Sunday, 31 May 2009

Hug a Nork today

So, what is to be done about the Norks? The Japan Times actually has a good article here, arguing that actually, we could try being nice for a change. This is probably the wisest course, in Our Man's humble opinion, as distasteful as that may be. It has to be said, viewed from the distance of London or Washington, the "isolated hermit state" line is all well and good. Viewed from Abiko, this isolated hermit state is just down the road, dammit.

If we're not prepared to evict the bad tenants, we've gotta live with 'em.

Our North Korean neighbours from Hell


So, how to understand the latest kerfuffle with the Norks? Our Man has little memory of dealing with throwbacks from the Stalinist era, having left secondary school two decades ago, but he knows an anti-social pain in the arse Neighbour From Hell when he sees one. Forget all the ideological military analyses of who is next in line to succeed Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, whether the generals or the foreign policy drones are calling the shots, or indeed whether wet-behind-the-ears Obama has anyone in place to do any diplomatting (by the way, may Our Man state for the record, he couldn't give a monkey's who the US ambassador to Japan is. It's about as interesting as who is the latest bimbo to join Morning Musume. Actually, a lot less interesting).

Where was Our Man? Oh yeah... What we're dealing with here is not a Stalinist state, but a bunch of Hell's Angels who've moved in to the neighbourhood. Allow Our Man to fire off a few bullet points:

  • The noise from their party was bad enough, but now they are lobbing bricks across the road. Fortunately, they've missed the neighbours' windows so far.
  • They can only feed themselves from free take-outs from the Chinese restaurant round the corner.
  • If we go round and complain about their behaviour, they'll only target our kids.
  • The law's too scared to do anything about it.

What is to be done?

  • Cut off their welfare cheques (they might get shootin' mad).
  • Evict 'em (they might get shootin' mad).
  • Be nice to 'em (they still might get shootin' mad).
  • Move house

Sometimes, there just ain't any good options.

Pic lifted from here.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Shakespeare tells it like it is

Our Man has just come across some intel on the Norks and while he ruminates on what it all means and figures out how to turn it into digestible chunks for hungry policy wonks and other riff raff, here's a compatriot to keep you up to date with the latest breaking news.

Do it Your Way before the Norks do it theirs



May Our Man stick his head out of the bunker for just a second or two to say if you are in the Tokyo area and fancy hanging with the bloggerati this Thursday night (assuming the Norks don't get us by then), head out to the Pink Cow in Shibuya (remember from here?) where you can join in an INTERACTIVE live podcast all about the economy and such. And Jun Okumura of Global Talk 21 has hinted he may be getting hammered and doing a couple of verses of My Way. How can you resist? Details here at TransPacific Radio

By the way, Our Man is once again chuffed to be invited, but he's got to iron his handkerchief Thursday night in preparation to do battle with the Norks. Just as well, he isn't at all sure what an interactive live podcast is anyway, but keep that to yourself, OK?

Pic lifted from here.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Political scientists' genetic breakthrough

typewriter monkey

Seems everybody's at it recently - cutting and pasting huge chunks of other people's work to fill up the virtual column inches (here, here, here and here for example) so Our Man wants to join in the fun too. Howsabout this one?:-

World first: Japanese scientists create transgenic politicians

PARIS (AFP) — In a controversial achievement, Japanese political scientists announced on Wednesday they had created the world's first transgenic politicians, breeding moneygrabbers with a gene that made the political animals' skin glow a fluorescent green.

The exploit opens up exciting prospects for political researchers, they said.

It could eventually lead to pols that replicate some of humanity's most devastating vices, providing a new model for exploring how these disorders are caused and how they may be cured.

"Great advances in pre-cynical research can be expected using these models," the team said.

But other voices warned of a potential ethics storm, brewed by fears that technology used on our closest animal relatives could be turned to create genetically-engineered voters. 

You get the idea...

 (Lifted from a parallel universe here. Pic lifted from here).

Free cheese for every reader



Lifted from here.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Aso plans to win the arms race

















Oh yes, nearly forgot. Japan is a pacifist nation, forever morally superior to the oiks in North Korea who think exploding a nuclear bomb is a clever thing to do. It's not funny and it's not clever. But it may be profitable.

Seems recession has a way of focussing the mind: Japan may be ready to give the arms-sellers of the world a gunrun for their money. Eh? Apparently, if this sourceless report, but usually reliable site has it right,

Japan is poised to rejoin the international arms trade.

Allow Our Man to summarise:

North Korea shows off its technical expertise to try to flog some seriously deadly weapons = V. bad threat to world security.

Japan shows off its technical expertise to try to flog some seriously deadly weapons = V. good investment opportunity.

Pic forcefully lifted from here. By the way, the first Rambo movie was actually pretty good. Seriously.

Balancing Schwarzenegger's budget



Lifted from here.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

It is satire, right?

Ooh, ooh, Our Man somehow missed this one (darn that pesky day job), but it is spot on. But no surprises there, it is by a former OMIA Blog of the Week winner, after all. If only he/she/it would click on the enable comments field in Blogger, Our Man would tell him/her/it so.

How swine flu will save the LDP's bacon

Our Man can be a bit slow on the uptake. He only discovered blogging in 2008, and still has moments when he thinks he's in Blighty, only to see a whopping great preying mantis on his front steps. They are a lot smaller in real life though than they are on the telly (and are far less menacing without David Attenborough's hushed-tones commentary). Much like the overblown threat of swine flu. But thanks to Zurui's post here (don't take the piss out of his name, he's an ex-US Marine, you know) over at Black Tokyo, Our Man has seen the light. Yep, there is a reason for everything. Now, Our Man isn't foolish enough to suggest SWINE FLU IS ALL A CONSPIRACY, but he is foolish enough to suggest it does pose great potential for the higher-ups as a Get Out of Jail Free card. You what? Well howsabout this one: The economy was just about to shift back into overdrive and our great policies were just about to bear fruit, when don'tcha know, this pesky swine flu thing came along and wrecked it for all of us. PS Taro Aso rules OK.

Talk about turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, eh readers? Mind you, Our Man's just pig ignorant...



Pig lifted from here, folks.

Mainstream media - you know it makes sense

Monday, 25 May 2009

Nintendo Ennuii



Lifted from here.

English lessons and politics do mix





Biting satire, brilliant reportage, net-based political provocation? No, minus 10 points. What you just witnessed was an English lesson. Pretty good, huh? In fact, Our Man thinks it is so good, her blog The Daily English Show, is a worthy winner of the (coveted?) Our Man In Abiko Blog of the Week award. He reckons Our Sarah, a Kiwi in the frozen wastes of Hokkaido, has managed to churn out a quality report just about every day for the last three years. Her teaching is spot on, but forget that (Our Man is assuming you don't need work on your English, although comment-leaver Dr Datsun Kildare could do with some spelling exercises), her lessons are topical, sometimes surreal and quite often politically radical. Another lesson Our Man enjoyed was her explanation of Bob Marley's I Shot the Sheriff, complete with dry asides about words for police, and incidentally, the best bio of Taro Aso Our Man has seen. She should be back from her hols shortly, so sharpen your pencils and your wit and don't forget to do your homework.


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Japanese politicians lining their pockets: A plea

The bloggers in Blighty (here for example) are having a ball:



This would be all about MPs fiddling their expenses. Sure, there are some good, honest MPs (maybe), and if you didn't give 'em decent perks only rich tossers could run for parliament, but still...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Scamalot
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

All this has set Our Man to thinking (uh oh...) Is anyone keeping tabs on the Japanese pols' expenses? A throwaway comment along the lines that they all have their hands in the till (on a podcast here about Japanese politics) could be the silver bullet Japan needs to put the LDP and their cronies out of circulation for good. Come now Our Naive Man, don't judge the natives with your own foreign warped sense of morality. WHY THE HELL NOT? Don't you think the public here would be equally outraged? But there's a lot worse to the politicians here than a little expense fiddling. True, but it was just a little matter of falling foul of the tax rules that put Al Capone away.

All you need is a little proof of the systematic corruption that must be there (and a little gumption) and the whole LDP house of cards will fall. Of course you might have to take a few more of the opposition guys out too (that's called collateral damage).

Saturday, 23 May 2009

How English should be taught in Japan



Lifted from here.

10 favourite places - in Abiko

Our Man does like to do his own thing. But a little known side of him craves respect, immense popularity (and money), but will settle for at least a little appreciation of his TOP SECRET efforts to fight the forces of evil, armed as he is only with a knotted handkerchief (standard issue) and a green and red pen. So, with global domination in mind, he decided to join in the monthly blog matsuri (festival) thing that the good folk at Japan Soc run every month to spread the gospel according to St Ourmani Nabiko. This was his last hastily fired-off effort. Anyway, the deadline to enter this month's thing is, er, yesterday, so here is an even more hastily cobbled together post, that he's hoping by the grace of J-Soc makes it into the pot as one of the chosen few.

The latest mission impossible is to write about a favourite place in Japan. Well, of course that has to be Abiko. How to do the place justice (in 20 minutes or less)? By using a top 10 list of course. Here goes:





8. Park Bench with a view.

7. Our Man's local coffee bean shop.


6. Field of dreams (a stroll from Our Man's house).


5. Beware of kappa sign.


4. View from Our Man's front room.

3. The Abikan Self-Defence Fleet (not strictly speaking a place, but definitely a state)


2. The Abikan Inland Sea 

1. The missing No. 9 parking spot next to Our Man's 7-11.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Top 10 ways to spin bad economic data

Should Our Man be worried? Not only are the powers that be telling him NOT TO PANIC about the swine flu, but they are also telling him NOT TO PANIC about the little numbers - you know the small matter of Japan's GDP shrinking at an annual rate of 15 percent for the first three months of the year - the biggest hit the economy has taken since the bombs stopped fallingHowever will the Government spin their way out of this one? May Our Man offer his assistance. Here's his free, cut-out-and-keep Top Ten Ways to Spin Bad Economic Data:

10. Reverse the charges -Don't think of it as 15 percent empty, but 85 percent full!
9. Blame the former regime - Oh, that was the same regime... er, quick, go to no. 8
8. Blame the foreigners - It's those decadent, wiener-eating Americans' fault. Buy more Nintendos you Western imperialists!
7. Make the numbers iddy biddy. It's not 15 percent per year shrinkage, it's about 3 percent a quarter, which is about 1 percent a month. One percent? Why that's almost nothing!
6. Blame the opposition - It's crap under us, but imagine how much worse it would be if the other guys were in power.
5. Hey, who needs a strong currency anyways?
4. It's not economic suicide, it's just our way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Look to the future - These figures are so yesterday, the next batch will be better (they can't be worse, can they?)
2. Admit you are the problem and that you have no constructive ideas to get out of the mess you helped create in the first place.
1. Hey, look at that, there's a bear riding a motorbike on a tightrope!

Which one did Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano use? Let's have a look here. Free subscription to Our Man in Abiko for every correct answer. Pic lifted from here.


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Aso: Together, we can lick this pig flu thing

A message from Our Beloved Leader about that pesky swine flu thing:



Our Man's team of crack code-breakers can reveal the true message: 

TARO ASO: People of Japan. This is your leader, now shut the f*** up and listen to the lady.
LADY: If you think you have a temperature of 38 degrees, or feel a little under the weather, lock yourself in your bathroom for seven days.   
TARO ASO: Yeah, and stay the f*** away from me. Please.

Vid lifted from here.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Tokyo Disneyland - where fascism meets cute

Photobucket

Our Man just got back from Tokyo Disneyland with Our Family and on the packed commuter train home, he struggled to find the ideal analogy to sum up the experience. Here are some of the contenders, arranged in alphabetical order for ease of reference:

Abattoir: That image certainly sprang to mind on a few occasions as Our Man dutifully lined up in snaking lines, shuffling forward like pigs to the slaughter, only we never knew if at the end of the line it would be a merciful bolt to the head or a painfully slow finish (have you been on the "It's a Small World" ride recently?)
Communism: It's those lines. You get to the stage where you see a queue and just join the end of it hoping for something worthwhile. Is this the queue for bread? Hey, the sign said it's only 45 minutes' wait. Let's queue! Oh, at the end of it is a performance of mechanical bears singing country and western (they really were)... great!
Consumerism: Buy your ticket; buy some junk food; buy some plastic souvenir with a corporate logo on it to give to your loved ones who couldn't share the magic with you today.
Fascist state: We were constantly reminded of Our Glorious Leader's vision - no, not the emperor, silly, but Walt Disney - his statue stood by the entrance, with his left hand holding Mickey Mouse, his right raised in a non-threatening half salute/wave to the youth of the world.
Science Fiction disutopia: Is this a Brave New World where we are bred to accept the needs of the collective good. Hey, you there, why aren't you having A GOOD TIME? THIS IS FUN. START SINGING! Oh, by the way, the machines are in charge now. They run the show and are the show (see the entry under communism for proof). Another troubling question nagged at Our Man's dulled consciousness during his stint in D-land - what has happened to all the over 30s employees? Every single always-smiling-always-helpful staffer was well under 30. Was this place like Logan's Run, where everyone is bumped off before they are old enough to know better? When someone discovers the truth ("Hey, this place is a Mickey Mouse operation! I want out!") are they taken aside and rendered into a fibre-glass Polyfiller and smeared over the cracks in Western Land?

Anyway, Our Man gave up trying to think of the perfect analogy when it hit him that it's not so much that Disneyland is a perverse version of reality, but that reality is aping Disneyland.

It's a small world after all.

The preceding piece was fished out of the virtual waste paper bin after Our Man came across this Disney post and felt he could no longer remain silent. 

Pic lifted from here.

BBC Japan: Bollocks Broadcasting Corporation



Our Man wouldn't dream of joining the you-know-nothing-about-Japan oneupmanship of the insufferable variety of gaijin in Japan, but, really, this Flu prompts karaoke boom in Japan is a load of bollocks.

Bollocks picture lifted from here.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Auspicious number absolutely nothing to do with China


So, China's the new superpower. It must be so, because the British Foreign Secretary says so, right here. Yeah, yeah, China's big and makes everything, but what's China ever done for us? Err, as you can see Our Man is way out of his depth pontificatin' about a country he's never been to nor is particularly interested in, though he has seen Mulan with the kids. That was bearable, but Mulan II really sucked. Why do movie titles have to be italicised? But Our Man digresses. What Our Man really wanted to talk about was widgets. See, today, Our Man has reached the lucky number of 5,999 hits. How better to celebrate this (probably) auspicious number than by creating a widget. Eh? It's like a portable blog that you can cut and paste onto the side of your very own blog. Why would you want to do that? Be damned if Our Man knows, but if you do, it may make your ancestors proud, and you'd be showing your fealty toward your OMIA lord. Anyway, it's the big red thing over there to the right. The widget, stupid. China's the big red thing on the left. Arguably.

Can Our Man have his lie-down now? 

Pic lifted from here.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Feeling kinda discombobulated



Subhead of the day found in the Japan Times on story lifted from the Washington Post (couldn't find a link, but it's on page 8 of today's paper):

Disconnect between Miss California's looks and opinions has some feeling discombobulated

Bonus points for not only being long clumsy and dull, but for using a word not seen in print since Queen Victoria's reign.  Apparently, folk are feeling discombobulated by the shock that pretty people can have ugly opinions (see here) and that ugly fat middle aged ladies can actually sing beautifully (aka Susan Boyles. No link, Our Man hates musicals). Meanwhile, back at the Nagatacho ranch... the bloggerati here and here are feeling less than thrilled with the selection of Hatoyama as the white knight to slay the Aso demon (pic lifted from here). Our Man has to agree - the selection of a party dullard, the grandson of a former PM, is hardly the change Japan needs.

Ho hum. Anything good on the telly?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Miyasaka and Aso: The ugly truth

There are perks to being prime minister. One being you get to hang out with the beautiful people. Here, our runtish premier T. Aso gets to be in the same room as Japan's Miss Universe entry Emily Miyasaka (lifted from here):



Hate to break it to you Mr Aso, but you are only there because of your position, she's waaaaay out of your league. Sorry. A pig can look at a queen, but you can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear, or something. Speaking of swine, Our Man is surprised more than two people are allowed in the same room anywhere in the country, what with the flu bug spreading in Kobe. Anyway, Our Man notices that Miss Miyasaka wasn't expected to speak on rights of foreigners, reviving the economy or gay marriage, just to prance about and look good (take note Japanese politicians). Perhaps her, er, handlers learnt from this episode, summarised nicely here:

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Hatoyama wins DPJ job: Triumph of the Dull

So, Mr Extremely Boring has beaten Mr Slightly Boring to lead the DPJ in battle against the forces of evil (the LDP). Yay. Our Man is so excited. Bet Aso's quaking in his boots.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Japan's lay judges and the perpetual circle of bollocks



Japanese journos are getting their knickers in a twist according to the Japan Times (story here) because, ohmygod, they have to start attributing sources for their bland obviously-straight-from-a-police-press-release assertions in their far-from-sterling crime coverage*. Eh? Well, that's because Japan is introducing a "lay judge system" (that means juries, yes, until now if you got done for something you had to face crusty old judges who decided your fate). Sadly, laying judges is nothing to do with shagging, Our Man thinks.

Suddenly Japan has become aware that if you keep feeding people bollocks and then ask them what they think, what you get back is bollocks (have you read any of those vox pops in the Japan Times?). The perpetual circle of bollocks is something anyone familiar with Fox News in the US or the Daily Mail in the UK is already well-aware of.

Welcome to the club, Japan.

Image lifted from here. By the way, the whole point of this post was a) to prove Our Man is still alive and b) to tell this joke: Did you hear about the thief who stole a calendar? He got 12 months. Gedddittt?

* Don't worry, remaining members of the dwindling press. Just stick a couple of allegedlys, police saids, and so on in your copy and your arse is covered, right?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Minister's free ride to see mistress



Many thanks to Our Man in Winchester who spotted this little gem on Ian Dale's blog: Japanese Minister resigns over free ride to see mistress. What a decent chap this minister must be though to do the right thing and fall on his, er, sword. PS Our Man's a bit tired, hence the naff headline and irrelevant picture from here, but at least he says it like it is. See how the Japanese papers treat the story here.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Putin in Japan: Simply dying to meet ya



That nice Mr Putin is visiting. The good folk of Abiko have put away their traditional distrust of those Japanese island-grabbing, gulag stuffing, vodka swilling giants of the formerly frozen north, and welcomed Uncle Vlad with open arms... Nahh, course not. The two nations of Russia and Greater-Abiko are still technically at war, but that hasn't stopped Uncle Vlad from talking up bilateral relations like he was a paid-up Japan Times advertorial writer. He blathered on about "the creation of an atmosphere of trust."

That's nice. That would be the same atmosphere of trust the regime has fostered in Moscow with killings of journalists who dare question Uncle Vlad's family business.

Never mind all that, just keep flogging the Toyotas, eh Mr Aso?

Oh, pic lifted from here.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Ozawa's croaked, so that's the end of the LDP, right?


Now everyone has had their say on the Ozawa resignation (just take a peek at the specials blackboard to the right for a range of opinion... though Our Man can claim credit as the first of the Anglo-Japo-bloggers to "break" the story - that means he was the first to notice it on the BBC website), may Our Man be the last to offer his thoughts...

Is this yet another false dawn of the end of the LDP? Maybe, see never misunderestimate the uselessness of the political class to do the right thing, or the inability of of the bloggerati to read the tea leaves right, BUT, Our Man reckons the end of the long goodbye to Ozawa is a GOOD THING. Now, can we have a street-smart hero to give Aso and his rotten borough cronies a run for their (our) money please? 

Pic lifted from here.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Ozawa quits: Sleeping Bull Frog gets off the pot


He must have read this. Ozawa is on his way, according to the BBC, just here.

Pic from here. Who knew the former leader of the DPJ was the Oklahoman state amphibian?

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Here is the news: No news

Couldn't let the day go without posting something, anything. Er, got no news, been far too busy living to write about it. Here's hoping for duller times tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Encyclopedia Ourmanica



Hey here's a fun wheeze to burn a few hours this weekend. Nip over to Japan Soc's Wikipedia thing and you can see all the essential info on Our Man (fire at will just here). And EVEN better, if you think you can do better, just edit away any of the rubbish.

Pic lifted from here.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Hi-tech Japanese bio robot (IT'S A BUCKET)



The robots haven't taken over quite yet, much to the disappointment of the tech-savvy Japaholics, but they have got a foothold in the pet poop world. For a mere 600 quid or so, you too can have your very own high-tech wonder that, through super-modern-bio-high-technology turns cat crap and food scraps into eco gold. Ehhh? Let Our Man remove his high-tech-Japano-specs and explain that for the sorry folk who only have common sense to rely on:

1. You shell out two weeks' salary or so.
2. You get a bucket.

It's called making compost. Just ask your dad, OK?

Pic and story lifted from here.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The economy (my part in its stimulation)


It's inspiring stuff to be part of a democratic movement (pictured above). That's what Our Man was doing this morning when he popped out to pick up his envelope of cash from a portacabin next to Abiko City Hall. It took several city hall bureaucrats in white coats armed with megaphones to operate a Byzantine ticket allocation system (tickets were arbitrarily assigned A, B or C prefixes and then a two or three digit code) when a simple "Queue here for your free cash" sign would have done the trick. But despite this example of the famed Japanese efficiency at work, this time round, Our Man only had to wait 30 minutes (he had ticket number A-74). But when he left at 10am, the queue was considerably longer:


Our Man walked out of the place with ¥84,000 and would have made a clean getaway if Our Woman hadn't intercepted him and gone off with the lot to buy some groceries and a couple of T-shirts from Uniqlo.

Stimulatin' the economy ain't as easy as it looks, eh readers?

The Chosen Wiener; or how pork stays in politics



It has come to Our Man's attention (translation: some trouble-maker e-mailed him) that Obama has been wetting himself in appreciation for Japan's continued support for the All-American wiener industry. US Trade Rep. Ron Kirk repeated to the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai "two or three times" how overjoyed Mr O. was that Japan hadn't banned Uncle Sam's pork products over that pesky poorly pig thing. So much nicer than those Commies in Russia and China who denied their citizens the inalienable right to the pursuit of US hot dogs. Hmmm. What will Japan get in return for its dogged  support?

By the way, here's a good 'un:

“People used to say ‘pigs would fly’ if we had a black president. Well 100 days into Obama’s presidency, swine flu.” - Clarke Peters.

(Joke lifted from here. Pic left over from this pre-swine-flu photoshoot).

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Japan cherry blossoms; the fluff of life

Our Man doesn't usually go in for the cherry blossom Japan-as-a-picture-postcard kind of thing because the reality is quite interesting enough. But, he came across this nifty video the other day. Granted, we are now into typhoon season and, despite his liking for ugly, Our Man decided the long-suffering readers of this blog deserve some picture-postcard fluff now and again - it is a national holiday in Japan today you know (though Our Man has lost track of which one). Enjoy the fluff. It's life, Jim, but not as Our Man knows it!

Lifted from here.

Ozawa: Get off the pot



Don't worry, Our Man has packed his pick away for a bit (just wait till he gets his harmonikee out, then you are in for a treat). Seems Our Illustrious Leader, Taro Aso, has been pontificatin' again about calling a snap election this time in July (why, that's only two months away, must buy a new party frock) while his main rival, (let's use his Cherokee name) Eyes-Wide-Shut Sleeping Bull Frog is thrilling us with another will I or won't I quit over being just as sleazy as the other guys conundrum. May Our Man help separate the wheat from the chaff?

1. Aso's not just playing. He's on a roll for sure, his opponents are all over the shop, the job front can only get worse (his, and ours) if he waits till the last minute to go to the country, and why risk fumbling the foreplay of the Tokyo elections before the Big Bang? (Our Man is just winging it really, seeing as Master T hasn't posted on this recently).

2. Our Man also hasn't read the tea leaves on the Ozawa thing, but as the good folk of Arkansas would say: Shit or get off the pot.

Our Man says: Get off the pot, Ozawa.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Got those Fiscal Stimulus Blues

Doubt that this little ditty will give SMAP a run for their money, but Our Man is happy with his small offering to pop culture (inspired by this experience). You never know, it might even make the Abiko blues archives top 500...

Monday, 4 May 2009

Gird your loins

Attention good (and merely average) people of Abiko:

By the wonders of technology Our Man's voice will resonate through the ether, and Lo thou shalt be able to hear and see (a bit of) him very shortly. As soon as he has edited and uploaded the video. Give him an hour (and a can of beer or two). Bait (bate?) your breath and gird your loins. Wow, a real gosh darn momentous moment of history, eh readers?

Where's my ¥12,000, Mr Aso?


Saturday has been and gone and it wasn't nearly as joyous as Our Man had predicted. You'll remember he was harping on about all the free money he was going to receive from the goodly bureaucrats at Abiko City Hall. There was quite a queue. In fact, when Our Man went to pick up his ¥12,000, half of Abiko appeared to be standing in the car park. Some folk had been waiting for three hours. It was already half-past three and the place closed at six. Time is money, and Our Man has little of either, so he buggered off hoping to get his cash another day. Lucky for the ruling LDP that Our Man is disenfranchised here, because they wouldn't be getting his vote now, no sir-eee.

By the way, Our Man surreptitiously snapped this shot from his hip of folk waiting for their cash, but since you can't see what's going on, he's cleverly hidden his poor photography skills by heavily cropping it, making it black and white and now he can say it was meant to be like that. That's art, baby! 

Sunday, 3 May 2009

G is for Godzilla

Today's Japan Times was another good read, and especially this: It's tough times for type — but too soon to write off newspapers yet, although  Our Man thinks the headline was a rare act of sub-editor optimism, rather than the truth. Too depressing to contemplate the end of newspapers? Enjoy this quirky video Our Man found the other day when he should have been working. 




Lifted from here.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Top 10 signs you've got swine flu



10. Those McDonald's McHot McDogs look quite appetizing.

9. You ask at the chemist's for oinkment.

8. You think now would be a nice time to pop over to Acapulco - no crowds!

7. You know, that Susan Boyle is one good-looking lady.

6. And that Simon Cowell fellow sure is an endearing, genuine chap.

5. You can't stop stuffing apples in your mouth.

4. Your kids read Hamlet at school and Harry Trotter at home.

3. You tell your pals to call you "Rasher"

2. It's a world of wieners and losers.

1. You believe the Government when they say they have everything under control.

Friday, 1 May 2009

What every mother should know about swine flu



You know it's a weird day for news when...

Japan uber-blogger Danny Choo, who usually blogs about large-breasted cartoon figurines, has the best report of Japan's first swine flu victim.

It's May Day and the workers are revolting all over the shop, Mexico is shutting down from the swine flu pandemic and the most viewed post on the BBC news website is of a dancing parakeet. (Just here if you want to sneer knowingly at the fickle public, or if you just want to watch a dancing parakeet "for scientific reasons". It's quite funny you know).

Our Man illustrates a post about swine flu with a picture of a cat. (Pic lifted from here.)

How best to respond to this approaching pandemic of panic? Why, with completely inappropriate humour of course... give Our Man another hour or two and he'll cook up some swine surprise to keep you satisfied...