Mar 4, 2010

Mar 4, 2010

If You Need the News, Buy a Newspaper


Originally published on on March 2010

Sea Shepherd “liberates” Little Mermaid from Disney Sea Japan

Sea Shepherd activists were criticized by Disney officials and the Japanese government on Friday after freeing Ariel, one of the world’s few remaining mermaids, from the amusement park. A spokesperson for Disney labeled the activists “eco-toonerists” and described the group as a violent, criminal organization.

In an official statement, Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson said, “We have saved this majestic, endangered sea creature from the cold, corporate hands of Disney. We are the guardians of all aquatic life, even less intelligent forms like Ariel. No longer will she be forced to live in garish Disney conditions and perform for the amusement of the Japanese public.”

Several people were injured in the attack. Goofy was said to be in a serious but stable condition after being hit by a bottle of butyric acid, and several dwarves were reported to have been maced.

After success of Texas Burger campaign, McD’s developing Delaware, Rhode Island and Iowa burgers

Temperate weather makes elevator chit-chat awkward

The scene was tense Tuesday morning as junior account manager Hiroshi Asada entered the Nippon First No. 3 Building lobby and greeted his superior, Osamu Takase, with a “Cold today, isn’t it?” The two men awkwardly tried to defuse the situation as it became clear that the temperature was not low enough to be considered cold, yet still not warm enough to be considered hot.
Asada later told The Negi, “I had said it was cold, but then my hands were sweating, not from the temperature but from my nerves. He looked strangely at me for a moment. I could tell he was judging my competency after such a faux pas, and I began to think about my wife and child.” The situation was finally resolved when Atsuro Takada from the accounting department intervened and observed that the cherry-blossom season would begin soon. Takada, credited by Asada as having saved the difficult situation, pointed out that global warming was “really something, huh?”

Famed noh actor dead on stage for 3½ hours before audience notices

Noh actor Masaharu Ogawa was found dead on Thursday night after a performance at the National Theater. The acclaimed performer was 73. Audience members said they were stunned to learn of his death, and had assumed that his lack of movement for the previous three-and-a-half hours was part of the performance.

Ogawa was one of the most renowned performers of traditional Japanese theater, and had been awarded the status of Living National Treasure by the government only weeks before his onstage demise. Family, colleagues and his many fans were devastated by the news, but the audience on hand for what would be his final performance did not discover the truth until the play had ended. The police have concluded that the actor died of natural causes.

Theater manager Eikichi Mizuno told The Negi, “Everything seemed to be going as normal. Ogawa was a bit less active on stage than usual, but he always did have a knack for the true subtlety of movement that defines noh theater. I had assumed he was simply building up to the finale.” One long-time fan who was present at the performance confirmed, “He was amazing to watch when he was alive. But I think that last one might have been the best performance of his I’ve ever seen. I was so moved. Him, not so much.”

Content-free show tops TV ratings

By Peter Sidell
Broadcaster Asahi Television defied expectations last week as its evening showpiece, “Let’s All Run Around Pointing and Shouting,” attracted the highest audience on Japanese TV, despite having no plot or structure.
“This success reflects our knowledge of the audience’s preferences,” said the show’s producer, Unko Mitai. “Our market research showed clearly that viewers don’t need any useful or original content in shows. They’re happy with 100 percent shouting, pointing and running around, and that’s what we give them.”
Other broadcasters have been quick to respond. TBS has already scheduled “Shouty Shouty Point Run” in direct opposition to LARAPAS, while cable network ABS is launching a new game show with the questions replaced by cheerleaders.
In the face of this increased competition, Asahi is already piloting a follow-up in which guests shout their reactions to a series of comical images. The new show is provisionally entitled “Eeeeeeeeehhhhhh!!!”

News in Brief

  • Omotesando prepares for St. Patrick’s Day parade by Tefloning sidewalks for easy vomit removal
  • Eleven years into marriage, foreign husband still can’t write wife’s name in kanji
  • Japanese Winter Olympic athletes go back to being freeters and NEETs; reviled by old people