Did someone forgot to take their meds?

In the essay titled “Killing Kittens” in the newspaper’s Aug. 18 evening edition, Bando, 48, wrote that she owns three pet cats and throws their kittens off the cliff near her house on the South Pacific island of Tahiti whenever they give birth to any.
“I am fully aware what severe criticism I may face if I write this,” she says at the outset of the essay. “I will probably be condemned as a savage by animal lovers around the world, and people may say I am violating the animal protection law. Knowing this, I confess I am killing kittens.”
Bando writes that although she had considered having her cats sterilized she has not done so, because she thinks that having sex when they are on heat and giving birth to offspring is what “life” is all about for a female cat.
“I have doubts about simply depriving them of their essential life for simply for the convenience of humans,” she says.

(link to full article)
She has doubts about depriving her cats of “life” for her own convenience, but has no qualms about doing the same to kittens? It takes a special kind of crazy to see the logic here, I’m guessing.
So the real question is: Is this just a stunt to revitalize book sales, or is this banzai cliff bitch really that crazy? I vote for the former, because the statement “knowing this, I confess I am killing kittens” is just too perfect – it’s designed to provoke a response. Like a book burning.

Ryukyu Underground

I came across this fascinating article over at the website of the Japan Policy Research Institute: A Wild Start: Okinawa in the 1970s

“Gate Two Street and BC Street in Koza City was where the best wide-open bar district action was, except for the majority of Afro-American servicemen. Some of those guys did party with us Euro-American and Latino-American servicemen and go bar hopping with us, but most GI Soul Brothers stuck to “The Bush.”
The Bush was an all black environment. The Soul Brothers had nearly completely segregated themselves out of all the other bar districts on The Rock a long time before I got there.
Oh, that probably isn’t correct. I bet that they had been segregated out of the light-skinned GI’s bar districts way back in the beginning of American troop occupation of the island. Then the black guys had liked what they were left with, because they had made themselves a place of their own that fit their lifestyles and cultural tastes, so they kept it.”


“Only Okinawans worked in the civilian bars on The Rock. In a Gate Two/BC Street type of A-Sign bar, there were bartenders, bar bouncers and doormen who were all good at fighting Karate style. When a fight started in an A-Sign bar, between a GI, or GIs, and one of the Okinawans working there, if the GI, or GIs, didn’t give up, back off and get the hell out of there real quick, or get knocked unconscious right away, the unfortunate GIs got the crap Karate kicked out of them by some, or all, of the Okinawan men working in that bar. If any of the fighting occurred outside a bar, then the bouncers and doormen from the other bars in the immediate area came over and jumped into the action and backed up their brethren Okinawans; that way any other GIs in the immediate area would be discouraged from jumping in on the side of the unfortunate GIs. If any GI got knocked on the ground by the bouncers, then the Okinawans all took turns kicking the poor guy.”


“When the bar, brothel, massage parlor girls were eighteen years old, after studying hard during twelve years of going to school, six days a week, for eleven months a year, life as they had known it was over. If any girl ran away from the mamasan/papasan, who held her in bonded servitude, the Okinawan cops went and fetched her back. It’s a small island, after all: where was she going to hide for long?”

Go read the whole thing.
Actually the thing that drew me into the article to begin with was the mention of the Asapen Spotmatic camera. I borrowed one off of Nam’s dad for a while (he left it at her place when he came to visit her at Tenri U) when I first started working in Osaka and wasted many rolls of film with it, but I still love that camera. Old guys would stop me on the street all the time with comments like, natsukashi, na! (“that sure brings back memories!”) And when I took it to a camera shop for repair, the guy did it for free and complimented me for being so old school! I kinda felt like shit because I barely knew how to use it at the time, but his praise sure sure put a smile on my face…


Who has less of a clue, the author, or the subject of this article: Sony buys video-sharing site by Gary Gentile

“Media companies, including Sony, have begun to offer content side by side with videos shot by amateurs on sites such as MySpace, Guba and BitTorrent.”

Say whaaaaat?

“…allows people to place those videos on social networking sites such as MySpace and Friendster using its peer-to-peer network.”

And if that doesn’t work out, they can always try getting bundled on an AOL software CD…
This is my favorite bit, though:

“Sony could also discover new talent on the site, Lynton said.”

Maybe they can find a whole new board of directors!
UPDATE: Robert Cringely thinks this is a good market research opportunity for Sony

Damn Interesting

If you haven’t seen Damn Interesting blog yet, you should go check it out – it’s one of my favorite reads at the moment. Recent updating has been slow, but there are a few real gems in the archives.
Today’s post on Operation Acoustic Kitty was sad, and awesome, and hilarious:

“They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity. They tested him and tested him. They found he would walk off the job when he got hungry, so they put another wire in to override that. Finally, they’re ready. They took it out to a park bench and said, “Listen to those two guys. Don’t listen to anything else – not the birds, no cat or dog – just those two guys!”

That’s not just a cat – that’s Doraemon!
Go read the entire post: Operation Acoustic Kitty

Moral Dilemnot

Only 26 days of work left for me now; 8 optional days off remain.
I’ve been in Japan so long, I actually started feeling guilty even just thinking about using them. So I asked the top office lady, the one who really makes things happen around here (you know the type, every Japanese office has one), whether I should use them or not.
She said, straight up, “I can’t say – that’s totally up to you.”
Magic words, music to my ears.
Actually, as I watched her lips move, all I could hear was, “you never have to work another Monday in Japan, ever again, if you so desire.”
Fucking A.