Koenji, the world and elsewhere

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Critics Suck, But Everyone Sucks More

[This post is the result of looking up Holmes & Watson on IMDb.]

We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.

Walt Disney

Critics suck. That’s not open for debate. But the internet took the old adage “Everyone’s a critic” and turned it into an ridiculous reality.

In its early years, it was good. Sites like IMDb were good. People had meaningful discourse about movies they liked (or disliked). Legend has it, some people even changed their minds during some of these conversations.

The world wasn’t binary. Flame wars were frowned upon or outright forbidden in online forums. They were considered gauche rather than de rigueur.

Then along came Twitter and Pinterest and a stack of other platforms to further destroy already shrinking attention spans. And shortly thereafter, nuance was dead. Except as an overused buzzword by those people who say synergy, disrupt, or binary at least four times a day. (The previous paragraph only uses one of those it once.)

Dialogue was dead, substance burned to the ground, and only the flames remained.

IMDb closed its message boards because people’s feeling were being hurt. (Also, they were also bought by Amazon.) Rotten Tomatoes recently deleted a zillion negative ratings and killed their “Want To See” metric because people were being mean to Brie Larson. (They were bought by NBCUniversal and Warner Bros.)

The middle-aged internet is a shell of its former self. Sure, it’s bigger, faster and flashier. But it’s nothing more than a slew of corporate-owned properties offering diminishing options and freedoms.

And people aren’t helping. They’ve devolved into giving a movie 1/10 or 10/10, and very few movies are either of those. Everything has to be The Best or The Worst ever. You must hate it or love it.

At least with critics, we get a thousand or so words of bullshit reasoning behind their ratings.


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Pamela Anderson made a sex tape?!

This article on “The Richest” is the very definition of click bait. They may as well (and quite possibly do) have an article titled “10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Charged With Murder” and have OJ Simpson on the list.

No way!

No way!

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Shibuya Halloween: People, People and More People [video]

I was riding back from visiting a friend in Hiroo a couple Saturdays ago. As it was October 31st, I decided to swing into Shibuya and take some shots of the Halloween partygoers.

I used to go to Shibuya for Halloween five or more years ago. Every year was pretty much the same crowd: a lot of foreigners and those Japanese who regularly go out there, but simply in costume. Year to year there wasn’t much of a discernible increase in the number of people. So I expected to just pop in and take a few shots shots of Slutty Cop, Slutty Nurse, Slutty Cat and the drunk gaijin who hit on them. But what I found was beyond belief. This year was more like Mardi Gras.

Pictures would not suffice. So I shot some video. And I finally got finished editing it. A few weeks late, but here is Shibuya on Halloween. I head upward for a view from above (and the crossing in full effect) at the 3:24 mark if you get dizzy from the mosh pit below.


The 50 Best (Western) Punk Songs Ever

I found this old post in the Internet Archives on November 16, 2015. Originally posted March 22, 2009. A lot has changed since then. Grooveshark is no more. Also, after another six years in Japan, I now notice how Western this list is. However, this is not an update to the list – so I won’t be adding any songs by The Stalin, Hi-Standard, GISM or any other worthy Japanese bands. The only change I will make to the old post is adding some YouTube links. And the title of the post.


Three events led to the creation of this list.

Last year, on a hot Tokyo day in September 2009, my laptop screen bid me farewell. It gave up. Our relationship had been a sham for years anyway, almost from the beginning. Anyone who’s had a Toshiba Satellite can probably relate.

I was therefore forced to buy a replacement. But after five tenuous years it really was time to get out there and find something new. Fortunately Toshiba’s hard drive had been insufficient for some time, so I had most of my stuff kept on an external drive. This made the move much easier. And even though my new HP has a lot of space, I still keep most of my stuff on the external drive.

However, one thing I did lose was a large selection of music. Because Toshiba was so weak and pathetic, it preferred to play music off the hard drive. But I still had a lot of that music on my iPhone, so I didn’t worry too much.

I got my new HP and plugged my iPhone into it, planning to sync them up. I then got the pop-up message telling me that Apple hates it customers. In order for me to sync MY iPhone to MY new laptop I would lose all the music on my iPhone. “But my old laptop died,” I told Apple Support. “We don’t care. Fuck you,” was Apple’s response. So, I decided not to sync my iPhone. All my good music was on my iPhone and I had no desire to restock my collection.

Five months later, on a cold Wednesday in February, I lost my iPhone. Somewhere between Koenji Station and Dynamo. The Koban told me 90% of lost items make their way back their owners. I don’t think iPhones are on this list. After 10 days of waiting and hoping, I was once again forced to purchase consumer electronics I already owned. More or less.

I had some music on my external drive by now, and ripped a couple CDs, to get some tunes on the new phone. But the collection was a skeletal shadow of its former self.

Six days later, I got hit with a fever that lasted five days and kept me pretty much bed ridden for the better part of a week. I hadn’t had much time to replenish my digital music collection, so in my more lucid moments I set to downloading all I’d lost. And as I gained strength I gained motivation. I would expand my collection to new levels. I had mostly been searching for old vinyls and CDs I have back in Canada. But days of searching for songs and albums I hadn’t heard in years got me thinking. And as such, a broken laptop, a lost iPhone, and a 39.42C fever resulted in the creation of this list.

This list is obviously not definitive, as no list is. It’s a list of really good songs and that’s about it. Some songs I left off because I didn’t want too many songs from the same band. After all, I could easily make this list with only four bands. But that would be boring, so I decided no band could claim more than two spots. Also, I make no distinction here between punk rock, hardcore, postpunk, protopunk, neopunk, pop punk, or whatever. People who say “that’s not punk” are pretentious douchebags. Who gives a fuck? Although I think anything below falls under the “Punk Umbrella” well enough. I’ve also listed them in chronological order, because #1 is a ridiculous concept, and most of them should come as no surprise.

I’ve added most of these songs to a palylist on Grooveshark. There are still a few I’ve uploaded but am still waiting to get into the system.

  1. 1969 I Wanna Be Your Dog The Stooges (YouTube)
  2. 1975 Politicians in My Eyes Death (YouTube)
  3. 1976 Anarchy in the UK Sex Pistols (YouTube)
  4. 1976 I’m Stranded The Saints (YouTube)
  5. 1977 Chinese Rocks The Heartbreakers (YouTube)
  6. 1977 Orgasm Addict Buzzcocks (YouTube)
  7. 1977 White Riot The Clash
  8. 1977 New Rose The Damned
  9. 1978 I Wanna Be Sedated Ramones
  10. 1978 Do They Owe Us A Living? Crass
  11. 1979 Bloodstains Agent Orange
  12. 1979 London Calling The Clash
  13. 1979 Where Eagles Dare Misfits
  14. 1979 Bomb The Boats And Feed The Fish Forgotten Rebels
  15. 1979 Fuck You Subhumans (Canada)
  16. 1980 Holiday in Cambodia Dead Kennedys
  17. 1980 Jesus (Entering From The Rear) The Feederz
  18. 1980 Police Truck Dead Kennedys
  19. 1980 World War 3 DOA
  20. 1980 Warhead UK Subs
  21. 1981 Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Black Flag
  22. 1981 Punks Not Dead The Exploited
  23. 1981 Minor Threat Minor Threat
  24. 1982 Pay To Cum Bad Brains
  25. 1982 Moral Majority Circle Jerks
  26. 1982 Religious Wars Subhumans (UK)
  27. 1982 Time Bomb / This is Boston Not LA The Freeze
  28. 1982 Suburban Home Descendents
  29. 1982 Moral Threat Social Distortion
  30. 1982 We’re Only Gonna Die Bad Religion
  31. 1983 Coup d’Etat Circle Jerks
  32. 1983 Institutionalized Suicidal Tendencies
  33. 1984 Cannibal Cafe SNFU
  34. 1984 New Aryans Reagan Youth
  35. 1984 When The Bomb Drops Subhumans (UK)
  36. 1984 Walk Together, Rock Together 7 Seconds
  37. 1985 Salad Days Minor Threat
  38. 1986 Argh Fuck Kill Dayglo Abortions
  39. 1986 I Against I Bad Brains
  40. 1986 One to Two Dag nasty
  41. 1986 The Devil’s Voice SNFU
  42. 1986 Dad Nomeansno
  43. 1989 Start Today Gorilla Biscuits
  44. 1991 Bro Hymn Pennywise
  45. 1992 Welcome To Paradise Green Day
  46. 1994 Inner Logic Bad Religion
  47. 1995 Roots Radicals Rancid
  48. 1996 You’ve Got to Die for the Government Anti-Flag
  49. 1997 Murder The Government NOFX
  50. 2001 Fuck Authority Pennywise

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Helpful Profile Pic for Facebook Racists

A lot of my friends are not racist. It’s not like they’re antisemites or something. They just hate Muslims. And refugees — from “those kind” of countries. And rightly so. Refugees represent a threat to their safety and security. After all, the few Canadian terrorists there have been have all been born in Canada. They’ve not been refugees. So, let’s not help get that ball rolling. Best to keep our terror homegrown and let foreign children drown, starve and get sold into slavery. Or better yet, get picked up by ISIS/ISIL, al-Shabab, or some other radical asymmetrical warfare group that will mold them into a real threat.

And seeing as so many of them love to show their support for things by splashing colour overlays on their profile pics (ex: French flag, Pride flag, Pink October), I thought I could help them out. This profile pic could clear up any wrong impressions people may get about them from their posts and comments. But perhaps I should make a translucent version as well.


Mother Canada at 24 Sussex

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New Location for Mother Canada Statue

In response to a CBC article that is about the response to a Calgary Herald editorial, I offer my response.

While Twitter user Hooberbloob posted one suggestion (for Tunnel Mountain), I think there is some available land further east, closer to the Atlantic and right on the water, in fact. Furthermore, the tenants of the land must have the utmost admiration, love and respect for the troops. (And they’ll also be moving out in October.)

Mother Canada at 24 Sussex

Mother Canada overlooking the Ottawa River at 24 Sussex Drive