*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Off to the city that fun forgot (Toronto).

I have to think about what I am going to do with a month there.  What's worse, a month in one of its outer suburbs: more boring than boring itself.  (If you care to know what I think of Toronto...)  If you think this blog has been bitchy lately, wait for the posts in July!  I will be temporarily trading in my Tokyo life for a suburban Toronto one.  Just because I spent too much time there, doesn't mean I miss it: quite the contrary.  Still, the weather's better, and sunset is 21:30.

On a question from my wife, I cannot think of a thing I need to do in Toronto.  There are things I won't mind doing:
- some friends to see who'd be improved if they lived in Tokyo (none of whom drink as much, or have as much going on in a week to talk about, as my Tokyo acquaintances)
- a deli I'd go to (not as good as Montréal)
- there's a brewpub I like
- a Vietnamese place we went to often
- ...

Friday, 24 June 2011

Fuck you Canada! Fuck you Toronto! Fuck you Ontario?

How is this for cheap and destructive political theatre: in one week Toronto has exposed itself as homophobic and anti-urban, via its bloated avatar.
I have already written a few posts about my disgust with the Reform Party, and the electorate of Canada.  I think no better of the creature who is mayor of Toronto, and the suburban homophobia that got him elected.  There is a lot I could say about the successful 'conservative' plot to kill the liberal voice of downtown with Toronto's amalgamation, but the link explains that well enough.  Do not imagine Toronto to be what it was: the home of Jane Jacobs, or "New York run by the Swiss".

So if you went to the links in the first paragraph you could read that in one week Toronto's mayor has: said 'fuck you' to anyone who doesn't go everywhere by car, and said 'fuck you' to everyone who is not entirely 'straight'.  The latter includes me who only has had heterosexual encounters, but finds the company of many 'queers' more interesting than most 'breeders', 'breeder' though I am.  So what?  The mayor is still a high-school jock and a meathead.  'So what?' indeed.  The majority of the electorate, in most of Toronto apart from the urban portion, knew this guy's infamy and that is why he was elected.  The 'Ford Campaign' did not use race-baiting, as they wanted the part of the 'minority vote' this is homophobic: they sure did use 'queer'-baiting.  And though I was no great fan of Smitherman (certainly a lesser evil) he lost half from incompetent campaigning, and he lost the other half from being gay.

Regarding the title: Canada's and Toronto's voters are full of hate.  Usually 'the other shoe' only drops the second time, but there is going to be an autumn Ontario provincial election.  I expect a 'hate-on'-trifecta: the 'conservatives' will win this too.  Glad to be abroad, where I may just stay

Sunday, 19 June 2011


I have met cool Japanese guys.  I make them my friends.  I have a few who could even win a fight with me. And it has to be said there are men at home, who aren't men.  As for 'twinks' who are effeminate, I have no trouble with that.  Finally, individuals are real, and nationalities are abstractions.  And yet: Japan is a nation of pussies.

Coming to that conclusion is because:
- I saw three different men on the Edogawa cycling road today, letting their woman lead into the wind
- men make their women carry more baggage
- the men pluck their eyebrows as much as women back home (trimming vs. plucking is an important distinction)
- men do not get up for women pregnant, with infants, or the infirm
- 20% of the people in the women-only car are men, and nobody will do anything about it
- nobody will do anything about subway-gropers, except Gaijin
- when a driver is mad at me on the road, he honks only if he can flee from my bike
- when a hiker wants to tell me I am camping in the wrong spot, he'll first hike halfway up the next mountain
- they always back down to China and America, or should I say, bend over
- they do not know how to deal with the guy who leaked the Senkaku video, or who ignored orders not to flood the Fukushima reactors (real men)
- they are shit-scared of white women, though want them badly
- they are scared of Japanese women... which makes them wiser than 'Charisma' men

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Conflicted Samaritan.

The other day I am walking through the Tokyo neighbourhood of the school that employs me. I come across a young white guy talking to two Yakult women. They're giving directions in rapid Japanese, and he's not getting it. Not sure how much he'd got out of that, I asked him if he knew where he was going. He admits his Japanese is basic, and he knows no more than to go left, and that he's looking for a particular embassy.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Commuting: stupidity and malice are universal.

The last time Steve Martin was funny.

Even though I am a misanthrope, Japanese and Canadians both are stupid or malicious, and the same should be said about both drivers and 'strap-hangers'.  I have not found religion, education or nationality to furnish a better set of people in one group than another: a quarter are angels, a quarter are bastards, and half are sheep with no character of their own.  What differs is the expression of this: to the benefit of Japan, nobody expects you to listen to their uninformed opinions; to the benefit of Anglophones, nobody expects to get away with voicing the bigoted ideas they vote and act upon.

So whether you are commuting among the Japanese or Canadians, in traffic or by train, people suck and wear you down.  Human suckage in transit may have much to do with long commutes increasing the chance of divorce, or it may be that long commutes take you to the suburbs, and that drives you to divorce.  Cause, effect and coincidental factors are all mixed up, but for me it is simple: rush hour driving sucks, rush hour trains blow, and people are stupid and malicious.  I bike.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Hate to rain on your parade, but...

This ain't nature, and you won't get to see the sunrise in a humid country outside of autumn or winter.
So why the fuck did you need to wake me up, again, at three in the morning at the top of your lungs laughing and carrying on in your preparations to get to the summit for sunrise?  And you know what?  I'm glad it was cloudy all day, dimwits.  Just how many times do you need to be disappointed in your goal of climbing to a summit for a beautiful sunrise to learn that you are an asshat?

I have got up at three-thirty to climb a mountain.  It's called an 'alpine start', except the difference is that in mountaineering it is not done on the minuscule chance that it won't be so humid that the haze will block the sunrise, but so we don't die.  Glaciers are safer to cross using crampons on a frozen surface.  We also do not wake up everyone in the camp, or mountain hut, both because we are not fucking assholes, and because we do not want to be beaten the shit out of.  Lucky you outnumbered me...  I am supposed to be open minded and even handed, but you wouldn't give a seat to my pregnant wife, step into the path of my baby carriage exiting the train, and this: fuck you, Japan!  Of course, not all Japanese are this stupid: the friend I was hiking with was as pissed as me.  That's why he's my friend, and you are dickheads.

So do you know what you can do about the rule to camp in designated areas?  Fuck it, since I won't get a night's sleep there.  Neither will camping on the summits be the solution, as I have done, since you'll still wake me up at four-thirty.  Get daylight saving for Christ's sake.

Flake or not, she's doing what we all should:

Living by her convictions.