Saturday, April 08, 2006

Last big shopping day for me in Tokyo today. Hit Disk Union in Shibuya and Kashiwa (better in Kashiwa, interesting), and Recofan again to dive into the 7" singles for a friend who is into Bowie, of which there is a treasure trove. I had passed over the 7" last time because there were just too many and it didn't look like they had much that I was into. But lo -- Kick in the Eye/Satori! And a really nice numbered Echo and the Bunnymen -- "Life at Brian's - Lean and Hungry." Seven Seas, All You Need is Love, The Killing Moon, Stars are Stars, and Villiers Terrace.

I also took a turn around that tourist trap, Tokyu Hands, but I have to brag here -- I think I'm finally a regular in Japan, because everything I saw in there I knew I could get somewhere else for 1) cheaper, and/or 2) better. Except for the "Hard Gay" merchandise. Hard Gay is a television personality who is an effeminate leatherdaddy who is both "hard" (by Japanese standards) and "gay" and has a penchance for hip-thrusting. I've read English editorials about "Hard Gay" both pro and con as far as gay rights in Japan goes, and I have to say I am still confused. On one hand, he completely stereotypes gay men and is offensive. On the other, because it's funny, it eases a crazy homophobic Japan in to the 21st century. I saw parents buying Hard Gay merchandise for their kids in Tokyu Hands today. That, if not a testament to the loveableness of hip-thrusting Hard Gay to the average Japanese citizen, is at the very least entertaining to gaijin.

You can decide for yourself:

Speaking of hip-thrusting, today I gave a smoke to a homeless guy outside Meiji-Jingu shrine, and upon hearing I was from the US, he began talking crazy about how much he liked Bill and Hillary Clinton while making hip-thrusting gestures. Eeew. I smiled like an idiot and pretended I didn't understand him, and made my escape. And I hoped for those very nice French tourists that the guy didn't like Jacques Chirac.

Oooh, it was so beautiful at Meiji-Jingu shrine today. There was a light rain while I made my wishes to the gods there, and literally the minute I was finished the sun broke out and filled the courtyard with warmth and sparkle. A beautiful reminder to not hinder ourselves on the pain and sorrow and unchangeable things in life, but to open ourselves to positive energy. It reaffirms for me that life is about love.


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