Ever wonder who is behind those hilarious cat memes? On the new TV series “LOLwork”, Bravo goes inside the Seattle office for ICanHasCheezburger.com, one of the largest humor publishers on the Internet. The 30-minute doc-com goes inside the world of Ben Huh and his eccentric staff as they attempt to make the world laugh five minutes a day by putting nimble yet grammatically incorrect captions on cute photos of domesticated pets and animals. The series begin as the staff at Cheezburger competes to create a new comedic web series for the site. It is winner-take-all as good judgment and occasional good taste go out the window on the quest to be the best in kitty humor.
Ben Huh runs ICanHasCheezburger.com, a weblog featuring lolcats (pictures of mostly cats and other animals with humorous captions, videos and user-generated memes). Ben was born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Hong Kong, China and Sacramento, CA. He graduated from Northwestern University and founded a web analytics company before putting together an investor group to buy Cheezburger in 2007. He currently serves as CEO and runs day-to-day operations of Cheezburger, one of the largest humor publishers on the Internet, which encompasses more than 50 sites, including FAIL Blog, Memebase, and The Daily What. Combined, the sites receive over 375 million page views a month. In 2011, Ben received the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He resides in Seattle with his wife Emily, and dog Nemo. If he could have any super power, it would be the ability to turn water into espresso. Ironically, he’s allergic to cats.
Emily Huh is much more than Ben Huh’s wife. She’s Editor in Chief of ICanHasCheezburger.com — the boss of the creative team, and the closest thing the staff has to a company mom. Emily grew up in Colorado Springs, CO, and Los Gatos, CA. She graduated from UCLA and was Assistant Director of an educational center prior to working at Cheezburger. In 2011, Emily and Ben were recognized as Newsmakers of the Year by GeekWire. The candy-loving editorial chief’s dream come true would be to sit with Audrey Hepburn at a cafe in Belgium, discussing life, fashion, and world events over a bowl of fries and macarons.
Janet Yang, President of Janet Yang Productions discusses the evolution of China’s film industry. In 1986, Janet Yang landed in Shanghai as the top China advisor to Steven Spielberg during the filming of Empire of the Sun, a drama about an English boy who goes from living in a wealthy British family in Shanghai to becoming a prisoner of war during World War II. At that time, moviemaking in China was tightly regulated and the Chinese government controlled everything from approving the script to handling visa requests. Much has changed in China, and today films are being co-produced there by American studios that have enlisted Chinese partners.
Against that backdrop, Yang, president of Janet Yang Productions, continues to be a cultural ambassador who seeks to use movies to bridge understanding between China and the United States. Her film and TV credits include The Joy Luck Club, a movie that follows four Chinese-American women who live in California and gather weekly to play mahjong and share their life stories. In 2009, she worked with Disney Studios to make a Chinese version of its coveted franchise, High School Musical, for Chinese audiences. Most recently, Yang produced the film Shanghai Calling, which bills itself as “a romantic comedy about modern-day American immigrants in an unfamiliar land.”
We’ve constantly been seeing this commercial on how to awesome your office reputation. A seemingly out of place male nurse doesn’t quite connect with his fellow coworkers. However, when he gets home, he catches up on the latest TV episodes of Glee and learns some of the dance moves. When he gets back to work, he shows off his moves to his new-found friends at work. It’s a fun commercial about connecting through entertainment.
Asian-Americans are now the country’s best-educated, highest-earning and fastest-growing racial group. With that the Wall Street Journal wrote an article entitled “Rise of the Tiger Nation,” which attempts to parallel the success of Asian Americans with American Jews. They share both the distinction and the occasional burden of immigrant success. You can read the full article here. Author Lee Siegel uses examples like NBA’s Jeremy Lin to Survivor’s Yul Kwon to illustrate the visibility of Asian Americans. The piece offer several distinctions that helps and hurt opportunities for Asian Americans including the Chinese Exclusion Act, internment camps, and religion. From the article, “Asian-Americans have followed the opposite trajectory from Jewish-Americans. Toxic racism and then prohibitions against immigration prevented them from rising in American society for nearly a century. And then they did so with unique alacrity. Jewish immigrants, whether in the 19th century, in the 1930s as refugees from Hitler or in the 1980s as refugees from the Soviet Union, came here for the most part without a penny to their name. Today, Asian-Americans arrive in America more highly educated, and more prosperous, than any other immigrant group.” The article is an interesting read, but the parallelism aren’t quite on point. Like missing the wave of Chinese Cultural Revolution, where immigrants came over leaving everything behind in China. The author does conclude on in interesting note. “Yet the astounding success of Asian-Americans raises the dark question of how long they will be able to resist attracting the furies of fear and envy, especially during times of economic stress, or of economic and political conflict with countries like China, where the preponderance of Asian-Americans still come from. If China does one day become an explicit antagonist, it seems likely that the anxiety among Chinese-Americans will be even more intense than that of American Jews every time the allegiances of the American-Jewish lobby are questioned.”
What do you think of the article?
Also read Jeff Yang’s counterpoint Easy Tiger (Nation) here. He presents a better discussion about Asians in America.
Rise of the Tiger Nation (WSJ’s Stu Woo talks to author Lee Siegel.)
Check out this commercial out of Japan that converts a BMX bike into a DJ turntable system. With a mixer mounted on the bike, riders take turns making their own music. From ramps to trick stunts, this crew knows how to have fun. Watch this fusion of “DJ” and “BMX” cultures.
Teen pop sensation Jasmine Villegas will be getting more visibility this summer. In addition to her music, she’ll be the new face of tokidoki. You’ll see her pitching the new limioted edition MetroPCS Sanctioned by tokidoki phone, which includes:
Two interchangeable backs designed with bold tokidoki iconic designs
tokidoki SNAP! application
17 static and live wallpapers featuring tokidoki designs
5 original tokidoki ringtones
tokidoki phone charm
Android 2.2 – Froyo
Check out the video below and get a taste of what’s coming this Summer! tokidoki’s larger-than-life characters and designs comes to life on your mobile device. Collectors around the world will be jumping on this ultimate collaboration.