explosion

A pattern of dangerous penis-shaped technologies?

Amidst the fear over quakes, water safety, and radioactive fallout, I do not mean to come off as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, or even an antiquated “mother earth” feminist. Still, it is impossible to ignore, in all the dioramas, illustrations, and video footage all the penis-shaped technologies at the heart of Japan’s natural and man-made disaster.

Most obviously, the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are all boxes (or were boxes, until the explosions) that cleverly conceal what appears to be a giant dildo of radioactive nuclear fuel rods, with torus doughnuts of water at the base and a steel containment vessel pointing this unholy mess of danger and energy sky-ward.

Japan’s protector/daddy/occupier the US military flew its Global Hawk man-less planes to take detailed images of the disaster. These are the drones that support the video distance warfare that delivers bombs throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. It’s good that these planes have some non-military uses, although I nearly spit out my drinking water when I saw on television these giant black penises flying through the air.

The storyline seems to be that we are dependent on reckless technology that happens to look like enormous penises. And that we can only contain the damage they cause by employing their similarly shaped flying cousins. We are then treated to a parade of government officials, energy company spokespeople, and nuclear epxerts– all of whom seem to be male– who promise vaguely that everything is mostly under control.

What is your favorite penis-shaped disaster technology?

Lights explosion and dogs as customer bait

I recently learned this odd Japanese phrase: kanban musume (看板娘), which literally means daughter and store sign. I think the modern term is “door bait.” Apparently it’s an Edo or earlier tradition for commercial establishments to place their attractive daughters outside the shop to lure customers.

This male host club uses three over-sized dogs, each with their own portable heater and blanket, to bring in the (mostly) female clients. The husband remarked that he hopes the white dog with a pink bow is male.

A nearby club is surprisingly visible from the sidewalk. Peering inside makes me feel like I am on acid.

Ceramic explosion

Yikes! I was drawing the third line on the first of three mugs, when suddenly the mug exploded in my hands! I had made the shape, shaved off the excess clay, carved my name on the bottom, and painted three layers of green glaze. Fortunately, the other two mugs cooperated with my decorative efforts.

I have orders for a total of six mugs, due sometime next month.

Male hair in Shibuya

Male hair in Shibuya

Men torturing their hair is one of the sights that always brightens my day in Tokyo. This hair was particularly huge in Shibuya. I caught images of the side and back.

Male hair in Shibuya

Some people have told me that Japanese men who do this to their hair think they look like “lions.” Have you heard other funny explanations for this explosion of male vanity? What do they say these styles look like? And what do you think they look like?