Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Home is where the heart is 

You are probably at home right now. Or you are at work wishing you were at home. In any event, why not read up on how Nagoya cleared out the tents of homeless people in a park this week ahead of the upcoming Aichi Expo. Fuck it. I'll just go ahead and quote the whole thing in full here. (Sorry for the language. I'm in a mood today.)

Nagoya clears out tents of homeless in park ahead of Aichi Expo

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 07:23 JST

NAGOYA The Nagoya municipal government on Monday removed the tents of homeless people in a park in the center of the city, in a move said to be connected with the opening in March of the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture.

Supporters of homeless people denounced the forceful measure in midwinter, saying the city government just wants to hide the homeless from public view before tourists start arriving in Nagoya, the prefectural capital, for the expo. The city government said last year that the tents "prevent appropriate use of the park and maintenance work" and asked the homeless people to leave. (Kyodo News)

I swear to God these people make my job so easy sometimes...but just to play devil's advocate, let's hop over to the colorful and merry Aichi Expo page and get an earful. (I'm going to link right past the bullshit FLASH introductions and jump to the English frontpage. Sorry, but I hate snotty-nosed little FLASH animations. Squish!)

Here is their CONCEPT page. (Did I mention how much I love CONCEPT pages. Smash!)

Here is my deconstructed version of their very non-ironic CONCEPT page. [My comments are in bold brackets, like this.] Remember, from here on out the BAD GUYS are in normal type. Anyway, enjoy!


EXPO 2005 Message (Fluffy mascots pictured below in action poses!!!)

[Ebullient Xenophobic Politico Ossan-tachi 2005 Message (Chipper mascots pictured below au naturel. NOTE: If these were color pictures, these guys would still be black and white.)]

Hiroshi "Keloid" Suzuki

Ken "犬食い" Matsumoto

The 20th century saw the formation of a new global society. The remarkable progress made in science and technology, the development of high-speed methods of transportation, and the evolution of information and communications technologies have all accelerated the global interchange of people, goods, and information to an unbelievable extent. The world has been truly transformed.

[And yet a generation of 'post-Bubble' economic failures never made it up to the ivory towers of futuristic universities and have been left floundering in the flotsam and jetsam of this 'progress' ever since...while living in the shadow of other, even more surreal towers of economic art-Babel...

...Boy, I'm glad they spent reams of cash on THAT project! Hey guys, by the way, can anyone guess what supremely IRONIC exhibit is up at pinnacle gallery of The Fortress of Solipsism this month? That's right! It is 'ARCHILAB: New Experiments in Architecture, Art and the City. I couldn't have timed this better if I had planned it myself. I wen't and saw the exhibit the other day (student discount) with the Aichi homeless situation in mind, and I couldn't help thinking that for all their utopianism and their grand ideas about the modern miracles of housing in the years to come, it would have been far more "rad" and "artsy" if they would have just built a bunch of "container houses" for the homeless folks of Japan right here, right now. They had the plans on display in the Mori gallery! The price of the tickets could have been donated to defer the building expenses. Heck, they could even use some of the leftover shelter modules from the Nigata flooding and earthquakes. But the problem here is then all the Japanese ARHIshoegazer kids would be like, "NO FAIR!!! I wanna have a totally tubular inflatable pod-thingy in MY living room too!!!" Nope, we couldn't stand for that, could we?]

Human beings' seemingly insatiable desire for expansion, the source of this transformation, continues unabated. This has placed a tremendous burden on the natural environment, exceeding its capacity for self-recovery. The result is that we must now deal with a number of potential world crises.

[Most of the insatiable folks on Earth got to be that way by buying into the Enlightment lock, stock and barrel. The only problem is that the guys who came up witht the Enlightment were...ummm...GUYS (and white, and from the Northern Hemisphere, and had slaves, and you know how the rest of this story goes, right?). But it would really take a lot of gumption to call the squatters in Aichi part of this "insatiable" human element...or WOULD IT??? Yeah, they LOOK really peaceful and all, cat-napping in their blue veneer sheet shantytowns, but they were really just planning this kind of Homeless Global Slow Life Empire...

Yes, that's right! They were plotting to gobbe up all of the precious discarded umbrella resources of Japan and the other 'civilized' countries and (gasp!) recycle them and sell them for a small profit. Today Aichi, tomorrow, the world!!! (Cue arpeggiated, fully-dimimished seventh chords NOW) Hey guys, thanks for getting rid of public-enemy number one. But just before you smugly pat yourselves on the back, it looks like the REAL world crisis we are facing the one which EVERY man (and woman, hi ladies!) faces when dealing with his own inhumanity towards his fellow man. Three cheers for the new inhumanitarianism!!! Banzai, Banzai, Banzai!!!]

The time has come for the people who make up the global society of the 21st century to work together in the pursuit of a sustainable and harmonious coexistence for all life on Earth. Paramount to this is a global perspective.

Here is some harmonious coexistence for you EXPO motherfuckers!!!

Yeah, that's right! Men and women living together in peace and harmony...cooking together, and without a TV it looks like they are actually having a little old fashioned CONVERSATION...and pretty cheaply at that, I might add. How much did YOU pay for your KEYMONEY, DEPOSIT and GIFTMONEY for your apartment anyway?

EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan, is the perspective we need.

[Just the perspective we need...sans all homeless bastards. Whoops! I know, if we just close our eyes long enough, perhaps they'll all just disappear. They tend to die young anyway.]

The inspiration for EXPO 2005 is the marvelous mechanism of nature and the power of life. Learning from the world's vast collection of wisdom and methods of interaction with nature found around the globe, we hope to bring the world together for the creation of a global society allowing the multitude of cultures and civilizations to coexist together.

With multilateralism like this, who needs apartheid?

EXPO 2005 will be a focal point, acting as the loom for a wonderful creation. The theme of the EXPO-Nature's Wisdom-will be the vertical thread in this loom and rich and varied exchange-a Grand Intercultural Symphony- the horizontal. When woven together, they will produce a soft, rich and beautiful fabric. Perhaps the fabric for a wonderful new global society. The participants of EXPO 2005, the nations, regions, private enterprises, independent citizens, NPOs/NGOs, and volunteers that form the backbone of global society, will be the weavers on this loom, sure to produce a wondrous fabric for the world.

Again, what we have here is a case of 'the emperor has no clothes'...but I'd rather not involve Mr. Andersen in this ruckus. Why don't they get all Koolhaas on us and start doing citations of Dutch squatter's rights?

Closer contact will naturally give rise to friction-the very reason we wish to carefully nurture reason, love, and the adoration of the objects of beauty that humankind possesses. These are sentiments the world over.

[Right. Ummm...I'd like to remind the nice folks out there who spend Monday night in a warm bed or dozing under a toasty kotatsu that the homeless folks in Nagoya were forced from their dwellings in the middle of winter. Here is a weather report for the Nagoya area for the evening of Monday, Jan. 24th. As the report clearly states, factoring in the moisture, the temperature got down to a cozy -2℃ that evening, with windspeeds peaking at 7km/h. I'm sure the disenfranchised denizens of Aichi had other things besides aesthetics on their minds.

Here is a sample of an ACTUAL CONVERSATION that took place between our cute little HOMELESS mascot friends Hiroshi and Ken (you remember them, right?)

Hiroshi (huddled next to Ken in order to conserve bodyheat): Hey, it is getting pretty c-c-cold...

Ken: Yeah, I know. D-d-d-o you think it is safe to go back to the park?

Hiroshi: I don't know. They said that if we went back, they would throw us in jail.

Ken (every breath he breathes turns into icy smoke): But it w-w-would probably be warmer in jail than out here in the middle of nowhere!

Hiroshi (shivering): Yeah, you've got a point! And I need to go back and get some of my s-s-stuff. I heard it is going to rain tomorrow, and as part of our diabolical plan to take over the world one 傘 at a time, I need to go back and g-g-g-ather my umbrellas together so I can sell them to the foolish "non-homeless" ones! Damn them.

Ken (tries to give his friend a low-five, but his arm will not extend fully): Yeah!

Cop (getting in a parting shot at the two for being...well, homeless...before going home to his home): Isn't this great? Now that we have removed you scum from the park, people from all over the world will be able to come to our peaceful island of Japan and contemplate "reason, love, and the adoration of the objects of beauty that humankind possesses".

Ken: I think my t-t-testicles are f-frozen solid.

...and so on and so forth until death do they part...happy pills and chills...indeed!

But what will be the catalyst for genuine exchange? We believe the answer to be people meeting people, followed by discourse that goes beyond words to achieve mutual understanding and respect. EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan, is the place for this intercultural exchange.

[Ummm...what about INTRAcultural exchange? Pardon the neologism, but don't you guys have the box before The Box Man?]

In 2005, the world will gather together in Aichi Prefecture. There, we can weave together a fabric for a new global society; we can stand together, exchange smiles and share the wisdom of the world-felt and enjoyed with all our senses and experienced with our whole being.

[What is actually being woven over in Aichi is a fantastic web of total bullshit. Don't get caught up in it, and don't believe the hype!]

Let us do this for all life and the future of our planet!

[Last time I checked, the planet will be fine -- perhaps even better off -- without us pesky humans! And even if we fuck everything up and vaporize ourselves in a planet-wide nuclear war, or punch big-ass holes in the ozone layer or whatever, the planet will go on without us, however WE are the ones who can't go on like this.]

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