The Legend of Koizumi * ムダヅモ無き改革 *

Junichiro Koizumi was the Prime Minister of Japan from 2001-2006. Hideki Ohwada is a Japanese artist who idolized Koizumi… and has decided to create a manga starring his retired hero as a master of mahjong who must play real world political leaders to avert diplomatic disaster. It’s called ムダヅモ無き改革  or “Reform with no Wasted Draws,” a dig on Koizumi’s slogan “Reform with no Sanctuary” (聖域無き改革). In this preview, which is titled “North” and is being released on youtube in an effort to raise production money, Koizumi discovers the dangers inherent in playing against a father and son team – good thing his hard nosed former minister of internal affairs is on hand to help out. In the forthcoming series (if they can find the money, which I desperately hope they do), he will apparently have to play Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush, Pope Benedict XVI, Margaret Thatcher… and Hitler. Enjoy!

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Pimp my Hide

If you haven’t already heard about PimpThisBum.com, you should go check it out.

 

The new T-shirt activism.

The new T-shirt activism.

 

Here are the Horse’s reservations:

1. Who will be helped, and to what extent? Nowhere on the site are there links to actual homelessness advocacy groups, any discussion of issues related to homelessness in the Houston area or elsewhere, or any clear statement of commitment to back up the vague statement of intent. Edwards’ long-term recovery so far consists of hair-removal treatments, free karate lessons, and a $100 per diem; if you’re wondering how he spends it, observe the fact that  he can be seen rolling joints in almost every video on the site (I imagine that he isn’t yet getting much out of the free drug and alcohol rehabilitation he has been offered). Even if we presuppose no intent on the part of the creators’ to raise awareness or help anyone other than Tim Edwards, the site’s MO would seem to be incentivizing his homelessness, rather than his recovery.

2. Pimp this what? “Bum” is not the kind of thing you call someone you want to empower. The Dolans maintain that “we knew that the same campaign with a sincere appeal, and a website like “helpthehomeless.com,” would be ignored. We knew that if we insulted people’s sensitivity or appealed to their humor – on a subject as sensitive as this we would get their attention.” Apart from the obvious logical fallacy (affirmative conclusion from a negative premise, anyone?) it’s hard to argue that perpetuating one of the mechanisms of Edwards’ marginalization is a good way to raise awareness. 

3. The Money. All this begs the question of who, exactly, is benefiting. The site maintains that “PimpThisBum.com makes ZERO profit from donations to this website. 100% of donations will go to pay for Tim’s long-term recovery and to help the homeless. Our goal is to give him the consistency to stay off the street.” If that’s really the case,  I wonder who gets the money from the T-shirt sales? The store site encourages us to “show our support for the homeless with PimpThisBum shirts and gifts” – combine that with the statement above, and the issue of whether they’re pocketing the money from swag with a homeless guy’s face on it seems pretty obvious. Just to be sure, I sent them some email about it. If they ever answer it, I’ll post in the comments section. 

Ultimately, this smacks of exploitation to me. Thoughts?

Edit: Sean Dolan just replied in the comments section; go have a look at what he has to say.

8 Minutes

Who needs more? This is a gem of opinion journalism: fact-backed, coherent and effective – it packs a wallop.

Check it:

Vote Pale Horse, Bitches

Big news, friends. Pale Horse may not be able to post much in the weeks, months, and years to come. Why, you ask? He might just be moving to Washington, DC.

Horse-tacular!

Edit: Horse Mania. Pale Horse “coming up from behind!”

Full Metal Racket

We’ve been getting threats… ‘we’re going to get you, one by one.’ If we go, we go together.”

The story of Iraqi metal band Acrassicauda over the past three years. Interesting!

From Failing Hands

Quote: “Beijing Olympic organizing committee spokesman Sun Weide denounced Sunday’s protests as ‘sabotage.’ ‘”A few Tibetan separatists attempted to sabotage the torch relay in London, and we strongly denounce their disgusting behaviour,’ said Sun.”

Over the weekend they tried. Today, one way or another, they did it. As it rode through Paris today, the Olympic torch was extinguished at least twice. Further protests are expected, Xinhua is presumably now in the dictionary next to “mouthpiece“, and the weird internet backlash has been going strong for about three weeks.

UPDATE: Just to spice up the current affairs links – I am sort of excited about this movie, and the fact that that there is now a firm release date for this.

FURTHER UPDATE: You all owe it to yourselves to have a look at Hull Breach, a Half Life 2 mod recently linked by Kotaku. It has an interesting dev team, totally awesome concept art, and a varied, fascinating OST. Check it out.

Do You Object To… Young People F—ing?

quote: “In my mind, sir, and in the minds of many of my colleagues and many, many Canadians who will be watching today, the purpose of Telefilm is to help facilitate the making of films for mainstream Canadian society, films that Canadians can sit down and watch with their families in living rooms across this great country. I haven’t seen this film.

Blink and you’ll miss this one, but there’s a lobby out there trying to regulate the award of Canadian Government grants to films that they consider outside of the scope of  “judeo-christian values.” Admittedly, the film cited as an example has a very provocative title, but the core issue remains; is it a good idea to let a conservative government (or any government, for that matter) go straight over the heads of Telefilm and the Canadian Television Fund to deny tax credits to films already approved for production (or already produced!) by those bodies? A bill has already passed parliament, and is now before the senate, that proposes to do just that.

See also:

the film

the Hollywood Reporter’s version

The Canadian Family Action Coalition, whose stated goal is to”mobilize, train and activate Canadians in defending and promoting Judeo-Christian principles”

WordPress discussion, courtesy of Malocite

I’m not sure how likely C-10 is to make it through the senate, but it is far from impossible for the bill to serve as the thin end of a very disturbing wedge. I welcome assenting and dissenting perspectives.

UPDATE: The bill has been sent back to comitee, and heritage minister Josée Verner has finally weighed in. For perspective, here is an example of serious censorship, fresh from the news.