Saturday, July 22, 2017

"I'm sorry. I made a mistake."


"I'm sorry. I made a mistake." Or;

"I'm sorry. I forgot."

Why is this so difficult for some people to say? 

In recent days, I've had two examples where grown adults have blatantly lied about some (actually unimportant) situation and instead of saying, 

"I'm sorry. I made a mistake." Or;

"I'm sorry. I forgot."

They made up a lie and tried to blame someone else or they committed the lie of omission.

In one case, the perpetrator of this unimportant incident (and it was really unimportant in the wider scheme of things) instead of saying, "Oops. I totally forgot," they went and lied and claimed "I didn't know anything about it. This is the first I've heard of it."

This, after two direct phone calls and a few emails (as well as a history of being, well, not entirely honest, late and blaming others for their mistakes)...

Odd this person claims they didn't know. Seems everyone else knew about it. 

Perhaps the others learned by osmosis? Osmosis is an excellent skill practiced by amoebas and other higher class organisms... Try it sometimes!

In another case, the perpetrator of the lie failed, repeatedly, to give credit for work where credit is due. Actually, it seems this sort of thing happens all the time at the work environment; people not giving others credit for the effort they gave and taking all the credit for themselves. (I suspect that always blaming others for mistakes, yet always taking the credit when things go well isn't a really good way to earn respect and admiration. It most certainly is not the sign of a well-adjusted person or a leader.)

Seriously, why do people do this? 

I learned when I was 10-years-old that people respect you more (and like you more) when you publicly give credit where credit is due and don't lie (especially about stupid stuff that doesn't matter). 

Showing humility, being honest and publicly giving people the accolades they deserve is greatly valued by adults in an adult society (Key word: "adults"). Life is difficult enough as it is without us not recognizing - and acknowledging people for their efforts.

A great leader (and good person) always gives credit where credit is due. People will follow a great leader to the ends of the earth. They won't follow people who lie or vainly try to take all the credit for the work of others.

Also, when someone continually lies or blames others for shortcomings and mistakes (and they happen repeatedly), people get disappointed and lose respect for the perpetrator.

In both cases, people lose respect for the perpetrator of the lie.

I must admit that, while I do like these people and respect what they do, I have lost much respect for their actions.

I'm not mad... 

It's just disappointing.

---------------

NOTES: I pretty much can predict that if the people I refer to in the above scribble did read this, they would fail to recognize themselves. I don't dislike these people. I like them... I do, though, feel despair and a sort of pity for them. But, then again, no one is perfect. As the great writer C.S. Lewis once wrote: "Life is difficult, so let's be good to each other."


NOTE TWO: May I recommend a book that changed my life?

F. Scott Peck: The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (http://amzn.to/2uj5nRm)

Amazon writes: "Perhaps no book in this generation has had a more profound impact on our intellectual and spiritual lives than The Road Less Traveled. With sales of more than seven million copies in the United States and Canada, and translations into more than twenty-three languages, it has made publishing history, with more than ten years on the New York Times bestseller list. Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, The Road Less Traveled continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self. Recognizing that, as in the famous opening line of his book, “Life is difficult” and that the journey to spiritual growth is a long one, Dr. Peck never bullies his readers, but rather guides them gently through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding."





Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gaijin Gourmet! Find a Delicious, Healthy Meal in Tokyo for Under $5!



Once again, here is another segment of the Gaijin Gourmet where you can find a delicious healthy meal in the world's most expensive and crowded city for under $5 (USD)!


I have written below about my two most favorite soba chains in Tokyo: Shin Shu Soba and Yude Taro (See bottom of this article). But there are several chains that are much more ubiquitous in Tokyo that I must address. One of them is the 800-pound gorilla in the soba kitchen and that just has to be Fuji Soba. Here's their webpage (Sorry, Japanese only!) http://fujisoba.co.jp/

As of July of 2013, Fuji Soba has more than 100 shops in the Greater Tokyo area and also Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa as well as some shops in the Philippines, Taiwan and Indonesia. Lots of them in Tokyo are open 24 hours day - the breakfast sets are an even better (read:unbelievable) deal!

Fuji Soba's sales point is that each shop makes their own soup so the taste of the soup broth varies from shop to shop and each shop uses fresh soba. Also, it is a good place (like most soba chains) to pop in and have a beer or a High-ball at a very reasonable price.

Fact of the matter is that I have been to Fuji Soba most probably more than all the other soba shops put together. For years, after my daily radio show ended, I would go there with my friend and we ate Fuji soba everyday!

I really do like it. And, while you might have a bit of a problem finding a soba chain restaurant nearby you, Fuji Soba shops are everywhere!

Like many of these sorts of shops in Japan, one must purchase a meal ticket at the entrance of the restaurant. In many cases, the ticket machine menus are NOT written in English... So, you can purchase something that does have a photo, or....

....Or you can ask one of the restaurant staff to go outside with you and you point to the item you want and then the staff will show you which ticket to purchase. Sure, sometimes, these ticket machines might seem like a hassle, but they save you money and it's better when the people handling the food are not touching money because money isn't very  clean and we do not want the people who are serving our food to be handling money!


As, usual, a clean kitchen is a must for all restaurants for the family and the Gaijin Gourmet. At all Fuji Soba shops, one can see clearly into the kitchens and the Gaijin Gourmet is confident you will see a spic and span, clean operation!


Excellent value for the price. Bowl of soba with some boiled spinach and sea weed? ¥380! (about $3.16 USD at the exchange rate as of the writing of this post). Healthy, low calorie, fills you up and cheaper than any western chain hamburger shop!


Bowl of soba with some boiled spinach

This is the standard plate of cold soba that the Gaijin Gourmet always prefers. This is the large "Toku mori soba" (¥480) (about $4 USD at the exchange rate as of the writing of this post) and a side order of boiled spinach (¥100) (about $0.80 cents).

Fuji soba is a tad bit more expensive than my two favorite chains, but Fuji soba has many more shops and is much more convenient because of it and also because Fuji Soba shops are always right by the train stations. Fuji Soba is great for the entire family. Oh, and, of course, this is Japan. NO TIPPING!

4 stars out of 5. Excellent!

NOTE: Pretty soon I am going to make a Top ranking for all these shops so stay tuned. In the meantime, I do have to be fair and introduce all of them to you. As I mentioned before in a previous post, soba shops inside of the trains stations are usually pretty bad. Sure, I say they are "pretty bad" but, folks, it's a pretty fair statement for me to make when I say, "Any soba shop in Japan is a better deal, with a more reasonable price and MUCH more healthy for you and your family than ANY western fast food chain like McDonald's or KFC...
No comparison.

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Looking for a delicious healthy meal in Tokyo, the world's most expensive and crowded city for under $5 (USD)? Here's a bunch of them linked below!

Gaijin Gourmet! The Best, Most Delicious Soba Restaurant in Shibuya and Shinjuku robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-the-best-most-delicious-soba-restaurant-in-shibuya-and-shinjuku/

Gaijin Gourmet – Hamazushi! Tokyo’s Best Robot Sushi! robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-hamazushi-tokyos-best-robot-sushi/

Gaijin Gourmet – Sukiya! Japan’s Best Gyudon (Beef Bowl) robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-sukiya-japans-best-gyudon-beef-bowl/

Gaijin Gourmet Advice for Foreign Gentlemen Living in Japan!
http://robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-advice-for-foreign-gentlemen-living-in-japan/

Gaijin Gourmet – Best Soba Chain in Tokyo?Yude Taro and ¥220 Draft Beer?! robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-best-soba-chain-in-tokyo?yude-taro-and-¥220-draft-beer/

Gaijin Gourmet: The Best Premium Salad Bar in Tokyo? – Sizzler in Setagaya robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-the-best-premium-salad-bar-in-tokyo-sizzler-in-setagaya/

Gaijin Gourmet! Great Cheap and Delicious Soba in Gaienmae on Ginza Line! robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-great-cheap-and-delicious-soba-in-gaienmae-on-ginza-line/

The Gaijin Gourmet: The Best Salad Bar Deal in Tokyo at Big Boy – My Favorite Rock N Roll Diner!! robot55.jp/blog/the-gaijin-gourmet-the-best-salad-bar-deal-in-tokyo-at-big-boy-my-favorite-rock-n-roll-diner/

The Gaijin Gourmet: Soba Wars At Hanzomon Station in Tokyo robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-soba-wars-at-hanzomon-station-in-tokyo/


Gaijin Gourmet: 「モンスターMOGULLA!東京の地下からこんにちは」 robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-「モンスターmogulla!東京の地下からこんにちは/


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Oh! We made a rcok n roll ghost feature length movie. Comes out in Sept. 2017. Here's the trailer: Ghostroads - A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story



At Robot55 we make video productions for businesses and services and products, but we also pride ourselves on making videos for art and music. Our starting price is ¥70,000 and we are sure we can work out something that fits your budget. Oh, and we love making band videos too! Contact us! contact@robot55.jp

ROBOT55 はビジネス、商業、製品紹介動画の制作のみならず、アートや音楽の映像も創っております。ビジネス動画においてはウェブ動画時代の到来に合わせ、お求めや すい¥70,000という格安価格より承ります。ご予算に応じて皆様にご満足のいく高品質動画を制作致します。勿論インディー・バンド向けPV制作も行っ ております。よ!
コチラよりお気軽にお問い合わせ下さいませ♬

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

David Bowie, Blondie, the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and me! A True Story!


I can die now. I've gone to heaven. I never thought my band and I would be in a music video with the Talking Heads, Ramones, Monkees, Tearaways, David Bowie, Blondie, Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, the Go Go's and many others. (That's me and my band at 10 seconds!)

私は今死ぬことができます。 私は天国に行った。 私は、トーキング・ヘッズ 、ラモーンズ、モンキーズ、テアラーウェイズ、デヴィッド・ボウイ、ブロンディー、ビーチボーイズ、ポール・マッカートニー、ジミ・ヘンドリックス、カート・コバーン、ゴーゴス など 一緒にミュージックビデオに参加するとは思っていませんでした。 (開始10秒辺りに私と私のバンドも!!) 

This video is on Vimeo so I can't embed it. Check it here: "Rodney On The Roq" http://bit.ly/2uTGc6i 

Play video: http://bit.ly/2uTGc6i 




Monday, July 10, 2017

Gaijin Gourmet! Ladies! Beware of All Men!



Ladies! Beware of All Men!

Welcome, ladies, once again to another episode of the Gaijin Gourmet ®.

Ladies! I am here to tell you again to be very careful about men. Not just Handsome Foreign Gentlemen ® like me, but all men! 

Men are dangerous and not to be trusted!



Why are they dangerous? Well, you can trust me because I am divorced twice and married three times so I know exactly what I am talking about here. 

I am an expert. 

You see, all men have one of at least three problems. Those problems are:

1)    Too much drinking or dallying in other mind altering substances

2)    Gambling too much (and losing all the time)

3)    Running around with other women

Yes. That’s right. If you have a man as your partner right now, then watch out! He most definitely has at least one of these three problems right now! I know, because I used to have all three as MY PROBLEM ® all at the same time!

What should you do to make sure your guy doesn’t mess up your relationship with one of these problems? Easy. You have to control all the money and put him on an allowance!

My wife gives me ¥1000 a day (about $9 USD) when I go out to work so I don’t have any money to go gambling, drinking too much or running around with other women! (I want to - don’t tell my wife - but since I have no money, I can’t!)

Sure, it will be difficult to get your guy to give you all the money every month! Why is it difficult? Because he wants to go gambling and drinking and running around with loose women of extremely questionable moral values too! 

That’s what guys do!

So, you see, it’s better for everyone if you control all the money!

Sooner or later, he will calm down (probably after he finally matures - most guys finally mature at around 74-years-old). 

When us guys get older, we aren’t interested in running around with women anymore. It’s easier, faster and cheaper to just to sit at home and watch pornography… That way we don’t have to lie to our wives. 

Why don't we have to lie to our wives? They already know what we are doing at home all alone while they go shopping! See? They won't bother to ask us, "What did you do all day?" 

They already know the answer to that!

The other reason why it is actually easier for us guys to not have piles of money laying around is that we don’t get ourselves into trouble! Yes. That’s it. 

If the wife is controlling the money, then we don’t have to worry about spending too much or getting into trouble. It’s like being an 8-year-old boy again! Great! 

Ladies! Ask your guy when he was happiest in his entire life and he will tell you that he was happiest when he was a little boy. Why? He didn’t have to worry about money and mom took care of everything! When he wanted to buy something, he asked mom and she either said, “Yes!” or “No!” Simple!

Simple is best!

But, there is one thing I should warn you ladies about if you control all the money, that is because when it comes to tax time, it is your job to take care of it.... All of it.

At my house, when it is tax time and my wife has a mountain of papers and receipts to take care of and she is frustrated and tired, I always say, “Honey! That’s terrible. I wish I could help, but I don’t control the money… By the way, can I have ¥3000 yen (about $27 USD) to go to the local yakitori (BBQ chicken on sticks) and drink a few beers and eat chicken and watch TV? That way I won’t bother you.”

Everyone is happy!

At least I know I am.

And speaking of drinking, did you know that recent research has shown that couples who drink together are happier than couples who do not drink together?

That’s right. 

A study from New York University at Buffalo followed more than 600 couples as they began their new marriages. The couples filled out a questionnaire before their wedding and the same questionnaire after one, two, four, and seven years of marriage. The study found that couples with different drinking habits became dissatisfied with one another more easily than couples who enjoy drinking together!

So, if you want to be happy, then drink with your partner often!

And, if you are controlling the cash, then trust that your guy will consider that you are a great drinking partner... Especially since you'll be the one who always pays since you have all the money!

And if you are buying the drinks, then you can bet your bottom dollar, he'll be happy!

You can thank me later! 


NOTE: Did you know that, in Japan, in over 80% of all households, the wife controls the purse strings? This is also, I think, one of the big reasons why divorce rate in Japan is so low (of course there are lots of other factors too; stigma, economic reasons, etc.) http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/People/Divorce-rate

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Looking for a great Yakitori restaurant near Futakotamagawa? See:

Gaijin Gourmet! New Delicious Yakitori (Chicken BBQ on Sticks) In Futakotamagawa! robot55.jp/blog/gaijin-gourmet-new-delicious-yakitori-chicken-bbq-on-sticks-in-futakotamagawa/

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Japan Government and Military Conspiracies and Why Tokyo Only Has 5 FM Radio Stations for Over 35 Million People!


(This article first ran on May 11, 2012 but the general message is still as relevant today as ever)

"Tell me another one of your conspiracy theories, Mike!" Jason laughed, his french fry grease-laden fingers shoveling piles of chips in his mouth. He dove headlong into and snorkeled his beer... "You always have the best ones!" He chortled. Just a moment before he had asked me why the FM radio stations in Tokyo all suck and why there were only a few of them in such a big city.



I told him that it was a long story and a conspiracy with military implications.

"Yeah, right!" He burst out laughing...

Feeling a bit perturbed by his insolence, I reminded him that even the US government admitted in 1978 that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy; that I was telling people as far back in 2002 that Global Warming was a scam - and I said that publicly on the air on my radio program! I also said the same about SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, etc. etc... 

Jason just continued to laugh.

He immediately stopped laughing and beer shot out his mouth and nose when I reminded him that I told him not to buy Groupon shares back when everyone said Groupon was the best thing since toilet paper (which is the direction that the value of their shares are hurtling towards at this very moment)... That one "fun fact" shut Jason up immediately. I know he lost his ass on that buy and he knows that I will never let him forget it. His head hunched over and he furrowed his brow then stared at the rim of his beer in dismayed silence.

Like the Bismarck losing a rudder and going down, that comment completely sank his mockery and his frivolous mood.... He wasn't laughing anymore... Jason took a big gulp of beer. He stared off into space for a moment again and then said, "OK... What have you got this time?...." 

I went into the story...

"Jason, in the metropolitan area of the capitol city of Japan, Tokyo, there are over 35 million homes. This metropolitan area and the surrounding plains (Kanto area) accounts for 51% of Japan's total GDP... So it comes as a great surprise to many visitors to Tokyo to tune into any radio and find the dial sparsely populated with any signs of life.

What I mean to say is that besides incredibly boring and staid FM radio stations, there are just a handful of them - 5 commercial FM stations to be exact! Compare that to a city like Los Angeles which has a population of under 4 million people - about 1/10th the population of Tokyo - yet has, by last count, over 59 FM stations; over twelve times the number of stations that Tokyo suffers!"

"Yeah. I know this. FM radio in Tokyo sucks. Are you saying they are all in some sort of 'sucking conspiracy'?" Jason asked.

"No. Just shut up and listen," I added. "This is a complicated story and is worth an entire book by itself.... But since both you and I are drinking, I'm just going to touch on the main points and you think about what this implies by yourself.... The reason why Japan in general only had 5 major terrestrial television stations (in a country with half the population of the United States) and why there are so few TV and radio stations in general has to do with the Cold War and the military-industrial complex as well as incredible Japanese government incompetence!"


"Radio? What's that?"
Seriously, though, about 95% of all Japanese under 35 years don't even own a radio! 

Jason chuckled knowingly about the incompetence part, yet said nothing.... He rolled his eyes, took a sip of beer and motioned for me to continue...

"Let's go back even one year, Jason, before all the TV stations went digital. At that time there were only 5 commercial TV stations in the Tokyo area that were accessible by most people. There were only 5 commercial FM stations.... Why was it, do you suppose, with all this available band-width that the Japanese government never allowed more TV or FM stations (or AM stations, for that matter) to be made? I'll tell you why; it was a conspiracy of the military industrial complex....

Here's pieces of the puzzle. Now I'll tell you what I saw, then you tell me what you think happened.... I'll definitely tell you what I think happened after putting 'two and two' together! 

In 1983, I moved to Japan. I needed a job so I got one teaching English. One assignment I had was teaching English to a bunch of engineers at an organization called NASDA (today called NAXA). NASDA was Japan's own version of NASA - you know, the people who waste gazillions of taxpayer dollars sending golf carts into space? Yeah. I taught those guys English. I even had security clearance. Not very high security clearance, mind you, but I could walk around the hallways with my handy neck strap and people wouldn't hassle me... So I was a sort of a 'regular' there. This next part is very important: NASDA was founded in 1969. This is critical information to this scandal....Don't forget that NASDA was founded in 1969!!!... (The year of the moon landing!?)

Anyway, I taught these "rocket scientists" English for a few years or so... The mere fact that I taught "rocket scientists" English proves that they don't know what the f*ck they were doing! Hell, I only had a substitute teaching license and here I was teaching rocket scientists!

NASDA founded in 1969!?... Wait a minute!!? Man supposedly landed on
the moon that same year! Hey! Haven't I seen this toy on TV before... 

After a while teaching these guys, they became buddies of mine. Sometimes we went drinking together. One time they told me that they were so excited about a new project. So happy about it were they, that they showed it to me in person a few days later; it was Japan's first ever rocket. They were getting ready to launch this thing into space (or the air, or to where ever they could get it to go). They were so excited about it that it reminded me of my youth and how we gleefully burned things and blew stuff up and launched model rockets a few hundred feet into the air from our backyards. They clucked with delight to show me this "huge" project....

On the other hand, I was so surprised when I saw the "rocket." I thought I was going to see something like we saw on TV of Apollo launches; you know, massive structures like rockets standing 100 or 150 meters tall into the sky... Taller than a building... But what I saw really did look like a big version of the toy model rockets that we launched when we were kids... The thing looked like it was at the most 23 feet tall and there was no way any sort of animal could ride in it - excepting maybe a mouse (and that would be considering that it were so narrow in the cockpit that he wouldn't have enough space to even change his mind!)..... The engineers told me that their mission was to send rockets into space with satellites to circle the globe....

I laughed at the absurdity of this nonsense and wondered why Japan was wasting tens, nay hundreds, of millions of dollars on this toy rocket nonsense...

It wouldn't strike me as a conspiracy for nearly a decade later...

Fast forward to about 1990 or 1991 or so...

Incredibly, somehow NASDA was able to launch this toy rocket and, by the early nineties, had grown their technology (no doubt a big thanks to NASA) and announced to the world that Japan was preparing to join the space race by sending up their very own communications satellite. 

Now, of course, Japan has to call this satellite a "communications satellite" because Japan's constitution forbids her from having any military. They could never say, "Spy satellite." But what do "communications" satellites do? They pick up on and bounce around communications.... It's not rocket science (pardon the pun) to figure out that a 'communications satellite' can also spy on people and communications from other countries.... 

I believe in order to counter any claims against this being a spy satellite... The government opened up 1/2 of the satellite for commercial broadcasting... It was never announced, of course, what other functions of the satellite were for obvious reasons....

The folks at the Japanese government proudly announced to the Japanese people that they were finally opening up the airwaves and were offering channels to companies who wanted their own TV and radio stations! Finally! Freedom of choice! "Our very own broadcasting station!" thought many big Japanese corporations who had asked the Japanese government for a broadcasting license for many years past only to be denied each time... 

With that news, many big corporations lined up for the chance to get a broadcasting license... They salivated at the chance! Finally, they could have what they've wanted since the beginning of the Japanese economic miracle of the sixties through the eighties: their very own station to broadcast as they wish and to better their sales and businesses.... It was a dream come true!

Or was it?

Of course, as I said, it seemed obvious to me, and a lot of other people at that time, that this satellite also served the purpose of spying on North Korea and China... Of course, though, the governments of Japan and the United States would never want to spy on North Korea or China, right? We're the good guys....

Anyway, many stations started up at that time on this satellite named CS Baan; those were both digital radio stations (I worked at one owned by Kadokawa publishing - one of the biggest publishing companies in Japan - called PCM Zipang) and many other TV stations. I don't recall the exact number, but it seems to me that there were a few dozen or three of these stations....

The biggest catch with this entire satellite broadcasting extravaganza that caught everyone by surprise (sort of) was that, while having a station to broadcast as you wish is wonderful, it doesn't mean anything if no one sees it or hears it. Sort of like the old question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" 

The price for tuning into one of these stations was extremely expensive. One needed a satellite dish hooked up to their balcony as well as a tuner. The entire set plus installation - at that time - ran anywhere from ¥150,000 ~ ¥300,000 per unit  (about $1,800 ~ $3,600 USD)... Throw on top of that the extra monthly fee the stations charged for subscriptions, and you had companies asking people to fork over several thousands of dollars to watch or listen to the same type of sh*tty music or TV programs that the 4 or 5 free stations were airing....

Several thousands of dollars for crappy TV and radio? A tad bit of a problem.... So, needless to say, there were very few people who had bought the satellite tuner so that they could tune into this stuff.... In fact, I can't say that I knew of anyone who bought or owned one and I even worked at those stations...

Soon, of course, a bunch of these stations started going bankrupt... PCM Zipang did and I don't recall that it survived even two years in the broadcasting business. 

Imagine that if you were Kadokawa, the corporate owner of Zipang. You just forked over millions of dollars for a broadcasting license to the Japanese government for a broadcasting license on a station that no one can listen to and now your station goes bankrupt.... I think you'd be a little bit pissed off. I think your lawyers might be considering some way to sue someone in court (like the Japanese government) for misleading you and pulling a 'Bait and switch' on your dreams of having a proper broadcasting station. That's a very important point! This is critical information to this scandal....Don't forget that it is quite conceivable that many of these corporations lost millions and would consider suing the Japanese government in court. I know I would. Wouldn't you?

By this time, I was already alert to what was going on. Think about it; there's no way one can just decide today that they're going to launch a 'communications satellite' or rocket and get it done in a few weeks or even months... It takes years...decades of planning and testing... 

Don't forget that NASDA was founded in 1969... What would be the purpose of founding a space agency? To launch sh*t into the air, right? I propose to you, Jason (and dear reader) That the Japanese government knew well before 1969 - most probably since the late 1950s - that they wanted to launch this satellite (that, of course, has military spy capabilities) and that they needed to do two things to cover their incompetent asses:

1) They wanted to get Japanese corporations to help cover the costs of building and launching this contraption by buying a broadcasting license (sneaky plan "a").

2) By also doing 1) (above) they could deflect criticism over the possible military uses of a satellite as this is obviously a violation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution renouncing the establishment of a military or military capabilities (sneaky plan "b"). 

As an aside, one of the guys working for my company had a TV show on MTV Japan. MTV Japan was a channel on this silly satellite. They were losing millions. One day I was at that station and the Vice President of the entire company (a totally crazy woman named Rebecca) asked me, 

"How can we get a channel on a regular VHF TV station?"

That's easy," I answered, "Sue the Japanese government in court." She looked at me as if I were nuts. No, she's the nutty one. I'm the one who knows what he's talking about.

As I spoke, finally, Jason's eyes grew large. He looked at me and said something along the lines of the government of Japan being a total and complete clusterf*ck with conspiracies and incompetence galore.... 

Of course he is right.

"Get it, Jason?" I added. "Now think about it.... All these years, after the war and since the early 1950s (NHK & Nihon TV started in 1953) all these companies wanted a broadcasting license but the Japanese government denied them, not because there wasn't any space on the dial, but because they had plans for launching a satellite (and wanted political cover and subsidization from private enterprise!) A satellite that had some military and spy purposes (like all satellites do). Then, when they get ready to launch the satellite, they go back to the companies that originally wanted a license and say, "Remember when you asked for a broadcasting license? Well, we got it for you now!" 

Those companies then cough up millions to the government for their broadcasting license; subsidizing the launch of a satellite and.... Ka-ching! Cash registers ring!

Then they launch the satellite and, soon after, with a bit of poor planning (it is the government we're talking about here after all, right?) all these channels go bankrupt and even today the few remaining ones are all losing millions of dollars annually. So, today, when a new company (like, say Rakuten) wants a broadcasting license, the Japanese government just can't grant new licenses to them on free terrestrial channels because if they do they might get sued in court by the other companies that lost money on the other broadcasting license on Satellite Clusterf*ck!... Because the former companies that lost money can complain and ask why they weren't given the free channels instead first?

Example: Company A, that lost 400 million dollars on their satellite broadcasting station (as well as another dozens and dozens of others), might sue the government if said government allocates a free channel to Company Z. Get it? The companies that lost money might sue the government if the government gave away any new licenses on free terrestrial channels to other companies! Hence! No new stations! And today only 5 FM stations in Tokyo!

Now, years later, it doesn't matter for TV anymore as the remaining TV stations all went digital and three of them could go bankrupt. It doesn't really matter for radio anymore either as no one listens to radio. The Internet has come along and every company now has an Internet website to do with as they wish... No government interference... And, with the Internet, FEW COMPANIES EVEN WANT A BROADCASTING LICENSE IN JAPAN ANYMORE - THE GOVERNMENT COULDN'T GIVE THEM AWAY!!!

So now you know why there are only 5 FM stations in Tokyo... You may think this is a conspiracy, but, in a way, it was at one time, but now it's just one more piece of evidence on how incompetent and F'ed up the government is.... 

The government had ulterior motives (wanting to launch a satellite) in not allowing broadcasting licenses... Then they sold the licenses to takers. Then those companies went bankrupt. Then the government was afraid to give out licenses to other companies because they might get sued by the companies that lost money. Now? The internet has come along and no one even wants a license and all the rest of the remaining stations are all losing money... The government probably couldn't give away broadcasting licenses today for free!

What happened? A conspiracy? In the past... Yes. Ultimately, the end result? A government interfering with business; ignoring the constitution; back scratching and big money payola; and that same government doing whatever it can to cover their a*ses for decades and wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers and corporate tax money... On what?

An obsolete broadcasting business that is in the red across the board that no one watches or even cares about and a satellite that is only good for spying on North Korean missiles that don't work

Nah, that couldn't be a conspiracy... It's just plain a government f*ck up... That's MUCH more believable. 

Now, like I said, I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think my math on this one works out.... 

What do you think?

NOTES: Unbelievable? Really? Did you know that Nasa's Space Shuttle project wasn't really about what the public was told: The Space Shuttle was never about science: https://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.jp/2012/05/more-on-japanese-government.html


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For a related story, please refer to: The Collapse of Old Media - the Rise of Wi-Fi Broadcasting
http://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.jp/2010/07/marketing-japan-collapse-of-old-media.html

Thanks to guys and girls at NASDA and MTV

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

TV as a Mirror of Society


I met one of the bosses of one of the biggest international television networks in the world the other day. He is a Canadian. He travels all over the world and, because he is in the TV business, he told me that one of his favorite things to do in every country was to judge by TV commercials what things were important to that particular society. 



Japan's TV commercials? Insurance for this or that; home sales; automobiles; financial instruments and plans; candy, cosmetics, fast food... Companies like Zurich, Sekisui, Kanebo.... Japanese commercials that soft sell and are emotive commercials.

I think that's right. 

He also told me that he was "astounded" by just how many over the counter drug and prescription medication commercials there were on US TV all the time. US TV commercials? Drugs, Cholesterol, Machismo ("my ding-a-ling is bigger than yours" commercials); fast food; commercials to make your dick hard, make it soft, put you to sleep, keep you awake, lower blood pressure, lose weight; not to mention commercials galore for people with extreme anxiety and panic attacks and defense attorneys for DUI and more.

Oh, and don't forget the drug side effects disclaimers! 

Very sick society?

Maybe so.

Why is the USA this way? It wasn't that way 50 years ago, was it? 

Here's one piece of anecdotal evidence: Japan has its problems too, but here is something that will drop the jaws of all Americans... Did you know that in Japan, on any given day, you can get on a bus, train or subway and see unaccompanied 5 and 6 year old kids going to and from school?

Little 5 and 6-year-old kids riding the trains by themselves in no fear of danger... And the other passengers think nothing of it. Why? Because that is normal in Japan. It should be normal everywhere... Alas....

Think about that. 

I don't really have any conclusions to point out (I've made mine). Dear reader, please think of the ramifications of what I have written here and come to your own conclusion.

Here is a recent Japanese TV commercial that is a soft sell and very emotive. This is a commercial for a new computer sales and service company.





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Here's a compilation of Japanese commercials, 2014, weeks 10 + 11, I just scanned quickly, but we have a candy commercial (Lotte), a Softbank mobile commercial, an AU mobile commercial, a band promo, Playstation ad, Iberico Pork Donburi commercial, and a real gem at 4:40 -- A Boat Race commercial:




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Thanks to my good friend, James Santagata for co-writing this article with me! James, you are tops!

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