You know, one of the many joys of being here at the helm of this virtual bunker, apart from the freedom to mix metaphors along with the cocktails (what Mildred doesn't know about malt and condensed milk isn't worth knowing, chums), is coming across someone that other English speakers (and Americans) might not be aware of. It seems a shame that we speakers of the global language have missed out on the wit and wisdom of one Masayuki Takayama.
Funny that he has no Wikipedia page in English, him being such a prolific author in Japanese and all. To get a measure of the man, here are some of his published works, with their English titles in tag cloud format, though you can't click on any of them 'cos, Our Man can't seem to find them on Amazon for some reason:
Sadam Hussein Was a Great Man (2007) Is Aung San Suu Kyi a Good Person? (2008) George Bush Saved Japan (2008) Is President Obama a Black? (2009) Lincoln The Great Liked Slaves (2010) How Good is Japan? (2008) How Awful is the US? (2009)
You could say the chap likes to be contrary, and that's a quality Our Man certainly approves of, although unlike Takayama, Our Man also likes to blend contrariness with, er, how you say, the truth. But this chap is a published writer, a journo no less, and gets regular paying gigs.
Anyway, thank goodness for the diligent folk at The Point, a Washington think tank that actually appears to do a bit of thinking, rather than tanking up at neo-con hors d'heuvre-athons. They have a full translation of Takayama's latest masterwork about the Bataan Death March. But here, gentle reader, are a few bits taken from the start of his piece that give you a taste of a master at the height of his powers:
Jewish people are assiduous and are never slack in their studies... the so-called Bataan Death March... Japan was eventually provoked into a war... It was obvious the U.S. had Japan in the palm of its hand. And so as scheduled, war broke out.
Oh yeah, and the Japanese didn't torture anyone. Gary Cooper did. Japanese don't torture people. Yanks do. Like Gary Cooper. And US troops in Iraq. (OK, by the law of averages, he got one right). Japan was the true victim in the war. The folk who claim otherwise are liars.
So he's a loon, and is entitled to his corner of the internut, just like OUR MAN, you say. Only his contrarian bollocks was carried in the national weekly magazine Shukan Shincho, which folk can buy at any station news kiosk or 7-11 in the land.
Now, Takayama is free to build a large, ignorant audience by arguing Japan was the victim of the war, always treated its prisoners with the utmost decorum, has no need to apologise or believe pesky foreigners who for some reason are not satisfied with Japan's lack of reckoning with its own past...
He is also free to stick an umbrella up his arse and call himself a pina colada, but that doesn't make it so.
Anyway, Our Man hopes he has done his bit for international understanding by bringing such a talented chap to a wider, international audience.