Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It May Be My Problem, But It's YOUR (re)Solution!

This morning's newspaper featured an old Calvin & Hobbes comic strip dating from 1988. In it Hobbes asks Calvin about his New Year resolutions, and Calvin replies by going into a fussy fit, insisting that he's perfect the way he is and insisting that it's "high time" everyone else changed to suit him. (In the last panel of the strip, Hobbes observes that his own resolution, that of trying to feel better about human nature, was clearly mistaken.)

That got me thinking. [RED ALERT]

I didn't make any formal New Year resolution this year. I usually don't. Instead, I just try to treat the new year as a new beginning and hope I'll get it right this time. If I don't, I (hopefully) know what to do...or not do...when the next year rolls around. But what if I do like Calvin and insist that other people make resolutions to help make my world a better place? Would that be called a passive resolution? Or perhaps a causative one? At any rate, my causative resolutions for 2008 would probably be:

To students on bikes and to families in shopping malls - If you must go slow, don't go abreast. If you must go abreast, don't go slow.

To drivers of light utility trucks out on the road during commuting hours - Figure out that there is a reason all those cars are stacking up behind you. Find the empathy to understand that, unlike you, they don't have all day. Realize that your vehicle is perfectly capable of moving at least the speed limit if not the legally allowed ten clicks over (or unofficially allowed twenty clicks over).

To middle aged and elderly ladies - Remember that roads, sidewalks, and hallways are there for people to move on. There's plenty of room for your conference off to the side.

To people annoyed by the above - If we start ramming slow-moving, side-by-side pedestrians or cyclists, running slowpoke light trucks off the road, or plowing our way through those cackle-sessions in the middle of the road, they just might actually get the idea.

To Japanese TV Companies - Realize that just because a certain TV personality is popular right now doesn't mean he or she has to be on every f*****g program. Understand that TV personalities with only one shtick, such as one memorable song/dance routine or one notable physical attribute (or deformity), are only interesting for the first few viewings. Try to make documentaries or event-oriented telecasts actually focus on the content instead of the inane prattle of the totally unnecessary celebrity guests....especially if it means those same few "in" personalities doing those same, nauseatingly hackneyed shticks AGAIN!

To the Japanese TV-viewing public - If you'd actually pick TV programs for their content from time to time instead of just flipping to wherever the supposedly "in" personality happens to be at the time, TV programs might actually offer content from time to time! (Yes, some of us actually DID turn on the opening ceremony of the last Olympics hoping to see said ceremony, not the celebrity morons' brainless chattering that we got instead. PLEASE don't do that to us again in Beijing this year!!!)

To Japanese women (and a lot of men) - Realize that your natural hair color isn't necessarily evil, but the weird shades you often insist on dyeing it with sometimes are.

To Japanese girls and young women - Short shorts or miniskirts and bare legs may be considered sexy, but when it's near freezing outside they also make you look terribly stupid (and are probably wreaking havoc with your health).

To gas stations
- You know perfectly well that a rise in the price of crude oil won't affect you directly for quite some time. Realize that jacking up your gas prices as soon as the news breaks only encourages people to drive less...or slower...or buy hybrids or much smaller cars.

To manufacturers in general - Stop canceling products as soon as I come to like them.

To the lawmakers and law enforcers - Understand that a law is meaningless if you have no intention of enforcing it. Understand that law enforcement is meaningless if you have no intention of acknowledging the law. Understand that the public will ignore laws and law enforcement if both appear irrelevant.

To the Japanese government - Try very hard to use some basic logic. Dealing with the problem of falling revenue as a result of slumping consumer spending by doubling if not tripling the consumption tax (which will probably cause spending to slump even more) is SHODDY ARITHMETIC. Complaining about the quality of schools, teachers, modern curriculum, and children's academic ability while talking about slashing education subsidies is SHODDY ARITHMETIC. Publicly supporting the "War on Terror" and calling for more measures to protect the nation and its interests from terrorism (including more draconian security measures and clamping down on free speech) while calling it "illegal" and "embarrassing" to provide non-combat assistance to coalition forces or reconstruction efforts is SHODDY ARITHMETIC.

To the parents of certain students - The Ministry of Technology and Education has once again made it officially mandated policy that disruptive and/or troublesome students be removed from class so as not to infringe on the rights of the other kids. That means you gave us the right to do the same with your brat precious snowflake when you signed on the dotted line. Now shut the f*** up and deal with it.

To certain coworkers of mine - Congratulations on earning a bit of authority. Now try to earn and maintain some respect by not abusing your position or letting it go to your head.

To practicers of any religion - May your faith grow even stronger and give you both peace of mind and a better life (or afterlife)...but I don't need it shoved it down my throat, and neither does anyone else. Also, don't start killing people for your god until He or She can come and vouch for you in person.

To practicers of non-religion - More or less same as above. And leave our beloved traditions alone.

To people who whine on their blogs - Never mind. :-[

To people in general - Can't we all just get along and get a life?

Happy New Year, everybody (even if I said it before)!


  • Beavis: Heh Heh, you said "breast."

    MM: Shut up, Beavis.

    By Anonymous B*tthead, at 5:06 AM  

  • Did I just see you advocate trickle down economics?

    Well, we would like to see that tax idea done here, but it won't be.

    By Anonymous Dave, at 6:43 AM  

  • I feel your pain, but this time I'll just settle for an end to this crappy war.

    By Blogger Swinebread, at 9:53 AM  

  • lol Moody
    not only tv personalities, but hollywood stars -
    Seems that once we have a 'cult' personality, then some people will bear & grin to watch just about any old crap they pump out.
    It happens with some pop stars too, sometimes I wonder if they deliberately make crap, just to see how far crap can sell - or maybe, they are hoping to get back at the record company (contract) and produce something that won't sell, only to be bemused when it becomes a hit or almost hit.

    But I agree tb personality cult, happens here too, Dame Edna Average and the 'new' such like clap-trap show host, and whatever nonsense they come up with ... all in the name of art or being different.

    I can't believe that slapstick comedy and custard pie throwing was ever a novelty, who knows a farting competition may again become a novelty on smello-vision one day.

    I mean I can understand with kids on the schoold playground, but people making a 'starlike' living out of it - well, it makes me wretch

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 3:19 AM  

  • Darn
    there goes my new year resolution

    To be less critical of things I find irritating. But then again I only have myself to blame for watching shows on tv getting more and more bizarre or stupid in their attempts to attract ratings. But what is most unbelievable of all is how the whole charade works, and their ratings go up - I mean big brother ratings would really go up if we had some inane violence thrown in.

    Not sure if it is a reflection of society, or simply a reflection of the tv watching portion of society.
    If there ever was a tower of bable it was sure satellite tv with 999 channels of trash to choose from.

    The only possible solution, either throw away the tv - or - scrap any channel other than National Geographic, and maybe a night at the proms on the BBC. What dayya say?

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 3:26 AM  

  • Beavis
    What I said.

    I advocate common sense. The government has been complaining about revenue shortfalls and has laid the blame on reduced consumer spending. The last prime minister recommended increasing the national sales tax from 5% to 7% if not 10%. The current prime minister is saying even that won't be enough, suggesting a rise to 12-15% might be necessary. But if consumer spending is down because people don't have money, how is adding to the cost of everything going to solve the problem? Especially since basic grocery staples aren't exempt from the tax?

    What's really unbelievable is that the government is firmly under control of the ironically-named "liberal democratic party", which is actually conservative and republican AND controlled by big business!

    Yeah, but let's try being slightly realistic, shall we? Painful though it might be...

    Having had a bit of contact with the music biz, I can tell you the main reason most of it is crap has little if anything to do with the artists. Unless you're an established big name (and often even then), odds are you'll be taken on and managed by an agency that will try very hard to squeeze you into a "marketable" mold. And if they don't, the record labels most definitely will.

    An excellent example was provided by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. When their breakthrough album "Nevermind" was released, he said in a London interview, "We had songs that were f*****g brilliant, and the producer f****d 'em all up!" At around the same time British band Ride was enjoying immense popularity with their indy-label releases, but their first release on a major label, despite all the hype and marketing, was unbelievably trite.

    Bottom line: art and big business make for a bad mix.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 10:20 AM  

  • Wow! I thought I'd skip some lines (or paragraphs) but something kept me reading through the end; could be the new year wish.

    Love the 'never mind' re-solution. We all need that to get along sometimes.

    By Blogger agus, at 6:31 PM  

  • lol

    I hate to think that we'll be slapped with a GST soon. :(

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 6:15 PM  

  • We saw a dog killed last month in part because of one of your pet (no pun intended at all) peeves. Three high school boys were riding abreast AT NIGHT no less on road 242 (which parallels the Kashima Oarai RR line and is quite busy. A dog was loping along with them. As we approached I called out about the dog, which was mostly black and hard to see - K slowed, then one of the boys swerved over to the right (wrong) side of the road and the other two more or less figured out they were blocking traffic and starting riding in line on the left. The poor dog ( a good sized animal was confused by all this and decided to follow the boy who went to the wrong side of the road. It was running along in the right (wrong lane) and was hit head on by a car going about 40 kph just before we passed. OK, so the owner is a fault for letting his dog loose, but the kids on the bikes contributed to this animals unnecessary death and damage to the car. Damn luck it wasn't one of them, the way they were riding.

    Dave - it's called "trickle down" because I'm pissing on your boot, you peasant! ;^)

    As for slow drivers, you know that may happen, so leave a little early and relax if it does. No get nuts, eh?

    As for hair...I know it isn't just women now days, but Robert Heinlein said, "women and cats will do what they may, and it's time that men and dogs just got used to it."

    It can all be frustrating, but even this atheist sometimes needs to remember the prayer which starts, "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change"....

    And have a wonderful New Year!

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 6:51 PM  

  • I would add:

    To people walking around in my gallery, talking on their cell phone: Just talk softly into the phone. I already know you're "RIGHT NOW IN AN ART GALLERY IN SANTA FE." Not only do I know it, I'm a bit distressed by that fact.

    By Blogger San, at 5:21 AM  

  • To people who whine on their blogs??

    Ooops! Sorreeee!!!
    I promise I won't do it again...

    By Blogger Lrong, at 5:44 PM  

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