J-Dake comments

Posted in: U.N. declined Abe's request to speak at Sept climate summit: sources See in context

This is only the start of the dinosaur extinction process. Or so one would hope.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: A recent Jiji Press survey showed that about 10% of Japanese people in their teens and 20s do not watch television, with the majority saying they find video-sharing and streaming sites more attractive, or it is more fun to play with smartphones and game consoles. How much television do you watch each week? See in context

The only TV I watch (if "watch" is the correct term for something which is merely is in my line-of-sight) would be at bars (which I infrequently patronize these days) or department stores. Aside from that, it has been goose eggs for me for well over a decade. Luckily social media has arisen in this time to take over the poisoning of my already effete central command center.

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Posted in: Japan limits scope for illegal downloads of copyrighted work See in context

Again, unless they are planning on actually enforcing any of these "laws" they will probably have more harm than good. With bootlegged music for example, you could find hard copies in almost every music store a decade or so back in regards to Western music at least. It didn't seem like the gov't gave much of a toss at all about it then. Of course now it is much easier and cheaper to download bootlegged records and the only difference is you are hurting the bootleggers themselves too (if actually anyone). I wonder why the seeming change of heart? Is the oft-repeated word in this article "manga" a clue as to why this recent interest in copyright law I wonder? I really don't know

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Posted in: Young Japanese men say paying for dates is hardest part of life as a guy: survey See in context

In terms of who pays, it seems the trouble here is all in the expectations. I don't think anyone should walk into the context of a dinner between 2 people and expect for anyone else to pay for the food they eat, regardless of gender or anything else what if anything is pre-agreed upon. I think it's a bit weird and presumptuous to expect anyone to pay for your dinner as an adult. Personally, I've offered to pay for friends and dates on occasion when I could and was feeling generous and have not when I couldn't or wasn't. And these aren't business transactions for Pete's sake. Why on earth would you expect something in return except maybe for that person to reciprocate at a later dinner? I had very little trouble with this dating at the time (or perhaps I did but I was blissfully unaware). It is very much a simple concept in my mind anyway. I'm a bit surprised it causes so many such pain.

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Posted in: Ex-entertainer Tashiro admits to drug possession charges See in context

For the life of me, I can't understand why so many people are so obsessed with what people do to their own bodies. It is almost as if you don't own your own physical shell.

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Posted in: Single? I'm self-partnered, says British actress Emma Watson See in context

It looks to me like a lot of men don't really quite understand the pressure that women face from society to marry and have children, or sympathize with the sexism women face when they go against societal norms. While I think inventing a new term for it is unnecessary, I understand quite well what she is going though.

Well said girl_in_tokyo. I'm a man but I think I understand the pressure pretty well. At least I am always doing my best to keep my mind and ears open to empathize. I'm a bit surprised by the amount of vitriol aimed at her in these pages. Sure, the term "self-partnered" is a bit odd and silly on the surface and it will not catch-on but the sentiment is great if it helps you change your mindset. Not to get all Whitney Houston about it, but one really isn't going to make much of a partner to another human being anyway until they are comfortable being alone and enjoy their own company.

You can choose to focus on the hypocrisy of some one her financial stability and who enjoys the level of mass adoration she receives from the public making such statements or the awkwardness of the terminology she in advocating or the suspicion that she may be making such waves to draw attention to herself OR you can take seriously and consider the message she is trying to convey with the platform she has been granted and take the words and concepts by itself and weigh it independently. I don't really like John Lennon much as a person from what I have read and there is a massive hypocrisy of him having been the one who wrote Imagine from his ivory tower but it does not mean that we would be wise to disregard what it wants to help us to understand.

Anything that tries to communicate to others ("the other") what certain sections of society feel, particularly when it is grief, I think is valuable and should be given the respect that you would want for your own. More empathy will certainly not be the end of humankind.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Have you had enough of "Star Wars," Marvel and other superhero movies? See in context

I remember my professor lecturing us that you can tell the sociological situation of a time period from the general theme of the movies being shown. How you interpret the constant stream of superhero movies differs among people, what do you guys think?

I like this exercise. From the surface I would say that people are seeking escape into a fantasy world where altruistic (maybe an extreme assumption) super beings balance out the world for us because we are generally in a state of despair and feeling like we have no ability to control the direction our world is heading (authoritarian autocracy by way of tacit agreement?) and are suffering from a sort of mass depression. If I dig a little deeper though I would infer that Hollywood is simply out of ideas and/or a slave to accountants and marketing concepts (like radio and the music industry started to be in the 1970s/80s thanks to Clear Channel). Therefore, the marketing machines demand more and more serialized films that are tried and tested (read: safe) and people eat them up because the climate is ripe and, more importantly, that is all we are being fed. I don't think these films are worthless because people gain joy from them (I do not) but I do agree with Scorsese's and Coppola's indictment of Hollywood on those grounds. I don't think that their intention was to attack the filmmakers or lovers of those films. They are elder statespeople of film and they want to know that when they leave this world, they leave film in a safe place, I think. Where are the risk takers?! Where are the films that are challenging us? Where are the films that are challenging forms and the medium itself? Yes, they are out there but they can hardly compete with the bang boom crash of superhero marketing WMDs.

We are though, I think, in a sort of golden age of documentaries and that is where my film watching habits have drifted personally. Yes, I'm fun at parties :)

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Posted in: Japanese Embassy withdraws approval for Vienna art exhibition See in context

The embassy said its officials who visited the exhibition concluded it does not facilitate mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries and notified the organizers of the retraction of its approval on Oct 30.

WelI, I don't know about you but I only surround myself with and call "friends" people who constantly praise and blow wind up my rear and never approach anything that might be considered critical or advisory. My fragile ego could never take such balance in my life. Horrendous treachery!

1 ( +17 / -16 )

Posted in: Beyond Netflix: A look at what you get with new streamers See in context

Thanks for this article that smells an awful lot like a paid advertisement (or maybe it just smells period haha) but I have a few questions:

Are any of these new services actually available in Japan or will they be? Or was this just a story that was copied verbatim off the wire and lazily not even considered or customized for regional relevance?

Did I read that correctly? The Apple Plus service will start with only 9 programs?! I mean, not like I would ever subscribe to it, but just for my own morbid curiosity. Are my eyes deceiving me?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Cranky old guys becoming a regular part of national landscape See in context

Attilathehungry. Well put. I don't think the service is necessarily "bad" nor do I buy that Japan features the best CS in the world. I think, like most things, it is subjective. It depends what the customer values more. I personally don't care much how the employee looks like or dresses, whether they smile, whether they like me or pretend to, or really what they say to me to a certain degree. What is important to me is the quality of the service or product the company provides and whether it meets what they promise/advertise and particularly if I have already paid (i.e. fulfilled my part of this tacit agreement). Other people may not feel the same way. In no way does this failure give anyone the right to behave like this cretin did though. I have the greatest amount of empathy for people who face the public for work. It takes talents and skills that I do not possess myself. At the same time, I would not allow myself to be steamrolled due to some sort of convention.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Cranky old guys becoming a regular part of national landscape See in context

I'm sorry, "becoming"?!

In this case, obviously the customer took this way too far and is in the wrong. That cannot really be debated. On the other hand, I have been in his shoes countless times in Japan as a customer. If the ordering process does not resemble the training manual exactly then in tends to degrade into chaos. The customer is not divine (I don't think he/she should be) but the customer is at the same time, not mortal. He/she is a computer program like me. Customer service with a smile; yo'd be hard pressed to find that better anywhere else. Customer service with even a whiff of flexibility? Look elsewhere.

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Posted in: Koike remains defiant over IOC decision to move events to Sapporo See in context

Abrupt changes and about face? Of course Tokyo hasn't done this themselves in any way over the past several years on the topic of the Olympics. And Koike herself in other matters come to think of it. Ahh what beautifully absurd chaos. Certainly there must be easier ways for the frothing corporate goons like Visa to make bank than this tiresome charade.

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Posted in: Man arrested for arson after setting fire to bamboo blinds at home See in context

The owner’s adoptive father, 78, discovered the blinds burning and put out the flames using water from the bathtub.

Beyond everyone's employment status, what on earth does the owner having been adopted have anything whatsoever to do with this story?

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Posted in: We shouldn’t treat plastic as an enemy, nor ostracize those who use it. What’s needed is appropriate management of trash and to search for solutions through innovation. See in context

This political message bought and paid for by...

We can massively reduce our use and waste of plastic AND seek appropriate management of its waste via technology concurrently. The two are not opposing actions.

We absolutely should strongly discourage the superfluous use of plastic at all levels. I mean, what exactly is his message here?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Int'l labor union wants Tokyo Olympic venue inspection, worker interviews See in context

Have there been any actual reports of Olympic construction related working deaths

Yes, there has. One died in August from heatstroke for example.

They'd turn Japan into a 3rd world country like the rest of them

The term "third world country" hasn't been relative since the previous century FYI.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Vinyl records, paper books and magazines are showing growth in some markets. For example, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl album sales grew 12.9% in the first half of this year. What do you think is keeping these old formats going in the digital age? See in context

People want something tangible to hold on to (both literally and figuratively) in this fast-moving immediate impact/instant gratification over substance. In terms of music (and books to me), intangible formats disrespect and do a great disservice to the importance of the art form and relegate it to the status of something like wrapping paper design, implying it should be enjoyed in the context of the present only. Art like our emotions, ourselves and life in general should not be treated as disposable. Somehow I think this phenomenon speaks to a great revolt of the human soul against this kind of post-modern oppression.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Authorities say Nigerian died of starvation after immigration hunger strike See in context

Don't come to Japan and make crimes

Yes, that market is already extensively covered domestically. No labor shortage in that sector.

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Posted in: Why do some people mock others' taste in music and dismiss groups that they don't like as being crap and having no talent, etc, as if they were an authority or arbiter on musical excellence? See in context

A lot of snobbery I heard from folk lovers was against those who didn’t treat it as the art of the people and turned it commercial. Mumford and Sons were attacked as ‘Tory’ music and I remember a mate describing it as the kind of music you put on your iPod for the Boxing Day fox hunt.

Jazz snobbery in my experience is more a sense of Jazz as a higher art form with superior musicians.

Very interesting. I can see how that would work. The folk snobbery I encountered was not "sounding like" folk. As if there is some sort of defining sonic feature of the music. It doesn't have to be a boring old guy in a sweater with an acoustic belting our John Henry.

I could guess that was the type of jazz snobbery you would be referring to. I probably instinctively avoided those types. I mean jazz is many things but it was dance music and it certainly deserves its place as the classical music of the USA and the respect that goes along with that but no snobbery needed. There are simple jazz tunes as well as complex.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Why do some people mock others' taste in music and dismiss groups that they don't like as being crap and having no talent, etc, as if they were an authority or arbiter on musical excellence? See in context

I’m with commanteer on Jazz having the most insufferable snobs although people who use the term ‘real music/musicians’ of any genre are usually a pain in the arse.

I guess I've been lucky in the jazz world. I haven't found that much snobbery there personally. I've heard some tales of course. But I guess I've always been more into the small combos and mod jazz and what followed it rather than the big band chart reading kind of stuff.

Besides most sub-genres, the most uptightness/snobbery I have found personally was in the folk orbit. Which was always very weird and almost ironic to me given that folk is really the art of the people; telling the story of what it's like to live in any given time. Where is there any room for conservatism (not speaking of the political variety) there?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Why do some people mock others' taste in music and dismiss groups that they don't like as being crap and having no talent, etc, as if they were an authority or arbiter on musical excellence? See in context

I see this especially among jazz fans, who can be the worst music snobs. And almost inevitably, they don't have a clue but are ready to criticize anything that doesn't fit their personal definition of "real" jazz.

Yeah but Wynton has really gotten much better in this regard in recent years LOL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Why do some people mock others' taste in music and dismiss groups that they don't like as being crap and having no talent, etc, as if they were an authority or arbiter on musical excellence? See in context

For some, because it's a fun thing to do and they don't take such things so seriously or as if it is a personal attack on someone.

For others, music often has an incredible effect on culture and society as a whole so when you see stuff that is having a negative effect (such as pop stars who make lusting after money and image and over-consumption acceptable and even desirable) they try to take it down a notch. Some people get tired of being inundated with a culture that celebrates and promotes mediocrity too I guess and are bitter about the lack of justice in a world that can make millionaires of morons while others who they deem more worthy of praise due to the care and effort they put into their craft have to struggle forever.

I can identify with most sides of this at different times. Including those who don't feel the need to justify what they like.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Samoa get tattoo tips as they bid to leave mark in Japan See in context

Me too, and I both hope for and look forward to a day when my tattoos are a non-issue in Japan.

I'm happy to hear that but now I'm a bit confused as to what your actual point was. That many people in this society hold an outdated view of tattoos as being thing that only people in the criminal world have? That is why it would be considered a negative part of the culture wouldn't it? Something that is blatantly untrue in the 21st century.

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Posted in: Samoa get tattoo tips as they bid to leave mark in Japan See in context

Well, that's because it's not a positive part of Japanese culture. Traditionally, they used to tattoo a criminals crime on their forehead. Eventually, the criminals grouped together, and started tattooing themselves. Taking it back for themselves as it were. Then for hundreds of years, only criminals and the underworld had tattoos. For that matter, that is still somewhat true, though there are a lot of people these days with so-called 'fashion tattoos', but as a percentage of the population, these people are still a very small portion.

Yes, you make some good points. I agree that not all parts of a culture are to be celebrated. But I disagree that it is not a positive part of Japanese culture. It is a negative part of Japanese history, sure. It is not still true. You are dreaming if you think the majority of people in this country with tattoos, even those born here, are criminals or members of the "underworld".

The ban simply continues and legitimizes the simplistic thinking that writing on your skin means you are dangerous or a criminal. That is all that it does. Celebrating how this unique approach to this art form here has contributed to the world in creative ways does not mean that you have to celebrate the bad actions of many people who took part it in when it was emerging. I mean, what cultural fruit could we ever celebrate if that was the attitude that we took generally? It simply isn't what it was and I think that is a good thing.

Expressing yourself without hurting others. I will always be a staunch supporter of that no matter where it occurs.

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Posted in: Samoa get tattoo tips as they bid to leave mark in Japan See in context

If the folks doing the Cool Japan initiative weren't so clueless they would realize how cool and relate-able Japan's history of tattoos real is globally. Of all of the culture and fine art from Japan that has had an influence globally you might have to actually put tattooing at the top of that list right now. In terms of the American style, it you would be hard pressed to find someone more important than Sailor Jerry on the culture. Jerry straight up admitted that his style, in terms of the bright colours he used, was very much based on Japan which he picked up during his service years.

Tattoos ARE Japanese culture. I find it quite sad that it is something that the keepers of the culture find a need to hide rather than celebrate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Trump's fake accent angers Asian Americans as they veer left See in context

 let’s face it, the President comes from a different era where people would say or do things that although may be racially sensitive by today’s standards, but that doesn’t mean the person is racist.

He was born in 1946 not 1926 or 1846. He was a young adult in a post civil rights movement world. This is willful ignorance at best and yes, downright racist in reality. Yes, indeed, It absolutely means he is racist. You might make a case with me for some sheltered and isolated good old boys born before the war (the case would fail) but this is a Wharton school educated, NYC born rich kid who also happens to be the bloody President of the United States! No, he does not get a pass for ignorance. Get real fanboy.

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Posted in: Over 3 mil freelancers in Japan amid rise of flexible working styles See in context

Comedy gold. Salaries are so bad that workers need two jobs just to make ends meet presented as the kindness of the government by Japan's Pravda. What's the betting State Broadcaster will soon be running a series of stories about happy Taro Suzuki cheerfully working 16 hours a day in two jobs to pay for extra vegetables?

Exactly! Well said Alfie. Beyond that, the same bordering-on-religious-cult-loyalty will still be the order of the day for the workforce and expected by senior management types despite moving as far away as possible from the lifetime employment security that ( assume/hope) birthed such fanatical fidelity in the first place.

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Posted in: For our readers who live in Japan, what are some items you always make a point to bring back to Japan after you return from a trip abroad? See in context

Antiperspirant, herbs and spices (such as Mexican chili powder, file and Hungarian Paprika), toothpaste, oil-based/old school pomade, bitters, Virgin Islands rum, and properly fitting pants and shirts and a few bottles of hot sauce.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

@J-Daka: It is people with your liberal and by the book attitude that very quietly let people like Hitler, Pol Pot and Milosevic come to power and wreak atrocity and genocide in the world. Over and over again.

I'll go ahead and assume I am J-Daka here. Is there another way you suggest societies handle law other than "by-the-book"? Perhaps I naively thought the point of laws were to have fair and reasoned guidelines to avoid unfair arbitrary application. I'm not sure what I said that was "liberal". I was simply taking the incidents in question and applying it to my rather slight knowledge of international law as per the question. I was not being political. There was no soapbox to stand on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? See in context

The Geneva Convention is not the relevant treaty to determine whether or not it was a war crime. The 1907 Hague Convention and its specific clauses on aerial bombardment supercede the general prohibition on targeting civilians in the Geneva Conventions.

Interesting. How do you know it is superceded by the Hague?

I agree completely about it being a rather silly question and that the moral issue is the more interesting or at least debatable question to ask.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

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