I don't know, Paul McCartney closed the London olympics so AKB seems a little silly to me. Maybe Sakamoto Ryuichi with an orchestra? Seems like all the foreign guests would appreciate it more than AKB. Sort of hard to appreciate 48 young girls all dressed the same and singing in unison.
5 ( +5 / -0 )
"Japan is not safe anymore." Coming from an American, I would definitely disagree with that statement. By comparison In 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred in the US. Out of all my years in Tokyo, I have never once felt unsafe. This is an unfortunate occurance but petty by comparison. It is so rare and unusual, that a purse snatching incedent actually makes the top five news stories in Japan.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Promoters have insurance as the article says. It will not cover everything, which the article also says. My experience tells me that generally the companies that make merchandise will get hit big time (t-shirts, etc..). Especially considering that the Japanese love merchandise. I saw the last round and Tokyo Dome was packed every night so they (including Paul) made out like bandits (It was a great show by the way). It is called the music 'business' and sometimes you make serious money and sometimes you don't, just like any other business. Paul got sick, it happens, that's why there is insurance. Those who hedge there bets, do OK in the end. The promoters pay for the insurance for every concert and never use it, that is how insurance works. There is really no reason to be angry with Paul or the Promoters. Things like this happen.
Regarding Mick Jagger, I saw The Stones earlier this year as well and I have to say, although The Stones did a great job, Paul knocked me out. Granted, Mick is the definitive rock star though.
Personally I was very disappointed about the cancelation simply because I had plans to take my ten year old daughter. I wanted her to be able to say that she saw one of the Beatles perform.
5 ( +5 / -0 )
I don't understand the 'taking pride in never seeing it' comments. Personally I think the song is a work of genius. It is a parody making fun of a trendy Seoul neighborhood. It is well written and well produced, and made money, all done by a complete underdog without the help of a major label (sung in Korean none the less). It should be considered a slap in the face of the "Major" labels and should be used in as a case study to all music majors in any music college (like I teach at), showing how one can use the internet as a marketing tool without spending any money. Why anyone would think that it is something not worthy of praise is beyond me.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Like many of you, I was in Tokyo on the day the disaster happened. I work for a music college and am the head of education. If I had left because the US embassy was sending me emails warning me of a possible environmental disaster (and they were), I would not have my job today or at least would not be held in the same regard. Granted my daughter was in the states at the time but I made a level headed decision: do I risk possible radiation exposure or risk possible financial hardship? I chose the to stay. I knew I would be out of a job if I had split. Like her, I also spent 20 years working for the same company. If I was in her place, and I sort of was, I would have put my daughter on a plane back to France, and continued on in my job. I would have figured my previous 20 years were setting me up for the most important job yet, supplying valuable news and information during a disaster. She obviously considered her job and financial situation less important than the slight health risk at the time. I felt I would be doing a better service to both my employer and family by putting my 20 years or experience to work by continuing my job.
4 ( +6 / -2 )
Guns rights activists love to quote the second half on the second amendment: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." I'm not sure how many of them would actually be able to quote the whole thing, but here it is: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Why the Supreme Court ruled that the second amendment allows individuals to bear arms regardless of service in a militia is a mystery to me.
You have to imagine, the founding fathers were worried that England would come over and kick our butts for creating our own country and they wanted people to be able to arm themselves. That is the obvious reason for the second amendment. They were also thinking mostly about muskets, you know, the kind of rifle that you had to manually pour in gun powder and drop a metal ball into. They drew no line and probably didn't imagine semi-automatic weapons. A line has to be drawn, I mean is it OK to keep a thousand pounds of dynamite in your garage? What if you figured out how to build a nuclear weapon? If arms refers to guns and rifles, what about a machine gun? The NRA would prefer no line because they get money from gun makers. I doubt that the NRA really cares about the second amendment, although they certainly hide behind it (the ass half of it anyways). It is a money game for them and they laugh all the way to the bank as we, Americans, continue to arm ourselves. Their recommendation for preventing gun violence in schools is to arm teachers. I don't know about you but certainly don't like the idea of my daughter's third grade teacher keeping a gun.
This problem, like so many of American's social problems is going to be very hard to fix. There is a gun for every American in the states, that's right, 300 million of them. It is a problem waiting to happen. Even if the Supreme Court said that we has misinterpreted to second amendment and without serving in a state militia, you can't have a gun (which is the proper interpretation I think), how do you get rid of 300 million guns?
There is no easy answers here and seems that the whole American society seems to be ripening to its own doom.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
The song doesn't sound terrible, it is actually recorded rather well. The video is supposed to be bad, why you can't see that it is a joke is beyond me. I'll say it again: IT IS A JOKE. Nobody is watching the video because they think it is art, they are watching because it is humor. It is actually poking fun at the music business and excess. Music doesn't have to be serious, it is like any art form, sometimes it can be humor. People watch it and laugh. You are taking it too serious. I would personally like to shake his hand, he is signed to an independent label who managed to circumvent the major music business and make a hit using social media. In my circle, this is something to be applauded.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
Look, I'm a professional musician and have no gripes about this at all. Everybody is looking at this from the wrong angle. The video is a parody, nobody intends it to be anything serious. It works because the song is well written, well produced and completely goofy. It is fun. If Frank Zappa did something like this, everybody would have called it genius. What makes AKB silly is the fact that it is supposed to be serious. Whoever said that Westerners would never get this obviously didn't read the article, it is charting in America.
1 ( +2 / -1 )
It's superfluous if we have been there or like it or not. For the Prime Minister (or any Japanese politician) to go is the equivalent of the German prime minister laying flowers at Hitler's grave (if there was a grave). Especially because he is trying to make a political statement by going. If he went on the weekend in casual attire it wouldn't be as big a deal. He didn't, which means that it wasn't a personal visit but something completely different.
-4 ( +2 / -6 )
I hate when they do this. I'm not sure what they are trying to prove but it sucks when you have to work in Shanghai with Japanese people like I do.
Japan and China agreed to disagree on these islands over thirty years ago when normalized their diplomatic relations. For the most part they simply agreed not to do anything about them. Everything was fine till the governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, opened up the can of worms by stating his intent to buy then on behalf of Tokyo. I agree that China is over reacting but all these problems have been instigated by Japan. Shintaro Ishihara says such outrageous things and is a complete bigot, in any other country he would have to resign. With Abe trying to make some stupid statement by paying his respects at Yasukuni, there is really no end in sight. Not particularly smart with Japan's economy on the rocks and China's under performing economy either. If Abe becomes the prime minister, Japan is doomed.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
Well.. let's face it, he bought a joint in a predominantly Muslim country. Fortunatley Indonsia is moderate compared to, lets say, Afganistan or Pakistan. In some countries burning a page of a single certain book will get you a death sentence. Hopefully he gets out in a month or two without any real emotional baggage. We can't really view the situation through own own cultural lenses. Let's face it, they do this to show the world that drugs won't be tolerated in Indonesia. I mean, after hearing this, I won't be smoking pot in Indonesia. That is exactly the result they wan't.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
I'm always curious to read what ex-pats think about the ekection and politics in general. After all, we sort of get a different viewpoint from the other side of the Pacific. I'm fortunate to split my time between both countries each month so I find the whole thing interesting. I'm generally surprised to find Americans so polarized. Republicans are way too conservative and Democrats way too liberal and both try desperately to turn their candidates into such while both Obama and Romney are really both moderates. Romney probably isn't as bad as Democrats make him out to be but he comes off as a complete liar because he keeps trying to kiss up to his possible voters. His health insurance plan worked wonders for Massachusetts but he can't brag about it because it looks too much like President Obama's plan. He flip flops on everything simply because he has to adhere to the super conservatives in order to get elected. I would personally be surprised if he was elected, only because the status quo is way too extreme for America. Sort of like America's version of the Taliban or something.
0 ( +2 / -2 )