Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Long Goodbye? Nope. Just getting off the news cycle for a bit

Jake Adelstein's Tokyo Vice has had a profound effect on Our Man. And he's only read the first 35 pages.

Our Man's first instinct was to be suspicious. C'mon, you can't wipe your gaijin arse in this country without reading a gushing review of the the book. Being the (unpaid) professional cynic that Our Man is, he wasn't gonna buy the hype, much less the book.

But dammit, the fella can write. Anybody who writes a post like this, deserves a second look. And he writes back to every comment leaver, Our Man included, amazingly. (Reminiscent of the aura of Bill Clinton - he never forgot a name... MON-EE-KA (er, ignore that - ed.)

Actually, Our Man once met Mr A., about 12 years ago, when Ourmani Nabiko was a wet-behind-the-ears copy editor at the Daily Yomiuri. Mr A. wanted to check the edited version of one of his stories which he had written in Japanese, had been translated into dictionary English by a Japanese translator and re-molded into semi-readable bollocks by yours truly.

Can't remember what the story was about, or what changes he wanted (though naturally we Copy Idiotors didn't take kindly to being told what to write by a mere reporter - even a frustratingly fluent-in-Japanese one who was working for the hallowed shimbun not the chip-wrapper, red-headed stepchild English-only Daily Yomuiri, but Our Man digresses... oh yeah, think "noble", think "honour" think "reciprocal hits") anyway, it now makes Our Man wonder about fate and such.

Being a scientific kinda bloke, that's some admission to make.

For example. Did Our Man ever tell you how he ended up in Abiko? Well, the official bollocks is right here if you can be arsed, but the reality is much more out there. You wanna know the Jake's honest truth? Our Man consulted a broke fortune teller over the phone who dangled a crystal pendant over place names in the Kanto region, and Abiko resonated baby. Shallow huh? But a lot of things the lady said have come to pass.

Anyway, you can see Our Man is uncharacteristically straying from the point. The point? The point is Jake's done something. He has a cracking story to tell and, here's the rub, he actually told it. How many of us have the balls to do that? He could snuff it tomorrow (and probably will if he doesn't knock those clove fags on the head) but so what if he does? He's left his mark. Like that fella (Bill Pukkman? - ed.) in that gawdawful Independence Day movie, he hasn't gone quietly into the night.

So anyway, thanks to Jake, Our Man is inspired. Our Man wants to do something more than stating the daily obvious that Japanese pols are a bunch of crooks, and occasionally comical ones at that.

Our Man's got a great idea for a novel. Well, he thinks so, and he thinks he can write it. He already has if you add up all the words he has spouted since this blog began. Our Man would like to do for Abiko what Jake Adelstein has done for the yakuza. No wait, what Alexander McCall Smith has done for Botswana.

But Abiko wasn't built in a day. Writing something worthwhile takes time, effort and lots of Yosemite Red. But Our Man is short on time (his accountant warned him he has less than 40 years left to live, give or take).

So, while it pains the journo in Our Man to not file a post every day (as he has since November 22nd, 2008) something has got to give. Make no mistake, Our Man is still out there, watching, waiting, lying comatose, but he's not going to be posting every day from now on, and cut him some slack if he gets a little tardy in replying to comments or posting funny vids of journos screwing up. In newspaper terms, Our Man is going from a daily to a weekly. At least until he gets a first draft done anyway.

Over (but not out).


(Funny way of going about cutting down your blogging time by writing the longest post of your career, sheesh - ed.)


jt_edancorkill said...

I'll miss the daily blog posts, but if it means that one day I'll be able to read a novel about/set in/inspired by/celebrating Abiko, then it will be worth it!

the rev. paperboy said...

Do it! There is life after the DY.

sigma1 said...

Awesome. Get on that! If I had even a whiff of an idea I would do the same.

Armchair Asia said...


Jon Allen said...

excellent idea. looking forward to the book. perhaps you can share some chapters here as a taster?

Jane said...

Sounds great! Good luck with that then and I look forward to reading it!

Yumeji said...

Good for you.
Looking forward to the fruits of your labour.
Oh, how's the Yosemite's price-to-taste ratio by the way?
Good luck old chap.

D said...

Don't know how you could post everyday anyway, Our Man. And although it will be tough for you to give up some of the high income and glory from blogging everyday, perhaps this diversion will pay off. We'll all still be here.

Paul said...

Go for it!
I'm with Jon Allen on you blogging a bit of the work in progress. Would love to read an excerpt when/if you're ready to share.
Some writers (Diana Gabaldon) love to post stuff in progress. Others (Stephen King) really don't. Wonder which approach you'll take...

Our Man in Abiko said...

EC - Abiko salutes you too.
Rev. - You get an Amen from Our Man.
Sigma - Our Man's on it.
AA - Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss

And all the rest - thanks for the good luck wishes. Our Man needs 'em. As far as sharing excerpts - absolutely - when the time comes and in small doses. The book is still in its infancy and might kak its pants in public.

Kara said...

Well, this is very exciting. I don't have the patience to write a letter, much less a novel. Looking forward to reading!

Dad and Margaret said...

Yes, write that novel!