Thursday, January 29, 2004

Jean et Robert 

(The following blog entry couldn't possibly be fiction.)

Robert: So, Jean...here we are again! [Its the dead of winter in Tokyo. That means it isn't cold at all. Robert takes a sip of his single espresso and peers out of the window of a cafe somewhere near the Uplink Factory across the street to the adjacent building where 'salarymen' are slaving away in a smoky meeting room.]

Jean: Yep! [Mr. Show sits erect in his chair, snapping up a few pics with his new mega-pixel keitai.] BTW, I had a good time the other day with you at that Level-X thing in Ebisu. How's your article for 1-UP coming along? [Takes a sip of his macha-latte.]

R: Oh, the pennings are pretty much in the 'bochi-bochi' stage at this point, but give me a few more weeks! (This could become a kind of slogan for my life.) And of course it goes without saying that the exhibit was indeed most triumphant! But regarding the posted-up post-game extravaganza on your website...err...next time, try not to plaster so many pics of me all over the place, OK? Some of the follow-up comments were as disturbing as they were accurate!

J: Your wish is my command! [a knowing smile while cutting a quick glance at his companion's duds]

R: Did I mention that I actually went back and picked up that killer desk lamp at Delfonics? It set me back quite a bit, but it was worth it. Turns out it was made my an American design company, so go figure! Anyway, Thanks for showing me that place!

J: That's what friends are for, eh?

R: Indeed...

[lull in conversation in which they fail to make to make eye-contact for over 2 min. while constantly fondling their respective keitais. Jean contemplates a Tokyo Boy moblog entry. Some where in Europe, Momus contemplates Jean.]

R: [Hitting the send button] Well, Mr. Snow... [clears throat] I take it that you are aware of why I arranged this little meeting today?

J: Naturally, Robert...according to your friendly keitai mail, you wanted to intimate to me exactly why you...what was it again?

R. Why I simultaneously respect and fear you...

J: Yes, that was it! Over coffee was it?

R: Yes, I'm touched that you remembered! I'm truely touched, Jean [uses the French pronounciation].

J: Well, we've got the coffee part covered!

R: Hell yeah! Or macha-latte as the case may be. [Cuts a quick glance at his companions beverage]

J: Touche!

R: Summer's Eve.

J: What?

R: Nevermind...

[momentary lull in conversation in which they fail to make to make eye-contact for a few seconds while constantly wishing their were fondling one another's keitais.]

J: Well?

R: OK...Well it's like this, Jean...I'm trying to figure out if I should be your friend or kill you.

J: [Cooly adjusts his nifty specs in a comendable effort to appear nonplussed] Go on.

R: Well, since I was in my mid-20s, I always made it my policy to either befriend or do away with people like you. But I mean, I've never actually considered doing away with anyone up until this point. But thanks to you Jean, I've really reached a kind of crux.

J: [Leans slowly and imperceptibly back away from his companion the distance of a micromillimeter over the span of 5 sec.] What do you mean by 'People like me'?

R: That's a ticklish quesiton, Jean [inadvertently switching back to the English pronounciation]. Hummm...Well, it has something to do with with your particular allignment.

J: 'Allignment'? [Jean has a flashback to 9th grade] You mean like 'lawful good' or 'chaotic evil' or something like that? Look, this isn't a fuckin' game of D&D, buddy!

R: But that's just it! I wish it were! Then your allignment would be clearly written on your character sheet [Robert has a flashback to 10th grade], settling the question once and for all as to which team you are on, and thus freeing me from my currently dillema of whether to pop a cap in yo' punk ass [Robert has recently re-viewed South Park Episode 702] or put you on my nengajo (a kind of Japanese X-mas card) emailing list for next year.

J: What the F@$K are you talking about?

R: [Not being very helpful] You know, the same thing happened when I met R.! I know that you don't really know him all that well, so this'll probably turn out to be a poor example, but with him it was just that there was this wealth of convergences...the music, the South, Japan, etc., and because of that I sensed right off the bat that I'd either have to be his friend or foe. There was never a feeling that a middle ground of any kind was possible. Of course, I'm sure that he and I have felt like killing each other from time to time (I guess), but the fact that we've never actually done it attests to...something, I guess...could it be the fact that we are...friends?

J: So you are saying that you and I have a lot of things in common?

R: Well, that's just it. You and I ALMOST have a lot of things in common, but sometimes I'm not sure. As far as what we DO have in common, well...it appears that this month we've both been cited on that cad's weblog. But that of course DOESN'T mean that you and I are of the same ilk, though.

J: Go on...

R: I quote at length: Jean Snow is a person, a subject, a cross between an enviable swine...

J: An enviable swine?!?

R: ...and a 'recording angel', experiencing the kind of Tokyo events I wish I were able to see. He moves through them, seeing them for me, photographing everything with his AU mobile phone (the A5302CA model by Casio), often moblogging the stuff in real time, in situ. Many times I've thought 'I wonder what I'd be doing if I were in Tokyo right now?' and turned to jeansnow.net only to find that Jean is actually having my Tokyo afternoon for me...

J: Well THAT'S a little more like it!

R: And of me, the following is said: Another Tokyo friend blogging intelligently is Robert Duckworth, CalArts japtopper, Max/MSP composer, and occasional Odradek, whose GlitchSlap Tko may be less lavishly visual than Jean's page, but makes up for it in erudition and the insider perspective Robert's command of Japanese gives him.

J: Great, so Mr. Currie is into our blogs...so what?

R: Which is all fine and dandy, but Nick's comments reminded me of something that my friend R. said the other day on his weblog. Again, I quote at length: 'Sometimes when I look at my Mail inbox on my Powerbook, I see messages from so many different kinds of people. Then I think if the personalities of the people who sent me these emails were attached to the email and I decompressed the personalities from their archives, and the email personalities were animated and vocal like the people who sent them, then there might be a huge argument going on in my Mail inbox, at this very moment. Or there might be a cocktail party with cheap champagne.'

J: OK, I'm starting to see where you're coming from, Robert.

R: Really? Wonderful!

J: So the question is, are you and I having an argument or a cocktail party or what?

R: Very succinctly put, Jean!

J: Well, which one is it?

R: I'll venture an answer at that, if you promise not to get angry.

J: I promise.

R: The key here is...well, I have to pose the question: What is the ESSENCE of Jean Snow? Of Robert? Of Momus for that matter? This kind of treble inquiry is perilous to say the least, especially when undertaken by someone such as I, but I'll go out on a limb here and say that Jean Snow is, in essence, a BULK PASSING MACHINE OF JAPANESE CULTURE.

J: ...[Mr. Snow seems noticeably disturbed]

R: Sounds messy, doesn't it? But, I mean, yes, you are 'totally, TOTALLY wired' and we are grateful that you DO let us share in that by giving us the vicarious use of your eyes through your blog, but someting implicit (and perhaps darker?) goes along with that that doesn't get mentioned very often...the fact that you do what you do without taking very much time to judge or reflect on anything at all, but this in fact is your saving grace!

J: I don't see how...

R: Please allow me to paraphrase something that I included above. Momus says he wonders what he'd be doing if he were in Tokyo right now, and he indeed does turn to your jeansnow.net only to find that you, Jean, are actually having his Tokyo afternoon for him.

J: Right.

R: But in once sense, what he's saying is that he's glad that he's glad to be able to 'borrow' your virtualized sensory apparatus sans its attendant judgement-making cerebrum. After all, Nick is more of an aesthetic Cheshire cat. [meow] He doesn't need anyone to JUDGE anything for him. Christ, he's got 15 years on both of us...But the thing is that actually sometimes things with oblique relationships often cause more friction than diametrically opposed ones.

J: You mean you and I? Hummm...but even if that were the case, is it really necessary to revert to murder?

R: That's exactly the question that I've come here. Before we can go any further, I need...I mean I REALLY need to know what you think about this. Are you gonna go my way?

J: [slowly slurps the dregs of the foam from his drink, turns his attention to the essay in question, and trys to imagine if he is being implicated in something amounting to something deeper than just another one of Robert's flights of fancy]


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?