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03 January 2014

Dinner at LA TOUR D'ARGENT reminds me of what's happening in this world

Year of 2014 started. 

On one of new year's days I was invited to the dinner at Tokyo's most expensive French cuisine restaurant, LA TOUR D'ARGENT. It is located in The Hotel New Otani Tokyo, one of Japan's high class hotel chain.

The below photo is me in kimono at the waiting room of the restaurant. Only waiting room is as big as one ordinary restaurant. I was allowed to take a photo of me within waiting room area.

military, poverty, class gap, economy, kimono,

As you see the interior is georgeous. The dining room was georgeous as well. Mirror ceiling and chandeliers, candles. Tens of garsons in black uniform walking around to serve the same number of tables. That reminds me of the film "The Great Gatsby."

I had champagne, wine, and full course of very delicous meals. The speciality of the course was roast canard. Each guest was given a card of canard (duckling) he/she eats with its number.  

A sommelier selected a wine that fits the course menu. He said one of most expensive wine the restaurant has is Romane Conti, which one bottle costs 2500000 yen, 25 thousands US $ or Euro. Of course it was not what our group could afford. So I chose half bottle of wine which costed around 19000 yen.

military, poverty, class gap, economy, kimono,

I really enjoyed that. But at the same time I had to feel guilty about it. The dinner cost a lot. That one dinner can equal a few people's monthly food expense. In the world half of the population are starving. This luxurious dinner should cost equivalentl to annual income of some portion of the people in this world.

Moreover, the bottle of Romane Conti costs construction of a school that hundreds of children can attend in third world nations.  

Not just in third world but even in first world like Japan or America, such dinner is far exceeds the living standard of ordinary people. Last year I went to Okinawa. I visited the US Marine facilities. At the entrance of US Marine training camp, I saw the below sign that says "Hard training makes hard marine."

military, poverty, class gap, economy, kimono,

military, poverty, class gap, economy, kimono,

I saw the bus of trainees entering the gate. I heard those young people come from very poor family that could not afford college education for their children so they had no choice but to join the marine, what is called, Poverty Draft.

Meanwhile, very rich people like who can afford very expensive dinner like LA TOUR D'ARGENT exploits such young people to grow their wealth provoking wars all over the world. Kind of plutonomy. That is the social structure of today's world. I wrote a novel on this theme.

The bus transporting capitalism slaves to the military base reminds of one very historical place in Poland which I visited 6 years ago. The similar sign was posted at the gate of the facility.

military, poverty, class gap, economy, kimono,

ARBEIT MACHT FREI. (Labour makes you free.)


01 March 2013

"Les Miserables" Life is in hell

I went to the cinema last night. It was a late show that starts 9 PM.

I was not particulary interested in the story of the film. I was only interested in music played in the film. One of the songs, I dream a dream, has caused a sensation recently by a British middle aged singer, Susan Boyle.

The story was about a man who escaped from probation and became a burgalar but later turned into an innocent man and tried to save others.

"Les Miserables" means "Poor people" in French. The story took place in an era of post-French revolution civil war in 19th century. People who are desperate, and in despair because of condition they were in.

I just could not get what messages the story delivers to the audience. The story goes on like a revue.

I just guess it tells life is not easy. You can't easily overcome. Even though you are desperate to change the world better, things cannot move as it should.

You should just be patient or keep dreaming. Dreams that never come true.

Does it mean we all live in hell and be as we are?

Yes, we are all "Les Miserables."

12:53 Posted in Film, France, Music, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: history, poverty

11 December 2012

Sociological Novel: How to maintain a plutonomy, Chapter 1

A plutonomy means a form of capitalism that is designed to make the rich control a nation's government, its economy and its society.

At a certain place in a certain country, the wealthy have gathered and are having a meeting.


They are the elite of the country.  Although few in number, they control the majority of the country's wealth. This is why they can do anything.  They have the power to manipulate society to suit themselves.  They have the economy, of course, politics, and even the media which forms public opinions in the palms of their hands.


 As they all gather under the chandelier, one of the wealthy breaks the ice while drinking his champagne.


"Hey, the global economy is on a bit of a downturn recently. I feel that our wealth has also been on a decreasing trend. Shouldn't we come up with some kind of countermeasure to this?"


"You're so right. Taxes are still just too high! We should really bring down things like the income tax rate."

"-and let's privatize the public enterprises. And relax the regulations. Let's pressure the government to get rid of regulations which are an obstacle to business. And to reduce labor costs, make them allow more temporary workers. The politicians and government officials all got where they are now through our donations and pay-offs; they'll do whatever we ask."


"But the government's budget will shrink by the amount the taxes we pay goes down, won't it? How do we make up for the deficit?"


"That's easy. We just reduce the education and social welfare budgets which have been used for the public up to now. The expensive taxes that we've been paying have been diverted to those that barely pay any tax. That's why we just need to keep raising consumption tax, insurance and pension payments, which they have to pay an equal amount of."


"But surely the public won't allow it. If we do that, public services will be degraded, the burden on individuals will increase, and they'll be critical that the rich get preferential tax treatment, and that workers are treated as disposable. We have to be conscious of the fact that this country is a democracy. Even if we have all of the wealth, regardless of one's assets, when it comes to votes it's one person, one vote after all."


"Which is why we'll use the media. We are also their major stockholders and advertisers; well feed them this information. We'll tell them that freeing the economy will lead to the development of the public and government as a whole, that they should consider the principles of capitalism, and that a large variety of cheaper, high quality goods and services will become available to consumers thanks to this freeing up. We'll tell them that if enterprise profits, workers will also receive benefits through the trickle-down phenomenon. If we run a campaign like this using some kept scholars, nobody will oppose us!"


The proposals decided upon at the meeting were executed by the government, and went unopposed by society thanks to the media's guidance of public opinion. Now then, on to the second meeting ten years later.



To be continued to Chapter 2



The story is an interesting and cynical perspective of the past few generations of society, specifically focusing on the disparity in wealth between the wealthy and the average member of the public. The story shows the wealthy conspiring to widen the gap between themselves and the workers of society.


It may be interesting to read this story along with a song. "Mercedes Benz". 

07 October 2012

Film"The Help" and "Precious" Elegant & Rich Whites and Vulgar & Poor Blacks

Two films are stories about Afro-Americans in the U.S. Both of them described hard situations that Black people had experienced in the past and maybe even now.

"The Help" was a story of Afro-American maids working for white families in Mississippi in 1960's when segregation was very common. Afro-American maids were not allowed to share bathroom with white family members. They had to always put up with white people's arrogance. A young white writer decided to write about their experience and publish that by interviewing them.

"Precious" was about a girl of the same name living in Harlem, New York, 1980's. She got two babies with her father. She was raped since she was a child. Her mother abused her because of pregnancy. Her mother and she lived on welfare. She had to stop attending middle school for pregnancy. So she had to attend special school for dropped outs.

Portrayals of Black people in the both films are kind of, from white perspective although Afro-American characters played important roles. They spoke grammatically incorrect English like "You is smart." They looked uneducated, vulgar and violent, wheras white or lighter skin characters looked elegant, educated and kind. That reflects on reality? Maybe or maybe not.

For white viewers such kind of films satisfy their supremacy and ease frustration caused by forcible integration.

Has America changed since Civil Rights Act?  

Mr. Obama is the president of the U.S. He is half-white and not descendant of slaves. If he was a pure Afro-American of slave descendant, he would have never been elected. He wasn't popular in the Southern States even among Democrats. Because he was elected, since his inauguration, number of Racist activist group has drastically increased.

Most recent survey for income gap among racial groups found Black and white gap recorded biggest since 1984 when the survey was first conducted. It was due to recession but why the burden biased to Afro-Americans? Racism? Poverty and lack of education caused by racial discrimination.

I don't like this part of America but this is reality of America.   

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