It’s ridiculous that I’ve only written one post for this blog in the last four months. I have about three dozen articles in various stages of undress. Instead of clothing them properly, they are wandering sheepishly around my laptop half-naked, dazed and lost, like at some after-party gone bad.
The only excuses I can offer is that I was absorbed in the successful championship campaign of my Los Angeles Lakers. (Hold on a sec while I do a few fist pumps.) And then I was immersed in the fascinating hyper-nationalism and mega-commercialism of the World Cup.
There were so many things I wanted to write about during the games that I was, in the end, in a catatonic state of deconstructivist mist. And then of course I was most distracted by my impending fatherhood. (More fist pumps.)
But I’m about to redress not writing, so to speak. Henceforth, I’m going to make a schedule of things I want to write about. Every month I’ll be writing about each of the following:
Movie Review. The movie will be laboriously over-analyzed and grandiose statements about society will be made from it.
Cafe Review. I’ll find some hidden away cafe (there are approximately 1.2 billion of them in Tokyo) and make snarky comments about their clientele, coffee, and suitable activities.
Museum Review. I look at more art than is healthy and I have opinions about them. I’ll try to edit out the pretentious ones.
Book Review. Reading on the internet is like a noisy all-you-can-eat buffet in Vegas. Reading a book is like having an intimate potluck on the patio on a cool summer night. I’ll be trying to dine al fresco more and writing about the results.
Architecture Sightings. 90% of Tokyo is just buildings. And quite a few of them are worth noting.
Living in Tokyo. After five years in Japan I’ve started to take the details of every day living here for granted. It’s an endlessly fascinating culture. My first post in this series will be about the toilets here.
Fabulous Friend Profile. My friends have stories. I’m going to interview them and get at least one juicy one out of each of them.
Political Ranting. There’s nothing more fun than geopolitics deconstructed.
In the meantime, I’d like to say farewell to some of the articles that will remain unwritten. Unfortunately, their timeliness has expired and they’ll have to leave the party with smeared make-up and missing car keys.
The French World Cup Team. More interesting than the implosion is how the French media and government portrayed a team of mostly Black and Arab players. I wanted to write about post-coloniality and European soccer. And also contrast it with the Algerian national team, which was made up of almost all French-born players.
The End of Lost. Lost is probably the best drama in the history of television. And I let the whole series pass without a single article. It’s probably because it’s one of the most analyzed and written about cultural phenomena maybe ever, and I didn’t have anything new nor brilliant to add to the dialogue.
The Life of Pi. This gem of a novel was so beautiful to read that after jotting down my thoughts, I decided to just let it sink in. And then that was enough.
Darjeeling Express. I watched this movie right after I wrote my dual review of Slumdog Millionaire and The Brothers Bloom, and realized it was like the bridge between those two films. Then the review made so many references to those movies that I started rewriting that dual review. And finally I decided the movie wasn’t good enough to go through all that trouble.
World Press Photo 10. This yearly photojournalism exhibit is one of my favorite annual events. The exhibit closes in a few days, on August 8, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. This year, it focused on the Middle East, elections in Iran and the Israeli bombing of Gaza. The most moving photo was this one taken by Kent Klich. Let me share the caption:
Light enters through a hole in the roof of a house hit by a tank shell in Tuffah, northern Gaza. The family that lived in the house had fled during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli attack on Gaza that began at the end of December 2008. Mohammed Shuhada Ali Ahmed, 39, had gone back to fetch clothes for his children and was killed when the shell struck.