Friday, December 05, 2008

Of Nagata-chō in Flames

I purchased a copy of Shūkan Bunshun this morning from one of the kiosks inside Kasumigaseki Station. I normally steer clear of the weeklies due to their spectacular and utterly preposterous accounts of events, their bad sourcing and clunky language. That the cover of this week's Shūkan Bunshun is of an even more depressing and alienated scene than usual (nine white, big-eyed fish-like creatures set on a jet black background) caused me to hesitate at first.

"Do I really want to pay 350 yen for such an ugly magazine?" I asked myself.

I walked away from my first opportunity to buy the magazine, telling myself that it was not worth the money. I broke down, however, and purchased it at kiosk on the next platform.

The advertisement in the subway had been just too enticing, describing a Byzantine frenzy in Nagata-chō...of the prime minister abandoned ("Asō Tarō hitori bocchi") his cabinet ministers considering their own chances of becoming PM, of him telling Minister of State of Population and Gender Equality Obuchi Yūko point blank "you were included in the Cabinet for electoral purposes," of thuds and shouting behind closed doors, of the women of the LDP plotting--the men having driven the party into the ground, of Democratic Party leader Ozawa Ichirō knocking on death's door... stuff to drive away the awful, looming panic I feel as each day passes without this country, the world's largest creditor, offering its hand (oh sure, it promised 100 billion USD from the currency reserves to the IMF--but that is the equivalent of saying, "Hey, wow, this global crisis sure is horrible. Uh here, here's 100 billion. Do something!") and the dogged determination of its people (when motivated and led) to keep the delicate and intricate dance of the global economy from collapsing into a heap.

No comments: