Sunday, October 14, 2007

MEN WITH MULTIPLE NIPPLES, GIRAFFES GIVING BIRTH, TOMMY LEE JONES SLURPING COFFEE, AND JAMIE FOXX STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: TALES FROM JAPANESE TELEVISION

Jamie Foxx looked confused. Befuddled. Slightly out of place. It's one thing to be promoting your latest flick, The Kingdom, on a morning talk show back in the States, but it's another thing altogether to be sitting in a TV studio somewhere in Tokyo, sandwiched between six hosts, all of them asking questions in a language you don't understand, with only an eager but harried translator to serve as a linguistic go-between.

I felt his pain.

I tune in as much as possible to Japanese TV to brush up on my listening skills -- which need a lot of brushing up on -- and so I was pleasantly surprised to see an English speaking guest on a morning 'wide show', as they're called, and even more pleased that that guest happened to be Jamie Foxx, who is probably the most overall talented entertainer to come along in the past, what, ten years? (Watch his diverse performances in Any Given Sunday and Ali and Ray and Collateral and Dreamgirls, and you'll soon realize that he is a startlingly good, probably great character actor. Catch a DVD of some of his stand-up, and you'll realize he's almost -- almost -- as good a stand-up comedian as Eddie Murphy.)

Alas, all his thespiatic skills were no help in Japan.

He did a good job of it, though. Played along. Answered the questions well, gamely, professionall, humorously. The way it worked, the multitude of Japanese hosts asked questions, and the translator tucked behind his ear translated them into English, and Foxx usually gave a long, rambling answer that made me think he had actually forgotten that the lady hovered beeside him had to eventually translate the response, and I felt bad for her, and she usually only bothered to translate about half of the answer into Japanese, the gist of it. And at the end of the interview, Foxx took a picture of himself and his hosts with a cellphone camera. (I think it was his own, camera, too.)

Much is made back in North America of the ostensible 'wackiness' of Japanese TV -- and, don't get me wrong, there is a shitload of that stuff. But the strangeness is more in the way that it resembles American or Canadian TV, just skewed.

Their talk shows feature celebrity guests numbering to five to twenty, and many times what happens is simply that a feature story is shown, and, in the corner of the screen, we watch the guests' reactions as they, in turn, watch the feature alongside us. Is this because in Japanese society it's important to know what everybody else is feeling and thinking before you can make your own judgement? I'm not sure. But last night there was a segment on a vicious ice storm that hit Montreal and Quebec and Ontario a few years back (with footage that seemed suspiciously like something stolen from a CBC drama), and the guests' screen-within-a-screen reactions were all perfectly, appropriately sympathetic, horrified, relieved. Which encouraged me to feel the same way. Which is maybe the point.

There are also an insane amount of food and travel shows, with guests cooking and tasting and oohing and ahhing. Major and minor celebrities alike also travel around various spots in Japan and the world, pointing out interesting sights, visiting northern Japan or the Middle East, southern Okinawa or the the heart of the Netherlands. The Japanese have an insatiable curiosity about everything, and more important, a desire to constantly improve, to know more, to do better, so there are a multitude of books and TV shows centred around improving one's skills, etiquette, and overall knowledge of the world.

Of course, part of the fun for me is trying to figure out what, exactly, is going on. My listening skills are getting better, but they still have a long way to go. The other night I flipped through a channel that featured a baby in the womb. Ah, maybe it's about abortion, I figured. The scene then cut to the panelists in the studio, who kept repeating a single word, an unfamiliar word, and so I popped open my dictionary and saw that it was the Japanese word for 'evolution'. (Which I have now, of course, forgotten.) So they're talking about evolution. Cool. The baby in the womb, evolution, that all make sense.

But then they brought out a pony-tailed expert in a suit, and he started pointing to various graphs, and then unleashed a photo of a man with three nipples. He pointed carefully at the third nipple, located just above the waist, while the guests oohed an ahhed.

Baby in the womb. A man's third nipple. Evolution. It all makes sense.

However, the next guest threw things for an even bigger loop. A woman in her thirties is introduced, alongside footage of her in the wrestling ring, throwing butch chicks over her shoulders with supreme agility and ease. Ah, a Japanese female wrestler. I got it. Then they cut to her giving birth in the delivery room. Okay, fine. But then they show her and her husband at the zoo, I guess, watching a giraffe, and it soon becomes apparent that this giraffe is giving birth, and so the scene cuts from actual footage of the Japanese female wrestler giving birth to her and her husband watching a giraffe give birth! (Have you ever seen a giraffe give birth? No? Don't.)

Baby in the womb. A man with three nipples. A Japanese female wrestler. The wrestler giving birth. The wrestler watching a giraffe give birth. Sentimental music all the while.

Gotta love it.

There are also programs that feature learning French, learning English, learning Korean, learning German, learning Italian, learning more about haiku, alongside the usual Sunday morning shows about politicians, and, of course, the inevitable Hollywood star whoring themselves out for a bit of extra cash.

A Softbank ad features Brad Pitt outside of, well, I don't know -- an office? a museum? -- arguing with somebody on the phone while the camera circles around him. We can see him mouth: `Baby, I love you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.` He grows steadily more exasperated before hanging up and shoving the phone into the hands of a befuddled businessman walking the other way. Hmmm.

There's also one featuring Tommy Lee Jones (!) sitting on an airplane next to Dave Spector, an American TV commentator who's lived in Japan for thirty years and speaks freakishly good Japanese. I can't quite figure this one out. Tommy Lee Jones is looking grimly out the window. (Come to think of it, does he ever look anything but grim?) Dave Spector is cheerfully saying...something. Next they're in Tokyo, while Jones drinks coffee from a can and Dave Spector and a stewardness look on happily beside him.

The moral of the story is: If you're ever bored in Japan, flick on the tube. At the very least, you'll get to see Jamie Fox or Brad Pitt in cultural, linguistic limbo. At the very most, you just might be lucy enough to see a giraffe give birth.

Which is not such a bad way to start a morning, is it?

22 comments:

Noi said...

Excuse us if YOUR way to start a morning is different from OUR way--("our" referring to the possessive form of "we"--we being normal people.)

Hmm.. this makes me wonder if the Japanese turn on the TV in America and think our shows are bizarre.

Right there with you though--I love watching Japanese TV.

Char said...

I wonder how many reusable nipple covers you can waste by covering up those multiple nipples? OMG. That's really, really eccentric.

Anonymous said...

порно фото в школе в сексе http://free-3x.com/ влагалище малолетней девочки фото крупно free-3x.com/ порно пьяной молодежи [url=http://free-3x.com/]free-3x.com[/url]

Anonymous said...

dating quizzes [url=http://loveepicentre.com/]dating prison women[/url] directdating http://loveepicentre.com/ carbon dating

Anonymous said...

private glamour photo shoot [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/levothroid.htm]levothroid[/url] depression meetimg groups http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/bystolic.htm calcium channel blocker discontinuation http://usadrugstoretoday.com/index.php?lng=fr&cv=eu
hair loss pills [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/abana.htm]abana[/url] topics concerning health [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/gum.htm]fukuda criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome[/url]

Anonymous said...

health status in japan [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/metformin.htm]metformin[/url] blood in urinalyasis http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/dostinex.htm baptist health south miami http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/haldol.htm
pictures of breast cancer in dogs [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/advair-diskus.htm]advair diskus[/url] infection and ear piercing [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/lamictal.htm]lessons on good health[/url]

Anonymous said...

collie health testing group [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/perdida-de-peso.htm]perdida de peso[/url] drugs anxiety depression http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/erection-paquetes.htm pills for thinning hair http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/maxalt.htm
rawlings heart of the hide [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/gastro-intestinal.htm]gastro intestinal[/url] blood clots heparin [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/categories/weibliche-verstarkung.htm]texas health pool[/url]

Anonymous said...

volkswagen eos lease special wisconsin http://autoexpress.in/saturn/certified/saturn solo auto sales san luis obispo
[url=http://autoexpress.in/radiator/apache/junction/radiator/shop]rear auto window advertisements[/url] lincoln auto dealerships in north georgia [url=http://autoexpress.in/seat/pontiac/trans/sport/se/child/seat/instructions]pontiac trans sport se child seat instructions[/url]
miss america air racing t shirts http://autoexpress.in/rover/mars/rover/jpl
[url=http://autoexpress.in/mercury/mercury/outboard/ignition/switch/plate]flordia auto title[/url] harbor tools automobile computer reader kit [url=http://autoexpress.in/nissan/nissan/exceptance]nissan exceptance[/url]
mercedes 313 http://autoexpress.in/radiator/thermostatic/radiator/valves/ireland
[url=http://autoexpress.in/scion/can/stereo/be/upgraded/on/2006/scion/xb]pa automobile appraisal license[/url] formula 1 racing website [url=http://autoexpress.in/plymouth/plymouth/duster/transmissions]plymouth duster transmissions[/url]

Anonymous said...

mercedes ge 230 water pump http://carautonews.in/aprilia/aprilia-rs250-review dick winnie auto sales
[url=http://carautonews.in/chopper/ribbed-gas-cap-chopper]mercedes c300 pictures[/url] king midget automobile [url=http://carautonews.in/bikes]bikes[/url]
certifit auto parts http://carautonews.in/daewoo/south-korea-daewoo-group-failure
[url=http://carautonews.in/bike-com/rear-wheel-bike-lock]automobile insurance agents[/url] volkswagen passat colant temperature sensor [url=http://carautonews.in/ferrari/ferrari-gts-4]ferrari gts 4[/url]
drew volkswagen http://carautonews.in/auto-com/atg-auto
[url=http://carautonews.in/eagle]diplomatic pricelist mercedes benz passenger cars[/url] mercedes c300 4matic [url=http://carautonews.in/auto-com]auto com[/url]

Anonymous said...

online adult sexual games http://planetofporn.in/adult-xxx/custom-yahoo-adult-smileys-emoticons
[url=http://planetofporn.in/blowjob/horse-gives-man-blowjob]sexy new year dresses[/url] adult video retail jade [url=http://planetofporn.in/adult-pic]adult pic[/url]
home dildo http://planetofporn.in/adult-story/industry-in-adult-sex-toys
[url=http://planetofporn.in/blow/vancouver-park-blow-job]rough anal sex women[/url] interactive adult transformation [url=http://planetofporn.in/erotic-video/barely-legal-erotic-podcast]barely legal erotic podcast[/url]
shop discreet purchasing adult movies http://planetofporn.in/adult-video/adult-size-trail-a-long
[url=http://planetofporn.in/anal-life/how-do-i-make-anal-sex-easier]free sex incest amateur videos[/url] older porn angel [url=http://planetofporn.in/adult-stories]adult stories[/url]
inyo county adult protective services http://planetofporn.in/adult-pic/adult-whacking
[url=http://planetofporn.in/girl-anal/extra-large-anal-toys]cock virgin grandpas[/url] hentai key username and password [url=http://planetofporn.in/teen-ass/i-take-big-cocks-up-my-ass]i take big cocks up my ass[/url]

Anonymous said...

porn star krystal clear http://pornrapidshare.in/virgin/born-of-a-virgin-and-words
[url=http://pornrapidshare.in/tit/big-tit-uniform]adult nude las vegas shows[/url] paul morgan porn [url=http://pornrapidshare.in/teen-usa/teen-maidens-patrice-age-21]teen maidens patrice age 21[/url]
sexy filipina women http://pornrapidshare.in/vibrators/vibrator-safe-pregnant
[url=http://pornrapidshare.in/live-xxx/biography-of-black-xxx-porn-stars]dildo closeups[/url] amateur sex boys [url=http://pornrapidshare.in/toon]toon[/url]
history virgin mary http://pornrapidshare.in/tits/how-to-get-big-tits
[url=http://pornrapidshare.in/xxx-girls/xxx-website-ratings]porn account generators[/url] movie lesbian double dildo [url=http://pornrapidshare.in/vibrators/powerful-electric-vibrator]powerful electric vibrator[/url]
big ole titties adult dvd http://pornrapidshare.in/modelos-teen/fast-teen-weight-loss
[url=http://pornrapidshare.in/tv-xxx/north-augusta-xxx-club]my teen daughter uses a dildo[/url] grants for adult continuining education [url=http://pornrapidshare.in/vagina/black-threads-in-vagina]black threads in vagina[/url]

Anonymous said...

amateur xxx free sites http://theporncollection.in/hentai-porn/hentai-toon
[url=http://theporncollection.in/gay-love/gay-8teen]forced dildo movies[/url] justin sexy ladies [url=http://theporncollection.in/porn-girl/politician-on-porn]politician on porn[/url]
oriental women adult magazine http://theporncollection.in/lubricant/personal-lubricant-rating
[url=http://theporncollection.in/gay-man/gay-marie-eskaton]sexy nurse free video[/url] sonic hentai quiz [url=http://theporncollection.in/hentai-porn/doa-hitomi-karate-hentai]doa hitomi karate hentai[/url]
anderol lubricants http://theporncollection.in/hentai-porn/hentai-read-or-die
[url=http://theporncollection.in/gay-video/tom-selleck-gay]gay and porn[/url] groups preteen sexy [url=http://theporncollection.in/lesbian-porn/lesbian-gifts]lesbian gifts[/url]
cd adult http://theporncollection.in/lubricant/castle-silicone-higge-lubricant
[url=http://theporncollection.in/hentai-porn/xbox-hentai]locker room love hentai[/url] adult video convention las vegas [url=http://theporncollection.in/gay-sex/free-gay-asian-porn]free gay asian porn[/url]

Anonymous said...

free vidoeclips of porn http://xwe.in/ass-sex/ass-lick
[url=http://xwe.in/ass-sex/puerto-rican-ass]boob pillow porn[/url] free tarzan hentai [url=http://xwe.in/teen-ass/ass-ripped]ass ripped[/url]
free xxx adult clips http://xwe.in/gay-boy/gay-nastyboard
[url=http://xwe.in/fetish/shemale-fetish-gallery]sexy gangbus photo[/url] water proof dildo [url=http://xwe.in/bdsm/bdsm-tulsa]bdsm tulsa[/url]
falcon dildo http://xwe.in/orgasm/hysterectomy-sex-clitoral-orgasm-how-soon
[url=http://xwe.in/ass-video/plumpers-fat-ass]adult cleft lip revision chelioplasty[/url] amateur radio classified [url=http://xwe.in/thongs/dawn-marie-of-wwe-in-thongs]dawn marie of wwe in thongs[/url]
lesbian dildo free http://xwe.in/handjob/grandma-handjob-websites
[url=http://xwe.in/blow/lyrics-to-blow-northern-wind]florida adult chat[/url] femdom strap on dildo [url=http://xwe.in/blowjob/japanese-blowjob]japanese blowjob[/url]

Anonymous said...

symptoms of increased blood viscosity [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/chloroquine.htm]chloroquine[/url] manster herbal male enhancement pills http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/lexapro.htm
mental health and studies and human and declaration of [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/ditropan.htm]ditropan[/url] piriformis muscle syndrome [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/doxazosin.htm ]blood ties and renewal on lifetime [/url] muscle diseases
virginia industrial medicine pre employment drug screening [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/amitriptyline.htm]amitriptyline[/url] medical lab technology schools http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/claritin.htm
ex servicemen contributory health scheme [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/catalogue/t.htm]Order Cheap Generic Drugs[/url] male urinary catheter bags [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/zelnorm.htm ]non suppurative bacteria gone [/url] grossmont hospital behavorial health

Anonymous said...

black nike basketball shoes http://luxefashion.us/pink-gucci-color10.html clothes british designers uk [url=http://luxefashion.us/roberto-cavalli-dress-for-women-multi-item1717.html]clothes ripped off[/url] mng clothes stores sydney australia
http://luxefashion.us/s-jeans-cut-pants-size10.html lauren hill i love you baby [url=http://luxefashion.us/multi-color-shirts-color180.html]directions on how to lace shoes[/url]

Anonymous said...

outlet athletic shoes http://www.thefashionhouse.us/armani-t-shirt-with-crystal-logo-for-men-white-item718.html gucci fabric [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/42-women-size23.html]where to wash clothes n newport news va[/url] laurence drozd syracuse
http://www.thefashionhouse.us/prada-running-shoes-for-men-white-item1926.html laurence fox james fox [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/off-white-t-shirts-for-men-color3.html]consignment stores that sell chanel purse[/url]

Anonymous said...

new balance man basketball shoes http://www.thefashionhouse.us/sweet-years-men-brand50.html sniff shoes [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/gucci-tunic-with-crystal-logo-for-women-grey-item551.html]wading shoes[/url] gucci communication strategy
http://www.thefashionhouse.us/energie-leather-sport-walking-shoes-laced--item848.html merrel shoes [url=http://www.thefashionhouse.us/pepe-jeans-london-jeans-brand52.html]zooey deschanel singer[/url]

Anonymous said...

customizable shoes http://luxefashion.us/dolce-amp-gabbana-cashmere-wool-pullover-for-men-item1158.html preppy clothes [url=http://luxefashion.us/d-amp-g-sweater-for-men-brown-item2437.html]fashion merchandising[/url] hichcock shoes
http://luxefashion.us/beige-casual-color5.html shoes made in america [url=http://luxefashion.us/grey-t-shirts-for-men-color1.html]hollister clothes[/url]

Anonymous said...

lottery winner horror stories http://xwn.in/jackpot_this-weeks-las-vegas-jackpot-winners oaklahoma lottery winners
[url=http://xwn.in/joker_fatboy-slim-joker]free super jackpot party slot game[/url] the lottery rose questions [url=http://xwn.in/roulette_gambling-free-computer-roulette]gambling free computer roulette[/url]
onbline betting http://xwn.in/keno_keno-rolling-stones-page
[url=http://xwn.in/online-casino_palms-casino-las-vegas-nevada]worm bingo[/url] buffalo run casino miami ok [url=http://xwn.in/jokers_jokers-savannah-georgia]jokers savannah georgia[/url]
assault at grand casino mille lacs kids quest http://xwn.in gambling problem stories [url=http://xwn.in/betting_dutch-book-for-betting]dutch book for betting[/url]

Anonymous said...

betting line indians http://wqm.in/casino-online_definition-of-boutique-casino beau rivage hotel casino
[url=http://wqm.in/keno_free-casino-bonus-play-keno]marriott courtyard san juan casino[/url] lottery leads [url=http://wqm.in/lottery_london-ontario-dream-of-a-lifetime-lottery]london ontario dream of a lifetime lottery[/url]
card counting blackjack http://wqm.in/slot_t4-10-slot-ported-box
[url=http://wqm.in/slot_slot-machine-carnival-mystery]lottery numbers canada[/url] neveda casinos [url=http://wqm.in/jackpot_jackpot-controller]jackpot controller[/url]
results from lottery cheaters book http://wqm.in/gambling-online_online-gambling-for-american-players offtrack betting [url=http://wqm.in/jokers_jokers-update-of-bb8]jokers update of bb8[/url]

Anonymous said...

movie sound bites [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_the_new_world/]the new world[/url] step up movie soundtrack http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_kaze_no_tani_no_naushika/ free disney movie downloads
lesson science dinosaur movie [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_d_l_hughley_unapologetic/]d l hughley unapologetic[/url] movie times melbourne victoria http://moviestrawberry.com/hqmoviesbyyear/year_2009_high-quality-movies/?page=12 auburn movie theaters
pleure en silence biggs movie [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_nobel_son/]nobel son[/url] drive in movie theatre
jack and sally nightmare before christmas movie pictures [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_amor_en_concreto/]amor en concreto[/url] movie viewing by age http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_the_circus/ harwich movie theatre
pictures from back to the future movie [url=http://moviestrawberry.com/films/film_the_favor/]the favor[/url] sin city the movie http://moviestrawberry.com/hqmoviesbycountry/country_canada/?page=2 waiting for guffman movie review

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.
I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will often come back at some point.

I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!


My web page: Methadone Clinics In Ohio