Monday, March 31, 2008

Cutest thing ever followed by dumbest thing ever

I unfortunately don't have a picture of it, but at last night's Boredom's show (awesome!): while the band raged in the round at Terminal 5 (crap venue), Yoshimi's infant child sat on a chair on what's normally the main stage, and drummed along, wearing air-control attendant headphones and using plastic brushes!

But speaking of babies...

According to an AP report on MSNBC, Asian-Americans hate girls.

WASHINGTON - Having sons is important to many Asian cultures, and now American families from those groups seem to be asserting the same preference.

A new analysis of the 2000 Census shows that among U.S. born children of Chinese, Korean and Asian Indian parents the odds of having a boy increase if the family already has a girl or two.

The implication is that thanks to obstetric technology, Asian-Americans are more likely to abort girls than other ethnicities, THOUGH the scientists who wrote the report claim they are making no implications whatsoever (uh, what about the whole "published paper reporting trend in sex selection" thing?). Curiously, the article notes:

Nevertheless, while many countries prohibit sex selection techniques without a medical purpose, the United States does not.

So...Asian-Americans hate girls, but the US sees nothing wrong with it?

link from Ryan.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Man with tube of paper apologizes

With all that talk of Silda Spitzer's questionable devotion to her philandering husband, belied by her ravaged look of terminal bathos, it's no wonder the next face of political-sex scandal should be supported by a "devoted" wife completely dwarfed and hidden by his enormous body.Possible caption:
Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, being dollied onto stage by alternately embarrassed and pissed-as-hell wife.

Worst Headline....

...and the award for "worst headline with accompanying photo" goes to...

my pen is my sword

Remember this guy? Well now I got these guys . Bam. The Anne Ishii bic 4-color percolator tip wide barrel pen. I wanted it in blue but they wouldn't let me, and the font's a smidge off...which just means I have to get more made till they're perfect!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ah...New England

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Weeeeirdest Use of Astro-Boy

Sunset Park is half Mexico City, half Beijing (and my new favorite ethnic enclave in Brooklyn). Look it up. It rules, and almost makes up for the white versions of "ethnic" Brooklyn that oppress me so. (BTW, who came to Fairway and got them to sell MILD non-Napa cabbage kimchi exclusively? You're going down, my friend.)

Anyway, on my way home from SP, I saw a van COVERED in copies of the above poster. Note Astro-Boy in the top right corner beaming a slogan from his left astro-arm.

"Siguen los super Bailazos"

ii Praytell Spanish-speakers, what does that mean !! Because from what the internet tells me the night club that made this poster has little if nothing to do with robots, manga, or Tezuka.

The El Rodeo Night Club MySpace page.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Parfum Parodie

I forgot how much I used to love collecting stationery (I used to own hundreds of different pens and pencils until high school when I decided I was an "adult" now and threw them all away). Then recently I came across this pen at an office supply near NYU. Remember this guy? I found myself staring at this thing smiling.

It makes me so happy to use this because:

1. It is the perfectly designed pen. Everything from the little globe at the top like it's a percolator, to the softness of the edges on the clip and the retracting ink levers, and the blue (or orange) case color, and my love for this pen notwithstanding, I for one believe the bic logo is one of the best in the world - a ball point-headed manicon with a shrimpy body. Well-designed products that are this cheap make you want to use them a lot, but well.

2. It's so "nostalgic"! I mean, I don't remember having such a love affair with this pen in my previous incarnation as a collector, but it looks so permanently vintage. Like cat-eye glasses or mary janes.

Love it.

The More I Know (cue rainbow)

I don't want to add any real thoughts to NY Governer Spitzer's prostitution scandal (maybe just to point to my jaw on the floor), except to note this almost unnoticable little bit from The LA Times coverage:

The client (Spitzer) allegedly paid for Kristen to take a train from New York to Washington, where he was staying that evening. Transporting prostitutes across state lines is a felony under the 1910 federal Mann Act.

A FELONY?! Just for taking a three hour train ride?

So in 1910, something happened that made congress pass a law outlawing pro's moving from state to state...weird. But why would states be so protective of their prostitutes as to make interstate sodoconomy a felony? It's not like NY State is making money off hooker taxes she earned in DC or anything. Curious as to the odd outcome of what must have started as a reasonable law, I went agoogling.

According to Wikipedia, the law was instated to prevent white slavery. Specifically, the law was a response to some national scandals of white women being abducted and turned into prostitutes. In other words, it wasn't like a turf war of the ho's as I'd hoped/imagined/envisioned-the-movie-plot-of. [My version would have given whole new meaning to the word "carpetbagger."]

This Mann Act turns out to be the same one used to jail Jack Johnson - subject of the great PBS doc "Unforgivable Blackness," about how he beat so many white boxers it freaked everyone out, forcing them to use this law to jail him. In his first accusation, Johnson had a favorite ho who happened to be white. He later married her (awww), but another white hooker accused him later of taking her across state lines and this time he was jailed (awww).

Interestingly, and upon further research, this particular law against white slavery was meant not just as a measure against commerical sex, but all "immoral" sex with travel. In other words, to stop people from taking "private romantic getaways." Harsh.

Another famous accused was blues legend Chuck Berry, and though he was charged much later than Johnson, I'm inclined to think the law is only about anti-miscegenation. [Cue the show "COPS" with the Marley tune lyrics changed to Jim Crow Jim Crow, Whatchya gonna do?]

Which brings us back to Spitzer. I know he won't be jailed for this, but it's funny to think the law designed to fuck with black men sleeping with white women could bite this guy, in the butt:

An odd kind of poetic justice...though I kind of liked the guy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hilarious article in Otaku USA.
Totarry hirarious

thanks, Ryan.

Cross-Lingual Jokes

Sono Ichi: A couple nights ago the word "dong" came up in conversation, whereby I realized for most Americans it means "penis," though for many Korean-Americans, its foremost definition is "poo." To this day I hear "dong" and visualize a dick made of poo.

Sono Ni: Concurrently, I'd seen a book cover at Barnes & Noble, and appalled by the F.I.T.T. premise of the story-told-in-the-jacket-image, I turned the book over to examine its publication information and discovered the poor human who had to design this cover was cursed with the name...Hoo Ha. [I've recently decided not to link up information on books I don't want people to buy, so I'll leave it at that until the book goes out of print and I can do a proper report on it. If however the hemorrhoid of your curiosity burns burns burns, feel free to write me.] [And if you're Hoo Ha, you should definitely write me.]

Sono San: Back when I was a kid, my mom had a fellow Nikkei-mom friend who carpooled with us in an ancient Volvo. And when I say 'ancient,' I mean I'm certain that if she'd kept it and tuned it up, it would fetch a nice museum premium. But, back in the 80's it was a Piece O' Shi* hoopdy. And because we were all talking Japanese, we nicknamed it The Boroboro, which sounds like Volvo, and means, well...POS hoopdy. I still get a good kick out of that. Like I almost want to buy an ancient hoopdy volvo just to call it my "boroboro."

Sono Yon: Similarly, during The Dream Team heyday, Angelenos in my quarter were proscribed by law to diss Michael Jordan/The Bulls. This was easy for Jap-Am's too because with the accent, Jordan became "jo-dan" which means "joke." Like, "Stop Michael fucking with me," or "you've got to be Michael kidding me," or "is this a Michael joke or something?" or "that's not Michael funny."

[Anyone named Poon Tang or Christian Bale should feel free to write me also.]


On a recent trip to B&N's "young adult nonfiction" section...(shivers)
From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Japan General Estate Co said today it is planning to dole out thousands of dollars a month for its employees to go on the town in a bid to help communication.

Japanese companies routinely offer generous expense accounts to entertain clients, but the real estate company is going a step further by subsidising workers' drinking sessions with one another.

The company plans to offer managers who supervise 20 or more people up to 300,000 yen ($3,158) a month to take them out. Managers with fewer than 20 workers will get 200,000 yen ($2105), a company statement said.

I guess if Japan's suffering the same Monster Mortgage Meltdown the US is, boozing up will be perfunctory for characteristically smileytard realty agents. But I smell class action sexual harassment law suit around the corner. It's just too bad this will be blamed on the sauce.

Do you love booze as much as I do?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's blog-cheating, I know, but another link from Metropolis:

Japanese moms threaten not to breed anymore unless they are allowed to take their kids to school on bicycles.

From The Times

Kiss Me I'm Japanese

I don't know why I find this hilarious, but:

Nothing says St. Patrick's Day like celebrating it in Tokyo.

Anne being curmudgeonly "young people"...sorry.

Dear Senator Barack Obama,

I am writing to you with a simple request, which I believe will in the long run be crucial to your winning the democratic nomination and the general election for the presidency of the United States.
Stop from making any more God-forsaken music videos praising you.
I understand why he feels endowed with either the responsibility or the delusion of power to successfully campaign for you. You have a few things in common. You are popular, he is popular. You are a charismatic and worldy speaker, he is a musician in California who gets dressed in the dark every morning. But whereas fervor is a virtue for all contests of the spirit, a role call of irrelevant pseudo-celebrities chanting your name is most definitely a curse to those of us who are simply waiting for the November election.
You see, I am subject to numerous and repetitive, "clever" and "cute" viral online campaign videos, microsites, posters, songs, jingles, jokes, embroidery patterns, neologisms, vapid celebrity endorsements. every. friggin. day. At first because I was curious to find out how far this was going. Now, it's just "friends" I can hardly look at without rolling my eyes when they turn to tell someone else to vote for you.
Friends who mean well but who forget we have an entire summer to live through before picking up yardstick posters and pulling levers keep rubbing this shit in my face and I am about to barf my last granola bar into my armpit.
I know that doesn't make sense, but that's because I'm losing it! A second campaign video for you by Mr. "Let's Get Retarded In Here"? And having the gall to pretentiously name it "We Are The Ones"? The guy is asking for it. (Visualize me pounding my right fist into my left palm, for effect.)
You are doing so well with America, Barack. Can I call you Barack? A bunch of chain emails told me I could. Barack, why would you let this guy sabotage your well-earned constituency with the cultish drivel of all the things we "young people" (to borrow a Clinton-ism) so despise: self-referential hipness?
Don't remind us that we secretly wish we were Jessica Alba's best friend by letting Jessica Alba talk to us like she's our best friend! Jesus don't you know how this works?! Unless I get a letter in homeroom, confessing she's insecure about her looks and that she has a secret crush on John C. Reilly, written on spiral bound ruled-paper, carefully folded to look like a heart with a MIDI chip that plays "Take On Me" when I open it, I won't take what she says to me "directly" very seriously.
I'm sorry. I should be writing to But somehow you seem the more powerful figure in this equation. I have an inexplicable sense of all consuming trust and infatuation with you...oh right, it's because EVERYONE TELLS ME I HAVE TO.
Please tell him, them, to leave me alone. I can't do anything till November and if I lose it before then, all of us who want to really see change, are fu.cke.d.

Anne Ishii

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stevie Wonder is glad he can't see this.


thanks for the heads up Urian.

But who will censor us from the censors?

Chief Censorer of the Japanese porn ethics organization, Katsumi Ono, has just been arrested for failing to adequately hide sex organs with blurry-square-mosaics on two DVD titles.

One reason he might have let it go au naturel:

The Nihon Ethics of Video Association has been rapidly losing members as adult DVD companies, under pressure from censorship-free Internet porn, migrate to new orgs with looser standards. In the past two years, DVD shipments by NEVA companies have declined by 40 percent. Desperate to halt the decline, the org has evidently winked at its own obscenity guidelines --- and drawn the attention of the police.

A copy-editing observation: I don't know if abbreviating "organization" with "org" isn't too inviting too much allusion. And it's funny to think that of the two, Japan ostensibly has the tighter standard of porn over the internet.

There's a great scene in one of the Frederic Boilet comics in which the protagonist, joking about these censor mosaics, comes up with the idea to put product placement over sex organs instead.

Link from Ryan

Monday, March 3, 2008

Oooh, Business Manga.

What most Americans know of manga, those stylized Japanese comics, is that the stories are fantastical, edgy, and defiantly indifferent to most anyone past a certain age. Now, though, comes word that manga is starting to go all adult and practical on us: The first business comic book is on its way. It's called The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need, and it's written by Daniel H. Pink, the author of two trend-setting books about the workplace, Free Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind.

Of course, I'm skeptical. Ameircan businessmen don't want manga tutorials. They want crossfit and xbox and the Jack Welch biography. But you know, Johnny Bunko is kind of cute in that scared "bottom" kind of way. And get this. His spiritual guide is a business advisor named Diana that spirits out of a pair of chopsticks. Whoooooooo.

Thanks for the head's up Tanya.