Ronaldo is always going to be Ronaldo. He will always preen, dive, and demand the spotlight. His antics were tiresome a decade ago. Ronaldo is now old and past his prime, but I don’t expect him to fade gracefully.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
The players underperformed. Is that the fault of the players, the coach, or both? More than once, a Japanese cross rolled through the box, without a single Japanese player charging forward to take a shot. Eventually, the combination of a lazy pass and poor clearance gifted the Costa Rican goal. Costa Rica took one shot all match and scored. How many shots and good opportunities did Japanese players squander? Too often, Japan’s players looked tired and uninspired.
As much as players underperformed, Moriyasu also deserves a heaping share of the blame. What looked like inspired strategy against Germany proved buffoonery against Costa Rica. Four defensive backs against Germany didn’t produce anything for Japan in the first half. It was only the second-half change to three defenders that got Japan’s attack moving. Next match, Moriyasu went straight back to the 4-defender set.
A 4-5-1 against Costa Rica’s five defenders was never going to accomplish anything. Costa Rica always had too many bodies in the box for a lone attacker or streaking midfielders to accomplish much.
Japan played stifling defense against Germany, hoping for one or two lucky openings or mistakes. Japan lost to Costa Rica, which used the same strategy against Japan. Moriyasu seems to want to play a 45-minute match, in which Japan wastes the first half and then grabs a goal or two in the second half. It’s a strategy that can win an occasional match. It can’t sustain a full World Cup campaign.
A vivid example of Moriyasu’s tactical bumbling was the play immediately preceding Costa Rica’s goal. Japan had the ball in front of goal and failed to create a good chance in the box. The ball bounced out to a Japanese midfielder who looked for an opportunity to work the ball back into the box. He didn’t find an opening. No Japanese defenders advanced past the center line to give him a back pass option, which would have allowed Japan to keep possession and reset the attack. Swarmed by Costa Rican defenders, the Japanese player lost the ball, which Costa Rica advanced to the other end of the pitch. Two ball handling errors by Japanese defenders, and that was the match.
Moriyasu had the Japanese defenders under orders not to advance under any circumstances. It stifled Japan’s attack and possession, which led directly to Costa Rica’s goal.
Following the goal, Japan had no choice but to advance defenders, but it was too late. Costa Rica could pull back even more players to defend their 1-0 lead. Letting Japanese defenders occasionally slip forward earlier might have made a difference. Moriyasu didn’t allow it until there was no choice and Costa Rica had the means to counter.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
Environmentalists are the new Puritans. They would strip all the color and celebration from cultures to advance their cause.
Of course, banning Christmas meant that the Puritans only held power for about a decade in England before being run out, never to return to power. Let that be a fair warning to joyless ideologues today.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Germany proved in the first half that they could dominate possession. They just couldn’t find the net. Credit to Japan’s stifling defense, which outside of the glaring lapse that led to the penalty, stymied Germany’s shooting, and to the second-half changes by Japan that got them back into the match.
What armbands have to do with any of that, I don’t know. Was Germany distracted? I don’t know. Did they underestimate Japan? I don’t know. What I do know is the result: 2-1 loss.
That result is what German fans will remember, too. A week from now, nobody will care whether the Germans got to wear their gay armbands or not. All the German fans are going to remember is the 2-1 humiliation, which will be even more intense if Germany goes on to lose to Spain.
The objection is to Qatar itself, but there’s no changing the venue at this point. FIFA has nothing if players refuse to play, so players have leverage. Decide what you want, and make the protest count. Don’t know what you want? Then, until you’ve figured it out, focus on scoring memorable goals instead of playing at utterly forgettable protests.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Qatar needs to redefine what counts as success. It’s a country without a strong soccer tradition that’s never played a World Cup match before last night. Success for Qatar would be scoring a single goal this tournament.
Ecuador won 2-0, but it felt at moments like the team was under orders not to humiliate the hosts. The score easily could have been 7-0 given the lack of quality on the Qatari side.
Don’t want to be humiliated in the World Cup? Then don’t pour hundreds of millions of dollars into bribes to secure a spot as host.
6 ( +6 / -0 )
The pictures of the male-only crowd during the Qatar-Ecuador match sent a much more vivid message: This is the Muslim world, and it’s not going to bend mores for a global sports competition.
I wonder how much money Morgan Freeman took in exchange for utterly beclowning himself?
21 ( +22 / -1 )
Suspending sports teams because of politics over which athletes have zero control…is this the best ammo that Zelensky has left at this point?
-1 ( +6 / -7 )
Can we have a tax on politicians’ brain farts instead?
It would raise vastly more money and ease vastly more global suffering. But this isn’t really about doing good so much as it is about control, is it?
4 ( +4 / -0 )
Posted in: Many popular TV shows of the 1960s, '70s and '80s might be considered offensive today for one reason or another. What TV shows that are popular today do you think will be seen as offensive by audiences 50 years from now? See in context
Very nearly every show and movie made today will be considered offensive, not for any political reasons but quite simply for offending fundamental artistic principles. Hack reboots that engage in cheap tropes, weak character development, and lazy plot design are always offensive.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
If Japanese movie theaters were deeply concerned about the hearing impaired, they could adopt the technology used for decades in other countries that allows those who can’t hear to see subtitles for any and every film. Hard subtitles on one foreign film when they could be doing optional subtitles on every film in Japanese theaters don’t feel like all that much of a step toward accessibility.
9 ( +14 / -5 )
Pros: You can act smug.
Cons: You pollute more in the vehicle production, operation, and eventual disposal. You have a short range. Charging is slow. You’re at risk of spontaneous battery fires. Your car can be remotely controlled (a problem with some newer ICE vehicles, too). Normal people around you will start to shun you for how smug you act.
7 ( +8 / -1 )
Posted in: Social media is a key source of news and information around the world. Leave up too much bad content and users may be misinformed. Take down too much and users will begin to distrust the platform. What's the answer? See in context
The problem arises when certain tech companies that control advertising and own social media platforms function as virtual monopolies. The problem is compounded when this small handful of companies acts on a similar ideological bent.
If there were a robust internet advertising and social media market, different platforms would set different levels of filters, and people could choose the ones that suit them.
As it is, the likes of Google, Twitter, and Facebook seem very wrapped up in being official government mouthpieces on various issues, even when the “fact checks” they use to discredit and delete posts are themselves demonstrably false. On some issues, there is little space to speak out on any platform where one will get widely heard.
1 ( +4 / -3 )
They need to step up and have the balls to say things clearly, make proper rules and implement these ( Japanese people are good at following rules so it shouldn’t be hard to do so )! Either tell the public that it’s compulsory to wear mask on public transportation or just say it’s not!
This would be an un-Japanese response, and it badly misunderstands Japanese culture. Nearly all rules in Japan are written vaguely. Even really, really strict rules, like those against drunk driving, are nebulous when you dig into the fine details of the letter of the law. Hard-and-fast rules are simply not the norm in Japanese culture.
The preferred option is to create strong recommendations that are not quite compulsory, but that everyone is expected to follow. The police, if they could enforce it, probably won’t, but maybe they would if there were a criminal that they wanted to take down. Most people can just expect a lot of social pressure if they buck norms. Japan’s masking requirements and quasi-states of emergency have fit very much within this pattern of vague rule-making.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Peer review is not designed to catch fake or misleading data.
Umm…then what exactly is peer review designed to catch? The point of peer review is to weed out shoddy research. Fake and misleading data is one of the major reasons for bad research. If peer review isn’t catching that, then what use is peer review?
In the current state of medical research, between half and two-thirds of all published studies in prestigious journals (never mind the truly awful publication mills) prove false. For the general public, this means we are better off doing literally the opposite of what studies recommend.
Beyond this, most people are not equipped to sniff out the statistical shenanigans, data manipulation, and other games played in sham research. Relying on studies not funded by pharmaceutical companies or on the clinical trial being registered is not enough. Researchers are under intense pressure to publish positive results. Careers and grant funding can go down the tube if research fails to produce results.
The entire academic industry is plagued with this pressure to publish, and thus there is extremely high motivation to fake results and low motivation by peers to point out the fakery.
5 ( +7 / -2 )
Visit a farm or orchard, and the premium cost becomes obvious. The steps throughout the year to produce large, sweet, consistently tasty fruits consume a huge amount of labor. Most farms, unlike in, say, America, aren’t staffed by cheap migrant labor.
Plus, come picking season, a high percentage of ripened fruit is thrown out (sent to a juice factory or given away by farmers to relatives and friends) because of any minor scratch or blemish. Those same fruits would go to the supermarket in other countries, but in Japan they are not top grade, which makes them worth almost nothing.
After witnessing what farmers do, I’m surprised some fruits don’t cost more.
0 ( +2 / -2 )
so ANYone want to talk about what a renewed Russia and North Korea relationship means for the world?
without whining about US politics?
There’s the rub. Whether people acknowledge it or not, most of Russia’s recent actions are about U.S. politics. About menial spats among Biden, Trump, and others in the ruling class? No. About American imperialism and hegemony? Definitely. And so it’s impossible to divorce a discussion about Russian-North Korean ties from America because a primary reason for those closer ties is America.
-11 ( +6 / -17 )
It’s immigration detention, not religious detention.
There is no reason the government should pay money (our tax dollars) to Muslim religious organizations for their official stamp of approval.
If the kind of food you want is of paramount concern, voluntarily deport and fight your Japanese visa status from abroad.
7 ( +10 / -3 )
The author misunderstands Russia’s rhetoric. Russia is tapping into past animosities with Ukraine over Ukrainians collaborating with the Nazis in WWII. With whom is Ukraine collaborating now? NATO.
Nazi = NATO. When Russia talks about the denazification of Ukraine, what they mean is breaking Ukraine’s collaboration with Western European and American globalists.
Russia did not want to start off the conflict plainly stating that they were at war with NATO and globalists. “Nazi” has been an effective euphemism. People in Ukraine understand it. People in Russia understand it. Many of the best thinkers in the West still don’t get it.
-3 ( +4 / -7 )
Boys grow up in homes where the father is largely absent because of work. Socialization at school largely revolves around organized bullying. Kids are taught to fear failure and avoid risk-taking. Boys and men have easy access to porn, much of which is themed around frustrated, stunted men exhibiting predatory behavior toward women.
Japan doesn’t teach boys how to behave well around women, doesn’t teach them how to date (which is needed in a society that, until two generations ago, still relied heavily on arranged marriages), and immerses them in a sick fantasy world. The better question is how as many boys as do grow up well adjusted. Given the social conditions, it’s surprising there aren’t more aggressive perverts.
-1 ( +7 / -8 )
Because, for all that people brand Abe a nationalist, he was an aggressive globalist.
No surprise that other globalists are eulogizing him.
9 ( +16 / -7 )
The only pandemic uneasiness kids have is what we adults impose on them. The kids are O.K.
Go to a restaurant these days. Do you see adults imposing talking bans on themselves while eating? No. And that’s despite adults being at a much, much, much higher risk for serious COVID and for transmitting COVID.
Stop projecting fears onto the kids and let them be alive!
3 ( +3 / -0 )
Naraigoto are fine, but I pity the kids who do calligraphy on Monday, swimming on Tuesday, English on Wednesday, abacus on Thursday, piano on Friday, and soccer on Saturday.
There are far too many kids who are scheduled with lessons of some kind or another four, five, or even six days a week. The most important naraigoto for any child is free playtime and occasional boredom.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Allowed to smile for the photo…but only if you keep your mask on.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
It’s all nice and fine as far as most Americans are concerned when the American government is seizing assets of “bad Russians.” But the reality is that the government is seizing private individuals’ money and property with no due process. The government declares Russia bad, and thus the government empowers itself to seize property. Is this really the path Americans want to go down?
It’s more legitimization of a civil asset forfeiture policy that America already badly abuses.
1 ( +3 / -2 )
Thus political globalization was born: countries would be so inter-dependent upon each other in the global exchange of goods and services, that global economic growth would result, and global peace, security, abundance, and prosperity would be forever more.
War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. Globalization declares this utopia, and yet what we’ve actually gotten in the era of globalization is endless war because nations are so dependent on each other. Any time a country steps out of line with the globalists, America or NATO invades to bring the stray sheep back into the fold. Globalization funds thugs around the world whose countries happen to have natural resources, and then we pay in blood every time one of those thugs bucks the globalist taskmasters.
0 ( +3 / -3 )
A place worked for 400 years by Japanese people, but because Koreans were involved for 40 or 50 of those 400 years, we shouldn’t recognize the place for its archeological and cultural significance?
It’s almost like the Koreans have a boilerplate pre-written with which they can oppose anything Japanese.
A sensible response would be to evaluate the site on its merits and then tell an honest history of it. Dozens, if not hundreds, of heritage sites have histories tied to slave labor, genocide, or other cruelty. That’s not a disqualifying factor. Often, it’s part of what makes the heritage site so vitally important.
-8 ( +13 / -21 )
300? That might be the total number last month, but the total number of new JETs and other ALTs locked out of Japan in the past two years is in the thousands.
And now this combined in the U.S. with a job market full of desperate employers offering high wages, which makes the generous JET wage look less attractive. Even someone who hasn’t finished high school yet can get a $15/hour fast-food job in rural parts of the U.S. currently. An entry-level college grad should have little trouble pulling down at least double that.
Albeit, there are a few social science, humanities, and “studies” majors for whom anything over minimum wage is considered good, so maybe JET will still attract a few once travel restrictions cease.
2 ( +4 / -2 )
The reason Twitter ranked that highly is because Line wasn’t included in the survey. All of the social media platforms popular elsewhere are small fry in Japan compared to Line.
3 ( +3 / -0 )
The comment that this change is influenced by prudish America is nonsense.
Compare Japanese and American movies and television. Overall, there’s way more skin and explicit sexual expression in America.
This rule change is a reaction to Japan’s pervert culture. Women are increasingly uncomfortable with any male presence, even a young boy, because some men behave badly.
No rule is ever going to be accommodating and fair for everyone. Families should be able to decide this in their own. Establishments that want to cater to families should be able to set their own rules. As it is, the government is setting a rule that fits the feelings of a few people, but which excludes others. No sensible mother is ever going to send her seven-year-old into the men’s bath alone, which means some families are effectively barred from going.
2 ( +5 / -3 )
Imagine if all the money in the world spent on military and instruments of death was spent on the betterment of humankind and the planet!!??
We would be living in a utopia or at least as close as humans can come to utopia…
Laughably naive. Tribes and nations lacking defenses have never fared well historically. The “utopia” that you imagine would only be achieved by creating a desert and calling it peace. (Hint: it’s not really peace if you’ve created a space that has nobody in it.)
Human nature hasn’t been perfected. There will always be conflict between peoples. Arguably, the best way to avert conflict and better civilization is to maintain a strong military.
-2 ( +3 / -5 )