Seattle, Washington Doughy? Really?

There’s an article about the new video in the Arts section of today’s New York Times (looks like you need to register to read it…boo). It’s humbling to be mentioned in a publication that, to me, still represents the tippity top of journalism. The article is an unusually thorough attempt to encapsulate the story of how the video came to be. And as a consequence of that thoroughness, it contains a few inaccuracies:

– The Iceland clip shows a waterfall, not a geyser.

– The composer’s name is Garry Schyman, not Gary (it’s right there in the credits).

– The second video was released in 2006, not 2005 (hence the name, "Dancing 2006").

On the less factual side of things, my point was not that Bengali lyrics are less cliché than English lyrics. I was trying to explain that we wanted to avoid cliché, and neither Garry nor I could imagine putting any words into the song that didn’t make us cringe. At least in Bengali, we have no idea whether it’s cliché or not because we can’t understand a word of it.

But I suppose none of those things are what put the chip on my shoulder. No, that would be the New York Times’ description of me as a "big, doughy-looking fellow."

Melissa read the article ahead of me and warned of said description. I told her it was fine because "doughy" doesn’t mean fat. It means youthful-looking, which is actually kind of nice.

Then I looked up "doughy":

Of or like dough, especially in being soft and heavy or pallid and flabby. Example: A fat, doughy face.

So there you go. It is now a matter of public record. I’m pallid and flabby.

For what it’s worth, here is the author of the piece; Charles McGrath.


Charles, I dub you: turtle-like.

Anyway, it’s a very nice piece, but if it thrills you to read what other newspapers have to say about the video, I’d steer you toward the Chicago Tribune article that ran over a week ago. It’s thoughtful, concise, and the author doesn’t once call me "doughy."

On the day I put the video up, I promised everyone who came out and danced that I’d be putting up three separate videos with full length clips for all our dances, and I’d be releasing the videos at about one a week. That has not happened. Not even close. I’ve hardly even started on the first one. The videos will probably come out more like once a month, starting in a couple weeks when things settle down for me a bit.

I will now fill out the rest of this entry with more inbox fun…

                    * * * * *

What I think I appreciate about you most, Matt, is that no matter where you’ve been, you seem to remember how to use an apostrophe.

Universal brotherly love, joy and friendship are all very well, but to meet a guy, who is world famous no less, who knows the difference between ‘they’re’ and ‘there’, and lo! even ‘their’, ‘its’ and it’s, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ is a wonder and joy to behold. And you’re under forty! Astonishing.

It must be because you’ve never been to university. Nothing like college to entirely ruin a person’s ability to think rationally and use punctuation.


                    * * * * *

Bless your heart, HJW.

                    * * * * *



My name is __________.

I’m from south korea and I’m live in korea now.

I’m 20 years old and my gender is man.

My job is student.

I’m failed in first test for University, So I challenge again.

Actually I’m not pretty good at English.

So you can’t understand what I’m saying.

I saw you in the video,Trip to all around and dancing.

I’m very impressive about that.

So I visit your homepage and read about you.

You are so good person.

I want keep in touch with you.

You can answer my e-mail?

Please be my fisrt foreigner friend.

                    * * * * *

My feeling is amused.

                    * * * * *

I am just writing for a suggestion, you don’t have to do it but I thought it mite be a good idea have you ever thought of going to dance in a hospital? or even better to Iraq where the war was just to put smiles on peoples faces

                    * * * * *

This is a fine example of the importance of punctuation. Without it, we have apparently waged war simply to warm hearts. Although I can’t rule out the possibility that my nation’s president is writing to reveal, at long last, the real reason for the invasion.

                    * * * * *

I have a question for you Matt, as most people who e-mail you do, and Im sorry for making it long, I tend to put alot of thought into things I ask, so Im asking you something which I actually put my heart and soul into, whenever I ask someone this.

Are you an Anime Fan? Also, why do you think the Anime-loving community is dumped on so much?

Me and my group of friends are Anime NERDS, GEEKS, and other things which would describe how obsessed we are with it. Now my question is, why does being a fan of something make one an outcast? I saw in your trip to Tokyo Japan, the girls in that were cosplaying as maids. Thats very common in Anime actually, but anyway. If Anime is big in Japan, why cant it be big everywhere else? Where I am, Anime is something that you get your back turned on for, and having an Anime Con. once a year isnt enough to help that. So its hard for people like me.

Why do you think people hate the Anime-Community so much? Are you an Anime fan?

                    * * * * *

I, uh, hadn’t actually given the matter much thought.

                    * * * * *

I am 63 now and never met my real mother who died when I was about 3. But I didn’t even know she existed until I was 22 when I discovered an odd name on my birth certificate. 40 years later, on 9 April 2008, my half-sister posted me a photograph of my mother and for the first time I saw what she looked like. This evoked a set of emotions within me that about two days later inspired me to build a special website that I would dedicate to her. I promised her in a letter I wrote that I would immortalize her on the web and in so doing would place on that site all the positive things in the world to do with love and kindness and humanness.

There are so many things to choose from and I am being so careful to only include on her site when I build it that only the most inspirational will do. Matt, your video will be there among only three others so far I have collected. I will be proud for my Mama to enjoy your very human spirit from the comfort of her resting place. Please may I thank you for the contribution you will have made to My darling Mama.

                    * * * * *

Why are my eyeballs leaking?!

                    * * * * *

Hi Matt,

I just want to tell you a quick story… My story over the past year..

1st of all, Ilive in Montreal, so english is my 2nd language and I apologize for any typos…

2 years ago, my girlfriend told me she wanted to travel around the world… At First, I was in shock, but I knew it was a long dream she had. So as a good guy I told her: Go, but I cannot go with you, i have some debts, and my financial situation is not very good at the moment. We’ll see how it goes, I will go see you when I can. I was starting a new job back then so my vacations were limited.. Before leaving she told me we would have a house and kids when she would be back.

She left for India on the 19th of September 2007, She worked for an agency in Mumbai, she had no salary, but she was lodged and she got food for her work. She spent 4 months in India, then she left for the Philippines, where she spent another 4 months learning scuba diving. She is now a PADI Instructor. Her pictures are wonderful, we’ve been calling each other each day since she left.

While she was in the Philippines, She and I decided to meet each other in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was wonderful seeing her after 6 months.

She is now in Autralia, for 5 weeks, and I am goin to see her again in 28 days for a 2 week period in Honduras. We’ll be visiting the country and we will go suba divig in the Bay Isloands.

Now her trip is coming to an end, and she does not really wanna comeback, she said shes coming back only for me and she wants us to go work somewhere in central america or anywhere else. I am a network administrator. Up until last night, i was in shock again, I appreciate the fact that she wants to comeback for me, but she does not want kids, no house nothing.. She just wants us to go see the world.. No need to tell you that I was starting to think that I’ve waited for her for nothing because her plans have now changed.

But then, I came across your website, i saw your 2008 video. I smiled, almost shed a tear (I am dude damnit!!), and for that brief period of time, I felt what she feels on her side. Thats because of your story. As soons as I am finished with this e-mail, I am calling her to tell her I wanna go see the world with her. Thanks to you Matt!! You made me realise that hapinness is not behind a desk writing programs or fixing computers, coming home, eat, sleep, rince and repeat.

Cheers mate!

                    * * * * *

Wow. Cool.