Fleecing Weeaboos: The New Art of the Samurai

I was watching NHK World News a while back and came across a pretty sweet nugget. NHK is basically Japan’s CBC, but with the suck turned way down. Their World News cable network is pretty good. They run through the same stories for ten or fifteen minutes on the hour, with full news broadcasts at certain times, and otherwise run NHK educational and cultural programs that have been dubbed into English. As a bonus, the news is actually very good. International with a slight Asian focus. Just the big international stories without all the star fucking and 24-hour news cycle hysteria of American outlets and BBC.

Anyway, they had this little show about some special dojo that’s operating up in the mountains in Japan someplace, where foreigners come to learn the “true art of the Samurai.” Smelling a rat right off, I settle in for a good show. I have been made aware of this trend in Japan, in particular with “Ninja schools” which claim to teach the secret arts of Ninjitsu. Basically, they are foreign Ninja fanboy fleecing stations and are almost universally regarded as a total joke by the Japanese who are aware of them.

Oh, so you’re a ninja, huh? So you’re an Edo era spy? That’s an impressive temporal feat, I have to say.

Anyway, back to the art of the Samurai. So the camera pans into this incredibly scenic mountain home, with the zen garden and Shinto shrine. Sure enough, there are glazed looking foreign men all over the property: scrubbing cobblestones, sweeping up, and no doubt detailing sensei’s Mercedes whether it needs it or not. Then we go into the dojo, where a bunch of students in really cool looking, pseudo kendo outfits, are going through their katas with real katana.

There must have been 12 of these guys (not an Asian among them), paired up, pretending to sword fight in slow motion in a room about twice the size of a boxing ring. In a space that size there wouldn’t be room to have a proper dance class with that many people, and these guys are training sword fighting there?

I’m thinking this must be some kind of prep, but no. The narrator explains that only the senior students may participate in this training, with real katana, after several years of “rigorous training and philosophical preparation.” So this routine is the culmination of their art. This is what they aspire to do.

Then we get a one on one interview with one of the senior students. Turns out he’s in Japan doing his PHD on kabuki (Japanese traditional “opera”). Aha, me thinks. Style over substance all the way with this one; no wonder he has been attracted to this bunch. But boy oh boy, does he ever take the whole samurai thing seriously. I want to grab the guy by his meticulous kimono and tell him: you are aware that the last samurai were all using guns, right? They were soldiers, albiet in a caste, not mystical warriors who farted poetry and flower arrangements.

Finally, we get to Sensei himself. He’s going on about how his great-grandfather was one of the last of the samurai. How his family has handed down and preserved the super secret training scrolls of the art of the katana. Techniques so deadly that they must never be used. That kind of thing.

So, I was thinking, surely if these techniques are so awesome, wouldn’t you be the president of a nationwide school of kendo? I mean, it’s not like that fighting art disappeared. It’s widely practiced in a modified form as a sport. As well, doing katas and cutting bamboo mats with the real swords is a less popular, but not uncommon, martial art.

Ah, but not so fast! Sensei then explains that because his totally authentic techniques are so unbelievably, terrifyingly dangerous, before students may learn them, they must swear a sacred oath concerning a code of conduct. Rules number one and two are pretty standard: don’t talk about fight club, and don’t teach the technique. Rule number 3 was pure awesome: The practitioner must never, ever, practice the form or spar with people using other styles.

AHA! Of course. It makes so much sense. The style is so deadly that should one of its practitioners actually step into a kendo dojo to test their skills in a practical arena, they would surely kill the hapless fool who stepped before them; practice swords and pads notwithstanding.

At this point, I could only wonder which of the lucky adepts were given the great honor of tending to sensei’s daily full release massage.

One of the things I really like about the Japanese was exemplified so beautifully by how the whole little documentary was presented. Totally earnest. They let the participants tell it themselves, without any commentary calling any of it out. But edited so proficiently as to leave no question as to what is going on; it may as well have been a fucking torpedo. Truly good stuff. Artful subtlety with a unerring death blow. Now there’s your ninja at work.

Covid Work Diaries

So I’m having a zoom English lesson today.

Me in a room by myself at a laptop. Somewhere around eight or nine kids, between the ages of two and seven, in three separate households are participating in this thing.

Forty minutes, I have to fill.

So this is my life now.

Okay. Let’s get it on.

Thirty minutes in: it’s going okay. Then it all falls apart.

I’m sitting in this empty room, staring at a screen with four video feeds on it. In one of them is me. In two of them is the empty voids of ceilings: the smartphones delivering these feeds have been set down on a table or the floor and left alone, apparently.

In the the last feed sits a mother, stone faced and unmoving. There are no children around her. There have been no children near her for some time.

At least one child is crying at the top of their lungs. Somewhere. Wails of anguish roll out of the computer at me. I cannot tell which feed is delivering this misery to me.

But there I sit, I shit you not, singing: “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” Doing all the actions for the webcam.

The crying child wails. The mother continues to stare at me stone faced. I finish my song and say goodbye to the abyss and close the feed.

This was the highlight of my day.

What that mother might have taken away from it, I can only imagine.

Hashtag: telework is awesome!

Bible Stories For Today’s Youth

The Story of Abraham and Isaac

So one day God creeps up on Abraham and is all like, “Yo, slut! Here I am! Guess what, bitch?”

And Abraham was straight freaking, but he was still all like, “I don’t know, Lord. But, just let me say, it’s always a real pleasure when you pop by like this.”

So God was all, “Whatever. So, d’ya love me, bitch?”

Abraham’s all, Oh shit no! He’s in one of these moods! But he can’t even, so he’s like, “Of course I love you, Lord. You my lord and master, you know that.”

And God was all like, “That’s right, slut! But how much do you love me? Huh? I need you to show me up in here.”

So Abraham’s like, “I’ll suck your dick again, if that’s what it takes.”

And God’s like, “You a straight faggot, you know that, Abraham? Yeah, you can suck my dick if you want, straight up, but that aint shit to me now. I’m here about that little hairless bitch version of you running around here. What the fuck is up with him?”

Abraham was all, “You mean my son, Isaac?”

And God was all, “Oh, snap! Yeah, that’s right! You made that shit with your balls and that titty ape wife thing you didn’t like me fuckin with last time, right? Sons. That shit is tight! I need me one of them. Make him do all kinds of ill shit for me! But before I get into that, I gotta say that I think you love that little bitch you more than you love me! That’s what I think.”

So Abraham’s all fucked up cause he knows that God is down for some ill shit when he gets jealous, but he still tries his best. He’s like, “No way, Lord! I love him, it’s true, but there’s no way I love him more than you! I swear!”

God’s like, “Fuck you, bitch. That shit don’t play with me. Here’s what we’re gonna do. Tomorrow yer gonna take him up to that mountain, and yer gonna tie the little bitch up on a rock up there. You know just how I like that rope work done too, so don’t let me catch you slippin on that. Then yer gonna cut the bitch and light his ass on fire. That’s what yer gonna do for me. Bleed him out and burn his ass to the motherfuckin ground. Got it, slut? Do that for me and we’re square. Do him just how I like to see and I’ll give you a pass.”

And Abraham knows that’s that, because God don’t play. So the next day he takes Isaac up to the mountain and even makes the little bitch carry the firewood up there by himself because he’s stone cold like that too.

Then Isaac’s all like, “what the fuck dad, you said we was going up here to give God a sacrifice, but there aint shit up here but you and me!” Cause Isaac’s slow like that. And Abraham’s all like, “that’s right, biatch!” and he ties Isaac up on the rock on top of the wood just how he knows God likes it.

And he’s just getting ready to cut into Isaac and is actually into it at this point, because it’s kinda something he’s always wanted to do anyway. I mean, it’s not like God had to push him hard, is it?

But then, right at the last second, God shows up and is like, “Psyche! I got you you stupid shit! What a fuckin dumbass!”

Abraham’s all WOAH! So he’s like, “Wow! Good one, God! You sure got me!”

And God’s like, “Hey check this shit out, there’s a fucking ram over there caught in a tree. Kill that bitch for me and we square. And you, little bitch, Isaac, you just remember that you aint shit compared to me. Right? Yer fuckin dad was gonna cut your ass up and burn you down just cause I told him, so you aint shit. Don’t forget it, slut. But, Abraham, now that I know you’d do anything for me, you’re my bottom bitch for sure. Straight up, bottom bitch now!”

And so it was. Abraham was God’s bottom bitch for the rest of his days and his family was the baddest crew around because of it. They could spread right the fuck out and no one fucked with them.

God is a loving pimp daddy like that.

Career

When people tell you that you should turn what you love into your job, I would be really careful about following that advice. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying to have a look at the practicalities and make an informed decision.

If you love fine art and painting, this does not mean you should be a graphic designer. Graphic designers don’t get to draw what they want. They mostly get to draw what unimaginative, soulless business assholes want. Or think they might want. But, you know, they’re really not sure. Could you make it a little more, I dunno, zippy? You know, like that commercial with the thing, but not so close that we get sued.

Hey I took a picture on my phone of this flower. I want that as my logo. Can’t you just zip that through your computer and make it for me in an hour? What kind of graphic artist are you anyway?

I may love writing but that doesn’t mean I want to write copy for a living. Well, maybe “love” isn’t the right term. It’s more like I have a demon in me that rapes my soul constantly, and writing is the one thing that seems to calm it down. It uses lube and bites less when I’m providing it a good word count. So I guess we can call it love. That’s a kind of love, isn’t it?

Be that as it may, I love the craft enough that I don’t want to ruin it for myself by turning it into something I have to do for a living. There is only so much time in the day, and I have only so much creative energy. I don’t want to waste what little I have on the mundane bullshit required to keep myself alive.

I’m so precious with it that I’m halfway through writing my second novel and I still don’t want too many people reading it. First and foremost, I want it to be for me. I want it to be what I want to read. I don’t want that vision getting compromised. Once it’s all done I’ll send it out into the world to sink without a trace, but I need it to be done right first.

What I’m trying to say here, is that if you have a serious muse that you want to pursue, don’t try to turn that into your job. Try to make your job something that you’re good at, but that leaves plenty of energy in your reserves. Maybe marrying for money or some other form of harlotry, if nothing else seems to work out.

If, however, you have a strong faculty for something without the burning drive to get it right, to have it be just so, then you might be looking at a very marketable skill. The market loves people who are highly skilled but lack any real passion for what they are producing.

That’s what success is all about.

Yum Yum

I have an inner disco daddy. His name is Yum Yum.

Yum Yum gets down in the club with grooves so funky that people get high just from breathing near him.

Who’s the cool cat that all the young gay boys want to get penetrated by?

Yum Yum!

Behold Yum Yum, striding long, his plush fur coat slung over his shoulders like a cape. His knee-high golden platform boots stomp, stomp, stomp their way out the front of that coat, driving Yum Yum into the club like the majestic steed of a Knight of the Round Table. Musky.

Yum Yum!

The coat drops into the arms of the coat check girl. Let your eyes feast upon Yum Yum’s velvet hot pants, skin tight, with a bulge as lovely as it is pungent. Yum Yum has no shirt. Yum Yum needs no shirt. Yum Yum’s thick, manly chest mane is shirt enough. Golden pendants rustle through that torso fur, like sexy jungle cats in their favorite haunt.

Yum Yum is in the house! The party has now begun.

Yum Yum!

Companion

Do you remember when you were little, there was that place you were afraid of? A crawlspace in your house, or under the basement stairs. Or perhaps in the back yard or the woods nearby; a little nook under some bushes that only a child could reach.

You were afraid of that place, and you were right to be. You knew something evil dwelled there.

Sometimes you would go to peep into that place, to assure yourself that there was nothing there. But then the horror would rise in you, and just for an instant, you would see it crouching in the dark, staring out at you. And for that instant, a part of you would remember.

You had been in there once, and it got you. It did things to you. It grabbed you with its long, cold fingers and held you tight so it could press its placid, white face up to yours and force you to look into its eyes.

Its eyes. Tiny and pure black, in puckered sockets of corpse white wrinkled flesh. Its eyes showed you things. Things you still know deep within you. Things that visit you in the night when you are half asleep. Unspeakable horrors that slide into bed with you like slithering eels.

Do you know that it made a room for itself inside you? Inside your soul, it carved a little home for its essence. And one of these nights it will creep out into your consciousness and join you again. You will see it in the corner of your room, crouching, staring at you in bed with those black, black eyes. You will freeze, like a deer in headlights, and wait for it to creep up to you again.

And then it will show you more things.

And you will wake up in the morning and not remember.

But that corner of your room will haunt you.

And your soul will be smaller yet.

And it will wait inside you for its next visit.

Your companion.

Me.

Temporal Onanism

It is depressing to me that I have yet to be visited and given a blowjob by my future self. This means one of two things: either time travel does not get invented in my lifetime, or future me is a selfish asshole.

The act of giving oral sex is very much like other gift giving. We may give purely out of a generous spirit, or we may do so because we feel obligated due to social convention or other reasons. But at the heart of it we often give so that we can then receive. It’s a kind of social contract. I give you a birthday present so that I get one in return later. With sex this often is much more a direct negotiation and an immediate exchange. What some rapper or another referred to as exchanging fuck faces.

Access to a time machine would enable one to engage in just such an exchange with themselves. Game changer! The negotiation that would take place would be purely internal, with the important distinction on whether one goes forwards or backwards in time to make with the oral sex (or whatever else). So if I’m feeling horny, all I need to do is zap forward say thirty minutes, do the deed on myself, and then go back to my original timeline to wait for the payoff. Easy. This is the direct equivalent of the negotiated fuckface exchange with another partner.

Then there is the purely generous act of going back in time. Doing so is an entirely altruistic act of kindness for your former self. I suppose you could try to get your former self to reciprocate, but that really is an awful lot to spring on an unsuspecting you, don’t you think? Better just to be giving and generous and regard the experience as a chance to hone your skills.

Now, there are a couple of related issues concerning this whole practice that I should probably touch on.

The first of these is dealing with all the simpleton assholes who are going to be getting their dander up because this is somehow “gay.” First of all, so what if it is? You have a problem with that? Fuck you then. Secondly: is it? Every time you masturbate you are engaging in a same sex sex act (whatever that may be). Now whether a you in an alternate time is actually you or another distinct person is a philosophical question worth exploring. However, I’m willing to leave that determination to keener minds than mine. Regardless of the judgement, however, if I get my hands on a time machine this shit is going down. You can apply whatever label to the behavior that you want.

The second issue that people might have is what they might see as a misuse of a time machine. People might be thinking, “how dare you use such a fantastic resource for such a tawdry purpose! You should go back in time to kill Hitler or something!”

In answer to this I respond: who says I wouldn’t go back in time to kill Hitler? I have a time machine, asshole! I can fit both in.

As well, this whole notion of killing Hitler when he was young to stop World War II and the Holocaust is a crock of shit anyway. Wouldn’t work. Do you honestly believe these huge events were are all the doing of one individual? If Henry Ford had never existed, do you think someone else wouldn’t have figured out the assembly line? Hitler was a product of his times and culture, not the other way around. Eliminating him would just mean that the German industrial military complex would have found some other demagogue to rabble rouse their way into the war they wanted. Yes, some of the window dressing would have been different, but in no way would killing the individual change the political, economic, cultural, historical, and social forces that all came together to create the situation that Hitler exploited to rise to power.

In going back in time to kill Hitler, your gift to the world would probably be nothing more than letting hipsters today rock the Charlie Chaplin stache.

Now you see what a difficult and troublesome thing time travel is if used to fuck with the past to engineer the perfect present. So much better to fuck in the past to engineer just a little more happiness through self love.

Get on it science!