(My) Decision ’08

Oman '08
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As many of you know, I am usually swamped with work–teaching, grading, advising. You probably also know that I am a J-drama addict. I am currently watching Zettai kareshi (Absolute boyfriend), Muri-na ren’ai (Impossible love), and Rookies (Rookies). There are a few others that the family wants to watch, so I get my hands on them so we can watch them but I don’t really pay attention to them. One of them, Change, seems vaguely familiar–Kimura Takuya is the son of a Representative who dies and he suddenly finds himself thrust into a political campaign he didn’t really want to engage. He narrowly wins because of his honesty and uplifting character. When he reaches the Diet, a scandal breaks out about the Prime Minister and he is forced to resign. The party reputation is tarnished and they need a fresh, clean face to represent them. Yes, the new kid, the young kid steps up to run for party leader, promising henka (change), a different path than the old politics.

Sound vaguely familiar? The Japanese system is parliamentarian, but the parallels are hard to miss. The character is from Kyushu, I think, but it would have been more amusing if he had come from the small city in Fukui famous for chopsticks, Obama.

Speaking of which, the people of Obama are actually considering ways to relate their city with the Illinois senator and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate to drum up tourism. I wonder what they plan to do? Rename the high school Obama attended? No wait, the high school is already called Obama. Then how about registering the house where he grew up as an historical site? Oh, I forgot. he’s never been to Fukui prefecture.

Only in Japan…

Anyway, besides being hooked on work and J-drama, I’ve also developed the habit of watching talking heads on TV. I’m no poli-scientist, but I’m fascinated with the politics of our times. I no longer watch American drama–with the writers strike, there was nothing to watch anyway. So I fill up my time watching CNN and MSNBC whenever I’m not grading or watching J-drama. I mean, I have always watched the Sunday morning shows, usually Meet the Press, and now The Chris Matthews Show (which I think is the best on Sunday morning). But I am now mesmerized on a daily basis as I watch Hardball or Countdown or the political segments of AC360, especially when David Gergen is on.

But things were getting bad. I had to make a decision. I just couldn’t spend my time vegetating in front of the boob tube, regardless of how I may justify it–Japanese drama provides Japanese context, MSNBC informs me on politics. Well, I couldn’t afford to go to the Betty Ford Clinic, so I did the next best thing my limited brain could think of–I decided to return to Xanga. B-) Well… at least for the time being. We’ll see how long it lasts this time.