Tokyo easily lulls you into a sense of safety in public, unlike any other city in the world. This is a country where even the mob puts on a friendly face to foreigners. That’s why it’s all the more absurd and arresting to see violent imagery. On a date with a girl dressed as an anime princess, this fairly ordinary guy’s t-shirt reads, “Fuck art, let’s kill.” I hope the princess doesn’t understand English.
There’s been a lot of controversy over this recently released video of Israeli soldiers dancing to Kesha’s Tik Tok while patrolling Hebron. Some critics complain of a lack of respect towards the people whose land they are illegally occupying. On the other hand, I think for every minute they are rehearsing their dance moves and editing their video, at least no one is being shot, harassed or intimidated.
A similar video came out of Afghanistan where US soldiers re-made Lady Gaga’s Telephone. The dancing is hilarious, as are the props. The higgly piggly background to their music making is surprisingly “real.” But again, at least as long as they are focused on music, dancing, and videos, no one is being killed.
Finally, I always have a soft spot for treason. Apparently Private Bradley Manning breached military security in Iraq and downloaded “150,000 diplomatic cables, as well as secret videos and a PowerPoint presentation.” One video he shared was a helicopter attack in Baghdad where the pilots were speaking gleefully about killing people. It’s hilarious that “military intelligence” (sic) prevents the use of thumb drives, but many of the computers have compact disk drives. Private Manning hummed Lady Gaga songs and pretended to be listening to her music when he was copying the files. NICE!
At a large suburban festival, we saw *three* booths involving boy bands. My favorite was the one above which involved a rifle shooting game, with the boy band images as either prizes or encouragements. This older guy looks ready to teach the kids how to shoot to kill. The guy running the game was kind of an ikemen, with his fried hair piled into a glitter sequin watch cap.
Below two booths sold boy band imagery. Interestingly, in Japan, there is no equivalent girl band objects. I guess Japanese (male loving) women are just lucky in that respect. I also suspect that the imagery objectifying women is perhaps too dirty to be shown in public at a festival.
And still more. Plus there was a Korean store full of Korean bands and idols.