Blogging A to Z: “O” is for “Oh my!”

American actor George Takei at the Star Trek C...

American actor George Takei at the Star Trek Convention UFP Con One in Hamm, Germany, 1996. Deutsch: Der US-amerikanische Schauspieler George Takei auf der Star Trek-Convention UFP Con One in Hamm, Deutschland, 1996. Français : L'acteur américain George Takei à la convention de Star Trek UFP Con One à Hamm, Allemagne, 1996. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you spend any time on Facebook, you or one of your friends have probably “shared” a posting from George Takei, aka Mr. Sulu from the sixties series, Star Trek. George’s catch phrase is “Oh my!”

If you follow him on Twitter, he will send you a thank you direct message with those very words in it…well, his computer will, I should say, since I suspect it’s an auto-generated follow and message. George has about 350,000 followers on Twitter…so far.

He’s become almost iconic on Facebook, posting captioned pictures and cartoons daily that he receives from fans. His choices are usually hilarious. Last I read, he had over 1.4 million Facebook fans!

I’m always amazed at those radio, television and motion picture stars who have the ability to transcend time, finding new ways to invent themselves. Who knew Mr. Sulu had such a fun and whimsical sense of humor? I for one am delighted.

This is what I call the William Shatner syndrome. Imagine how easy it might have been for William Shatner to have become forever linked with Star Trek. He didn’t. He starred in TJ Hooker and then became the Priceline dot com spokesperson, has appeared in countless spoofs of himself. I think his last role was playing the pop culture phenom father introduced by another Twitter icon–Justin Halpern whose “Shit My Dad Says” Twitter handle earned him millions of followers, a bestselling book and a television show. William Shatner has never taken himself too seriously and that makes him a win in my book. George Takei is doing the same only within cyber-media-land.

How did this happen?

Certainly their own marketing acumen has allowed these stars to resurrect themselves. Look at Betty White! Wow, she was on two popular television shows and might have quietly retired but did she? Hell no! She went on Saturday  Night Live and scandalized us with her innocent Mae West  persona with shades of  Sue Ann Niven from the Mary Tyler Moore Show and her darling references to “the” Twitter. The woman is in her nineties but you’d never know it. I saw her live when I went to a Tonight Show taping. What a cool lady!

Shows like Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars have allowed yesterday’s stars to cash in on the reality television show craze previously reserved for the non-famous. Does this mean the man on the street is back to being the man on the street? I think it may, because even the so-called average Joe’s are either actors or actor wannabes who are gambling that they can parlay their fifteen minutes of fame into celebrity-hood.

As long as I’m entertained, I really don’t care.  Oh my!

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Now, be sure to visit more A to Z Blog Challenge participants today! Here’s where you can find their names and link to their blogs. The topics are endless.

Flashmobs…Will They Come?

English: Flash mob/Pillow fights in Toronto, D...

Image via Wikipedia

I saw a commercial a while back that featured one lone fellow showing up for a flashmob in a busy train station.  I scratched my head and made a mental to-do to look up flashmob in Wikipedia or the Urban Dictionary, then forgot all about it.

Last night I watched Howie Mandel’s show Mobbed while on the telephone for NINETY FREAKIN’ MINUTES listening to some airlines ticketing trainee mutter as she hunted and pecked at her computer and talked to her supervisor every few minutes.  She sounded seventy at least.  Bless her heart, though, I couldn’t get mad at her, as aggravated as I was, so this post and the whole flashmob concept will most likely bear the brunt of that suppressed curmudgeonly energy.

Back to the topic.  What the hell is a flashmob?  And is it flash mob or flashmob?  Who thought up such a lemming-like concept?  Did they laugh the first time they conned the other kids into doing something stupid?  I would have.  Actually, in hind sight, I remember organizing one of these random events…in the seventh grade!

I tried to start a virtual flashmob on Twitter last night and, not surprisingly, no one joined in but a couple of Twitter BFF’s who rolled their eyes but at least attempted to humor me.  Not even the spammers chimed in. I tweeted that I’d started doing the Thriller dance…only no one else danced with me, people just zoomed on by…and tweeted about other things.  Le sigh.

So I got to thinking that publishing a book is kind of like organizing a flashmob. You hope people show up.  You hope people “get it”.  You hope you aren’t the only idiot doing a dance from the eighties like a Filipino prisoner.  You hope they buy your book, and others see them buying and think it looks fun so they also buy…and they wave over their passing friends and they buy…and so on and so on.

Because nobody wants to dance alone and either go unnoticed or be mocked for getting the steps wrong, having bad rhythm, or just plain looking like a dork.

On April 16, 2012, I’m having a flashmob.  I hope you’ll come and dance with me…and Gayle and Jon and maybe a couple of inept bad guys in suits, a vagabond Siamese cat and a very unusual car.  We’ll be the ones wearing orange prisoner jumpsuits.  🙂