Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nan De Darou pt. VII

Yes, I know the song, "Nande Darou?" ("Whatever For?"), which got played to death here several years ago, is now officially considered fossilized, as is the comedy duo Tetsu and Tomo, but its basic message still rings true today. Basically, the song consists of Tomo (the one in blue with a guitar) singing ever-changing verses about various current facts or events that don't make sense, each followed by the refrain, "Nande darou...nande daraou," while Tetsu (the one in red) dances around, does funny things with his hands, and sometimes gives Tomo a hard time.

Okay, here's my latest take on the song (and forgive me if there are some repeats):

♫ Why do so many drivers here in Japan simply pull to the side of the lane, partly blocking it, while they fiddle with things or talk on their cell phones, even when there's a pull-off not twenty meters ahead of them?

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ In fact, while we're at it, why do so many drivers in the country here wait at an intersection until an oncoming car is at point blank range before suddenly whipping out in front of it?

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ The first-ever Democrat administration here in Japan promised to lower taxes, eliminate expressway tolls, make public high school free, revitalize education, increase the subsidy paid to parents for each child, eliminate government pork spending, and carve out government corruption. A lot of corruption turned up in their own ranks. They eliminated not only the pork, but a lot of useful if not vital projects, too. The child subsidy was (finally) increased, but it is such a confusing, mismanaged mess that a lot of people wonder if they'll ever get their money. The revised curriculum looks and sounds fantastic, but the schools can't make heads or tails of it, and it doesn't fit the reality of the firmly-entrenched college entrance system. They couldn't make public high school free per se, but they have introduced an income-based student stipend system that no one can quite figure out. The expressways still aren't free, but a new, simplified toll system was introduced that reduces rates for some people...and increases them for others. Now Prime Minister KAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!! is saying that they'll have to double the sales tax from 5% to 10% to make ends meet. Even more baffling, they expressed surprise that they took a pounding in the recent election.

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ Why is it that so many of the people screaming the loudest to make lack of English proficiency a punishable offense in the USA are themselves unable to write English with better proficiency than a third grader? ("Hey all countries got there own rules!")

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ Spy swapping between the US and Russia? What is this, a great leap backward to the 70's? And yet it has been rightly pointed out that this swap happened with uncanny speed and smoothness, almost as if it had been planned or at least suspected from the beginning. Just WHAT is going on in geopolitics right now?

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ All last winter the intertubes were filled with mockery of the Global Warming™ thing because there was all that snow. And yet news that last month was the hottest June on record and July might be a contender as well, not to mention the fact that the past year has had the 5th highest average temperature in recorded history, has been greeted with deafening silence.

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ Recently it seems like one of the the most impassioned religious dogmas trying to force its beliefs on the general public has been Atheism.

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ There has been an awful lot of bitter frothing about President Obama, but since it seems like a large percentage if not the majority of his administration's current policies are simply continuations of things put there in the first place by W. Bush, inc. (e.g. the recession, the deficit, bank and corporate bailouts, the War on Terror®, discouragement if not outright suppression of dissent, etc.), I have to wonder why these same people were largely silent only a few years ago. ("Because he's a socialist!" Okay, how many businesses have been nationalized so far?)

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ The trend here in Japan is toward more expensive, higher-quality coffees and teas and cheaper, lower-quality beer ("beer-like beverages", actually).

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ If bread gets a little moldy, it's a health hazard and must be thrown away. If cheese gets moldy, it's gourmet fare and must be eaten.

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

♫ All this time collecting and playing musical instruments, having a special passion for hand-crafted items, and having the deepest of admiration for the culture and spirit of the Native Americans, and I had no idea there was such a place as the Oregon Flute Store. (Still debating which one to order first!)

Nande darou? Nande darou? Na-na-na-nande darou?

Okay...Tetsu and Tomo didn't usually draw the song out quite this long, so I'll stop it here for now. Until next time!


  • LOL! Good one, MM. We have our own brand of driver antics and political mess-ups too and others, perhaps more! How was the Bon Odori festival at your end this year?

    By Blogger HappySurfer, at 1:52 PM  

  • Happysurfer
    Hi there! Long time no "see"!

    The Bon Festival isn't until mid August, so it's still a bit early. My neighborhood no longer hosts a Bon dance.

    I'm sure there are plenty of driver antics and political mess-ups everywhere in the world there are cars and politicians. I'm sure we'll be hearing about the latter in particular in 5..4..3..

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 2:17 PM  

  • Not really about a political messup, but I too am amused/disgusted/baffled by Bush haters and Obama haters. When Bush was in there were people who very loudly hated him and there were people who supported him. Now with Obama it seems the people who hated him now support Obama and the people who supported him now hate Obama. I am glad to see that I am not the only one who noticed that a lot of the things Obama is doing are the same as what Bush did, which is why I feel the amusement/disgust/bafflement at these people. (I am an independent, maybe that is why I cannot really understand it!)

    By Anonymous The Intrepid Adventurer, at 9:45 PM  

  • TIA
    Believe me, you're not the only one who feels this way. Then again, everyone I know who does is either an independent (as am I) or a Libertarian, so you may have something there.

    After all, it was on this very blog where one of my more "politically aware" friends stated that it is "chicken" for you to assert your own views rather than following one of the two big political herds.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 3:01 AM  

  • I've found the whole Bush to Obama transition to be extremely instructive. Any social historian should be licking their chops to study these two administrations and the people who passionately support each.

    I suspect if we aren't divided and conquered, we might threaten the power structures who are entenched in the government and business and disrupt their cozy arrangement.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 12:09 AM  

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