Friday, 21 September 2012

THE USSR, AND MY Y-FRONTS' PART IN ITS DOWNFALL



The girls were watching members of AKB48 personally test the springability of various celebrity transvestites' plastic surgery bits on prime time TV over at the mother-in-law's tonight, and Our Man realised he has been feeling a bit more out of it than usual.

Granted, this is not unusual for Our Man, he does on the whole enjoy his splendid isolation, but every now and then it's good to catch up with the rest of the world. But after attempting to see it from Mitt Romney's perspective, Our Man was accused on Twitter of being a gaijin with untrustworthy insights into Japan. Which was quite insulting, until he came round to the view that, yes, he is a gaijin and yes, his views on Japan are untrustworthy. Though what that all had to do with Mitt the Younger, he couldn't follow. Well, that's the limits of 140 characters for you. 

Anyway, here's a link that you probably all know about, but just in case you all are as out of it as Our Man is, here it is anyway: 


They have 40,000 out-of-copyright books that you can download to your ereader. Our Man picked up for his Kindle a War and Peace, a couple of Twain essays, Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, a couple of H.G. Wells novels and some Sherlock Holmes adventures all for free. You can't help but go high-brow when everything is published pre-1923.

Which is all marvelous, but distracts, like this blog post, from the main task at hand, which is to finish writing an essay on Tokyo Disneyland, North Korea and the true story of Our Man's Y-fronts and their part in the downfall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Socialist Soviet Republics, Our Man forgets the right order at this time of the morning. 

One interesting fact that Our Man stumbled upon in the course of researching (researching?? - ed) the essay: Bet you can't guess (unless you can read numbers bolded up in green later on in this post) the bar tab that "the father of Tokyo Disneyland" ran up, just in the first month of land purchase negotiations with a bunch of Urayasu fishermen? It was back in 1961, but in today's money it would be worth...

$80,000

Pretty good considering you can't find a drop of liquor in Tokyo Disney for love or money these days. And negotiations dragged on for nine years.

Anyway, Our Man is going to offer the essay to Granta for first refusal. Hopefully they will refuse it sharpish, then Our Man will publish it asap as an Amazon single. You have been warned.

Carry on.

12 comments:

@Crank_Dub said...

Y-fronts? Were they part of the Cold Front, The Eastern Front, The Western Front, A Policy of Containment, The Great Purge or your Diplomatic Bag?

Our Man in Abiko said...

Y for Yalta? They were the X-factor in the USSR, baby.

kamo said...

Russian Y-fronts? I wouldn't buy those if I were you.

Chernobyl fallout, you see.

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitress...

Our Man in Abiko said...

One of the great terrors of writing a blog is to wake up the next day and re-read what I wrote the night before and cringe at what the sozzled editor let through.

And then there's the comments.

No wonder everyone's buggered off to Facesitter and G-string+.

What?

Michael Thomas Cucek said...

The pitiful $80,000 the "Father of Tokyo Disneyland" dropped in the first month of his successful buyout of the fisherfolk of Urayasu would not buy him two lunches with Mitt Romney.

Our Man in Abiko said...

This is true, MTC. Innocent times, indeed.

RMilner said...

I'm sure I was able to drink in Tokyo Disney Sea a few years ago, in the restaurants anyway.

You may be interested to know that copyright for authors is 50 years after death in Japan, and 70 years after death in the UK.

If you bring your e-reader on holiday to Blighty, you will have to delete or archive the HG Wells books when you enter UK airspace.

hardkoretom said...

Over half the books on my kindle fire are from the out of print set you mentioned. There is just too much good old stories to read then having to spend 10 bucks on a book that is only half as interesting as an old book.

Eido INOUE said...

Pedantically speaking, there is liquor at Tokyo Disneyland: in the elite Club 33.

Unlike Club 33 in Florida, there are no "individual memberships" in the Tokyo Disneyland version. Only corporate.

In case you were interested in joining the Club 33 in Orlando, Florida: that alcohol and French dining will cost you $15K per year. And there's a waiting list for membership that runs in the years.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Ordinarily Our Man shoots pedants on sight, but in your case INOUE-san, I'd buy you a drink. Though not in Club 33. Much obliged for the observation. Will amend essay forthwith.

Cardinal said...

Nothing much constructive to say except that I love the Abiko Free Press, Our Man's blog, and have almost all of the books you've published thus far. I'm off to tell the others about you.

Our Man in Abiko said...

You are clearly a cardinal of uncommon taste and/or are completely loopy. Either way, carry on with Abiko's blessing.