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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Otaku OMG!

   I don't have to tell you that Japan is going through some shit at the moment. I was in Japan at this time last year and feel pretty shit for my brothers in bbq. (have you ever been to a Japanese bbq restaurant? Its Nirvana...not the band the place. You sit at a table with a sort of wire grill over an open flame. They serve you platters of extremely thinly sliced meats and you throw them on the grill to cook. When the meat is cooked as much as you like, you use a little pair of tongs to take it off. There are dipping sauces and its making me salivate just thinking about it. I paid about $30AUD for an hour of as much of this and as much beer as I could drink. Awesome!!!)  But look, that's not really what I want to talk to you about.
   Watching the tsunami footage was mind-blowing and sobered me up. I didn't like being sober and so as a show of support I began drinking Japanese beers; Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo. I have been drunk ever since but that in no way reduces the relevance of what I shall write for it is written from the heart and if anything, beer opens that particular muscle wider.
   The wave itself was impressive as it surged toward shore; a nicely shaped peak at one point with a perfectly peeling right and a slightly fatter fuller left, but then it hit and all thoughts of surfing it were replaced with stunned horror. Watching it wipe whole villages from the map was difficult to take in. Its happened before. There is a reason why "tsunami" is a Japanese word, but how do you prepare for something so overwhelmingly destructive?
   I remember the first time I saw Japan beset by just such a force of nature. It was 1978 and the Sunday matinee movie was on tv, showing a re-run of  the 1964 film "Godzilla vs Mothra". This movie changed something in me. It was my first face to face with a brutal force of nature and made me feel very small. The world, I realised, was grumpy with mankind, and it was time for a spanking.
   Over the years since 1954, when Godzilla first showed himself, the creature has made landfall 28 times. On each occasion it has brought devastation and heartbreak to not only Japan but the world and so its not surprising that some people may have be apathetic towards the current situation. Do not judge too quickly. Japan needs help. The government of Japan know how to deal with the damage made by a Godzilla attack but the damage from a tsunami is completely different.
   My greatest fear is that Godzilla may have been woken by the earthquake that caused the tsunami, after all it has happened before. He's always being woken by some shit like that. That's his M.O.
   The last thing they need is a monster attack on top of everything else.
   I went to Hiroshima when I was there and that was pretty fucked. Went to the museum and spent a fair bit of time there. I must say that even ol' Filthy shed a tear that day.
   Can I just say one thing about the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima? Get this; the U.S. government debated over whether or not they would alert the Japanese government to their intentions. The scientists pushed them to warn the Japs so that they could evacuate the cities that were on the possible target list but the U.S. military had other ideas. They wanted to use the bomb as a sort of test of the long term effects of such an attack. They decided not to warn the 150,000 innocent people at ground zero so that they could use them as guinea pigs. That's pretty much the definition of evil I figure.
   There are so many good things about Japan and the Japanese. Sushi is better and WAY cheaper there, (about $1 per plate). They have whole multistory buildings for nothing but beer and Karaoke. The pop music sucks so bad its funny, unlike western pop (yes that includes that hip hop shit) which is just plain crap. The girls are perhaps the hottest per capita that I have ever seen anywhere in the world, including the Czech Republic and Chile. I don't think I saw 1 fat person the whole time I was there. Sumo. Otaku. Half the population reads comics and sees them as an art form, not a source of ridicule. Godzilla. Kendo. The snow fields. The Shincansen fast train.
   Whale...tastes sort of like dolphin, which tastes sort of like panda, which tastes sort of like chicken. So I guess Whale tastes like chicken. God that's such a cliche.
   One of my favorite things about Japan however and the thing that I saw painfully little of, is COSPLAY!
  Grown people dressing up as their favorite fictional characters is, in my book, perhaps the most significant cultural movement of the last 200 years, better than surrealism, post modernism (what I like to call shit), better than disco, sideburns, breakdancing...even better than freegoating.
   Sure its a little Peter Pan syndrome, sure its a little weird, but its an expression of freedom that few people in western culture feel comfortable exercising.
   There is a lot of good cosplay, with costumes meticulously made by real dedicated fans but then there is a darker side of cosplay, there is BAD cosplay.
   Here's an example of what I would call good cosplay.

This also is good cosplay.

Even this is reasonably good cosplay.

This however is not so good.


This is really not so good.

And this is just messed up.










   So that's cosplay.
   That second last one threw me but I finally realised that they were doing the characters from that classic of modern cinema "The Human Centipede". If you haven't seen or heard of it, its this film where some weirdo doctor out in the woods gets three people and makes them into a human centipede by sewing their mouths to the arse of one of the others so that they are joined in a line. There's a japanese guy in front, a girl behind him and I think another girl behind her and once the stitches heal the doctor takes them out and teaches them to move about together. They eventually have to eat. So the guy in front eats and though he holds onto it for a long time, he eventually needs to go poo poo. He shits in the girls mouth behind him and then after a while she shits in the mouth of the girl behind her. Eventually the last girl dies of malnutrition or something and the whole experiment goes to hell.
   I believe Disney made it. Apparently it was originally going to be an animated feature but was bumped for Cars.
   The photo with PedoBear Hoodie is up for explanation if anyone has one. 
   What sort of fucken weirdo dresses up as a bear anyway. Seems a bit queer if you ask me.