The unreal world

“I’m going to make out with like 30 chicks tonight.”

– Wes Bergman, Real World: Austin

What is the proper follow-up to America’s Greatest Otaku?  How do you bring a slice of obsessive anime fan life to the public?  If you are the twitter blogosphere, the answer is clearly an Anime-fan-only Real World.



Lean on Reason

Geoffrey Lean has won awards as a journalist. These are not inconsiderable awards, and between them and his record as an investigative journalist, one might imagine that he would appreciate the value of evidence in driving conclusions.

This makes his weak conclusion to his article on future nuclear policy all the more disappointing.

But, equally, the huge disruption that a disaster can cause, as reactors are subsequently closed for safety checks and new ones delayed, and the anti-nuclear revolt that inevitably ensues, make it unwise to become too dependent on nuclear power. Instead of falling in and out of love with the atom, as we regularly do, we need a more sensible, watchful, relationship.

Come again? We have to be wary of nuclear power, because historically, a fraction of the public is wary of nuclear power? That can’t possibly be a valid reason. Large swathes of the population have been afraid of things in the past. They got better.  When the automobile was invented, a great many people believed that the human body would disintegrate if subjected to speeds greater than 30 miles per hour.  Physics education was, obviously, not mandatory then: we now routinely drive at over 60 miles per hour, and it is to be hoped that most adults will now recognize that it is acceleration which places stress on the body, not speed.

Irrational fear of nuclear energy is not some immutable truth of human nature.  If people are educated about the basics of nuclear physics, they will stop reacting with mass hysteria every time nuclear power is in the news, and start making reasoned decisions about how much nuclear power they want in their society.

Isn’t that the goal of democracy?

The difference between analysis and aficion

BakaBT submitted a post in which he began on one topic and ended on a tangentially related one.  This behavior is normal for personal blogging, but unacceptable in any sort of academic or professional context.  The ambitious beginning, for those who don’t care to click through, was:

Many people think that anime and cartoons are actually the same thing. I know that every person who will read this will most likely know how to distinguish, but I felt the urge to write this post to prove to all once and for all, that it’s normal to watch anime no matter how old you are.

Which inspired pointed criticism, like this tweet by sasuraiger: I am actually kind of stunned by how dumb this anime vs cartoons analysis is

and this one, from blubart, in BakaBT’s own comments section:

Your chain of arguments is flawed. Starting with your “thesis” that you want to “prove to all once and for all, that it’s normal to watch anime no matter how old you are . . . ” which you never bring any argument forth to support.

If he'd focused on chains, his audience would be more accepting.

It is, in all fairness, the promise of a deep analysis followed by a very superficial assessment (limited to a couple specific tendencies in artistic styles and character design.)  But where the post itself may fail to enlighten about the essential qualities of anime, the reactions of the readers tell us much about the expectations of people in the anime blogosphere.  It’s not merely passe, whimsical, or silly to promise an analysis and not deliver: it’s a deep failing.

Published in: on February 7, 2011 at 7:29 PM  Comments (2)  
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Let the Right One In: a Meta-review

Mr_faust said, “Fuck you, Owen.”


I was intrigued.  I read the link, and I’m forced to agree: Owen Gleiberman, possibly through no fault of his own, has not grasped the point of Let the Right One In.  Let me show you two quotes from his review:

Where, I want to know, in all this girl/boy, normal/vampire, angel/demon spiritual diddling is the heat, the confusion, even the anguish of young love?
And, sorry, I still think it lacks coherence. Why do a bunch of cats turn demonic and attack a woman who has been attacked by a vampire? And why the sudden, excessive carnage of the swimming-pool massacre?

Are you confused or not, Owen Gleiberman?

Yes.  You are confused.

And this is a point of the movie: the confusion of young love isn’t confusion about love exclusively.  It’s confusion about everything in life.  Why do things appear to happen suddenly? Because when you’re young you have no clue about how to unravel cause and effect, intent and circumstance, mistake and resulting cock-up.  When you are young things simply happen.


FTC Won’t Let Me Be

So the FCC won’t let me be
Or let me be me so let me see

-Eminem, ‘Without Me’

The Federal Trade Commission recently unrolled a new set of rules to clamp down on blogging for pay.


It’s kind of strange, because I can see the point to both sides of the issue. If at Anime Diet we get a review copy of something, well, review copies are par for the course. We wouldn’t think of running a specific disclosure statement, any more than the New York Times Book Review would disclose that they got a review copy of a book on every single column. It’s assumed.

However, being paid by the company, as blogs are via services such as BlogStar, definitely invites corruption. I feel that this is a distinction that the FTC could have made that they did not. At Anime Diet we disclose anything we get that isn’t actual review material – for example, at NYAF Tokyopop gave random audience members Tshirts and I disclosed that I got one, even though it is three sizes too small and I could never actually wear it (it’s going to charity.) We would never take payment to plug their stuff because that would be a gross violation of journalistic integrity, but we could accept manga because we would review it without our judgment being affected. Freebies which are neither review material nor payment fall in between.

So on the one hand, it’s a little silly to have to disclose review materials. On the other hand, everything that isn’t review material had damn well better be disclosed, and I am glad that this stipulation has the weight of law. I just wish they had understood the difference.

Published in: on October 12, 2009 at 12:15 PM  Comments (16)  
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The Trolling Hour: Apathy for DKellis

Since we've shifted the frame to talking about people, as opposed to moe characters . . .

Since we've shifted the frame to talking about people, as opposed to moe characters, I've extended the visual metaphor.

I’ve never liked Moe Check. This isn’t to say that I hated it or anything, but more that it failed to fully elicit any sort of severe response in any direction. I didn’t hate it, and I didn’t like it; I was just not interested in it.


Published in: on October 9, 2009 at 3:55 PM  Comments (3)  
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