Previous Current Older Next Contact

2003-12-14 8:17 p.m.

finger wagging

Pretty much everyone on my buddy list updates more than me.

Whatevah! Whatevah!

So. They caught Saddam. I don't feel like commenting on this.

Maybe doing some volunteering somewhere would be a good use of my time. But where?

Greyarea is immortalized in print. He called me a novelist. nyah nyah!

And reading that Character and Plot Realism Q&A Forum was my number one way to procrastinate writing last month.

Oh, then there's this. The interesting point here, the "am I taking crazy pills?" moment, is that apparently the senior US lawmaker on environmental policy believes that global warming is a hoax and that the Kyoto accords are a threat to our freedom.

But the Patriot Act, see, that protects our freedom.

Man, Canada is looking better every day.

Oh yeah. Did I tell you about my record collection?

Junko was here this weekend. We watched some films.

One we watched was Pee-Wee Herman's Big Adventure. I had forgotten what a big influence this film was on me growing up, and how ingrained it is in my psyche. Good stuff. You know Phil Hartman was one of the writers and has a cameo at the end?

We also saw The Last Samurai.

It was pretty good. That Ken Watanabe and Hiroyuki Sanada were pretty cool. I had no problems with Tom Cruise's performance, either. Might as well give him an Oscar nom for it.

It was cool enough for the 4 stars.

Overlap with the stuff I tossed into my little fantasy novel was minimal. There was a little, but not a lot.

I am now going to talk as if I know something about Japanese history and culture. (Honestly, there's a part of me that would love to get a PhD in Japanese history or somesuch and spend the rest of my life translating the Kojiki and Nihongi and stuff like that...)

One thing about the film that's a little deceptive- It makes it seem like the samurai class was in favor of putting the emperor in control and that the modernists wanted to circumvent him. It kind of makes sense that it would be that way, but in reality in the 700 years or so in which the samurai class ruled Japan, the emperor was a mere figurehead with no role whatsoever in the actual administration of the government. One goal of the Meiji Restoration was to make Japan into a modern nation, but the other was to put the emperor back in control of the country. That's why they called it a restoration. Course, the amount of power the emperor actually had was probably pretty well as depicted in the film...

Also, on the liquidation of the samurai class, the cutting of the mage (topknot) and the law against carrying swords and such... The samurai had been the ruling class in Japan for centuries and centuries, much like the nobility in the European nations. You had to be born a samurai, and samurai only married within their class. The samurai brutally subjugated the lower classes, and only members of the samurai class were allowed to carry swords and wear the mage. Thus when Japan embarked on modernization and democratization, mage and carrying swords were seen as status symbols inappropriate in an egalitarian democracy and were prohibited.

There were a few other Hollywood things in there that bothered me a little bit, but they're not huge and it would spoil the plot for people who haven't seen it if I went on about them here, so I won't.

That Strokes song, "12:51," has been in my head almost constantly the last few days.

And that song by that band, The Darkness? "I Believe in a Thing Called Love?" It's grown on me a lot, and I find the video really charming. Hmm.

Then there's that Jet song, which Junko accurately described as "vending machine rock." The Darkness is kinda like that, too, but I like that one.

when you feel lonely i recommend you eat lots of fruits and vegetables,