Lamarr comments

Posted in: Commuters' tolerance tested in face of declining public manners See in context

I hate riding the trains and try never to. People are unfriendly and never smile. It seems everyone looks like they are trying to act so important and above each other. What is wrong with smiling a little bit or at least putting on a friendly face.

I think every underground system I've been on is like that. London is awful for people looking morose and deathly, everyone sitting there in silence, trying to avoid eye contact. New York seemed a bit livelier, with more people talking to each other.

In my twenty-plus-some years here the only time I have seen English teachers acting up was on two occasions. Halloween and New Years Eve (which I find insensitive as hell).

I'd never thought about that, but yes, I don't recall seeing any foreigners behaving badly on trains in Japan, even when they're pissed. Even Halloween on the Yamanote has a few knobheads but generally it's OK I think.

The main places/situations I've seen foreigners behaving badly in Japan are Roppongi (obviously), and over expensive bar tabs at the end of long karaoke sessions.

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Posted in: In N Korea, learning to hate U.S., Japan starts early See in context

Sooooo... any way to fix this? we can't let NK keep like that for decades. US(the international police) should act.

Well NK's avowed aim is to bring down imperialism, just as the US's is to destroy communists. I don't think there's any way to "fix" that, save one side destroying the other.

As long as China props up the North Korean puppet state, things will continue as they are.

China has to do that. They wouldn't want a starving NK on their doorstep, it'd create a dangerous situation where NK would probably attack China and South Korea in order to get food and other living resources. It'd be a very destabilising situation.

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Posted in: Commuters' tolerance tested in face of declining public manners See in context

I don't feel it has changed much in the last 6 years I've been here. A few things I find annoying are Bad Body Odor, Sake Breath and Men with their Sports Newspapers with Topless Young Women for all to See.

I think Tokyo's none too bad for smelly public transport journeys. The worst I've ever experienced was a combined smell of perfume, shit and onions. It was such a rarity, I can still visualize it now, on the Chuo-Sobu, from Akihabara through to Shinjuku. I'd probably take that over a journey on a bus in the UK I had the other day, with a guy in front smelling of stale, musty sweat, and the guy behind reeking of urine.

Give me natto breath and strong perfume any day.

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Posted in: Commuters' tolerance tested in face of declining public manners See in context

never seen punching or fighting on a train, except between two gaijin, and I stopped it. People need to lighten up.

I've seen two pissed Japanese guys, workmates I think, having a heated discussion on the Yamanote one night, which escalated into them grabbing each other's ties and waving clenched fists at each other. After a sharp reprimand from one of the other passengers, they both alighted the train and carried on their "discussion" on the platform.

Another time, some young punk (I think he was wired on speed or something) went absolutely apeshit when the driver wouldn't open the doors of the train after an emergency stop, where the train came to a halt half-way into the station. He went on for about five minutes, kicking the door over and over and over again, banging on the driver's compartment and shouting at him, going more and more red in the face. When the train eventually pulled in fully and the doors opened, he went outside to the driver's door and carried on banging and screaming at him.

But, for those of you who have to pack in to the really crowded trains - that's horrible. But I'd take a different route, or go to work an hourly earlier to avoid that.

The Tozai Line morning commute, from Funabashi to Nakano, is the worst I've seen for that. By the time you get to Gyotoku/Urayasu, the fricken train is absolutely jam-packed like sardines, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if someone got asphyxiated or crushed and taken to hospital. It empties out around Nihonbashi/Otemachi, but those 8-10 stops in between are fricken hell on earth (especially with a hangover).

If you live in that area, you ain't got much choice but to take it if you work up in Tokyo.

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Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

Well, you just can't say anything against gays anymore. Its out of fashion, and that is really all it boils down to.

Generally speaking, these days, saying stuff that might be considered even remotely anti-gay, or indeed, anti any "minority group", results in the perpetrator being proverbially hanged. You see this in particular when comments or epithets about race are mentioned.

This is maybe kind of what's happening with this commercial - a complete over-reaction to something not particularly harmful.

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Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

People get excited about this stuff but it's ok to read "Rape Man" manga in front of me on the train??

When you think about it, there's loads of varying degrees of "dodgy" stuff like that in Japan:

Bedroom scenes in TV dramas broadcast during the daytime Photo cards of idols in bikinis, sold in children's toy shops Photobooks of underage girls in short skirts, on public display and sold in major bookstores such as Kinokuniya Depictions of child sex in manga

Two girls passing a sweet with their mouths is just titillation, like a lot of advertising. There've been plenty of adverts with famous stars in their birthday suits, with their naughty bits covered. Again, it's titillation, all designed to sell more product.

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Posted in: Chiba police admit stalking murders could have been prevented See in context

Residents of Chiba Prefecture take note, if you have to report someone as being the victim of a potential stalking, kidnapping etc., you'd better be prepared to light a rocket under them to get them to do anything about it.

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Posted in: Chiba police admit stalking murders could have been prevented See in context

As a former resident of Chiba, this makes me very angry indeed.

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Posted in: Young women interested in how plain-looking 'Black Widow' lured men to their doom See in context

“I wanted to know what kind of men the victims were,” says another, in her 30s.

Desperate. Simple as that.

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Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

Not going to campaign against it, not sending any letters, emails, or phoning anyone, but you'd probably find that while only a few sent letters, most parents in Japan would rather they didn't have that CM if you asked them.

Seriously, what harm is going to come from passing sweets to each other's mouths? Kids are hardly going to spend all day doing it. If you've ever tried it, it's quite difficult. More likely they'll have a bit of fun, drop the sweets and get bored with it. Something to do during lunchtime. If girls do get a "thrill" from touching each other's mouths, so what?? What's wrong with that?

Honestly, I think people get too worked up about these sorts of things. There are much more important and pressing problems in the world than "pass the sweets".

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Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

I have heard of many cases where young people act out on something that they have seen in a movie or television program - sometimes with tragic results

Maybe, but I think it's stretching things to purely blame the movie for it, and to then go censoring or banning things as a result. More likely that there's something else wrong with the person, or something from their environment having a bad effect on them, that makes them "act out" things.

Media reflects the culture as well as, if not more than, culture being influenced by media IMO. Better to change the culture than to go banning things from media. If it wasn't in the culture, it wouldn't get reflected in the media.

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Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

The point being that homosexuality is a choice or a matter of psychology rather than a matter of biology

Is there any science though that supports the idea that homosexuality is done by choice? Just because scientists haven't found proof that homosexuality is biological doesn't mean that it ISN'T biological or innate.

It is not unreasonable to assume that normalizing a behavior that was once considered not a part of the norm would result in more people experimenting with it

So by that reasoning, people who see this video are going to experiment with passing sweets to each other's mouths.

I'd better build a shelter in my back-garden to protect myself from the collapse of society that will inevitably result from that.

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Posted in: AKB48 candy ad criticized for encouraging homosexuality See in context

They're not even snogging each other or engaging in any lesbian activity anyway. Complete over-reaction. Who hasn't ever played "pass the ice cube" at some drunken piss-up?

Going back 10 years maybe, there was an Ayumi Hamasaki record cover or poster with a picture of herself lying with herself in a semi-cuddly pose on a bed. I'd say that's more disturbing and unnatural than seeing two girls pass sweets to each other's mouths.

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Posted in: Policeman arrested for licking woman's hair See in context

Did he think that licking someone's hair would get him a lighter sentence than pinching her butt, or peering up her skirt?

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Posted in: Things that foreigners miss about Japan when they return home See in context

Conbinis definitely. Where else can you pay your bills, photocopy documents, flick through a wank mag, have a wee, and get a beer, cup noodles and snouts for the walk home, at 2 in the morning? Awesome.

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Posted in: Things that foreigners miss about Japan when they return home See in context

Safety, cleanliness, orderliness (relatively-speaking).

Customer service tends to be better, people are generally at least a little bit nicer, more polite and helpful, trains run more punctually, things that break down tend to get fixed more quickly and efficiently. You don't get garbage strewn over places and not picked up for weeks and months on end, chewing gum on seats, dog turds and the like. Or being stuck on the bus next to some sweating, unshaven gyppo that smells like a toilet and an ashtray mixed together.

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Posted in: Tokyo Sky Tree safe from quakes: operator See in context

You can just begin to see the curvature of the Earth from the window of a jet at 9,000 meters...

You have to doubt the mental state of Mr Imamura for saying such a nonsensical comment as that.

The fact that he also said that the Skytree "will not fall" (the very same thing that was said about a certain famous passenger liner, beginning with the letter "T", that sank exactly 100 years ago) does not bode well for the safety aspect of this new construction.

No doubt the moderator will now say that "the mental state of Mr Imamura is not relevant to this discussion".

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Posted in: A punching bag on the Odakyu line See in context

The problem is that if you retaliate you will be arrested. It happened to a close friend. He was kicked and twice punched before throwing one punch back. 18 days later he was freed from the slammer after finally agreeing to pay damages of 400,000-yen to his assailant. In the meantime he had lost his job of course.

Similar thing happened to someone I know, he got into a tussle - no punches thrown - with a bar owner and ended up paying out a similar amount of money because he wouldn't apologize to the guy.

That's the way it works in Japan, they come down heavily on any kind of aggression.

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Posted in: A punching bag on the Odakyu line See in context

It's normal that people will get more irritable as their lives get more stressful. Cities become more crowded and lonely, jobs become less secure and less satisfying, and people are less considerate of each other. This is happening in many places, not only Japan.

In Japan, people's anger and frustration gets bottled up because it's wrong to openly show your frustration. Although it's no justification for it, this is why the guy on the Odakyu line reacted the way he did.

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Posted in: A punching bag on the Odakyu line See in context

This doesn't surprise me. I've done over 5 years in Japan and I think people have got ruder and more aggressive in that time.

Travelling round Tokyo especially, you see a lot of stressed out, miserable people. I certainly get wound up at times by the crushes on trains, the pushing and the shoving, and the constant looking at the watch stressing about whether you're going to make it to where you're going on time.

I think most Westerners get the feeling when they first come here that it's really safe. When you're out and about on the street, the general atmosphere feels a lot milder and less threatening than the West. Because of this, people tend to throw caution to the wind. However, with a bit of time and experience in Japan, you can see that there's other things going on beneath the "mild" exterior.

A lot of the social problems you hear so much about back home are happening here too, and are only going to get worse. Japan might still be SAFER than a lot of places, but it's not SAFE.

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