Saturday, July 07, 2007

Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show

Has anybody else seen this?

I like it, but I am uncomfortable with it all the same. Not 'uncomfortable' meaning 'back off me with that shit', which is how I would describe how people use scare-quote "uncomfortable" in my native tongue. Or they say that they're "not OK with that", a construction so pinched and constipated I tend to forget that people actually say it. I think I might even say it by accident, occasionally, when someone else in my group says it. Apparently, the pack instinct overrules the more lately evolved sense of grammatical propriety. Hypocrisy, perhaps, comes naturally to us when we try to get along with one another. It's a social lubricant. As is overlooking it.

No, I mean it makes my skin crawl- not the show, but my inability to identify what I find compelling in it. Perhaps it is the multi-reflective nature of the comedy. Are we making fun of Japanese people (I don't think so) or are we poking fun at their picking up tidbits of American culture and making them something and misunderstanding them? That doesn't seem right, either, but as the complexity or subtlety of the explanation increases, I'm going to be less certain.

I'm a Nipponophile. No, I don't mean I dig Japanese women. At least not exclusively. I mean that I find a lot of Japanese culture compelling. Samurai and ninjas alone would have made them one of my favorites. Zen. Stuff westerners like to appropriate and use inappropriately (at least from the point of view of the originators of the culture). I know I do. Samurai rock. As do ninja. And Zen monks. A zen monk samurai ninja...

I've seen Japanese television a few times, so part of my impressions of Japanese culture is based, inevitably, on my unfamiliarity with how they roll in Japan. Just after my wife had our first kid, we lived in an apartment that came with satellite TV service. It just so happened. We never knew until we moved in.

Each day, for some short time (which I never bothered to measure- on the order of 1 hour) we got Japanese news followed by a japanese entertainment program. They were always incomprensible to me; sometime staid, sometimes frenetic. Despite my lack of understanding, I found it riveting. I didn't understand why. This is sort of a pattern.

I often encounter things that I find impenetrable. Certain parts of physics and mathematics have proven to be like that. Lots of art and music as well. In art and music, I can find accessible background to help me understand what people are up to. The same is true of science and math, too.


At Wednesday, September 26, 2007, Blogger Ψ*Ψ said...

kawaii desu ne?
i watched a lot of anime in high school. some is definitely way-off in bizarro land. who knows where the idea of giant fighting robots came from? ninjas are pretty awesome, though.
/fluff comment


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