More on LL Day + MySpace (Amazing Social Network? or Time-Sucking Distraction?)

llama llama duck -YIKES!

If you click on this graphic, you will see a homemade video from Tim Hermanson celebrating LOUIE LOUIE Day. This is a featured video at Funny Entertainment – the Comedy Network, which is based at FunnyEnt.com. It’s nice to see some media coverage of this very special day, and we thank Tim for paying attention.

For the past week, I’ve been spending more time exploring the massive networking beast known as MySpace. For some of you, MySpace is old news. In fact, I’m such a late-comer to the MySpace network that even my 11 year old nephew had a MySpace profile months before I ever created one…. or at least he had a profile before his dad kicked him off the site for pretending to be 14 years old.

Last week was an interesting week for me to explore the MySpace community. I found old friends, favorite semi-obscure musicians, and discovered an amazing rock band from Tacoma with an unprintable name. In the course of about 2 weeks, I’ve linked up with over 90 people or groups that can be called “friends.”

One of the more interesting occurrences involved Mail Security, which I believe was the very first MySpace band to share an original version of LOUIE LOUIE on their MySpace page. I thought it was a Seattle band, but it turned out the band was actually originally from Saratoga, California, which is about 10 or so miles from my home. This band hadn’t played for many years, and they decided to perform last Friday night for a KSCU fundraiser at a video game arcade.

So, I was kind of excited. Out of all the millions or so bands in the world with MySpace page, the first band to do LOUIE LOUIE on MySpace was playing in my turf. I absolutely had to go see them! So here I was at the show, enjoying Mall Security for about 30 minutes, when all of the sudden, I get a phone call from someone I’ve been trying to reach for the past three days. I step outside the performance so I can take the call without the distractions of loud music, and answer the phone. It was a quick phone call, and in less than 2 minutes, I return back to seeing Mall Security. As luck would have it, the band was just finishing off the last 30 seconds of LOUE LOUIE. It figures that I would make the special trip, only to miss the song I came out specifically to hear!!! Of all my luck…..

Chet Helms film + The Tripper?  Huh?

On the night before, I attended a very special film presentation at the Santa Cruz Film Festival. My friend James MacLeod invited me to see his short film on Chet Helms, which played right before the Northern California premiere of “The Tripper,” a very bizarre horror-slasher-comedy directed by David Arquette, starring Paul Reubens. It was an odd contrast to see a short documentary on Chet, who was the epitome of a peace-loving utopian music promoter, followed by a violent slasher comedy that featured the former Pee Wee Herman playing an evil money-grubbing music promoter. Anyways, one of the things I found interesting about The Tripper* was the marketing campaign and website used by David Arquette to promote his independent film. MySpace seemed to be a major ingredient in the promotion of this film. I don’t think I’ve seen a film that embraced MySpace as well as The Tripper, which set their MySpace page as the official website.

MySpace is a very interesting use of what one may define as a “Web 2.0” website. Like YouTube, eBay, and CraigsList, it doesn’t just rely on the users to provide the content, but it creates a place where virtual communities can flourish.

When I started my first MySpace page, I was immediately bombarded by a flurry of porn stars, survey-takers, and get-rich-quick operators that wanted to be “my friend.” While I appreciate it when anyone expresses interest in my project(s), it didn’t take long before I was able to separate the scammers from the legitimate inquires. As I searched MySpace for various interests, MySpace reminded me of what it felt the first time I explored the internet- the wide world of possibilities had even more potential. It felt great to find old friends. What I found was that this new networking alliance became extremely addictive, and an absolute distraction to the work I was trying to do.

Despite the fact that I loved the massive community network, in my opinion the MySpace personal settings were some of the most awkward settings I’ve ever had to deal with. Certain commands that I would expect to be near other commands, are scattered in unlikely places. To me, MySpace seems like a contraption that was assembled as folks went along, like a car that added a trunk on the back of the car after the body work for the vehicle was already molded and fitted in place. Every command seems like an after-thought. I hated the fact that I couldn’t transform a regular account into a FILMMAKER account, so I created a new account, and killed the old one.

Figuring out the HTML structure of MySpace pages gave me a serious headache a few nights ago as I tried to help a friend that I hold responsible for bringing me into the MySpace universe. There’s a reason why my MySpace page uses a simple generic design. I want things that work, and I don’t want to waste my time trying to make a better-looking webpage at a network that I already spend way too much time looking at.

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* By the way, I really enjoyed watching “The Tripper.” It’s a cartoonish, ultra-violent horror movie that is definitely NOT for young children, or people easily offended by extreme images. It’s got an interesting political undertone that reminded me of John Carpenter‘s “They Live” science-fiction feature, but far more blatant with it’s message. Those that appreciate gory comedies about hippies, sleazy music promoters, and political extremists will find this bizarre little movie quite amusing. Definitely not a film for everyone….

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