Monday, 30 May 2011


So, it's been a while since Our Man has pontificated about anything other than Quakebook, huh? Well, he'd like to state for the record that Our Man is not just about Quakebook, dammit. What is Our Man about then? A good question, thanks for asking.

His mission used to be to take the piss out of the pompous, haughty and absurdly comical higher-ups of this world. But the mission has changed.

As long as there are people suffering and Our Man is in a position to help, he can hardly turn his back, can he? And if some of those higher-ups can help Our Man help others, well, it would be childish of him to poke fun at them. Unless they start it first, obviously. Has Our Man gone through his difficult adolescent years to become the Man he always should have been? Too soon to say, but it does feel like a couple of things have dropped in to place, so to speak.

Anyway, Our Man will post less about Quakebook here, leaving such thoughts for the Quakebook blog, where they belong, but before he does, let him share with ya'll a few self-indulgent, but well received, comments that he worked out on the train to Shibuya the other day for the Quakebook Live! thing.

Five Learnings* from Quakebook
  1. Doesn't matter who you are or what your skills are, you can make a difference. Don't wait for someone else to act, do it yourself. Gaijin, regular jin, it matters not. If you are alive and you give a shit, you can do something worthwhile.
  2. There's no point in having all these toys if we don't use them when we need them for something important. You can use Twitter to laugh at Charlie Sheen, send links to animals doing funny things and promote your own T-shirt shop. And that's wonderful and fun and so on. But if you can use this same tool to connect people, to make money for victims of a disaster, to record an important moment in history, why the hell wouldn't you?
  3. People will respond if what you are doing is of value. Your job is to find something of value to do. Hint: there's nothing like an earthquake to focus the mind.
  4. Doing something, even flawed, is better than doing nothing. Allow St Ourmani Nabiko to relate the parable of the bananas to you heathen: A peon in Ishinomaki city government had a crate of bananas. Two hundred tsunami survivors queued for a banana. But there were only 180 bananas. So, in the interests of fairness, the peon decided no one would get a banana. And lo, the bananas did rot. And everyone went equally hungry.
  5. Surround yourself with good people and anything is possible. Most people are good, they just need a chance to shine - give them that chance. Give them their banana.
* This is not an Our Man in Abiko word. But Our Man rather sniffily said as much** when he went on stage at The Pink Cow in Shibuya, and he'd just like to apologise for being a supercilious prick about it to the MC.
**But it really isn't a word is it? I mean, I guess we could make it a word***, I don't want to be all French and preserving the sanctity and purity of the lingua franca, but I mean c'mon.
***We have a perfectly good word in la lingua anglais - "lessons". There. I've said it.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


There is so much to say, and not all of it Quakebook-related you know. But there is some pretty big Quakebook news if you are not sick of hearing about it - right here. To raise more money, we're giving the ebook away for free. What? Details where it said right here right there. (Hint: the real paper and ink book is coming in a few days to a bookstore near you. Honest.)

Our Man will return to his blogging ways soonish, but that darned earthquake has been eating up the available time.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


I'm not gonna let it go to my head, honest. But, I've only gone and done a national interview on Australia Radio, er, live and everything, and I did purrrrrrty well, even managing to interrupt the hosts to get the Quakebook website address on the air. Tee hee.

But I forgot to mention Yoko Ono. Booo! Or Goken, who is publishing the darned book and everything.

And yes, I am a media whore, but for a purpose: I'm just trying to sell books to help relieve suffering. It's purrrrrrty simple to me, but I've always found it easy to reconcile selling out to do good. The difficult part is doing the right thing just because.

I'm working on it. And I'm gonna enlist some help. Maybe someone with a little pull in the world, someone like Steve Jobs. If he's up for it.

Anyway, while I decipher what the hell I thought I meant in the previous paragraph, click here for the Australia podcast. Tip: Move the cursor to the middle, my bit is in the second half.

CNN comes calling at 7:30 am, Wednesday, Abiko Sentral Standard time (ASS time) if you can make it.

Saturday, 14 May 2011


Our Man is fighting enough battles on enough fronts, he really didn't want to start another one. But when he saw on twitter someone saying how nice it was Apple stores were offering free maintenance on Apple products for folk in Tohoku, he could no longer in good conscience keep his mouth shut.

For those not up with the ways of twitter, read from the bottom up.


Saturday, 7 May 2011


Hey, it's been a while. What no Quakebook updates? Interepted email? Nothing happening? Make no mistake, Our Man has been busy. But nothing much to show for it yet. In case you didbn't know though, Quakebook will be coming to a bookshop near you, if you live in Japan, and it will be a bilingual English/Japanese affair.

Lovely. Also, Amazon will be selling a print book very soon, with all proceeds going to charity. And we are working on getting a print book onto shelves of ye olde booke shoppes around the world too, so keep calm.

Our Man follows the Churchill school of rhetoric - mouth off when you are losing, keep quiet when you are winning. He's been quiet a while now.

But that's not to say Our Woman hasn't been filling the void. If Our Man and Quakebook is attacking the Earthquake on the macro-economic front (carpet bombing with relief) Our Woman's Free Tohoku is more of a micro-economic tactical strike against the tsunami.

Together, we shall prevail. Or die trying.

As you were.