Performance at Tate Liverpool, 2 July 2022.
Folkestone, Saturday 23rd September 2017.
Maybe one day somebody will explain why the people in tech advertising– especially white people in ads for east Asian companies– always seem to be deliberately portrayed as affectless, malfunctioning animatronic mannequins with a limited grasp of their own language (example 1, example 2). Surely the ideal user likes to see themselves as more human than their phone or gadget, not less? In this latest effort by what must be a Taiwanese company, judging by the surtitles and the reference to Taipei 101, an insane lady called Pretty Woman Smart Living talks to her finger like Danny from The Shining and never misses an opportunity to humiliate her boyfriend for his inability to do mostly pointless things with his phone. He should also stop cutting his own hair, or at least try looking in a…
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Two accidental forays into surrealism by British boys’ paper The Hotspur, which amazingly lasted until 1981. I say amazingly, although on the other hand there were lots of British colonial era things that inexplicably carried on into the 1980s and beyond. Not to mention that The Hotspur‘s first issue had on its cover a plane-sized eagle attacking an actual aeroplane, and came with a free “Black Cloth mask” for no immediately apparent reason, so they definitely started as they meant to go on.
The cover above is almost certainly not referring to the fact that this football player has a feature likely to make him popular with the ladies and about 10% of the gentlemen, but instead that he scores goals by kicking unexpectedly wide. As for how and why somebody decided to counter this tactic by installing a gung ho…
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I think a lot of the time weird Japan is weird, weird Japan knows it is weird and weird Japan is laughing about it, e.g.
“We know. It’s OK, go ahead and laugh. We know.”
But sometimes Japan apparently has no idea it’s peculiar and creepy to invent an AI talkbot bear called (I think) Himitsuno Kumachan– Secret Bear?– then have it introduced in a stilted, badly dubbed video by the 100 Yen Shop version of David Duchovny. Remarkably, even I can tell that the Japanese is even more stiff and unnatural than the English.
“Mr J” also visits a coffee shop to have a little chat with his bear, which isn’t a strange and awkward thing for a grown man to do, no, not at all.
Children are presumably the actual intended users for the product, as opposed to 100 Yen Shop David Duchovny. Here we see a genuine…
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If you search your heart you will recognise that your life has in truth been a sad and pitiful travesty because you’ve never found any way to conveniently inject bananas with chocolate sauce. Luckily Sonna! Chocobana-na is here to fill your bananas and to plug the aching abyss of your soul hole. そんな！チョコバナ～ナ: Sonna translates as “like that” or something similar, although I’m guessing they mean something more like “Such/So Chocobanana!”. You can also insert cream into your banana if you’re in the mood for even more symbolically charged fruit consumption than that which will ensue from the chocobana-na. You could try some jamu, or other gelatinous substances, but we need to face the fact that this product is called Sonna! Chocobana-na so I’m afraid you’ll just have to accept that chocolate is the orthodox choice. One thing to be said in the ad’s favour is that it’s relentlessly innocent…
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My latest outfit inspiration.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia this May, enjoy this honest and unbiased video in which ORDINARY CHINESE PEOPLE have DEFINITELY NOT BEEN COACHED OR COERCED into giving their opinions of Russia and particularly of its “handsome leader, like President Xi”: Vladimir Putin. Show solidarity to COMPLETELY UNPROBLEMATIC COMRADES WHO ARE IN FULL COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES by eating bread, consuming dairy products, admiring Putin’s “big muscles” (not shown in these pictures), and repeatedly, SINCERELY expressing your desire to marry him. But REMEMBER to appreciate Putin’s big muscles only in a HETEROSEXUAL MANNER because he strictly forbids any reception upon his person of HOMOSEXUAL EYE BEAMS. Pity all countries which do not have handsome, shirtless, DEFINITELY HETEROSEXUAL leaders with big muscles. Presumably photos of Xi Jinping in his budgie smugglers are to follow shortly. You will ENJOY THEM and praise the…
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I’m sure there have been no end of articles and blog posts about ゼンタイ zentai: skin tight, faceless body suits. Originally they’re from Japan, of course, like many other cross-cultural mutations. The term is an abbreviation of 全身タイツ zenshin taitsu, “full body tights”. It’s also a safe bet that most of these articles fall into the categories of a) LOL weirdos b) LOL perverts or c) both of the aforementioned. Frankly, I would advise against uncontrolled internet searching on the subject unless you’re broad-minded because some of the people who are into it are absolute FREAKS and you might well see some obscure corners of the porn world that you’d really rather not. Also beware of YouTube’s “up next” autoplay…
Being an absolute freak is fine by me, actually (just wash your hands and probably have a shower too, before you do anything else) but perhaps especially for those who
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Firm advice for ladies who pride themselves on saucy chique, very stout persons, and gentlemen who so far forget what is elegant as to smoke in the street from George Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette, circa mid-to-late 1860s judging by the complaint about crinolines, which had gone out of fashion in favour of bustles by the 1870s.
Some of the advice is actually still completely relevant; Mr Routledge’s glove fixation, not so much. “Worsted or cotton gloves are unutterably vulgar,” apparently. You’ve been told.
It is always better to let your friends regret than desire your withdrawal…
If you are yourself the performer, bear in mind that in music, as in speech, “brevity is the soul of wit.” … If your audience desire more they will ask for more; and it is infinitely more flattering to be encored than to receive the thanks of your hearers, not so much…
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A Japanese vegetable juice company has made a backpack robot with a tomato-shaped head, designed to feed its wearer tomatoes… because of course they have. Another solution to a problem nobody in their right mind ever thought was a problem.
It is at least credited to an artist, so we’ll give him some leeway to not be entirely utilitarian, and possibly even satirical. In the picture above it looks disconcertingly like some kind of high tech kawaii BDSM ball gag get up, and even more disconcertingly like these mechanoid, fetor-powered parasites from the manga ギョGyo (Fish) by Junji Ito, who seems to have a boundless imagination for scatology, body horror and despair. Probably not the vibe that Kagome were going for.
I hereby announce the blogging genre of Japanese misadventures with vegetables and/or…
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Some lovely and surreal Renaissance images of marvels and unexplained phenomena, from Taschen’s The Book of Miracles.
This happened to a friend of a friend. He went to the shops to get a paper and some milk, but he found the whole area blasted into desert, then he was gnawed by a dragon and he went to heaven. Ker-razy.
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I’m still not entirely sure if this project which “aims to spread human ride robots” is in earnest or some kind of satirical sci fi art concept. Sometimes in Japan it’s hard to tell. It’s also entirely possible for any given thing to be both. I think “both” is probably the answer here although if it is a joke or has jokey elements, then it’s a joke carried out with unusual thoroughness and commitment. Well, unusual if you’re not Japanese, anyway. Obviously as usual any humour, intended or otherwise, has been missed by 90% of the lumpencommentariat on YouTube. As I’ve pointed out before, like the British the Japanese have an international reputation for being somehow both joyless stiffs and unpredictably eccentric, but in fact both nations across all social classes share a deep affinity for daft, surreal, mocking humour that doesn’t necessarily register in the USA, or…
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Otherwise known as the now traditional lazy retrospective listicle
We all know by now don’t we my little blackguards my pretty roadside fartflowers of the friggingfields my dearest filthy fuckbirds yes we know yes yes yes oh yes that the top pages on the site are invariably James Joyce’s paeans to using the tradesman’s entrance and the translation of Hokusai’s tentacle hentai. Tens of thousands of you, constantly, from all over the world, day and night. You must have massive right arms by now (if you’re right handed).
But there is so much more to explore, and some of it doesn’t even involve sexual fetishes. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
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Merry War (Christmas is Over (If you want it))… or something!
Apparently there’s some kind of public holiday going on. But sod that, how about some proper “me time”? Why don’t you start the new year by having a solo wedding with yourself in Kyoto?
You are single and you don’t know if you would be able to get married and have a wedding ceremony in the near future, but you would like to have some pictures of yourself in a wedding gown or in a gorgeous bridal kimono now, when you are young and beautiful..
..or you even believe that you don’t really have to get engaged to be able to wear a bridal outfit..
..or you are already married, but didn’t have a proper ceremony with a beautiful dress and you find this fact to be quite regretful..
..or you did wear a dress, but it was…
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Japanese office supply company King Jim offer this lovely wearable futon and air mat set for a mere ¥4,500 (about £25, €30 or $40), because Japan. It’s ideal for those times when you’ve come to hold your own life and dignity so cheap that you’re willing to voluntarily wear a futon at your workplace and sleep next to your desk like a dog. The title in the blue box says “kiru futon & eaamatto” (literally “wear futon and air mat”). The kit also contains an air pump. I once slept on a legit air bed for far longer than is sensible and it nearly crippled me, so I’m guessing this glorified packing material is hardly better than the office utility carpet from which the air mat is supposed to protect you.
Stylish cuffs, no? It’s nearly as hip as turning up selvedge jeans, except you’re wearing a futon therefore you…
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“A woman should always have fair skin, otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.”
The top picture is just the best. So surreal. Is it a balaclava, a ski mask, a facekini? Whatever you call it, it’s a weird and slightly terrifying item of apparel that is actually worn in China, on the beach at Qingdao especially. It’s the latest offshoot of the Nosferatu mania that many women in China have for keeping out of the sun. Even in London, where we count ourselves lucky to even see the sun for more than a week out of every year, you can spot Chinese tourists by their massive hats and the objects that they hold up above their heads the very instant they sense any danger of unduly numerous photons ravaging their skin.
As this New York Times article says…
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I wouldn’t say that Funky Forest: The First Contact (ナイスの森 Naisu no mori) is a good or neccessarily a very funny film for the most part. But it is a film in which the scene above occurs, which is a kind of recommendation if you’re a fan of this blog and its usual subject matter. After a passing high school student is persuaded to use her navel to power up a Cronenbergian television that gives birth to a miniature sushi chef through its puckered sphincter-screen, the scene ends like this:
To which the only possible response from her– and us, probably– is:
(More animated GIFs follow: give them a few moments to load.)
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“Danny doesn’t want to think about it any more, Mrs Torrance”
Thanks (?) to Verso Books I became aware of this splendid photograph by Annie Leibovitz, of Susan Sontag dressed as a bear. She just is, OK?
The bear costume, the hard stare, the keyboard. It immediately reminded me of something.
Now we know why Wendy was so freaked out. How the hell did Susan Sontag get in here? Forever more I will involuntarily associate her with evil ghost bear BJs at The Overlook Hotel. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is one of my favourite films, for one thing because of scenes like this where Kubrick– in contrast to the story’s original author, Stephen King, whose prose allows no dead horse to remain unflogged and leaves nothing that goes without saying unsaid– evokes vast realms of back story and untold narrative riches with just a few shots and one ineradicable image.
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