So then. Toru Hashimoto. The man makes my face hurt. Seriously, it’s a genuine physical reaction every time I see him on TV or in the newspapers or on the internet or in my dreams and still waking nightmares smiling with his smug self-obsessed areshole of a face with the same blissfully ignorant grin you see on the face of a toddler who’s just taken a crap in the middle of the living room carpet and is now pointing at it with witless pride and expecting congratulations because he’s made the entire house stink of shit, and he did it all by himself.
Friday, 31 May 2013
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Monday, 27 May 2013
Despite this blog being relatively Japan-light over the past few months, I still get far more hits from people I assume are here for the Japan stuff than the books, or the cakes, or the vague reminiscences and semi-amusing anecdotage. That’s not a complaint at all, but it does mean that I think this recent post by regular commenter Pep over at Two Dudes in an Attic might be of interest to what few of you pass for my readership, and I recommend having a look –
Friday, 24 May 2013
3. The Third Law
I was in Hong Kong not so long ago for a friend’s wedding. I know him from uni and a few other folks had flown out from various points around the globe. It was something of a mini-reunion and was great to catch up with them all again. It was also nice to be able to walk into Marks and Spencer and buy a slightly disappointing plastic-wrapped prawn sandwich, then complain stridently about it in English. Simple pleasures.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Adrian Barnes, 2012
Tone and style are perhaps the most important aspects of any work of literature written primarily to be enjoyed. They can make it fly or kill it stone dead. They are also the most hard to define aspects, the most subjective, the most personal. I think that while it is sometimes possible to definitively say, ‘This is good writing,’ or, ‘This is bad,’ in the majority of instances it all hinges around personal taste.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Friday, 17 May 2013
2. You take me 今すぐ
Neither my brother nor I speak a word of Korean. Well, we managed to eventually get ‘thank you’ and had a phrasebook that we utilized principally by waving it around ostentatiously in the hope that someone nearby with some English ability would take pity on us and help out. But by and large we fell back on the tried and tested Brit Abroad methodology of waving, pointing, and talking in English VERY. LOUDLY. AND. SLOWLY. When in Rome, eh?
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Kazuo Ishiguro, 1986
I did English Lit. for A-level (High School, for my non-Commonwealth friends). I may have mentioned this before. Every so often they’ll try to refresh the curriculum by including a book or two that wasn’t written by a dead white guy, so in addition to The Canterbury Tales, Othello, and Coriolanus, we also studied The Remains of the Day.
Monday, 13 May 2013
Friday, 10 May 2013
1. Lukewarm in Ulsan
My first spell in Japan coincided with the the Japan/Korea Football World Cup. That was fun. England’s training camp was on this Bond-villain island lair somewhere, in keeping with their friendly and approachable image, but Ireland’s was in some rural backwater in western Japan, so I tagged along with a couple of Irish mates to see their team train and play a practice match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Jon Courtenay Grimwood, 2013
So for all that I was patting myself on the back about getting the references (well, a reference) last time out, it took me a worryingly long time to realize that this was pretty much Hamlet with werewolves.
Monday, 6 May 2013
Vol.5: Herogasm, Vol. 6: The Self-PreservationSociety
Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, 2009-2010
Friday, 3 May 2013
2. Achievement Unlocked
Americans, they know how to do a revolution properly. Well, almost. Even theirs wouldn’t have taken without considerable help from the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys (how soon we forget). Still, given the choice between national origin myths – the British desire for secret privilege granted by right of birth and the American kicking against authority and repression – and I know which I would choose.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
“The number of teachers hired for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program would be doubled in three years...”
As the old saying goes, “Quality not something something I forget the rest fuck it let’s just throw money at the problem.”