June 30, 2011


Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2011


Regarding “Mum’s the Word” (The Last Word, June 17): That was a lot more interesting than I had expected. I thought it was going to be an expat writer going, “How come women can’t breastfeed in Japan publicly/how come women can’t breastfeed in the West publicly,” but it was actually just a really interesting feature. I want an old lady friend now.—outlawhorse

Wow. He’s been lucky. Most Japanese obasan bash me in the street, spit at me, throw me dirty looks and pick on me for such heinous crimes as not putting a towel on my head in the bath, or letting my son touch the hairdryer in the pool changing room. I was confused until right at the end when it said, “The author has recently completed HIS doctorate….” Ah! Now it all becomes clear! A Brazilian hottie, perchance?

Wow. This is just the most important piece of journalism in the last 10 years. He sure knows how to milk an old lady dry: “She always gives me.” “She is close to bankrupt now.” So, even though you know she’s close to being bankrupt, you still let her buy you stuff? What a great human being you are.

“Lately she has been sick, but we still exchange emails. She gave me a shaving machine.” So, not just from the people you helped bankrupt, but you take stuff from sick people too? Well done!


You guys should fire your designer or art director. Seriously, it’s week after week of appallingly ugly covers and feature layouts. I know it’s “unique” or radical, but it’s just plain ugly. Many I know echo this sentiment.

What the ***k are the zebra crossings for in Japan?
—Mike the Bike

What kind of country builds nuclear power plants next to fault lines? What kind of country builds nuclear power plants as the first line of defense against tidal waves? What kind of people believe foreigners living in such a country owe something to a country that subjects its own citizens to such dangers?

I don’t know where you get your movie reviews from, but it’s frustrating getting to the movie section of your magazine and finding nothing but childish diatribes by someone who thinks being offensive is clever. Everyone expects critical and inflammatory statements in film reviews, but not crap written by some odious prick who barely, if at all, explains what the movie’s about. It’s been this way for too long. Come on, mate, show some editorial control.

Don Monton replies:
Mr. Morton thanks you for your constructive criticism, is repentant and contrite, and modestly responds with the following observations: (1) Try to avoid absolutes. Phrases like “nothing but childish diatribes…” indicate an incomplete examination of your subject. (2) Considering all the cinematic garbage he has to sit through, Mr. Morton feels fully entitled to the occasional diatribe. (3) You’re confusing him with someone who cares. And (4) resorting to profanity in print is generally considered the sign of a limited vocabulary.


Language Exchange
If you are in an environment to speak a different language, then good luck, but if everyone around you speaks the same language, then you might want to find someone to practice a language you like to learn. You want to do your language exchange in a cafe at weekends, or in a pub over pints on your way back home… find out what’s up here.

*via Japan Today