jonswan comments

Posted in: Fans search Waikiki Beach for answers to 'Lost' See in context

Lost has had its ups and downs; some shows were awful and went in silly directions, and I could really do without most of the faith and destiny nonsense, but overall it has been an amazing show and I don't mind saying I am very much looking forward to the last season. It's a fantasy basically, and if you don't like suspending belief then the show's not for you.

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Posted in: Sexless in Japan See in context

bicultural; no, it's not my hobby to watch others watching porn. Think of it like a car crash - you don't want to look but your eyes are drawn to it. Anything happens in your peripheral vision you are drawn to it, if your human or animal. I also used the phrase 'used to' meaning past habit. Thankfully I no longer have to use those places. And good luck to you regarding your Japanese wife. As I mentioned a few times in my comments, they were taken from my own experience.

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Posted in: Sexless in Japan See in context

What a disturbing poll - kind of cements what I already thought or put together from experience from being here for 6 years; I am quite tall so when I used to use internet cafes I could easily see into the cubicles as I walked past - all of them were guys watching internet porn. I never noticed anyone (but me) doing anything else... From Japanese girls I've known, mostly I've been struck by their extremely high level of superficiality (hobbies such as shopping and driving) and a major lack of character. They openly want a rich guy so they can stop work and take it easy. It's almost like living on the set of the Stepford Wives. Completely different, in my experience, tend to be those girls who have lived abroad; they have lived outside the narrow confines of Japanese society, have lightened up and are consequently interesting AND interested in foreigners. So, if I was on the lookout for a Japanese wife, I would go for those returnees and avoid like the plague those who have not spent much time abroad. A question: do Japanese kids get sex education? Why do 77% of 20s/30s lack confidence in sex? Of course major factors impede sex, such as time/energy/opportunities/money/society but 77% is madly high. I gotta get out of here.

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Posted in: Where are all the babies? See in context

The married people I know in Japan all have one kid and all struggle financially, despite the mother working part time. It's a heavily taxed country but where the hell it all goes is a mystery to me - the US/UK etc. spend 5-8% on their military spending but not Japan. Considering the vast workforce I can only suppose that some goes on paying off the national debt, some goes on corrupt practices, some on concreting over the country and so on. Wherever it goes, it doesn't seem to be a perfect system. On the upside, Japan is way overpopulated (the world already has 2 billion too many people in) so perhaps the Japanese are forward thinking enough to shrink down 10 million or so and make this tiny set of islands more pleasant to live in - imagine Tokyo with 1 million less people - what a pleasant thought that is... it's just that the short term problems will be how to pay for a top heavy system with too many old people and not enough workers. Immigration I'm afraid, but I won't be here long enough to see the Japanese writhing at the thought of that...

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Posted in: Unruly passengers cause 2 flights to change course in U.S. See in context

The people who disrupted those flights are total morons and they should be suitably punished and fined. This is not about terrorism, merely boorish behaviour by self important cretins and drunks. Is this anything to do with flight crews? In these cases, no.

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Posted in: Man attempts suicide on Ginza subway line See in context

There really ought to be ways to commit suicide which don't affect others - and that includes jumping off buildings as periodically someone below gets squashed and killed too. But suicide, apart from in extreme situations, is the height of dumbness; you've got the rest of eternity to be dead so what's the rush?

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Posted in: Man arrested for punching 6-yr-old girl on Hyogo street See in context

I think for certain types of crime, a very public and very humiliating punishment would be fitting; this is one of those crimes. However, clearly the man is sick in the head and needs to be removed from society and treated. I wish Japan had some kind of system for treating mental illness; there seems to be a lot of this weird stuff about.

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Posted in: Three pedestrians hit by car in front of Imperial Palace; one dies See in context

I've nearly been murdered twice in Japan by vermin shooting through red lights. I hope this worm gets a major prison sentence.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for selling 1-yr-old daughter to man for obscene acts See in context

The man should clearly be imprisoned for 15+ years for this, and the woman should be sterilised and have the child taken away from her - permanently. I can't believe I have to share the same planet with these people.

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Posted in: Climategate: The fix is in See in context

the_harper, tkoind2 and peachy871, thank you for pointing out that real climate change can be seen openly, so this 'climategate' issue is going to fizz out like it should because nothing works as well as real facts staring you in the face. Essentially the climate is changing and as the IPCC stated, the likelihood of us being the cause is greater than 90%. Whether we are the cause (and I for one believe we are) or not, there are huge issues to be dealt with and major changes needed in the way we interact with the planet in terms of food, water and energy. The climate change deniers are a weird bunch - wilfully ignorant and desperately lunging at any scrap of information which may allow them to carry on polluting the way they always have. Sorry, but if you think you can get food from six continents, drive a V8, fly where you like, recycle the occasional bottle and think that's OK then you're dead wrong. It might be good to remember that the world's resources are finite. And I wouldn't call it a religion either; religion concerns supernatural fantasies - that doesn't sound like ordinary people who happen to care a little about pollution and their changing environment, does it?

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Posted in: Climategate: The fix is in See in context

There's something extremely creepy about hacking into other people's emails and interpreting their words - 'trick' being a case in point where, in science, it's used in different ways, not all of them deceitful. Global temperatures don't simply go up year to year - they fluctuate but essentially the planet is getting warmer, and if it keeps getting warmer (which it undoubtedly will) then the planet's inhabitants are in for a difficult time with water and food resources becoming more scarce. Even if you don't believe the realities of global warming, as another poster mentioned earlier, oil is running out - or at least the oil that is sufficiently cheap to get at. It's a perfect time for more wind, nuclear and solar energy as cleaner alternatives for when the time comes when oil cannot meet our needs. The earth is warming and the human population is continuing to rise. This means more people being fed by a smaller irrigable land area. Something has to give; we have to deal with climate change, we have to deal with ever-increasing pollution, and we need a debate on population numbers - now rather than later. Any simplistic idea or argument such as the writer's, whose desperation to believe that climate change is a myth is fallacious and downright dangerous. You're in denial, and that denial will help to ruin us all.

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Posted in: Muslim countries seek blasphemy ban See in context

The hypocrisy of this is off the scale; Islam wants to be able to punish people who blaspheme against them, whereas anti-semitism is openly practised throughout the muslim world. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a spectacularly crass forgery detailing how the Jews were supposedly planning to take over the world, is taught to children in schools as if it were true. It's as if we in the west were teaching our children Mein Kampf. The world - or the sensible part of it - has fought hard for democracy and freedom of speech so this proposal should not be taken seriously.

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Posted in: Children's depression and suicide a worsening problem See in context

Some great posts. It seems like a mixture of things is causing it: the only child syndrome prevalent in Japan means that huge pressure is put on kids to succeed, then there are external societal pressures to succeed as well as bullying. Then, crucially, there is sleep deprivation caused by way too many clubs & extra schooling, which means that children don't get the valuable time to rest, grow up & simply have fun - life gets way too serious way too soon. Kids need plenty of time to sleep and to play - the every night and weekend juku system is insane, counter-productive and downright sadistic. I have also seen the coldness in society that kirakira25 has revealingly spoken of - a lack of real connections between people, which is rather disturbing. Finally, the work hours of fathers - travelling home on the last train and up and out early in the morning - that system is fundamentally wrong, is counter-productive in terms of productivity and helps no one. Thoroughly depressing all round basically, and I doubt there is anyone brave enough to change the system.

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Posted in: Obama's bow to emperor causes outrage in Washington See in context

Can't believe this has taken up so much space in the papers but it comes as no surprise that Republican commentators are getting all rabid about it - they have no qualms about stepping right into the gutter to attack President Obama in the hope that something sticks. Obama intended to bow as a genuine mark of respect to a hugely important ally and trading partner - only the Japanese emperor is rather shorter than he expected so he ended up bowing lower and hence it looked a bit more ingratiating than it should've. And to the person who said; 'we bow to nobody' - good grief, that's dumb. As if the US is the supreme world leader (well, in pollution perhaps) - coming after you've just gotten rid of 8 years of the biggest bunch of criminals since Hitler running your country.... some people would say instead of bowing you should be on your hands and knees begging the world for forgiveness....

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Posted in: Palin book goes after McCain camp See in context

Oh gee, Ulysses, thanks for putting me right. But at least I spelt your name right.

She can be as popular as she likes with the GOP but on a national stage against Obama or against other Republican nominees her imbecility will shine through and THEY will finally get to see it too.

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Posted in: Palin book goes after McCain camp See in context

I don't think she has as much intellectual gravitas as a birdbath - more like a puddle. She is completely lacking in intellectual, economic or political sense. She is just a squawker, signifying nothing. Watching her speeches shows that her mind is a mess and her critical powers and reasoning are essentially zero. She is, however, very smart at using her name and the desperation of the Republican party and its supporters to be talked up as a viable presidential candidate, and to sell an awful lot of books. I pity the planet for the number of trees that will be cut down to satisfy the right wing's insatiable appetite for her 'homespun American life' nonsense. She is thoroughly mendacious and untrustworthy.

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Posted in: Is chivalry dead on Tokyo trains? See in context

For years here I was amazed at how the Japanese can go to sleep on the train and wake up exactly at their station. Years later I realised they were only pretending to be asleep. Duh, silly me.

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Posted in: Is chivalry dead on Tokyo trains? See in context

I agree with Osakadaz that the politeness usually only comes out when it is demanded culturally.

I think, considering the immense numbers of people using the Tokyo train system it's a miracle it works so well. As a Brit I will always offer my seat to the elderly, the infirm or pregnant women in the same way that I wouldn't cough or sneeze in other people's faces - I was taught manners at school and at home. In 6 years here I haven't seen many acts of kindness on the trains though I've seen hundreds, if not thousands, of acts of casual unkindness. Politeness goes straight out the window basically. Maybe I'm wrong but the Japanese seem to have a blinkered way of shutting out everything and focussing on whatever it is in front of their eyes; a friend, manga, the cellphone. Everything else is irrelevant. A person could be dying 3 meters away and providing they're not dying noisily then the Japanese will ignore it; it simply doesn't exist for them. The Japanese can also also be rather spatially naive; so many times do people walk or cycle straight into me. And the number of road deaths in Japan is spectacularly high.

A plus point is the population in Japan is falling slightly so it might eventually mean Tokyo loses people. One thing the government could do is increase regional grants and tax breaks in other areas to persuade companies to move offices away from Tokyo; it would make an awful lot of sense in terms of population density, the ability of public services to cope, and especially if a major earthquake were to hit the capital.

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Posted in: Hatoyama says Japan should embrace more migrants See in context

This is a brave comment by a Japanese prime minister considering the veiled xenophobia that is still rife here. Perhaps what he does mean in particular is regarding the care industry, which will need vast numbers of people. I guess it doesn't help that the govt. here is about to bring in racist health care laws that will do the exact opposite of what Hatoyama has just said. I, and many I know, are out of here in 2010/11 when visas expire as we do not wish to be made to take out health care which is the opposite to our real needs. Japan's shrinking population is a good thing in the long term; people = pollution, so if they could shave 5-10 million off the total then all well and good. That would not necessarily have a great impact on Japan's ability to be a world leader in business.

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Posted in: ICHIHASHI ARRESTED BY POLICE IN OSAKA See in context

This is excellent news - it might even help spur the J-police to perform better on other cases. Clearly the evil creep was running out of places to hide so well done to the media for highlighting the case and to the person who spotted him.

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Posted in: Bush throws out first pitch at Game 3 of Japan Series See in context

I wish the headline was 'War criminal Bush caught and sent to Guantanamo Bay to be water boarded' - a little long but sums up my feelings. I really don't know why this man is still outside prison because his criminal behaviour is widely known. I salute the shoe thrower, though. Wish I'd thought of that.

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Posted in: Bush throws out first pitch at Game 3 of Japan Series See in context

I wish the headline was 'War criminal Bush caught and sent to Guantanamo Bay to be water boarded' - a little long but sums up my feelings. I really don't know why this man is still outside prison because his criminal behaviour is widely known. I salute the shoe thrower, though. Wish I'd thought of that.

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Posted in: Simon & Garfunkel kick off final Japan tour in Nagoya See in context

At Tokyo Dome tonight they were amazing. With just guitar and harmonies they were truly awesome. I had to check but they really are 67 years old, born a month apart. Art Garfunkel was nice and chatty too, Simon more like an old curmudgeon.

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