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20 March 2012

Film "Working Girl" Back to 1980's

Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy film, which tells the inspiring story of a Staten Island-raised secretary, Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), working in a Wall Street investment bank. When her boss, Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), breaks her leg skiing, Tess uses Parker's absence and connections, including her errant beau Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford), to put forward her own idea for a merger deal.

It was a typical success story. She suceeded in business and love and got promoted. The film reflected 1980's social phenomenon like feminists arising. More women in business fighting against male cheuvinism in the industry and economic booming by financial sector such as merger and acquisition. The scenes were shot in the World Trade Center which was later destroyed by 911 terror attack.

However these things have become outdated lately.

Feminism is no longer a big issue. It is because gender equality has reached certain level so there is not much needs like in the past. In the mid-management position, in the US, women accounts for 40% of all the positions in business. Of couse glass ceiling still exists, in top management positions like CEO, women only accounts for 10%. In Japan 10% is ratio in mid-management position, ratio in top management is only 1% or less. But no one argues women working in top positions in the business or politics. Now it is a matter of time and efforts for individuals to get what they want regardless of gender.

But ironically, people have become more conservative recently. Although public attitude changed, women traditionally face difficulty breaking barriers which precedors already created and continued for so long. Women are no longer exluded but still not welcome and not suitable in male dominated sector. In fact not many women want to do totally same things as men do. Girls are girls and boys are boys anyway.

After all, even rich, successful and independent women want to get married to richer and more successful guys.

Lately backlash has come, more younger women want to be housewife because that is easier in economic recession and people discovered being good wife and wise mother is one of greatest choices in life. In the old days women could hardly chooose the way to live. Besides being housewife and mother was secretary, teacher or nurse. Now housewife is what they can choose besides working girl. In fact they can do the both if they want to. Recent feminist film "Mona lisa smile" implied traditional role of women is not bad at all although you do not have to comform to what the society expects you to be.

The other thing outdated is business success, especially in financial sector. After Lehman Shock and Occupy Wall Street movement, financial sector seemed to be con and dirty business that exploits many commoners in the society. Merger and Acquisition was a kind of money game which never cared about people working in companies.

Although people wanted to be and believed to be richer, only a few of them could achieve that. Just 1 % of people occupy vast majority of the wealth in the society. 

Success in business cannot always link to happiness in life. Working all day long and no time to use money for fun. No time to have good communication with your family. You have no friends and no one to trust or nobody who trusts you. What does money help you?

Furthermore, because of necessity of economic growth, our earth and lives are in danger such as global warming by carbon dioxide and recently radioactives from nuclear power plants. To grow more states and corporations have to exploit more natural resources and take huge risks for our lives.

Our lives, happiness, environment are at risk for materialistic success. That kind of things shouldn't be valued in motion pictures any more.

We are now living in a different era from 1980's materialistic era. We have to think and change.  

 

 

12 February 2012

Shocked and Sad to hear Whitney Houston's death

What happened to her? She was only at the age of 48.

She was a big star for me since I was in high school. My most favorite song was "I want to dance with somebody" and "Love is a contact sport."

In 1988 and 1989, I went to her rock concert held in Fukuoka where I used to live.

I enjoyed the concert very much. From a far away seat, I could notice her tall and slender figure. Her voice was just beautiful. When the words like "I love you" was heard from the spectators, she responded by saying "I LOVE YOU, too" and "I wish I could speak Japanese."

I remember what she said in the interview with Japanese music magazine at that time.

"I cannot be an actress in America because I am Black woman. There is no offer for Black woman."

But later she made her successful actress in the movie "Bodyguard" co-starring with Kevin Costner.

In that film she not only did great act but she sang great songs with great voice.

I can no longer hear her singing, dancing and acting. That is so sad to know.  

Gomeifuku-wo-oinorishimasu (Japanese way of praying for the dead people with respect. Literary it means "I pray for the happiness in the heaven.")

13:09 Posted in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: afro-american

06 February 2012

Documentary film"The Cove" Good for brain training

I rented a DVD of the film which contains Japanese subtitles and censored faces for the release in Japan. The film won US film Academy Award for documentary. It is about dolphin loving westerners trying to save dolphins in the cove in Taiji town in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan.

This documentary is interesting one in the sense that anyone can learn that documentary shouldn't be produced in neutral stance, in other words it can be propaganda or be very biased.

To me, it was like brain training material. The film is based on the producers' emotional matters. The story is mainly narrated by Rick O'berry, a former dolphin trainer for the famous TV show "Flipper." He felt guilty of using dolphins for entertainment. Since then he started activity to protect dolphins. He even had broken the law to do that. In this film he trespassed to capture dolphin hunting scenes.

I list up things agreeable and disagreeable matters in the film.

  • Dolphins shouldn't be used for aquarium shows because they are put in stressful situation. 

Agree, in that sense we should treat them better. Maybe animals shouldn't be used as toys or entertainment like bull fighting in Spain or Rodeo in US.

  • Dolphins are as intelligent as human, so they shouldn't be killed and eaten.

Disagree. What is definition of "intelligence" they mean? Does that mean not intelligent creatures should be killed and eaten?  

  • Dolphin hunting is not Japanese culture but only local matter in the town. Most Japanese do not eat dolphin or whale meat. Cultural aspect can not be a reason for justifying dolphin hunting.

Disagree. Although dolphin hunting is only local culture in the town, it is their culture anyway. No foreigner or Japanese outside the town can interfere their activity. What they eat is their business. As long as the specie is not endangered, anyone can eat anything except human on the earth. I do not care Koreans eating dog meat though I don't and I think dogs are as intelligent as human.

The film featured some facts Japanese merely pay attention as follows.

  1. If people continue to fish in the oceans at current speed, the marine resource will all disappear in 40 years. Japan is the world's largest consumer of seafood.
  2. If you are arrested by the police, the police can detain you for 135 days until indictment is decided. If indicted, you are convicted at rate of 90%.
  3. Japan pays so much money to small nations to gain pro-whaling votes in IWC. Japan's intention is not economic one but very political, which is protesting western imperialism.
  4. IWC delegate from Japan says whaling is one way of pest control because they are eating smaller fish.
  5. Dolphins and whale meats sometimes contain very highly concentrated mercury inside and those are provided to school lunches for children. (Now we should be worried about radioactives.)

One thing I wondered was why Taiji town did not permit the documentary crews to videotape their hunting of dolphins, not letting them do that illegally. That way they can solve the problem. It is bloody and brutal but what is the problem? That is what humans do for survival. We do that to cows, pigs, birds and even to fruits and vegetables. Plants are living creatures. Even vegetarians cannot avoid such sin for survival.

Let's be logical, rational and realistic rather than emotional racist, imperialist or idiotic idealist.   

27 January 2012

Dear Japanese Government regarding Fukushima nuke crisis

Due to the nonconformities at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused by Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011,  Soil of Fukushima Prefecture was covered with a mass of radioactive substances which the effects on human body are not clarified completely yet..

 

Fukushima prefectural government and the Central Government took countermeasures quickly, including the designation of the areas within 20 km and 30 km respectively as a nationally specified evacuation area and a scheduled evacuation area, as well as a series of designations for evacuation according to the actual situation.

 

However, the standard for the scheduled evacuation area, as a basis of protection against radiation in Fukushima Prefecture, was set to 20 mSv/year, and the standard values specified so far for the evacuation areas were set to levels not always safe and very high for the children and the people who were to give birth to, and bring up children.

 

In the matter of radiation, the effects on human body are not clarified. In the event of accident that has occurred at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, former Soviet Union, people were evacuated by force from areas exceeding the radiation level of annual 5 mSv. Causal relationship was not demonstrated at the results of investigations by a research institute consigned by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It is said, however, that there are significant differences, in the incidence rates of cancers and leukemia, over the border line of 10 mSv/year between the people who were exposed to low doses of radiation continuously and those not exposed to such radiation.

 

It is requested that "Crisis management capability" at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station controlled by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO) be investigated thoroughly. We are persuaded by neither the TEPCO's instructions to enforce things nor the explanations by Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Standard values for foods are also higher in Japan than the "Standard values" ruled under the influence of radioactivity after the accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. What will become of Japanese diet several years later if no corrective action is taken? What is wanted now is "Safe foods." It is essential, before anything, to install the standard values even severer than the temporary standard values ruled in the event of Chernobyl Accident.  

Standards values must be tightened as soon as possible to protect the safety of children. For 1 month or more, at least, in summer vacation, winter vacation and spring vacation, "children, pregnant women, etc. must be evacuated to areas of low environmental radioactivity to recover their health." Please note children are indispensable to support future.

 

Therefore, we hope the Central Government learns cases in the past, and implements the following measures quickly to ensure the safety of the children living in Fukushima Prefecture and the ease-of-mind of their parents.

 

Create the environment quickly for the Children to easily evacuate by setting up standards for young people whose 4 times ( 2 times for Elementary school kids) more sensitive than adult for current radioactive standards, 20mSv/Year, set up in planned evacuation area.

Provide more support for self-evacuee who resides outside of 30Km areas, for the purpose of maintaining children’s safety from the risk of radioactive threat. 

There is a necessity to spread the word to residents of Fukushima that radioactive exists certain risks to their life. To do so, possible demand dismissal of current advisor, Mr. Shunichi Yamashita and select highly knowledgeable advisor to remind residents of Fukushima to give necessary awareness of crisis management.

For further conducted health monitoring, Country will overall support based on the premise of protecting all residents of Fukushima. This monitoring will conduct thyroid gland echo to contribute early detection of thyroid cancer, most threatening disease influenced by radioactivity, urine testing, and blood testing to all ages of residents of Fukushima. For monitoring, setup checkup organization by third party.

To set standards and to disclose information swiftly regarding radioactive protection, Set up unified decision making organization beyond the border of existed government agency. System should be able to adopt international standards, as well as Japanese standards  .

Influences of massive radioactive not only for Japan but also for the world from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant which under the supervision of Tokyo Electric Power Company(TEPCO) is way beyond immeasurable. TEPCO must pay compensation for damages to all workers (not only in Fukushima) who are engaged in farming/breeding/fisheries.

 It’s beyond imaginable to think that current situations are stable enough for policy to lift the evacuation area. There is massive radiation fell to the ground, contaminate the land and no place for kids to play outside. We have to replace all of contaminated soil.

Government and TEPCO must buy up lands within the range of 30km radius areas from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, set up restricted area, build interim storage facilities, and disclose all information to citizens and residents of Fukushima. At the same time, set up an independent panel to discuss regarding the way of communications for disabilities. 

 

Simulate the nuclear power plant again, think about the way how to make sufficient disclosure of information so as to prevent the similar accidents from happening again, and make efforts to avoid that citizens and residents struggle for decontamination on the streets.

Fukushima governor neglected accurate and adequate information dissemination for Fukushima residents including even disabled people, resulting in exposition to radiation of many people.  He also neglects the measure for voluntary evacuation.  He and Fukushima government are required to pay the burden charge which is used by citizens for evacuation purpose

We urge Fukushima government to apologize to all Fukushima citizens through TV and newspapers for the following reasons:

 / Not to disclose any information on SPEEDI simulation although it already come on March 11 from the national government.

/Not to disclose any information on stable iodine although written instructions are obtained before that.     Fukushima citizens, not knowing anything, only waited for water-supply wagon and gasoline.

After governor Satoh declared the safety of Fukushima rice, many people bought rice made in Fukushima prefecture.  However, radioactive material exceeding the national standard was found later, driving many farmers into the plight.  In order to support their livelihoods, we urge Fukushima government, TEPCO and national government to carry out reparations based on the revenue of each farmhouse in the last fiscal year.

In the caution zone, many animals are left behind and are not rescued yet.  It is plausible that they be rescued by volunteer organization.  Animals have also rights to live, to become happy and to eat as we humans have.Should their rescue efforts end on 27th?  The notion that it is unavoidable in a watch zone will be 'unconstitutional'.Only the governor can give the permit.  In order to save their lives, 'please give us the permit to save them.