Monday, December 05, 2005

My Clone Sleeps Alone

Monday 5th December 2005
Watched Michael Bays latest screen spectacular "The Island" with Ewan Mcgregor and Scarlett Johansson.One redeeming feature was a short appearance by Steve Buscemi.The movie itself is an untidy amalgam of better movies welded together in a disjointed, overlong storyline.Car chases and explosions are meant to compensate for the lack of plot or character development.
A Saturday night escapist movie.Just leave your brain and credibility on "pause".

Murder They Gloat
Recently in Japan there have been a couple of high profile school child murders.The local media has been feasting on them like vultures.Reporting everything in grisly detail.Flushing out family and friends of the deceased for tearful interviews.Unnecessary.
Often such reports are accompanied with elaborate diagrams and models of the murder scene.One child's diary was displayed on TV.Extracts were read.For what purpose?
Seems the media revels in such tragedy.Voyeuristic.Feverish.Particularly if the suspect is a foreigner.Akin to a witchhunt.Trial by media.
In one of the cases a Japanese Peruvian man was a suspect.He has since confessed and has been charged.The media from the start always referred to him by his Peruvian rather than his Japanese name.The issue of xenophobia raised by this case and the pack mentality of the media was featured in an article in last weeks Japan Times.I'm of the opinion that the murder wouldnt have been so hyped up but for the fact a foreigner was implicated.

The House That JackAss Built
The other story dominating headlines has been a building scandal that keeps on growing.Shortly stated an architect under pressure to meet deadlines and cost cutting targets submitted false building earthquake resistance data.
Local building codes require that buildings can withstand earthquakes up to 5 plus on the Japanese scale of 7.Now its been found that 20 condominum buildings the architect worked on were between 26% and 78% of their required strength.
The number of buildings under suspicion has risen to 201 to date and includes several hotels.
Much finger pointing.Many accusations.Little responsibility being taken.One offical revealed he knew a year ago about the fabricated figures.The scandal has widened to include many building and design companies.Both private and government groups have been implicated.
The ones I feel sorry for are the owners of the condos.Forced to leave their shoddy buildings.Stuck with up to 35 year mortgages.Forced to seek legal redress and incur further costs for something they bought in good faith.....

Finished and thoroughly enjoyed Douglas Couplands "Eleanor Rigby".He can deftly describe a person in a sentence.."He had a complexion that said "I love vodka"..or funny one liners "Once you reach the age of thirty you lose the ability to feel sorry for yourself,instead you turn bitter."
He's good at conversations between characters as well.Whats left unsaid is as important as what is stated.He has an economic style yet it also has depth.He never over -elaborates or describes things.He doesnt hammer you with an issue like say Ben Elton.Not preachy.Not a smug display or a "look at me " of say Nick Hornby.
My final book of the year will be Dostoyevskys "Crime and Punishment".A Penguin classic translation.Told a friend I was starting it.Her reply...."In Russian?".....

No comments: