how many gallons of Edo's rain did you drink? cuckoo 江戸の雨何石呑んだ時鳥
In an unthinkably cruel twist, Kamaishi was recognized just last fall by the Guinness Book of World Records as having dug and constructed The World’s Deepest Tsunami Protection Breakwater®.
In other words, they had some of the best tsunami protection that time and money could buy. The sea-wall built in order to narrow the mouth of their bay was a ridiculous 207 feet deep (tall?),
and 6,430 feet long! The entire project took 31 years to complete (1978-2009)!
Utterly heartbreaking-ly, this was not enough for an earthquake and tsunami of this scale. 31 years of intense preparedness were laid to waste.
It’s the slightest bit comforting to see some Kamaishi folks finding a few minutes of the mind-erasing comfort that only a hot, hot Eastern Japanese bath can bring.
For the moment at least, the water was there to comfort and not to pain.
Besides the viral-friendly creation of new, nonsense words (“heavy bertation” is now being used to describe everything on the internet) that lend themselves to staccato, Auto-tuned YouTube remixes a la “Bed Intruder,” the fascination with the Serene Branson newscast clip may also be attributed to the unique nature of her flub. Unlike most on-air gaffs, hers doesn’t appear to be caused by intoxication or a simple case of nervous anxiety, and she isn’t belligerent or overly self-conscious. Nothing flies at her from off camera and there are no wardrobe malfunctions. So, this phenomenon doesn’t really cater to Shadenfreude the way other flubs do.
Not correcting herself or laughing or crying or acknowledging the absurdity of what she is saying, she just keeps going & going as if expecting that actual words will eventually show themselves if she keeps putting in the effort – and we watch it over & over half-expecting the same thing. It’s as though she’s taken the Freudian slip several steps further and opened her primal subconscious wide. The spectacle immediately invokes the kind of exotic and uncanny tropes that particularly suit broad speculation: Demon-possession, mediums, malfunctioning robots, and the Reality-Horror of Paranormal Activity. Like a real life Stepford Wife, her prescribed intonation continues on autopilot, seeming not to recognize that it’s content is meaningless.
Some major factors in the clip’s viral endurance:
- What kind of explanation is there? Not easily categorized: Drunk, Scared, Stupid – none fit.
- There is some lesson about the workings of the human brain here, but no one knows what (convincingly). So, it bares multiple viewings.
- It still has not been explained to anyone’s satisfaction. Here’s the latest: “A complex migraine”.
- Nonsense words are funny.
- Local newscaster gaffs almost always go viral.
- Confusion / association with The Grammys and the term “speech”. As though she were accepting an award, it’s sometimes being referred to as “Serene Branson’s Grammy speech” – even in reputable publications: Business Insider: “Video of her incoherent Grammys speech has been removed by CBS, and is no longer available.”
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has closed a deal for United Kingdom and Australian distribution rights to The Grandmasters, the Wong Kar-wai-directed Chinese language martial arts film. Harvey Weinstein is among a small group vying for domestic rights, with Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics also in the mix.
Let’s hope it’s not cut down to a one hour running time and dubbed. Who will they choose to be on the RAP MUSIC soundtrack? By the time it gets here, ODD Future will be totally mainstream and might fit the dark and aggressive theme!
But wait! Oracle heiress Megan Ellison is now said to be in final talks about acquiring the North American rights. Her company is Annapurna Productions, and she’s listed as an executive producer on TRUE GRIT. Here’s hoping that she can handle selling a quality Asian film to U.S. audiences — at least she doesn’t have the track record of Harvey Weinstein!
I burst out laughing yesterday when I spotted a book called “Googling God” on display in a suburban used book store. The thought process that led to this seems immediately transparent:
“I need a title aimed at young people about searching for God. Hmm, ‘searching’… HEY – the kids love the internets and the Googles, right?”
“Man..why didn’t I think of that before? It’s captures the zeitgeist and has alliteration! It was so obvious – I can’t believe no one’s used it before….”
I guess it’s up to me to write a third one…
“We, amnesiacs all, condemned to live in an eternally fleeting
present, have created the most elaborate of human constructions, memory,
to buffer ourselves against the intolerable knowledge of the
irreversible passage of time and the irretrieveability of its moments
and events.” -Geoffrey Sonnabend
photo by Flickr user JO3P
Today would be Akira Kurosawa’s 100th birthday. Criterion is celebrating with the release of a Blu-Ray box set of “Yojimbo” and “Sanjuro” (It must be popular, their site is crashing at the moment). There’s also this available:
Here’s some proof that we know who he is, Google! Or at least, NYC does.
His estate must be so proud!
Here are some lovely scenes from various early Kurosawa films from DVD Beaver. They are pretty randomly chosen by them for purposes of comparing video transfers — and therefore Hi-larious. Below the fold..