Last year, I posted something about all the rad fan-mail I get which accidentally gets caught by my spam-filter. It turns out, my stupid spam-filter is still broken: here are a dozen MORE totally amazing fan-mails I got, which I almost threw out on accident. Luckily I saved them and, what's more, this time I am actually going to REPLY to them!
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I don’t know about your country, but in America, it’s impossible to have a rational discussion about unions. Conservatives hate them all, and lefties fall into one of two types: a) academics who like unions in theory because they “stick it to corporations” (but have no real-world experience dealing with unions’ bullshit), and b) union members who have no incentive to snitch on union corruption.
America is so dummin’! On the left, you can find reports decrying mis-treatment of military or corporate whistle-blowers. And, while there’s not a lot of exposure of corporate or government wrongdoing, you can find it if you look. Unions don’t have a tenth of the money or political clout of giant military-industrial corps, AND YET you CAN’T find whistle-blowing on THEM. Fucking weird, man.
You can’t find anyone who says, “OK, this industry’s union is pretty good, but that union over there is a bunch of – as Zappa said – flakesssssssssssssss.”
Union corruption isn’t just mob involvement. There’s other kinds:
You work in an office and need to fix a jam in a printer (or plug in a new computer). But you’re not allowed to do it yourself, you have to call the official union Maintainance Guy. Not only that but you have to fill out a request form in triplicate, and then wait 3 hours for the Maintanance Guy to show up and plug in your PC or fix your paper jam and charge you $20 for it. If you do it yourself for free in 3 seconds, the whole union goes on strike. Things like that are bad for efficiency.
Like the guy that gets paid $100,000 to sit in the boiler room and make sure the boiler don’t explode. Like probably he checks it 2 times a day and spends the rest of the time doing ebay to make even more money.
BEING DICKS TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE
Or, some unions are cool to new members, but other unions are assholes about seniority: giving all the perks to old timers even if the old-timers are total burn-outs or fart-knockers, and screwing new guys/gals who bring a lot more energy and new ideas to the job. Again, the degree of welcome extended to newcomers is vastly different from union to union, but you’d never know it by listening to the “unions are all good”/ “Unions are all bad” pundits.
COLLUDING WITH MANAGEMENT
The degree to which union bosses represent their rank-and-file or just represent themselves. AKA are the union officials respected by the workers? AKA The degree to which bosses are willing to fight the employers. Hmm, maybe that should be two different categories? I mean you could go by a popularity contest: have the union members vote on how much they liked union bosses, but probably the most corrupt unions would wind up with the most popular rankings!
RECRUITING VS. FUCKING WITH NON-UNION LABOR
some unions go out of their way to fuck with non-unionized labor all “We don’t WANT more workers in our unions because they’ll depress wages. Get the fuck out of here!”, and other unions try to RECRUIT the non-unionized labor and HELP them.
KNOW WHAT I WOULD LIKE????
A fucking graph! A line, a continuum of all the major unions by industry, from most corrupt to most sincerely trying to help the rank-and-file.
This would mean taking all the metrics I detailed above (mob involvement, standing up to management, wasting efficiency, wasting money, seniority issues, and non-union labor outreach) and making some kind of math equation that would add them all up and generate a single number that would place them somewhere on the line.
Since all these things are deliberately secret and off-the-books, any attempt at a ranking them would, of course, involve some guessing, un-named sources, and arbitrary opinions about how to weight the various variables of the equation. But so what? respectable newspapers and NGOs use these kind of “best guess” rankings all the time! From things like GNP to national corruption index, state transparency index, quality of life rankings, etc. . . there’s nothing new about “best guess” rankings. The only new thing would be to get one for unions.
Unfortunately, since this doesn’t suit the interests of the American right OR the American left, it will never happen.
In other countries, is there something like this?
The race to space! (aka the race to have LRBMs). Back in the ‘50s, when Russia launched sputnik (demonstrating it had the technology to lob a fucking nuke missile at us from across the ocean), science and smarts became an immediate matter of national survival. It’s difficult to imagine, but it used to be the most right-wing, General Jack D. Ripper type Crusty anti-commies that were pushing the HARDEST for more education. Smart kids were seen as vital for national defense. WWII vets got the GI bill to repay them for being good warriors. If a modern right-winger went back in time to the ‘50s and started talking about reducing teacher salaries and sending all the kids off to private religious schools to learn about Jesus, they would be laughed out of the fucking Republican party, if not called a Commie agent!
SCHOOL REFORM WITHOUT CURRICULUM REFORM?!?
let's start this off modestly:
THE WATCHES ON MY ARM
This is a page-by-page review of all the watches dude owns. Not like the best watches. Just ones he owns. The dude is defiantly analog: writing about wind-up watches in a zine format.
POSTAL GUIDE VOL. 7
I didn't post any scans of the inside, because this is basically a guide to filling out post-office forms. Written not by the post office, but a post office customer/obsessive maniac.
I asked him why HE was doing it (instead of the post office itself) and he just looked at me, as if this should be self-evident.
Also: just like with the watch zine, there is something defiantly old-school about this. . . considering the USA post office is now considered obsolete and about to shut down!
THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO TIC-TACS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
(at the bottom it adds: A MEMBER OF THE "TABLET FIELD GUIDE CREATORS" ASSOCIATION) which should give you some idea.
The scan shows tic-tacs of latin america and africa.
Each box is analyzed for the following criteria:
country of mexico
type of label (adhesive, etc.) (IS there even more than one type of label?!?!)
"There's more than I thought around here! I suppose South America wants some too!"
ACADEMIC JOURNAL #23
This zine is thick- almost a pound! And consists mostly of reviews of the most eccentric or absurd books (fiction and non-) from around the world. Like a freak-show of books.
For example, here are some article titles:
"katakana foreign words I learned from anime"
"the author of this book is spiritually deluded!!"
"a book about animals trained to fight wars"
"I want to explain to fictional characters what their nuroses are"
"funny new subculture words in Japanese Wikipedia"
"a book which is a fictional interview with barrack obama from america"
"a new manga which is entirely about anti-korean sentiments"
But the main article in this book is not about literature at all. The main article is an analysis of the physics and math involved in making 3d-animated boobs bounce realistically.
This is the creation of a gentleman who is 1) obssessed with Eames furniture, and 2) interested to see what each Eames chair would look like as a moe girl.
The term for "anthropomorphism" in Japanese is 擬人化 (gijinka).
BLUE OCEAN SOMETHING SOMETHING
The same idea as the previous 'zine, but substitute "deep-sea life-forms" for "eames furniture."
Is this a great country or what?!?!?
AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO SURGERY AND THERAPY OF THE HEISEI (the current era) ERA
Here , a cartoon panda teaches you how to do surgery. Just like the Post Office book, this is not written by any official institution.
Below: the panda is dressed like Michael Jackson while teaching you different suture knots.
below: a rabbit helps the panda put on his/her surgical scrubs.
A GUIDE TO SEPARATING YOUR GARBAGE INTO RECYLABLE AND NON-RECYCLABLE, FOR OTAKU, MANGA, AND EROTIC PEOPLE.
A guide for specifially otaku items: your PC, your porno magazines, and (in a nice touch) your old comic market merchandise!
But the best part is this:
. . . how to break down your old pocket pussy to recycle it.
Also: the zine is printed on news-print. Kudos.
Another "ranking" zine, but this one is more tongue-in-cheek. The "categories" are different for each pen. For instance:
PROBABILITY THAT THE DESIGNER IS A FAN OF GANDAM W: *****
PROBABLITY THAT HE'S A HERO FAN: *****
THAT HE'S WORRIED ABOUT GANDAM 00: *****
the rest of the text:
You know how when a comedian you like debuts a new joke that you find un-funny, but you instantly adapt to it because you like the comedian?
This pen is not like that.
This pen combines the instant-transformation beloved by gundam fans with principles of ergonomics, and. . . .
Oh, forget it.
I'm sure there are lots and lots of reasons why it looks the way it does, but the fact is. . .
IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE TO USE!!!
I suppose that pens, like everything else which evolves, must have some false-starts in their evolution!
Mokonika's four-kanji expressions
This book is a really nice idea: they take four-kanji idioms (yonjijukugo) and not only personify them as cute girls, but they do a little manga that shows the girl doing the thing.
The opposite page has her statistics as if she's a game character. Also the book's cover is designed to look like a elementary school-kid's kanji workbook.
NAME: ACCOU ZOUGON
SPECIAL ABILITY: every time she opens her mouth, bad things come out.
PERSONALITY: For her own benefit, or to shame others, she delights in putting on a magnificent display of abuse and scorn. If you see someone talking irresponsibly, making sure they aren't caught by the target, backstabbing, or spreading malice without ever making a mistake, you know it's her! However, if confronted, she gives up more easily than a regular person.
MEMBERS OF SAME CATEGORY: akkoubari, zannboubari, barizougon (none of these are in my dictionary, sorry.)
STICK FIGURE GIRL: Thanks so much for helping me!
AKKOU ZOUGON: (taking off her mask) Don't worry about it. By the way. . .
AKKOU ZOUGON: Is it true that your older brother is unemployed? That he's a hikikomori?
AKKOU ZOUGON: Everybody's saying it so I just happened to overhear. They say he's otaku, but to the extent that he stopped coming to school altogether? I was just wondering because everybody's talking about it
STICK FIGURE GIRL: (runs off crying)
GLASSES GIRL: You're enjoying yourself, aren't you? Even you shouldn't take things too far, Accou Zougon
GLASSES GIRL: That girl's brother got hurt – he's been in the hospital. And of course he's unemployed – he's still in school, like us!
AKKOU ZOUGON: FUCK YOU, I HATE YOU!!!!!
NARRARATOR: (translation of above statement: you're so cool, i wish i could be more like you!)
A "lifestyle magazine" for people who enjoy the ona-ho (short for onna-hole, which means "woman hole" which means "pocket pussy")
What makes this zine unique is that every issue has back cover which is a parody of a real lifestyle magazine: in this case, MEN'S NO-NO.
Below: weekly sales rankings of the top 5 brands:
text on the cover reads:
ona-ho will save the world!
ona-ho and lotion!
limited edition and special collaboration ona-ho festival! wheeee!!
the lucky vibrator that calls the god of death!
i will become the unrivalled king of winter ona-hos!!!!!
also in the issue:
How to make a glove out of fried bean paste so when you jack off it feels like someone else doing it.
masturbation-related chinese zodiac forcasts
final page just says "this space for rent"
Just that! it only works if you already have the english transcript but can't find the slang in your J-E dictionary.
DAILY LIFE WITH YOUR PROSTHETIC LEG
The main article in this one is , how to change the batteries in your prosthesis. I didn't even know they HAD batteries.
DO YOU LIKE ROMANCE???
The lovely but absurd world of Harlequin Romances
This is yet ANOTHER review zine, reviewing only japanese translations of Harlequins! It comes complete with its own 3 ranking categories:
The standout review, which the zine seller helpfully pointed out to me is this:
a review of NIGHT OF MADAM BUTTERFLY – a novel about a western woman who goes to Japan and gets laid.
(romanticness 3, rediculousness 5, story 3)
the title of this section is:
GEISHA COSPLAY AND SUPER-EXPENSIVE BONSAI GIFTS ARE THE WAY TO A MAN'S HEART?
It goes on to print an extract from the book, which takes place at a bath-house, where the Japanese man says to the foreign lady:
"When in Japan, you should forget your western attitudes about nudity. Here, mixed bath-houses are common. We're not embarrassed of our bodies. Neither should you be! Perhaps the fat or aged are another matter, but you've got a nice style there, so you shouldn't be shy about it."
The zine author then goes on to make fun of the book for saying the heroine bought her man a 370-year-old bonsai: "No one would be able to afford such a thing, and even if it did exist, it would be listed as 'a national treasure' and not for sale! Clearly the heroine got decieved by the bonsai seller."
the final verdict?
"This book thoughtlessly gets the details of our culture all wrong. Perhaps only a foreigner can fully enjoy the "exotic Japan" atmosphere of it. "
CONVENIENCE CAFE AU-LAIT REVIEW
Just like all the other "ranking" zines. Honestly there are hundreds more of these things. I include this one because they went the extra mile and included a diagram which familiarizes the reader with how to read their coffee-ranking diagrams:
MAKER, PRICE, QUANTITY, CALORIES
THE HISTORICAL BOYS LOVE MANGA OF JAPAN
This book is amazing! The guy gets these real, historical gay pornos from back in samurai times, and "translates" them from old-timey Japanese to modern Japanese. He says that, although we would today call the pornos "fiction", or "manga", they are actually closer to journalism – such distinctions were not made back in those days.
In the passage below, well, you figure it out.
As a bonus, here are some indies gag comics I've picked up over the years.
that's right: SUPER-DEFORMED HITLER!!!!
. . . AND HERE ARE SOME RANDOM UH BL ("boys'-love") MANGA:
this is the only ultra-man sex joujinshi i could find. I must have gone to 2 or 3 comic conventions looking for this kind of godzilla-fucking-ultraman's-ass stuff, and the guys at the tables stocked with underage rape-porn would be offended , like really indignant , that i would even ASK them such a thing: SHIRANAI!!!
I don't know what is so offensive about it. I guess comics should only be used for porn, never just for humor? But finally just by chance i found this one, which is kind of nice.
Tokyo Big Sight's bi-yearly comic markets are world-famous for nerd manga. But what if I told you there was a whole separate section, a hidden corner of zines? Zines which were totally otaku but not about manga or anime at all? I'm talking about the motherlode of old-school Japanese overly-specific hobbyism.
For those of you wanting to check it out, it's called the RONBUN section (論文 meaning 'essay').
"MYSTERIOUS TACTICS! YOKAI PICTURE BOOK! VOLUME. . . ONE?"
Yokai are traditional spirits, folk monsters, and fairies. In this book, some guys take pictures of themselves impersonating famous traditional illustrations of yokai, using everyday household items as props.
"THE CURRY MUSEUM (WHICH EXISTS IN MY VERY OWN HOUSE!)"
This is a very common type of zine at this event: home-made encyclopedias of foods, all done like a Dungeons and Dragons book or a video game , where each "character" is broken down into attributes, and each attribute is assigned a number.
CURRY MUSEUM ranks curries on the following attributes:
category of curry, spiciness, amount, calories, and "degree to which I'd recomend it."
Sample review (from the hello kitty curry):
It's a "bon curry" for kids, with Kitty printed on the cover. There is more corn than beef! But even so, the taste is basically "bon" style. But at 120 grams, the amount is not even enough for kids!
degree-that-I'd-recomend-it: one out of five.
Are you lewd?
THE BOOK ABOUT THE ADULT GOODS WHICH YOU KNOW SO WELL
by "the hallucination corporation HDS".
This has small articles about how to use various buttplugs, vibrators, etc. And surveys of people re: how often do you use "adult goods"?
"chasing the Fourier transformations"
Note the cat-like "emoji" mascot: this is what a Fourier transformation looks like to 2-channel guys.
This book was at the same table as a political rant called "consumers are BAKA!!"
I got both.
WAKU WORK MAGAZINE!
(the title is a pun based on how the English word "work" sounds like the sound-effect "waku waku" , which means to be excited about something)
"stories from workers' real experiences on the job. Volume 3: convenience stores."
This is a sort of "information manga" – a textbook on how to be a better clerk, in manga form. The Japanese tendency to make textbooks or manuals in manga form is not new or shocking at this point. But. . . a manual written by workers, for workers? You'd think that anonymous workers publishing DIY manga would make the manga be an expose of how crappy the job is, but you'd be wrong again. Here are porly-paid 7-11 staff, taking their free time to – for basically free- write motivational manuals for other convinience store clerks. wtf japan.
Left page (21)
Petty crime counter-measures!
panel one: These are small crimes, so you can handle them yourself.
If there is a sale on anything at all, you should yell "Such-and-such percent off of this-and-that" throughout the store in a loud, cheerful voice.
Shoplifters don't like to come to stores where the clerks are so enthusiastic.
Even if there is no sale, you should simply yell greetings: "Hello! Welcome!"
panel 2: suspicious people!
if you see someone glancing nervously at you or glancing covertly around the store, approach them and ask if you can help them find something.
If they are innocent, you will be helping them, but if they are guilty, they will be deterred from shoplifting!
panel 3: don't neglect or ignore the merchandise!
even though there are anti-crime cameras, some people are still rude enough to steal, so make sure one person is behind the counter at all times, even if the other person has to go to the back room for more supplies.
Before you go in back, make sure and announce it to your co-worker so they will be on alert!
Right page (20)
panel one: crime-prevention tips:
every convinience store chain has a contract with some security-guard company. As soon as possible you should hit the "anti-crime buzzer" located behind the counter, and summon the guards.
There are also buttons by the ATM machines, and come chains issue neck-straps to employees with buzzers on them.
Also there are "color balls" you can throw at muggers or shoplifters as they are running away from your store. these balls explode on impact, staining the criminal and making it easy for the police to spot them.
But if the criminal is naked, it will be easy for them to wash off the evidence, won't it?
anti-crime cameras save the images!
male clerk: Fuck! That camera caught me loafing in the back room!
female clerk: Loafing is also a crime!
In every convenience store, there are many cameras which feed images directly to the associated security company. If there is any problem, the security company saves a copy of the video and can reply it later.
Recently the cameras are such good quality, the viewer can zoom and enhance parts of the image!
TELARC: AN INVESTIGATION OF THE AMERICAN MINOR LABEL
Now we're getting to some more serious otaku. . . this guy doesn't just collect everything ever released by a minor classical-music label, he gets his spectrum-machine and measures the SOUNDSPECTRUM of every CD on it, and then makes a music-critic fanzine, not analyzing the music, composition, or even the performance, but analyzing the sonic spectra!
A "sound spectrum" is like a snapshot of a song at one point in time, with pitch on the vertical axis and frequency on the horizontal axis.
18-AND-OVER BOOKS AND GIRLS
an essay about how buying porno is empowering for young women.
sample chapter title: BUYING ADULT GOODS IS PROOF THAT YOU HAVE BECOME AN ADULT!
TEA REVIEW BOOK! OCHA DOSE 2!
LET'S COOL DOWN IN SUMMER!
another food-ranking book. The categories rated are : sweetness, sourness, umami (beauty of the flavor), and cost performance.
sample review: "The price is reasonable, and the grains are local. this a good point! because it also makes for a good souvinier!"
MASS TRANSIT SEATS VOL.1
TRAINS,BOATS, AND PLANES
I was going to scan the inside, but basically the cover says it all: just page after page of poorly-photocopied color pictures of seats and beds on all manner of mass transit.
From the cramped to the luxurious.
This next one is part of a whole genre – usally all the women are next to each other in the convention hall.
ANECDOTES FROM SEX WORK! THE FUZOKU GUIDE SERIES!
table of contents is printed on the front cover:
sex tv channels, re-prints of questionaires that cat-house customers fill out, silly business cards from brothels with hilarious double-entendre names, and how to become a skillful "companion-san".
Then it adds, "The inside information!!!"
sample page below:
Upper left is a busniess card from a sex palace named kameman-namedo
This is a play on the name of a traditional japanese sweets shop, called kameyamannendo. (lit. "the hall of the turtle that lives 10,000 years")
but the dirty version is kame-man-name-do : kame (turtle head =penis) + man (manko= pussy) name (licking) do (hall).
I guess these sorts of puns don't translate any better than, say E3 THE EXTRA TESTICLE.
left page, bottom;
an order form for an "image club" (a type of brothel that has theme rooms and costumes, so that you can choose your own sexual adventure in a way that resembles nothing so much as a reverse game of CLUE) : instead of "murder colonel mustard in the conservatory with the fire poker", the client has chosen "sexually assault the stewardess in the high-school girl's bedroom."
right page: an order form for an s/m club:
the client checks the boxes for
"no previous s/m experience"
for the happy ending? would sir prefer a dry-hump or a blowjob? "blowjob."
He checks the following menu options:
vibrator play, mutual groping, golden shower and brown shower, and watching-of-masturbation-by-the-mistress.
THE PARASITE THAT EVERYONE LOVES: 2
another "educational manga", teaching people about tapeworms who dress like samurai.
english title: THE OPERATION DENTIST
japanese title (translated): REAL DENTIST GREAT CAMPAIGN
this is . . .get ready . .. DENTAL SCHOOL GAG MANGA. By dental students for dental students. Oddly, it seems to NOT be educational. Or funny.
left page, right side:
"at our dental school alumni reunion one day. . . ."
Japanese lady: how many patients do you see in a day?
canadian guy (left side, tan skin): about 8. We spend between one and two hours on each."
Other Japanese: Wow! Japanese dentists can see up to 20 patients a day!
canadian: We can fix an entire tooth in one appointment.
Japanese: WTF?!?!?!?!? IN ONE APPOINTMENT? REALLY???
Japanese: REALLY? NO SHIT?!?
(diagram of tooth: root canal, plus tooth filling, plus the cap: three proceedures)
Japanese: (still gaining steam) HUH? WHAT? WTF??? IS THAT NORMAL IN CANADA? SERIOUSLY? HUH?
Canadaian (backing away slowly) : uh yes.
left page, left side:
WON'T YOU COME PLAY WITH US?
Japanese lady: By the way, in Japan it is normal to take three separate appointments just to do the root work
Japanese: we have to wait for the swelling to go down and for the bleeding to stop before proceeding. We worry that it might be painful for the patient to bite.
Canadian: But. . but. . . if you remove the source of the inflamation to begin with, there won't BE any swelling!
Japanese lady: What? but if you do it all at once, won't the gum swell up like so (see the diagram)?
Canadian: I have never heard of any case like that. It's rare enough that there is any pain at all.
Right page: KEEP A LID ON IT
top panel: When i started work at a new company they gave me a lot of stuff . . . cellphone, text-messager, laminated badge, books, and so on.
second panel: Anti-crime buzzer? With an instruction manual? Is that even neccessary?!?
third panel: "After you receive the buzzer, try it out right then and there to make sure that the batteries function."
fourth panel: right here? But the hospital boss is having a meeting in the next room!
THE BIG GUIDE TO TABLETS VOLUME 4
This book rates breath-mints. The criteria are:
product name, country, company name, catch copy, remarks, date bought, place bought, is it still on the market?, weight, price, ingredients, calories.
Then: the exact millimeters (to the tenth of a milimeter) height, width, and depth of the individual pills. (sigh).
At the bottom: rankings for mintiness, flavor, and "would I want to buy it again?"
Interesting nihongo note : the top-left brand is SHE-HER-HER.
The "sss" sounds of the English "she" , sounds like "suu-suu", which is the Japanese "sound effect" of mintiness.
The breathy, puffing sounds of "her-her" sounds like the sound of exhaling on someone, which is what you can do if you have good breath.
CONVINIENCE STORE CAFE AU-LAIT REVIEW
Here the cafe au-lait are reviewed by:
Honestly I haven't had the nerve to open this one. But based on the title i would say it is an essay like Malthus or Hobbes.
EROMANGA LOVERS VOL.1
FUNDAMENTAL SPECIALIZED JARGON AND KNOWLEDGE FOR EROTIC MANGA: CREATION, ILLUSTRATION, AND CONCEPTS
This is a highbrow one! It's a sort of dictionary of terms – not dirty words but conceptual terms that one might use to write "art criticism" of ero manga. Like before you start writing your ero-manga critical blog, you first need to make some jargon. More than a dictionary, it doesn't just define the words but it explains why the concepts are important to the history of eromanga, why they are uh satisfying in a way that just regular naked pictures are not.
Unfortunately most of these terms are not as unique or philosophical as the author seems to think they are – things like POV porn, analog vs. digital art styles, self-aware ero-manga references, "finishing scenes", and clothes becoming transparent due to being soaking wet.
and then there's this:名古屋
MISSLES FROM THE ASS!
back cover copy: GIRLS' ASSES ARE "ENEMY AIRSPACE."
Does anybody have any idea what this is a parody of?
RESEARCH OF THE PEOPLES' UNIFORMS
UNIFORMS OF SUN YAT-SEN
This is a scholarly, 6-page leaflet describing how Chinese nationalist Sun Yat-Sen designed what would become famous as the "mao uniform" while studying in Japan at the turn of the last century. At the time, China was being colonized by whitey.
they have their own logo!
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
p2: a small encyclopedia of fascism
p12: the great experiment named fascism
p15: a small lecture on fascism
p16: my personal opinion re: the uniforms
p18: a general introduction to the Japan Justice Party
p22: the raw material of the third revolution
p28: the black light of fascism which shined on Tokyo
p31: poems about fascism.
NEW BIG FRIENDS' STUDY SERIES, ZERO FOUNDATION:
INSTANT BONDING GLUE BOOK: EXTREMELY SMALL NOZZLE EDITION!
Nothing but the tiniest nozzles of model glue applicators, for detail gundam work, one assumes.
the first half of this book is about nazi uniforms and serious military history. the second half is basically the most baffling manga ever.
It starts with Donald Rumsfeld vowing revenge on Adolf Eichmann (it's a common misconception that Rumsfeld is Jewish), and then Rumsfeld transforms into Obama, who summons a sailor-moon version of who now? Hillary.
Just as sailor hillary and obama are ready to fight nazis, a huge amount of Ronald McDonalds all jump in and the americans team up with nazis to fight them. Yes the nazis are using iron crosses as shuriken.
In the end, a dracula-looking Josef Menegle flies in to save the day with his surgical tools.
There is no explanation for this.
FUNNY NAMES FOR AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS, VOLUME 4!
This particular page is a review of a pesticide for rice called JUDGE.
name: Judge brand boxed medicine
ingredients: ben furakarubu (5%), purobenazooru (24%)
form: white powder
notes: Not related to The Disciplinary Committe
Not enough for Level Four Teleportation Ability.
For rice disease
Causes water pollution, so don't let the water drain out of your field into rivers.
Not related to the wild bird die-off in Nagano.
The cartoon at the bottom features the zine's mascot, saying,
"IT'S TIME FOR THE FINAL JUDGEMENT!!!!!!
THIS PRODUCT IS. . . it is. . .uh., er, that is . . .uhhh"
Other "funny" agricultural chemical names are:
KUSA-RANGER (literally grass ranger, but sounds like "stinky ranger")
HOME RUN KING
THE CHINA-DRESS WAITRESSES!
a " WORLD OF CHINA-DRESSES" SPECIAL EDITION
A page-by-page review of restaraunts, omitting any mention of whether the food is good.
KUN PO, in ikebukuro.
dress shape : one-piece dresses, as well as others
sleeves: mostly mid-upper-arm-length
hemline: various lengths. Waitresses with mini-dresses wear black stockings.
dress slit: many types
They then note that "Besides china-dresses, many other Asian costumes can be seen: Ao Dai, Thai, Malaysia, South Asian costumes, etc."
MITSUME AND YUNBO!
This zine is an example of another repeating motif of these zines: anthropomorphism. That is to say, Japanese people tend to look at things and ask themselves, "If this thing were a cute girl, what would she look like?"
In this case, the authors did a book of the equipment being used to clean up the Tohoku region (the region of north-east Japan ravaged by the tsunami and earthquake). In the upper left corner of the cover you can see the personification of one of the claw-machines.
CANNED COFFEE CAFE MOCHA-CHAN VOL.3
This is a whole book of illustrations of "what different kinds of canned coffee would look like if they were cute girls." here is Wonda brand coffee:
Another magazine which does the same thing, but with more details:
Wonda is named Asami, she is 15 yeas old, and she thinks it's a shame to just only use Wonda to help her wake up in the morning.
below: UCHUU DE KYA-KYA!
LET'S GET WACKY IN SPACE!
This is an educational gag-manga about sattelites Ikaros (a space exploration sattelite) and Akatsuki (the venus climate orbiter). It is staggeringly unfunny.
AT THE AMUSEMENT PARK
IKAROS: let's ride this one (points to spinning cups)
AKATSUKI: Ikaros really likes rotating things!
AKATSUKI: 25rpm? Isn't that too fast?
IKAROS: Akatsuki are you scared!
IKAROS: But isn't it more scary to be shot in a rocket into outer space?
(gales of laughter)
LEFT SIDE: TRIM YOUR SAILS!
(the friends are now in the cup ride)
AKATSUKI: it's spinning at a pretty normal speed!
(a third satellite is at the control panel)
THIRD SATELLITE: let's make things more interesting! (increases speed)
IKAROS: (turns into hamster) (hamsters like going round in their little exercise wheels)
IKAROS: TURN FASTER!
AKATSUKI: I KNEW IT!
On second thought, this is pretty funny.
10,000 YEN AN HOUR! ACTUAL EXPERIENCES OF A NAGOYA WORKING GIRL, VOL. 5
Again, there's a whole row of booths of these type of manga. 4-panel gag cartoons about bad vs. good customers, mostly.
a model-railroad hobby magazine that is so otaku, there is NO TRAINS in it. Too mainstream, man. This just focuses on the little buildings and people that go in them.
There are articles about guys that replicated specific (fictional) stations from famous anime, and articles about how to use graphic design software to design and print custom tiny decals for the various busses and convinence stores that populate your train set.
This is a zine about how to use various affordable home radiation detection devices to measure fallout from the Fukushima plant.
Above, the author checking air levels near the street sign showing the location. The lower picture is him leaving the device out overnight to capture the radiation footprint of overnight rains.
THE FIRST-TIMERS' GUIDE TO CROWD CONTROL, SPECIAL EDITION
"NOTHING SCARES ME AFTER THIS" . . .OR DOES IT?
FROM THE PREPARATIONS BEFORE THE EVENT, TO THE DAY AFTER, THE REAL EXPERIENCES OF EVENT STAFF
This is mind-blowingly good: a guide to how to do crowd control AT EVENTS LIKE THE ONE IN WHICH IT IS BEING SOLD.
All these big nerd conventions have hundreds of temp-staff crowd-control kids waving people this way and that way, organizing queues so that they don't get in the way of other queues, shouting out of megaphones, and making a nuisance of themselves.
Below: an organizational chart showing how a mid-sized event crowd-control staff breaks down:
BACKUP AUDIO TECHNIQUES FOR PRACTICAL USE VOL.3
DOES THIS HEADPHONE REALLY HAVE THE BOOMING BASS ADVERTISED?
DOES DE-OXYGENATED COPPER WIRE REALLY IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF SOUND?
LET'S TRY THE FREE HEADPHONES THAT COME WITH THE MP3 PLAYER FOR NOW. . .
THE ADVERTISEMENT THAT PROMISES "SUPER SOND" . . . WITH SUCH ENGRISH, ARE THE CLAIMS CREDIBLE?
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SUPER-CHEAP HEADPHONES! BUT PERHAPS THERE IS A HIDDEN GEM HERE WITH REAL BALLS!!!
This is a huge book of technical specifications of under-$10 earbuds and the free earbuds that come with consumer electronics.
That is all that it is. No reviews. Just hard scientific data!
ERO MANGA STATISTICS #8
AN ANALYSIS OF ADULT MANGA
THE SECRET STATISTICAL AVERAGES OF THE GIRLS!
WITH YOUR OWN SKILLS, MAKE A DISTRIBUTED DATABASE TO QUANTIFY YOUR CONCEPT OF CUTENESS!
This is my favorite of the bunch: simultaneously serious, rigorously executed, and self-consciously idiotic.
all the dots are different sex acts. I have no idea what the x and y axes are for. The main oval clusters are "penile penetration acts," "acts where the man does to the woman," and "acts where the woman does to the man."
below, more of same.
what makes this wonderful is that I WOULD BE JUST AS CONFUSED BY A "SERIOUS" STATISTICAL DIAGRAM . . . IN ENGLISH.
below, the four lines plot the statistical likelihood, per page, of 4 kinds of sex acts in 11 different manga?
the four kinds are (I think) – man on top, woman on top, doggy-style, and anal.
in the middle graph, the four lines indicate different kinds of illegal acts:
sex with virgins, sex with minors, adultery and .. . . some other illegal act.
The third graph: the likelyhood of breast milk, vagina juice, and semen.
next, a look at the most common behaviors in the beginning part / middle part/ and end part of ero-manga.
next, . . .???? Honestly?!?!?! Someone help me out here. . .
next, a breakdown of how often the male version of something is shown vs. the female version of that thing.
For instance, at the top, the likelihood that the woman's face is visible is exactly 97.62%.
ALso: sex organs, butts, and underpants. Male underpants are only visible 0.46% – once in 200 manga!
ERO MANGA STATISTICS
LET'S GO HOME AND DO STATISTICS TOGETHER!
MOST LUXURIOUS STATISTICS BASE!
ERO GAME STATISTICS!
WHO ISN'T EXCITED TO HAVE A HAREM OF HEROINES?!?
Here 's a whole book of the "decision trees" used in creating choose-your-own-adventure style dating-simulation and sex games.
And a list of heroines' hair color, as it correlates to their likelihood of doing various nasty things.
Middle graph: eye color and same.
Lower graph: um, breast color?!?
heroines' secondary-sex characteristics: body size, breast size, do they have glasses? and so on.
below: brutal concrete "toys" from a park by the Tama river.
yes, it's a trilobite. My first thought was GOD I LOVE THIS COUNTRY.
amazing pedestrian walkway by my local station:
above: the pagoda facade was a nice touch.
back to the Tama river, a bit after the scary animal park is this: MAEDA AUTO – a company that rents exotic vehicles for TV and movie use!
Right next to Maeda Auto is a garbage hauling company that doubles as a uyoku (right-wing militia) group. Keeping Japan pure both metaphorically AND literally! The guys in their trash truck were on the left, while their right-wing loudspeaker truck was on the right. it was – i am not joking – playing speeches and patriotic songs as the guys were working.
It was kind of like a neo-nazi version of Stanford and Son!
below: why did i snap this picture of a typical, if run-down apartment?
the security camera! I was biking with my Japanese friend and said, "WTF security camera? In this dump? What do they have worth stealing?" and my friend said, "The camera is to prevent people from dumping their trash in the trash bins."
Readers: is this a phenomenon in your home countries?
Break in my house, sure, but for God's sake don't dump your trash. Recycling rules around this town are baroque as fuck. Like you can only recycle bottles twice a month. if you miss your deadline, you're stuck with them for 2 weeks. That might not seem like much, but multiply that by all the different types of trash, and multiply THAT by the fact that the vast majority of apartments don't have a dumpster. This means you are expected to keep several weeks of trash in your apartment and only throw it out THE DAY OF.
The building above, although crappy in most respects, has the most coveted of luxuries: a dumpster! Hence the camera.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating, here's another trash-cam, from a totally different 'hood:
What's funny to me is that the main building is a CUSTOM CAR PARTS STORE. And it DOES NOT have an external cam.
So next time you're trying to explain to your friends about Japan being sort of obsessed with purity and contamination, you now have another example.
below: what I hate about summers in Japan:
cicadas nesting in my beard.
below: some raunchy warehouses down where Tama river meets the ocean:
And now back to trash! Here is a forlorn pillow/panda. I don't know what's funnier: that the trash-collectors (perhaps the same uyoku from Nazi Stanford and Son?!?) didn't collect it, or that they attached a note to it, explaining specifically what bureaucratic category panda/pillows fall into.
and a photo roundup would never be complete without some language fun. . .
below, the absolute shittiest park in Tokyo:
it's your typical dirt-lot that passes for public recreation in "the world's most expensive city." But – check out the natural wonderland right behind the wall! What sets this dirt-lot apart from every other dirt-lot is that THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE PARK IS TO MAKE YOU JEALOUS OF THE REAL PARK BEHIND THE WALL. That walled-off bit of gorgeousness and lush greenery is basically the ONLY thing you can see from the dirt lot.
This represents the pure, distilled, concentrated, raw and uncut essence of Japanese parks: the public "park" is a vacant lot, while the private "not a park" is full of trees, lawns, probably duckies and bunnies.
Pure dick move.
Also: the non-park ALSO has video-cameras, just in case.
I went around it one time on the ole' bicycle, and it seems to NOT be a temple or museum – it looks like some Yakuza headquarters / fort thing.
below: more of Tokyo's "nature": a bit of the Zenpukujigawa river, which they're not content with concreting the bottom and sides, now they're building over the TOP of it, too. Rode the bike downriver from the construction, and the whole river turns like milky, semen-y white. WTF are they building there?
but it's not all bad: check out this AWESOME house in Nishi-Shinjuku:
below: a bus ad for a prep-school course. Normal so far, but . . .
Below: THIS is how a river is SUPPOSED to look:
A while back, I posted about these small shrines squeezed between modern-style buildings. And I stole the photos from other blogs, only linking to a few of them. I guess that is Tumblr's whole business model. Anyway here are some more pictures that I actually took this time;
America! One week! Two universities, two clashes with police!
In this corner: UC Berkeley, where some students were camping out in support of increased taxes for the rich. The students were peaceful, but 3,000 cops come out of nowhere and kick their ass, drag some to jail, mace everybody.
In that corner: Penn State, where students gathered to protest the firing of a coach who covered up for a child molester for over a decade as he preyed on more and more young boys. The Penn students were violent, and the cops wept quietly in a corner, letting students rage on for hours, before dispersing them with no injuries. . . the cops don't seem to remember if they arrested anyone at all.
The American media reacted swiftly: "Even though most protestors were not violent, the violent few discredited the whole movement with their anarchist ways and disrespect for authority. This movement has no future and lost all popular support. Clearly football nationwide should be banned."No comments