Tokyo Damage Report

best friday ever!


So it’s 11 am on Friday morning and I’m reading Camille Paglia’s essay on De Sade while in a big bathtub full of naked grandpas.

A little context? Sure, why not. Me and Monorail and my Miyuki-san go to hakkone, to visit a traditional onsen (natural hot spring bath/peaceful joint). The ride is long but when we get there it is just balls. Just insanely lush forests and steep mountains and the onsen . . .damn. a year ago I would have kind of tripped out being all naked in front of strange grandpas, but for some reason now I was like, eh, whatever.

I mean, I’m not going to wear my glasses in the tub right? So if I can’t see them it must follow that they can’t see me. plus, I think the last time I did anything male-bonding-ish was like when I did Dungeons and Dragons in junior high. When that failed to make a super-he-man out of me, I was like, maaan, the hell with ALL THIS. I started just hanging with the ladies, the gals, the feminists, the out-and-out bulldaggers . . . and yet 15 years later I’m not getting any more smooches than in junior high. So naturally I figured, hey, why NOT resort to male-bonding. . . .

. . . and in fact, it turns out that shit totally rocks!! I mean we weren’t high-fiving each other running around snapping towels (next time, I promise) but just actually being in a room full of guys and not feeling the least bit competitive but more like solidarity, was pretty amazing and gay and empowering and gay.

(for no reason, it was a combination hot springs / begonia warehouse!! top that!!)

The first thing you do is wash yourself while sitting down. Then you go to this Jacuzzi which is the size of your whole apartment but only 2 feet deep. You sort of lower yourself in until you are sitting with the roiling bubbles at eye-level and then you go ‘damn.’ Then after like as much of that as you can stand, you go to this outdoor pool where you can look at the trees and listen to cicadas and sort of meditate. Now, in the RUSSIAN sauna, you basically boil yourself until you cannot stand no more, then run into cold water. The Japanese is more burly, because when you run outside and jump into the water, it is ALSO hot. Plus being a dumbass foreigner I went to the hot springs in midsummer, where the air is as hot and humid as the water. Ho ho!! Onsenning is, unlike Skateboarding or basketball, an old man’s sport. Whether from genetics or just practice, the older you are the more heat you can endure. Young dudes be scampering away while the ojii-sans are complaining it’s too cold up in here.

So thusly it was a bunch of wrinkled wizened eyeballs turning to look at my pink pubicals.

I didn’t even care, I was having so much fun. All watching bubbles and drinking my own weight in bottled water and humming ‘short dick man’ to myself. Not because asian dudes have small dicks, but because the whole phenomeon of dudes being SELF-CONSCIOUS about their dicks (re: public nudity of) suddenly seemed funny, even though I was one of those self-conscious guys as recently as yesterday.

The dudes be all walking with little tiny washcloths over their crotch. I guess the intent is not to literally hide the whatchamacallit (it doesn’t) but more to just convey the message, ‘i’m just a regular, modest kind of guy.’

My spies in the women’s section reported that the ladies did the same thing.

Then after a mere 2 hours we left to go to this sculpture garden. I was not expecting anything amazing, but that is because I am ignorant. The thing kicked concrete and bronze ass!! It’s located on a steep hill and you have to go over these weird bridges and ditches and mazes just to see the art, like there’s no clear line between sculpture and architecture and landscaping. Plus they had giant woven amoebas and Bukminister Fuller-style honeycombs that little REAL kids could crawl around in . . . and giant concrete blocks crushing little concrete kids under them, and when you go around the back, it turns out the concrete block is full of decaying skeletons . . . and this insane huge staned glass grain silo with DNA-shaped staircases you can climb, and a sculpture named Miss Black Power, all set against this huge gorgeous canyon background.

Plus there was a massive awesome koi pond. Monorail was like, ‘wow, I love koi so much . .. if there was only an onsen with koi in it. . .’

Me: you’d have to put them behind a wall so they wouldn’t roast.

Her: yes, a transparent wall.

Me: like the wall between the men’s and women’s onsens!!!

Her; no that’s a solid wall!

Me: what? Oh. OH, RIIIGHT… . .a SOLID wall. . .


After that, they wanted to ride some cablecar up and down the mountain but I was like, dude, I’m going back for more onsen!!! And when I got there, the staff were like, ‘you so craaazy, have a free towel!’

So I bombed back in there for another hour and a half of relaxing, roasting pleasure, marred only by the swarms of huge, seemingly-impervious-to-water flying bugs that would feed on our sweat.

Then I made the last bus back to the train station and jump on the train just as it’s leaving, and look around and find. . . I’m sitting right next to my friends!! We all hug, much to the amusement of the miniature squadron of 10 year old schoolgirls watching us from across the aisle.

Then I discover that, while running to the train, my underwear sort of suffered some kind waistband-related mishap, and was now poking out the bottom of my shorts, in a reverse-gangsta mode. I got embarrassed and tucked it back in but too late?I’d been spotted. “damn! Schoolgirls seeing MY underpants. Now THERE is a switch.”

After that I told my pals what happened at the onsen check-in: the staff ladies were like, ‘oh, you again! But where is your little sister?’ I don’t have one, ma’am. ‘well, where is your wife then?’ um, don’t got one of those either. I’m just the gay guy.

So then my friends had a very animated discussion of who was supposed to be my wife or not. This was interrupted by a sort of rhythmic squealing sound from across the train-car. The 7 schoolgirls, who were smooshed into a bench big enough for only 6, had started a sort of 1-dimensional mosh-pit by wildly shoving right and left until one girl popped out of the bench. Then she’d sit down and they’d jostle again until another girl would pop out. This was all punctuated by squealies and gigglies and was just utterly insane, and served as a sort of laugh track to our spirited discussion of Camille paglia.

Me on P.:

Her whole M.O. seems to be: “I’m going to use very meticulously researched quotations from history’s greatest thinkers. And then based on this very rigorous intellectual research I’m going to justify whatever hare-brained, simple-minded conclusion I want.”

Shorter camile paiglia: “on page 743 of the original, Latin Guttenberg Press edition of Principia Mathematica, Liebnitz says ‘the philosophical investigations of mankind are perforce predicated on the movements of abstruse and demoniacal monads,’ so therefore Betty Freidan smokes the Hogan.”

I mean,really, here’s an actual quote: “society is not the criminal but the force which keeps crime in check. When social controls weaken, man’s innate cruelty burts forth.”

I mean, what??? I mean, sure, people are basically assholes.

But, last time I checked, there were like, what? At least 8 or 9 different societies on earth?? and each had different levels of crime and cruelty?? In some societies, (Sweden) the state is very strong but nonetheless people enjoy a wide degree of freedom. In others (north korea) it’s precisely social controls that ENABLE man’s innate cruelty to flourish, not the opposite. So her shit is demonstrably wrong.

Which is lame because it’s potentially an interesting subject: given that people are generally assholes, how does a society get the most prevention-of-cruelty with the least amount of laws? Well, not by sitting on your ass reading theory, that’s for sure.

When she gets to sex, she is even more amazing. You can’t open to a random page without putting your finger on some total non sequitur proclimation. For instance: “the female body is the prototype of all sacred spaces from cave shrine to temple and church .”

Besides using big words, how is this more intellectual than saying “a 40 foot tall invisible talking giraffe named Alberto is the prototype of all sacred spaces from cave shrine to temple and church.” ???

I mean, try to prove that ALBERTO is NOT the subconscious inspiration for every church. You can’t! that’s why academics-type people love them some theory. They can be as lazy as they want and still no one can categorically disprove them. But on the other hand, they can’t disprove ME either. so I’m calling you out, academics: until you can prove conclusively that alberto is not the shit behind sacred spaces OR oedipal complexes OR gender identity OR semiotics, you are forbidden to teach anything else in your little humanities classes.

Not content with saying bizarre stuff as if it were a) self-evidently true and b) helpful information to know, paglia also likes to just plain make shit up. For instance, her sole justification for the ‘female body=inspires the architecture of churches and shit’ comment? Here it is: ‘virginity is categorically different for the sexes. A boy becominga man quests for experience. The penis is like eye or hand, an extension of self reaching outward. a girl is like a sealed vessel that must be broken into by force.’

From this we can conclude that

  • my female readers will be overjoyed to note that their eyes are now basically penises, and
  • that whenever a pious Christian or Buddhist or hassidic jewish woman enters a church/temple/mosque she is thinking, “wow, I’m really busting open the hymen on this temple here! You know my favorite part of going to church? When I get to break into it by force!! Hey, watch me just haul up my Chador and jump through this stain-glass window like a fuckin’ human cannonball!! Take it all, bitch!!”

. . . and she does shit like this ON EVERY PAGE.


Still later, one of the schoolgirls has her purikura (photo sticker) book open and they’re all looking at it. S. goes over and asks if she can see it. She returns soon later.

Me; how’d it go?

Her: well she was scared of me.

Me: why? Wha’d you say?

Her: all I did was ask to see her purisera.

Me: WHAAAAAATT???? Burusera??

Her: something like that. Purisera. Burukura. Something like that.

Me: dude, you be all causing International Incidents. when the cops come, I don’t. know. You.

Her: are you kidding?

Me: print club cards are PURIKURA. BURUSERA is where schoolgirls go to sell used panties.


Ok, after that we take our famished behinds to this shopping mall, trying to find a restaurant which does not have a 30 minute wait. On the way I spot this little ‘Charisma Man’ guy and his huge asian girlfriend who is towering above him in this totally random Julia-Roberts-In-Pretty-Woman outfit (black pleather miniskirt with white halter top and matching pleather platform boots). It’s one of those moments when you ask yourself, “did I think ‘ OMG LOOK AT THAT total whore?!?’ or did I actually say ‘OMG look at that total whore?!?’”

on recollection, I’m pretty sure I fairly shouted it.

I wasn’t saying that to be judgemental, I was just shocked because Japanese hoes do NOT dress like that. The hostesses all look like American prom queens with up-dos and El Cheapo polyester ballgowns, and the streetwalkers are usually Korean aunties in jeans and sneakers. This lady was just SO over-the-top sleazy and hooched that she was positively . . .RUSSIAN looking. Anyway we escaped before they could notice my outburst, and found our way to an Indian restaurant. As we’re tucking into some chana masala, some people show up at the next table.

Holy SHIT it’s charisma man and Juria Loberts again!!

I am about to explode. He’s sitting opposite me so I can study him. He’s got the feathered hair and bloated face of someone who might have been in the Eagles at one point but retired. Also his microfiber shirt is unbuttoned to the sterunum, revealing what I take to be a 60% likelihood of waxed chest. Just totally bare. I tell my friend, “somewhere there’s a big gold medallion in the Lost and Found.” We speculate on the most masculine thing EVER: getting your copious chest hair waxed, but ONLY in the spot where the medallion goes. So it can just like snuggle up there. Damn. Meanwhile we are squirming to avoid the various STD cooties that are like jumping off of them onto our table. It is the most amazing couple I have ever seen. Like ‘let the punishment fit the crime’ kind of thing.

on the way back, Monorail spots something i pass by all the time and yet never noticed:

a sign in the station, reading, IN ENGLISH: ‘TDR’

naturally we waste no time in making the most obvious photo imaginable:


After that me and bakamike go to this deserted park and drink very modest amounts, talking about a rock-paper-scissors game called ‘bulldozer ? suicide bomber ? peace process’ where ‘peace process’ is like this ‘jerk-off’ gesture. This gets us started on ‘worst sex ever’ stories, which takes us fully until 3 am to exhaust. Meanwhile the opposite end of the park is full of teenage bicylists and cute kittens.

Best Friday ever!!!

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