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チョット変な外国人の見方や現在の気になることについて語るブログ。  環境問題、社会問題、動物愛護、雪板道、ベジタリアン、などのオタクの話題が多い。ご注意ください。
by anti-bling
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Living as I do as a semi-recluse at the base of the mountains in rural Japan, and given my tastes in music, there are not many chances for me to see concerts by bands I like. However, in the early spring, litters of piglets in the area began showing strange deformations on their backs. Slowly, these baby pigs sprouted wings, and by Golden Week those that didn’t have the wings cut off (along with their tails) took flight from their sties and pens. And I had a chance to see a band I’ve been in love with for a half-year or so.

A Japanese friend of mine who also enjoys punk rock turned me on to the Inner Terrestrials, an English ska/reggae/punk band I’d strangely never heard of before. I used to be a volunteer in university at the local uni radio station, and there I gained a healthy appetite in punk and ska. But over the years that genre didn’t seem to grow and mature, instead the music got progressively watered down, commercial, and pop-oriented until it became musical equivalent of a Jolt cola*.

But the Inner Terrestrials quickly became one of my all-time favorites. Not only had a more traditional, heavier reggae and old-school punk sound, the lyrics were also traditionally ‘punk’. Meaning they had a something to say beyond “Back that ass up”. **

Ladies, Gentlemen, and everyone else, “Noah’s Farce” by the Inner Terrestrials

Well the animals went out 2 by 2
They had no other choice, its what we made them do
The animals went out 2 by 2
Needs of the many versus those of the few

Then the animals went out 4 by 4
It meant profit for the rich and jobs for the poor
The animals went out 4 by 4
There’s no bird song in the city anymore

Then the animals went out 6 by 6
But nobody believes that they crossed the River Styx
The animals went out 6 by 6
Left us feeling empty surrounded by bricks

Then the animals went out 8 by 8
Nobody seemed to notice ‘till it was too late
The animals went out 8 by 8
We were offered the world and we rose to the bait

Then the animals went out 10 by 10
We knew it was all over but we couldn’t say when
The animals went out 10 by 10
Soon there will be none of us to remember them

If you live in a ‘developed country’ like me, then chances are that the majority of music you are exposed to is ‘pop’ music. And songs about species extinction, economic slavery, and military politics don’t usually make for easy listening. We don’t want our consciences challenged. Pop music is music specifically engineered to be sold to a mass audience. Everything, the packaging, the glossy photos of the manicured band members, and lyrical content are designed to appeal to the widest audience possible. So in most cases, you end up with the musical counterpart to say, Tommy Hilfinger. Blandly fashionable, predictable, and sedative. Something easily regurgitated at karaoke. Not exactly a profound expression of human experience.

Since the beginning, punk rock rebelled against such simple commercialized and commodified expressions. Punk was not always erudite nor poetic, or even profound, but it tried to express some truth, personal or political. Or at the very least call bullshit on the lies of perfect love and being sold through pop. That's why it sounded so fucking pissed off. 40 years of love songs will do that to some people.

Over the 30 some odd years since its noisy birth, punk has been a huge influence on pop culture and music. Here in Japan, you can see faint echoes of it in the faux ripped jeans, spikey haircuts, and some of the fast and aggressive music like Hi Standard and Elle Garden.
But divorced from its original message, punk is easily absorbed and sold as the very thing it once criticized, pop culture. Now we have the ‘Punk Spring’ concert with its significant ticket fee, shops selling $400  (sorry, $700)‘punk’ leather jackets, and bands singing about dolphins kissing under rainbows and other such mindless bullshit. Again, it is music and image specifically manipulated in order to make LOTS of money.

Not all ‘punk’ bands are overtly political in their lyrics (like the Queers’ “Ursula Finally Has Tits”), but all my favorite ones do. Even the kings of Pop-punk, NOFX sing about corrupt government and animal rights. The best punk bands force me to rethink my assumptions, challenge my views, or just remind me that I’m not a lone insane person for thinking there is more to life than conspicuous consumption.

Probably the first band to take and overtly political stance and try to fundamentally challenge the increasing commercialization of punk was Crass. Like many of the first punk bands, most of their music is rather hard on the ears, but their lyrics and activism changed punk forever. Japanese readers can find some more info here, and in the ‘Rebel Music’ issue of Spectator magazine.

They started a tradition in England of DIY, anarchist-inspired music and lifestyle. Over in the USA, a band called the Dead Kennedys stood out with witty, cutting commentary on American life, with a catchy hardcore sound. In a legendary display of punk irreverence, the band famously took the piss while performing an award ceremony for local San Francisco musical talent. Many music industry people in the audience, and the band cut short its hit song “Holiday in Cambodia” to perform a new song about the manufacturing of pop music, “Pull My Strings”.

“Is my cock big enough, is my brain small enough, for you to make me a star?”

    The current crown of political punk is probably best embodied by a Canadian band called Propagandhi, who I’ve gushed over before in a previous post where I interviewed them. My new favorite song by them attacks the use of professional sports as a vehicle for military recruitment, ‘Dear Coaches Corner’.

OK, so what about Japan? ‘Punk’ is popular enough to get its own section at the CD stores, but does it actually say anything? Are there any bands that have something important to say about the world? Are there any Japanese equivalents to Crass or DK? The Blue Hearts did admirably with songs like “Dance Number” and “Bakudan ga Okkochiru Toki”, but for fucks sakes, that was 26 years ago. Were you even born then? What about now? There are some bands (that you probably never heard of) like the Happening and Soul Flower Union, but is that it? Am i missing something? Or has Japan taken a style of music and only copied the fashion but ignored the substance?

I’m not saying all music, even punk, needs to be profound or politically challenging. Hell, I love a good party song, and still listen to Digital Underground. But music, like any art, it sure sucks farts when there’s only one option, and that's the one corporations decide is most likely to make money. Our world is facing unique problems our species has never seen before, global fuck-ups like worker exploitation, animal torture, unimaginable poverty, the destruction entire life-support system of the planet, and ridiculously skinny nut-hugging trousers. Shouldn’t as least some of our art address this?

Of yeah, in closing, I got to hang out with the Inner Terrestrials, talk about everything from gathering natural food to anarchist politics with an 80-year old Japanese granny, and of course finally got to see the show. The sound quality was shitty, but the Inner Terrestrials absolutely rocked Matsumoto. You need proof? Check it out here.

And if you know any Japanese bands that actually have something to say, e-mail me at love_letters_zine in the domain of yahoo dot jp.

Until next time, dear reader

*"all the sugar and twice the caffine!"

**of course this tirade isn’t just about punk, traditionally many styles of music were politically conscious, from old southern slave songs to folk, reggae, and hip-hop. Punk is just a convenient example. Plus, I’m a nerd.


日本の生活の中で、寂しい事の一つは、 好きなライブを見るチャンスがすくない事だ。 まあ、自分のライフスタイル・チョイスってものだろう。日本の山脈の梺の田舎に引きこもっているし、 好きな音楽も日本にあまり人気がないし...

バンド名は、 Inner Terrestrialsと呼ぶ。スカ/レゲエ/パンクのジャンル。 大学生のころ、大学のボランティア無線局で努め、パンクやスカのオタクになってしまった。だから、 日本人の友達が去年そのバンドを紹介したら、僕は驚いた。「なんでそんなにいいバンドをしらなかったの?」の気持で、オタクのプライドがちょっと失った(笑)

それで、Inner Terrestrialsをはじめて聞いたときに、とても驚いた。ポップなサウンドより、本格的なイギリスパンクやヘヴイーなレゲエのベースのコンビは僕にとって理想的な「大人パンク」だ。 そして、歌詞も伝統のパンクに従ってつよいメッセージがあった。

たとえば、Noah’s Farceって曲です(翻訳は吉田カオリさんより)

かれらは他に選択肢がなかった  人間が強いたことだった







ポップスは商品。 やっぱり、重い話(動物絶滅、経営的な奴隷制度、ミリタリズム 、等)は、なかなか商品にならないかもしれない。なるべく多くの人に買われるようにポップスの曲は大変エンジ二アリングされている。CDのパケージやメークされているバンド・メンバーのつやつやの写真からカラオケで吐き出せる歌詞まで、全ては多くの聴衆の興味にあうためにデザインされた(他の立場から見ると、レコード/マスコミ会社はいっぱんてきな聴衆の興味をわざと「作っている」だろう)。

僕はそういう簡単なファンタシーを聞きすぎて、もう飽きちゃった。 逆に、深い意味や真実の状態を表す芸に飢えちゃう。 人間の本音の気持や表現を経験したい。

    最初のパンクもそうだった。70年代のイギリスの主な音楽はファンタジー的なロックだった。なのに、実際、核戦争の恐ろしさと貧困が増えていた。パンクはそういう営利的な音楽屋文化と抵抗した。 まあ、パンクの中で、美しい音楽と上品てきな表現は割と少ないだろう。でも、「完璧の愛」や「ロックスター」という夢幻より私的な真実とくそたれの政治的な問題をはっきり叫ぶことを大事にした。


     パンクのうるさい生まれから30年間、そのパンクロックはポップミュシックに深い影響を与えたのだろう。この日本の若者の破れているジーパンとか、ワイルドな髪型とか、ハイスタンダードやElle Gardenの音楽とか等の流行の中で、パンクが響く。

     しかし、元の目的がなくしたら、パンクは逆説的にコマーシャルポップに簡単に利用されられる。 現代、「Punk Spring」というポップパンクのツアーもあるし、7万円の「パンクのジャケット」も買えるし、あほなラブソングを歌い続ける「パンク」バンドがまだまだ増えているし。ただ消費のために操られる音楽とイメージ。



もちろん、すべてのパンクバンドは深いメッセージ を持つ訳ではない。有名なThe Mistfitsはただホラーのテーマのバンドだった。でも、パンクの中で、そういうバンドは割と少ない。ポップパンクの王様たちのNOFXでも動物権利や政治問題について歌うのよ。(和歌詞もある)

    僕の気に入りのバンドは歌詞で自分の意見を挑んだり見直されたり、考えさせたりするバンドだ。 「消費生活によって自慰する気」より「世界問題を注目すべきだ」という感覚はたまに僕だけ感じてちょっとさみしいから、他の人もそ感じるという証拠を見ると、安心できる。(笑)

最初の本格的な「ポリティカル」(政治的、社会てきな問題に対する意味)パンクバンドはCrassだった。彼らの音楽はかなり聴きづらいけど、他のバンドより歌詞や活動の方が優れて、パンクの世界を変わってしまった。詳しくは、Spectatorって雑誌のRebel Music Jamboreeの版(Vol.12)やこちら

    Crassがイギリスで無権力主義(アナーキズム)やDIYの習慣を創めながら、アメリカでは他の伝説のバンドがはじまった。 The Dead Kenneysというバンドは名前だけで皮肉が限らなく、歌詞やライブも戯評たっぷりだった。一つの歴史上のライブは、サンフランシスコ市を提供されたバンドのプローモーションコンサートだった。聴衆の中に居る大手のレコード会社員の目の前で、Holiday in Cambodia(カンボジアの行楽)のヒットソングを途中で辞め、その代わりに”Pull My Strings”(私を操って)という新しい曲を演奏した。

「私のチンポが十分大きい? 私の脳が十分小さい?あなた(会社員達)が私をスターにするため...」 って歌詞 (笑)


    じゃ、日本は?CD屋さんの中で、「パンク」が別の部分を持つほど大きいなジャンルだね。でも、日本のバンドはどんなことについて歌うの? Crass, The Dead Kennedys, Conflict, Bad Religion, Operation Ivy等のような社会的なメッセージを伝えようとするパンクは?

まあ、ザ・ブルー・ハーツはそういう曲が会っただろうね。日本の曲の中で、「ダンス・ナンバー」や「爆弾が落っこちる時」が僕大好きだ。でも、そういう唄はもう26年前のものなんだ!いったい現在は?ソール・フラウアー・ユニオンThe Happeningってバンド達もう頑張っていけども、それだけ?


 「パンクはいつも強いメッセージを持つべきだ」というわけでもない。僕も踊りやすいパーティ用の音楽も大好きだ(Digital Undergroundは最高!)。 でも大手レコード会社やマスコミ会社がお金のためにみんなを聴かせる音楽の内容を勝手に決めたら、結果は相変わらずつまらないだろう。他の芸術もそうじゃない?

この地球は世界中的な深刻な問題がいっぱい。労働者の搾取。 人権問題。 動物に対する残酷。 この地球の生命維持装置の破壊。 きっちりズボンの流行。(笑)

ライブの話を戻ろう。結局その演奏は最高だった。音はきれいではなかったのに、Inner Terrestrials達はすごく楽しいライブをしてくれた。証拠はこちら

love_letters_zine アット yahoo ドット jp まで

# by anti-bling | 2010-06-29 13:30
仏が知らぬ/Ignorance is Bliss
How are you all doing out there? Winter is finished, and now that snowboarding season is almost done, i have sufficient time and boredom to go and post some words.

Recently, my girlfriend and i had a bit for friction when talking about society and stuff. In my mind, i was trying to explain to her some of the problems i worry about in this world (and specifically Japan), but to her, it sounded like a total negation of her life. So she got pretty upset and defensive, and it ended in tears.

These views (views like trying to reduce the amount of suffering/violence my life is responsible for) are pretty important to me. If its not ridiculously contradictory for my to make my girlfriend cry because i'm trying to "cause less suffering". But have shaped the way i live, and will continue to do so. If we can't come to an understanding, then it will become hard to communicate in the future. So i'm trying to think of different ways of talking about these subjects that won't be so... shocking or scary.

I've been following a story for a while that is relevant to Japan. Whaling. Its not a popular topic very unpopular over here. for many of the same reasons that my views made my girlfriend feel bad.

There are two main groups trying to prevent whaling and overfishing, Greenpeace and the infamous Sea Shepherd Society. The Sea Shepherd Society started when a member of Greenpeace became frustrated with the lack of progress being made in saving the oceans. Greenpeace has done a lot to stop whaling, but mostly through lobbying and protest. They also try to save animals by placing themselves between the harpoon and the animal, but they never touch the hunters.

Sea Shepherd is different. They will do anything possible to stop the hunt, such as cut nets, damage the boats, or throw stink bombs on the whaling vessels. Anything except actually harm the hunters.

Both groups have different ideas on how to save whales. And in Japan, they look like criminals. they are frequently referred to as 'Eco-Terrorists'. Which is a bit of a misnomer. The industries that are destroying the life in the oceans could also be called 'terrorists'.
But that requires knowing that our oceans are in serious trouble. Large fish stocks like tuna and cod have been so overfished that numbers are down 90% from 50 years ago. Which is severely fucked up. Is there anybody that thinks we can continue to keep consuming fish like this? All fish have a special place in a healthy ocean, and their loss is not just a loss for humans, but the whole ecosystem. This is the same situation that happened with commercial whaling in the past, which is why so many people are working to stop whaling.

But Japan has a long history with fish and whale. Japan's culture, and the very idea of being Japanese are tied to food, a main one being fish. So Japan naturally feels attacked when other countries talk about the problems of taking to many fish and whales from the oceans, or from how they kill dolphins.

Japan is eating more fish now than any other time in her history. Japan consumes around 30% of the world's fish catch. And it is widely known that the 'research whaling' is a joke, and the whales are being caught for consumption, even though there is not much demand.

Many people think (and i agree) that the situation is serious. The oceans need to be saved now before its too late. Humans have been too greedy, and although there have been many, many attempts to save the oceans through legal means, it continues to get worse. Which is why groups like the Sea Shepherd Society have stopped waiting and are stopping the destruction themselves. And they get results. This year, the Japanese whalers only caught half their quota.

And many Japanese people are angry at this. And naturally, they get defensive. Movies like 'The Cove' and protests over whaling are seen as attacks on their culture.

But fuck it. Before the protests there has been lots of attempt to educate and make people aware of the problem. These 'attacks' are actions of people who are desperate, because more peaceful methods have failed. Seriously, when we have taken over 90% of the tuna in the ocean, at what point do you say "enough is enough"?

But back to my own situation. I can understand the feeling of negation my girlfriend feels, because i had a similar reaction as i came to understand that our lives in this technological, efficient, consumer society depend, to a large degree, on exploitation and violence.

Of course, nobody wants to believe that. We want to believe that the sushi we eat comes from a healthy ocean full of fish. that the clothes we wear are made by happy, well-fed people. That the paper and wood we use comes from vibrant forests. And all our garbage and pollution? Well, we don't want to know where that goes. We are content to keep living the way we do, even when small pockets of reality appear on TV or in the newspaper. And to be honest, its not like the media is keeping us well-informed, especially true in Japan.

This is what is meant by the term "Ignorance is bliss". We are happier when we don't know the negative effects of out actions.

But that means that if we are ignoring the outcomes of our actions, then someone else is suffering for our happiness. Someone else pays the price because we don't know.

And if you do happen to find out how much your life hurts someone or something else, its not a good feeling. Some people deny it, or justify the actions. Some people just say 'C'est la vie" and try to forget. And some try to take responsibility and change their lives. This last one is what i hope most reasonable people would do.

But how does one live in a society that creates so much destruction and suffering? This is a hard question, one that my conscience keeps asking me (and the main reason for writing this blog. It changes as i learn more, and the answer is different for each person's circumstances.

I'm quite fond of my girlfriend. I want to continue being her boyfriend, and i want to be able to answer these questions together, but first i have to find a good way of asking the questions.

皆さん、お元気ですか? 春はいよいよきたみたい。スノーボード・シーズンが終わっているにつれて、僕の自由時間や退屈さが増えている。 やっぱり、ブログを書く期間だね。


僕にとっては、ずっとまえからいろいろなことを学んだり、考えたり、問い詰めたりした。だから、「なるべく悪い影響しないように」って主義に従って生きようとしている (なのに、それについてに話したら彼女を泣かせるのは大矛盾だろうね)。  でも、今まで習った生活を大事にしているから、彼女が解ってほしいです。 恋人同士のコミュニケーションもとても大切打と思う。未来そういう話はきっとおこるから、僕たちが冷静に解り合えるようにどうやって話せばいいか、今悩んでいるのです。


日本の現代話題の一つは「捕鯨」ですね。日本には、捕鯨に話すのは難しいだ。 そのことについて、日本は海外の声からよく批判されているいて、彼女の気持ちと似てるものかも。

主な反捕鯨活動団体は二つです。 一つは、グリーンピースと言われています。グリーンピースを使われている作戦が様々だが、多くのは「教育」、[ロビー活動],と「直接抗議」です。

もう一つは悪名高いのシー・シェパード・ソサイエティというグロープです。 シーシェパードを成立した人は、元々グリーンピースのメンバーだが、グリーンピースの海洋の救い方が無効率打と思い、もっと「直接」のやり方を始めた。 例えば、その「直接行動」というやりかたは、網を切ることとか、捕鯨船が狩れないようにダメージを与えることとか、悪臭のものを捕鯨船に投げる等です(でも、人間に対する暴力はしない)。

上記の二つの活動団体は、どうやってクジラや海洋生物を救うか、違う意見がある。 そして、両方は日本では犯人に見なされ、「エコテロリスト」とよく呼ばれている。でも、その言葉はあまり適用ではないと思う。 
エコ=ecology (生態、自然)、 テロリスト= terrorist (暴力的なテロを利用する人)。 


でも現代海洋の深刻な状態を知らないと、その立場にならないでしょうか。 現代の海洋は健康? 実は、50年前から今まで、タラ、マグロ等の大きい魚野種類は、90%減った。理由は、乱獲です。90%が減ったのに、世界漁獲の30%を消費している日本がこんな大量の魚を食べ続けられるだろうか? 魚やクジラは人間の物だけではなく、海洋生態のとても大事な役割があるだろう。
昔、捕鯨は同情だった。クジラは絶滅の危機だから、捕鯨は辞めた。 未来野子供のため、世界生態のため、そのグリーンペースやシー・シェパードという「エコテロリスト」は、同じ間違いは繰り返さないように勤めている。

日本は、昔からシーフードを食べていた。そういう魚やクジラを食べる習慣が今まで続き、「食文化」になった。日本文化の一つの場面。やっぱり、その食文化の批判が耳になったら、「日本」が否定されていると感じられるかもしれない。 僕の彼女と似てる気持ちかな。 
でも日本はそういう批判をよく抵抗している。 例えば、イルカのひどい狩り方を表すアカデミー賞が受けた「ザ・コーブ」ってドキュメンタリー映画の日本で上映はあまりしないし、国際捕鯨委員会野ルールを無視し、大西洋クロマグロ即時禁輸を従わないし...

現在の日本は史上の大量の魚を食べている。 世界最大の消費国で、全世界のマグロ生産量の30%を喰っている。 調査捕鯨は笑えるほどわかりやすい嘘だ。研究より、クジラは(あまり要求してないのに)食事のためにころされているだろう。

しかし、こういう行為はちょっと子供っぽくない? その問題はただの「異文化の違い」より、世界健康の価値感の違いと思う (いや、同じもんかな?)。  ある文化はひどい害したら、その文化は変わるしかできないだろう。 人間の考えもそうだと思わない?
だって、マグロの90%が消える限り、辞めるのは当たり前じゃない? 自分が許さないほどの削減はどこまで?

彼女の「否定」って感じが理解できる。 なぜなら、僕も社会や環境の勉強につれてだんだん不安になってきた。 今の幸せそうな技術があふれてる先進国の生活は、多くの暴力や搾取に頼っている。

もちろん、その言葉はきつい。 だれもそんなことを信じたくないだろう。 ぼくもそうさ。

「食べるお寿司は豊かな海からとれた」とか、「着る服は物不足が知らない人で作られた」とか、「利用する紙や木品は木が溢れている森から切った」とか「ゴミは安全に処理されている」等の理想を信じたいですね。 この嘘が破れるまで、生活を変化しないだろう。たまに、その嘘のヒビニューズ(現実)が入る。 ニューズをよく見ると、時々恐ろしい情報が出る。でも、メディア(特に日本のメディア)はそんなうっとうしいニューズをしらせない。

これは「仏は知らぬ」の意味です。 自分の行為の悪影響を知らなかったら、仏様と同じように幸せにくらせる。

つまり、自分の悪影響を見ないようにしたら、自分の幸せのために他人が苦しむ。 知らないから、他の人やの幸せを犠牲する。

でも、その悪影響がわかるようになったら、その原因の行為が楽しめないだろうね。 まあ、「自分が悪くないよ」と争う人もいるね。 「しょうがない」という言い訳で現実から逃げる人もいる。 でも、情けや責任をとる人はその行為をやめるか、被害にならないように行為を変わる。

人間歴史で、今みたいな事情ははじめて。核爆弾の恐れ。 地球温暖化。 完全的な自然破壊。 大規模動物畜産。 搾取工場。 貧富の差の増強。 こんな状態なら、どういう風に暮らせばいいか?

彼女のことがとても好き。  一緒に居るのはすごく楽しくて、僕が彼氏のままを許されたら嬉しいな。


# by anti-bling | 2010-04-15 11:00
Love Letters!
Love Lettersは、日本語と英語の手作り雑誌です。

Issue #1の前書きより



  Love letters might sound like some kind of romance-themed catalogue of fashions, make-up hints, sex tips and cocktail recipes for you to attract that special someone. To be honest, if I was privy to that kind of info, I don’t imagine I’d be utilizing my free time writing a zine only a handful of people will read, thank you very much.
  So alas, no. I’m not interested in capitalizing on your loneliness. I’ll leave that to the harlequin novel and porn industries.
  So what exactly is this magazine about? Actually, I haven’t figured that out myself. I have ideas, but no all-encompassing vision. If it ever continues past issue one, it might start to find a direction. But for now, it’s just a collection of thoughts from some pretty rad people.
  Really, it started as an idea a few months ago. I was faced with leaving Japan, a place I love (and sometimes hate), and wanted to say a few things that have been on my mind, for the past, oh, 10 years or so. Things I didn’t hear much from other magazines or media, but I think are important.
So the ‘love letters’ in this mag are not so much directed at a single someone, but rather to Japan, and the rest of the world.
  Each issue will revolve around a quote, this issue’s being the Gandhi quote on the cover. The more I think about that quote, the more truth I see in it. He may as well have been talking about doing the dishes as much as freeing India from British colonialism. But really, if you love this world, and don’t like what’s happening, then the change has to come from you. Expecting someone else to do it is just shirking responsibility. Not to mention tediously boring. And I’m pretty damn bored.
  So consiter this is your formal invitation to join us in creating something worthwhile.


The gentle anarchists cookbookのレシピ
Minimum Securityのマンガ
Yuka's Story

300円/300 yen

Propagandhi Interview!
An Organically Grown Family
Living Life in Community
Snowboarding and Global warming
The gentle anarchist's cookbook
Minimum Security Cartoon
WTF is Eco?
The Privatization of Miyashita Park
Yuka's Story
Reccommended Stimuli
and others

available at/販売者

Irregular Rythmn Asylum
模索舎 (Mosakusha)

Salon de Salon
Slice Tone Cafe
豆工房 (Mamekobo)
Sunny Place Cafe


All enquiries, articles, hate mail, vegetarian recipes, digitally manipulated photos of political and corporate leaders in compromising positions and other corrospondence are welcome

# by anti-bling | 2009-12-03 12:51
Nike and Skateboarding

Nike has been trying to get into skateboarding for a while, but until recently skateboarders rejected them each time. They didn't want an outside company with zero skateboard roots cashing in on their sport when it became popular.
Nike has a history of exploitation, from trying to use skateboard culture's coolness to market shoes, to treating workers in their sweatshops like shit, to using leather from cattle raised on decimated rainforest land.

Now Nike is privatizing Miyashita park in Tokyo to make a pay-to-play skatepark. They are using public land for corporate marketing. And kicking homeless people out of the park to do it.

Here is a translation i did of a declaration by a group fighting the privatization

A Joint Declaration Opposing the Reconstruction and Renaming of “Miyashita Nike Park”

On August 27th of 2009, the Head of Shibuya Ward and the CEO of Nike Japan privately held the signing ceremony and sale of Miyashita Park, and on September 1st published the completed estimated plans for the park. Although there was not much explanation for the project, it says that the park is to be reconstructed between Sept. 2009 and April 2010.
We oppose this plan on 4 main grounds.

1. Miyashita Park’s value as a public space will be stolen

The park’s name will be changed to ‘Miyashita Nike Park’, and a pay-to-play skateboard park, rock-climbing wall, and other features are to be constructed. If one includes the indoor soccer court already underway, a large part of the park will be established as a marketing promotion for Nike, and users of such sports facilities will most likely be potential customers for the corporation. Naturally, people such as the elderly who do not use such facilities but find value relaxing in parks will have that ‘public’ opportunity stolen from them, as corporate business interests are given priority.

2-Democratic procedure was ignored in a slipshod process

In the plans the extent of the contract was largely omitted, as well as the remodeling of the center of the park. Regardless, in this one year the government of Shibuya has not made public even a basic plan for the park, nor have they conducted a survey of the people’s opinion, and surprisingly the ward council did not even vote on the matter, but the Head of the Ward along with a group of council members executed the plan in top-down fashion. No public advertising or competitive bidding for the park was undertaken, and the details of how Nike Japan alone was chosen are been refused disclosure to the public.

3-Driving out those with no other home

Currently, around 30 people inhabit Miyashita Park, and the privatization of the park will rob them of their place of residence. Neither the CEO of Nike Japan nor the Mayor of Shibuya have adequately explained what will happen to these people, and the people in question are apprehensive about their situation.
With people losing their jobs and/or homes due to the global economic problems that began last year, the lower wards of Tokyo have seen a massive increase in the numbers of people who gather for emergency free meals. In spite of the inability of the public administration counters to respond to the situation, emergency free meals in various areas of the city were shut down, and a planned shut-out of around 40 people who spend their nights in the parking lot of city hall of Shibuya ward began in October of last year. It is under these kinds of circumstances that the financially and socially marginalized poor can make use of public space and find shelter. Driving the homeless from the park does not limit the problem to just those involved, but can endanger those who have lost their livelihood or homes.

4-Nike’s Privatization is typical of Globalization

What Nike Japan is doing in Miyashita Park ignores the local, social and ethical concerns, while turning a public space into a vehicle for unrestrained marketing. Within this deregulation, legitimate procedures such as council deliberation and public information are excluded while the removal of the poor is enforced. This movement to treat all public space under market principles, that is to say the movement to transform public space into markets and commodities, is not just happening in Miyashita Park, but is advancing throughout Japan and the rest of the world. Through the advancement of globalization, a handful of multinational corporations are restructuring society, and it is this kind of trend that we are opposed.

Oh Nike, can't you just make cool shoes without fucking people over?


そして、現在NIKE JAPANは公共的な場所を賞品を販売するための場所にしているんです。












# by anti-bling | 2009-10-28 18:06
new 'zine, and the Hosers

Well, after years of talking about it, i'm finally trying to get a small 'zine together. Its called 'Love Letters', and it will hopefully be finished in November.

I am pretty amazed by the submissions... There is so much talent hanging around that the mag is gonna look way better than i had originally envisioned. Photo essays, recipies, poetry, articles, book/CD/movie reviews, and the crown jewel, an interview with my favorite punk band ever, Propagandhi.

As a small taste of things to come, here is a small exerpt from the interview.

Translation by the inimitable Yuko (Thanks!)

I'll post again when the mag is ready to go

ずっとやりたいけど、始まる気のない状態が僕にとって多いです。 ジン(雑誌というmagazineのzineって意味) を作ろうと何年前から思っていたけど、やっと始まったんだ。Love Lettersというタイトルで、このブログと似てる話題を語るものです。とてもわくわくしてるね。 意外いい記事、写真、詩、リビュー等はのせる。友達と知り合いの中で、才能我多いです! 結構いい物になると思う。






Me: So, you guys came back finally, after ten years. Why did you decide to finally make it back?

Rod (Bass): Comeback kid was coming here and, and their manager asked us if we wanted to come and we thought… sounds good

Me: Cause I had heard that NOFX had asked you on their last tour to come over with you guys, but…

Rod: Well, it seems like more fun than NOFX

Me: How many times in Japan then is this for you?

Jord (Drums): Our third time

Me: Next one, number 3. Just to get it out of the way, what interview question do you get asked the most? Or do you dread the most?

Jord: “Are you still on Fat?”

Todd: Or “How’s the tour goin’?” “Why are you so handsome?”

Me: So today I think Earth Day is happening, like in Tokyo. And you guys, are obviously concerned about a lot of environmental things. I saw Chris last night has his…

Todd: Sea Shepherd Society…

Me: Sea Shepherd Society shirt, and he also had a little placard on his guitar there, do you know what that was about?
僕:そう シーシェパード・ソサエティーのT−シャツを着ていて、で、彼のギターにも小さなチラシ立ててあって。

Todd: Japanese hunting dolphins maybe?

Me: And you guys are all strict vegans. When was the last time a dead animal entered your pie-hole?

Jord: My pie-hole…

Todd: Uh, I ordered a vegetable samosa about 3 or 4 years ago, it had a fuckin’ flake of …

Me: Meat in it?

Todd: Yeah. Hideous.

Me: When did you first become though, vegan?

Todd: Oh, um…like 1992 or something? 93?
トッド:うーん・・・多分’92年頃から? ’93年?

Jord: I think I started experimenting with vegetarian stuff when I was 19, would have been ’89. And then over the next few years I slowly progressed to become more strict with it.

Me: OK. And Beav, are you in on that too?
僕:ok, ビーヴもベーガンですか?

Beav (Guitar): Yeah.

Me: How long?

Beav: I went vegetarian when I was 18, so around ’97, and vegan, not until I was 25, so that would be have been, 2004.

Me: OK. And this is for the Japanese kids that might have heard of anything about animal rights or vegetarianism, but what were some of your reasons for giving up meat?
僕:OK この質問は、ベジタリアニズムや動物保護について聞きかじった事がある日本の若い子たちの為に聞くんですけど、肉と食べないと決めた理由は何ですか?

Jord: I think for me uh, I read uh, ‘Diet for a Small Planet’, this book by Frances Moore Lappe which was really influential to me at the time. I think mainly out of moral concerns about not having anything against animals, was my first motivation. I had cats and dogs growing up an stuff like that, I wouldn’t eat them, so why would I want to eat a cow or… you know, anything else?


# by anti-bling | 2009-10-08 13:52
Gandhi is my homeboy, but my crew just got larger



# by anti-bling | 2009-08-26 20:58
The there is one thing i love more than Japanese hot springs, its FREE Japanese hot springs.

thanks to Naoki for showing me this gem up near Kamikochi. for directions, contact me directly, i will not betray this to just anyone.




この間、ナオキ君がこの上高地周辺の素敵な温泉紹介してくれた。 直接メールしてくれると、場所を教えるよ。
# by anti-bling | 2009-08-10 17:40
Bad News
Update- I went back to school and asked about the chick, but unfortunately he/she died the day after she was rescued.

最新ニューズ:  下記の小雀の話ですが、一昨日学校にいたとき、カゴは職委員室になかった。とても残念ですが、そも小雀が救われた日の次の日、死んでしまいましたそうです。
# by anti-bling | 2009-07-02 13:19
People are Weird

Hello everyone.

Thanks for dropping by.

I was kinda moved to write about something i saw today that struck me as odd.

I wouldn't have thought twice about it 10 or 15 years ago, but today it got me thinking, and i just want to let it out of my head on here.

Last night, we had a pretty good storm, lots of rain and wind and all that good stuff. Due to that tempest, when i came into the school that i visit once a week, there was a new member in the teacher's room.


A beautiful baby swallow.

Apparently, its nest had been blown down in the storm, and some students came across him (or her, i didn't get cozy enough to check) on their way to school.
All sorts of attention was paid to the visitor, a cage was found, water and bedding was provided, and everyone tried to make the lost chick as comfortable as possible.

Which is a great thing, it moves me to no end when i see people going out of their way to take care of other lives. Some students were worried about the chick being hungry, and in between classes caught a bug for food.

And even that was touching, they tried to feed the bug (alive) to the chick, but t was too big for its tiny beak. I told them that the bug had to be cut up, and one boy got some scissors. The poor bug was on his last leg, stressed from trying to be force-fed to a baby bird, and at last was between the blades of a pair of school scissors.

The boy, however, couldn't do it. He couldn't bring himself to close the scissors on the bug's thorax. It was strange to see a boy that couldn't kill a bug to feed a bird. I can't remember how many bugs were sacrificed to much worse fates by myself while fishing for trout.

I ended up taking the scissors and ending the poor insect's suffering, and tried to feed them (unsuccessfully) to the chick.

The whole time, i couldn't get something out of my head.

Here were adults and children, going out of their way to rescue one small life. Moreover, the boys couldn't even kill another life to feed the bird. The gentleness they displayed towards those creatures was squeezing on my tear-ducts.

But at lunch, everyone happily ate fish and sausage.

We sometimes meet some other species, and for cultural or humane reasons, treat them with extreme kindness.

But some lifeforms, for cultural or inhumane reasons, are the object of torture and cruelty.

One baby bird is treated as a guest at a school, while another is forcibly taken from its mother at birth, debeaked with a hot metal knife, crammed into battery cages where it can't lift a wing or lie down because its so crowded (which incidentally is why its debeaked; to keep it from killing its cage-mates when it goes crazy from being kept in unnaturally close quarters), fattened and fed antibiotics to keep it alive while being shat upon from hens in the cages above, and then hopefully killed cleanly before being immersed in boiling water to remove its feathers, and then eventually served at the same school as lunch.


If the children were taught this, would they question why some lives are treated better than others?

How about you?





変なことっては、自分だけそう思うかもしれない。実は、10、15年前なら僕でもきっと「当たり前のことだ」と考えたでしょうね。 でも今日、一日中ずっと気になって、言出したいと思う。










# by anti-bling | 2009-06-24 16:05
Winter Hibernation
Hows it going, eh?

Well, its been an eventful winter, even if there has been no snow. Lots of stuff has been happening, from eco events, to seeing amazing gigs, to onsens, to lots of snowboarding. But i just want to quickly write about one really cool experience i had for the first time.

Since the dawn of recorded time, skaters have gathered together for the ritual of assembling their own places to practice their particular brand of masochism. Although i have been skateboarding for close to 20 years now, i haven't had the experience to really participate in this ritual until this winter.

Hakuba, a ski resort village at the base of the Japanese Alps is home to some of the best snowboarding on the main island of Honshu. As such, snowboarders tend to congregate in places like this. Many snowboarders are not content to stand sideways on a board only in winter, but crave such activities year-round, and many of them sk8. But the nearest skateboard park is in Omachi. There are also 2 very small mini ramps hidden away indoors, but do to their size, they are almost too small to do anything on.

A friend of mine working at the Mominoki pub approached management with an ingenious plan. If management would provide money for the initial outlay for materials, he and his friends would build a proper indoor mini ramp. After it was done, they would hold a big party to open the ramp to the public, and all the money from the cover charge for the part would go to pay for the ramp and his salary.

So it was thus.

I was invited to help out with the building, and it was pretty damn cool, a lesson of DIY principles in action. Designs were found on the internet, tools were borrowed, materials purchased, and we made our own perfect, 3-foot mini.

My friend has experience with roofing and building, and the ram came to fruitation without a hitch. The party was also a great success. As for the ramp itself, i don't think i've ridden any better.

All it took was a small vision, a little cooperation, and hot damn, the sweetest 4-season ramp in Hakuba was born.

Thanks, Clyde

Here's a pic from the opening party




冬は、いろいろな面白いことがあリましたね。 エコイベントとか、温泉巡りとか、ライブ等が楽しめた。もちろん、スノーボードのいっぱい滑りました。






僕もランプ作りを手伝い、とてもDIY的な主義の実行を感じました。材料を買ったり、道具を借りたり、週末大工さんより物作り経験の少ないスケーターの協力で、ばっちりの93cmミニ・ランプが建てられました。 滑ったランプの中で、これは一番総滑りやすい気がします。その後、シーズン中の最楽パーティも行って、大成功って感じました。




# by anti-bling | 2009-03-31 21:24