For sale, Baby shoe, found & used.
For sale, Baby shoe, found & used.
Splatted! by a truck.
Tokyo Ghoul has a small exhibition of fan-art in Shinjuku Station. I’m all about bringing art, culture and science to the masses, but man, I think my elitist dementia is bringing out my ranty side. I’m bothered by that people see a fancy frame and boom, everybody starts paying attention. Ooh, it’s got a fancy frame, so it’s art? I like art!
Oh, please! There’s a reason why there’s you can make a difference between a book and literature. But I digress. I don’t wanna be one of those assholes who froths and says “FAN-ART BAD!!!”, since I’ve worked in a science museum and my job was to make science as accessible and fun to everybody, children and adults alike. God knows we need to stand against anti-intellectualism since we will head into a very dark age if we start normalizing quackery such as homeopathy and “University of Life” kind of shit.
These fan-art people sure do get a whole lot attention, but I know my good buddy tvk is making some great stuff, but to get attention in this world where everybody’s starving for the Next Big Thing™ but struggle to actually find quality content. Like, let’s think about it! When we go to an image aggregator, how much time to we spend on a picture or a funny gif? Not much, right? How many times to we return for the same user for different content? If we are really bored, then we go through our favorites and see the same content once more, but that’s rare. Even rarer, for my case at least, is going through somebody’s imgur content page for more stuff.
Now, the same thing might be for writing and music as well. If something is finally phenomenally good, catches the attention of some bored yokel at the right time with the right keywords, then you might get a buzz going on as a single artist. But as a starting person, then it’ll take a whole lot of time and leg work to get your work outside. Like they say, if the mountain doesn’t come to Mohammad, then the Mohammad will come to the mountain.
How does this tie together with Tokyo Ghoul Fan Art Exhibition? It has Recognition and Loyal Fan Base already, so no wonder these people would stop and gawk at this. I bet this would get the same attention even without the fancy frames, but it sure did get my attention as a person who doesn’t dig Tokyo Ghoul. But for the fans, it was seeing their favorite characters in the middle of Shinjuku, so their heart melted and they are ready to open their wallets for the Next Big Drop™ of Tokyo Ghoul.
This idea of recognition is what I used back in my science days as well. Kids don’t know about atoms, but they know about Legos. A piece is just a piece, but may pieces will create something different. Just like atoms, you know? There’s a whole lot of psychological dimensions into learning and attention grabbing and unfortunately our human brains aren’t as sophisticated as we would like to think. There’s this book called Thinking, Fast and Slow, which deals with how people think and why people fall for these parlor tricks of the mind. Framing as such is one of these tricks – you can serve a piece of information in many ways, but the observer will receive it in many different ways. It’s like a computer reading code from line 0 to line thousand, reading meticulously every single line and doing exactly as it says. If the code is perfect, it’ll execute. If not, then it will bug out. Our brains are seriously buggy and exploitable, but at least it doesn’t BSOD on us.
Marketing and mass media is actually a very delicate science and there’s a reason why PR companies reap massive profits from a simple press release or tweet. Being a youtuber is way more than just making great videos, being an artist is way more than making great pics and being a musician (that I identify as right now) is way more than pressing buttons on a synth. There’s a whole lot of analyzing and communication to be done during all this. That’s why people band up, as there’s strength in numbers and that’s what I’m also going for once I get like 5 songs up in my soundcloud. I’m actually hella excited to make some music here in Tokyo, as there’s whole lotta energy to be used here.
Too long, didn’t read summary: exciting things are ahead!!
You know people die from overwork in Japan? Well, I found the reason for that. In order to keep unemployment down, they will hire a dude to do one thing and one thing only. When there is construction work of any kind, there’s always one dude whose job is to bow to every single person who comes by and apologize for the inconvenience. Then there’s the dude with the lightsaber to guide people across the road DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SIGNAL IS WORKING. Then you finally have the guy who is actually doing the damn job. This picture all of them on the same picture.
What a country!!
Tomorrow’s 23rd of June, the Victory Day for Estonia. It was 99 years ago during the War of Independence when Estonians and Latvians defeated the German Landeswehr. This day is celebrated with a military parade in the day with our dear president Kersti Kaljulaid saluting each and every military branch. Well, that’s so much about the military history. Most of Estonians are actually waiting for the night to come, as the next day is Jaanipäev, the summer solstice, and that’s celebrated with lighting a bonfire, staying up all night (which is really easy as it’s literally 4 hours long) and copious amounts of grilling and drinking.
You’d think if it’s 23rd of June, then the night would be nice, warm, and dry. But unfortunately, it seems that this year too it will be rainy and it’ll dip all the way to 7 degrees Celsius in the night, so better make that bonfire a big one.
Times like these make me wanna be in Estonia, you know? I miss being in the cold and in the rain and with my friends. I am doing the exact same crap I usually did back in Estonia too – go to work, come back and play something. Well, now that I am living with my wife, then I actually do go outside every once and a while and have fun. Plus I got like ridiculous amounts of money every month even though I’m making a bit better than the minimum. Plus me and my wife are really frugal, so instead of buying dumb shit all the time, we save loads of money and then spend it all doing dumb shit together, like trying to win a hand spinner from an UFO catcher. Which we finally did, by the way!
This is what peak performance looks like, fellas.
I mean, it’s fucking great to finally not worry about money. They say money can’t buy you happiness, but that’s absolute nonsense. I like how everybody’s so orderly and how they value teamwork and co-operation over the individual. My mother-in-law said all this law and order is all superficial and they’d be ready to stab you in the back the moment you let your guard down. But let me tell you, I’d have a thin ice of civilization over the deep sea of chaos rather than dipping your toes into the water all the time as a reminder.
I think I can do way better in Japan once I get some N-level (N1 or N2) credentials. I can do way better once I get some friends as well. It’s just like my co-worker and mad scientist genius said about emigrating: “If you just go somewhere and come back, you’ll soon realize people are all the same everywhere. If you wanna go to Japan and live there, make yourself a part of the community rather than getting into work-home-work cycle. Become an even better Japanese than the Japanese themselves.”
I think he’s got the right idea. It’s too bad that I got this shift-work job that I can’t really make plans too much ahead or make even a week-to-week commitment. But I do have this great little synthesizer and an internet connection, so I really looking forward to making a band or at least find some peeps to make music together here in Tokyo.
Ah, shit I forgot I was supposed to write a little bit more about the Estonians and Japanese. Anyway, my big idea is that Estonians and Japanese share the same genealogical and cultural heritage, as it’s super easy for Estonians to assimilate into the Japanese culture. Our languages have the same pronunciation, we are both hella seclusive with isolationist tendencies and we both go into this autistic frenzy when things are done in the way that they aren’t supposed to be. Plus we both can enjoy a good dose of poop jokes (christ allmighty I think I can write like a 2000-word feature article about poop jokes after a year of living in Japan. Seriously, it’s the biggest source of humor over here. If you ever wanna make a Japanese laugh, just make some fart and shitting noises and watch them crack right up. Go like “buri-buri-buri” and you’ll be their best friend forever.)
Anyway, it’s great over here, but now it’s time for something more. More cash, more wisdom, more glitz and glamour.
Chiba Lotte Marines have a new mascot and it’s called Fish (or 魚、さかな, Sakana, looks like an anglerfish). It’s ridiculous, it just runs around and sometimes the guy falls out of the costume revealing the spooky skeleton inside. Also Tsubakuro (a swallow, not a penguin), the mascot of the Swallows, tries to pull the skeleton out once more.
Baseball is fun to watch. Slow pace means you can just chill out with your friends and talk about whatever, you can take a piss and not miss anything. The ball game is just a great time to relax in the sun. Of course when you get a place in the foul zone, then you gotta keep your eyes on the game cuz you are gonna get hit with those damn balls. Especially when Mejia from Seibu Lions is batting. Man, when he makes a foul ball it first flies like 60 meters up in the sky and plummets straight to the ground like a meteorite!
Plus the teams have fun songs to sing along to, fans bang their drums and blow their trumpets. If you go to see a Hanshin Tigers game, then you’ll see 3 old men always dancing in the back of the fan zone. Baseball is a very social game here in Japan, but right now it seems people prefer watching soccer instead. Man, soccer sucks though. Running from one end to another chasing some ball like bunch of dweebs, who gives a shit? Baseball, now that’s a man’s game! you got a dude throwing a ball and another dude hitting it, then they run after the ball as the other team runs from one base to another. Real exciting stuff, you see.
Finally you can also go to batting centers in Japan, and that stuff can cut through stress like hot knife through butter. When I was unemployed for two months and had my mother-in-law go hysterical on me, then I went to a batting center and I felt reborn again. Just you and the ball coming your way and you swing your mighty iron bat at the ball. Feels good, man.