GaijinAss podcast # 3, 2014, April the 21st.
We have Rionne on as a guest and talk about life in general and his professional wrestling career.
April 21, 2014
GaijinAss podcast # 3, 2014, April the 21st.
We have Rionne on as a guest and talk about life in general and his professional wrestling career.
April 13, 2014
GaijinAss Podcast #2. With “Guest”. We Ramble about nothing in particular while someone cooks in the background. Conclusion? I really need to get some microphones.
Other links to check out which we discuss:
The actor who famously chased down Matthew Broderick in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as Principal Ed Rooney is in trouble with the law — for allegedly not updating his information as a sex offender. Jeffrey Jones, who was busted in 2003 for employing a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos, failed to keep his information up to date with California after his birthday, the Los Angeles county district attorney’s office said. — Michael Sheridan
April 8, 2014
If you don’t know then I will tell you: I love kickboxing.
GLORY is the premier kickboxing promotion around right now and thus far the events have been amazing. The kickboxing game has been revolutionized, particularly in the Light Heavy and Heavy Weight Realms, and much of this has been due to GLORY’s ability to attract and promote the best of the best.
The next event will be held on April 12th in Istanbul.
The card is as follows:
Tournament Semi-final #1:
Tournament Semi-final #2:
Roosmalen vs Grigorian
Roosmalen. He is not frankly, the most technical fighter and he has a bad habit in that he seems unable to learn from his past mistakes, however he has been busy and well, he’s Robin van Roosmalen isn’t he? Grigorian is covered in ring-rust. He hasn’t been in the big ring since Glory 2 in Brussels and this is a mean, mean way to welcome him back. I think it’ll be a Roosmalen KO in the 2nd or 3rd.
Onto the LHWT Tournament…
Spong vs Cavalari
Sure, we all know Spong is the ludicrous favorite here. No shit. That having been said, I think he is going to utterly humiliate Cavalari. I have gone back and watched a lot of Cavalari’s fights and frankly I’m amazed he is even in the tournament. His technique is bizarre and full of holes. He leads with his chin literally thrusting into the sky and his low kicks look like break dance moves. He seems to be in amazing shape but so is Spong. I give this to Spong, via KO (Left hook or high kick) in the first round which will suck for whoever has to face him in the final because these two…
Saki vs Corbett
Holy shit. How much machismo can one ring possibly accommodate. I am a die-hard fan of both these guys and have been for years. Seeing this fight now: Bitter Sweet.
Both men are amazing fighters and damn fine technicians in their own right. The differences however are paramount and I think could be critical.
I first saw Corbett fight in Titans 2 here in Tokyo in ’05. We fought on the same card; I was covered in gore and dropped a TKO to some Turkish lunatic nobody has heard from since and CARNAGE illegally kicked Noboru Uchida in the head when he was down. I loved it and have been a fan ever since.
Corbett is by trade an elbow man. Hence his name, CARNAGE. He slices, he dices and he leaves a bloody stream of gashed foreheads and cracked orbitals in his wake. This is all well and good, except in GLORY, there are no elbows. Sure, he has obviously adjusted his training. He also has technical hands and good kicks and is always in shape. However the big question is: Has CARNAGE really adopted the pure kickboxing rules/style and left his Muay Thai origins behind? Because to stay meaningful in GLORY, where the big dogs and the bucks are, this is exactly what he will have to do.
Next, while Corbett was biding his time to move to GLORY, Saki has been there all along fighting the baddest mother fuckers alive. He is smooth, fast and fluid. His combinations are staccato spray-n-pray and with a 71% KO ration he’s become adept at rolling out the sleeping bag and tucking his opponents, big and mean and skilled opponents, in for the night. Puff the pillow, zip the bag up, Goodnight. Now, he has dropped to Light Heavy Weight. Dear God….
So the deal breaker/maker is thus: Has Saki lost the weight to move from his 104 (I actually think its more like 108) to 95 in a timely and intelligent fashion? Preserving his stamina or perhaps even enhancing it? Or was he lazy and he is trying to sweat it out now as I type this? If he made weight legitimately, and I hate to say this, then I suspect he will put Corbett away as long as he doesn’t let his ego take over. If not, with that little stamina edge to even the scales, well, we will be seeing some CARNAGE.
April 1, 2014
After ten years abroad, most of it spent in Tokyo, I recently visited Tampa, Florida. The trip was many things: some positive, some negative, some surprising and some par-for-the-course with an overall all resounding sentiment of “Why was I away for so long and did I find what I was looking for?” This question will take time to wade through and an answer is by no means forth coming in the near future. However, I have returned from my journey with a good deal of reverse culture shock. Some is good, some is bad but all is, by definition and without apology (from them, not me, I wasn’t even there), American.
7. The TSA
When I flew away into a future full of adventure and conflict punctuated but mediocre choices and women I didn’t deserve, the TSA did not exist in its current incarnation. Arriving in Washington D.C. and then walking into a security check point for “enhanced screening procedures” was something I was expecting only due to the ever-present dull roar of hatred the internet constantly produces about TSA and it’s associated horror stories. The list is long and the imagery uncomfortable: A war veteran made to stand for a pat down and being forced to remove his prosthetic leg for inspection. A three-year old daughter frisked by an agent who looks like Suge Night. A Grandmother is humiliated when her discountenance catches up to her during an X-ray.
You’ve heard them all before and so had I.
One can imagine my surprise when I entered the security check point and instead of a group of hard-nosed and jaded cop types I was staring and a collection of late-teeny-somethings in silly blue uniforms that complemented the color of the zits they were popping.
The scene was bizarrely comical and it took effort not to ask the dopey looking boy band reject leaning on a partition next to the X-ray if “TSA agent” was all he could get after “Kids Incorporated” went of the air.
It was surreal and assured of my safety I was not. In fact, I felt as if any self-respecting villain might easily pull one over on the Goonies here and slip right past the crack security barricade with his/her cosmetics NOT in the REQUIRED clear resealable plastic bag. The ramifications were terrifying.
And all this with a constant flow of bad attitude and poorly worded and often mumbled directions to a group of people who had just come off a 16 hour international flight.
And onto more mumbling…
6. Customer Service an Elective
In Japan, as the world has heard over and over, customer service is a big deal. This will not be harped upon here but I will say that in Tokyo when I go someplace and order something: a coffee, a pair of socks, some fermented soy beans or a severed head, I get the same polite customer service oriented response every time, on time. This is not an indication of competence, often the opposite, but it is polite.
What I found during my stay in the USA this time is that “customer service”, first of all, is an elective. By this I mean a business or employee seems to be able to decide on their own whether actually serving a customer, you know: person who allows the business to actually run by purchasing goods or services, is something they feel like doing or not. At the cafe for lunch the waitress acted as if it was I who date raped her that time in Daytona but then an hour later at a gas station I made a life long friend in the station attendant who turned me on to some really avant garde sort of Jazz that I am listening to as I write this; That reminds me, I need to send Julio those Japanese post cards he seemed so interested in. I think his aunts address is still in my coat pocket.
*Note to self: Burn photos from Daytona
It all seems utterly random and up to the individual with two very clear exceptions. These two points, which I am calling the “Customer Bisector Theorem proofs” are as follows:
The closer one approaches to a major airport the lack of customer service exponentially increases until finally one reaches the event horizon and it becomes customer Dis-service. This latter reality is usually experienced within the airport terminal and usually involves minorities who loath your existence for purchasing a tuna sandwich for a 300% market write-up. But you don’t know because none of these people are speaking English anyway and you don’t speak…that.
The corresponding Theorem is as follows:
PUBLIX super market exists in an alternate dimension in which, customer service, in fact, customer love, is the reality, whether you like it or not.
Those two nicely tie it all up.
5. Tattoos are the new Fat
I left the USA in 2003 from California and people were fat. That’s just America: Lot of fat people living over there. So what? We all know it and the world knows it and Americans know it and we all talk about how it’s “Really not healthy” and “We have to save the children” but in reality it’s this simple: Americans like to eat and we like to eat lots of the shit we want at any given moment. Period.
So after 10 years of friends going home and coming back and telling me how grotesquely obese everyone was, I was a little let down when I was back a view days and realized it was all really just the same as before.
What I did notice and I found abhorrent, however, were the waves and waves of Tattoos. Tattoos absolutely every where. Yosomono has mentioned this himself in one of his rants, but to see it first hand, and on the beach…it was horror show.
Sure, it’s all self-expression. Yes, it’s all body art. Of course it’s really about identity. None of these things stop it from making a girl who would have been really cute drop dramatically into the “buddy to smoke crack with when I finally decide to give up on life” category. It wasn’t just women of course, and I in fact have a few tattoos from 15 years ago, but I found the prevalence of them not shocking per se, simply unaesthetic.
If one adds Tattoos in odd places with offensive designs to clinical obesity on the beach, well, now America being fat again gets some legs back and can offend effectively. But nothing was as offensive on that beach as that French Canadian dude in his speedo and magnificent gut hanging low and hyper masculine. Thank you America for at least, not being that guy.
*Publishers note: There is no proof this man was French-Canadian. The writer simply likes to believe this is so.
4. Nobody has a clue what’s going on in the world
The US media machine is constant, ever-present and it is total. I was frankly shocked by the general opinions I heard while in the USA. America has adopted the same “victim” complex that Japan revels in: Everyone is out to get us! This has been internalized while paradoxically, in some intricate catch 22, people still have not figured out why “They hate us for our freedoms”.
It seems that Americans, inexplicably think everyone is out to kill them. Everyone is going to nuke them. Everyone hates America for all it’s goodies. The reality that the world dislikes America not for some intangible concept but because we have been “accidentally” killing civilians, stealing everyone’s shit, bullying weaker nations (which is everyone) and spying on everyone, has simply not caught on AT ALL. Nope, it’s not that stuff at all.
A popular radio talk show I was listening to by a popular political commentator left me reeling with sound bits like…
These rights in the constitution are ones given to us by god.
We are on the brink of WW3 with Russia! It’s WW3!
Iran is a nest of vipers who live in a society devoted to one thing: The destruction of America.
I was shell-shocked at first and then finally mildly embarrassed. America, is this really the best we have to offer? I should hope not.
What’s next? “We have to make all the mountain bikes here in the USA because foreign bikes can’t ride on our American trails and rocks properly.”
Japan and the new America should consider starting a club.
“The World hates us and we are all Victims Support Group”
Clearly not the America I remember.
3. Drugs everywhere
Everywhere I looked I saw drugs. Drugs drugs and more drugs. Clearly, the “War on Drugs” is well and over. Because these days Americans cannot sit through thirty minutes of mind numbing television without hearing at least two or three drug commercials.
When I was a kid it was “This is your brain on drugs” and that was over the top but it made me think. It made me think streams like “Hmmm, that herion sure seems fun, but do I want to die in a gutter? No! (Smile, thumbs up!)” Today, everyone can be on drugs. Drugs for weight loss, drugs for Diabetes. Drugs for depression and drugs for erectile malfunction. Drugs for heart disease and drugs for hair loss. Drugs for sleeping and drugs for waking up. ADHD, Herpes, Gonorrhea, HIV and general lethargy; there are drugs for it all.
It is a never-ending stream of drugs and what you can do to get them. All day, all the time even with billboards on the street. It has been calculated that there are 80 pharmaceutical ads on TV at any given time every hour.
All this, and people are still cynical about the legalization of Marijuana. The double think is so extraordinarily powerful it’s worth a hat tip to big Pharma.
2. Bread and Circuses
I like sports and America has liked sports for a long, long time. But it seemed to me while I was back that both sports and the personal activities of prized players are everywhere and take up a ludicrous amount of the nations brain power.
Not only do these things often monopolize conversation, but they are generally sports that to the rest of the world, are simply not that important. Aside from Japan, baseball finds it’s only real home in the USA. Basketball is largely an American obsession with the Chinese joining in when nature goes horribly wrong and American football? Well, the Super Bowl is the second or third largest sporting event of the year GLOBALLY (depending on the Olympics) and only one country watches it at all.
Not only is it the obsession with the sport but also with its participants. The scandals are endless and they dominate headlines and discourse. I have friends from England who consider themselves “football heads” and they don’t babble this much about the game and I assure you, they babble quite a lot.
47.6 million Americans are on food stamps.
Good luck with the revolution.
1. Americans like to talk
Judging by the colossal amount of media available to help men and women meet each other and to help people get over the death like hurdles of social interaction, one might assume that Americans are incredibly stand offish and generally cold and hard to warm up to. I surely had a vague feeling that matched this when I left in 2003. But for whatever reason, be it some life experience, confidence with age or a lack of interest in any particular outcome, I found it incredibly easy to talk to just about everyone in America.
In fact, I think that Americans in general enjoy talking to and even feel compelled to talk to other people who are physically in close proximity to them. Unlike the Japanese and often Europeans, who are constantly in close proximity to someone be it on the train, in the office or even at home, many Americans spend a fair amount of time isolated: in cars on the highway and in bigger homes with more space. Not to mention that America itself is physically much bigger, spread out and disconnected, much like it’s cities.
This seems to mean there is almost a kind of hard-wired desire to need to converse with people when they are close to you. Americans on airplanes, in shops, at sporting events, on buses and just walking around town greet each other and chit-chat with each other for no apparent reason.
After ten years away I have lost this impulse and am perfectly content to sit next to someone for sixteen hours straight and never say a word to them and it feels utterly natural. However, I seemed to be the only English speaker on the plane who felt this way. Then in America, when I entered into some kind of exchange, I found myself being absolutely me, 100% I was doing nothing in the way of chit-chat or small talk but simply talking how I would to a good friend with anyone who approached me in conversation. To some it seemed off-putting but to others it seemed very natural. Although difficult to articulate, this was the most shocking element of my trip. Any fear of talking to or dealing with strangers has utterly disappeared.
|7 Books for Warriors||Corn Soup Confessional||Cute vs Sexy||Kickboxing in Japan||7 reasons not go to the clink in Japan|
March 28, 2014
David Brin’s 2002 book Kiln People, is about a private detective in a not to distance future. In Brin’s future, video surveillance is so pervasive that as long as you’re not in the deep wilderness you can be recorded and tracked 24/7. Camera feeds from store surveillance, drones, red light cams, British style police CCTV cameras capture everything. To track someone all the detective needed to do was go online and purchase the rights from various camera sources and watch the target go about their day. That future is almost here.
As time goes on the cost of storing electronic video files plummets as does the cost of video cameras. Even while their price is falling video cameras are improving their quality and getting smaller and smaller. It’s almost economically feasible to not only record you 24/7 but to permanently store that footage. Some Police agencies are already video taping each car that enters and leave their zone of control. When a street dragster posted a video about an illegal race attempt to drive as fast as possible around Manhattan the NYPD were able to identify his car using store video surveillance from businesses the BMW passed as it zipped by. With the advent of cheap, high quality camera phones there is even more potential for video surveillance. Even now at big events there is almost total coverage as shown by the massive amounts of angles of the Boston Marathon bombing. The social media site Reddit constantly has its Redditors unknowingly taking pictures of events from different angles:
As Google Glass becomes more common there will be even more surveillance and under the current legal atmosphere there is not much you can do about it. Laws of most countries state that once you leave your house you can’t expect privacy. When you step into a private businesses they can record anything they want inside their doors.
On the flip side of being constantly watched is that it’s not only you but everyone is getting filmed.
Lazy workers, corrupt officials and even the police. Initially in America police started arresting people who were filming them, threatening them with years in jail. However in 2012 the Supreme court guaranteed the rights of citizens to film the police. Now some police are embracing cameras. Studies have shown that when police use wearable cameras their departments “saw an 88 percent drop in complaints against police and a 60 percent reduction in uses of force by the police.”
Hollywood is even taking notice. Famously and still probably the biggest financial POV movie success was the 1999 Blair Witch Project. But I think one of the best immersive POV camera work that shows the possibility of POV cameras are clips from the 1995 Strange Days movie, of course that footage was jacked from the brain…
Speaking of police surveillance the creator of Training Day released a new movie called, End of Watch. POV movies always have issues with shaky camera work making people sick in the theaters. End of Watch did a great job of combining traditional third person film work with steady cam footage supposedly from wearable cameras that the cops Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play:
After watching that movie it was clear we are on the verge of being able to film an entire movie from real events sort of like how the Godzillaish Cloverfield did it. Instead of just the one camera a “filmaker” could use footage of real events from multiple sources and angles.
|7 Books for Warriors||Corn Soup Confessional||Cute vs Sexy||Kickboxing in Japan||7 reasons not go to the clink in Japan|
March 17, 2014
Taking a sick day in Japan is a tricky thing. It makes sense if you are sick to stay at home and avoid infecting your co-workers but the company doesn’t want to lose productive workdays from you. With the stagnant economy there is a lot of pressure not to take sick days yet it’s your right to take them. If you’re a full time worker how many sick days you get according to Japanese labor law is pretty straight forward.
For English teachers it’s a little tricky. It used to be English Teachers were paid a monthly salary all year so they got paid holidays in the winter and summer but these jobs don’t really exist anymore. Most ALT jobs now only pay for the days you are physically in the school and so don’t pay holidays. This leaves the teacher out of luck and out of work during the summer when there isn’t school. Most Companies who staff the schools try and scam the teachers out of the sick days they deserve. First since most ALT teachers only work part of the year they classify them as part time workers. This cheats them out of the health care and pension benefits they would get under Japanese Law. They also only offer one or two sick days a year. If the teacher goes over that they are often penalized or fined, sometimes as much as 12,000 yen a day ($120).
Agencies often take the line of reasoning that since they employ foreigners in Japan they are outside of the law. They are not. Japan has clear laws governing how many sick days a part time employee gets. The chart below is a guide to what an employee in Japan either foreign or Japanese gets for sick days. This is what the law says according to the Japanese Legal Code: Employment Statute 39:
So using the above chart calculate how many days you work in a year. Then calculate how many years you’ve worked at the company to figure out how many sick days / paid holiday you get. So if you work 170 days a year and you’ve worked at the company for 2 years then you should be getting eight sick days a year. Here is the relevant page from the Japanese Labour guide:
|How to become big in Japan||Unemployment Insurance in Japan||Getting the around the Japanese health care system||Making Friends in Japan||How not to be a hostess|
March 3, 2014
IMDB or the Internet Movie Data Base is famous as the go to location to find everything about movies. The amount of detail is incredible and it makes anyone with an Internet connection an automatic movie guru. One of the top features of the IMDB site is its ranking system which allows millions of its users to rank the databases movies. This has created a list of the best movies ever … according to IMDB users. The list fluctuates as new movies are released with movies moving up and down the list in huge jumps. However the top 100 is a pretty stable and the list is a great barometer for Internet user’s movie preferences. So after crunching databases and a lot spreadsheet formulas we’ve come up with some very interesting stats behind IMDBs top 100 movies.
As you can see the vast majority of the movies are rated R. This is surprising considering the Hollywood Blockbuster system that limits the creativity of big releases so that they are PG-13. There was only one film rated X in the Top 100: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The top five genres were in order: Crime, Drama, War, Sci-Fi and Comedy.
The biggest world wide box office holder of the Top 100 IMDB movies would be The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King which according to BoxOfficeMojo made $1,119,900,000. However for just the American release then the top movie would be The Dark Knight which made $533,316,061.
The majority of films in the Top 100 are American followed by British films. The Italians had a bunch with their spaghetti westerns. The highest ranked foreign film is The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly which was made by film companies based in Italy, Spain and West Germany but targeted towards American audiences. The highest ranked “purest” foreign film would have to be Japan’s Seven Samurai and Brazil’s City of God which rank very close to each other and are constantly shifting as to who is ranked higher.
Since the ranking system has only been around for a small amount of time newer movies are favored over older flicks. Yet there are some older movies that even though they haven’t been around for decades they have still soared into the Top 100 just by their merits alone. The earliest movie is in IMDB Top 100 is Metropolis which was released in 1927.
As you can see the 90s was the decade that produced the most Top 100 movies although that might be because the most active Internet users grew up in the 90s. The year with the most Top 100 movies is 1994 with five movies but more surprising was 1957 which had four:
and 1994 these were released:
The directors in the Top 100 were not too surprising: Martin Scorsese and
Sergio Leone both had four each while Alfred Hitchcock , Billy Wilder , Christopher Nolan had five each with the winner Stanley Kubrick getting six movies:
Movie length is a relative thing. The theatrical release of Apocalypse Now was 153 min yet the redux version is 202 min. So for the shortest and longest films I used the time of the theatrical release. The shortest movie in the Top 100 is Chaplin’s Modern Times (1931) at 87min and the longest is Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984) which is 229 min or 3hrs and 49min. The average time of all 100 movies is 133 min or 2hrs and 13min.
There are a few big franchies that dominate the IMDB Top 100: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Dark Knight Trilogy and The Godfather series . This makes for some interesting mentions. For example Kenny Baker who plays R2D2 is one of the top actors as in addition to the Star Wars films he also had a part in Amadeus. So I used a point system where I’ve counted the franchise roles as one.
So Alec Guinness who was in the Star Wars films was also in The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia so I gave him three points. Charles Chaplin was in three movies. Danny Aiello is the go to guy for mafia movies. James Earl Jones’s voice work gets him in the top with his work in Star Wars and the Lion King but he was also in Dr. Strangelove so three point for him. So keeping the franchises in mind the most mentioned actors in the IMDB Top 100 are:
Jack Nicholson 4pts:
Morgan Freeman 4pts:
Tom Hanks 4pts
Robert De Niro 5pts
Once again because of the franchises certain writers get more points. J.R.R. Tolkien gets a mention but a more impressive author would be Stephen King whose books made these Top 100 movies:
Tarantino, Sergio Leone , Chaplin Francis Ford Coppola all had three films where they were the primary writers. George Lucas has more with his Star Wars trilogy as well as writing Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Billy Wilder ties as the winner with five movie writing credits in the Top 100:
The Nolan Brothers also have five movie writing credits in the Top 100 with:
When I first started out on this I though Clint Eastwood would be the top mentioned person as a highly respected actor and director but he only had a few points. So when giving points for acting, writing and directing then the most points for the Top 100 films of IMDB would be Charlie Chaplin for writing, directing and then staring in these three Top 100 films:
|Fem-Porn||Dominatrix Interview||7 Kinkiest films of all time||Enlisting||FIGHT|