I watched the presedent’s recent press conference on the web today, surprisingly intact and accompanied by a text transcript on the White House web site.
Living here in Japan I don’t have the same ready access to US media that I, er, enjoyed while living in the States, and it’s perhaps because of this that I’m so consistently shocked at the state of political leadership and discourse there today. I mean, is there anyone who watched that and didn’t think Bush is either blatantly evasive or just plain stupid? How on Earth can this halfwit be the leader of the free world? Unable to memorize even a single line of his pre-packaged speech, he speaks using a monotonous stream of five-second spurts punctuated with lengthy glances downward to read the next line. For God’s sake, the man is retarded. What kind of country could have this man as their leader and not feel anything but shame and overwhelming guilt and having put him in the White House in the first place?
Chances are I expect too much from today’s politicians. I look back at US leaders from years ago–Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln–and marvel at their erudition and intellectual fortitude. Towering men, these, giants capable of moving mountains with little more than the conviction of their ideals and irresistable leadership abilities.
I have trouble finding a single US leader today (albeit through my narrow CNN media window) capable of mustering a grammatically correct sentence, must less the respect of thinking people at home and abroad. We’ve become the laughing stock of the world, a nation of bubbas driving pickup trucks with prominent gun racks, ready to stomp a mud whole in any ol’ peckerwood that wants a piece.
Just make it stop. Bush and Co. need to go, and the sooner the better for all of us. It’s clear we made a monstrous mistake putting them in power in the first place, so let’s can the bastards and move on.
…is one of the better areas of the expansive Homestar Runner web site, a Flash playground created by two artists, Matt and Mike. Thrill to the exploits of Strong Bad, The Cheat, Homestar Runner and others as they embark on great adventures like looking at a thing in a bag and answering email. (Just be sure not to get your drink spiked with sanka.)
…reads the text in this pervasive billboard. You can imagine that was also the expression the photographer was trying to coax out of this week’s gaijin model, but what he ended up with instead was a blank stare that says, “How’s this? Is this where I should be looking? How about now?”I don’t know how they do it, but Japanese advertisers have an uncanny ability to make all caucasion models look like mannequins.
After a week of rain and chilly temperatures it looks like Spring is finally here. Rie and I enjoyed an afternoon at Shinjuku Gyoen and bumped into this fellow who I seem to meet on the streets on Shinjuku every few months. He also appears in the O-shougatsu video from 2001, climbing the steps to Hanazono Jinja.
This is a shot of an FM Keitai poster/ad in Shibuya station. Gaijin 1 (foreground) is apparently listening to Howard Stern and having such a good time that he’s oblivious to the lustful stares of everyone else in the room. Can anyone imagine a group like this actually hanging out? More importantly, is that a chandelier in the background?
Information-rich and amazingly multi-lingual, the Issho Kikaku site is a great resource for information on living in Japan no matter what languages you may speak. Not to be confused with your garden-variety “Japan guide” site offering tips of chopstick etiquette and rail travel, Issho focuses on the serious issues facing long-time foreign residents such as taxation, discrimination, permanent residency, as well as legal and political issues that us as non-Japanese citizens. In 14 languages.
From the Issho web site:
ISSHO Kikaku (also known as ISSHO), is a Japan-based, non-profit, non-governmental organization established in 1992. The organization aims to monitor issues related to human diversity, language, culture and coexistence worldwide, and strives to facilitate a greater recognition and understanding of these issues, both in the East Asian region and worldwide. (note: ISSHO = Together; KIKAKU = Project) We can be reached by email at the following address: issho AT issho DOT org.
…I met this fellow (Kouji Yamamoto) and some of his friends. Most of them belong to the cast of the current hit drama Shinsengumi, airing on NHK Sunday evenings.
He was joined by the vivacious Tomoko Tabata, who plays Tsune Kondo in the same drama, and struck up a conversation with Dave and I from the next table. He had picked up some English while appearing in Rent in New York, and we ended up bouncing back and forth freely between English and Japanese, discussing cross-cultural topics over imo-jochu. In the drama he plays a burly samurai-type, but in person seems almost, well, gay. Good fun hanging out and talking with the lot of them.
Looks like things are up and running. I’ve been migrating over bits and pieces from the old site, trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away. Maybe I’ll just leave the old site right where it is. Now, gotta do something about this vanilla interface…
Dropped in to Macromedia MAX for two days of presentations on ColdFusion and Flash. Also got to meet CF God Ben Forta and other players such as Brandon Purcell. The convention floor was a bit disappointing, whih maybe four vendor booths, only one of which (NTT’s) was staffed by “companion girls,” but otherwise we managed to stay entertained.
Congratulations on finding my personal blog. It's been around in various incarnations since 1997, which is before blogs were called "blogs." See if you can top that.
My name is michael, and denbushi (電武士) is the now-dorky-seeming online name I made up back when I thought (ever so presciently) that some kind of unique nickname for the interwebs might be handy. Just for the record, it IS unique (even today!) except for this jujitsu variant/dojo in Puerto Rico which co-opted it without even asking me. If I had to cage-fight them for exclusive use of "denbushi" chances are good they'd win. But I'd still do it.
These days I live in Tokyo and mostly use my real name. A few years ago I founded a design and marketing agency called netwise. We do web and internet stuff. We're pretty good at it.