Aug 31, 2013

Superman, the Loneliest Superhero: My Impression of the Movie “Man of Steel”

I saw the movie “Man of Steel” in an IMAX theater.

I didn’t like Superman, because he was so comical and  he didn’t look cool at all. For example his costume was too gaudy. People who love the original superman would think that “Man of Steel” is too serious, but I was moved deeply by this powerful movie.

Superheroes are lonely, because they are too special for ordinary people to understand them. They show their superpower to try to save people, but their superpower makes people fear them. Superheroes are like Jesus who was betrayed by the people he wanted to help.

I think that Superman is the loneliest superhero. 

Bruce Wayne is basically an ordinary human being. He wanted to be special, and he wears a mask to be Batman. 

On other hand, Kal-El was born in the planet Krypton and he isn’t a human being. He is fundamentally different from people on the planet earth. But he fought against and killed Kryptonians to save human beings. He is far lonelier than Bruce Wayne. 

The plot of this movie expressed the loneliness of Superman very well. He is lonely, so the plot couldn’t be comical but serious.

As an aside, Diane Lane, who played Martha Kent, Clark’s mother on Earth, was great. I was surprised that Laurence Fishburne has became so fat.

Aug 30, 2013

She Looked Very Cute and Fashionable. That’s All, but It’s Enough: My Impression of the Movie “Populaire”

I saw the French comedy movie “Populaire” after work for a change. 

Déborah François as the heroin, Rose Pamphyle, looked very cute and fashionable. That’s all, but it’s enough for me to see this movie for a change. I am guessing that Régis Roinsard, the director of this movie, just wanted to make Déborah look as cute and fashionable as possible in this movie, and he was successful.

Although this movie has many shortcomings that audience can point out, it doesn’t matter at all. For example, the plot of this movie is quite stereotyped, but it is better to make audience concentrated in the heroin Déborah.

I love Kabuki, whose plots are usually dubious. The audience of Kabuki mainly wants to be fascinated with the beauty of Kabuki actors, and a deep plot would disturb the entertainment of Kabuki.

Of course, Déborah François herself is very attractive. She shows a variety of expressions, smile, anger, tears, envy, and love, and all of them are charming.

If you thought that she was cute in the trailer, it would be worth seeing this movie.

Aug 27, 2013

An Autumn Night in Tokyo

I’m writing this entry while listening to the rain late at night.

As I wrote in yesterday’s entry “Don't Forget about Global Warming,” this is the hottest summer of my life. If I left the air conditioner on all night long, I would get out of shape, but it was too hot for me to sleep this summer.

Since yesterday, it has been much cooler. Autumn is coming to Tokyo, now.

This summer, heavy downpour frequently struck Tokyo, but the rain falling now isn’t a tropic downpour but a drizzling autumn rain.

Summer downpours are wild. They start suddenly with lightning and thunders, and then suddenly stop. On the other hand autumn rains are calm. The sounds make me settle down.

These last two months it was hard for me to think about anything, and I hardly wrote this weblog. A long and silent autumn night is perfect for reading and writing something.

I saw a light in the window next door. I’m wondering what they are doing in this deep autumn night.

秋深き隣は何をする人ぞ 松尾芭蕉

Aug 25, 2013

Don't Forget about Global Warming

It is extremely hot this summer in Tokyo.

From early July, the temperature has been over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees ) almost everyday. In Japan we call the night when the lowest temprature is above 25 degrees Celsius “a tropical night (熱帯夜),” and almost every night in July and August has been “a tropical night.”

It isn't only that the temperature is high but also that the weather is tropical. Thunderstorms bring sudden heavy downpours and lightnining almost every two days. The weather this summer in Tokyo is similar to that of Bankok. Honestly, I used to be skeptical about global warming, but after I experiensed this summer in Tokyo, I couldn't deny it. 

Before March 11, 2011 Japanese mass media always discussed global warming, but they've rarely talked about global warming at all this summer. This phenomenon isn't limited to Japan either. President Obama also used to talk about green energy revolution, but he seems to have forgotten about it.

Now, just two nuclear plants in Japan are operating, and no one knows when the other plans will restart, so it's quite difficult to reduce green gas emissions in Japan. I'm guessing that this is the reason why Japanese mass media stopped talking about global warming.

Shale gas in the United States is rapidly increasing as a source of natural gas.  President Obama may think that the shale gas industry is more important that global warming in the United States.

However, it is clear that the overall global temperature is rising. We shouldn't escape from the reality.

Don't forget about global warming.

Aug 22, 2013

There Is No One Who Is Completely Evil or Right

Finally, I read through the article “Jahar's World” on Rolling Stone magazine. It reminded me of the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the cult "Aum Shinrikyo" in 1995 and  Haruki Murakami’s book “Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche.”

In 1995, I was living in Higashi-Koenji, and commute to my office in Otemachi, Tokyo by Marunouchi subway line, which was one of the subwaylines that Aum Shinrikyo attacked by the Sarin gas. Fortunately, I felt sick and took a day off at my work on the morning of the Sarin gas attack. It was possible for me to be a victim of this attack, so I couldn’t think that this was someone else’s affair.

Just after this attack, there were full of reports about Aum Shinrikyo in every media, but most of them were based on the stereotypical views. The book “Underground” is a series of interviews with the people that affected by this attack and the members of Aum Shinrikyo. Only “Underground” presented these people as individuals. 

Everyone in the world is special, but at the same time it is difficult for us to avoid stereotypical views. In fact there is no one who is completely evil or right, even including Shoko Asahara, the cult founder, or Jahar, the the bomber of Boston Marathon.

After September 11 attack, Bush Jr. started to use the words "war on terrorism." Now, every government that wants to suppress its opponent uses these words. The Egyptian army calls the Muslim Brotherhood "terrorist." 

Of course, I don't have any intention of justify the Sarin gas attack, September 11 attack, and the bombing Boston Marathon, and we should care about every victim of these affairs individually, but I want to know exactly why they caused such affairs.

When you read "Underground" or his essay about the bombing Boston Marathon "Boston, from One Citizen of the World Who Calls Himself a Runner," you would understand how deeply he cares about the victims of these affairs. At the same time, he didn't write a founder of the cult as just an evil person in his novel "1Q84."

I got a little knowledge about him from the article “Jahar's World.” Although I can't say that I completely understand why he did so, it's much better to read it.

Aug 18, 2013

“Boss, I Did My Best and My Best Wasn’t Enough Today”

In a previous entry “Goodbye My Good Old Yankees,” I wrote about my love for the Yankees in 1990s.

Now, the Yankees are not what they were in 1990s at all, but we can still see Derek, Andy, and Mo, who have survived from back then to now, and are still playing on the field. However, Mo will retire at the end of this season.

I read an interview of Mo, which was about his faith. It was really interesting and impressive to me. I’d like to quote a passage which interested me most.

I ask Rivera how it felt to lose the 2001 series, and he answers that God was in charge that day as he is on all others. “I did my best. I did everything within my power. I did everything within my power to win that game for us. Guess what? Didn’t happen. And you think I’m going to start like a child, Oh oh oh, I be crying? No, I did my best. My best wasn’t enough that day. I looked my boss into his eyes, and I said, ‘Boss, I did my best and my best wasn’t enough today.’ I can sleep comfortable and move forward.”

He thinks that his talent isn’t his own property but a gift from the God. He just does his best and he doesn’t care about the consequences, because only God can decide them. He looks down at himself from the God’s view, and he has been performing at his full potential.

I am not a Christian, so I don’t believe that my talent is a gift from God, but it might be very important to think that my talent isn’t inherent.

I can manage somebody else, because I see their ability in an objective way. Likewise, it is really difficult for me to manage myself, because I can’t objectively judge my own ability.

The desire to possess leads a wrong decision. I am trying to throw away my desire and just do what I can.

Aug 17, 2013

The Vulnerability of Democracy

In Egypt, the conflict between the coup regime by the Egyptian army and the Muslim Brotherhood is becomming more severe.

I think that the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, has legitimacy, because it was he who elected through the legitimate election, and the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood by the current government is injustice.

In fact, democracy is quite vulnerable in many times and countries.

Before World War II, the democracy in Japan was killed by Japanese Army’s coups like Egypt nowadays.

In a previous entry “Is Japan Really a Democratic Country?” I wrote as below.

Is Japan really a democratic country? The answer is that "yes, it is formally."

If Japan is a democratic country, we should fight against them ("the nuclear village") in order to realize our own will. We, Japanese people, don't believe in the ideal of democracy, do we? I'm now deeply skeptical.”

Democratic constitutions and laws alone cannot guarantee democracy. The Nazi party arose out of the Weimar Republic. People in a country should believe in and save democracy.

But the Egyptian people don’t seem to believe in democracy. If they did so, the opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood would support the deposed president Morsi in order to save the Egyptian democracy. But they don’t do so just like the Japanese people before the World War II.

I’m now deeply wondering if democratic regime can be established universally. 

Someday, Egypt will be a democratic country, won’t it? The Egyptian people really do want democracy, don’t they?