This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We Report, We Decide, You Sit Down and Be Quiet

After seeing "The Office" last night, it became clear to me that my wife is right: Even though it's not as funny or remotely as good as the original, I'll still have to watch every single episode. It's like the bad book that you can't put down because you want to find out what happens next. What's clear is that the writers of this show are going to keep ripping things off the British version and repackaging them to us. Case in point, last night Wyatt gets his own "workspace" and treats it like it's a real office, just like Gareth did in the Porno Picture episode. But the way he gets it is different from the British version -- no "porno laughs" or Chris Finch involved at all. The whole thing is the old and the new mashed together. Also clear, after three episodes:

Brent > Michael Scott (It's the difference between brilliance and just being funny)
Tim > Jim (Jim's still doing a Tim impression. And Tim never would have let Gareth steal a big customer from him)
Gareth > Wyatt (Wyatt doesn't have near the personality that Gareth does, and Mackensie Crook just looked weirder)
Dawn > Pam (Pam appeared to have no personality at all until last night and the "teeth liquifying disease" thing)

That's not a good record for the American Office so far. But wait, it's Wednesday -- where's the news, Mike? Good question.

And you thought Kashmir was just an imaginary place made up by Led Zeppelin.

The selection of a new Pope takes place on April 18th. As always, if you see white smoke, they've done well; if not, Catholics the world over will just have to wait a while. This is one of the few truly Ancient rituals we see in the world, this Pope-picking. Let's enjoy it, because we could all be dead by the time the next Pope passes. Here's a question: Who gets to pick the "Pope Name"? Hopefully, the next one will be like, "Sammy I", or "Burrito I". Would Catholics follow a Pope named "Burrito I"? Is asking that insensitive?

Meanwhile, in other Pope news, millions of people have lined up to look at the deceased pontiff. I won't offend Catholics twice in one Blog entry, so that's all I have to say about that.

Prince Ranier of the worthless nation of Monaco begins a trifecta of his own. This is the guy who married Grace Kelly, one of the true beauties of the past century. If he had not done that, would US non-billionaires know who he was? Just a question.

Peter Jennings, the last and least cartoonish (but most smug) of the Big Three nightly news anchors, has lung cancer. He will be anchoring only intermittently for a while. I don't have any idea what this means for us as a country, since he was Canadian. Is Canadian, I mean.

Anyone else out there nervous that the next Iraqi President's name is Talabani?

The war between Japan and South Korea is being fought largely in legislature pronouncements and textbooks. China's also T.O.'d. No word on whether the textbooks describe the US as the agressors at Pearl Harbor.

There you go. Thus ends the regular news.


  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Danny said…

    Interesting enough, I am Catholic, and would most definately follow a man who went by Burrio I. Possible more devotely than someone named Sammy.
    On another note; when I first arrived in Japan I was given a book for my birthday on the Yakuza (Japanese Gangs) which covered many of Japans discretions against their Asian neighbors; interesting stuff.
    Two points: One of my students took a trip to S. Korea after graduating from High School and was amazed when he visited a Mueseum and found out about the many wrong-doings on behalf of his government during the early to mid 1900's. He stated that he felt horribly about it and had no clue. He was then not surprised when an elderly native Korean woman told him and his classmates, in perfect Japanese, that they should get out of Korea and never come back (I took some liberties with the paraphrase, but it is close enough to embody the anger on behalf of the woman).
    Anther interesting fact: the author of "The Rape of Nanking" (Nanjing in the article, possibly the Chinese spelling) was recently, last November or December I believe, was found dead in her car. That's all that I heard about that one. But I am sure that it was the Japanese right-winger, who want nothing bad about Japan to be made public.
    It really is an interesting culture; the people remain quite and disconcerned while the world around them is spinning seemingly out of control. It scares me and I have no stake in it either way.

    Sorry to talk your ear off...interesting topic.

  • At 8:13 AM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Japan does seem to be a warehouse of rich (read: weird) culture. Living in Dallas, I have largely forgotten what unique culture is. I also largely forgot you live in Japan. All this Korea/Japan stuff sounds like the Japanese never wanted to own up to their atrocities like the Germans (and later, to a lesser extent, the USSRians)were forced to. I'd be pissed, too, if I were a Korean and I saw that Japanese children were not being taught cautionary tales about Japan's arrogance and evil. "He that does not learn from the mistakes of the past is bound to repeat them." Of course, since they're not allowed to have an army...that's still true, correct?

    This is the same culture that came up with the concepts of anime and kamikazees. Think about that, Dan, as you're walking the streets looking down at all the people.


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