Lights, Big City?! What is this recession-ravaged world coming to?
One thing about cocaine, however, hasn’t changed. As Washington DEA spokesperson Paul Knierim put it:
“I think the message is the same: Don’t use cocaine, it’s a dangerous drug.”
stating the obvious clarity.
The NY Times has reported that Japan’s robots are now facing a devastating rise in unemployment, due to the economic slump of our current worldwide recession.
What does this mean for American robots? OH MY GOD, WHAT WILL ANN CURRY DO!?!? IS SHE GOING TO BE OKAY!?!???????????????????????? ANN! BABY! IF YOU’RE READING THIS, CALL ME AND I’LL START PUTTING MY FEELERS OUT FOR NEW GIGS. WE’LL FIND SOMETHING. EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT.
Thanks, Eliza and Pete!
Sprint recently unveiled a new ad campaign, “Why Throw Your Money Away?” that targets the recession-consumer. Take a look at this TV spot, featuring an Asian family:
Well, Sprint got one thing right. It’s totally conceivable that the white families would stop, stare, and be baffled by the one Asian family-in-the-neighborhood’s inscrutable ways (How come the dad never smiles? Why is he gardening in a sweater vest? Why does he sometimes garden in sandals? How come the mom never speaks and runs quickly inside the house when we say hello to her? Why is the daughter always doing chores and practicing the piano badly instead of having slumber parties? etc.).
But an Asian family throwing, or, in this case, blowing money away (and not at a gambling table)?! Never!
It’s difficult to really wrap your head around the reality of the recession when you live in Los Angeles. There are the warning signs–the NYT and CNN coverage is grim, the Thai restaurant you always ordered takeout from closes its doors, the Circuit City on Sunset is suddenly an empty lot. But while listening to the speculation from Washington unfold on the satellite radio in the car, you’re still getting cut off by a brand-new Audi R8 with dealer plates and an Obama/Biden bumper sticker. You’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic on thoroughfares like Robertson and 3rd Street and Melrose, where everybody seems to have time and pocket money for a two-cocktail lunch. Jesus, the end of the street is closed, not because we can’t afford to repair it, but because the fucking Oscars are about to go live–that sort of thing. Looking around LA, one does not see people formerly employed at the car manufacturing plant lining up for 40 available jobs, nor rows of housing foreclosures, nor empty food banks and emptier supermarkets. In this city, yes, the recession is happening. But this place must be so wrapped up in make-believe that it barely feels real.
Even though I loathe watching Oprah, I tuned in for a Lisa Ling’s special report yesterday. She traveled back to her hometown of Sacramento, to investigate a basically-illegal tent city where displaced citizens are trying to keep their lives afloat without jobs or homes.
It’s impossible not to hurt for the people featured in the piece, who were working, middle-class people until they lost their jobs and were forced out of their homes. But what I find most troubling about these very personal stories is the amount of shame each person seems to harbor in their situation–whether it be for dirt on their faces and fingernails, or in their reluctance to burden their children with the knowledge of their homelesness.
These troubled economic times should not be about shame, or about shouldering that shame alone. It’s everybody’s issue, everybody’s loss, everybody’s failure. And this recession is real. Very real.
Want to do something? Click here.
…And they’re bringing over bags of cash to buy up our property, according to the SF Chronicle.
A group of 40 Chinese real estate investors are currently en route from Beijing to California to shop for foreclosed and other “distressed” properties in the Golden State (it’s like “Gold Mountain” finally coming to fruition, 160 years later).
Soon to follow: The Backlash. Fear of a Yellow Planet, Yellow Peril, and Chinysteria, thinly veiling a deeper fear and anxiety about Our Collective American Dick shrinking.
Hunh. Do you think Lady Gaga watched our vlog?
Cuz somebody seems to suddenly be wearing… PANTS! SUCCESS!
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