HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

7/31/2001

Culture Shock


While in Oklahoma, Maggie and I were exposed to several TV examples of Japanese culture. The first, and most impressive, involved the Food Network show Iron Chef. Iron Chef is this incredible show that is like a cross between pro wrestling and Martha Stewart. Basically, the mythology behind the show is this: Takeshi Kaga plays a wealthy eccentric guy who lives in his castle with a cabal of Iron Chefs, each representing a major genre of food, like Japanese, French, or Italian. His chief pleasure in life is matching his Iron Chefs versus challengers, who are real life chefs that would probably kill to be on this show, as it is very popular in Japan. In the dubbed version we watched, Takeshi Kaga is the only one who is Undubbable; he gets subtitles. So he unveils the Secret Ingredient, and then the chefs have an hour to make a full four course (or so) meal using that secret ingredient. Past secret ingredients have included Asparagus, Pumpkin, Eel, and one of the two episodes we watched, Japanese Lobsters. (Except the secret ingredient must be shouted: JAPANESE LOBSTERS!!!) Unofficial site here. The other cool thing about the one we watched: one of the guest judges was Akebono, the great Sumo Yokozuna from Hawaii. In one of the pictures there he looks like E. Honda from Street Fighter, except without the face paint.

Japanese culture is very intriguing to me, mainly because the social conventions are so different, and their sense of reserve and honor is so unlike the typical American. So these pages are probably atypical: Japanese slang. And Japanese street sayings. And best of all, rude Japanese street slang. All lifted wholesale from the Nutlog.

Jeff wants me to make sure I don’t forget to mention the unique subculture that is Okinawa. His wife, Kari, is Nisei (second generation), as her mom is from there.

How to write a blog

My sister Valerie has just started a blog. Welcome to the coven, Val. All the cool people are doing it. She notes today that mom suggested she post links or commentary about other stuff besides herself. I think that’s ok, but if she wants to write about herself that’s cool too. I mean, everyone’s mundanity is the height of the exotic to someone else. Personally, I want mom to start blogging too. She always finds the funkiest articles, like this one, which she sent me today. So I’d say to write about yourself but intersperse it with your favorite web gleanings. After a while you’ll find a style is just developing on its own. I am unfamiliar with the double periods, though. What does it mean?

Anyone forget Bush v. Gore yet? I hope not, since it currently ranks at number 3 in my mind (after Dred Scott v. Sanford and Plessy v. Ferguson) in Poorly Defended Decisions of the Supreme Court.

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