Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shopping in downtown Yokohama

It amazes me that people can actually enjoy this. Then again, maybe it`s just a gender difference...because department stores are made for women...

...and hundreds of tons of Chinese-made junk, made en masse in factories and sold with 1000% markups. And these tons of junk are being women; examined by women; bought by women; sold by women; wrapped by women; carried around in labelled plastic bags by women. Thousands of them, dressed and made up to the hilt, "picking out the trash that women are so curiously fond of," as Orwell wrote.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson is dead in Tokyo too

Thank God. It`s times like these, however, when I am happy I live here and not, say, in Sydney, where it would be impossible to escape the hype over the death of a paedophile who could do the moonwalk.

Apparently when the paramedics were working on him, trying to get his heart going again, they kept singing "Got to be starting something..."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trying not to die in Disneyland

Last week I was dragged, kicking and screaming, to Disney Land. 30 minutes on the train. An hour on a bus. Hours in queues. Overpriced food. 80 bucks Aussie just to get in.
This was a traumatic experience. Obviously, no normal educated person could enjoy Disneyland. But I took it particularly harshly. Not because the very existence of Disneyland is an affront to human decency, an exercise in disgusting vomit-inducing sweetness, a land of fakery and creepily-sexual fetish make-believe, a lurid homage to all that is superficial in human nature. Not even because the success of Disneyland in Japan is a disturbing testimony to the overwhelming infantilism of Japanese society.

Or at least, not only because of those reasons. I do, after all, live in Japan and desire to accept the good with the bad.

Going to Disneyland was specifically traumatic because it made me, for the first time, afraid of Disneyland. I was possessed by the terrifying thought, not of death itself, but by the thought that I might die in Disneyland. It was unbearable. To be born on the wings of youth and poetry and hope and expectation...not to mention Metallica and George Orwell and Shinkichi Takahashi and the fucking Silmarillion...just to be remembered by friends and family as having died on a visit to Disneyland...any fate, any horrible destiny, would be preferable to that.

Apart from trying not to die, the rest of the experience was relatively painless, just an exercise in grim endurance, like waiting in line at the bank, which is pretty much what you are doing for 90 per cent of the time anyway, only instead of a bank teller at the end you go on a rollercoaster. By the way, 90 per cent of the time is not an exaggeration; the thing you can always count on at Tokyo Disneyland is 3 hour queues.

My girlfriend had a great time, however. Loved the "atmosphere". Which is of course, the real reason I went and, indeed, the only thing that could convince to go through with it. That`s what a relationship is, I guess. Compromise.

Disneyland: Go only if it will get you laid.