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July 05, 2008

San Diego, California
Spoofs and Lectures

Spent most of this week in San Diego with Melissa's family, trying not to read emails all day.

I commit a few hours to it at night, and I am steadily working my way through a hundred or so at a time in the hopes of catching up to the present within a couple weeks.

We had drinks on the rooftop deck of Mister A's tonight and debated whether or not communications technology is enhancing human interaction or destroying it.

This is as far as I can get: I believe humans are happiest in small, tightly knit communities where we have frequent daily contact with a group of a hundred or less. And yet here we are living in a time when the whole planet is hopelessly intertwined -- when a purchase at Starbuck's affects someone in Kenya or Jamaica or Papua New Guinea. Our lives did not used to connect, but now they do, and we can't go back. All we can do is try to make that connection into a positive thing.

...but it's driving us bonkers. It's making us lonely and depressed and overwhelmed. I don't think our pea brains are designed to comprehend such a vast world.

Basically, I think we need to evolve into beings that can cope with the idea of global community instead of constantly trying to block it out. And we need to do it fast before we kill each other.

I used to think all bed and breakfasts were run by little old ladies. I now realize the little old ladies have died out and sold their businesses to gay couples.

The airport in San Diego is oriented in such a way that the planes descend right through the middle of the city. There are certain street corners where you can almost throw rocks at them as they come down. It is a combination of incredibly annoying and unbelievably spectacular.

During the fireworks yesterday, we stood on the roof of an apartment building and watched commercial jets descend into the mayhem. It had a real sense of urgency, as if the city was being evacuated under fire.

I found everything one needs in life a block from where we're staying.


That looks to me like an ideal set-up.

Melissa's sister, Summer, runs a company called Brew Hop with her boyfriend. They do brewery tours for drunk people, carting them around from place to place in a fancy vehicle and corraling their nonsense. They took us on a tour of Stone Brewing Company even though we weren't drunk. I learned what hops looks like.

If you book a tour with her, I'm sure she will dance for you.

We visited Melissa's grandmother in Hemet and took her out to lunch to celebrate her 153rd birthday. Red Lobster. For the seafood lover in you. We showed her the video. She seemed to dig it, although it's possible she was just pretending.


They've stopped measuring temperature in Hemet. No one can go outside long enough to read the thermometers. Pedestrians spontaneously catch fire.

This video finally materialized online, though it seems to start autmoatically on every page load, which is less than desirable.

It's a panel I spoke on at ROFLCon back in April. It's me and the Tron Guy talking about our experiences in "surviving internet fame."

I really like Jay. He is a very sweet and decent and smart guy. He's also hilarious -- tron suit aside. It was an honor to be in his presence.

Some spoofs have started cropping up.

I think that one is clever, though it's a little unnerving that some people actually think it's me.

This one I am less fond of.

I showed it to Melissa (around the time a dozen of her co-workers were passing it to her as well) and she laughed the whole way through, which was a relief.

I know I need to have a sense of humor about it, and I do, but I'm not entirely comfortable dragging her -- or even the idea of her -- into this arena without her willingness. And I'd certainly prefer to have it done in a way that is respectful of her contribution. To my knowledge, her role as producer involved minimal cuckoldry.

Also, I don't think the concept is terribly funny. But I know I sound like a total weenie when I say that.

Anyway, the spoof thing is a new wrinkle. That's not something that really happened with the past videos. There were lots of tributes and imitations, but nothing I can recall that was deliberately satirical.

It's flattering.


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Spoofs and Lectures


you must dance in the angel's waterfall, in amazonas state, is the most large waterfall in the world, and is here in venezuela,try please, we called "el salto angel"

Ha Ha...love the new spoofs. Especially the first one. Classic.

Big Picture Matt -
I am certain the father of Matt's girlfriend would be proud of you both. You are obviously a concerned and respectful friend.
The father of Sam's girlfriend - him featureing her in a soft porn video on the internet?...I'd incredibly pissed at them both!

Ah, the sincerest form of flattery...the world loves you Matt. I personally thought that it was really cool that you were able to have the company of your gf on your travels last year. I go solo and it can get a little lonely sometimes. P.S. I think you're quite wise.

I didn't find that spoof particularly funny either. At least Mellisa wasn't terribly offended.

We watched fireworks in Vancouver, Washington, overlooking the Columbia River and Portland International Airport. It really is strange watching enormous airplanes appear to fly "through" fireworks. Two years ago we were in Ottawa for Canada Day - national fireworks are very impressive. Three days later we were in Albany, New York, for our Independence Day and it was the biggest fireworks show I'd ever seen. But somehow this year's show in Vancouver was uniquely special. It wasn't as big, or grand, but being able to look out across the widening Columbia River and see fireworks constantly across several hours, with a huge professional show in the middle, was pretty awe inspiring.

I find it strange that during our 'war on terror' we, as civilians, are buying massive quantities of gun powder for entertainment purposes. Sure the point of the 'war' is so that we can maintain our freedom to purchase those explosives. But I think it's kind of odd, to say the least.

No matter if people rip off your idea or consider them tributes...you were the first and original that all others will be measured up to. I've loved the video and watched it more times that I care to admit. :)


I think both of those are great spoofs but you have to have very thick skin when you have a public persona.

I bet every one of the people that worked on these spoofs REALLY loves your video, Matt. I do think these represent a sincere form of flattery.

Yeah, don't worry. Be proud that your dance and spirit are inimitable, and that Melissa knows what a treasure she has. (And likewise, you have in her.)

Luvit's right: you'll have more peace of mind if you recognize that it is a sincere form of flattery. Who couldn't LOVE your video?

Love from sunny Soquel, on the central coast of California. Come up here and dance on a farm with a view of the Pacific Ocean.

I would call that true love Matt, sticking up for her is an honorable thing. The spoof is kinda funny but I know better as Melissa was with you much of the time. Be like Nike....marry her....just do it!


Sorry they are spoofing your ideas but keep in mind that they are jealous of your creativity and they know that they cannot equal what you have created. As for your girlfriend, it seems that she is bigger than those A**holes and the fact she can laugh about it is great! We love your site!

CBREW from Seattle

Clicked on the yahoomail envelope icon in my system tray the other day and found myself not in yahoomail but in a place I'd never been, the msn video page. ??? Went to X out and noticed your video, clicked on it, and now ... have incorporated the video into my life or my life into it. Have sent it to everyone I know. Everyone. Watch it several times daily, always smiling, often smiling through tears. Thank you, marvelous man and melissa.

Love, Grace

I've thought a lot about the "it's a small world" concept actually. I think you're right about people being happier in smaller groups, generally, but that's normally what breeds all the conflict in the first place. People take town/regional/national pride too seriously after so long in isolation. It gives each area it's unique identity, sure, but then we get in the bad habit of thinking our ways are better than anyone else's, thus jealousy, hatred, violence, etc. erupt and wars are started over the stupidest trifles.

I for one am glad that the internet lets us put perspective on things and realize we are not so very different after all. We all dance very badly anyway, your latest video proves that. Loss of culture notwithstanding I actually hope the world goes to one language one day, be that English, Spanish, Mandarin or whatever. What will there be left to fight about if we can talk things out and truely understand each other?

The first spoof video is not showing on firefox 3 browser. Don't know why. But it seems to play ok on Internet Explorer.

Haven't seen that one before, only the girlfriend's one. I must confess I did find it funny at first but then when I put myself in your place it's somewhat disturbing. Anyway, It's good to see that you and Melissa know how to deal with that kind of thing. Consequences of being a celebrity.
Fortune and glory, kid.
Every superhero finds his own super villain with opposing superpowers (fame). You just need the responsability to use it. Like spiderman, right?

Some people actually went famous because of spoofs... remember the star wars kid? I heard he had some problems dealing with that. :)

by the way, great point you have there about human interaction and communities. We're definitely into some evolutionary adaptation process right now. And unfortunately, some people will keep fighting against it, against the change.

For those of you on Firefox who can't see that first spoof, it's here:

That one is kindof funny.

The second one...I agree, it's not that funny. The idea's okay, but it's really badly executed so the joke doesn't work.

I really like the relationship you and Melissa have. I read on some internet site that the two of you broke up. I wasn't aware that was the case and it sounds like it's not the case. (glad to hear it) As far as the second video, I find it in extremely bad taste. I'm glad Melissa can see the humor in it anyway. I laugh like crazy at South Park and that's in poor taste too, so I don't have much room to talk.

Really great stuff!

Matt .. HEMET? Sheez .. I think everyone's Grandma lives there. Which seems outrageous with the heat they have to deal with yikes! You are a brave soul to go there. Oddly enough they get smallish tornadoes there too! Glad you and Melissa made it out of there, come back home to some nice 70 degree weather soon!

uhhh .. and i just watched the spoof video. That sucked ...

I think the world of Melissa for being so supportive and probably the coolest girlfriend ever, for her encouragement etc! She was great to meet when we danced with you!

hej matt,
you do not sound like a weenie by saying that the video isn't terrible funny, as this is simple the truth. It's a pitty, that the producers couldn't think of something more clever ...
Anyhow, thanks for dancing once more around the world, especially the nasa-aircraft-dance was amazing :) thumbs up!

why did my hemet post under hyde rock? that's weird and ... well creepy

hey matt - the first time i saw i thought the video at the bottom wasn't funny at all. actually, i conciouslly tried to forget it.

the funny or die one was slightly less unfunny, but still not really funny. i mean, c'mon, who hadn't thought of that one before?

when i saw the bottom one, i was like, 'why would you want to drag his girl into it?' plus, from your blog, i know that melissa was lucky enough to accompany you to a lot of places. what girl wouldn't love that? anyways, i found it kind of... uncreative and low class, really.

the 4th of July fireworks at Gasworks park were AWESOME! hope you had a great time in San Diego.

John from Seattle

Matt...just STUMBLED across your video and I'm sure glad I did. After reading the comments, it's great to find out that I was not the only one with tears in my eyes. I am 60 years old (a product of the 60's/70's) and got much joy out of seeing the wonderful dancing in the video. I was never a hippie but loved the love part. Nice to see that for the most part, deep inside we are all looking for the same things, love, laughter and the company of our fellow humans. Keep up the joyful noise!

Oh, man. How can I NOT love a guy who not only dances badly, but knows how to use the word "cuckoldry" correctly in a sentence?

You rock, dude!

Hey Matt!

Congratulations to your own personal skype icon!!! ;-)


I think the videos are OK and everyone should feel free to make fun of whatever they like. A lot of people love you and I really don't think whoever made those did it to hurt anyone or to be mean. My opinion about both of them is that if anyone thought such things would ever happen, they would never have made videos about them. It's still an honorable thing that you step up to defend your girlfriend but, really, take it easy. People still love you both, it seems ;)

Hi Matt,
Love reading and watching your adventures. We,too, enjoy nice things (at a discount), traveling and as a result have started my website, slightlynorthofworth. I have put your website link on my site and wondered if you could do the same for me? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Best Regards,

Video of Melissa with all the punks was in bad taste! Shame on you and her.

I knew a guy who lived in a cool little studio apartment in San Diego, by the airport. I always thought it was funny that his neighbor was always complaining about him making noise while walking up the stairs to his apartment and opening and closing the door. However, she was not bothered by the airplanes whooshing by their windows while descending onto the airport.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the spoof where you said "it's a little unnerving that some people actually think it's me."


Because I'm pretty sure that you know how to spell "livelihood"

Ant, a new fan

I watch your video everyday and I must say that you bring such joy. I love dancing and your jig is so wonderful. If you are ever in Victoria, BC I hope I will know where and when. I would love to dance the jig too.
Your travels, the people you dance with show the rest of us a unique to connect with the human race and it is so true that dancing, music and songs are universal languages and understood by all; smiling is the other language of the soul.
Another person told me that he smiled the whole way through and kept smiling after as well; me too.
Well done, thank you for enriching the world with your great karma, the happiness and moments of peach you have added to this world of ours.

If I were the girlfriend, I would not like the derogatory, lude and slanderous insinuation from the last collegehumor video.

You have a wonderful inspirational video that exposes the better side of humanity. Shame on those that cannot spoof to "flatter you" with a positive message, as well.

Keep dancing -- I've started choosing Stride gum when I purchase gum.

Some friends and I think we should start a campaign for funding another Matt journey.

I recommend September 21st (international day of peace) to be a date for everyone to purchase at least one pack of Stride gum in honor of Matt's dancing videos -- and to encourage the making of others!

Your comment about being happiest in small communities sounds like the psychology theory called "Dunbar's number".

The first spoof video does show by contrast that you're actually a very good dancer!

The video spoof had me doubling up in absolute fits of laughter, I cannot remember laughing this hard in years!

but this doesn't take away from the originals in any way, they are still moving and awe inspiring every time!

I want to point out I thought the first video spoof was hilarious, the second one was tasteless

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