So Our Man's been thinking (uh, ohh) it's almost election day in Japan (August 30th, remember?) it's time to get serious about the Japan Election Coverage thing. Now you know you can rely on OMIA as an honest broker in these troubled times, but he can't do it all himself. He is not ready to name his election coverage team just yet, but he would like to try out a new feature on you folks. Yep, dazzled by the high-tech graphics that Japanese news goes in for, he thought he would come up with his own combination of Auntie Beeb's Swingometer and Japan's official national sport, sumo.
May Our Man present the prototype Sumometer (Hatoyama is in purple, Aso in red):
A close call, but on action replay, Aso falls first! A victory for the DPJ!
Oh, it's so terribly cliquey of Our Man, but frequent comment-leaver (and OMIA Blog of the Week Alumni) Janne has done the business on explaining the Japanese General Election, parties, issues, which candidate for PM looks most like a potato (though Our Man would beg to differ, he reckons the JCP boss is the spitting image of a King Edward). Frankly, Our Man couldn't do better, so won't even try, and will merely offer this link here with his hearty recommendation to all who haven't the foggiest about what on earth is going on.
There was Our Man smug in his innate superiority to the anime/pillowcase fetishers, when darn it, one of the robots-are-people-too sites just featured the best write-up Our Man has seen of the Happiness Realization Party and why we should all be just a little less smug about what we think we know. Oh, the link back to yours truly helped too, must be said.
Speaking of lala-land, the DPJ's wet dream policy positions (give everyone cash, cut taxes, make cakes, not war) may actually be paid for, if the Hatoyama Boys (The Arch Dukes of Hazzard) dip into their personal fortunes from the Bridgestone tyre emporium that they descended from (details here, basically they are worth a cool ¥2.5 billion plus whatever spare change they can get if they flogged 4 million Bridgestone shares).
BTW, if, like Our Man you have a natural tendency to stick your fingers up in the general vicinity of established wisdom, try here, where Mr Top Cat makes a convincing case for how things are gonna be different round here, come September 1st. You listenin', Bowss Howgg?
Well, here it is folks, at almost six minutes, the longest of Our Man's movies. Try and stay awake at the back there:
Oh, OK a few notes:
YouTube didn't like Our Man using Rod Stewart, so Our Man had to replace the soundtrack with something free from them, and blow me if it isn't even better. Check it out here.
All the facts an' figures were from this Kyodo article here based on official (ie undercounted) stats from the Japanese Cabinet office.
The (Our Man preferred) soundtrack is Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells a Story, which holds up quite well apart from the "slit-eyed lady" lines, but hey, his heart was in the right place, and it was 1972 forfucksakes.
Most of the moving pictures were shot two weekends ago during the Abiko summer matsuri festival - hence all the kimonos and chocolate bananas.
People get ready, Our Man has done the publicity, swept up the cuttings floor and paid off the local mobsters, focus groups and union slackers - yes, a little bit of movie history is about to be made in just a few short hours. Yep, the fourth in the World According to Our Man in Abiko (OMIA IV) is ready to be distributed across the world. Well, it will be in a bit, if the tempremental director can decide on an ending.
Suffice to say, it's got everything - a dated driving rock soundtrack, poorly filmed clips, silly pictures - big stars (Michael Jackson and the Prime Minister of Japan no less) plus not one, not two, but three clips of parking lots. Oh, and a hot bird or two.
Tell 'em Our Man sent you, and he'll even let the minors in, but no snogging on the back row, kids. This is a family movie!
Our Man couldn't actually bring himself to read it, but the DPJ (the fellows who everyone reckons will inherit this part of the Earth come September, and when has everyone ever been wrong?) Election manifesto is right here. Wait a mo and Young Master T. at Observing Japan will tell us what we should think. The LDP has made up its mind, and they reckon it's full of uncosted, unrealistic promises to get the party elected. Well, they would know, being something of an authority on such things.
Also, news just in, the CIA was trying to run the colonised defeated post-war Japan like a puppet for the United States (well, DUHHH??), according to declassified papers just here. How things have changed, eh readers?
Tee hee. Seems the New York Times has ruffled a few feathers with this fun article, about some loser who is in love with a pillowcase that has a pic of a busty anime character on it. The loser's feathers aren't ruffled, who presumably wanted to tell the world of his love, no it's the Japan explainers (of whom Our Man is a modest example) who have had their stuffing knocked out. Just how endemic is this loser's fetish? Probably not much, Our Man would venture, as he has a very straight-forward relationship with his pillow (ie none), as do all right-thinking Abikans. The equally straight-thinking folk at Mutant Frog ripped the article to shreds here. Our Man would just caution though, it's no less freaky than the anime character love-in over at Danny Choo, probably the most popular Japan blog, ever. Perhaps we should all just sleep on it, eh readers?
Just a quick note, Our Man was tipped off earlier about the Prime Minister of Japan's latest senior moment. Yes, he explained his views on what old folks are good for - work. Yep, apparently in Aso's world, the sprightly 80-year-olds of Japan don't want to do some gardening or spend time with the grandchildren, no, they want to work! More than that, that's all they are good for, he told bemused listeners right here. Er, correct Our Man if he's wrong, but you, Mr Aso are over statutory retirement age, and, well, you are not very good at working. In fact, most of the country is ready to pack you off to your grandkids ASAP. Take a break, Gramps, the country deserves it.
Didn't make it to the J-bash last night, got into a long heart-to-heart with a South African Red, so sorry about that. Anyway, off to Tokyo in a bit, so may Our Man leave you with some deep thoughts for Sunday, care of the Rev. Paperboy of Woodshed fame:
Late notice, for sure, but just realised the good the bad and the ugly of the Japan political blogging world will be drowning their sorrows at the Pink Cow in Shibuya, from 7pm (that's less than two hours from now). Our Man is hoping to make it, but he hasn't ironed his tux yet...
Our Man stopped believing in conspiracies about the time he first got laid, but he still has a thing for Marxist critiques of the status quo, it's just that the solutions the hard lefties propose sound worse than the problems they are trying to fix. Anyway, here's Brother Noam talking sense about the power of advertising and the decline of the popular press. Yeah, sure he generalises big time and Our Man doesn't believe the capitalists sit around figuring out their latest scam to screw the little guy, it just kinda works out that way. BTW, you right-on younger folk might be tempted to hail the internet as the great leveller, but let Our Man gently implant in your mind - Google is not your friend. Sure, The Big G lets you see Our Man for free, but who pays the piper ultimately? Mr Advertising Buck. Oooh, but my video could go viral and change the world!!!? Yeah, you could be the lucky one-in-a-million tadpole who becomes the frog (Susan Boyle, anyone?), or like Our Man, you could just be another insignificant piece of pond scum. Errr, here's the vid, enjoy!
Can't remember where Our Man lifted this from, sorry fellow oppressed proletarian, wherever you are.
Been running around the internet looking for hot Japanese political totty to please the good doctor Datsun Kildare, but Our Man is frankly struggling - so many to choose from! Hey whaddya think J-politics is, a popularity contest?
Anyway, that post isn't ready, so you're getting this one instead. Our Man found a real live Japanese blogger, who is Japanese and everything, and he wrote at least one post about Japanese politics in English. The chap's clearly doing it to work on his English, but it's nice to hear from a non-expert on the subject, eh readers? Take it away Take...
Our Man is all sweetness and light now, and would just like to apologise for his thoughtless rant earlier today against Ivy League tossers. Actually, there are some jolly nice Ivy Leaguer tossers around, wasn't Holden Cauldfield one? As Our Man's old man would caution, elites are a fact of life (there are elite furniture makers and bloggers too), so just get on with it!
Anyway, Our Man is in such a good mood, he gave the King of Pop the day off from his election coverage duties. Wooo-hooo! But he will be making a comeback tour soon, fear not.
OK, so Our Man was bored again. He was just counting down the days to his summer hols, when he thought he'd check out the DPJ's website. Right here, if you are having trouble sleeping. You remember the DPJ - the not-the-LDP party that will right all wrongs when they sweep into power on August 30th? Well, judging just by their online presence, you gotta say, as the teens of Our Man's Youth used to - THEY SUCK DONKEY DICK, BIG TIME! Cum on, meeting 10 Korean Exchange students in DPJ rented HQ is supposed to give Our Man a stiffy? Oooh, ooooh, howsabout this one - Hatayama (the haired-one in charge) met thePrime Minister of Mongolia!!!!!Whooop-deee-fuckin-dooooo. Sorry, we're supposed to vote for these Bozos because...??????
Not that the LDP's website is any better. Five guys round a table with a piece of paper. Oooh, PRESIDENTIAL!!! Oh, and before you Ivy League tossers have a go at Our Man for judging Japanese books by their English covers, click on the Nihonfuckingo button, and you'll see the website is pretty much the same.
Well, that was much ado about nothing. Yep, the partial solar eclipse was entirely obscured by completely overcast skies here in beautiful downtown Abiko. Not to worry, by the miracle of modern technology and a link that Our Man's mother-in-law left open on the laptop, you too can see the stupendous sight right here. Prepare yourselves.
Our Man resolved to be a good J-blogger and join in the latest blog matsuri thing where everyone writes about the same thing and then clicks on each others' stories to boost visitor numbers and spread the gospel about all things Japonicacalese. Trouble is, Our Man is feeling a bit Groucho Marx about this club. Our Man is supposed to answer this question: "What do you find most unusual, crazy or strange about Japan?" Actually, he's been spending much of his time finding things crazily identical to his motherland. So could his submission be that the craziest thing is things ain't as odd as they appear? Howsabout these nuggets of truth off the top of Our Man's head? Folk really believe shopping in IKEA, CostCo and outlet shopping malls is where it's at.Corporate employees think their jobs and bosses are full of shite.Bureaucrats and the politicians are useless self-serving tossers.Those crazy Japanese!
A few odds and sods, vaguely connected to being screwed:
Mutant Frog does the business explaining a funny, well-made attack ad from the LDP doing the YouTube rounds, right here.
It slipped Our Man's attention (such a rare occurrence) but the latest winner of Japan's Booker Prize - the super-prestigious Akutagawa Literary Prize announced last week was none-other than Kenichiro Isozaki a regular middle-aged salaryman who penned a clever (no doubt unreadable) novel about marriage and such. So what? So, he was born in Abiko!!!!
Did you know Abiko used to be the dirty weekend capital of Japan? An Agent Provocateur told Our Man that the fair city, being 30 minutes from Tokyo, was the perfect place for middle-ranking bureaucrats to install their mistresses in their weekend shagdens. This, of course, is now a thing of the past (now, there are a lot nicer places to shag your mistress).
Henry Allingham, the 113-year-old Brit whose death as the oldest man in the world was marked in the papers here on Sunday, put his longevity down to "cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women."
It was summer matsuri day or something yesterday - which meant the POWERS THAT BE blocked off Abiko Main St. and set up a host of high priced nick-nack and fried octopus balls sellers' stalls (who knew?) Here's one of the nick-nack sellers sporting a right-on "Please NOT WAR" T-shirt, because if you ask reaaal reaaal politely, we can go back in time, to airy -fairy land where courteous language is rewarded with good behaviour. You listening to Our Man, Mr Osama, Sir?
Our Man likes to make connections. You know, Japanese space programme + Japanese nuclear power programme = Japanese nuclear missile programme, even when no sensible person says such things. The wags in the newsroom (Our Man knows, for he tried to be one) would say death comes in threes, and of course it does, depending on who you count. So, we could count Michael Jackson, Robert McNamara and Walter Cronkite, but then only one of those esteemed names was worth a hill of beans. That's the way it is.
You know, following the ins and outs of the Japanese political process can be a tedious chore, so do what Our Man does, and don't bother. But if you really want to see how it all "works", why not check out the Guam-Okinawa -thingy site that re-posts all the V. IMPORTANT ins and outs such as here, detailing how Our Beloved leader came to call the election for August 30th. Seems even this last decisive act turned out to be a kiss-ass compromise - Aso wanted to go to the country ASAP (presumably so he could have the rest of the summer off) but postponed the poll because other party big wigs wanted time to buy off more voters. Oh, nice vids, Guam-Okinawa thingy.
Today, the King of Pop would grab his crotch for the Happiness Realization Party.
Our Man enjoys watching the Party in Charge implode as much as the next guy, but he would just like to caution that 40 days is a long time for the forces of evil to do evil. Our Man was present as Kinnock stumbled to defeat against Thatcher; he was there when Kerry was crushed by Geo W.; frankly Our Man's a bloody jinx. But he will admit If the election were tomorrow, Aso's mob would be out on their collective arse. It's at times like these that Our Man digs deep and asks, what would the King of Pop do if the election were tomorrow?
So the phony war is over! If you are reading this post it means Our Man's movie-making suite of high tech gadgets (hey, it came free with the computer) has not crashed YouTube, so here is the third installment in Our Man's burgeoning movie empire:
A few sleeve notes:
This whole thing was inspired by comments from a certain Mr Loco of Yokohama who mentioned the Beatles' "Happiness is a warm Nuke" would be a good anthem for the Happiness Realization Party.
Our Man doesn't do happiness that well, but he does like a little Clapton doing "Can't hold out" from his strung out days.
Other inspiration came from Dr Datsun Kildare, who gets off on shots of the Abikan Maritime Self-Defense fleet; Lady Winchester who remarked on what a dump Abiko looked from the last video; and anon who told Our Man to get on his bike again. So he did, last Sunday afternoon.
Anyone naive enough to believe the DPJ will sweep away politics as usual in an orgy of THE CHANGE WE NEED yadda yadda yadda, could do worse than read this nice CV summary in the Japan Times showing their wealth and wealth of old-school connections of the brothers Hatoyama (one of whom is the leader of the DPJ forces of truth, justice and you know). If you thought Aso was loaded, check this guy out, forget mines run on POW slave labour, we're talking heir to Bridgestone. The only thing is the article pontificates that the Hatoyamas are the Kennedy clan of Japan. Er, kinda. Apart from the stunning lack of charisma or leadership ability, that is.
A-biko is all a-quiver. An Outlet Mall has come to town. Well, 20 minutes down the road as the SUV flies, in the neighbouring prefecture (just call 'em counties and be done with it) of Ibaragi. Add to that a Joyful Honda DIY superstore somewhere in the not too far hinterland of Kashiwa, a CostCo somewhere nearby too, oh and an IKEA down the road and you have to ask yourself, What's the bloody point of living here if all the shit from the West has washed up here too?
Our Man would like to say he's making a principled stand against the influx of flatpack consumerism, but it's only because he doesn't have a car. (Yet - the strength of Al Gore's Incontinent Truth is waning on Our Woman and she has sent off our British driving licences to be converted into the local variety). It's only a matter of time before Sundays are spent choosing between beech and teak veneer bookcases. Ho hum.
Oh, at the other end of the scale, you'll be glad to hear the number of Ferraris sold in Japan last month was 59 - about double the usual number, according to an Our Man agent provocateur. Whether this means the rich tossers are getting richer again, or Fiat is off-loading some of its unsold motors at bargain prices, Our Man couldn't say, being the proud owner of a 12-year-old mountain bike (and having visitation rights to Our Woman's shopping bike).
Which reminds me... must get that video finished...
1. Our Man was musing about how little he knows or cares about Honduras, when Lo, he spied the label on his favourite T-shirt. Yep, Made in Honduras.
2. Our Man's boxer shorts feature excerpts from the rule book on American Football - all in Italian.
3. Er, software crashed, You Tube didn't want to play ball and Our Man getting too old to care - so no Our Man Exclusive video today. Maybe tomorrow. But can exclusively reveal the working title is "Warheads".
What the Hell are you doing coming here for election news? Doncha know Our Man does silly vids in the afternoon? Go to young Master Tobias or the Top Cat or Global thingy on the right there. Stop wasting your time here. But since you are here, seems Our Beloved Leader T. Aso has officially thrown the towel in for an August 30th election. Right, get your earplugs now before they sell out.
Pesky movie software crashed last night, so y'all will have to gird your loins for the next Our Man YouTube blockbuster. Thoughts on the Tokyo elections? DPJ is the biggest party, a handful shy of an outright majority. Bad for the bad guys but not quite stunning for the goodies. Still wouldn't like to be Aso today though. Or any day for that matter. Anyway, here's an amusing video to keep your loins ticking over until Our Man has a bit more free time:
Hey, Our Man's got three subscribers to his YouTube Channel! and this was lifted from one of them, here.
Oh, Our Man can't help himself- seems the head honcho for the LDP in Tokyo has lost his seat to a first timer from the DPJ. Aso, so long sucker. Somewhere else to watch the election - Kyodo news headlines, right here.
If you came here looking for the latest on the Tokyo Municipal Elections (yawn) try the Field Agents on the right of this post. The DPJ, as predicted, is doing well. If they do really well, could spell the end for Aso. If they don't, he could hang around. If Our Man is still awake past midnight, he may post something when more numbers are in, but he may not. Come on you Happiness Realization Party people! BTW, may Our Man recommend here, as the best place to watch the election?
Don't know if the eagerly awaited (by Our Man) new motion picture will be ready by Monday, so in the meantime, here are two observations Our Man observed while inspecting the Abikan surface fleet this morning he'd like to share with you good folk:
Lesbians shouldn't be shy about holding hands while going on a Sunday stroll along the promenade.
German Oktoberfest umpah-pah music is perhaps not the best choice to publicise your vegetable stall to passers-by.
The weekly Japanese lesson was disappointinglyunsurreal yesterday, although we did revisit the key points that elephants have long noses and that when Westerners get up in the morning, first they have a shower and then they have a cup of coffee. This practical approach was because the teacher was on a mission to educate, rather than the somewhat bumbling retired man who appears to be on a disinformation mission. Yesterday he rode shotgun, but tried his best to hijack the lesson to complain about the high cost of fireworks displays, but sensei was having none of it. Anyway, Our Man likes tangents.
Are you all tooled up with your swingometers and election district widgets for the big one? The Tokyo Municipal Elections on Sunday!!!?! Nahhh, Our Man neither. While the brainier bloggers are hanging with the pols searching for tidbits on the trail of the tofu-tosser vans, Our Man is sitting this one out. How come? He's bored. Reeeeeally bored. MTC (the TC stands for Top Cat) at Shisaku calls this one - the DPJ should take Tokyo, but when they do it will hardly be the ringing endorsement they will proclaim. Ho hum. Will another of Our Man's prophesies come true?
Recite the mantra: Parties don't win elections, they lose them. Ommmm.
Meanwhile, back in Abiko, the fleet needs a new lick of paint and lease of life to protect the womenfolk from the massed ranks of the Nork Synchronised Swimming Corps. Await further instructions.
Laziness is the mother of invention, and Our Man is in no position to argue with the wisdom of the ancients. See, he noticed that while he spends an inordinate amount of time (some nights 20 minutes!) scouring the web for interesting tittle tattle and videos of people walking backwards, it's the usual suspects he returns to for more satisfying fare. Yep he's talking about his weakly whiners, er, his weekly winners of the BLOG OF THE WEEK award. So Our Man figured, why not just put an update to these folk on the blog and use that 20 minutes more productively, like looking for a damn cork screw that works? Anyway, the blogs are on the right just below readers' wives, er, whines. Enjoy!
Met a very nice Chinese lady who goes by the English name of Nancy. Her (Chinese) husband's English name? Ronald. Why is it folk always dream of swimming with dolphins? Why not jumping across the great Australian Outback in the pouch of a kangeroo? Have life-limited kids noimagination? What's wrong with them?
Anyway, here's something Our Man's been meaning to do - add another worthy winner to his burgeoning blog of the week file. Yep - this would be winner no. 19 (how about them apples, Roy at Mutant Frog Travelogue, who reckoned Our Man would only get to 10 before he would have to give up).
And get this, no need for dead presidents' names for the exquisitely named anothershittyblogbysomedouche (English name - Smashed and Sinking!!!) who has been writing up a storm about life in Japan, and with some good political stuff like here. Welcome to the club (you can never leave),
They will eliminate all sales taxes. They will double Japan's population to 300 million by 2030 through more shagging and welcoming 100 million gaijin into Japan.They will send in a squad of ninjas to abduct Kim Jong Il from his Nork movie theatre.They will ban all cram schools.They will rent nukes from Uncle Sam. Oh, and they will make English a "semi-official" language here.
Wow. No taxes. Shagging galore. Fun with Norks and Nukes and more English-speaking neighbours? The question has to be asked, is the Happiness Realization Party making a play for Our Man's vote? Just got a few problems with the prophesies of a reincarnated ladyboy Gabriel in Bangkok, but Our Man could convert, he's pretty open-minded...
Hey, it's been awhile since Our Man has had a go at newspapers. Mainly, Our Man's been feeling sorry for them and their if-not-now-then-soon-to-be-laid-off staff. But really, when you print this turgid nonsense from AP (under the headline "Back to the future with the 'biomass' truck" in the Japan Times yesterday) you are just waving an empty packet of Leicester cheese under his nose. OK, sure the original small town reporter did his job and wrote about a fella who converted his Ford F150 pick-up truck to run on alternative technology biomass engine - powered by rubbish. Oh goodie, it's the alternative technology solution to all our energy needs!Er, wake up you dozing sub-editors, your spider senses should be tingling:
The organic materials in the reactor are exposed to extreme heat, which breaks them down into vapor gases. Then a startup vacuum system is turned on to get the gases flowing to the engine.
Um, about this extreme heat necessary to get the organic process going. That would be 2,000 degrees, wouldn't it? So, um, how you gonna power the oven that cooks the biomass? With gas, coal or, um, oil? The only thing looking a little green are the lazy journos that didn't spike this story as soon as they saw it. Hey Paa, the Arkansas Chugabug made it all the way to Jaaaypan, yeeehaaw!
Q. You know what they call alternative technology that works?
How was your Independence Day weekend? Our Man's British, so he really doesn't give a shit, but let him tell you about his - he spent it making the following humble vid. This would be only his second attempt at making a vid - the first (right here, in case you missed it, which large numbers of people did, surprisingly) was just a test to see if he could work his iMac software to make something worthwhile (dang, failed again). Anyway, this here is his latest attempt to enter the 21st century. (Tell you what, getting the pictures to change on the beat ain't as easy as it looks):
To aid your, er, enjoyment of the video, here are some factoids:
All the video footage was shot on Saturday as Our Man rode his shopping bike to and from his Japanese lesson. Except for the lake shot near the end, which is a year old.
The pol with his hands out shortly before receiving a brown A4 size envelope stuffed with ¥10,000 notes is the bloke from New Komeito (in league with the LDP).
The graveyard fellas are the DPJ chaps.
Prime Minister Taro Aso makes no cameo appearance. But the baldy bloke and A.N. Other are LDP henchmen.
Our Man does like his splendid isolation. It's lovely not being able to understand the inane conversations that go on between folk on the bus, leaving him free to focus on more profound matters - like what funny video to put on the blog next. Recently, though, after much pestering from Our Woman, he rejoined a Saturday Japanese language class he'd been far too busy to attend last year. Yesterday was surreal. Here's what he learnt:
Giraffes have long necks.
Japanese have single eyelids while Westerners have double eyelids.
Black folk in white shirts are scary at night.
It is best to stay in the Laos international airport and get drunk through the night until morning, as it's far too dangerous to venture out at night in Nigeria.
Wow, that was an eventful July 4th in Greater Abiko, marked with the Norks giving their own little firework display. But bless you, even though you only let loose seven bangers, you seem to have scared Sarah Palin off her perch in Alaska.
You'd expect the Happiness Realization Party to be a bit more cheerful. But judging from their latest YouTube campaign ad, they are not happy at all. In fact, the impartial observer might be tempted to venture that THEY ARE SEETHING HATE-MONGER LOONS who want to tool up Japan with nukes to do battle with her neighbours. Is it that thinking-impaired general spouting hate again? Plot B in a Murakami novel? Dick Cheney on tour?
Nope. This would be the political arm of the Happy Science fruitcakes who when not trying to scare the shitake out of the Japanese with fear of the synchronised swimmers of North Korea, believe that there will be war in the Middle East (Duhhh????) the Angel Gabriel will be reincarnated in Bangkok (well, stranger things have happened there) oh and, according to Wikipedia:
During the years of 2400 through 2500 Jesus will be re-incarnated. Another important event is that the extraterrestrials that visited the Earth in the 1980s return. They now have more than 10 races and we communicate with them. Unfortunately the aliens have a different “concept of property” to humans so the aliens disagree on many things.
Yeah, aliens can be like that. But could explain Bruce Willis'stransformation from comedian to hard man. Hmmm. Anyway, fruitcake fringe party? Hope so, but Our Man has seen their posters around Abiko and they claim they have 10 million followers worldwide. Don't worry though, they probably use the same firm that does the YomiuriShimbun's circulation figures.
Without further ado, here's their entertaining video of how Armageddon would look, Japan style. Note the lack of any work that the salarymen are doing at the beginning, the shitload of missiles North Korea has and, the great use of menacing/happy music. Aerosmith, it is not.
Hammers and nails. Hammers and nails. You know, the adage that in Japan you have to hammer the nail that sticks out. This apparently refers to the desirability of conforming. Well, that does not apply to politics in Japan (or anything else, Our Man is beginning to think). While Our Man hammers on (geddditt?) about the LDP (the bad guys) and the DPJ (the good guys, remember?), actually most Japanese quite sensibly couldn't give a toss about party affiliation, having figured out all by themselves that their higher-ups are a bunch of thieving, self-serving bastards. You want proof? At least 70% of voters pay no attention to party labels*. They vote on matters of whether the candidate seems like a trustworthy chap (or chapette). How come? In a traditionally one-party state, you get used to looking beneath the label for any spark of life or signs of humanity.
By this measure, it's looking pretty bad for Taro Aso, prime minister and his equally old-school DPJ nemesis Hatoyama (the one with the wavy hair).
It's like being asked to choose between Pepsi and Coke, when all we really want is a beer.
Our Man's heart's not really in this swearing thing. In fact he's got bored with it already. The problem with trying to shock you folk is Our Man's got to be pretty damned creative given that there's a whole lot more extreme stuff just a click away for those who like to get upset at being offended. A bigger problem for Our Man is that what's sassy, rebellious and fresh from the mouths of spotty blogo-youths comes off as sounding, well, pathetic from a middle aged ex-pat. So no more c-words on this blog. But Our Man reserves the right to callwankers wankers andpricks pricks.
Which reminds Our Man - J-politics. Sure, everyone reckons the LDP tapping up the former comedian Hideo Higashikokubaru to join the LDP front bench in Tokyo is a big joke, especially as he dissed the party and gave a counter offer of "I'll join your sodding party if you make me PM!" The joke was then on the LDP. But Our Man reckons (and when is his judgment faulty?) the LDP jokers really are thinking about it. And so they should.
Any old fogies out there who still get their news from the telly will recognise this excellent piss take of Japanese TV news (from here). It honestly is this shockingly bad. Speaking of shocking, attentive viewers may have noticed the language on this blog has been getting a bit on the blue side recently. Well, Our Man doesn't go out of his way to swear, but if the odd four letter word is necessary (or funny), then where's the harm in that? Old habits of starring out the word f**k die hard, and may be a bit twee in this day and age, maybe Our Man should lose those last fig leaves. He also has yet to embrace the use of cunt, which though far more in use in British dominion territories, and an excellent shorthand term for a politician, tends to make otherwise fearless rebellious Americans squirm. Though his thinking may be a bit outdated on that. Any living Colonials out there have an opinion on this?
Our Man reckons if you believe in free speech, let the expletives, er, eplete. Why fight censorship if you allow good taste to stop you from saying what you really want to say?