You Can’t Go Home Again (You’ll Never Eat Kimchi In Seoul Again!)

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Let me being by saying not only am I sorry for making people upset by writing Somehow and using their names, I’m sorry in advance for adding insult to injury by giving it to Three Wise Monkeys to publish…again. I don’t regret doing it, but I am sorry if it only compounds the problems associated with Somehow.

Having said all that, let me make some observations.

No one has taken me up on my offer to give a personal apology via email, phone, or Skype. No one has told me what I lied about in Somehow. No one has taken me up on my offer to work with them to re-write Somehow to make it better.

No one. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

That silence means something. If what I wrote was so full of lies, I think someone would have taken it upon themselves to tell me what I lied about. And…yet…no one has. So, I think we can safely conclude that I did not lie. I told the truth to the best of my ability.

Now, let’s talk about something even more interesting — the ultimate fate of the story itself. I want to the story of Somehow to be turned into a movie. I have a little bit of delusional paranoia right now that Stephen King might be working on a novel or a screenplay that is loosely based on the events found in Somehow, but that’s just more something I worry about in the back of my mind because of some clues as to who is looking at Nori Magazine. I have no proof beyond a little bit of evidence that someone who lives in the same place he does, is looking at Nori Magazine. That’s all I got. I could mean nothing. Even if he is looking at Nori Magazine, it doesn’t mean he’s actually actively doing anything with the story of ROKon Magazine.

But the point of all this is — it is within the realm of possibility that now that the story of ROKon Magazine is out there, floating around, that someone, somewhere with some connection to Hollywood might take me up on my idea and actually do something with it. There is the chance, however small, that I am going to make everyone involved with the magazine that I mentioned in Somehow, well, famous. And if you’re famous you’re going to fucking get laid. So, shut up about how angry you are at me. Calm down and reflect on that fact — I just might make you famous. You just might have something cool happen to you because of the very thing you’re so upset about right now.

My Web stats show that traffic from South Korea has dwindled down to virtually nothing, so even expats in South Korea apparently don’t even care about Somehow anymore. Yes, they might get riled up again if Three Wise Monkeys publishes it to an even broader audience, but it seems as though I’ve pissed off people to the fullest extent possible and things are going to slowly die down now.

That’s my hope, at least.

All I want is the story of ROKon Magazine to be known by as many people as possible.

It’s a great story and I believe it’d make a great movie, given the opportunity.

Let’s Have A Pity Party And Reflect On When I Was Famous In Seoul, 2006-2008

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I may be “famous” in Seoul again.

I don’t know. All I know is what my Web stats tell me and there continues to be a trickle of people to both Nori Magazine and Migukin’s Blog looking for information about Somehow. But it’s not nearly as much as it used to be. That might change whenever Three Wise Monkeys does something with Somehow, but for the time being things seem to be dying down.

But the renewed fame and attention has me thinking about what happened the last time I was “famous” in Seoul. The height of my fame in Seoul was probably late 2007, early 2008. I was probably one of the best known expats in the expat “scene” in Seoul and it pretty much tore me apart inside. I had an “image” that I had to manage and people projected things on to me that simply were not true.

I had to be ultra-careful what I said to be people because people listened really carefully to what I said and it could come back to haunt me.

All of this is even more tragic, even more poignant now that I am in a situation where everyone around me doesn’t like me and I couldn’t get someone to open a paper bag for me if I asked. And, I have to remind you, gentle reader, that my “fame” was due in large part to one person believing in me — Annie Shapiro. Back then I had power because she gave it to me. I went a little crazy with it because I didn’t know how to use it properly. Now, I would do everything totally different. I would be much more responsible and I wouldn’t let the stress of running the magazine get to me. I would put things in perspective. I wouldn’t allow it to take over my life like I did. That was just horrible.

One of the few times I ever got Annie Shapiro to flinch was when I told her I regretted ever starting the magazine in the first place. It was so rare for her to do that, I kept saying it until she stopped flinching. I continue to debate internally if the magazine was worth it. If I ever got a job because of the magazine, then I would have to say that it was. But, for the time being, it’s something of a wash. I got a lot of experience because of the magazine, but I have no where to use it.

Anyway.

There were upsides to being famous in Seoul. I experienced, at least in a very small way, what it’s like to be a Hollywood movie star. I learned what not to do. But it was kind of cool being the talk of the town and everyone knowing what I was up to. There was a dark side to it that caused bad things to happen to me, but it was cool in some respects.

I continue to think about going to Cambodia at some point in the future. Maybe I’ll get a second chance in Cambodia to do it right. That’s my hope, at least. And, yet, the conditions in Seoul that led me to be famous were so specific to it at that particular time that I don’t know if I could replicate it in Cambodia, even if I tired. And, really, that’s what is most bittersweet about the whole experience. I blew it. I totally blew a really cool opportunity to have some fun.

If hadn’t been drinking so much, if I had had a better frame of mind, I could have made some life-long friends. As it is, I have just made a lot of people angry that I didn’t need to. But I have closure, at last. I just haven’t found anything to fill up my time yet. Once I get a new job and finally get some direction in my life, then I will probably be a lot happier.

I just have to admit to myself that nothing is going to swoop in and save my sorry ass. Things are going to get really bad in the short-to-middle term. That’s just something I’m going to have to accept.

My Own Personal ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

My current paranoid delusion is that Stephen King is reading either Nori Magazine or Migukin’s Blog and he’s interesting in doing a novel or a screenplay about what happened with ROKon Magazine. I only say that because someone who lives in two places that cite Stephen King as a “notable resident,” De Pere, Wisconsin and Venice, Florida has looked at Nori Magazine. And, since I have a fevered, over-active imagination, I automatically assume it’s Stephen King.

If it is, in fact, him, I wish there was some way I could sit down with him and tell him about the magic, the mystery that is Annie Shapiro. She takes the grand prize for being the single most interesting person I’ve ever met. Besides her, in the top five — in no particular order would be Venus, Tahl, Chen Lie, Ripley & Amber Roo. Those folks are astonishingly interesting and I feel as though only if I just did a data dump in person could I give the nuance needed to explain how interesting they really are.

But back to Annie.

My relationship with her is over for good. I know that. I know I’d really hurt her by writing Somehow and I will never, ever, ever hear from her again. I’ve told her I’m sorry as best I can.

Having said all that, the only person I can compare Annie to is Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She really is that unique. She really is someone who if you were to hang out with her for any amount of time, you would want to soak her up, trying to figure out what makes her tick. I have written a great deal in the past about why I think Shailene Woodley would be perfect to play Annie in a movie. Much of that writing is on this site and you’re free to look at it. I did a lot of videos, too, but I deleted them because I was afraid people would use the to prove how obsessive and weird I am.

I write about 30,000 words about Annie and I could probably write 30,000 more. The failed novel I attempted to write about her was around 63,000 words and that didn’t do her justice. If you want to read it, here it is in Word form:

TheBattleofTheOldFreeStatev1.5

I can’t even really begin to explain what makes Annie so unique. She’s something of a legend in my mind now. Ideally, if someone was actually interested in making a movie about what happened with the magazine, they would track down me and the rest of the people involved and do thorough interviews. The story really is that good. It really is so unique, so different and so original that I feel it is demanding to be told. So, I’m willing to take the continued heat caused by me appearing to be obsessed with Annie, when, in fact, I’m obsessed with just having the story of the magazine told in general.

There is a richness to what happened to me and Annie because of the magazine that I feel a mass audience would really enjoy on any number of levels. It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work, in other words. While the expat community in Seoul thinks I’m a crazed, obsessive fool only to be laughed at, I know in my heart that an objective third party in Hollywood would see this story as something that deserves to be told on the silver screen.

My relationship with Annie back in the day was pretty wild. It started off as something like what was found in Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep and ended up dark like something found in Boogie Nights. It was my own person Vietnam. I kept trying to her Annie as much as possible, hoping she would finally talk to me and we could address the issues between us, but she never did. She never did what I expected she would do. I just ended up hurting her a lot for no damn reason, and for that I’m sorry. Zine Magazine, in particular, was probably the cruelest, most nasty thing I’ve ever done to anyone on a regular basis.

Anyway, on an emotional level, I don’t care about Annie anymore. On a mental level, I’m in love with the story that happened between us. The story is so bonkers, so complex and works on so many different levels that if you’re willing to see it as I see it, the old ROKon Magazine magic will pop out again. Because, there really was a magic to the magazine. Because being an expat in Seoul can be so isolating, people really cared about the magazine in a way that they wouldn’t have back home. The magazine turned into something of a club run like a cult, with me Annie providing the people skills to get people to actually, like, listen to me and stuff.

I still want this damn story told in some way. Here’s what I’ve managed to do so far.

TheBattleofTheOldFreeStateTreatment
ROKonMagazineMovieSinglePageSynopsis
TheBattleofTheOldFreeStateExtendedOutline
TheBattleofTheOldFreeStateScreenplay

I just wish someone would listen to me. Something really special would happen if they did.

Idle Summer Speculation — Rich White People On Vacation, Redux

I look at my Web stats, even though they are really sad now, and I notice things. Like, the fact that I get a weird number of hits from places you wouldn’t really associate with anything I have to say.

Take a look at what I’m talking about.

Country Views
United States 82
Korea, Republic of 9
United Kingdom 6
Canada 5
Sweden 4
Japan 3
Grenada 3
Australia 2
New Zealand 1
Mexico 1
Switzerland 1
Singapore 1
Thailand 1

So, why would someone from Grenada look at this site? And Mexico? And Switzerland? Huh? I can’t imagine I could possibly write anything that anyone from there would care about. I have a very, very active imagination, so I get into my head that maybe they’re media or entertainment professionals on vacation. They’re interested in the Daquan Meme as a media story like me. And…then…this happens.

This happened over at Nori Magazine.

Page Views:
1
Entry Page Time:
1 Aug 2014 16:14:12
Browser/OS:
UC Browser 3.6/Series 40
Mobile Device:
Nokia Asha 302
Resolution:
800×600
Jamaica Flag
Total Visits:
1
Location:
Kingston, Saint Andrew, Jamaica
IP Address:
Digicel (66.54.118.116) [Label IP Address]
Search Referral:
http://www.google.com — daquan meme

So, given that this person is pretty much using a low-income mobile device, they’re obviously not a wealthy white person on vacation. They’re just some average person in Jamaica interested in the meme. So, maybe it’s just the that the Daquan Meme is popular in Caribbean and that’s what’s going on.

Anyway. I’m just having fun. It’s fun to speculate on such things.

Web Stats — After The Thrill Is Gone

Home page / Archives 19
Who Is Daquan And Why Is He Relevant? 16
What Do The “Daquan” Jokes Mean? 7
What’s The Story With The Daquan Jokes? 6
What Is The Daquan Thing People Say On Facebook? 4
An Example Of Why I Need A ‘Plot Person’ — The Starpeople Scenario 4
Summer Of Daquan: Why Miley Cyrus Is Crucial To This Meme’s Success 4
How The Daquan Meme Can Change The World 4
Why Is Everyone Talking About Daquan? 2
FOX News, The New York Post, Obama & The Daquan Meme 2

Well, it doesn’t look like anything interesting is going to happen with my Web stats from now on. It doesn’t look like I’m going to break 200 visitors today. It was fun while it lasted. Now, I really have no excuse not to look for a new job. If I don’t look for a job soon, I’m going to wake up and it’s going to be ANOTHER year since I was last in South Korea and a won’t have done anything but written a lot of blog posts and studied my Web stats.

Here’s Nori Magazine’s stats so far. I don’t understand them. A lot of people are looking at the homepage, it seems. At least, in relative terms.

Home page / Archives 33
Somehow: A Memoir 7
Writer 3
Yeah, I Could See The New York Post Doing Something With The Daquan Meme 2
Who Is Daquan And Why Is He Relevant? 2
Liveblogging #Ukraine, #Crimea & #Russia For April 2nd, 2014 2
How Being An Extra On ‘Lincoln’ Changed My Movie Experience 2
Who Is Daquan? 2
Why Do People Think Ariana Grande Is A Thot? 1
August & The Daquan Meme — No One Listens To Me, But Maybe They Should 1

Anyway. It’s August now and things are dull, dull, dull.

Is ‘My Dinner With Andre’ The Best Movie Ever?

I often say 2001: A Space Odyssey is my favorite movie.

The only movie equal to it, in my view, is probably My Dinner With Andre. I really like Annie Hall and Manhattan, but when it comes to a movie that I can watch over and over and over and over and over and over and see something new each time, My Dinner With Andre is probably it. I can do that with The Big Chill, but that’s more of a movie than a film.

But anyway, I love My Dinner With Andre because it’s really deep and yet entertaining. It’s really just two people taking about really interesting things. That’s it. Just two people talking. And you really come to like what they have to say. And when it comes to predicting the future, I think only Network does a better job.

Anyway, I highly recommend the movie.

If you want a movie that’ll make you think and leave the mulling your place in the universe after you watch it, then My Dinner With Andre is for you.

The Swimming To Cambodia Project

It is going to take me years to do it, but I’m going to try at least, I think to work my way towards going to Cambodia for a few months to teach. Things have gotten so bad, at last, that I need some direction in my life.

I know things are going to be horrible in the short term, and that nothing is going to swoop in and save me. I know things have gotten so dire for me that my life is pretty much going to be shit.

But I need hope.

I really need some hope.

And I need some direction. I need some sense that I will be able to, at least for a few months, act like an adult again. But it’s going to take me so long to get to the point where I can go to Cambodia that it’ll almost be like swimming there.

And, of course, I’m a little bit paranoid that someone will lurk in the shadows there to beat the shit out of me once I get there.

But anyway. You can’t live your life in fear all the time. You have to work on the assumption you’ll be safe. It’s going to be a long, long, long, long, long time before I get there, regardless. I’ll be in my mid-40s by the time I get there, probably. And that’s just sad.