Thursday, February 19, 2009


I watched Shaun (Cramp) beast one of those the other day at the mall. Download the .avi file and watch. Everyone asks me how big the burgers are in America and I'm just like...smaller than a MegaMac, you fools.


I've got a real love-hate relationship with being here, as those who followed my
dormant Japan blog were forced to read about every other day. Some days suck me in to the point where I feel like recontracting for a third year, but on others I sit on Orbitz pricing flights and fantasizing about running away back to the West. Generally speaking, Japan is okay. I don't really like it, but it at least amuses and befuddles me to the point where I can sit and chuckle.

The apparent absence of goats in this big pasture of sheep freaks me out, probably because I'm so goddamned American and I think even a collectivist society should consist of entirely individuals who prize uniqueness and go "rabble rabble rabble" when something's dissatisfactory. There's one guy in my biweekly English conversation club, Shin. who breakdances and has applied to be a comedian in Tokyo. His English is damned near perfect, he loves to talk about politics, and he does a great "Tickle Me Elmo" impression. We inevitably turn every meeting to the topic of Japanese complacency and collectivism, and Shin always bangs his fists on the table and says "we need a fucking revolution - it's not good enough." He may not instigate the complete overhaul and radicalization of Japan but it means way more coming from him than from the millions of angry teenagers in the USA who shout "revolution" because Jimmy Eat World told them to say so, you know? It seems to me that most Japanese who reject Japan's values would rather leave the country than try and change the nation from within, and I can't blame them at all. This is a country where staying at work until 10 pm doing nothing is valued more highly than being extremely productive and leaving on time, being 10 minutes late requires paperwork that will travel through three levels of bureaucracy, and people still buy CDs - which are twice as expensive here as in the States! I've met a lot of unhappy young, medium and elderly people who are looking for escape, through marriage or education or whatever, and I can totally see where they're coming from.

Even the impeccably stylish young demographic with their skinny legs and flawless makeup and amazing clothes all wear variations of the exact same outfit. Fashion isn't used to make statements so much as to fit into style niches here. Wearing Doc Martens with a studded belt doesn't necessarily say anything about you. Maybe the goth-lolitas running around still like SMAP and Lilo & Stitch. The massive popularity of reggae and cannabis paraphenalia has not educated the youth about Rastafari or the joys of pot smoking, and half of them still think Jamaica is in Africa. I always love to find the 3-4 kids per class with a cannabis pencil case and say "マリファナ好き?" ("so, you like marijuana?") and watch their faces as they recoil in horror. It just blows my mind how so many people run around professing their love for HEMPU and JAMAICA yet they haven't bothered to understand the meaning of that funny leaf that's plastered all over their grandma's air fresheners.

But then again, here I am the hypocrite, criticizing other people for being unaware and unconcerned about things - perhaps not even intentionally - while I sit on the other side of the world not reading the international news or thinking about anything terribly important. Ah well.


I have overslept every single day this week because I keep staying up too late. I'm so exhausted that it feels like I'm high. Maybe I'll go sniff some markers after lunch. They smell so nice. Oh my god, put me back to bed please


  1. At least it's nice to know that people that swim upstream actually can exist in Japan now. It wasn't very long ago where pretty much anyone like that was driven to suicide.

    And hey, if there aren't enough goats there, maybe you should start throwing them.

  2. No, I don't think you're like that! When you're interested in something, you go on a rampage and learn EVERYTHING about it; you'd never wear a cannabis leaf without knowing what it was. I think you're better at the internet than almost anyone I know. Even if the information is really specific and bizarre, by god, you'll find it!

  3. I have a fine assortment of French markers from the Marseille region. Strong floral notes compliment the lady's delicate palette.

    sometimes I'm amazed at some of the bizarre creative stuff that comes out of this country despite the high level of conformity and inside the box thinking that permeates. At the same time, I come to conclusions only to have them turned on the head, so never say never. There's a whole side to this place we probably don't understand yet.

  4. Japan had Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late 1970s, who were basically the Japanese answer to Kraftwerk. I am holding onto that hope that such a brilliant creative explosion can happen again. For now though there's a thriving metal/noiserock scene that keeps me believing, and let's face it, mainstreamwise Perfume and M-flo are damned fun.

    I cannot fully understand here but I also don't want to waste my twenties trying to and possibly failing. I've committed myself to the lifestyle of consistently running away from anything that could be considered stable, permanent or home.

  5. Since when did Jimmy Eat World tell us to start a revolution??

    Be nice to Jimmy. They're not even that popular really. :P

    Sometimes I get bummed here for the same reasons you're talking about. Especially from my superiors.


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