Musical Interlude

His cover of the Rolling Stone’s Brown Sugar is pretty good too.

An excerpt from his blog:

Even though I’m a ukulele player I don’t own a Hawaiian shirt. It’s not like anybody made a rule that if you play the ukulele you have to wear one. I never wanted one so I’ve never bought one.
But this year I think I’ll buy one because I started to want one.

Japanese Only

A link to this video showed up on BoingBoing today. In the 18 years I’ve lived here, the only establishment I’ve seen that refused foreigners and wasn’t a shady pub or run-down love hotel in a neighborhood full of foreign prostitutes or massage parlor-type place was a pachinko parlor on the outskirts of my hometown. Anyone who thinks that normal places in Japan–restaurants, hotels, public baths, shops, whatever–are in the habit of prohibiting foreigners from entering is mistaken. Since I don’t try to go into sleazy bars and such I’ve never, not even once, been refused service anywhere. The fact that there are a few businesses out there run by organized crime syndicates that don’t want my money doesn’t bother me in the least.

Tony & Andy’s favorite YouTube video

I can still remember when Tony was a baby who only knew how to drool, eat, sleep and poop his diaper. Now he surfs the web all by himself. He even knows how to switch the keyboard to Japanese input mode and type out words in romaji. I have no idea how or when he figured that out. Kids amaze me. I wonder, if someone were to take the DNA from an ancient Egyptian and made a baby out of it, in ten year’s time would the kid be reprogramming the TV remote and doing all that other technical stuff preteens seem to be able to figure out instinctively?

Anyway, here’s the video the boys have been watching over and over lately. They found it on this site, which Tony can navigate through like you wouldn’t believe.

Kevin “Tokyo” Cooney

Why does every attention-whoring foreigner who stays more than a few months start calling himself “Tokyo” (yournamehere?) And why is it only guys? As far as I know, there’s only ever been a “Tokyo Rose” but never a “Tokyo Beth” or “Tokyo Christina.”

If anyone ever calls me “Tokyo Rich” I will kick their ass. You’ve seen me play Wii Boxing, so you know what kind of damage I’m capable of. You’ve been warned.

So, the subject of this post is TokyoCooney, a popular YouTube vlogger. I’ve only seen one of his videos so far, and it was only a few minutes ago. I might watch a few more.

On Oliver’s last night in Tokyo, he wanted to go to the Tokyo Comedy Store so we went, although I was skeptical that we’d witness anything actually funny, seeing as how Japan is as far from the English language comedy club circuit as you can get.

I was right. It was painfully, annoyingly, unbearably not funny. What was even worse was that people who were painfully, annoyingly, unbearably not funny were attempting improvisational comedy. Not surprisingly, it was a lot like watching people make complete asses of themselves on stage. When we could no longer take any more, Oliver and I paid the bill (over 10,000 yen for cover charge, a few beers and some meager finger food) then went to a convenience store and bought a bottle of whiskey to extricate ourselves from our lingering foul mood.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I don’t normally complain about or insult people. But the no-talent hacks at the Tokyo Comedy Story really, really sucked. Neither of us could figure out why the audience was laughing at everything. It. Wasn’t. Funny.

The only exception was Kevin Cooney. He was genuinely funny and had an excellent stage presence. We quoted his jokes to each other as we passed the whiskey bottle between us. (Oliver drinks whiskey like a pussy, BTW. Can’t take a swig without scrunching up his face. Friggin’ lightweight.)

In summary, Tokyo Comedy Store: bad. Keven Cooney: good. Oliver: whiskey pussy.

A very interesting question

Cameraman: “If abortions should be illegal, then what should the penalty be?”

Abortion Activists: “…I don’t know. I never thought of it.”

Cameraman: “Can you think of any other crime for which there isn’t a punishment?”

Watch the video. It’s fascinating. There’s a an interesting and well-written post on DailyKos about it too.

I turned off commenting. I don’t want things to get ugly here. Do it on YouTube.

A YouTube Experiment

Most of the videos I’ve posted on YouTube (same as the ones I post here) have been viewed hundreds or thousands of times, except for the “Koga Lantern Festival” video, which to date has been watched by a paltry 78 people.

I don’t get YouTube. The shaky, nausea-inducing video I made by sprinting through a supermarket has been watched over 3,000 times, while the video I spent hours and hours trying to get “just right” is passed over.

So I decided to conduct an experiment by renaming the Koga Lantern Festival video to something that might appeal more to the YouTube demographic. I have a feeling it’ll work.