Tokyo Damage Report

home grown terrorists and secular idealists

People ask, “What is up with home-grown terrorist kids? How can they enjoy all the freedoms of a rich and democratic society and still want to blow up America (or England or Spain or wherever)?”
 
I think a major reason why “home grown” terrorists exist is that precisely BECAUSE they are growing up in the west, they have no idea how fucked up Muslim countries’ governments are, and no idea the amount of Muslim-on-Muslim violence that goes down, even when infidels are not involved.  And I’m not saying this to bag on Arabs or Muslims. I’m just repeating what the Arab Spring protesters were saying about their own countries.    
 
Put another way, if you live in a middle-east country, you might love Allah and hate the American and Israeli governments, but at the same time, every day of your life, you’ll be dealing with other folks who are downright jagoffs, who happen to be Muslims. Maybe it’s the secret police, or maybe it’s just a noisy neighbor or a waiter at a restaurant who has an attitude. And you’ll read daily about fights that your sect (Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, Alawite, etc.) is having with another sect WHO ARE ALL HUGE DICKS AND WRONG ABOUT RELIGION. Plus, you'll likely every day see your own politicians invoking the name of Allah to justify whatever corruption they are doing, and you’ll become cynical about that.
 
So even though you’ll get a daily dose of  "us-vs.-them, good-vs.-evil" rhetoric from your local imam or TV host, you’ll instinctively balance that rhetoric with your daily life experience, like I said above. But “home-grown” terror kids, lack the cynicism about real-life problems in Islamic countries, experience that would allow them to think critically about these messages.
 
In other  words, home-grown terrorists just get the “AMERICANS ARE KILLING INNOCENT MUSLIM CHILDREN” part, rather than the “SO ARE OTHER REPRESSIVE MUSLIM GOVERNMENTS” part. And probably the jihadi come-back is "Well, you see, any Muslim government that is corrupt is only  corrupt because it's influenced by the West, and really infidels are to blame." But I would bet like 200 yen that most Muslims who buy that bullshit are not living in those countries, but instead living in the West.
 
 
Like all ideologies (including the American idea that democracy can be spread with guns and bombs (which even other white-people countries find bizarre) ), everything seems simple the further you go into the abstract, and everything gets much more morally complex and fucked up when you try to implement the ideology in practice.
 
All that talk  on jihadi forums about “CHILDREN DIED FROM USA BOMBS AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT, YOU POSER?” seems fairly black-and-white . . .The obvious answer is, “Well, I have to join the jihad and avenge the dead children! It’s us Muslims vs. them infidels!”    
 
But what happens to all that us-vs.-them when you enter village politics in some redneck shithole town where there are like 10 different tribes and 3 versions of Islam and family feuds that go back centuries, and all this guns-and-money being shipped in by foreign governments to fuel Muslim-on-Muslim fighting? And all sides concerned insist that they are the only ones truly doing the will of the Almighty?
 
Who is “Us” and who is “Them”? 
 
 
And to further morally complicate things, . . . . in places like Afghanastan, Syria, and Lebanon, most of that money is actually coming in from other Muslim countries, who you’d think should be trying to STOP the fighting. If you grow up in a middle-east country, you’ll know that the USA is not the only government who is giving military aid to corrupt regimes, and that this money is NOT used for religious purposes but just for power.
 
But again, if you’re some American or British kid whose immigrant parents never honestly explained to you exactly WHY they left their home country and how corrupt it was, and instead your head is full of bullshit websites that only discuss the religious aspects of jihad, and never the political agendas, then not only will you be brainwashed, but even native Middle-east Muslims would consider you a simpleminded idiot.
 
The fact is even if you are ready to die for jihad, chances are, by the time you make it through the recruitment phase and the training camp. . . . and you finally get to the front lines. . ..  you’ll wind up working for some dickbag local warlord who gives 10% of a shit about Islam and 90% of a shit about fucking underage prostitutes, extorting the (Muslim) locals to  within an inch of their lives, and whose idea of a fun weekend is smuggling 3 million dollars worth of khat. And you’ll be dying for HIS aims, not for Allah. And you’ll most likely be killing like – best case scenario – 1 or 2 Americans and 20 Muslim locals who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
 
 
Who is “Us” and who is “Them”? 
 

(ironically, or maybe not, this is the exact same problem faced by US troops you're trying to kill!  The US troops  who are doing counterinsurgency in those countries: "Which warlord do I bribe vs. which do I assassinate? When should I try to "win hearts and minds" and when should I take out a wedding party?")

 

Regardless of which side you're on, thinking you are fighting a global battle for world domination/salvation and the ultimate final victory of good over evil is way more fun than fighting for small incremental local changes in the real world. Not only does local real-world change take longer, but you have to be accountable for the results. Double fail!
 
On the other hand, the attraction of thinking in big, abstract, global terms is twofold: You elevate your own importance and the purity of your ideals while at the same time blithely ignoring all the corruption, counterproductive side-effects and moral-slash-physical quagmires that happen when you try to implement those ideas.
 
For example, here are two ways of describing life at a forward operations base in Afghanistan: “Going on foot patrol 90 minutes a day just to get shot at or blown up by an IED, before running back to base, then doing the same thing again tomorrow, forever.” Compare that to: “Saving the world for democracy while nation building and employing state of the art counterinsurgency strategy!”  Which of those sounds better to you? They are both describing the exact same thing, just at different levels of abstraction.
 
While I disagree with the view that “The American GWOT (global war on terrorism) is just as religiously motivated as jihadi violence”, I would say there’s a grain of truth. The grain is: both the crazy imams and also chicken-hawk American national security goofballs like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and T. Friedman tend to see things in terms of abstract ideals and are living in this wacky dream world to the extent that they are willing to send people off to die for abstractions.   Which sounds religious to me!
 
So, in summary,  I set out to bag on home-grown terrorists but wind up bagging on my own government.
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design festa spring 2013 roundup

OZEKI ISAMU's gag panels about contemporary Japanese cultural foibles


NISHIMURA GUNDAN's wonderful character design

 

JACK POY's incredible Ghibli-Meets-Bladerunner photoshoppery

 

EM's awesome series , the theme of which is: "cute girls posing with insect larvae and other soft garden critters"

 

NAO KITANO's incredibly lush retro-Edo mythological paintings

 

TAHAI ROMAN's retro '30s stuff

 

TERADA SO's "modern day family crest" series

 

SAME P 's  hallucinatory gay catholic illustrations

 

KIKOMU RIN's series "if  various desserts were personified as cute anime girls"

 

SANKAKUSHA's wonderful "street fashion" zine of grandmas (instead of '90s Harajuku girls)

 

AKAI HYOUHON's retro '30s grotesque/patriotic work

 

YUTORI GAL – chaotic graffitti like schoolgirls. No anime or "moe" here.

 

TSUKI NO KAERU – giant mechanical levitating spheres and rabbits


NORIHIRO TAKECHI – the ultimate taboo . . .women who look like real women.

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how about a REAL new music format?

When I was a kid, we had LPs and cassette tapes. CDs were the “new thing” that was supposed to “change the way you listened to music”.  No one was sure exactly what would change, except you were supposed to throw all your LPs in the trash and spend your change on replacement CDs.  Because. . . shinier!!!!
Then mp3s happened, and this really DID change things. . . they changed the way music was DISTRIBUTED. And various Apple products changed the way you could CARRY your music – 150 gigabytes of it per pocket.  
But here’s my point: exactly NONE of these advances (more shiny, more free, smaller) actually changed the WAY we listen to music.  
In fact, in terms of the ONLY THING I CARE ABOUT . . . .we’re still listening to music the way we did back in the days of WAX CYLINDERS.  
We’re still listening to PRE-MIXED MUSIC.
All these advances in technology and we still aren’t able to pick and choose the volume levels of the various instruments. Just like back in the wax cylinder days.
 How many songs have you heard that sound great on headphones but shitty on your car stereo?  YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIX THAT. How many songs have amazing riffs but you can’t ever listen to them because the asshole engineer made the hi-hat louder than the fucking snare? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIX THAT. How many bands are awesome but have one particular band member that just fucks it up (usually the singer or keyboardist)? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MUTE THAT. How many totally rad guitar riffs have you heard but you can’t learn them on your own guitar because of all the other instruments playing over it? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SOLO THEM. How many songs are awesome but the lyrics are so fucking dumb that you just wish the singer would shut up? Until we invent some filter that automatically translates English sounds to Esperanto or some other language nobody knows in real time, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MUTE THEM.
Think about it: everything recorded in a studio since the ‘60s has each instrument on a different track. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THAT INDIVIDUAL-TRACK DATA HAS BEEN PRESERVED. 
 
When you’re listening to some beatles song, you’re likely listening to something recorded on a 16-track.  Why are they selling you a 2-track recording (stereo)? Fuck this “quadraphonic” or “surround sound” bullshit. I want ALL the tracks.
I mean, what is the fucking holdup? Memory? You can fit the library of congress in a USB drive shaped like a dog dong. Copyright? As long as you’re not copying the individual tracks, it wouldn’t be any different than owning the stereo pre-mixed version.  Playback technology? Sure, record players and CDs were limited to 2 tracks (right and left). But as soon as we started using computers to play our mp3s – the SAME EXACT COMPUTERS THAT WE USE TO HOME-RECORD 64-TRACK JAMS ON – then the last technological barrier to mass-marketing music as individual tracks went away.
 
THAT WAS FUCKING 18 YEARS AGO. 
 
 If you really want to talk about “technology is changing the way people listen to music”, let’s fucking do this right. If you really want to make people pay to re-get music they already fucking paid for in a new format, fucking make it a REALLY NEW FORMAT.
 
Here’s how it would work: you pay for a 32-track song (for example).  You’d get 32 mp3 files, plus another file that would have the “default” mixer settings for your player’s mixer.  Then you could tweak, mute, louden and quieten the individual tracks however you felt, and save various re-mixes with the original file.  You could even swap mixes with your friends WITHOUT ILLEGALLY SHARING THE SONG. You’d just be sharing the mixer settings, which would be useless to anyone who had not paid for the song. 
 
So next time you hear some Wired magazine douche or Apple brandwhore talking about how technology is great, remind them that we are actually 18 years behind the fucking times.
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so this is what i have been doing all this time

For the past months I've been doing a SECRET ART PROJECT.

 

Behold.

 

This is a rediculous, immature, and probably illegal concept. But it is also a concept that I'm sure millions of people have thought of but NO ONE HAS EVER DONE IN A SYSTEMATIC WAY.  Put another way, this is something that really ought to have been done by some enterprising pervert way in the '80s (when the OFFICIAL marvel handbook of everything-but-dongs was first published) . . ..  but still remains undone.   I couldn't wait for a real comic-book artist to draw that shit anymore.  Also, I couldn't pass up the chance to be first at something.  So I DIY'ed some wangs in various states AND PUT IT ON THE INTERNET as one does.

 

Since I don't particularly want to get this site destroyed by intellectual property lawyers, I've put the offensive material up on a Tumblr.

 

The Tumblr is here. Go here to see all 50 drawings of super dongs.

 

Also here is the art in the form of a zip file.

 

Furthermore, while searching for *source material* I found these, which are awesome.

 

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tour guide updated

broken links fixed and out-of-business businesses deleted.

Also: despite the hype about facebook/tumblr/whatever,  I can't seem to find a "social media page" or "community" about "PEOPLE IN TOKYO WHO LIKE TO MEET IN REAL LIFE TO DISCUSS PEAK OIL, MIDDLE EAST POLITICS, AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY STATE".   

Does anyone know if such a group exists, online or in RL?

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NEW GENERATION URBAN LEGENDS.

First, there were yuurei (幽霊) and youkai(妖怪), Japan’s traditional monsters, demons, capricious faries and vengeful ghosts. Now, there were toshi densetsu (都市伝説) “urban legends”. Toshi densetsu are basically yuurei-type vengeful-ghost stories which involve modern technology such as TV (“The Ring”), plastic surgery (“Kuchisake-onna”) or train fatalities (“Teke Teke”). 


But still, these toshi densetsu are too old-fashioned because they are just a facelift of an outdated artform. If you really want to scare a Japanese person, you’ll have to come up with entirely new horrors. So I bring you, the 新生代都市伝説 (shinseidai toshidensetsu) . . . . the NEW GENERATION URBAN LEGENDS.

NAME: 5時に帰るサラリマン
ENGLISH NAME:The salariman who went home at 5pm
SHOCK POINT: HE HAS DINNER WITH HIS OWN FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fear factor: 5


NAME: 飲み会へ行くものかOL
ENGLISH NAME:The OL who didn’t go to the nomikai
SHOCK POINT:              FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Fear factor:4


NAME: 不気味なほど静かである電車男子高生の連中
ENGLISH NAME:The eerily quiet group of high school boys on the train
SHOCK POINT:              THEY JUST STOOD THERE.
                            THEIR NECKTIES WERE STILL TIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fear factor:2


NAME: 何も可愛くないと思ってる子
ENGLISH NAME:The young lady who doesn’t think anything is cute
IF SHE CATCHES YOU, SHE WILL SAY THIS SCARY DIALOGUE:: “kawaii” is for little kids. I’m 17 so I want people to like me for my interesting opinions and technical skills.
Fear factor:5


NAME: ただ学生がゼンゼン居ないという理由で勝手に夏休みした先生
ENGLISH NAME:The school teacher who went on summer vacation merely because “there were no classes to teach”
Fear factor:3


NAME: 学校の部活ゼンゼンやってないなのに人当たりがいい中学生
ENGLISH NAME:The popular, active middle-school kid who wasn’t in any clubs at all
SHOCK POINT: HE HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS WHO DID NOT GO TO THAT SCHOOL AND THEY DECIDED FOR THEMSELVES WHAT ACTIVITIES TO DO!
Fear factor:4



NAME: エロくもないスケベもない看護師
ENGLISH NAME:The nurse who was neither horny nor sexy
Fear factor:5


NAME: 中東の政治しか話せないキャバ女。
ENGLISH NAME:The kabajo that would only discuss middle east politics
Fear factor:3


NAME: 年ボーナスも健康保険も与えられる派遣労働者
ENGLISH NAME:The temp worker with a yearly bonus and paid health insurance
Fear factor:2


NAME: 入学試験より命に大事なことを教えたせんせい。
ENGLISH NAME:The teacher who , instead of just teaching how to pass a college entrance exam, actually taught kids things that would be important in life
Fear factor:3


NAME: 携帯を持ってない女子高生
ENGLISH NAME:The schoolgirl who didn’t have a keitai
IF SHE CATCHES YOU, SHE WILL SAY THIS SCARY DIALOGUE: Have you seen my keitai? That’s because I don’t have one! I read BOOOOOKSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NON FICTIONNNNNNNNNNNNN!
Fear factor:4



NAME: 鬼腕章ジジ
ENGLISH NAME:The evil armbands!
STORY: the armbands crawl onto the arms of ojiisans, and possess them. The “possessed armband ojiisans” do many abnormal things to strangers, but no one ever complains because people assume that the ojiisans are working for the city government. Usually they do things like steal bicycles or confiscating tobacco, but sometimes they do more weird stuff like confiscating people’s socks or pets.
Fear factor:3


NAME: 自分のしかたは課長のしかたより効果的新人
ENGLISH NAME:The junior worker whose method was different than the boss’ method
SHOCK POINT: AND THE JUNIOR WORKER’S METHOD WAS FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENT!!!!
Fear factor:5


NAME: 想像力だけでオナニー出来る男
ENGLISH NAME:The single guy who jerked off using just his imagination,
SHOCK POINT: HE DIDN’T EVEN SPEND ONE YEN ON PORN OR FUZOKU!
Fear factor:5



NAME: “ツマラナイです!だれも構いません”しか言えないタレント
ENGLISH NAME:The talent / idol who would only say “This is so boring! Who cares? ”
Fear factor:4


NAME: 無料不動産屋
ENGLISH NAME:The real-estate agency who let you use their computers to find your own apartment without charging any finders’-fees or key money.
SHOCK POINT: actually this one really exists. . . AND IT’S CALLED THE FUCKING INTERNET, WHICH ALL OTHER COUNTRIES USE FOR REAL ESTATE SINCE THE FUCKING 90S.
Fear factor:2


NAME: 金持ちなのに自分の子供をお下がり着せるママ
ENGLISH NAME:The wealthy mother who dressed her youngest baby in hand-me-downs!
SHOCK POINT: AND NONE OF THE HAND ME DOWNS WERE BRAND GOODS! EVEN THOUGH SHE COULD AFOOORDTHEMMMMMM!!!!
Fear factor:3


NAME:異常な生命保険証券
ENGLISH NAME: An abnormal “life insurance company”. Instead of paying money to the man-in-debt’s family if a man-in-debt kills himself, this life insurance only pays off if the loanshark dies.
Fear factor:2


NAME:今もアンタのお家で住んでるひきこもり
ENGLISH NAME:The hikikomori that is living IN YOUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW
SHOCK POINT: HE’S BEEN LIVING HERE FOR YEARS.
Fear factor:3


NAME: 天気に同意出来ないおねえさんたち。
ENGLISH NAME:The one-sans who can’t agree on the weather
SHOCK POINT:              DON’T GET CAUGHT BETWEEN THEM WHEN WARFARE BREAKS OUT
One-san 1: 暑いですね!
One-san 2: “. . . .”
One-san 1: 暑いですね!
One-san 2: 寒いですね!
One-san 1: 暑いですね!
One-san 2: オメェ!この便女!Fucking kill you!
Fear factor:2


NAME: 小さい街の地域短期大学から卒業した大蔵省の役人
ENGLISH NAME: The senior Finance Ministry official  who graduated from a small town community college
SHOCK POINT: HE IS GOOD AT HIS JOB
Fear factor:4


NAME: 呪われた高校野球の監督
ENGLISH NAME:The cursed high school baseball coach whose team could win every single game . . ..
SHOCK POINT:              . . . . .BUT ONLY IF THEY CHANGED THE LYRICS OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM TO “THE EMPEROR SUCKS.”
Fear factor:5


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Mexico