Jimmy Chen

Jimmy Chen lives in San Francisco. He also contributes at Htmlgiant, Thought Catalog, Bygone Bureau, and Splice Today. He is an Asian-Canadian near-sighted pacifist.


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Lenin Was Punk

Lenin Was Punk

When notorious punk singer GG Allin died in 1993 of a heroin overdose, having promised to commit suicide onstage, some of his fans may have been disappointed. The singer’s stage presence was ballistic, difficult yet enthralling to bear. More»

Finding Waldo

Finding Waldo

Visitors to SFMOMA‘s rooftop sculpture garden may notice the infamous Waldo of Where’s Waldo? across the way, smiling from another building. Like the WALK sign, it is a man with a forward gait. Without the camera’s zoom, or prior cognizance, it’s barely noticeable. Isn’t that the existentialist lesson of Waldo? A man lost in a crowd, as seen by a vacant, omniscient entity? More»

Netflix Rainbow Nation

Netflix Rainbow Nation

Netflix recently came up with a creative way to charge its customers more: by separating their mailing and streaming content into separate rental plans that “better reflect the costs of each.” One can only imagine how well the already over-compensated marketing strategist who came up with that line was rewarded for it. His shit-eating grin must be even browner around the edges than usual. “Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.” More»

The Titless Sky

The Titless Sky

It was the 19th Annual San Francisco Dyke March. Dolores Park, otherwise known as “hipster hill,” was completely packed. I was guilty of going, not out of solidarity or allegiance, but because a friend had asked me to come along with her. As for how I feel about gays, I feel nothing. True tolerance is when you detach yourself from the narrative entirely, judgeless.

The rally was a spectacle. The once green park now the color of flesh, bodies everywhere, most of them hosting some substance, illegal or not, dancing to the faint pulse of a PA system. More»

The Socialism of Food

The Socialism of Food

McCarthyism is over. Well, sort of; it depends on the color. We’re not so obsessed with red flags as we are with white ones, the ones curled into a keffiyeh on an Islamist’s head, wishing the wind would unfurl it into a flag of surrender. The Soviet Union’s iconic hammer and sickle no longer nails rivets or harvests potatoes. More»

The Impure Left

The Impure Left

April 18-24, 2011 was Digital Detox Week, conceived and encouraged by Adbusters, along with other campaigns (i.e. Buy Nothing Day, Blackspot shoes) to “reclaim our mental and physical environments.” I’ve always been impressed by the magazine’s design-savvy ads, whose sleek look share in the aesthetics of their corporate equivalent, the presumed enemy. More»

Obey the Grande

Obey the Grande

I’ve always been surprised by the fact that the original Starbucks is an inconspicuous cafe in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Its anonymity stands in stark contrast to the legendary coffee company’s aggressive marketing style. After all, this is where it all started. Shouldn’t this be obviously branded a landmark? Not if your bottom line is numbers. No CEO really cares about his legacy. Just his stocks. The more signs you see on the street, the less likely you are to go inside and drink coffee. More»

Paradise Regained

Paradise Regained

Hospital waiting rooms are a horrid place. You’re either about to be diagnosed with something awful, or in love with someone who is. My San Francisco hospital, in its boundless touchy-feeliness, commissioned a harp player to set up next to us and play harp arrangements of Debussy and other typically floral-sounding songs. More»