Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Saturday, 27 November 2010
But, money talks. And this seems to be what's driving the Japanese Government to finally start saying sorry for the war, and really mean it.
Wouldn't it be nice if that was reported here, in Japan?
As you were.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
- The Sorks and the Yanks were busy playing soldiers and the Norks wanted to play too.
- The Sorks said naff off.
- The Norks started lobbing stuff at the Sorks.
- The Sorks are on high alert, ready to retaliate and knock out some Nork missile bases.
- The Yanks have been scrambling jets all day, according to Our Man's Twitter sources living near US military bases here. (If you live anywhere in Japan, you live near US military bases).
- The Japanese PM was woken from his afternoon nap (sort of, if you see TV footage of him addressing the nation, think he was still asleep).
- Japan will set up a committee to look into what to do.
Monday, 22 November 2010
Saturday, 20 November 2010
A. An English language chain school (Shane) has been taken over by a Japanese cram school. Why should you care? Because it was the only big one flashing the Union Jack in Abiko. With that bunting gone, how will Our Man celebrate Bill n Kath getting hitched?
B. The pols keep trying to do stuff but nobody is listening. Kan (the PM) is as ineffectual as the rest, so we might as well await the impending nationalist insurrection to offer us some gumption.
C. Our Man is the proud owner if the coolest T-shirt in Abiko that just arrived in a care package from the States.
D. That is all
Yes, it's time for winos of the world again, email edition. Anyway, as you can prolly tell, Zour Man is a little the worse for wear and tear. Now, he was well fooled that this would beva quality wine cos it had that telltale red wrap around the neck deal, but when our man unwound it, blow him if it wasn't a blinking screw top. Man, lucky it ws only ¥700, if Out Man's memory serves.
Monday, 15 November 2010
Now, he could go on about what a fascist nightmare of a parody of capitalism the place is, and in fact he has, both here on this blog last year or so and up there on his twitter feed today. So he won't labour the point. Again. Much.
But, anyway, maybe because of the horror of being stuck there FOR 10 HOURS and forced to assume an air of joviality for the benefit of the kids, his mind wandered Winston-Smith-like to a private world where Our Man could call the shots, reorder reality and make his very own Magic Kingdom come true (and inflict it on others in due course).
Up till today, Our Man had got a nifty set of characters all doing their thing, a half-decent plot, a premise he's been eagerly proving everyday, baby. He'd even got a subplot and some comments to stick on the cover from celebs who innocently showed their arse to Our Man on Twitter, unaware of their import.
He wasn't sure how he could smooth all the rough edges and fill in the plot potholes. UNTIL TODAY.
Today, he knows how it's gonna end, how all the important loose ends are gonna get tied. In short, whodunit.
So, in the interests of writing something worth reading, it's time to start loosening up to air a few ideas to you brave few. Here's what Our Man can say for sure:
1. The protagonist is Hana, a 19-year-old hafu (English dad, Japanese mum) with the worldly-wise cynicism of her absent dad, but trepidations of her do-the-right-thing mum.
2. It's written in the first person, which is quite a stretch for Our Man, being the third person that he is. And a bloke. And many summers past 19. But, frankly, if first person's good enough for Holden Caulfield, it's good enough for Ourmani.
3. The premise is lying to yourself ends in death; or, the best way to fit in is to not fit in.
4. It's set in Abiko, mostly.
5. The kickoff (sorry, don't know the literary term) is an American dad searching for his abducted daughter.
6. Think of the novel (if you do at all, freakozoid) as a roadtrip through Japan. Well, suburban Japan. Beginning with an "A".
7. Minor characters include a local yakuza boss, his ageing henchman, a wet-behind-the-ears apprentice, juxtaposed with Our Heroine and her sidekick a Shinto priest. Oh, and the mysterious missing kid with her own twitter feed.
8. There's also a tramp kappa-like shadow shogun who breeds hamsters by the swamp. And a ditzy CNN reporter babe. And need to flesh out a cop figure.
9. Can't think of a ninth point. Other than to say it ain't gonna be high art, but Our Man reckons it's a bit profound. So that means others will think it's a comedy. Ok.
10. It's gonna be called "Half Life."
There it is, as it stands.
Thanks, Walt. Fascist.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
- If you, as a journo, spend your whole time checking stories on the internet, using the internet to set up meetings, to research stories, to archive stories on the internet, er, why do you think there is a future for you or your newspaper off the internet? Anyone can do what you do at home, for free, if they could be bothered.
- If you have to do double shifts because there aren't enough folk to cover the rota when someone takes a holiday (Our Man is looking at you, Japan Times) is that the sign of viable business?
- If you have no choice but to accept a 9.75% pay cut (howya doing Daily Yomiuri?) time to think about jumping ship. To something with a future. Like nail salons, maybe. Look, everyone's got nails, right? You can't digitize that, right?
- If you can't even give your product away for free, you've got problems.
- When the whole What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor thing erupted and the Japanese government (let's just say for instance, OK?) leaked the video of the drunk Chinese skipper ramming the Japanese coast guard boat - it wasn't leaked to one of their friendly kisha-club plants in the press or TV stations. Nope, it was leaked directly to YouTube.
- If you want the single best news source on Japan (or Hobnob biscuits for that matter) go to Twitter. Start following folk who tweet about Japan (and/or Hobnobs) and very quickly you'll set up your very own wire service that works better and faster than any single newspaper. Because it's done by folk interested in the news, but who don't care where they get it from. In a good way. If you see what Our Man means. If you do, please tell him, he'd like to know too.