Right now the only social media account that I have under my actual name is one of my two TikTok accounts. I have one for Luther, but I haven’t posted any videos. I am, however, posting videos under my teacher account, which until about 22 hours ago had about 40 followers. The account was giving me a mild reason to celebrate, though, because I’d just had my first video that scored over 2000 views before fizzling out.
And then I found a video of an Asian woman (her race is relevant) getting a tattoo and noticed that one of her tattoos, oddly, was the word “pizza,” spelled phonetically in Hebrew. (It may be a cognate; I’m not sure.) As the account posting the video was all in (I think) Chinese, and pizza is, as far as I know, not a hugely common food in Southeast Asia, nor are Jews, I made the not-foolproof-but-still-defensible-I-think suggestion that maybe people shouldn’t be tattooed in languages they can’t read and posted a short video saying such.
It’s now at 1.1 million views and counting, with over 60,000 Likes, and I’ve gained over 300 followers since it went up. There is also what appears to be a lively argument in Hebrew and Arabic going on in comments, and I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, although Palestine may be involved.
I now have a viral Tweet under my belt with over six million views, a viral TikTok, and a couple of viral blog posts, although the biggest viral blog post only had a comparatively-paltry 110,000 views. I think it is fair to suggest that I may be the king of all social media. Now I just need to find a way for it to make me some money. 🙂
You may not know this about me: my first semester in college, I was enrolled in an Arabic class. I took Arabic out of pure intellectual curiosity, nothing more; at the time it wasn’t really part of any long-term plan of study or anything like that, it was just as far away as I could get from the languages I’d been offered in high school and it sounded neat. I lasted about three weeks, maybe; it turns out that despite being an excellent student, high school had not taught me to study, and as it happens mastering the Arabic alphabet, which not only has a handful of letters with no English equivalent but where each letter looks different depending on its position in the word– letters that start or end a word look different from letters in the middle, and the primary and final positions look different from each other as well– was more complicated than I could handle at the time. I would eventually fill my language requirement with Hebrew, which isn’t quite as complicated as Arabic, but that was the class that finally taught me to buckle down and study.
I have two big academic failures in my life: Arabic and calculus, and I still want to achieve at least a working knowledge of both before I die. I took calculus my senior year in high school but a bad case of senior burnout combined with a math teacher who was, inexplicably, one of the best math teachers I’d ever had for sophomore Geometry but was utterly unable to reach me for senior Calculus meant that as soon as I was admitted to IU and fulfilled all of my graduation requirements I dropped the class and took an independent study period of Spanish.
Stick a pin in that; we’re gonna take a left turn for a couple of paragraphs.
I’ve never particularly considered myself a weeb– a lifetime of aversion to any sort of Japanese animation not involving Hiyao Miyazaki will kind of nip that in the bud– and while it’s not entirely accurate it’s fair to suggest that the presence of a Japanese voice track on really any form of entertainment is an indicator that I may not be into it. That said, I’ve spent approximately six thousand hours since March playing Nioh and Nioh 2, both Japanese-with-English-subtitles and very loosely based on sixteenth-century Japanese history, and I have sunk a similarly obsessive amount of time into Ghost of Tsushima in the last couple of weeks, which is based on the (real) invasion of Tsushima island by the Mongols in 1274.
And god help me if this hasn’t woken up a previously-nonexistent desire to learn more about Japan.
I keep trying to find a decent English biography of Oda Nobunaga, who appears in both of the Nioh games, and I’m discovering, after spending half of my waking hours listening to people speaking Japanese for five months, a certain interest in learning to at least fumble my way through speaking Japanese. I’m not even sure where to start with that; there are apps and such, but anything reputable is way more money than I’m willing to invest. There are probably some reputable textbooks out there, but I haven’t taken the time to look for them yet.
Which, depending on whether this desire sticks around once I get past these few games, will add another complicated long-term intellectual goal to my list. I feel like I probably ought to get started on at least one of these at some point, right? Which one would you start with, at gunpoint if necessary? 🙂
My stress level has been through the roof lately, to the point where putting more than two or three words together even on here requires a lot more psyching myself up than it ever used to. And when I say “ever,” I mean dating back to my first blog, so we’re going back like fifteen or sixteen years here.
The one thing that has been keeping me sane the last few days has, no shit, been woodworking videos. They are astonishingly calming. I can’t get enough of them, and I’m going to have to be careful to not accidentally buy a lathe before school starts: