Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Today, I was thinking of posting something about how Christmas is celebrated in Japan with all the fried chicken, romantic dates and all that stuff, but I can't really be bothered. Then I was going to post about how immensly annoying it can be to take one day off from work and be met by over a hundred e-mails in the inbox on Christmas Eve when I get back in the office, but I can't really be bothered with that either.
So instead I will just wish you all a very merry christmas and if any of you are still not in the proper Christmas mood you can always listen to the wonderful Christmas song here and you are sure to get in the Christmas mood in no time!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Let me give you an example here of how this can be used in the corporate setting:
Peon A (being pissed angry that the report he was promised is over a week delayed): Where is that report? You promised me it a week ago and I’ve seen nothing!?
Peon B (being very well aware that he should’ve done it but has spent his time reading up on horse racing online instead) What?! If that report is so important you shouldn’t have asked me, because Peon C asked me to compile data for him and his project (this hasn’t been done either, but the general thinking is to set Peon A and C against each other).
Peon A: (Successfully Gayku-Gire:ed into submission, anger gone): Oh… Ok… Can I have it by next week then?
Peon B: (Impatient) I’ll try.
Also, I have a real life true example of a very successful Gyaky-Gire from a supervisor to a subordinate, one which I aim to utilize someday too:
Peon A: (Angry, tired and pissed off about workload and other team members not pulling their weight) I’m really tired, I’m doing this and that, you need to do something!
Boss A: (Sudden outburst of anger, almost shouting) How do you think I feel?! I’ve been dead inside for a year.
Peon A (Successfully Gyaku-Gire:ed into submission, speechless): Oh, ok… I’ll get back to it then…
Friday, December 12, 2008
After being roughly told off by men with guns to wait a few meters away from the entrance we waited for our military friend to pick us up and guide us through the necessary paperwork needed to gain entrance to the base. Fortunately, since the US has not yet labeled Sweden as a part of the axis of evil and Japan is a close strategic military ally we could quickly go through the process and avoid being sent to Guantanamo. My key concern at the base was to avoid being shot by any of the military personnel since, even though the base is located on Japanese soil and lies under Japanese law, the US military has jurisdiction over any crimes committed by military personnel on the base, which theoretically means that I could have gotten the New York style Haitian immigrant treatment without any repercussions to the shooters if they were smooth enough.
The actual base struck me as remarkably unremarkable, it looked less than my expectations of a military base and more like an immigrant heavy suburb to Stockholm, minus the graffiti and with only white buildings. Somewhere around my fifth question to my host regarding under which conditions the guards would actually shoot at me and what actions on my behalf could get him court-martialed (since we were allowed in under his responsibility) Ms. Sunshine started to get worried about what I actually had in mind to do and stopped any further inquiries into this fascinating subject.
As we reached the on-base shopping center and our main destination things started to get surreal for real. It felt like we had been dropped in the middle of a boring small US shopping mall and not like we still were in Japan at all. Moving around the area were mostly western people with just a few Japanese people and at the entrance of the store they had even brought in one of those huge cumbersome and defect prone US style soda machines and as added measure, it only accepted US dollars.
I guess this is the closest you can get to a day trip to the US here in Japan and it was an interesting experience.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This means that race is not a very sensitive subject here in Japan , at least not compared to Europe or the US . The non-asian population groups are simply too small to be considered a real minority group and without any real voice. Therefore, most minor racist remarks and such that would be impossible to say in more diverse countries can slip by here without stirring up a storm. Sometimes, some racist remarks can be said by politicians and such and actually reach an international audience that can show the proper outrage, but the vast minority just kinda slips by here in Japan .
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my crib, together with the always wonderful Ms. Sunshine and was watching a music show that was going to feature Beyonce and a new single as well as the latest and greatest J-pop artists. As the artists were introduced I watched as one of the latest “humorous” constellations came out to the scene, a group consisting of some famous comedians and artists dragged up to look like black soul chicks from the movie “Dreamgirls”, with some light blackface make-up and all (watch at your own risk here). For some reason the host thought it would be a great idea to make sure that they got the chance to speak with Beyonce up front. The face of Beyonce was priceless. She looked somewhere between stunned, amused and disgusted at the same time as they were trying to speak to her in their pidgin English.
Seriously, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they would start a Minstrel Show on prime time tv here in Japan in the near future… And don’t get me started on Bobby…
(I would just like to add, in all seriousness, that I don’t believe that the comedy group had any insight at all in what they did might actually be considered offensive to black people, they just thought they were funny…)
Friday, November 21, 2008
After a considerable ordeal, I previously managed to get the Boy to purchase, among other games, the PS3 game "Dead Space" during a recent business trip to the USA . A game I have considerable entertainment out of. I would actually be daring to go out on a limb here and say that it delivered more gaming satisfaction than the obvious inspiration; Resident Evil 4. So for a couple of weeks, the game has kept me thoroughly entertained. However, just a few days ago, I started to realize the inevitable... I was getting closer and closer to the end, and even though the entertainment value kept rising I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would've wanted since I knew it would come to an end really soon.
Yesterday it happened. I finished the game...The first feeling was that artificial feeling of achievement you get when you finish something that has no relevance to your actual life but still makes you feel like you achieved something significant. Then it hit me. The PGF Depression. Fellow gamers will know exactly what I'm talking about here, the Post Game Finish Depression, the emptiness and bleakness that follows the realization that: "I'm done with this, what do I do now?" when you've finished a really good game. Sure, Resistance 2 has been lying on the table waiting for my attention, but I doubt that it can fill the void in my life that Dead Space has left me with...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Yes, it's time again for another one of those "Mr. Salaryman endorses" posts, so those of you looking to read about my further adventures in work and life in Tokyo will have to stay calm.
You see, it has been a long time since I heard a song that barges through my front door, rudely bitch slap me awake, tearing me out of the bed and kicks me naked out the front door, literally. But one new group and song did just that too me, you can hear and see it in the video just above here (click it now). The band is from Sweden and is made up of one member from the band Melody Club who teamed up with another member from Yvonne and Strip Music. Granted, they've only released an EP this far, but it manages to combine the pop melodies of Melody Club and the bleakness of Yvonne/Strip Music and make something new and better out of it. You should buy it, now, it's out on iTunes!
It's a really pleasant experience to be this surprised by a group on which I had no expectations at first and be completely blown away. It hasn't happened that often in my life of being musically aware. I do still remember how Tiamat completely blew me away with Judas Christ and showed that great goth can actually still be done and that there's no need to be sentimental about the Sisters of Mercy or the Fields of the Nephilim. I also remember how Ladytron completely caught me by surprise just by the time most electronic pop groups were very far entrenched in their own behinds and how Dark Tranquility showed me that there actually are really great Death Metal groups there with their great album "Haven", it did help an old electrohead like me that they infused the metal with cold synth sounds as well though. Good stuff.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So, Genius has become a tool I’ve gotten used to and frequently used, that some of the more obscure groups and songs are not available is a fact that I am reconciled with. However, yesterday I got a hankering to listen to some nice melodic electro-pop and selected one of my favorite obscure Swedish groups Daybehavior and their song “Superstar” fully expecting that genius might not work with that specific song, but it did.
However… The resulting playlist is an abomination! The picture is an actual screenshot of what the resulting playlist ended up as, a mix of some of the most embarrassing songs in my iTunes library, freely mixing Europe and “The Final Countdown” with Nirvana and “Take on me” by A-ha (I don’t even want to mention that I secretly kinda like T.A.T.U.). The only song that can be even thought to be remotely related to the Daybehavior song is the Depeche Mode song that turned up in the playlist. I have a pretty substantial iTunes library of over 10,000 songs, but this time Genius took a great song as a base and then reached down in the gutters of my collection and decided to put them all together in one nasty playlist.
No, I didn’t listen through the playlist, I gave up somewhere near Nirvana…
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
As you may have noticed, I have stayed away from politics to as large extent as possible, not because I don't have any opinions, but more because that this little blog is focusing more on funny little incidents in Japan and the corporate environment I'm festering in.
But now with the US election coming up with Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin and all those people I feel that I should comment since this upcoming election will have reprecussions all over the world.
I think my stance here is best expressed by Tiamat in the video above!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
First of all, their willingness to invest money significantly decreased, but that is something we can work around, but more importantly they did a organizational reshuffle and our main speaking partner since many years got moved away, against his will, to a smaller and insignificant department to await retirement. However, since no replacement has been put in place, he has remained our speaking partner until early this week. Mr. Slick, as we can call him, is a pretty sly guy and his default work _expression is a sly grin and he has a habit of leaning towards you when he speaks, saying something and then giving a little theatrical laugh before returning to the default grin and casually leaning back.
In this meeting he brought along his replacement, let’s call him Mr. Grim. He had a completely different personality, the default work _expression seemed to be a frown and sitting straight backed without moving an inch either back or forth. It was clear that Mr. Slick had the upper hand on Mr. Grim as he was instructing him on what had gone on in the past and who was important and not, showing of the grin and the theatrical laugh on many occasions while Mr. Grim looked grim and nodded slightly with his head in response. On several occasions Mr. Slick also scolded Mr. Grim when Mr. Grim had some minor objection to our plans or some suggestion for a change to which he looked even grimmer and nodded. Seeing these two guys bouncing of each other was pretty entertaining, to the degree that I got so enthralled in observing them interact that I forgot the topic on several occasions…
I will miss Mr. Slick and his slyness which came in very useful on several occasions and as long as he was on my side I appreciated it (I wouldn’t if I had been more on the receiving end of his schemes and plots). I also remember fondly the time when we had reached a significant step in the project and he brought me and a colleague out for dinner and the restaurant was some special “member’s only” bar in which girls in bunny suits walked about smiling with no specific purpose while normally dressed waitresses were serving us food and drink. Perhaps he’ll take me there again to that secret place as a final event before he fades into corporate oblivion…?