Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Reverse angle

Ok, I know this is a bit late as the association football world kickabout finished over a week ago, but the computer decided to do something funny on Monday evening (not yesterday but the week before) which is only just righting itself. No idea what happened, but seemed to coincide with the date that those wonderful people at microsoft decided to stop supporting windows 98 – now I know we should get a new computer, one a bit more up to date and that has a larger memory than my ipod, but to hell with it, the good ole’ NEC has only caused me hours of frustration so far, and what makes you think a new one would be any better? Anyway I asked the Japanbloggers webring if anyone had any ideas and they were all very helpful (thank you all), suggesting solutions that had lots of acronyms in them. It tried to do what was suggested, but got bogged down and in the end the laptop seems to have righted itself, after a fashion, anyway. IE is still pretty tetchy, which was where the problem was, it wouldn’t load any pages, and suffice it to say that when we do eventually get a new computer I will certainly be downloading netscape, which I use at work and prefer – if I tried that with the NEC it would explode, or rather implode, I feel sure.

Anyway, a few things to mention this week. As it says above, the reverse angle. Now I watched quite a lot of the world kickabout and cannot quite fathom the reverse angle. I mean take Zindane’s header towards the end of extra time in the final. First of all we get the normal, as-it-happens shot in real time. Fine, great header, great save. Then, as there are about a zillion cameras in the stadium, we start to get the replays, from about a zillion different angles. But then, for some reason, the producer decides that one particular angle is the ‘reverse angle’ and the legend duly pops up on screen. Now from watching all these games I still cannot understand what constitutes the ‘reverse’ angle. Sometimes it is 90 degrees from the original live footage, other times it was 180 degrees, so where was the consistency and, more importantly how did the producer know? Is it important for the match, be judged by the TMO or something? Also, what was the point? As I said each incident was filmed from a zillion different angles so why should one be singled out as the ‘reverse angle’ – ok, it’s one of a zillion angles that isn’t particularly better than any other, so what? I just didn’t get it, and still don’t. I watched the tri-nations Australia versus South Africa game on Saturday night to see of they indulged in the ‘reverse angle’ conspiracy, but I don’t think they bothered – though the data from this piece of investigative rugby watching must be tempered by the fact that I was a bit pissed and actually fell asleep for the last 10 minutes (they were showing it late after all), so it might just be that I missed the sign coming up on the screen. Anyway I shall continue to investigate with any major sporting event that I happen to come across on the telly.


Cute, for those of you who don’t live here or have never visited, is big in Japan. I don’t mean big in the sense that little kids like cute stuff (though they do, like kids everywhere), or that the people of these fair isles are particularly cute in a good looking way (though again some, most of them undoubtedly are). No, cute is big in Japan in the sense that not only do little kids like cute, furry, cuddly things, the entire population does. Unlike say the UK, where girls grow out of the cute phase by about the age of, I don’t know, ten (I haven’t lived there for a while), in Japan this carries on well into adulthood. There are lots of books written about this and from the outside I am sure it is a psychoanalyst’s wet dream. Perhaps it is the glorification of the young that does it, or maybe it’s just great branding and marketing, who knows? But it seems to permeate every level of society – where else do apparently sophisticated 20-something urbanites of both sexes have Hello! Kitty straps on their mobile phones?

Anyway this was brought home to me the other day whilst I was with the youngster down on the riverbank. There has been quite a bit of construction going on recently, widening and paving the footpaths, that sort of thing. Now as in most countries warning signs are put up to, well, warn people that construction work is going on. here is one I spotted...

silly signs #1

and just to zoom in to close up on the bottom of that signboard...

silly signs #2

Quite what a couple of cute pussies have in common with repaving footpaths, I don’t know. Also in this series was the ubiquitous floppy-eared dog and, strangely, an image of some penguins (?). seems to me that if you want small kids to be attracted to something, the best bet is to put cute pictures on it, but surely the point of warning signs is to keep people, especially little kids, away from potentially dangerous situations. A contradistinction, methinks...

Krazy Kim

Is at it again. As I am sure you know Krazy Kim fired off some rockets from his People Mart a couple of weeks ago. He did this around 5am on the day of the Italy v Germany kickabout semi-final, which caused panic in the massed ranks of mass media in Japan. now as I have written before, somewhere, Japan has some pretty odd ideas when it comes to screening sports fixtures, and this was no exception. So, Italy Germany went to full time all square. During the second half Krazy Kim looses his rockets. As extra time starts NHK channel 1, showing the footy but nominally a news and current affairs channel, says “thanks for watching the footy so far, but as this news is so massively important we are going to switch the rest of the footy to NHK channel 3. We are sorry that this will completely ruin anyone’s day who is recording the footy on this channel, but, well, fuck you, we don’t care.” Or words to that effect. But it was ok as the two periods of extra time weren’t that interesting, where they? Oh! Ah...

Anyway whilst Krazy Kim has been firing his arsenal at Japan, Russia and anyone else who he deems fit, the Kool Kid has been away on the government sponsored world junket. Now this would, it would appear, be all right and proper, but actually with parliament now closed until September, when the Kid is going to stand down, what this tour really amounts to is a glorious goof off. I mean, he’s been pretended to be Elvis in Graceland, pretended to be Indiana Jones outside Petra and, most recently, pretended to be Japanese prime minister in Saint Petersburg. Nice work!

1 comment:

  1. Justin,

    I would like to contact you in connection with business in Japan but cannot find an email address on your site. So if you can read this and delete the comment that would be appreciated.



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