Wednesday, February 14, 2007

When I Get Mad I Write It Down on a...

Yeah, I'm in a Public Enemy kind of mood, but I have to rely on an ancient Chiba computer that doesn't communicate well with the new Blogger to channel my Rage Against the (right wing noise) Machine. (If you hate incessant Public Enemy allusions, by the way, whatever you do, don't dig up my sports writing during my senior year of college, when the men's basketball team was undefeated going into their final game of the season, no doubt due to my adroit managing skills. [It was a Division III team and we lost, so don't get excited.] But if you like apropros RatM lyrics, click here.) Anyway, I can't "give 'em something that they never had" just now on what's been going on in L'Affaire Marcotte since I wrote this. So a quick tribute to Japanese kids' tv cuteness will have to suffice.

Your life is not complete until you've seen at least 100 episodes of Inai Inai Ba! It's what Sesame Street wishes it could be. Okaasan to Isho can't hold a candle to it, IMHO, although their effort to bring Broadway to Japanese kids is to be applauded. Pitagora Suichi, on the other hand, is entertaining geekery of the highest order--Framy and Juppon Anime are the bomb! I'm less of a fan of the paired language programs, Eigo de Asobo and Nihongo de Asobo, although both onechan and I learn a lot from them. But sometimes in between them you get Zen Mai Samurai, which features a dango-slinging samurai and a pint-sized ninja who solve all the problems of an Edo-era Japanese village in the best parody of historical drama cliches one could ever hope to see in a single lifetime. Without even mentioning the quality European imports, I can say with complete confidence that Japanese kids' morning tv kicks Dora's ass.

Now around dinner time you get some reruns of the morning shows but also a pair whose names I don't even know but whose theme songs are simply amazing. I call them Cooking School and Ninja School, but you can call them pure genius. [Update 4/6/07: if you look up "Miracle Nanachan Mimika" on teh YouTubes, you'll see a bunch of live-action/anime hybrid clips of a little girl cooking, but this usually takes up less than half the actual show itself.]

Then there's the weekend. Pretty Cure 5 has started off fairly terribly, but I'm holding out some hope for it becoming more than a transparent attempt to sell crap (of the merchandizing and genderizing varieties) to kids, in part because, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, onechan and I have been going through old episodes of Max Heart (and look forward to catching up on the early Splash Star episodes we missed)--and you know what?--they're not terrible at all. And we've repeated "when you're older" so many times when any Pretty Cure commercials come up on tv, onechan says it for us by now. My Melody, though, has to be the strangest mainstream kids' cartoon ever. Oh, and Power Rangers and its ilk has gone all Frank Miller, so the boys anime/action shows are actually fun to watch when onechan has patience for them.

Unfortunately, since she started Baptist yochien, we don't get to watch any more morning tv, and since I'd been working late lately in Fukuoka, I've missed the pre-dinner programming. One of the nicest things about hanging with the family in Chiba is we get to immerse ourselves in the cuteness morning and evening, which helps a lot when you look at the bloggy and non-bloggy U.S. media, as I have to daily, as my big political punditry effort commences in T-minus 10 days. I'd applaud the recent progress in the Clinton-era-style North Korea negotiations, but I'm too worried the Bush team is trying to get Asian crises out of the way so they can concentrate on invading Iran.

So Happy Valentine's Day to everyone trapped in the belly of the beast, from its throat!

[Update: Upon watching more am tv, I realized I forgot to give a shout-out to You Gotta Quintet, Otoosan Suichi, and Algoritmo Sumetaiso. And upon reading JPS's comment, I realized I had a second and much more embarrassing typo to fix. I'm just happy the new Blogger gods are smiling on me access-wise today!]


JP Stormcrow said...

but I'm too worried the Bush team is trying to get Asian crises out of the way so they can concentrate on invading Iraq.

We're thinking of invading Iraq? You get so out of touch over here in Australia.

No worries.

The Constructivist said...

Hmm, did I mean re-invading? Nah, must have meant Iran. Funny how the n and the q are nowhere near each other on the keyboard, though. Two typos in one post is a new record--and new Blogger is too weird from here to bother trying to fix them now. Oh well!

JPS, any chance youre heading through Fukuoka's airport on the way back to the States? I know the answer is "no," but thought I'd check!

The Constructivist said...

I shouldn't have fixed the Iraq typo at the end there, in light of this breaking news.

JP Stormcrow said...


I was originaly scheduled through Tokyo on the way back, but will be going via Sydney & LA. Am in Perth, so it quite the trek, have also done it via London.

The Constructivist said...


spyder said...

The question of the day (among some prog politicos):
Who are we actually at war with in Iraq???? We invaded to rid the nation of Saddam, WMDs, and precious artifacts; we invaded to control oil, increase wealth of US corporations, and keep OPEC currency exchanged in US dollars. But with whom are we at war??? And if we are not at war with a known enemy, and are merely occupying the nation, what is the difference between getting out now and getting out later??? Occupying armies cannot win, they can only lose.

The Constructivist said...

spyder, just asking the question shows you deserve to be extraordinarily rendered in an undisclosed location. But I may have an answer to it when I get back from Sendai!