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Don't forget the finger wagger

Illustration by Marco Mancini

Among other things, I lack the dedication required to be a writer. It may sound like sour grapes but I like to think that this is mostly because I'm too busy living my life, which to me means interacting with the world as opposed to a computer screen. Also, quite unlike my tirelessly humble self, writers write because they believe they're good at it. Don't give me any of that romantic sputum like they have no choice, like they're compelled to write by an irresistible urge, like they're seized by guilt when they don't. Twaddle! They write because they feel they have keen perception, the ability to take profound notice of things, and the puffed-up desire to share these confidences.

By no means am I criticizing the act of writing. In fact, I'm eternally grateful to every egomaniacal author who has stimulated me in any way. My point is that I feel all writers must, to a certain extent, disregard their mortality by choosing to face a color monitor every day rather than the world outside their windows. Accordingly, if life is short, taking time out to write for an audience warrants appreciation if not for the talented use of craft employed in the prose, then for the hours sacrificed to provide detailed accounts for the attention of others.

However, when writing is good, the time spent getting it that way is not often considered because of the ease with which it reads. On the other hand, when a writer happens to be objectively wrong about his or her abilities, displaying a false confidence about his or her originality, never does writing reveal more clearly that precious moments have been blatantly squandered.

If you buy any of what I'm saying even with your disbelief suspended, I'd like to draw your attention to the shameful waste of seconds that resulted in the rant entitled Hateus Japanus Expatricus (issue 367). If I hear one more tedious monologue about the foreign population being unappreciative of Japan I'll start vomiting blood because I'll certainly be out of bile by then.

The only thing more tiresome than listening to people complain about Japan is to be subjected to finger waggers who heave it upon themselves to complain about the complainers. Sure, if you don't like this place, go home or at least keep it to yourself. I can't see how this issue merits more attention. Unless of course you feel the need to condescendingly wag your finger at all the pathetic mortals stricken with homesickness. Moreover, I loathe the implication that it is possible to thoroughly abandon one's conditioning and view this country through completely impartial eyes.

So you've never complained about Japan. Do you want a medal, you self-congratulatory fraud? Let us all kneel before the splendor of the worldly expat whose sympathy for cultural relativism knows no bounds. Beyond the unappreciative, you, my foreign fellow, are the most utterly unendurable of the lot. Get a life or go home with the rest of them.

Many thanks to Stefan David Martin for this Rant.

Metropolis Online
381: The Crisp Linen Suit Syndrome
Unbearable heat and crisp linen suits
380: Smile
Smile when you see another foreigner
379: What sign are you?
When signs start to complicate life
378: Off with the gloves
Battle of the readers
377: Stop before you shop
Stores that scare away gaijin
376: Home sweet home
Modern housing in Japan?
375: Nihonjinron
Theories of Japaneseness and insecurity
374: Plastic bags
Do we really need them for everything?
373: Doctor knows best?
A scary visit to a Japanese hospital
372: Don't forget the finger wagger
So you've never complained about Japan?
371: A-choob tale
The Sneezing Salaryman
370: The gaijin language snob
Dare to cross his path
369: Nihongo
One man's struggle...
368: Making sense of Roppongi
Why do I keep going back?
367: Hateus Japanus Expatricus
Great bar bores of the world
366: Plants and animals
Darwin's turning in his grave
365: No more groping - for now
Women only train cars
364: Man's best friend
Pets have it rougher
363: In praise of Tokyo taxi drivers
A good ride all around
362: The Big Boot Brigade
Masters of the oversized-shoe
361: The case of the missing garbage cans
Where art thou o garbage can?
360: Ramen for the soul
Japanese chicken soup
359: Revenge of the nerds Part II
Geeky guys with hot girls
358: Little old ladies
Grandmas packing a punch
357: Starbucks sanctuary
Stop the Starbucks insanity
356: Pet name problem
My sweet little... carrot?
355: Unclean Jeans
Jeans McNasty
354: My chosen profession
Lindsay Nelson's the name, English teaching's the game
352/3: Merry Christmas... sort of
Merry and not-so-Merry Christmas in Japan
351: Last temptation of rice crackers
Breaking big bills the hard way
350: Revenge of the nerds
Gaijin girls are just jealous

ISSUES 300-349
ISSUES 250-299
ISSUES 233-249