Monday, September 28, 2009

Blueberry Nights

My Blueberry Nights is so thoroughly utterly bad it's good. A practical joke. Maybe entirely done on purpose. What are you trying to tell us Wong?

1) Norah Jones the actress
2) "Manchester" why bother
3) bad dialogue translation (I know)
4) Elizabeth in essence a supporting role
5) fun was had with the stars
6) culturally inaccurate US backdrops
7) itch scratching depth

Best seen slightly drunk/hung over on Sunday, by yourself, in a cheap empty theater without knowing what's being shown. Boy what a pleasant-awful surprise.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yes Japan can?

(2009 Japan's election results, taken from wikipedia)
DPJ - Democratic Party of Japan (民主党)
LDP - Liberal Democratic Party (自由民主党)

Below are four BBC news clips on their fairly thorough coverage of Japan's 2009 general election, its brand spanking new prime minister Hatoyama and his cabinet. If you're pressed for time, watch the first and fourth videos. This probably sounds cliched BUT 2009 election may well change modern Japan.

about the party
new ruling Democratic party founded only 11 years ago
ran on a platform of aggressive change (Obama and Kimutaku?)

bold promises
reduced relationship with US militarily
serve the people, not big businesses

Japan in deep water
Japan in its worst economic slump since war
a significantly shrinking middle class
national debt no less impressive than US

recap on what happened last month
TOKYO — Japan’s voters cast out the Liberal Democratic Party for only the second time in postwar history on Sunday, handing a landslide victory to a party that campaigned on a promise to reverse a generation-long economic decline and to redefine Tokyo’s relationship with Washington.

Many Japanese saw the vote as the final blow to the island nation’s postwar order, which has been slowly unraveling since the economy collapsed in the early 1990s.

In the powerful lower house, the opposition Democrats virtually swapped places with the governing Liberal Democratic Party, winning 308 of the 480 seats, a 175 percent increase that gives them control of the chamber, according to the national broadcaster NHK. The incumbents took just 119 seats, about a third of their previous total. The remaining seats were won by smaller parties. NYTimes

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A dying breed

Two worldwide trends of motoring are quickly endangering what's left of a genuine driver's experience.


The last decade in Japan especially you'd have a hard time finding a new manual shift performance car - that includes all BMWs, Mercs, Audis, Alfas, Lambos, Ferraris, you get the picture. Go browse a used car site. Porsches, the last breed still have stick shift as an option, are now overwhelmingly automatic. Dear god stop the double clutch madness a.k.a chasing the numbers!

goo net search results
The above link is of, maybe the largest used car site in Japan. I did a search for Porsche 911. It returned 723 finds, of which only about 70 cars made within 10 years have manual box.

A car that can flatter its driver gets to survive, simple as that. Let's be honest the vast majority of high-end car buyers have more money than driving skills, and are probably over the hill. What they would buy as opposed to what an engineer truly wants to build, besides solely on making a profit, is worlds apart. The current state of performance automotive speaks volume about the demography of the wealthy.


Every latest derivative of a performance car has to go faster, have more horsepower, and be ever more aggressive. The problem is all of those are achieved with the wrong means - adding more driver's aids and weight. My opinion: not every sports car purchase is for track use. For the 90% of people who never use the upper half of the power spectrum, what's the point? Who needs 500hp? When everyone is doing it and merely having a number pissing contest even once serious manufacturers have to follow suit. Thank god for smaller establishments.

To me the car people who get it right are those who ask "where can I reduce weight?" instead of "how should I add more power?" Less is more. Get your collectively electronic hands off the steering wheel. Save the driving assistant features for the casual majority.