Me: Can we do a quiz about noise?

Japan: Noise? Yeah sure. Can i be the quiz master?

Me: You?

Japan: Yeah. You’re always asking the questions. I want a go.

Me: Erm, okay.

Japan: Right. First question. Is it acceptable for children to make a noise?

Me: Well, yes. They’re kids.

Japan: No, that’s incorrect. Children should be quiet especially when in groups and when outside.

Me: But children make noise. Making noise is what they do. It’s one of the few things children can do to high level of competency.

Japan: Next question. If you went to a convenience store or electronic goods shop would it be ok for the people who work there to continuously shout unnecessary greetings and play overly loud cutsie jingles for no discernible reason whatsoever?

Me: No, that would not be ok. That would be really annoying.

Japan: No, that’s also incorrect. It’s no problem at all.

Me: But if that happened all the time then i’d probably avoid those places.

Japan: Next question! Is it socially acceptable for politically far-right, narrow-minded fucktavists to drive around a city centre on a nice Sunday afternoon in an old bus playing nationalist songs and speeches at ear bleeding xenophobic levels of idiocy?

Me: Well, no. Never. It’s 2013. How could that possibly be okay?

Japan: Wrong again. That’s fine apparently.

Me: But –

Japan: Next question! Would it be okay or not okay to play a musical instrument in your own flat?

Me: Well, of course that would be okay.

Japan: No, no, no. You’re not doing very well are you? Musical instruments make lots of unnecessary noise that frustrates people, especially in my thin walled apartment blocks. If you like to play music you have to go to a park or stand under a bridge or pay to use a music practice room similar to the karaoke places.

Me: Hang on –

Japan: Next question! Would it be ok to own a dog?

Me: Well, yes.

Japan: Correct.

Me: Ooh, I got one right.

Japan: And would it be ok for that dog to bark?

Me: Well, yeah, I guess. Dogs bark, don’t they. It’s natural.

Japan: No sorry, wrong again. People should train their dogs not to bark and if they can’t do that they should keep the canine inside at all times.

Me: Inside at all times? What –

Japan: Next question! Is it acceptable for politicians to stand outside train station exits blaring dull political slogans into the peaceful mornings or do the same thing with a car and megaphone in the long lazy afternoons?

Me: Definitely not. That would be –

Japan: No, that one’s ok as well i’m afraid.

Me: Even with the current state of the political system?

Japan: Yeah, I know. Even though i’m one of the growing number of countries to have a democracy that has evolved/retarded to the point where it doesn’t matter who the electorate vote for everybody loses, this still remains a fine and dandy form of electioneering and self aggrandisement.

Me: So, dogs barking and kids playing and musical instruments harmonising are all bad.

Japan: That’s right.

Me: But excessive nationalistic and political sloganeering outside a shop that blasts out jingles is ok.

Japan: Yep.

Me: So is it socially acceptable to use a mobile phone?

Japan: Of course. I love mobile phones. I consume them by the million.

Me: So you can talk anywhere you want on a mobile phone?

Japan: Talk!? On a mobile phone? In public? What? What kind of rude and inconsiderate population do you think I have?

Me: I’m confused. What if –

Japan: You’re always confused.

Me: I’m not sure that’s entirely my fault.

Japan: …

Me: …?

Japan: You’ve failed the quiz by the way. You’re not very good at answering the questions are you?

Me: Can i do the questions next time?

Japan: Only if you do it quietly.


July 23, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


Me: Japan?

Japan: Yeah?

Me: What’s AKB48?

Japan: AKB48? They’re an all female pop act, dance troupe, music group.

Me: What kind of music do they make?

Japan: Sweet, sugary, pony-tailed, girl next-door, soft, bubble-gummy, feminine, cute, pop music.

Me: How old are they?

Japan: Well, teens and early twenties. What do you expect with that kind of musical genre?

Me: And they’ve been around for a while, right?

Japan: Yeah, since 2005.

Me: They seem quite popular too.

Japan: Erm, yeah, i’d say very popular. Huge. Massive. In 2011 they made 200 million dollars. They’re one of the all time most popular female pop music acts of all time. Ever. Anywhere. Forever.

Me: Right. So how many girls are in AKB48?

Japan: At the last count? Erm, eighty six.

Me: What?!

Japan: Yeah, something like that.

Me: Eighty six?

Japan: Yeah.

Me: Eighty? Six? But, why so many?

Japan: Well, so they can perform every day. They have concerts simultaneously in different cities.

Me: So, they exist in various places at once?

Japan: Right. And then they have a “festival” twice a year to decide who the most popular member is.

Me: A “festival”?

Japan: Yeah. The fans buy AKB48 CDs and in the CD there’s a voting sheet and you can vote for your favourite member.

Me: An election?

Japan: Right, a “festival”. Some fans buy multiple CDs so they can vote lots of times.

Me: And what does the winner get?

Japan: She gets to be the “leader” and stand in the middle of all the dancing and the singing and bubble gumming and the stuff. She can be the girl in middle of the girls next door.

Me: Like a cute dancing, singing, pink, terraced house?

Japan: Er, maybe. It’s all very emotional and thousands of people watch it live. They fill stadiums.

Me: And what happens if you aren’t deemed popular or leader like?

Japan: Well, once these girls have had enough of dancing around and singing and spending everyday looking cute they “graduate” AKB48.

Me: You mean “leave”?

Japan: Yeah, right, “graduate”. And then some new cutsie looking teenage girls will be “inaugurated”.

Me: You mean “start”?

Japan: Yeah, right, “inaugurated”.

Me: And who buys these CDs and votes in the elections?

Japan: “Festivals”?

Me: Yeah.

Japan: Erm, mainly teenage girls and middle-aged men.

Me: …?!

Japan: What’s wrong?

Me: Middle-aged men?

Japan: Well, yeah. What’s wrong with that? Don’t tell me that grown men who work full time jobs and living adult grown-up lives sometimes with families to sustain don’t enjoy paying exorbitant amounts of money to support cute, teenage girl, pop idol, musical dancing troupes in your country too? It can’t be unique to me, can it?

Me: …

Japan: Can it?

Me: Well, actually…

Japan: No way!

Me: Which mad genius is behind all this anyway?

Japan: Yasushi Akimoto.

Me: And has he ever done anything like this before?

Japan: In the 1980s he created Onyanko Club. It had 52 members and could possibly be described as, well, an all female pop act, dance troupe, music group.

Me: Amazing.

Japan: Really?

Me: Yeah, i mean, one man sets up a happy smiley dancey teen group with an almost uncountable number of short skirt wearing, girl next door members and then releases records half a dozen times a year and they have an election –

Japan: A festival.

Me: Every six months to decide who they should stand in the middle. This then continues until a girl quits –

Japan: Graduates.

Me: And is then replaced by another cute girl who starts –

Japan: Is inaugurated.

Me: And the whole process starts all over again. It’s never ending. They just keep singing and dancing and smiling and middle-aged men and teenage girls empty their pockets while a genius –

Japan: Yasushi Akimoto.

Me: Pulls the strings and pushes the buttons and counts his money whilst creating euphemisms for things in an attempt to make it sound less manufactured than it actually is.

Japan: Right.

Me: It sounds like a massive cult.

Japan: I beg your pardon!

Me: No, no. Cult. With an “L”. A massive cult.

Japan: Oh, right, yeah. That as well. A big cult. That’s what it is.

Me: A huge, cute, dancing cult.

Japan: AKB48. Cult.

July 3, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.