Monster Summer shaping up in Japan.
Strange and dangerous times loom ahead: Shifting seismic
plates; Massive Fukushima clouds drifting downwind to
Tokyo; Markets crashing; Aircons welded eyes shut while
Enormous four-month Super-Scorching Heat Wave barbecues
poets, English teachers, sweating salaryslaves.
Yes. Foul weather on the horizon. Long malingering fault
corpses suddenly springing back to life under Safe and Clean
Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant. North American rubbing
Eurasian Plate the wrong way. Philipino making its big move
beneath Thousand Year Hamaoka nuclear plant. Whole god-
damned country slipping under nervous Pacific Plate.
Its early but already Japan Incorporateds filling shops with
energy-saving electric toilet seats; Thoughtful travel agencies
hurriedly cobble together Disaster Tours so frantic masses
of concerned volunteer can view bummed out evacuees up
close and personal. Hybrid cars clog narrow streets; Pachinko
parlors provide chain-smoking addicts with fewer balls.
Likewise, Sumo, already crippled by bungled Three Stooges
match-fixing cock-ups, bows to rapidly sinking media
numbers, throws in the towel for low-grossing backwater
bashos. And dont forget the forthcoming humongous
disaster rebuilding tax increases; Tons of political bs by
anguished authorities in Issay Miyake boiler suits;
plus the usual fake apologies from brillianteened corporate
a-holes, dont rock the boat cheerleading by smiley-faced NHK
talking heads, and loads of self-censored cowtowing by crack
members of Japans highly objective paper-trained Fifth Estate.
For now Im hanging in. Years Diet Coke lines our kitchen floor
plus sufficient ass wipe to service the Libyan army for a solid
month, not to mention cases of canned meatballs, cup ramen,
dingdongs, chocopuffs, frosted flakes, etc. Of course we could
get evacuated any minute, spend the next thirty years in a
crowded junior high school gymn waiting for just-in-time high
end temporary housing. But for now, were here. Embedded.
And we dont intend to leave. GAMMAN!!
Tokyo, Saturday, 04/30/11
My television is lying to me again.
No. I dont mean that well-scrubbed Jackal in a cheap suit
trying to sell me a naughahide massage chair.
Or those pink-fingered officials sporting tailor-made overalls
reassuring us how the latest nuclear disaster is only a
maximum seven, not nearly as bad as Chernobyl or having
a criminally insane boohoo drop an atom bomb on your
Im talking the beginning of The End. Bottomless sinkhole.
No matter how bad things get, theres always some evil rotten
little punk overloaded with fake enthusiasm telling us we
should hang in there, go shopping, look blindly ahead like a
flock of bleating sheep to a completely impossible big bright
If you really want to know whats wrong with the World, watch
the Chinese – a genuinely historical people relying more on
astrology and turtle shell cracks than ice-cold logic: China
can smell a loser from ten thousand miles.
The World has contracted such hideous watered-down Karma
the only news on tv comes from teary-eyed victims and zealous
ignorant speculators. No money is left except for bribes,
predator drones and adult beverages rather than radioactive
Of course any respectable regime knows how to use lies wisely:
fear porkies to stoke extreme terror, then calm legitimizing
fibs to make sure nobody panics and runs amok – whimpering
bug-eyed slaves totally dependent on police Good Shepherd
protective power structures.
Of all the screwups, suicidal mistakes and spastic strainers
our media-industrial complex bigwigs are famous for, losing
it in the middle of an enormous disaster is the most crippling
and destabilizing of all. Thats why when the Big One hits, you
can expect plenty of ritualistic bowing, blaming mysterious
outsiders and flabby gnomes in boiler suits running the wrong
way with a loose ball.
Tokyo, Sunday, 04/17/11
Time to dust off mouldy old
cherry blossom language,
trot out seasonal blabber -
wind, rainwater, impermanence,
When I walk along Ueno Park,
I see torch-faced pisstanks collapsed
on blue plastic sheeting,
paper-trained salarymen, viewing
ephemeral pink blossoms.
Along the reddening road to the
seep from awakened money-politic
sure sign spring is finally here.
Across the misty Middle East,
change of seasons starts with stream-
moonlit strongman feeds
lead sandwich to unarmed young buds,
normal spring-time dog and pony
Tokyo, Monday, 04/04/11
Early morning NHK replays show desperate efforts by
doomed volunteers to hose down smoldering atomic power
plants while serious officials measure radiation bolts
flashing from blankfaced evacuees using shiny microphone-
Theres a titswinging exhibition on Channel 609, Nova Crotch
View, or something, by young ladies with extremely large
breasts which at 5 a.m. will change to Pachinko Hi-lites so as
not to unduly deprave impressionable young minds just as
Channel 330 will switch from handsome bare-naked Koreans
engaging in various sex acts to gnarly old wise men sporting
curious religious head gear dispensing ancient Korean
homilies to tortured young people desperately searching for
All kidding aside – stoned loopy comments by Tokyos deranged
Governor (see foot-note), the bad Reagan/Bush Katrina jokes,
nuclear industry in heavy water, politicians in boiler suits
running around stirring up trouble and bothering people,
the Gary Snyder stuff –
Academic Footnote: After hallucinating how the East Japan
Great Earthquake was Gods revenge for Japans greedy
materialism, the 176-year-old fossil Governor was brutally
stomped by Japanese media; accused of everything from
terminal brain bubbles and stephalocockus dementia to
toxic Biblical over-stretch and severely reflexive neo-fascist
The wheels have come off todays Japan, nobody knowing how
long its going to last, government hacks babbling like used car
salesmen, the sense of doom, hardship, disappointment,
declining living standards, major airports clogged by the rich
and powerful, by corporate ex-pats, by terrified English
teachers, everybody fleeing the TOXIC CLOUD FROM THE
Despite cautionary words by bureaucrats, mass hoarding now
plagues Tokyo and surrounding suburbs. Convenience stores.
Supermarkets. Stinkys Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, next to
our condo. Shelves stripped bare of cup ramen, batteries,
curry beef fixins, candles, toilet paper, porn mags, rice cookies.
Japan Incorporated floods electronic media with feel-good fluff
depicting high school boohoos helping crippled old buggers up
steep stairs, reptilian salarymen slumped on Priority train
seats suddenly jerking awake and standing up for pregnant
women, kamikaze house-wives politely riding bicycles on safe
orderly streets, etc.
Fear Not! Help is on the way. The Ministry of Safety and
Unlimited Optimism has provided the following advice for
how to behave when an earthquake strikes:
Burn your clothes. Dont drink the water. Shower. Hide under
a turnip. Hoard two weeks food. Believe everything you hear
from the government. Beware of foreigners. Dont watch tv.
Tokyo, Wednesday, 03/23/11
One week after The Big One, its the little things that matter.
Force Nine earthquake, giant killer tsunami, crippled nuclear
plants overheating, exploding.
Home Shopping voice promises you will be speaking English
like a native speaker after only six weeks.
Bureaucrat fatcats appear in laborer uniforms promising to do
Viewers have grown weary of PET bottles hitting convenience
store floors, water pouring over sea walls, rubble stacks,
evacuees jammed inside junior high school classrooms,
geriatric rice farmers whose homes have been buried in mud.
Headline in a supermarket tabloid hypothesizes recent
disasters were caused by UFOs, thereby opening the door
to global peace and prosperity.
A financial voice advises using options to take advantage of the
Japan recovery operation.
So far efforts to cool the glowing nuclear plants have proven
futile. Massive injections of seawater, water dropped from
helicopters or shot from water cannons, prayers by Shinto
priests – nothing slows the inevitable Doomsday media warns
is fast approaching.
A Tokyo University experts says the situation is serious.
The CNN guest security analyst is stunned by the spent fuel
BBC nuclear doctors warn hair loss, organ failure, bowel and
testicular cancers further down the road.
Fairly or unfairly, disgruntled voices blame todays nuclear
problems on the treacherous rightwing dingbats who governed
Japan before the present administration. Of course the
hopelessly dishonest Old Guard plutocrats defend urban tax
trillions spent on pork barrel airports, bullet trains to nowhere,
and yahoo rice farmer subsidies as sensible and necessary.
Television voice promises you will look ten kilograms lighter.
Keio University expert says the situation is serious.
Why upgrade decrepit atomic reactors and build better
tsunami protection when re-electing a mob of braindead
political hacks hangs in the balance?
Tokyo, Thursday, 03/17/11
Another cold foggy morning, somewhere off the coast
of East Asia (actually my heavily mortgaged mansion in
downtown Kawaguchi), hellish sounds of intense gunfire,
broken Arab curses booming out my cable tv, mind still
hazy, reflexes slowed by: last nights sake? old age? bad
karma? long-running bummer depression? Expert from
Tokyo University calling from dark side of moon.
Who the Hell knows? Japanese political parties accusing
each other: money politics, sex with farm animals, black
money, pedophilia, dirty money, hidden cameras in train
station lavatories, money from unidentified sources -
we live in interesting times according to the one-time
ex-frontrunner. Giant yellow fireball but off session lows.
Ugly news out of North Africa; obligation to the shareholders
sustained automatic weapons fire. Ill take my response off
the air; stoned dictator refuses to leave fear of spreading
spiking up, uncertainty, unrest, whats got the markets
spooked - celebratory gunfire, worried about gotta protect
low-income against rising - Twitter, Facebook, no-fly zone.
Todai professor predicts Japan about to turn corner.
Send us your just arrived from China aboard a special.
Hes got to go but we will only act if NATO, if the U.N., if a
winner according to an expert emerges from Waseda University
following another fierce in-house investigation by the Japan
Sumo Association disintegrated into mindless Panda. Tweet
us. Send us your long-term vision. Im deeply sorry to the
people of Okinawa.
Tokyo, Thursday, 03/11/11
Wet winter day in Tokyo but things are heating up
in the oil kingdoms like original sin or Historys
leftovers: shaky sheiks, corny colonels, sinking
sultans taking on water where blue-eyed Lawrence
promised open-mouthed camel jockeys world-class
Mexican blow dryers plus a free car wash but they
held out for snowblowers and complementary
ice-skating lessons, always useful during Ramadan
or roiling sandstorms while watching Pink Flamingoes
especially the scene where George VI eats fresh dog
turds thereby displaying his outstanding respect for the
crap of filmmaking speaking of social media its not
every day disturbed young people bring down the regions
longest while reporters for Back Story cut the cheese
and President Half n Half insists this is not another
Florida Recount Iran Contra howling Wisconsin blow
back only living democracy genuine freedom real change
not spare change or changing your shorts not
jovial over-eager cancelled soap opera stars waving the flag
of real democracy impersonating actual leaders postmodern
copies of copies with wars crawling across our screens
24-7 in tsunamis of Breaking News Special Reports 25
minute backgrounders swarthy government goons grabbing
live cameras rapping i-reporters over the noggin – I love it!
I love it! Cant get enough.
Tokyo, Monday, 03/28/11
Cruising down to Kyoto, riding that Tokaido Line
Ancient Japan capital, where folks are really fine
Dear sweet Kyoto where Ill feel like a toff
A warm Kyoto welcome means please bugger off
Aint gonna get too drunk, aint gonna screw around
Maybe see a temple, visit some holy ground.
Now we get off at Kyoto Station, buy a geisha fan
Wheres Gary Snyder, that noisy little man?
Start tour at Gion, ogle the Miko-San
Then its Rioanji Temple, view the rocks and sand
Moss, trees, monks raking acres of sacred wavy gravel
First head of Czech Republic, was good old Vaclev Havel.
Over theres a French lady, with a terrific wiggly ass
Out on the street, sound trucks, are passing fascist gas
Saints say the stones symbolize the plight of modern man
Others see swimming tigers, or piles of garbage cans
Folks here in Kyoto are upright and full of mystical visions
Not like Tokyo, where squarehead bureaucrats make all
the key decisions.
Kyotos a tourist town, school girls and Korean firemen
Also Chinese anti-freeze toothpaste millionaires, maybe
nine or ten
Then its back to our hotel, visit the supper Viking
Watch gold drenched housewives pig out on what theyre liking
Turn on NHK, watch recipes for cooking Canadian lobster
Also rigged sumo, a volcano, and resorts run by gangs of
Kyoto, Monday, 02/07/11
Im sitting in meditation, memorizing my Koran,
not mixing meat and dairy, praying like a sonofabitch –
sweating, anxious, worrying about Salvation,
Enlightenment, the state of the world
because outside my head the Middles Easts in complete
chaos, snows piling above Niigata rooftops,
global economic mavens are hallucinating optimism
worse than Jim Jones Kool-aid.
Yes, Im looking for a way out. The Answer.
Something to solve our problems. Make the sun shine.
So I turn on the tv.
Except for the weather report and green energy promises
by Big Oil, little hope appears.
Only well-scrubbed experts chattering poverty,
wind sockets, giant sewers, transparency, auto racing,
democracy, developing markets.
Because when it comes to the Invisible,
we cant be too careful.
Thats why I regularly attend prayer breakfasts,
bow to the East five times a day,
look for my original face,
look for a little good in the worst of us.
Compulsive consumption isnt making us happy.
And when a celebrity atheist got cancer, I knew there
must be a God, just like when the Indonesian Tsunami
hit, I realized there is no God,
and the Kobe Earthquake proved there may or may not
be a God.
Should I wear a turban, orange robes, grow a beard,
have a wife, have four or five wives?
Maybe I should work hard and save my money.
Burn my money and join a monastery.
Join the army and kill for Jesus.
Dont go away. More in a moment
Tokyo, Tuesday, 02/01/11
At my advanced age Ive been everywhere, seen everything.
Ive seen lots of good people get wiped out: JFK MLK Gandhi
Rimbaud Lorca Aung San Suu Kyi Conan OBrian.
And Ive seen plenty of a-holes succeed: Rush Reagan W
Dahmler Hitler Coulter Stalin Leno OReilly Conan OBrian.
Ive seen empires rise: Greece Rome Excellence In Broadcasting
Inca Disney Choc Fulla Nuts Genghis Khan Toyota Trump.
And empires fall: Greece Rome Motown Soviets Enron Conrad
Black Third Reich Studebaker Gekko Trump.
Ive watched concepts catch on: Internet email GPS tomahawk
hydrogen bomb spittoon handi-wipes strawberry rollups.
And concepts flop: Beta Max Black September freedom fries
offshore drilling democracy Classic Coke public executions.
Yes Ive travelled the world, been to lots of great places:
London New York Vegreville Paris Mendocino Byron Bay
Big Sur Calgary Tower.
Also plenty of places I never want to see again:
London New York Scotland Tahiti Spain Edmonton Mexico
Hong Kong Banff Bangkok Kyushu Hamilton Ontario
Surugadai University Calgary Tower.
Its been a long ride. Rich in texture. Filled with pleasant
surprises: Bukowski sidewalk cafes egg rolls Pulp Fiction
baseball Sartre cappuccino Wichita Vortex Sutra.
Also unpleasant surprises: Greil Marcus WAL-MART instant
coffee Blackberrys Maxine Hong Kingston Sophia University.
I dont know whats next. But I hope my next incarnation is
as disappointing as this one.
Tokyo, Sunday, 01/23/11
Leaning into the bowl around two, then back to bed
for earpiece radio – the usual collection of early morning
crap: American Armed Forces: local giggle gals shrieking
in chipmunk; heres a young genius calling in from Jupiter;
boss jocks overshouting offkey J-pop. Why cant I sleep?
Of course it would be infinitely worse if I could understand
what these airheads are saying, but by not speaking the
local lingo Im at a real advantage.
Stateside news at the bottom of the hour: housing starts up,
more mindless shootings, good news for hemorrhoid sufferers.
NHK plays Benny Goodman, but I dont like tinny big band
jazz so I abandon ship and jump into zombie tv.
At this hour its also a complete waste. Only two porn channels
plus tons of infomercial schlock – magic mops, miracle
rejuvenation pills for drooly old buggers, car buff chamois rags.
Cowboy flicks. BBC and CNN background b.s. extolling Africas
So its back undercover and Armed Forces Radio. Two knuckle
exjocks talking College football joined by Coach Whoozit,
athyleptic dyerectum at K-Mart State the Southwests leading
forprofit Neanderthal just back from another flagwave Afghan
tour thankyou very much fur all u dew. God bless you, sir.
Maybe warm milk might help. Or look out the window at the
moon. The moon. Now theres a concept. Always good for a
cheap laugh rolling across the night sky like a cannon ball.
Instead I just lie here. Looking into the darkness. Listening
to pipes gurgle. Counting the days til my holidays start.
Tokyo, Tuesday, 01/11/11
Iraqis dress up in their Sunday best
Combat boots with a bullet-proof vest.
Predator drones from the Home of the Brave:
Afghans in the mortuary, Pakis in the grave.
Unemployed workers falling through the floor,
Spain and Portugal heading out the door.
Industrial jobs offshored to China,
No work in Detroit, none in Carolina.
Rich folks taxes cut another two years,
In Dubai its soccer and lashes for queers.
Bankers are dancing in Sydney and Dublin,
Shrimps on the barbie, champagnes abbubblin.
Internets loaded with blabber and porn,
Hybrids run on gasoline and corn.
Aussie PMs back on the rag,
Assange released the cat from the bag.
Mexican cartels peddling tasty marijuana,
Strawberry pickers eating barbecued iguana.
Asylum seekers crashed on Australian rocks,
Pictures at eleven, catch them on Fox.
Kim Jong Ils in a terrible huff,
South Koreans called his bluff.
Popes Christmas message set priests all aflutter,
When buggering altar boys, please use a rubber.
Somali pirates busy hijacking tankers,
Tea Party rallies attracting more wankers.
Riots in Greece, Americas failin,
Please stand by for President Palin.
Tokyo, Monday, 12/27/10
Its everywhere. In everything. Its in the air. In the water.
Its spreading. Creeping up the coast. Coming round the
mountain. Cruising down the river. Theres nuns in the discos.
Priests in the steambath. Yesterday an oil rig exploded brighter
than a super nova.
Theres earthquakes. Volcanoes. Waves of money crisscross
the Planet. And what about the altar boys? Whats happening
under the Parthenon, behind the Golden Buddha, on top of
Old Smokey? Theres hurricanes. Tsunami. Forestfires. Cease
fires. Midgets going postal. Minds going haywire.
Cash is King. Money talks. Yen. Euros. Derivatives. Swaps.
Guernica is bankrupt. French postmodern postcards titillate
Montana postcolonial claim-jumpers. Oil coats Peking Ducks.
Donald Duck. Goofy. Police close Times Square after millions
of millionaires o.d. on off-book accounting scams.
They give us deindustrialization and electric circuses. Dead
sea turtles. Structural unemployment. Tax hikes and pension
cuts. Sugary soft drinks. Bird flu. Tar balls. Racial profiling
and ethnic cleansing. Everythings topsy-turvy. Helter Skelter.
Plumbers are losing their homes. Chinas ready to blow.
Television scrambles my brain. I watch local news, national
news, CNN, BBC, NPR. Im hooked on Back Story, Hard Talk,
Opening Bell, Closing Bell. I cant wait for Breaking News, news
updates, Larry King, the latest disaster, scandal, carbombing,
extinction, celebrity death or total collapse.
Did I miss something? Has anything new happened? Another
war. Peace talks. A wild boar run amok. A house fire in rural
Hokkaido. How many died in the Congo? In Juarez? In the
Green Zone? On the Space Platform? Plutonium biological
fascism black helicopters fried chicken recalls, its everywhere
Tokyo, Tuesday, 05/04/10
I only like the white meat, fresh, not from a roll or frozen
then thawed. Colonel Harland Sanders was not a turkey
sandwich. He was a pioneer in the fastfood industry. On the
Chicago Commodities Exchange, investors can speculate in
Turkey Futures. The Colonel renamed Kentucky Fried
Chicken, KFC after fried became associated with clogged
arteries and fatal heart attacks.
Leftovers are OK, like after Thanksgiving Dinner at Buzz and
Sandys in Mendocino – sliced turkey breast with California
stuffing and cranberry sauce on fresh sourdough rye. Zen
Flash: I just realized – the pickle. Ukranian dill. Like my
mother used to make. Sliced lengthwise then piled up beside
the Main Event. The largest serving of take-out offered by
KFC is called the Barrel of Chicken.
Turkeys have been known to stare up at a rain storm until they
drown. Colonel Sanders put the fear of God into every young
rooster. I mean how would you like to have your head chopped
off, be hacked into chunks, then smothered in some secret
crap before being boiled in hot industrial oil?
Recently, Turkey was in the news because of the Armenian
Massacre, which should not be confused with the Hungarian
Rhapsody or the Blue Danube Waltz. After veteran American
pilots shot down barrels of rookie Japanese pilots in a critical
Pacific battle, it was called The Great Marianna Turkey Shoot.
Layers of turkey on a slice of white bread with a puddle of gravy
slopped on then heated is called a hot turkey sandwich.
Last thought, best thought: Its hard to find a turkey sandwich in
Tokyo because most Japanese dont like the smell.
Tokyo, Sunday, 04/18/10
Comparisons by Vatican crime boss, Cardinal Tony TOOTS
Gandolfo, equating media coverage of Mexican drug cartels to
anti-Semitism suffered by Irish altar boys during World War II,
drew immediate condemnation from angry rotten apple victims
and instant unforgiveness by outraged isolated spokes-
Holy Father, on your side are the people of God, Cardinal
Gandolfo told the Boss of Bosses, whom victims of drug cartel
sex abuse accuse of shuffling pedophile drug lords from parish
Dismissing the accusation as petty gossip and a vicious media
smear, Cardinal Gandolfo went on to say what a Great Guy
Pope Ratswinger really is, a Terrific Human Being, a saintly
courageous moral authority whose only fault may be an
excess of benevolence.
The ringing tribute at the start of Mass attended by dozens of
narco king-pins in St. Peters Square marked an unusual
departure from the Mexican drug cartels usual Easter Summit,
infusing the tradition-steeped religious ceremony with an air
of warm-hearted Las Vegas celebrity schmoozing.
Pope Ratswinger, who while serving as head of the Munich
drug cartel, was attacked by a broom-handle-wielding
Irish pedophile, praised Mexicos most-wanted drug lords for
supporting peace in the Middle East and offering forgiveness
to overzealous law authorities trying to enforce outdated child
Dressed in a pink silk jump suit and gold chains, Ratswinger
looked weary and appeared to be nodding off. But as he
listened to Gandolfos cheery soliloquy, a smile broke across
the pontiffs discombobulated face. Soul Brother No. 1 then
rose from his chair and equated accusations that Mexican
drug cartels were deeply involved in the Mexican drug trade
with the lynching of uppity Blacks in the American Dixiecrat
Tokyo, Tuesday, 04/06/10
Roaming around the double-cheese streets at dawn,
through my Radio Shack ipod I hear the sounds of Frank
Sinatra singing. March Madness finished, mud slides high-
fiving Tinsel Town, Frank and Dino crooning the Creator
up in Heaven.
Time present and time past, fabled Damned of nations
burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the indoor
plumbing singing on the steamboat deck. The yellow fog
that rubs its back in unshaven rooms in underwear, licked
its tongue into the corners of the coffin that passes through
lanes and streets, talked continuously seventy hours from
park to pad to Bellevue, then fell asleep under London Bridge.
America Ive given you all and now Im crossing Brooklyn Ferry
with that corpse you planted last year in your garden. I see
in you the true America, heir of insane demands and the
atomic bomb, of empty bottles, sandwich paper, cardboard
boxes and cigarette ends.
Turn your undying face to where the future, greater than all
the past, is screeching on two mind-wheels through the
brown fog of a winter dawn. America after all it is you and I
who are perfect, emotional life run by Time Magazine, with
a pocket full of currants, not merely a nation but a teeming
Nation of nations.
America illustrates birth, muscular comradeship, the triumph
of freedom and democracy. LSD Shakti-snake settles like gas
into Consciousness; I think we are in rats alley where the dead
men lost their bones. This Union welded in blood, betrayed by
a mad Senate which no longer sleeps with its wife, I grow old,
I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled.
Tokyo, Monday, 03/29/10
Economic globalization means making money everywhere
from everything off of everyone. Anything goes. Global
commerce never stops. As Wall Street opens in New York,
workers in Sydney close a busy day by watching paint dry
while French investors eagerly gather round a mechanic
changing a flat tire.
Now Im riding on a train to downtown Tokyo still thinking
about the human significance of the global economic order.
Naturally I cant help wishing for the inevitable bone ugly
bankruptcy followed by the total collapse of this highly
complex system not that Im a Marxist or a Nazi or part
of some arcane religious cult.
But before that happens we have to carefully consider the
constituents, world markets and transnational corporations,
international economic institutions like the IMF, the WTO
and Burger King, borderless and containerized shipping and
branding, the regional trading systems, monetized debt,
downsizing and transferring good jobs to lousy Third World
hell-holes then shipping back tons of useless crap to LA and
London where teenagers line up to buy ripped jeans and bags
of stupid hiphop junk.
Countries used to have their own national economies at least
I think they did, which lasted until the 1980s when Margaret
Thatcher and Ronald Reagan sat down to a working breakfast
of hot buttered scones and soft boiled eggs, now members of
Zimbabwes burgeoning middle class drive around with the
top down while American workers are getting fired left and
right like the former Communist China where leaders arrange
Tupperware parties and drive tanks over unarmed student
What really gets my goat is when some corporate flack
comes on CNBC Business News and starts blaming
government for economic instability or low growth or high
unemployment huge deficits phony balance sheets tainted
meat failing schools or unintended acceleration when all
along its been some crooked corporate dickwads, the so-
called invisible hand.
God knows politicians are bad enough and Neoliberalism
is rooted in the classical liberal, not conservatives who were
Tories, ideals of Adam Smith and Herbert Spencer who said
the fittest would naturally rise to the top like Texas where
the Mexican drug cartels preach the natural efficiency of
free market competition and also advocate the elimination
of barriers to imports.
I cant help wondering if semiotics is a real science or if our
Hopes For The Future are permanently dashed by the new
global economy which doesnt care about people, I know thats
a terribly leftist cliché but what else can you say, just like
when someones hairs not working or someones singing didnt
do it for Simon so he says youre off the show, which is not just
another form of Americanization imposed on the rest of the
world which is itself experiencing awful stresses because of
Tokyo, Tuesday, 03/16/10
We are the hollow men.
We are the salarymen,
fighting in fiery offices on carpets of heartfailure.
We are the stuffed men.
We are the company men,
leaning together on crowded commuter trains,
tombstone suits, beef gravy ties,
hairpieces filled with indigestion.
Shape without form,
we are the yes men,
quiet and meaningless as wind in dry grass,
betrayed by a mad Diet which no longer
sleeps with its wife.
This is the do-my-best land,
corporate toady on the currency,
we grope together and avoid speech:
frog jumps in
not with a bang but a whimper.
Tokyo, Sunday, 2/28/10
I speak to you this evening on a matter of grave
international concern, to be followed immediately
by the latest edition of Americas Funniest Home
Accidents. I dont have to tell you how serious
the survival of the human race is when it comes
to hilarious power tool mutilations, potentially
disastrous global warming, or young children
tragically involved in laughing out loud backyard
swimming pool drownings.
Our Planet is in crisis. We face a global catastrophe
brought on by stupid old buggers slipping in greasy
bathtubs or tumbling down concrete steps. Only
the most callous egoist could fail to see the side-
splitting humor of a frail home-owner suffering a
fatal heart attack while shoveling mounds of fresh-
fallen snow or keeling over from a toxic peanut allergy.
Earth is at the tipping point. We can no longer sit
idly by and watch as unsuspecting old bags try to
drink cups of scalding hot coffee, as clumsy teenagers
clownishly electrocute themselves on faulty hiphop
amplifiers, or as heavily armed suburbanites farcically
mistake loved ones for dangerous night-time burglars.
Everything is becoming unimaginably worse. We face
rising seas, disappearing species, children zanily choking
on chicken legs, knee-slapping scenes of quadriplegics
trapped in steamy bathrooms, seniors pricelessly falling
down in cluttered kitchens or lured into uproariously
funny reverse mortgage scams.
And so I urge you in the strongest possible terms. Stand
Up! Raise your voice! Tune in my latest documentary:
Assymetric Warfare In The Postmodern Age, to be followed
immediately by Americas Funniest Farm Machinery Accidents.
Tokyo, Saturday, 02/20/10
Ten seconds into the second decade; already weve got
crumbling beach front property, defective crotch rockets,
bishops dropping their pants. Every foul-up from the first
ten years, plus fresh howlers, strainers and boiling bare-
assed blunders just itching to appear.
Last time it was the squeaky clean trophy golfer screwing
around on his wife and kids – whole goddamned world
in a five alarm uproar. How many cocktail waitresses did
this steaming schwartza shag? Who were his Vegas hookers,
Florida sluts, London tarts? Because we dont just want what,
we demand names and numbers - the full frontal tabloid.
Twenty seconds into the second decade; life continues sliding
downhill, boobseoisie still rolling back the Enlightenment.
Trashomon – multiple stories of the same event - all wrong.
The Age of Disinformation. Massive Media with the jitters.
Windbags Speaking Pablum to Power.
Before that, the airplanes into the skyscraper thing, then
the non-existent WMDs, followed by Shock & Awe, Cheney,
and finally Wall Street hitting the iceberg. More startled gasps
than a braindead infomercial audience.
Followed of course by zero, nothing, no substantive anything;
just more mindless outbursts, deliberate misdirection, knee-
jerk patriotic grand-standing, but no insight higher than dumb
downed fishwrap analysis: theyre jealous of Disneyland; they
hate our freedom; it was only one rotten apple; the system
worked; an honest mistake.
Thirty seconds, and the hype keeps piling higher and deeper.
Whatever nobody dies, retires or gets crowned Lounge Lizard
of the Year, hes automatically awesome, a terrific human
being, an enormous talent, a terrible loss for humanity, an
absolute lock for sainthood. Already Pope Hare Trigger cant
wait to canonize Pius XII, arguably the biggest boohoo ever
to wear a pointed hat and splash around fistfuls of holy water.
Forty seconds into the second, and our demented no-fly global
terrorist police state is still accelerating on steroids. Satellite
snooping, improvised explosives, watch lists, burkhas, eaves-
dropping, Hamas, surgical strikes – the last man standing
versus an erratic wildswinging light-weight determined to put
the Champ on his back.
Fifty seconds into the second decade of the Third Millennium,
already everybodys looking for a way out. Christian Apocalypse
End Game True Believers pray their asses off begging for the
Second Coming. New Age Whole Food Juicers chant, meditate,
creatively imagine a happy healthy Gaia planet. Buddhists
head for the Void. Muslims head for Mecca. Mormons motor to
Salt Lake City.
One minute into the second, Rational Scientific Nonbelieving
Critical Thinkers condemn logical thoughts untimely collapse.
Incredulous Postmodern Sceptics diss metanarratives, replace
Liberalism, Marx, Capitalism with antifoundational Velveeta
irony. Chomsky pushes post-CNN syndicalist anarchy.
Hitchens joins the Anglican Church. Lou Dobbs hires an illegal
alien to cut the grass.
And so it goes. Meanwhile the economic recovery continues on
course, though sales of existing homes have slackened, irate
demonstrators demand love, sanity, joy to the world, and four
more Marines were blown up during Operation Donuthole
Tokyo, Thursday, 01/07/10
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Thats what Chicken Little shouted.
Stupid dumb bird.
Who wants to hear that crap?
Alarmist paranoid hysteric.
Go lay an egg you dumb cluck.
Nobody cares about your lunatic rantings.
We want cheese omelettes, fried chicken,
not chicken a la boohoo.
Tokyo, Tuesday, 12/15/09
It began with the shift from puka shells to unmanned
predator drones, then quickly snowballed as civilization
expanded westward, out past the airport towards the
new pumping station.
Businessmen followed, establishing public officials then
digging up inflated sewer lines for dead canary pineapple
Of course media jumped in, battling democracy, doing
their best to protect fortified billionaires from Detroit
upholstery revolutions, fighting against Dirty Dozen
Today the building blocks are gone, salty citizens replaced
by rubber-oared salary slaves, talk radio bamboozling
sponge panic trailer trash, the slapstick electronic Leviathan
growing and growing.
No its not like it didnt used to be. Spied on by Jason Bourne
surveillance satellites, the latest lobotomy WMDs, another
General Custer military adventure.
Then theres the constant blah blah blah, Kremlin cover-ups,
Mafioso dons always passing the Euro, Mary Poppins bubbly
optimism unplugging corporate constipation.
This morning between cable headlines and a diet infomercial
something tried to break through. A little bird? The voice of
Somewhere in a world far far away a light brighter than an
exploding star flashed then disappeared.
Tokyo, Thursday, 12/03/09
War On Terror got you down? Depressed by the vacuum
at the top? Feel like youre caught in the middle? So sit back.
Relax. Imagine yourself in a natural poetic setting. See your-
self taking your dog for a long leisurely stroll along a quiet
As you walk up this imaginary beach, you watch your non-
existent Rover bark at circling seabirds, gnaw chunks of
rotten driftwood, chase his dilapidated tail like some whirling
hyper-active retard. The same nightmare dead-vibe beach
you see every morning now that youve been downsized. The
same sad vegetative ocean from hell where your former cut-
throat company shipped your cushy job to India so some
backwater raghead could do the same work for one-tenth the
Anger runs deep. Stale sea air, rheumatic dampness, choking
dust, stinking doggy doo. Then the picnic daytrippers arrive
in their sensible sedans overbuilt SUVs rusty beaters gunrack
pickups, their rowdy badly-educated kids pouring onto your
unsuspecting beach lugging little red plastic pails pissing on
the turd-brown sand followed by their dumb fatso parents
dragging battered styrofoam beer coolers brimming with Bud
Lite baloney sandwiches chocolate donuts…all the ignorant
irritating crap you came here to get away from.
Bumbling bosses, bonehead politicians, CNBC Business News,
the broken social system – indifferent to everybody but the
filthy rich who hate any public policy to the left of Adolf Hitler.
The Enlightened tell us to transcend, forget the everyday world
of pain and suffering, move to the higher plane of Absolute
Nothingness, visualize imaginary beaches with nonexistent
Thats when the music starts. Full-volume boomboxes blasting
hiphop rap the complete Beatles catalogue while you try to
hear the ocean calling, attempt to commune with morning
breezes. Then the wall of sound gets interrupted by news
flashes Breaking News Live Action News, boxcars of mindless
dreck bringing us up-to-the-minute on the very latest South
Chipati war disaster, updating whats just gone wrong in
Lower Ubongo, which anchor failed rehab, who got caught
in bed beside a talking horse, which dimwit fashion model
turned up dead in a five star swimming pool after overdosing
So you realize theres no escape. You return to everyday reality.
Turn on CNBC Business News. Watch Maria and Bob celebrate
a 150 point rise on the DOW.
Tokyo, Thursday, 11/05/09
Its the latest in a long line of value meals.
Twice the normal cheese portion,
melted on top a huge all-beef patty drowned
in a ketchup tsunami.
O, I know what youre thinking. How could
a young Metis with an Indian mother and a
French-Canadian father, come off a trap-line
in northern Alberta and become a leading
architect when all the odds were stacked
Then theres National Public Radio. This
morning they had a lengthy discussion over
what brand each would drink when the President
invited a black Harvard professor and the cop
who arrested him for acting like an arrogant
blowhard to the White House for a beer.
I hope this doesnt mean the end of the Big Mac.
Because I really enjoy those two glop-covered
all-beef patties with lettuce mayonnaise and
a pickle stuffed inside a sesame seed bun
with a holster of string fries and a Zero Cola.
Theres never a good excuse for racism, especially
in these difficult times when everyone has to
account for every penny. Thats why Im really
glad to see works like the Iliad and the Odyssey
appearing on-line where the monetarily-challenged
can read them for free.
To be honest, I dont like ancient Greek poetry.
All that dull obscure classical stuff is really boring,
especially Shakespeare and Chaucer, who Ive
avoided since first year university.
Also, I dont actually like the new Double Cheese
burger. Its just too big, too much meat, and all that
yukky processed cheese bungs me up.
Tokyo, Thursday, 07/30/29
I was channel-surfing some stupid tv crap:
Home Shopping, K-1, CSI Detroit – cant
remember exactly: lesbian serial killer,
Bolivian corn holders, headbashing
mayhem – all good fun. Anyway money
markets are easing and banks are starting
Meanwhile rainy season is clouding up
again. Through half the winter then the spring:
black smoke in dead skies, royal jelly in capsules,
bulldozed bodies, Heidegger and the credit crunch.
I should get a smart phone, try to engage
the whole human being, pay close attention
to mercury, x-rays, gross miscalculation.
Maybe watch more reality tv, email my personal
story to I-Report.
But I dont. Because I dont wannabe just
another niche-specific mediated nerd. Another
Blodnik. Mr. Technoslot. The virtual co-author,
everyday hero You Tubing my own mental
breakdown, heart bypass, Reagan-style funeral
in real time to a global audience that loves and
cares about me as much as I love and care about
Because I want to be real. Authentic. Genuine.
I want to do real things in real time with real
people. I want to get up later and later, experience
the blues, contract a spiritual malady, smell live
flowers, feel a failure of will, an actual puppy, fear
and separation anxiety.
Because virtual reality isnt good enough. I feel like
I shouldnt watch cable news just to make fun of
corporate media. Shouldnt read the papers just
to see how bare-assed stupid the writers are.
Ive got to eat in bad restaurants, stay in second-rate
hotels, talk to homeless guys, listen to pop music
(some of it must be ok), have lunch with my students,
for the Actuality, the Authenticity of it, to keep
in touch, connected, see how the other half lives.
Busy. Busy. Busy. Thats me. A real person, in real
time, doing real things.
Tokyo, Tuesday, 06/23/09
Im doing all my best, giving 100%, trying as hard as I can
to find the real Japan.
Because I know somewhere beneath the transistors and bad
hairpieces lies genuine Nippon, the real thing,
ware ware authenticity just waiting to be discovered.
Somewhere under the mindless playstations, terrible television
and justintime production lurks the true Japan,
the deep rich culture Gary Snyder lured us into forty years
earlier – enlightened serene land of Zen mountain vegetables
tea gongs happy husbandmen resolutely working mystical
mistshrouded rice paddies.
Because I know behind the No masks hiding those dull frozen
exteriors inside of which lie dull frozen interiors, somewhere
resides genuine Japan,
sun rising over nondual one-pointed Be Here Now cosmic bliss.
No. Japan isnt just zombie salarymen grogging jammed
morning trains lurching along buttcovered sidewalks chilling
in front of imbecilic dorks shouting dumbass crap while
airhead yahoo gals giggle-shriek fake astonishment on totally
witless wide shows.
Japan isnt just the worlds worst political dirtbags sucking
nicotine teeth promising to do their best after getting elected
on the Im running for office because I want to be Prime
Japan is more. Much more.
The elusive frog jumps into silent pond – kerplunk Japan.
The Zen master keeps filling the chattering European
professors tea cup until it floods the tatami mats, Japan.
Snowcapped elegant Mount Fuji Japan of thundering
cataracts, cedar scented meditation temples, mind body spirit
harmoniously united with the one vast rolling on forever
Tokyo, Sunday, 05/31/09
I should be doing more than teaching English in Tokyo
and getting sloshed on Niigata sake. After all, how many
more chances have I got to really understand life, to make
a difference, to give back?
At my age I should be reading serious books, broadening
my perspective by visiting destination locations, pondering
the important questions. Not just sitting around watching
CSI Miami, shelling pistachios and cursing Wall Street
sonsofbitches for wrecking the economy.
At my age I should forget the bad memories of teaching
Political Science in Canadian universities – the filthy insane
theories that elected the religious right, my nasty miserable
colleagues, the stupid a-hole administrators, the sad two-
faced excuses for students. Time to forgive and forget.
Stop wishing those dickheads bad luck, hoping theyre in
unendurable pain, divorced, alienated from their children,
hosed out of their retirement money by Bernie Madoff and
At my age I should be mellowing out, kicking back. Forget
the flaming nightmare called the last 65 years. Accept the
myth theres a way out. Believe natural law and justice dont
operate in this Universe because even by following the wrong
path we can end up in the right place.
At my age I should forget about Barbara Bush Pope Benedict
Mylie Cyrus Plutonium and AIG. Having healthy respectable
personalities leading us isnt the be all and end all of intelligent
Amy Winehouse The Burma Generals Benjamin Netanyahu
Mel Gibson Marketing Ronald McDonald. Lets face it. Theres
plenty of highly destructive fools and idiots running around
out there. At 65 its time to stop worrying whos next to destroy
forty acres of rain forest, bomb a defenseless city, or launch
a frothing anti-Semitic tirade.
Tokyo, Sunday, 05/10/09
Let us go to drinking. You are penis of the pathway.
What is your purpose in coming to this country?
I am excitement. Can you tennis? We have four seasons
in this country. Also Ichiro, the rigged sumo and death
Please to understand our position. We are only the
smell island. Sony. Sushi. The prime minister is Aso.
I have cat alimony and fall off warehouse and had
operation. The day was not funny.
I was working at ramen shop making Kentucky fried
chicken with hot oil on right arm. Customer is very hard,
drink Singapore Sling and called ambulance.
He was participate in riot, my mother also with me
My mother is dangerous. She is drink sake and break
microwave. Manager is got angry. The anger was increased
in the bag. The accident was happen when I crossed
street with compound fracture. Beside air sickness and
breaking glass, I want a new bicycle.
On television, we had bubble economy. It was returned
to midget by short term. We are the Nikkei. Then Mr. Aso
was appeared. Everyone stand up and clap hands. In your
country, do you have the Aso? I want to be like money
manager. She looks like monkey or alien watching
Men wear soups and women wear dresses. I try not to
drink too much paint. I have played sausage since second
grade. We felt grapes by member in freckles.
Tokyo, Sunday, 04/26/09
Dow Jones in black with a Meinkampf look.
I shall never get you put together entirely,
Mouthpiece of the dead.
Disappointing earnings, declining fundamentals,
Its a double-whammy, the triple-witching hour.
Thirty years now I have labored,
Testing new lows, losses fully priced in.
Viciousness in the kitchen, the potatoes hiss,
Closing at afternoon lows.
Uncle, pants factory Fatso, millionaire,
Show me how to protect my wealth.
Take me on a flight to quality
With your Luftwaffe, and your neat mustache.
I smelt mud stench, heard a crusty rabble,
As investors digested toxic credit default swaps.
I need feed them nothing. I am the owner:
Highly-leveraged Panzer-man, blitzkrieg market
With a goddam baby screaming for a rate cut,
I ring the Closing Bell, drive a stake through your
hogwallow investment banker heart.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard,
Wheres the final bottom?
Tokyo, Tuesday, 04/14/09
I like listening to cheery optimistic talk no matter how bad
things are now or how awful they might be in the future. Thats
why I love stuff like CNBC Business News, which comes on
early in Tokyo when markets are closing in New York.
Even if the Dow drops 700 points theres always some bubbly
financial wizard telling Bob and Maria the good news is its not
as bad as analysts expected. Then another beamy guy comes
along and merrily explains how this is finally the bottom and
everythings just itching to bounce back. Followed, of course, by
Mr. Permanent Sunshine saying its alright to put your money
to work in that Big Name investment bank because theres simply
no way its going to fail.
Yessir. In these difficult times theres plenty of depressos out
there anxious to bum us out with their stale doom and gloom.
And thats why I watch things like Back Story on CNN. Who
needs more real news downers when you can enjoy your
valuable leisure time watching veteran cameramen mindlessly
film other veteran cameramen or crack reporters vacuously
interview other crack reporters. Or I-Report, where every
noodnik on the planet transponds in his incredible videocams
showing a cat licking its foot or some kid eating an ice cream
cone. Much better than hollow-eyed refugees, scattered body
parts or another Bernie Madoff victim story.
And if Im still feeling blue Ill walk to the Starbucks in down-
town Kawaguchi. Good old Fourbucks, where Im always greeted
by gallons of double-shot commercial enthusiasm, same as a
rich relative with a bad heart. Because theres nothing like a
dried-up banana muffin washed down with a steaming grande
latte to rekindle flagging spirits.
When I return home and turn on the tv, Japans also in a great
mood. Contrary to analysts expectations the Nikkei only lost
900 points. Government bureaucrats have cut the gross
unemployment rate by .01 percent and last year only thirty
thousand hard-working loyal citizens jumped in front of in-
coming commuter trains.
Tokyo, Monday, 03/16/09