children

Why are the people running the world so fugly?!

This photo has *nothing* to do with Tokyo Moe. But a simple question seems crystallized in this meeting between US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates met with President Hu Jintao of China. One super power’s banker is meeting with the other’s gun pusher.

Why are the people running the world so fugly? Jowl to jowl, they might frighten small children with their cold hearts. The flowers are horrid. The only redeeming figure is the handsome Chinese translator. Goddess, save us now!

Doll house where Times Square bomber lived in Connecticut

I don’t know why but I am captivated by this night shot of the Times Square bomber’s Connecticut home. It looks like a doll house. He lived there with his wife and two young children, and left each morning well dressed and headed for “Wall Street.”

Update: I am captivated by the domestic details: “There were packets of Nair, moisturizer with Arabic writing on the back, a makeup brush, a Japanese cherry blossom scent body spritzer, wrapping paper and gift bags that appeared to be for baby gifts.” (via New York Times)

Hard Gay saves ramen shop

Hard Gay, with his super-short leather pants and thrusting “hip radar,” is a controversial character. An exaggerated gay clown, as if his “hard” attitude makes him gayer than the average closeted gay person in Japan.

On the other hand, this clip shows him helping a ramen store, interacting with potential customers on the street and even clowning around with small children in a playground. Sort of Bruno-esque, but with none of the violent reaction you would expect in most parts of the US. (Credit: J-son, via his pal at Oracle).

What do you think of Hard Gay??

Making Ojizō-samas

Making Ojizō-samas

I took my friend Barry to the ceramic studio, and he wanted to make ojizō-samas. You can see the three that we made, plus the one that the sensei created. Mine is on the right. Ojizō-samas, related to the Kṣitigarbha bodhisattva, is a guardian of dead children, of souls in the underworld, of travelers, and of firefighters. He is often seen wearing cloth bibs and children’s clothing. What should mine wear?

American meat, for the holidays?

American meat, for the holidays?

“We care” is the tag line to the American Meat campaign (americanmeat.jp). Convincing Japanese to touch American beef apparently requires extensive transit advertising and a complicated web site. The expensive multi-channel campaign also requires images of healthy white Americans, their innocent children, their cows grazing in belly-high grass in verdant valleys.

Of course, most of the American meat supply is kept artificially inexpensive by feeding animals soy and grains, confining them to small enclosures, and hopping them up with hormones and antibiotics. Not to mention the toxic waste caused by 10 meter high piles of chicken and pig manure that ends up in streams and the water supply. I guess that wouldn’t create upbeat “we care” imagery.

Does anyone know if the general Japanese meat supply is as factory-farmed and dangerous as in the United States? Has anyone in Japan been tempted by the “we care” ads to taste some American beef? Please send a comment.

(Just 42 more hours of Xmas music!)