Dokodemo Door!

Monday, June 15, 2009

60th anniversary of "1984"

Almost forgot!

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the release of George Orwell's 1984, which has to be my all-time favorite work of dystopian fiction.

I'm also pleased to report that my weekly chocolate rations are going up again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Brilliant Comrade"

Ah. It seems that North Korea's own Dauphin, Kim Jong-Un, has been given the title "Brilliant Comrade."

I can't help but crack a smile. I was hoping for a bit more oomph. Maybe something more exotic-sounding, like Emperor Gojong's title of "shining warrior."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lovin' the Kobe beef

I figured it was about time that I gave it a try. Before being seared over charcoal, these slices looked like red marble:

It's truly a challenge to describe the taste. You put it in your mouth, and it feels like it melts a little bit. It's akin to beef-flavored butter. This is accompanied by a slight tingle of blood.
The plate above cost the yen equivalent of $15, and is considered something of a good deal.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why Pyongyang has been nuttier than normal

Aha. This explains quite a bit about the nuke tests, the missile firings and the unusually paranoid bellicosity.

Kim Jong-Il has announced his successor: his virtually unknown youngest son, Kim Jong-Un.

Kim Il-Sung formally announced the picking of his son in 1980, about a decade and a half before he kicked-off. I imagine Jong-Il is going to retain the title chinaehan jidoja-- "Dear Leader"-- and give his son a similarly fancy title.

North Korea can therefore continue proudly displaying that "World's Best Communist Monarchy" mug on its desk.

And if a few members of the National Defence Commission suddenly vanish in the middle of the night, we can see whether Junior has learned his lessons properly.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet the new ambassador!

The White House's pick for ambassador to Japan was announced last week. His name is John Roos.

And, surely, you'd recognize such an auspicious name? Surely?

What's that? No? You've never heard his name before?

Yeah, me neither.

Turns-out he's some Silicon Valley lawyer bigwig who raised a bunch of money for Obama's campaign.


I'll tell you, it was not always like this...

Nay. There was once a time when an ambassadorship to Tokyo was given to men of stature like Walter Mondale or Tom Foley.

Hell, even Ed Reischauer had plenty of academic cachet back in his time.

Doesn't this practice seem oddly 19th century to anyone?