Japanese couples are so keen to have Western-style weddings, local gaijin can make ready cash by pretending to be Christian priests. Which either follows the God-is-dead drift of this excellent article about The New Atheism in, of all publications, Wired, the Bible of all things geekoid; or offers an oblique commentary on the tragic, but at the same time terribly amusing tale of Pastor Ted Haggard and his drugs and massage (unconsumed and unconsummated, respectively); or suggests that Tokyo-based expats are so impoverished and/or shameless, they'll do half-arsed impressions of Derek Nimmo for a bowl of ramen.
Elsewhere: I offer a bit of PR advice to Al Quaeda; supposedly conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan calls Donald Rumsfeld an "incompetent maniac" and hopes that the Republicans are crucified in the midterms; and I also noticed the following quotation from William Burroughs on Treespotter's excellent blog:
"I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits."
Which I hadn't heard before, despite having spent many happy hours comparing Radiohead's 'Fitter Happier' to the cut-up texts of Burroughs and Bryon Gysin. It's somewhere between Swift's dictum on "the animal called Man", and Sturgeon's Revelation ("90% of everything is crud").
Tomorrow I'm off to Manila, to cover the annual envelope harvest, and I may be out of contact on Wednesday, which is the first anniversary of Cultural Snow. So, a couple of days early, here's that first post again.
"Welcome to Cultural Snow
In analogue times, people who were slightly drunk and at a loose end might begin writing bad poetry, or stand on a soapbox at Hyde Park Corner, or just phone the speaking clock and scream obscenities at it. In a similar, but defiantly digital mode, I've started a blog. What's it for? Where's it going? Will it change the world, or will it degenerate, like 97% of all known blogs, into tired harrumphing over the rights and/or wrongs of the Iraq War. I really have no idea, but maybe that Polish vodka does.
It's a bit like taking a pencil for a walk, that pastime beloved of well-meaning art teachers confronted by incompetent six-year-olds, but it's a long time since I wielded a pencil in anger. I took a dog for a walk this evening, however. Will that do?
A hint, though, to where this might all be going; the title, 'Cultural Snow' is a reference to the work of the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. I'm too lazy to track down the exact quotation in full, but I'm pretty sure it's from the novel Dance Dance Dance. So maybe you can expect occasional references to Murakami to crop up in future postings. Or maybe not.
I'm going to get a bit more of that Polish vodka from the fridge. Will be in touch. Soon. Unless the vodka beats me to it."
Note that I had yet to work out how to insert pictures or create links. And wot, no poncy invocations of Baudrillard?