Sunday, December 05, 2004

Now, I love Bono as much as the next guy...

...but news.bbc.com has the headline "Bono pledges to spend the rest of his life fighting poverty." Aren't we going a bit overboard? I mean that's cool and everything, I dunno, I know he will. But that particular headline made me do a double-take to make sure I wasn't reading the Onion, as it would have worked there word for word. I would be very pleased if they made that one of their little side headlines this week.

This has been a slow weekend. I found out the NOVA teachers are ditching me for my proposed trip to Osaka on friday, leaving me going alone, though I will meet up with Vanv there. Jackie and Alison and Tricia went to Takamatsu to take their language test. Pat went to Osaka on personal business. I could have gone out with the Novas at least last night, it was Drew's birthday. But I didn't feel like biking to an Izakaya through a massive thunderstorm to spend a lot of money drinking with a group of peole that I don't really feel comfortable with. So I basically just sat in my apartment two nights in a row feeling vaguely sorry for meself and watching movies - Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, JFK, Blade II, Patton. It was a productive movie weekend.

Oh, incidentally, I gave Jackie the URL to this blog. May she never use it for evil. I don't think I have written anything in here that would compromise me if anyone in Niihama read it, but ya never know, I've got to be close to 100 pages now.

There is vague talk of me getting drafted to cook at Alison's tonight after they get back from Takamatsu. How did I fall in with a crowd of 30-something western women as my stalwart comrades out here?

That was way cool to drive a boat the other day. I am still excited about it.

I really liked Patton and JFK. I think I am happy I am finally indulging a latent love of too-long historical epics which are too perfect to be real life and yet not wacky enough to be garbage. It's like its own art form. Lawrence of Arabia falls into this genre as well. What should I watch next?

Blade 2 was goofy. I guess I liked it. I am looking forward to the third one.

I want to see Closer. It's about love and lies and sex and natalie portman dressed scantily. And it is being praised above all for its excellently written dialogue, a particular weakness of mine. Natalie Portman in a G-string lying to her lover about sex eloquently? I mean, come on.

They play annoying christmas music in all public places in Japan, too.

It's more or less just bad renditions of 1950's bing crosby style christmas songs, with synthesizers. Did I spell that right? Christmas in Japan is like Valentines Day, it's a date holiday. I expect to spend mine in my room playing Metal Gear Solid 3.

Speaking of which, I can't believe I never noticed this, but the female lead in that game is named Eva. Isn't it about time Snake was paired with Eve? This is so the creation myth, I love it, Kojima is so wonderful. I suspect, too, that it's going to present a sort of heretical creation myth, where we are to identify with the serpent. The real enemy will be the powers that be.

I liked that in Patton he was obsessed with history and the past, to the extent that his enemies could predict his movements because, I mean, "The greeks went into italy through syracuse, and so will he." And he does.

I also love that even though they know, it doesn't matter.

And I love the bit at the end in the german base, where they are all like "We will all be destroyed." and the Patton specialist is like "And so will he. When he sees that there is no more war, the peace will kill him." and tosses the portrait into the fire. Wonderful.

"History is a nightmare I am trying to wake up from." Does this mean steven is trying to escape all that has come before, and in so doing exist in a present detached from the past, essentially starting over? OR, does it mean that the very notion of history, the idea that actions are eternal, is a nightmare? That if he had his way, Chaos would reign and no moment would be connected to the one that came before or the one that came after? They are almost two opposite things, in the first reading he relishes the chance to write a new history.

If Patton or Alexandar or Napolean or Augustus had been born on January 22 1983, what would they be doing right now? Who would they be with? How would they be seen?

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is an old Miyazaki anime. I recommend it. I can't understand why I like him so much, his films are so innocent and lovely, no fire and brimstone to be seen, his heroine (always a heroine) fights with a will to peace under all circumstances and usually overcomes. But I was really just happy at the end of Nausicaa. It seems like it should lack depth, like its something I should normally scorn as childish, like sports movies or the news, but instead it inspires me.

I am one day going to move here and buy a boat and spend all of my time sitting on the inland sea, watching planes land just beyond me or fishing or drinking or carousing with the first japanese girl I meet that actually has something to say in addition to a deceptively lunatic libido.

If I hate being alone so much, why do I keep myself alone? It doesn't make sense.

I eat too much.

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