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The Original Wing comments

Posted in: Musk confirms Twitter has become X.com See in context

I know of no people from English-speaking countries who refer to it as "X." Every single one of them says "Twitter" still.

Among Japanese people I know, I'd say 25% of them say "X" while the rest still say "Twitter."

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: What are some of the best free places to visit in Japan? See in context

The observatory on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is free, and offers great views of the city.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Top tennis players say they're playing too much because the tournaments are too long See in context

I don't know about whether it's causing more injuries or not, but as a fan, I really dislike the 2-week Masters 1000 events. For one, it cheapens the Grand Slams a bit. And two, it makes me lose interest in these Masters events. They just drag on too long, and the stakes aren't high enough for me to be paying closer attention, so I get bored with them and pay even less attention.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Taylor Swift's tour arrives to shake up Europe See in context

@Strangerland

I understand what you're saying, but I disagree. For me, it comes back to your earlier comment:

All other qualifiers are subjective

And I'll repeat my own response:

Skill is something that can't be measured? Ever?

With due respect, I think "everything is subjective" is an argument that (1.) makes it pointless for any layperson to ever express an opinion, and (2.) discredits the high-level, technical knowledge of experts (for music, that would be accomplished musicians, music theorists, credible music critics, etc.) who can understand and evaluate things along scales that normal people have no knowledge of.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Taylor Swift's tour arrives to shake up Europe See in context

The only objective qualifications to whether or not an artist creates good music or not are the number of fans

You're confusing "popular" with "good." There are plenty of "bad" things in the world that we still enjoy, from junk food to B-movies to celebrity gossip magazines. Myself included. Quality and popularity are separate things.

All other qualifiers are subjective.

Skill is something that can't be measured? Ever? We can't compare a professional painter to a high schooler doodling on a sketch pad, because it's all just subjective?

So whether anyone else could have done it is irrelevant, because she's the one who did.

It's not irrelevant at all. She's the one who did it, so she has certainly earned her mansions, no argument there. But we're talking about an evaluation of an artist, a maker of creative content. How could you say originality is irrelevant?

there is no argument as to whether or not she creates good music

That's clearly not the case. The fact that an argument exists is the reason why we're having this discussion.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Taylor Swift's tour arrives to shake up Europe See in context

I don’t get the bitterness about this from some

I'll try:

The bitterness from some people is certainly over the top, and making a pop singer the target of such hostility is odd.

But, for me at least, the dislike of her stems from the imbalance of love/worship/attention from fans and media vs. the actual quality of what she's producing. Her music is pretty run-of-the-mill fare. Some of the lyrics are interesting, but lots of them are bland and uninspired and even a bit immature. Her music could have been written or performed by dozens of other musicians of the recent generation. Judging purely from a musical perspective, she's fine, but not outstanding in any particular way.

And yet, here we have a news article announcing that her tour has arrived at Europe(!). What an odd bit of "news" (sorry, JT). There's no news here - it's just an excuse to put her name in the headlines, because it sells. Her actual music doesn't deserve that attention. Obsessive fans treat her as if she's some sort of prodigy, and go on the warpath against anyone who disagrees - professional music critics have had to post negative reviews of her music anonymously due to fear of being personally attacked by her fans. It's perfectly fine to love your favorite singers (regardless of who they are), but the discourse about her place in the music world is totally unjustified.

In terms of being a pop cultural icon - she certainly is, of the likes we haven't seen since Michael Jackson and Madonna did it decades ago. But Taylor Swift comes nowhere near MJ or Madonna in terms of the creativity, quality, or importance of her music.

So, I believe the bitterness comes from that - the imbalance of attention/worship with the average-ness of the music she produces.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's declining attractiveness from the perspective of foreign talent is starting to become reality. Companies must improve salaries and other benefits. See in context

As far as workplace culture is concerned, it's a two-way street.

Yes, many Japanese companies are fixated on doing things the traditional Japanese way, and strongly reject any ideas or proposals otherwise, even if they're good ones. That's a problem when it comes to attracting (and retaining) foreign workers. I've known companies that have failed at this.

On the other hand, foreign workers need to resist feeling entitled about getting their own way. They are entering a foreign country and need to be open-minded about accepting the rules and expectations of that country's society and lifestyle, even if it clashes with their own. I've known foreign workers who have failed at this, also.

The point is, in order to successfully work together, both sides need to show more flexibility.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: What do you think is the best plot twist in movie history? See in context

Fight Club

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: What advice would you give to someone who shows signs of becoming a stalker to help them stop their obsessive behavior? See in context

I'm a victim of quite a scary stalker situation years ago, and here's what I wish I knew at the beginning: be extraordinarily firm with your rejection and boundaries.

(like most cases) My situation didn't go from 0 to 100 immediately. My stalker didn't begin as my stalker. She started as an acquaintance within a group of friends, and I was kind and polite to her as I am to everyone. And when she started to show interest in me, I tried gently ignoring it, brushing it off, edging away slowly... hope it'd dissipate as most unrequited crushes do. But I was still polite and kind, especially because we shared a circle of friends. Because it escalated slowly, and because she seemed like a normal, friendly person, I didn't see any need to be blunt and tell her to go fly a kite and leave me alone forever. However, my soft approach encouraged her rather than discouraged her, and (fast forward the story a bit) I ended up with a monster who thought that she "knew me" (as a kind person), so when I was forced to defend myself from her insanity by being brutally direct and forceful, she rejected it as "just an act" and kept persisting with her escalating stalking.

It's a long story that this short synopsis isn't doing justice. But the point is - when someone is showing signs of being a stalker, be extremely firm from as early as possible. Reject, repeat the rejection, repeat the rejection loudly and definitively, don't give any encouragement, don't be empathetic or understanding, don't excuse even small breaches of your boundaries.

And for a third-party observer of someone who shows signs of being a stalker (as this question asks), I'd advise the same. Help the poor victim out (and the potential stalker too, really) by being extremely blunt and admonishing of stalker-like behavior, and don't show any sympathy for their plight. They need to know it's not remotely OK, end of story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Cashiers given chairs as Japanese companies reconsider if it’s OK for workers to sit during their shifts See in context

the surveyed employers were asked...73.3 percent said they think it’d be fine if their workers could take a seat.

I'm glad to see this! I would've assumed the opposite. Customer service is generally amazing in Japan, but the Japanese sense of customer service definitely includes a higher level of formality than in most other places, and I would've guessed that sitting would go against that. I'm glad to be proven wrong in this case, and that many employers are open-minded about the idea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Princess Aiko graduates from Gakushuin University See in context

Congratulations to her, and best wishes for the future.

I'm very curious to know about her daily life in university. Does her position make it hard to make friends? Do teachers treat her differently? Are there restrictions on how she can spend her free time? It would be fascinating to hear about this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: The noise problem in conflict averse Japan See in context

I agree that there's an odd contradiction here between embracing noise and embracing quiet.

I was once in a clothing store in a mall, where they were having a limited-time sale. To advertise it, there were three staff members INSIDE the not-so-big store, standing on stools, shouting a nonstop stream of promotions at the top of their voices, simultaneously, over each other (they were all shouting different things). I'm generally a tolerant person, but I've never been so overwhelmed and irritated in a store in my life. I had two things I wanted to buy in my arms when that started, but threw them down and ran out the door to escape.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Upskirt photos lead Japanese high school to redesign cheerleader uniforms See in context

What a sad reflection of the world we live in. It's heartbreaking that this is necessary.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Posted in: What do you think of school uniform dress codes in Japan? See in context

As a child, I went to a public school that had no uniforms. Our bullies were often the people coming from the lower classes themselves. They tended to be tough people who suffered from bad home lives. They were the ones wearing the low-grade clothes. So, no - in my childhood's context, wearing cheap clothes didn't make anyone the victim of bullying.

The portrayal of bullies as being the beautiful, rich girls wearing designer clothes and mocking their less well-off classmates for their dirty shoes certainly exists in the world. But it wasn't the reality of where I came from.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of school uniform dress codes in Japan? See in context

The people talking about how uniforms reduce bullying are living in a dream world.

Bullying doesn't exist because there are fashion discrepancies between classes. Bullying exists for a wide variety of social and psychological reasons. If you take away the fashion issue, bullies will simply shift their focus to their victims' hairstyle, or hobbies, or music preferences, or friends, or the way they talk, or the way they walk, or what they brought in their bento, or their body shape, or a hundred other things.

Introducing school uniforms will solve exactly 0% of bullying-related issues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese teacher beats up student for making fun of his body by calling him anime character name See in context

If I knew that I could get away with punching annoying clients in the head and body, and that my only punishment would be a 10% docking of pay for 3 months, there would be quite a scene at my workplace on a regular basis.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Don't let it bug you - how not to worry See in context

"We suffer more in the imagination than in reality." -Seneca

True for me, for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The Tokyo government plans to establish an ordinance aimed at preventing “customer harassment,” which refers to unreasonable demands or malicious complaints made by customers to company employees. What do you think about this? See in context

Well, without having any idea what the ordinance entails, I'm skeptical that they'd find a way to reduce it.

That said, it's responding to a growing problem, so I'm glad that there's some awareness of the issue. Working in food service, retail, or other customer-facing jobs is a tough proposition on a good day. But there are a growing number of stories being released about some of the horrible abuse those workers are being put through at the hands of entitled, immature, loud, and "powerful" customers. "Powerful" in quotes not because they're actually powerful, but because they're given power by a societal and business system that promotes the concept of "okyakusama wa kamisama desu": "the customer is a god."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami finalizes $3.35 million, 1-year contract with New York Mets See in context

Fujinami was never a good fit for MLB. He's got great speed on the fastball, but even in Japan he had very poor control. Maybe the Mets think they can help him develop his fundamentals from the ground-up, because otherwise he's a big liability. That lack of consistency will not fly in MLB, where teams and farm systems are deeper than in Japan and there are plenty of other players just waiting for the chance to replace you if you can't cut it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Coming in 2026: The Oscars will add Academy Award for casting directors See in context

I think it's a great idea. There are plenty of movies that are made great (in part) by having cast the perfect actors for each role. The Shawshank Redeption, Reservoir Dogs, Fight Club, and Ocean's Eleven are just a few movies off the top of my head that nailed every role, even the minor ones.

Sometimes you hear about wild casting ideas that were considered, but just don't seem to fit. They considered Will Smith to be Neo in The Matrix, and Miles Teller to be the lead in La La Land, and John Travolta to be Forrest Gump. That's the power of the casting director - to prevent those atrocities and put the best person into those movies.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Taylor-mania hits Tokyo as Swift resumes tour before Super Bowl See in context

Hope everyone there thoroughly enjoys their evening of mediocre music

2 ( +20 / -18 )

Posted in: Japanese rail company lets teens ride for free on entrance exam days See in context

I'm grateful for the reminders that there's good in the world, even if it's a small and simple thing like this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Sabalenka, Zheng march into Australian Open final showdown See in context

How could you not love Zheng? Her game is so fun, and she's got a great attitude and personality. It's very easy to cheer for her.

But with the way Sabalenka's been playing at this tournament, there's no stopping her. You gotta hand it to her - she sticks with the "hit it as hard as you can, at all times, no matter what" mantra better than anyone. When she's on, she's almost impossible to beat. And she's been very on.

Sabalenka in 2 sets, but cheering for Zheng.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ returns to theaters, in IMAX 70mm, with new ‘Dune: Part Two’ footage See in context

I really wanted to like Tenet and it certainly had some interesting aspects but it became a ball of confusion at times.

I agree. I like almost all of Nolan's movies, and was excited for Tenet. But it was too over-the-top complex, and it kept me from liking it. Nolan's Inception was very complex too, but with Inception, you could still sit back and really enjoy the fun of the movie even if you weren't 100% positive what was happening and why. But Tenet was the opposite for me - I was completely confused, and not in a good way. Really didn't like the movie as a result.

Also - Tenet is probably the worst of Nolan's trademark terrible sound mixing. Seriously - why is he so opposed to letting us clearly hear the dialogue? Why is every bit of important exposition mumbled behind a mask with jet planes roaring overhead?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Zverev ousts Alcaraz to join Medvedev in Australian Open semifinals See in context

I agree with basically every point in timeon's post.

There were some great baseline points in the 3rd and 4th sets, once Carlitos got his act together. Really fun match to watch. Zverev played like a madman. He always used to be so inconsistent with the ball toss on his serve - it was amazing to see how well the serve was cooking yesterday. I hope he keeps it up, for entertainment's sake. Although my rooting interest will be with Medvedev in the semis.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Fans outraged by Barbie Oscar snubs See in context

"Nominating Ken but not Barbie is literally the plot of the movie," novelist Brad Meltzer wrote on social media.

Sorry, but it isn't. And your biases are showing.

The plot of the movie is Ken getting benefits for no reason other than being male, while Barbie struggling against a stacked system simply for being female.

The Oscars are an attempt to reward to best performers, based on their performance - only. If a male actor performs better than a female actor, then he should be rewarded, and she shouldn't. That's feminism - the equality of men and women.

If Mr. Meltzer wants the actors to receive rewards based on who's a man and who's a woman, then he's not a feminist. He's a female-supremecist.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Oppenheimer' dominates Oscar nominations; Gerwig passed over for best director See in context

I suppose the best point of the movie for some people is the nostalgia factor. If you were very into Barbie dolls as a child, there are MANY references to all the various characters and toys and props, and you might appreciate them. If you weren't, then you have to wait patiently through each revelation of a long-lost character in the Barbie world.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Oppenheimer' dominates Oscar nominations; Gerwig passed over for best director See in context

Wow, sounds terrible. So you have seen it in its entirety?

Yes, I have. I sat through it till the end!

Its quirkiness has a charm that wears off after 10 minutes and then becomes tiresome. The plot has no surprises or interest. And there is plenty of lecturing on and on about very, very Level-1, elementary feminist issues that's a bit insulting to your intelligence. It's like a couple of idiots who are trying very hard to have a deep conversation.

Feminist ideas are very much worth highlighting, and the world needs to improve in those ways - but you don't have to bore me and lecture me with them, do you? As a movie, it's a terrible failure. And as a vehicle for the filmmaker's ideals, it's also a terrible failure.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: 'Oppenheimer' dominates Oscar nominations; Gerwig passed over for best director See in context

Gerwig was surprisingly left out of the best director field

Nothing surprising about it. "Barbie" was trash. Trite at its worst, grandstanding at its best. Surely there are better ways to express the ideas the filmmaker had.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Couple in their 80s apparently freeze to death in Tokyo apartment See in context

Every summer there are sad stories of elderly folks who died in their own homes of overheating, who had air conditioners but hadn't used them. It could well be that people on a very limited budget can't afford the extra expense of heating or cooling.

But also, I think some members of that generation insist on living using the older methods they had grown up with (like uchimizu in summer), and use that as a way to shun modern technology. Modern technology may be confusing, troublesome, or just something of another generation that they're not comfortable with.

Either way, it's a heartbreaking story. I hope everyone takes a moment to occasionally check in on elderly relatives and neighbors when the weather conditions get tough.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

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