Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When We Tell You We're Taking the Fat Out of Government, We Mean It.

BBC again leaves its less serious-minded, US-centric competitors in the dust as it tackles yet another weighty policy issue in Japan. Cudos to Auntie for striking a blow against US cultural imperialism and infotainment.

Warning: The images displayed on this Japanese government blog may be harmful to your mental health and/or aesthetic well-being.


Anonymous Political Interest said...

And who is the woman who is measuring up the two?
A nurse, a doctor?

Or a member of staff being forced to go beyond any job description would require of HER?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 5:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jun Okumura said...

Public Interest:

Here is a translation of the caption to the photos on the gov't blog:

"Two Vice-Ministers, eager to get going [with their diets], as they have their waists measured. Doing the honors is Ms. Mizoguchi, one of our (MHLW) own technical officials (legally qualified as a nutrition management specialist)".

At my special price of 25 cents to the dollar, that's 8.75 dollars. Where should I send the bill?

From the tone of your post, Political Interest, I think you have a problem with the image of a young woman having to touch the icky flesh of an overripe older/old (bonus question: what other words serve as their own superlatives?) guy, and a politician at that. But she's a professional, and a professionally qualified one too. So my answer is: both, sort of. The things required of a Japanese official are mulitudinous, and this is more offbeat than most (and she is a woman), but it fails my eyes to incarnadine.

Japan is saddled with legitimate gender issues and their intersects with the domimation-submission relationship. But this is not one of them, at least not to the extent that it makes it worth the while to work it over.


So I guess my question to Public Interest is: Why do I rarely see an anonymous comment that is funny and perceptive? Perceptive and funny?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 6:31:00 PM  
Blogger MTC said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jun Okumura said...

An informant has told me that I mistakenly identified Political Interest as Public Interest. Thank you, thank you.
The informant apparently knows the identity of PI. Very interesting, the layers of identity one weaves on the web.

I am in principle against anonymity unless there is a legitimate interest to protect. Blogging from China on CCP corruption would be an obvious exception. In fact, I would consider whistle-blowing on any illegal activity legitimate. (I do continue to use a pseudonym at a just-for-fun website that I adopted long ago. (NO, it's not one of those deai-keis.) People who know me will not find it impossible to root me out if they are willing to spend a couple of days digging around the Internet. But it's a persona I created a long time ago, and I'm going to let it live out its own life in that little neck of the woods.)

I also consider the substantive reediting of your post a dire offense. If you make any material changes (grammatical corrections are okay), you should make clear what the changes are. Otherwise, you're repeating the sins of at least one MSM publication, which thinks nothing of reposting a radically altered article under the same URL

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Okumura-san, guilty as charged. I should have read the article, can I plead lack of time?
You mistake my tone. I was not outraged, or suggesting this is a heinous crime to egalitarianism. Hence the lack of time I gave to the article and my comment, but rather vaguely amused. You miss the sense of irony about my comment.
Nothing at all to do with icky flesh, though. It was rather that Ms. Mizoguchi was on her knees that provoked my comment.
I attempt to preserve my anonymity not to be free to make unfunny or unperceptive comments, but because there are so many mentalists in the world (both the cyberworld and the world that without too many ontological commitments I will call the 'actual' world).
I am tempted to make some sarcastic comment about humor and perception on your blog, but I shall rise above such a base instinct.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Jun Okumura said...

Okay, Anonymous-san, leaving my opinions on anonymity aside, I was rude to a guest. I apologize for that. What you intended as irony, I saw only a take-off age-old stereotypes about the bureaucracy and women in Japan.

I shall try to be more civil.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, February 17, 2007 3:16:00 AM  

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