Japanese Politicians Take Over Friday Linkage

Ichiro Ozawa, possible Prime Minister of Japan, thinks Americans are “simple-minded”. His words reminded me of a description of Americans given by a fictitious Japanese Prime Minister,

They have the most violent culture in the world, yet they worship justice. They venerate making money, but their roots are found in ideals.

While we’re talking about Japanese politicos (real or imagined), Kazutaka Sangen, mayor of Taiji, has spoken out against certain people whose sole desire is to see Japanese whale hunts (like Taiji’s dolphin hunts) end.  His words seem to eliminate any room for discussion,

We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this. So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners.

Game. Set. Match. Way to stick up for multiculturalism Mayor Kazutaka.  Though “foreigners” doesn’t quite do justice to the word which you probably said:  gaijin.

On to the linkage…

About as a heart-warming story as you’re going to read…I understood why Bengals wideout Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco (Chad Eight Five), 85 is his number after all. You’d think with how tech-savvy Chad is, he could have plugged in “eighty-five” into Google Translate and found out that the correct Spanish translation is ochenta y cinco, not ochocinco. Oh well, at least he has his own cereal, mistranslated name and all… Mohler demolishes so-called theistic evolution…Jennifer Aniston’s latest offering flops at the box office, big surprise since she seems to want to resurrect the chest-clutching Rachel Green character in every one of her movies… Jim Furyk gets DQ’d from a PGA tournament because his cell phone alarm doesn’t go off, oops…Ever watch that Tea Party Scene in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? The masterminds who orchestrated it were the March Hare and the Mad Hatter (below). Perhaps that’s what we can call these 2 billionaires who are the masterminds behind the populist Tea Party movement…

[Photo credit:  Disney]

Facebook Unfriending

I think it’s safe to say that Facebook (Feisbuk to my paisanos) has become the top social networking site. MySpace? Pffft, so 15 minutes ago. Recent months have seen a MySpace to Facebook migration worthy of a flock of Canada Geese (below).

Canada Geese

To the more hip amongst us mortals, Facebook has jumped the shark, and perhaps greener pastures (devoid of bourgeoisie influences) are to be sought.

I use Facebook and find it entertaining as well as a veritable time vacuum. Mostly I use Feisbuk as a Twitter page: posting amusing/ridiculous/interesting links as well as providing unnecessary updates during Texas football games and Mexican National Team fútbol matches. Not to mention keeping up with relatives back in the old country.

Surely, Facebook isn’t perfect, for example an “unlike” button (right) Unlike Buttonwould be nice, but it is a good way to keep in touch with people. I feel that besides an “unlike” button, something else is missing from Facebook: An “Unfriend” Notification.

When you request someone to be your “friend”, you get a notification that said person has approved your request. So why not be notified when a “friend” removes you from their “friend” list?

Speaking of “unfriending”, I realize that social networking is still in its infant stages (no matter what the hipsters say) insofar as customs are concerned. In other words, not enough time has elapsed for the light of etiquette to shine in every nook and cranny of the Facebook microcosm.

I understand that people “unfriend” for a slew of reasons: whittling of a massive “friends” list, feuding with the “unfriended” etc.

The question remains: Should an “unfriend” notification be sent to the exiled? In the same vein: What are good reasons to “unfriend” someone?

To see a good reason to “unfriend” someone check out this video, the “unfriend” comes at the end:

2007 Quotes of the Year

According to one Fred R. Shapiro of the Yale Book of quotations as cited in this story, here are the top 10 quotes of 2007,

1. “Don’t tase me, bro.” — Andrew Meyer, a senior at the University of Florida, while being hauled away by campus police during a speech by Sen. John Kerry. [I wonder if reaction would have differed had this happened during a John Cornyn speech…]

2. “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and [the] Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.” — Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton (below, yes the one on the right).

caitlin-upton

The quote was Caitlin’s response during the Miss Teen America contest, after she was asked why one-fifth of Americans cannot find the U.S on a map. [I believe Ms. Upton might have written a book about her experience, see below]

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3. “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.” — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at Columbia University in New York. [And in Saudi Arabia I understand they don’t have thieves]

4. “That’s some nappy-headed hos there.” — radio personality Don Imus, referring to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. [Had Imus been a rapper and dropped this line in a “song” this would have been a non-story]

5. “I don’t recall.” — former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ repeated response to congressional questions about the firing of U.S. attorneys. [Perhaps Roger Clemens should dump Rusty Hardin and hire Gonzalez]

6. “There’s only three things he (Rudolph Giuliani) mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11.” — Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking during a debate for Democratic presidential candidates. [Wait on it…]

7. “I’m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, referring to Vice President Dick Cheney. [I wonder what Harry thinks of Congress’ current approval ratings?]

8. “(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom.” — Sen. Larry Craig, explaining why his foot touched the foot of an undercover police officer in an airport men’s room. [I had a friend who shared with us that he also had a wide stance yet he never had the Senator’s problem]

9. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” — Sen. Joseph Biden referring to rival Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. [Biden is my “Person of the Year” for making it on the list twice, wonder if Sharpton would have ignored such a comment from a Republican?]

10. “I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.” — Former President Jimmy Carter, referring to the Bush administration. [Is the man who handed Iran to Khomeini really going to critique other Presidents?]

Sports fan, you’re not part of the team

chris-rock.jpg

“What did we win?”

Chris Rock (above) said this in response to the black community’s reaction to the O.J. verdict. He couldn’t understand why many within that community were celebrating one man’s justification in the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. He pointed out that the verdict did nothing for the people celebrating it, the verdict only helped Orenthal James Simpson.

Rock’s words rattle around inside my head every time I hear a sports fan refer to his favorite team as “we”. This phenomenon is endemic (and I would say fuels) to sports talk radio shows, as callers give their $0.02 as to how their team can improve. They’ll say something to the effect of,

We could win more games if only we had drafted Vince Young or if we had a better offensive line.

Admittedly in the past I have done this in conversations (and sometimes still catch myself doing it, old habits die hard) without much thought.

Had a good friend in college who consistently pointed out that there is no “we” as long as we are not part of the actual team. We all thought he was crazy, but it seems that he is right. It is strange to hear people, who are not part of a team, much less the organization, refer to that team as “we.”

This point became very obvious to me after the University of Texas (my alma mater) foot ball team won the 2006 National Championship. Did I enjoy the outcome? Immensely.

In fact, I ended up hugging a grown man in celebration. The experience was special and I wasn’t even at the game. Yet Rock’s words help to put things in perspective,

What did we win?

Absolutely nothing save some moments of euphoria and so-called bragging rights, is there anything more fleeting?

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