Wednesday, January 07, 2004

At times it's insanely easy to impress japanese people, in particular japanese housewives. I was discussing my past weeks activities which included cooking chili for a selection of gaijin on sunday. I'll always get, "Really, you can cook? Do you like cooking?" When I respond, "Yes," i always get a wide eyed look of wonder and some crooning. "Oh really, that is great, i wish that you were my son/husband/etc." Even my male co-workers are amazed by me, "You're really going to ride your bike home in this?" Or maybe, "You mean you're really going to eat that Kim-chi and Mayonaise sandwich?" The answer is YES people, niether of those things are that bad!

Back to housewives: The japanese housewife has kind of a shit existence in many ways. While it's also the case for western women, the japanese housewife is really little more than a servant much of the time. You would marvel at the complexity of the boxed lunch, the dedication to the evening meal and the complete lack of authority that most housewives here have. I suppose that's why the mainstays of the adult english education industry is in fact the housewife and the spinster. i've heard it theorized that english class is a way to escape the doldrums of life. It's like a secret identity for some people, i think.

On a side note, here's a little bit about my intellectual life these days: Nothing much doing.
i've been an intellectual bump on a log recently. I haven't read anything interesting in quite a while. Most recently i Read "Road To Omaha" an entertaining, if pulpy book about some stylized characters in their attempt to scam the corrupt US government. I tend to put off reading books with the thought in mind that it will keep me from studying japanese, but since i don't study japanese ever anyway, it's hardly a problem. I have had a mean craving to write some songs on the guitar, but maybe that's just an excuse to get myself a guitar. Consequently i've been plumbing the depths of the internet for music, lyrics and overall entertainment. As i write this, i'm listening to Yo La Tengo's version of "Nuclear War" by Sun Ra. It's a cool cover. Wheras the Sun Ra version is kind of a cool jazz version made interesting particularly by Ra's strong Jive accent as he repeats the refrain, "Nuc-lar War, it's a mother-fucker, Don't you know, if they push that button, your ass got to go," the Yo La Tengo version has a techno style background with their singer leading a chorus of gradeschool children through the same lyrics.

Both are good, both are powerful and both relate to my current belief that we're all fucked and it's going to be sooner rather than later. I think that the world will be a very confusing place in the not too distant future when China emerges as the new superpower and the US fades into relative obscurity. I suppose that our parents and grandparents and their parents etc. all felt the same way, but at the same time, maybe they were right to feel so, we're all just getting fucked-er and fucked-er, it just takes a while to notice.

Meanwhile, i'm feeling somewhat lonely and sorry for myself as i sit in the safest country in the world in my nice apartment typing on my $1000 computer. I'm an armchair doomsayer.

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