The one where I joined PopMatters thanks to the Fuzzy Bunnies

One of the proudest moments of my life was when I was accepted in 2005 as a multimedia critic and game reviewer by US-based PopMatters, the online magazine of cultural criticism founded by Sarah Zupko.

I don’t really remember how I stumbled upon their site, but when I saw that then PopMatters Multimedia Editor Michael David Sims was looking for contributors, I decided to try my luck. He had asked applicants to email two sample works and the proposed first review, which would be published as your first article if you were accepted. I emailed my application to him and Sarah on July 29. And on Aug. 3, Mike emailed me to say, in part, “Joey, I love your witty, engaging style and would like to warmly welcome you to PopMatters.”

Continue reading “The one where I joined PopMatters thanks to the Fuzzy Bunnies”

Support content creators directly via Patreon

Image credit: Screenshot of Kirby Araullo Patreon page
Image credit: Screenshot of Kirby Araullo Patreon page

One of the promises of the internet from way back was disintermediation — the removal of the middleman.

That’s why I’m happy that Patreon lets me directly support content creators via a monthly membership. Because, honestly, you can get some of the best online content, including documentaries, from independent creators rather than mainstream media and big studios. So why not pay content creators directly instead of going through middlemen?

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We’ll always have Saigon

Dinner with my fellow tech journalists during our visit to Ho Chi Minh City in 1996.
Dinner with my fellow tech journalists during our visit to Ho Chi Minh City in 1996.

Vietnam has a special place in my heart as the first country I visited. I flew to Ho Chi Minh City, which many people still call Saigon, way back in 1996. And I was fortunate enough to visit Ho Chi Minh City again 20 years later.

I was then covering a Sun Microsystems Asia South symposium for Metropolitan Computer Times. This was during the days when Vietnam was just starting to open its doors to foreign visitors and investors, so needless to say we were all excited and just a bit anxious over the prospect of visiting this communist country.

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When Laura Branigan made us lose our self-control

Image credit: Laura Branigan official Facebook page

Back in the 80s, one of my favorite singers was the late Laura Branigan.

In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that I had a huge crush on her, and that I fell for her the first time I watched her “Self-Control” music video. You can just imagine how scandalous this video was back in 1984.

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How I created a webzine and ended up in El Nido

Image credit: Screenshot of The Babel Machine Zone on The Wayback Machine
Image credit: Screenshot of The Babel Machine Zone on The Wayback Machine

Way back in 1998, before blogging became mainstream, I launched a webzine called The Babel Machine Zone and ended up getting invited as a speaker at HP and Intel’s very first Synergy information technology (IT) symposium in El Nido, Palawan.

At the time, not a lot of people knew what a webzine was — not even my fellow tech journalists. I was just that guy who was always surfing what was then the Wild Wild Web, experimenting with all sorts of stuff, and keeping up with different digital trends. In 1998, I was freelancing (a.k.a. bumming around) after leaving my full-time job as a staff writer for the Philippines’ pioneering information technology newspaper, Metropolitan Computer Times, and its sister publication, PCWeek Philippines, which was licensed from Ziff Davis. I had a number of gigs after leaving PCWeek Philippines, including becoming the new editor-in-chief of 1969, a Philippine magazine about the internet, though sadly the issue I worked on never saw the light of day.

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When Captain Marvel and Superman were in the same band

Brie Larson as Envy Adams. Image credit: IMDb
Brie Larson as Envy Adams. Image credit: IMDb

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and my favorite character in this 2010 film is hands-down Envy Adams. This was my very first encounter with Brie Larson, before she won an Oscar for Best Actress, and before she became world-famous as Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And I simply fell in love with Envy.

I had no idea back then that she would one day become Captain Marvel. In fact, one of the things that amused me while watching “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is that Envy’s boyfriend and bandmate Todd Ingram was played by Brandon Routh. Who by then had already played Superman in the 2006 film “Superman Returns”. Meanwhile, another character in the movie, Hollywood actor and skateboarder Lucas Lee, was played by the Human Torch himself, Chris Evans, who had already played that character twice in Fox’s Fantastic Four movies in 2005 and 2007. Of course, he would later on play Captain America in 2011.

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Writing like it’s 1999

Image credit: Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash
Image credit: Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
Forgive me when it goes astray

A new blog from an old guy. Who’s writing like it’s 1999.

I know, this is my umpteenth time to try blogging again. And I figured this one should be a fresh start. I started a personal blog way back in 2004, and then had my first professional blog in 2006 when I became one of the pioneer tech bloggers of Singapore-based CNET Asia.

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