My new life in Japan

Conversation I had with MF a few weeks ago while we were taking a look at Japanese satellite TV operator SkyPerfecTV’s channel offerings:

MF: you should just quit your job and fly to japan next week
MF: screw the apartment
Adamu: dont tempt me
MF: you can get a job at nova
Adamu: haha
MF: and then go home to your sweet, sweet tv
Adamu: ok now that IS sad
MF: and a big can of kirin
MF: or asahi dry
Adamu: asahi
Adamu: id have to have a good tv
Adamu: maybe i could get those tv goggles
Continue reading My new life in Japan

Belgium Has The Smurf Bomb

While this story’s been making its way around the blogs for days now, I can’t help but propagate it a bit further. The opening says it all:

Unicef bombs the Smurfs in fund-raising campaign for ex-child soldiers

The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters’ village is annihilated by warplanes…

What could be crazier than this? As it turns out, the idea that was left on the cutting-room floor:

Julie Lamoureux, account director at Publicis for the campaign, said the agency’s original plans were toned down. “We wanted something that was real war—Smurfs losing arms, or a Smurf losing a head—but they said no.

Thankfully, the spot will only be shown late at night, when the kids are (hopefully) asleep, and when the only victims of this ad will be adults. Let’s see how much money it raises for the Smurf-killers at the UN…

Koizumi takes a moment to ponder (taking magic mushrooms)

The shrooms have made Koizumi believe he can read the minds... of dead people

Last week’s Koizumi mail magazine started out like this:

[Lion Heart — Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
(Provisional Translation)

Autumn at the Prime Minister’s Office

Junichiro Koizumi here.

Yesterday morning, a clear and crisp autumn day, I was taking my usual walk from my official residence to my office when I spotted mushrooms amongst the shrubbery in front of my residence. Looking closer, I found an assortment of mushrooms scattered about, whose varieties ranged from large-capped mushrooms to small mushrooms that were nearly hidden by the shadows of the weeds. I am eager to look them up to learn whether they are edible.

A poignant moment of reflection for the PM right before his dream of postal privatization is about to be realized, right?

Well, thankfully for Koizumi he didn’t have to take time out of his busy schedule to look up what kind of mushrooms those were. According to Super News (anchored by the stunningly intense Yuko Ando — check out her awesome Fashion Calendar!), the mushrooms growing outside the Prime Minister’s official residence are actually hallucinogenic drugs that were legal in Japan until 2001 or so!

On a completely unrelated note, a friend of mine has pointed me in the direction of FNN (English explanations, Japanese videos [wtf??]), Fuji TV’s online video news site. This is the only site of its kind I have seen that offers high quality video that you can actually pause and let load so it doesn’t stop in the middle.

“My Japan”

A conversation with a friend last night reminded me of this incredible WWII propaganda film. It was made to sell U.S. war bonds in the final months of the war, and it features an American actor playing a Japanese narrator, explaining why the Americans will never win the war.

During the first couple of minutes, it’s abysmally stupid, as the narrator talks about flowers and bunnies and “Mount Fujama” (a mispronunciation of “Fujiyama,” itself a mistransliteration of “Mount Fuji”). By the middle, though, the film is brutally effective at its aim: terrifying the average American, who was almost sure that Japan had no chance of surviving, into thinking that Japan might pull through and deal incredible damage to America in the process. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the war era.

(There are a few nauseating racial stereotypes in the film, but not the kind you’re probably used to seeing in WWII propaganda. In fact, the film goes out of its way to debunk some of the classic images of short, bespectacled “Jap” soldiers, and that adds to its effectiveness.)