Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

pessimism

September 16, 2014

i do believe the world is very beautiful.

it is filled with life and colors and patterns.

but i don’t understand why i am so ugly.

why i am poor and unloved.

i certainly don’t believe the rich deserve their beauty.

great anime part 2

June 29, 2014

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (翠星のガルガンティア Suisei no Garugantia?) has all the great anime archetype/cliches from cutsy/sexy pubesence to deep psycho-philosophical moral dilemmas and stunningly rich colors of scenic settings. also about why social darwinism is a bankrupt world view while handling the loss of spiritual guidance without falling into the typical solipistic nihilism of so much other anime.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ Kōdo Giasu: Hangyaku no Rurūshu?): from beginning to end, i was torn about how well this was made, and all the moral issues of serving a higher cause or just yourself, and the huge cast of likable characters versus the annoyingly childish high school antics and tear-jerking family drama emotional exploitation. so decide for yourself if the combination of explosive gunfights and screaming high school kids make it too abrasive to watch or if the elaborate psychological games and top-notch illustration put it in the classic anime category.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu?) has all the abrasive annoying adolescent escapades of so much other anime with the almost embarrassingly kinky perv references too, but builds a psycho-sci-fi realm of possibilities and circular twisted logic perhaps similar to ‘stein’s gate’ and ‘gantz’. actually the quirky characters, mundane high school life meeting warped realm of the fantastic, or even something about the combination of sophisticated and simple anime styles are all a bit reminiscent of stein’s gate, but then it seemingly gets really annoyingly derivative when it goes into repeating time loop mode for too many middle episodes repeating the same basic facts over and over again. in fact, suzumiya was based on light novels from 2003 (set to anime in 2006) while stein’s; gate came from a visual novel/game released in 2009 (with the anime not airing until 2011).

Samurai Champloo (サムライチャンプルー Samurai Chanpurū?) is from the same guys as cowboy bebop and has the same style of wandering narrative and 2 contrasting male figures with one annoying but sexy female character and it’s only in like one of the last episodes that someone even mentions that sunflowers don’t really have much of a smell anyways but the graphics combined with the soundtrack make it a must-see anyways. youtube the soundtrack to hear superbly funky sexy japanese hiphop jazz.

Hyakka Ryōran: Samurai Girls really pushes the pervy envelop while being historically profound and insightful and having a uniquely beautiful style of heavily outlined drafting.

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shin Seiki Evangerion, literally “Gospel of a New Century”) as another reviewer put it along the lines of all the characters are so wonderfully tragically fucked up but these emotional sentimental character issues seem to almost completely pre-empt the narrative plot revolving around the alien angels, like the series ‘lost’, is kind of just annoyingly dilly-dallying to fill up more episodes and delay whatever half-baked resolution. like ‘lost’, still worth a watch, if you have the spare time to kill.

shakespeare on alcohol

April 4, 2014

Henry IV Part II, Act IV, Scene 3

FALSTAFF
I would you had but the wit: ’twere better than
your dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-
blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make
him laugh; but that’s no marvel, he drinks no wine.
There’s never none of these demure boys come to any
proof; for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood,
and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a
kind of male green-sickness; and then when they
marry, they get wenches: they are generally fools
and cowards; which some of us should be too, but for
inflammation. A good sherris sack hath a two-fold
operation in it. It ascends me into the brain;
dries me there all the foolish and dull and curdy
vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive,
quick, forgetive, full of nimble fiery and
delectable shapes, which, delivered o’er to the
voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes
excellent wit. The second property of your
excellent sherris is, the warming of the blood;
which, before cold and settled, left the liver
white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity
and cowardice; but the sherris warms it and makes
it course from the inwards to the parts extreme:
it illumineth the face, which as a beacon gives
warning to all the rest of this little kingdom,
man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and
inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain,
the heart, who, great and puffed up with this
retinue, doth any deed of courage; and this valour
comes of sherris. So that skill in the weapon is
nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and
learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil, till
sack commences it and sets it in act and use.
Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant; for
the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his
father, he hath, like lean, sterile and bare land,
manured, husbanded and tilled with excellent
endeavour of drinking good and good store of fertile
sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If
I had a thousand sons, the first humane principle I
would teach them should be, to forswear thin
potations and to addict themselves to sack.

natural

April 5, 2013

people’d have you think
there’s natural and there’s normal
and they’re mostly the same,
but for those of us who deviate even a little,
their divergence may offer some solace,
or they may both become oppresive terms.

great anime

January 11, 2013

i’ve just gotta start a list
to keep track of the stunning
thought provoking shows i’ve been
amassing recently, and some of those
provocative thoughts, or reservations
about them.

this particular (semi-anonymous) blog
is probably my most appropriate venue
for these recommendations, since
some of them promote almost ridiculous
amounts of adolescent perversion
and excessively violent bloody gore.

i’m gonna skip over miyazaki here,
though he most certainly deserves
a post entirely dedicated to his oeuvre
at some point.

here, i will stick to serialized programs.
(do they really allow this stuff on tv in japan?)
[actually, i’m not even gonna talk about queen’s blade
though it does have nice character diversity, development
and mythos]

—-

DARKER THAN BLACK

this one really takes my top prize,
partly because it is well-encapsulated,
building and resolving intriguing plot tension
over each of the two series.
(though the world mythos presented is pretty obscure
at the beginning and only becomes clear later)
rather than being heavy-handed,
the treatment of the archetypes of
the contractors and the dolls
is increasingly sophisticated
and the development of yin’s personality
through the inter-season ovas
and in the second season provides
great narrative tension and
deep psychological intensity.

STEIN’S GATE

who the hell is stein?
and while the time-travel paradox
might quickly seem already played out,
the repetitions actually develop
this incredible poignancy,
and the eventual resolution
gives this series a sense of satisfaction
that a lot of the other ongoing serials lack.

BLEACH

contra DARKER THAN BLACK,
this mythos starts out so great,
with all the various characters introduced,
but the real failure here
is taking Rukia from a super-cool bad-ass chick
to a typical western damsel in distress.
i still loved the first 3-4 seasons,
but not sure if i care to keep watching
them grating on each other’s nerves anymore.

COWBOY BEBOP

nice concise arc,
praiseworthy just for its stylish illustration
and slick soundtrack,
and though the narrative seems almost random at times,
i actually really liked how it seems like
half their missions end in failure,
and they’re always short on cash.

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST

at times too sentimental,
but great world mythos of
semi-magical industrialization,
seems some ‘best of’ sites
list the second series ‘brotherhood’,
but since i really enjoyed the first series
i’m still struggling to get through
the repetitiveness of the second
until its plot supposedly diverges.

XXXHOLIC

screwed around alot with my expectations
in terms of psychedelic hyper-sexuality
or childish cutsy silliness
but while watanabe’s (sp?) whining
got increasingly annoying
pretty much everything else
including the ridiculous psuedo-philosophizing
grew ever more satisfying.

some non-recommendations:
NARUTO: just couldn’t get into it.
while stereotypes portray asians
as very community biased, there is an obsession
with the archetype of ‘journey to the west’s
monkey king who was a self-centered spoiled lil brat,
and while naruto has his reasons for being asocial,
it still reads as that sort of selfish rebellion to me.
ONE PIECE: same thing. while the assortment of
ridiculous characters made this semi-tempting
the general gist seemed to be a selfish power lust
that i just found kind of tiresome.

SEX AND VIOLENCE:
oh so many reasons that
these 2 might turn the average viewer off,
but they also have so many eloquent moments.

RIN DAUGHTERS OF MNEMOSYNE
sick perverted world view
builds great dramatic scenes
with ornate visuals
and charming characters too.

ELFENLIED
same thing,
and the coastal setting
really makes me want to move
to japan.

OTHER HORROR?
ANOTHER: too bad it’s so hard to google such a generic name.
and i think i might have gotten a lil lost at the end,
but probably was a nice twist, and fun tension building
all the way through.

GANTZ: like ‘stein’ i really still want to know
where did the name come from
and i was really disappointed that
the series didn’t offer more answers
to the particular mythos created
but i have to agree with another reviewer
that it’s like sartre’s ‘no exit’ on crack
and that enough makes it worth a see.

MERMAID FOREST: cool classic style anime graphics
and sick twist on what might seem a sacchrine topic,
i loved the surprise twist at the end of the first episode
though i still don’t understand why she was old and rotting
if she ate the immortalizing flesh of the mermaids.

semi-interesting to compare the following two
since they respectively invert gender age gap mentoring,
while also both just touching
on an unfortunately undeveloped issue
of racial self-betrayal.

(weak?) HELLSING: mostly vapid vampire mythos
with comical euro-religious references
master-mentor soft-core perversion
and would-be stylish gun fetishism.

(gets better?) CLAYMORE: like xxxholic
little boy rocky’s whining makes many early episodes
overly sentimentally annoying,
but as the pantheon of the claymores develops
within the complex of organization’s amorality
and the semi-orgasmic metaphors of awakening,
it seems to gain momentum.

CONCLUSION

this post still has focused a bit much on particulars
and still hasn’t said a whole lot about what i think
these shows have shown me about japan’s deep insight
into the post-war conflict between individuality and
communalism, agency, passivity, conformity,
power, perversion, violence, etc.
but like miyazaki’s work, i’ll just have to have
save that for some other post.

the inevitable problem

November 7, 2012

given the prior over exploitation of global resources
and record setting budget deficits of preceding generations,
it should seem reasonable to ask why the young
should bother to care for the old.

(setting aside all the racist baiting that makes paying
for one’s own clan’s excess priceless,
but another’s bare survival extortionist)

one answer, implied in the question’s phrasing,
is that we have no choice but to try to repair the damage.

but further, growing up in such coddled lifestyles,
we have also been the beneficerees of their excesses.

—-

while i loathe being stereotypically racist,
almost all asians (in asia) that i have ever known
take it for granted that, having been raised by their parents,
they are indebted to secure them in their old age.
that is to say, there is a strong cultural obligation
on children to provide for their parents’ old age.

in the west, we have social security systems.
also, enough wealth, that we ask more what the parents
will leave the child than what profit
the child will generate for the parent.

the argument here, to put it simply,
is that a society is doing better,
when parents leave an excess,
than when children are expected to make it up.

that said,
given that populations are rapidly aging,
and economic circumstances have created huge debt burdens,
austerity packages just seem to be making the problems worse.

so it seems that accepting our obligation
to care for the old, sick, and weak among us
makes mores sense
than attempting to avoid an inevitable problem.

the decline of objectivity and its ugly consequences

October 31, 2012

some people blame it on confucius,
but that’s not really fair;
they’ll even say that’s why asians
can’t accept adoption, having emphasized
the importance of blood lines
though i thought his point was
you should love and respect
your country and culture
as much as your family.

obviously that ain’t gonna happen,

but “i’ll do anything for my family”
as the default justification
for almost any behavior
out of current media sources
(cf. ‘breaking bad’ or ‘sons of anarchy’)
suggests a terrifying trend towards
moral bankruptcy.

regrettably,
the term ‘moral bankruptcy’
has been so co-opted
by fundamentalist fanatics
as to knee-jerk evoke images of
abortions and homosexuals
when these are some of the few things
actually helping avert
selfishly induced overly
exploited global catastrophe.

the more general point is that
jesus, buddha, etc.
started a 2000 year old trend
that placed right and wrong
‘in other people’s shoes’
and that has provided
amazing cultural success
but that now may be over.

fortunately blind dogmatic faith
appears to be on the decline,
but that may have been all
keeping the average semi-monkey human
on track with the virtues of
selflessness and the greater good.

hopefully
these predictions are premature
in that since the beginning
they propounded ‘the end is nigh’
but without
perspectives that surpass
our immediate relatives
there will be little to hold
our vast global network together.

(for instance, stop saying
‘we won’t negotiate with terrorists’
until you understand
what a terrorist you look like.)

to hell with your grandkids

April 28, 2011

in the recent budget debates,
the budget slashers are shamelessly
appealing to selfish subjectivity to satiate
the immense voting power of the elder class:
“medicare changes won’t affect anyone over 55”.

one may at least hope that the success of this argument
should hinge on 1.) how many grandparents love their grandchildren,
and 2.) how many of these old people actually have grandchildren,

since the kind of objective political policy formulation
summed up by “do unto others as you would have done to you”
appears to completely irrelevant to our conservative hacks.

syllogism #1

March 24, 2011

what could happiness be but no fear,
and where could fearless come from
but willingness to die for something or someone?
(else!?)

intellectual property

March 2, 2011

debates over intellectual property issues seem to hinge on the question of stimulating or hindering innovation while transnational condemnation seems to miss the degree to which asian nations are jumping on board legalistic profiteering while young westerners are increasingly pirating regardless of their more general political philosophies.

i would prefer to suggest that the dilemma was already solved in the advent of home movies which clearly stated that one was free to enjoy such entertainment in non-commercial settings.

it seems reasonable to me that any profit i receive from sharing a commodity should return a practical proportion to the originator of said commodity.

however, if i receive no profit from sharing said commodity, i don’t see why I should be due anything less than thanks for promoting the products of said originator. if they are concerned with their own profit, then i would suggest that they focus on providing their commodity in formats that provide superior user experiences (such as large-screen technologically innovative movie theaters, high quality recordings, intelligent interactive searchable personalized databases, live (as most musical artists are forced to subsist anyways), etc.).

for instance, providers of AIDS drugs in Africa should have access to all the latest pharmaceutical advancements and only be obliged to provide originators with a sustainable proportion of whatever income, if any, that they receive from distributing such products. such large scale exposures would presumably be advantageous to the evaluation of such products and provide further avenues for innovation. meanwhile, developed markets would presumably continue to sustain the much higher mark-ups that they generally do for most products anyways.

the practicality of such a proposal hinges on 2 key issues apparent in its original statement. how do we measure profit that i receive, and what is a reasonable proportion?

i wouldn’t have even thought of the first question, but it was such a huge sticking issue during the epic hollywood writers strikes of 2007-8. the writers were fighting for a cut of the internet income of the content providers (ironically, in this context), but these producers were claiming they couldn’t actually fix that exactly. that may sound a little absurd, but I can imagine (and I really have no idea if this was their real logic) that I have a website that generates ad revenue, and I have a whole bunch of music and movies that viewers can chose from. How do I allocate royalties to which content? I suppose I would allocate it based on proportions of the content selected which I would presumably also know. So, ok, that wasn’t so hard to solve, but perhaps I still don’t understand the producers’ real argument, or perhaps it just really made no sense.

so what’s a reasonable cut? i would suggest sliding scales based on my profit, the cost of the innovation, and the time since innovation. currently governments appear to primarily legislate intellectual property rights strictly in reference to time (in the US, currently life+70 years for copyright -who is gonna make all that money now that MJ’s dead?- and 20 years for patents), and leave the cost haggling to concerned parties. while the free market MIGHT be satisfactory for commodities for which supplies are actually adjustable by producers, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES ALREADY REQUIRE GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE TO SUPPRESS THEIR SUPPLIES, so it would give more freedom to markets if governments actually made clear restrained proposals regarding the amount of suppression that they would provide. such interference should be particularly restrained given the important social and practical benefits provided by intellectual advancements which can further stimulate, rather than hinder, broad-based manufacturing and job creation. this proposal suggests that legislators should attempt to define reasonable proportions of profit, which would do well to take into account time past from, as well as cost of, the original innovation.

this proposal is based on the belief that such a framework would provide a superior environment for consumers, pre-empt arguments about property rights hindering innovation, and truly promote radically beneficial social and technological innovations.