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Apr 16, 2012 | Issue: 942 | No Comments | 1,408 views

Louise Rouse

cultural critiques

Regarding “Cultural Perversion” (The Last Word, Mar 30): “In my reading of cultural critic Slavoj Zizek, the cultured captains of capitalism intend the masses to give up genuine material security for the allusion of conspicuous gratification. Perhaps the most conspicuous example is the famous Enumclaw horse sex case, when Boeing engineer Kenneth Pinyan died in 2005 from a punctured colon after fraternizing with a male horse (a plow horse?).”
Wow. Someone meant to edit out this non sequitur and forgot, right? Otherwise, linking the musing of an obscure “culture critic” about excessive consumption with death-by-bestiality is a bit of free association gone wrong, given the otherwise smirk-free tone of your essay.—Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I disagree from the very culturally critical core of my being. The whole of Tokyo’s English-speaking community was on tenterhooks regarding what this guy thought about cultural critic Slavoj Zizek.—Metropolis Media


Regarding “Hiroshi Mizohata, Commissioner Japan Travel Agency” (Q&A, Mar 30): Another question I would have is this: Does Japan have a policy of using only non-professional foreigners to promote tourism? Because it’s always “bloggers and exchange students.” “Providing multi-language signs” often seems to be the full extent of Japanese official thinking on how to promote inbound tourism. Have you actually done any research on the state of Japanese tourism compared to other countries? Mizohata seems engaging and energetic, but he reminds me of a young lady from my Prefectural Tourism Office who took the mic on a bus tour and yelled “Are you exciting?!” Enthusiasm will never make up for lack of substance.—rodbod

sale away

Regarding “Buy Across the Border” (Feature, Mar 30): Very useful article! Regarding remailing services, the Foreign Buyers Club of Japan is pretty useless—they never reply to any email messages.—pwillener

Of course it’s totally different when you look the other way… Foreigners trying to purchase from Japanese sites that are not very overseas friendly, a weak dollar and the lack of ability for foreigners to market Japanese affiliate programs due to Japanese bank requirements.—Michelle Bradley


Regarding “Battle of the Bento” (The Last Word, Mar 2): I fully agree with Blondegrrl—who cares [about what your bento looks like at work]? If my co-workers ever looked down their nose at my lunch, I’d proudly tell them how each ingredient is organic, the bread is handmade and there isn’t a single E-number, preservative or factory-made thing in it!—Charltzy


Regarding “Nightingale and sakura, Uguisudani, by Minn Htike” (Photo of the Day, Mar 2): Nightingale? Looks like a mejiro, the Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus).—Gerrit Slembrouck 

It’s a mejiro, not an uguisu. Uguisu isn’t nightingale anyway. #birdnerd



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