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Posted in: Smartphone users who text while they walk becoming a hazard See in context

Let's be very careful before we start encouraging any new laws. Everyone (whether they will admit it or not) has had to use their phone once or twice when lost at a station or in an unfamiliar neighborhood. We can't make every annoyance or stupid act illegal.

Walking around lost is also very dangerous... it's hard to pay attention to anyone around you in a crowded area when you are looking up for (usually non-existent) street signs. GPS on my smart phone has saved me more than a few times and likely prevented me from bumping into people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Have Japan’s anti-smoking laws gone too far? See in context

Yes, recent smoking laws have gone too far. Smoking is a part of social culture here and also a way to relax for businesspeople who work long hours.

I find alcohol much more offensive than smoking. I get tired of people asking me if I want to go drinking and pressuring me to drink too much. I also see people vomiting all the time in public places. In my home country, public drunkenness is illegal and these people would be fined or picked up by the police.

Yet, I realize alcohol is part of the culture and a certain percentage of the population enjoys it. So, live and let live. I enjoy a cigarette and smoking is a way to relax and communicate with my co-workers.

A lot of these hardcore anti-smoking activists overreact so strongly to a little second hand smoke that it's hard to believe they are really only worried bout the negligible health risks. The truth is that they just don't want anyone else to have any fun. Luckily, unlike smokers, they are going to live forever.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Posted in: Why aren't Japanese dating and mating? See in context

I think a lot of it just has to do with options, particularly for men. There used to be a lot more social pressure to get married. Once a man is financially independent from his parents, why would he want to take on the obligation of a wife and kids? Doing so is incredibly expensive here and he will be working to death, living on a small allowance, and having no retirement savings. Plus, a great majority of marriages are very unhappy and the woman is just looking for a meal ticket.

The other option is to stay single, enjoy the fruit of his earnings, travel, enjoy nightlife, and save money. If he lives in Tokyo, there are plenty of available women and hobbies to pursue on the weekends. Aside from men who have a strong desire to have children, I'm actually amazed that any man would choose to get married considering the financial liability and constraint on personal freedom.

I have many single male friends, both Japanese and foreign, who have absolutely no desire to get married. They date a lot, but don't want to spend the rest of their lives paying for wife and kids who probably won't be there in their old age anyway.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Google effort fails to curb music piracy: industry See in context

It will never get harder to find free music online. It will only get easier and easier. The days when the record industry could charge 3000 yen for a new CD are over. People can access any song they want at any time.

What I keep noticing is that younger people even find of the concept of "music ownership" as kind of outdated. They just stream everything via Youtube for free and would never even consider the need to "own" music. It's a huge losing battle the RIAA is fighting, yet we all pretend like they really might succeed or that this is something we should all feel guilty about ... in 2013.

Good luck with that. Technology moves on and replaces old business models. Evolve or perish. Their only strategy is to try to break the technological innovations and/or sue their customers. Meanwhile, Youtube has started paying royalties because people love streaming. In the future, I predict people won't "download" much of anything, for pay or free.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: 'Gangnam Style' parody 'Gaijin Style' hits the web See in context

This video had a potential to be amusing and really go viral. The concept is not bad. But I was very disappointed when I saw it. I refuse to forward it to anyone or give it any additional hits since it basically just spreads and reinforces the same old stereotypes that were already boring about one month after I moved to Japan.

I suspect most people will watch it one time, sigh, and ignore it.

It would be nice if someone else took the concept and made a better version that actually raised consciousness about non-Japanese residents in an amusing way -- something we might be more inclined to forward to our friends, Japanese and foreign alike. It's OK to poke fun at a few stereotypes, but this video is basically all negative. It almost comes off as an anti-gaijin propaganda film.

I wonder why the creators really think the best they can do with their technical (video, editing) and artistic (music, dancing, acting) talents is perpetuate extremely negative stereotypes about their fellow foreigners that we all have to live with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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