Luc Besson is a fucking sell out

I mean, is the guy hard up for cash, or what? I sure as hell couldn’t forgive him back in 1994 for whoring Nikita out to Hollywood for an effortlessly crapalicious remake starring Bridget Fonda, and titled, most appropriately, “Point of No Return” (presumably referring to the instant a person bought a ticket to see this shitfest at the theater). But now he’s really gone and done it with the US remake of his car-action masterpiece, Taxi.
For fuck’s sake, this is the movie that inspired me to request a white Peugeot 406 at Charles De Gaulle airport (and do multiple doughnuts in the parking lot in protest when all they had was a turbocharged Opel Vectra)! This is the movie that prompted me to drive from Mimizan to San Sebastian at the speed of holy shit! and make people in the backseat gasp quite audibly! In exhilaration, no doubt! And pass several cops on the way! After having a nice breakfast of wine and sangria!
…OK, maybe you should not see this movie if you like driving.
…And you definitely do not want to see the Hollywood remake of it. Unless your idea of a fast car is a Ford Crown Victoria, that is. I shit you not, in Taxi:NYC (its title overseas), the white 406 is replaced by a yellow Crown Vic. With blowers and a bunch of other shit copied from the original movie which can apparently enable a Crown Vic to outrun a custom BMW 760. Um, no. This movie, this premise, is just wrong. WRONG I SAY! DAMN YOU LUC BESSON! A POX ON YOU AND THE MERDE THAT FILLS YOUR VERY BEING! MAY A THOUSAND UNSHAVED FEMALE ARMPITS BEAR AUSPICIOUS LICE TO FILL YOUR LYING MOUTH!

I am a Molam Singer

My fiane is currently finishing her doctorate at Osaka University in the field of linguistics, which we both studied at Tenri University. She is writing her dissertation about Molam (alternatively spelled, “Morlum,” or, “Mawlum”) which is a traditional form of Northeast Thai singing, originally from Laos. I’ve been translating excerpts and summaries into English (from Japanese) for her along the way, and have really gotten interested in the actual music while looking for what’s available online for her.
I discovered that most interesting aspect of this music for me is that it sounds a lot like rap! It’s hard to explain? But there are definitely some similarities in the verse and song structure there. And while turning on some of the Molam grooves today to get in the mood for another translation Nam asked me to do, I decided to learn a freestyle verse that sounds particularly hip-hop?
I’ve been working on Nam’s translation for four hours now, and I’ve only done two lines, mainly because I’ve been trying to memorize this one particular Molam verse and it’s driving me crazy:
Soi Soi / lao phi nong fang Soi /
Phen bo khao baan phen / go tang khao baan to /
So baan to / go tang to baan phen /
Jang bo khao baan phen / go tang khao baan to /
Pro waa roa yuu khon la baan

I’m doing some serious tongue-twisting here. Knowing quite well that I sound like a retarded campuchean goat while practicing this out loud, I pretend not to hear Nam yelling at me to stop in the background. I WILL get this down. Because I am destined to be the King of Thai Country Groove.
More later, if Nam doesn’t kill me.

Uniformly Wrong

Gatson came by the house last night to install the English version of MS Project, and he told me about our new work uniforms, which we will be issued around the end of the month and have to wear from July 1st. I came into work today and confirmed the new design with the other guys in the office:
– Pink shirts with red collars
– Light green pants
An alternative title for this post is, “The REAL Reason I’m Leaving This Job and Country.”
Apparently there is a leak at our company at a higher level, because they are ripping this decision to threads over at 2ch. Pretty funny shit, but it would be a lot funnier if it were happening to someone else…
BTW, there’s still no news about which board member’s fashion school dropout nephew designed this abortion of a color scheme.

Blame the Gaijin

Another reason I’m definitely leaving Japan next year: Japan to have all foreigners carry IC cards for crime control

The LDP and the government claim the new policy is aimed at keeping track of foreigners as part of measures to prevent terrorism and crimes.

Well, it might be especially effective if they decide to embed RFID chips to enable remote scanning. I can just imagine all Japanese police cruisers equipped with gaijin detectors on the dashboard. Perhaps they can include a dye packet and/or taser function to help out, as well.
I imagine this also has to do with the recent spate of counterfeiting and identity thefts – I’m told that stolen gaijin cards can be sold for 20,000 yen in minami, no questions asked, and that a fake one can be purchased from around 70,000.
The most intrusive part of the new plan that they are admitting to lies here:

Holders will be required to report any change of address and obtain permission to change jobs.

As if it’s not tough enough to get a job as it is now, in a couple of years you’ll have to obtain permission from the government first.
Hey look, in the opening paragraph of the article, they used the words “Japanese government” and “intelligence center” in the same sentence! Why does the government have to be such a pain in the ass and go so far out of their way to be oppressive? Is this payback for doing away with the mandatory fingerprinting of gaijin or something? All I have to say is, sayonara suckers.


I decided to check around on some of my favorite “dead” sites – ones that people quit updating some time ago due to job issues, necrophilia rehab, deep vein thrombosis, etc. – and was most pleasantly surprised, inspired even, in fact, let me ask you this:
If a retarded kid falls in the forest, does it make a slapping sound?


Pronounced as the answer to, “What do you call a Japanese woman with no arms and no legs, propped against a wall?”
The following quotes are from the unbelievably retarded Yomiuri article located here: LINK

Cheap hotels in Osaka day laborer district lure foreign tourists
Kahori Sakane / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
Five budget hotels in the Airin district of Nishinari Ward, Osaka, which have typically catered to day laborers, are seeing an unexpected increase in foreign and Japanese tourists looking for inexpensive lodging.

Okay so far; it’s no surprise that tourists are attracted to rooms cheaper than $80 a night (a fairly average hotel room price). But this article is just getting started, as you will see…

The trend has encouraged some of about 100 other hotels in and around the district to target foreign tourists rather than laborers. A local association of the hotel operators and a nonprofit organization supporting day laborers have also launched a project to make the area a backpackers’ town, such as Khaosan Street in Bangkok.

Well, it sounds like some new Osaka politician is going to start lobbying for prostitution visas (oh wait, they already did that with the “massage” visa earlier this year) or attempt to make Kinryu ramen available for 50 yen a bowl on the street, that’s great. One question, though: What do the urban planning visonaries propose as the prefectural backpacking destinations of choice? The container stacks at Nanko (slogan: “Visit the drug-sniffing dog petting zoo!”)? The romantic banks of the Yodogawa “Industrial” River (“Home of the Lucky Osaka Two-headed Carp”)? Or maybe there are plans to establish the 1990 Nishinari Riot Memorial… Let’s move on:

“Is there any place around here to go dancing?” a blond Finnish woman asked a clerk at Hotel Raizan South, a budget hotel in the Airin district, last Monday night. The clerk smiled and said there were some clubs in Nanba, two stops away on the Midosuji subway line.

Notice the key words, “blonde,” and “Finnish.” Aside from the inference that Hotel Raizan South clerk hiring guidelines stipulate at least one Scandinavian and one Romantic language (Aramaic is a plus), perhaps we can also assume that a brunette duchess from Luxembourg would have been referred to Kitashinchi on the JR Tozai line. More:

The question would not seem odd at most hotels. But according to Hidenori Yamada, 28, executive director of Chuo Group, “A foreign tourist leaving a Nishinari Ward hotel at 9 p.m. was unimaginable five years ago.”

Let me fill in the missing sentences here: “They used to just smoke the methamphetamine this area is most famous for and stay up all night watching the traffic cams on NHK; it would be very difficult to persuade them to leave even well after check-out time the next morning. I guess the new wave of tourists is more into Ecstasy and clubbing.”

Another attraction of Raizan Hotel is its convenient location, which is 15 minutes by train to Universal Studios Japan (USJ), one hour by train to Kyoto and 50 minutes to Kobe.

…As is the rest of Osaka, you hacks. Or Namba, at least, since that’s the comparison. Next:

Known as one of the largest day laborer districts in the nation, the Airin district has a population of about 30,000 in a 0.62-square-kilometer triangle south of JR Shin-Imamiya Station…
…In Sankaku Park, about 500 meters southwest of the hotels, many homeless people live in blue tents or spend the night in a city-run shelter, which offers hardtack in the evening. On weekends, they line up for meals at a soup kitchen.

Repeat after me: TOURIST’S! PARADISE!

The hotels began attracting a few South Korean tourists shortly after launching a Web site in the same year, although they originally hoped to attract more Japanese tourists and businesspeople.

Fishing for sea bream, the damn fugu kept stealing my bait. – Japanese proverb

In order to meet the demands of foreign tourists, mainly from China, South Korea and Taiwan, the hotels began listing their information in English, Chinese and Korean a few years ago.

…Because we all know that English is secretly the official language of all three of these countries, right? Jesus Christ. In all fairness, the discriminatory overtones I’m sensing here might be imagined – perhaps the author is just that bad.

Minerva Jormola, 22, and her friend, Ho Yueching, both from Finland, told The Daily Yomiuri they found Hotel Raizan on the Internet and decided to stay there because of the low price of 4,200 yen per night for a twin room.

Of course, what we really want to know is: Which one is the blond? For Amaterasu’s sake, could you bastards please maybe use more than a single source in your hotel guest interviews (and a random Ho doesn’t count).
Much later:

A local nonprofit organization, Kamagasaki Community Regeneration Forum, which supports the district’s homeless and day laborers, is also interested in involving laborers with the project…
…The forum hopes out-of-work laborers and local welfare recipients will engage in tourism-related jobs or volunteer work created by the project.

Wow. Somewhere in Kamagasaki, a dutchie is being passed, presumably on the left-hand side. We all know how being on the dole tends to spur the volunteerin’ spirit, right?

The forum believes a bicycle rental business could be an option since some of the workers learned to repair bicycles in an Osaka municipal government vocational seminar.

Is that what they call “jail” these days?

Under the plan, when a tourist rents a bicycle, a laborer will deliver it to their hotels. If they want to leave the rented bicycle at a sightseeing spot in Osaka, the bicycle will be retrieved and brought back to the district base.

And doesn’t that just scream VIABLE BUSINESS PLAN. The sad thing is that while one might assume that this entails paying honest, hard-working people to ride bicycles back to homebase – providing both employment and a healthy lifestyle with the added benefit of preserving the environment – I somehow suspect a flatbed truck driven by a gang of bicyle thieves is closer to reality.

Arimura said it was important to make use of people and resources in the local community.

As opposed to outsourcing it to professional tour guides and bike shops in Hokkaido, I presume. Pearls of wisdom, people. Pearls.

“If group tours increase through our efforts and the Airin district brings in more individual tourists, it may not be so difficult to attract 2 million foreign tourists to the prefecture,” Yano said.

Well, he did say “if.”
Alas, I don’t know why this article, among all those churned out over the weekend, caught my eye. I also don’t know why I felt I had to fisk it. I just did.