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Klausner is a bookworm, but she's no snob. She likes genre fiction: romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror. One of Klausner's lifetime goals--as yet unfulfilled--is to read every vampire book ever published. "I love vampires and werewolves and demons," she says. "Maybe I like being spooked." Maybe she's a little bit superhuman herself.
Bart Simpson In Beijing
"CHINESE PEOPLE DON'T DO IRONY like Israelis and the English," says Wang Xiaofeng. "They don't have that making-fun-of-yourself gene." In China the blogosphere is dominated by the dronings of millions of earnest diarists, and there are still many things that can't be said in the mainstream media. Wang, however, enjoys making fun of art, culture, politics--everything that Chinese people are supposed to hold dear. Serious critiques of social problems or political leaders can still be dangerous in China, but serious isn't Wang's style. He might be the most respected blogger in China, precisely because he respects almost nothing.
Wang's site gets about 12,000 visitors a day. It's plastered with pictures of the Simpsons--Wang is a fan of the show, and he likes to think he looks like Bart--but there's also a bit of Borat in him too. He has posted fabricated interviews and deliberately misleading surveys. Some people call him a cynic or a liberal; some people call him names that are shocking even by online standards of incivility.
But labels don't really fit Wang. He doesn't like isms and movements and refuses to join groups or parties. He doesn't have some big, catchall solution. "There's nothing that can be done about a lot of things in China," he says. "Most of what people do on the Internet is complain. At least we have a place to blow off some steam."
The Madonna Of MySpace
TILA NGUYEN WAS 1 YEAR OLD when she moved to the U.S. from Singapore, but she's Vietnamese by heritage and blond by choice. As for what she does for a living, there isn't really a word for it yet. Nguyen, 25, who goes by Tila Tequila professionally, is some combination of rapper, singer, model, blogger and actress. But what she mostly is is the queen of the massive social-networking website MySpace.
Nguyen--or, oh, fine, Tequila--may be the least lonely girl on the Internet. She has more than 1.5 million MySpace friends. Her MySpace profile has been viewed more than 50 million times. Her self-published single, the profane and attitudinous F___ Ya Man, now playing on her MySpace page, has logged 13 million spins. (To listen to it is to hear the sound track of a million parents' dreams dying.) She gets somewhere from 3,000 to 5,000 new friend requests every day. She is something entirely new, a celebrity created not by a studio or a network but fan by fan, click by click, from the ground up on MySpace.