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09 October 2010

My new novel idea "Uptown Girl" inspired by the same titled song

"Uptown Girl" is my favorite song sung by famous U.S. pop star, Billy Joel.

I recently heard the song again and then came up with new novel idea.

The title is "Uptown Girl."

The story is a daughter of big auto maker owner got out of boring party and stopped by a small bar.

She met a young bartender in a bar. They were alone and talking each other. He was surprised with her outfit which was unusual in the atmosphere of the bar. She wore high-class dress and pearl neckless.

They made friends each other and heard Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" together. They felt kind of mutual with the song.

Next week the uptown girl met a bartender in the factory of her father's company. She worked as a regular worker in the company. But he was a a temporary worker dispatched from a greedy temporary help company. The temporary help company's main shareholder was in fact her father's auto maker. The aim of outsourcing was to avoid taking responsibility as employer so that the company didn't have to hire workers as regular worker. They never have to raise salaries and provide safe and secured environment and it is easy to lay off.

He worked under severe condition. He decided to form a union with his colleagues in the temporary help company.

She met him again and learnt what he was doing. She was shocked to hear how her father's company treated workers to boost profit. She found out how she had been spoiled and known nothing about what was happening in real world.

Then she decided to join his activity to better the condition of the factory workers.

The bartender had a dream of creating a great hybrid engine. He studied it but was never accepted because of lack of academic background.

The story is actually not only inspired by the song but real social issue of the world. How the rich people exploit working class people's labor.

I don't know how Billy Joel came up with the lyric of the song but it surely reflects class gap issue in the world, not only in the U.S and Japan but the rest of the world. It is recently getting serious as the economy went bad so a lot of corporations have to lay off so many workers.

But class gap is in fact the result of capitalist economy system as German economist Karl Marx described.

Maybe we can think about that by listening to the song. The song was created by Billy Joel but is also covered by British singers, Westlife.

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel

Uptown Girl by Westlife

This one is good covered version as well.

31 August 2010

Marine Documentary “One Shot, One Kill”

The life in boot camp for new recruits of U.S. Marine Co. in South Carolina.

I watched this film in peace event in Okinawa which has US marine facilities, only marine bases outside the U.S. People see it because they want to know how their neighbors are trained before they come to the island.   

The documentary film was directed by peace activist film director, Yukihisa Fujimoto. But the film was overall neutral stance, just showing how young recruits become marines who show no mercy when it comes to killing enemies.

 

The first thing they do is dial their parents that they join training so they cannot get in touch with their parents for months. They have to say just as instructed.

 

They call themselves “this recruit”, not “I”. In first 48 hours they are not allowed to sleep. Boys have to have their hair very short cut. They’ve been yellowed by their instructors whenever they make mistakes. But they just follow the orders, and have no doubts. That is how they are trained to be. They shout “One shot, one kill” many times in the training in order to brainwash themselves to give up hesitance to kill people.

 

Attendees were mostly peace activists and lefty. They protest military and war. They say this shouldn’t be done. But I have a different view. Even though it is such a dirty job, someone has to carry on, if not, your life may be in danger. You, your families, and properties cannot be saved. You have to rely on the military.

 

The problem is those who join the marines come from poor families. It is like poverty draft. The same thing is happening in Japan, too. The recruiters usually hunt new recruits in poor families or areas. Some say conscription has to be revived in order to avoid such unfairness.

 

The war is human nature. As long as we humans survive, we continue to fight each other. What we have to do is think how to minimize casualties and tragedies. You cannot make it zero.

 

As for the marines in Okinawa, I would say to them “Please leave, you are not welcome there. It is for you.” Okinawa is no longer best place for the U.S. Marines.

 

Japan is sovereign nation. We are not occupied by the U.S. any more. Unlike the cold war era, there is no strategic necessity of the U.S. military presence for the both countries. Not just Marines, Air force, navy, ground force have to leave as well.

 

We appreciate the U.S. military’s deterrence, the U.S. government’s financial aid and generous open market policy for Japanese goods. But the times was changed. The U.S. military no longer functions as it did in the past. More of us learned that. The presence might deteriorate the relationship between the two nations.

 

Why not we just keep having good relationship by your leaving Japan? Of course we are friends and close allies, that will never be changed. We can corporate each other whenever necessary, just when mutual interest exist.

The below is preview of the film. Of course, the film is all English version.

17 August 2010

Why they protest US military base

Anti-US military base activist, Mr. Ashitomi spoke to young students from Palestinean, and Israel with interpreter.

He talked about why he set up the tent to monitor nearby US marine base, Camp Schwab.

Japanese government recently agreed with the US marine on expansion of the current marine base for the relocation of the Futenma base in Okinawa.  

Part 1 is environmetal issue related to the construction of new base. Part 2 is peace issue.

Anti-US base activist talks 反米軍基地活動家の話し Part 1

 

Anti-US base activist talks 反米軍基地活動家の話し Part 2

 

You can learn more detail in this blog's tag, Okinawa, which you can access by clicking the below.

27 June 2010

German film "Die Welle" It can be true!

The story took place in Highs School in Germany. One high school teacher taught students what the dictatorship (Autokratie) is.

Students never understood what it was and believed things like Third Reich would never happen again.

Then the teacher decided to do psychological experiment in his class and the students' attitude gradually changed in scary way.

The story was not well-done, not convincing althought it was based on a true story.

However, I understand fear of charisma featured in the film because I recently experienced something like that by the man in the below photo.

tamogami_at_kudanshita.JPG

 

 

 

 

He has become public icon since fall of 2008 after being dismissed as Japanese Air force chief due to his publicly released essay which justified Japan's past invasion. Details are described in this article. He has published several books since then. I bought one of them.

He is in fact charismatic and neo-fascist-like but at the same time very realistic because of his knowledge gained in his career.

No one wants to be isolated in the society. So people want some kind of symbol to strengthen the unity.

Yes, it can revive as described in the film. Especially those who are not smart, and youngsters can be easily manipulated.  

Being attracted to it sometimes makes you feel great like drugs.

We need to be cool about what a learder says in order to avoid tragedy.