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John Lawrence comments

Posted in: Hackers leap from dark basements to world stage See in context

General bubblegum article written by someone with next to no understanding of the subject at hand. Sloppy journalism - amusing at best, insulting at worst. Much of the content runs on the quotes of two people, one of whom has also written a book, but, by all accounts, has but a tenuous grasp of hacker culture herself.

CGB Spender, too, is in the dark, with his broad comment and lack of insight. You know nothing about what hackers do and your generalization just helps. Thanks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Train companies, airlines expect mixed Golden Week See in context

I have to agree with Yoheikun. All the issues which cause ranting about "the Japanese" can easily be applied outside the country, too. My company flew 5 execs from the US over here last week. They stayed a total of 4 days and acted like college freshmen the whole time. They came in at 10am, worked until lunch, then generally f--- (oops, can't say that word here!)...ummm, goofed off and played video games until 5, then drank until midnight. Burning jet fuel for bulls--- (oops, can't say that one, either)...ummmm, for no purpose is hardly the domain of Japan.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: The definitive Japanese bar code of conduct See in context

Wonderful article - just what we all needed. To put this contract in 22 words: "This is not a place to have a good time. Sit down, shut up, order something pricey and mind your own business." Right - if I set foot in one of those places, I'd turn around and walk out before they were done with the "irrashaimase"...assuming I warranted one. After all, I'm just street dirt that wandered in. The joints I hang in are probably a bit more lowbrow than the Ginza snobotoriums, but at least you can meet some fun people, sit where you like, get lit and have a good time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Sony to stop paying theaters for 3-D glasses See in context

I never really got 3D. Saw "Avatar" in 3D - about 3/4 of the way through, the glasses started to annoy. I'll just see the normal flat-screen version and I'm good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Search fails to find missing JR Hokkaido president See in context

Maybe in a little wooden boat floating off the North Korean shoreline?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Henry Black (1859-1923): Japan’s first gaijin talent See in context

Awesome read, Eddie. I never knew about Henry Black. I pass by the Yokohama Foreigner's Cemetery often and I'll just have to go look him up, so to speak. Hey! JT mods - where did you find Eddie? After years of dealing with vapid "I've been in Japan for 8 whole months and, boy, is it different than Omaha, lemme tell you!" line of articles, you finally found someone who can deliver a serious, thoughtful, well-written column. Keep at it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan’s crisis of ambivalence See in context

One of the better written articles to appear in this space in a long, long time. Certainly, there are volumes more you could write on the subject and this could quickly become a major book. But, I understand the need for space. For the venue, well done, Eddie.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Nihon Kraft Foods Ltd See in context

We need Mac and Cheese in this corner of the planet badly!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Tower See in context

Ah so - yeah, that's the cool part. I don't know. I would love to research that. It shouldn't be that hard; it seems to be a pretty prominent landmark. Someone in the area should remember it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Tower See in context

Urban archaeology is a hobby of mine; I love this stuff. The Diet building is in the background, so this photo was taken from the south of the tower looking north. Tokyo station is not in the picture. I'll bet anything that the main road in the picture is the present-day Rt. 1, which leads toward Shinagawa. That small leftward-leaning curve is still present in the road today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Remember the bubble economy years See in context

Sarge - *"Saudi Arabia is far more powerful than the USofA"

Har! *

Ummmm, living life through your red, white and blue-colored glasses has rendered you incapable of reality. As much as it pains me to say this, BlackFlag does have a point.

Black was not referring to classical power, such as derived from the military. I think he's referring to economic power. Follow the money trail.

Consider two points: 1) During the oil price spike earlier this year, where do you think our money went? You think that when your friends Stateside paid $4/gal that the money stayed in the US? Nope.

2) Where did the Saudi money go during the summer and autumn? It wasn't in US banks and institutions. It was moved to Dubai. Why do you think things collapsed so quickly? Because Saudi money was no longer there.

Look at life outside your chevrons, man. The US may be a military power and we will always be an economic power, but until we shake our oil dependencies, the Saudis have us by the short hairs.


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tourists to be barred from Tsukiji tuna auctions for a month See in context

A business-driven decision; I can't argue with it. Like franz75 says, one section manager is hassle enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Try to get a credit card in Japan See in context

AMEX has always been hassle-free in my opinion. You get an AMEX, build a good history, then the Japanese card issuers will look more favorably on your application.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Escape the cold with a trip to Tokyo’s southern paradise See in context

Great article, but how much is the ferry/seaborne Greyhound?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: High-flying Komuro crashes to earth See in context

My, my...how the mighty have fallen. I heard that Keiko is divorcing this guy now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Singer-songwriter teaches Japanese kids the fun of learning English See in context

Dogdog - take your hate and pack yourself up.

My daughter loved this guy when she was younger and was one of the reasons she likes to study music now. His efforts go way beyond just teaching little snippets of English to kids.

I'm just really, really jealous because he has more hair than me even though he is 3 years my senior and he plays guitar better than I can.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mass despair permeates working class See in context

TKO and GW - Look, nobody said that working life was going to be whipped cream and gumdrops. It's hard, yes. Not a lot of fun. I pull the salaryman thing and that life is not easy. But, I do it because I have a sense of responsibility; a critical something the freeters lack. Both of you sound like your groove is avoiding work. Either that, or you guys are single and living in some gaijin house. Hate to break it to you, but, unless you hit the Lotto, you're gonna have to swallow your pride and slave away in order to give you and your loved ones food and shelter.

GW - interesting comment. If I hear you right, you say being a freeter is a dead-end, and being a salaryman is a dead-end. I hear you complaining, but I hear no solutions from you, which means you have nothing to offer but whining. You tell me the right path to take, then. Living in an urban area, what do you do? For the record, I do NOT think salarymen have it better than freeters; I am simply saying that freeters are slackers. Being a salaryman ain't that hot, but at least I can have a family and provide for them.

Sorry, you two, but as I see it, the freeters made a choice in their early 20s to opt-out of the rat race. Yeah, maybe they had a bit more fun than me when they were younger, but now, they have to deal with the cards they have. Tough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Mass despair permeates working class See in context

Let's get something straight here - Being a freeter in Japan is by and large a choice. Unless your personal situation is extreme, you have to pretty much make a conscious decision to opt-out of the rat race here. These freeters who decided to extend their childhood into their 20s are now finding, 10 years on, that maybe they didn't make the best career choice.

I remember reading an article a few years ago, perhaps on JT, perhaps on another Japan-related board (apologies on forgetting the source!). They interviewed a number of freeters who had an across-the-board disdain for their corporate peers. They were enjoying their freedom. They were quoted in the article as saying things such as "I can do what I want!", "I don't have to work overtime," and "I will never submit to a company's rules," etc.

Sounded like a good path to follow when they were 23 years old. Now, pushing 30, maybe not so much. Freeters are basically backpackers who don't have the guts to step foot outside of their home soil.

Sorry, no sympathy. It was their choice. They have to live with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Golf lesson See in context

He only changed his shirt. Look at his trousers and shoes - he's still effectively in work clothes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike, Yosano declare candidacies for LDP presidential election See in context

Cow - Comes as no surprise, but your student is seeing it wrong. It's not a race to have a female leader first. In that regard, Japan will have to go for the bronze among G8 countries; the UK's Thatcher and Germany's Merkel coming in 1 and 2.

I don't care if she's female. Koike may do a good job; my distrust of her is rooted in that she comes from showbiz land, albeit journalism, but showbiz land nonetheless. If Aso was some geinokai somewhere and plopped into politics, I'd share the same distrust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike, Yosano declare candidacies for LDP presidential election See in context

If, God forbid, Sarah Palin becomes the US vice-president, and Koike ends up heading Japan, we need to get those two together. The resulting vortex of nothingness would create the largest low-pressure system on the planet since Hurricane Katrina.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Jodie Foster finds her inner adventurer in South Pacific See in context

I saw this movie yesterday. I was cool to the idea at first, but went just so my daughter would stop nagging me. I thought it was a kid flick; truth is, the movie rocks. It is really, really good. I enjoyed that film more than I have any other in a long, long time. Highly recommended.

One points: The CG-created pelican is a little off and a little too smart to be believable, but aside from that, it was fantastic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Manner poster See in context

rjd - I won't give up my seat for a woman just simply because she's female. Pregnant, injured, elderly, yes, but not just because she's a woman. I believe in equality of the sexes and, well, that means women have to stand with men on the trains, too.

To these posters - they're funny. I love them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Satomi Ishihara See in context

Oh, my God - the perfect convergence of so many Japanese-girl fantasies in one place. I'm gonna explode!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sex and this city See in context

Zen: US is 304 mil. (http://www.census.gov/)

Still - point taken and agreed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ozzy Osbourne to play one concert in Japan Oct 27 See in context

Let's be efficient and double-bill these guys - Ozzy and Jackson Japan Tour '08! Oh, yeah. I'm there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sex and this city See in context

Shugotomaru said in very few words exactly what I was going to say in a paragraph. Yeah, nobody can deny that SATC is a pop hit, but using it as a barometer for lifestyles tells me that the author is pretty much driving in the fast lane of Dingbat Blvd. It is as blatantly dumb as using references to "Friends" to judge NYC lifestyles 10 years ago - everyone had lots of spare cash then, too - even the struggling actor guy. Oh yeah, that and the "give up their seat" and "honor with marriage" remark. I'm sorry, but, I'm laughing so hard, I can't type any more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: How to disagree agreeably See in context

I'm thinking "Mike" is just a metaphorical vehicle used so that Mr. Kirkwood could drive home his point.

Of course, I've met plenty of folks here (mostly, sad to say, Americans) who do fit this profile. They take the "My way or the highway" approach and run through the Japan offices like a bull in China shop. I've never seen many last very long here.

Regardless of whether "Mike" is real or not, the point the Mr. Kirkwood makes is the important thing. I am pretty well synchronized with the local culture, but I'm going to try to put some of these ideas to work from Monday and see what I get.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Norika See in context

I mean, motytrah is right...talk about sending in the "B" team. Of the two ladies above, one should NOT be dressed in a pink miniskirt. Guess which one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: How airlines deal with 'customers of size' See in context

Altria - "...just like at the deli."

Proving what we already knew - that we are really just pieces of meat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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