Friday, 30 August 2013

Japanese Game Shows


I remember seeing a compilation of Japanese games shows years ago…From memory, they seemed to rely on humiliation and torture-like tasks.  But now, many seem more about objectifying and demeaning women.  

The reason I started thinking about Japanese game shows is due to an article on stuff.co.nz: Craziest-Asian-game-shows
So I started looking further afield...

The first one I came across is interesting in that it’s a perverted take on rock, paper, scissors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uT1WtqpOJ0.  The girl who loses, has her bikini top removed by a rocket of all things! 

http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=2uT1WtqpOJ0
Here’s one that involves a man having to endure pain in order to remove a bra:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmqeaOqBGTQ  



 
This one is along the same lines as no.2 but this time it's the other end of womens' genatalia that is being fetishised.  A man is placed on a rail which travels between the legs of women standing over the rail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYBRDTmSc1o

The object of this game is to slide down a ramp and get as close to the breasts of a bikini-clad woman without actually touching her boobs: http://www.stickboydaily.com/laughs/japanese-game-show-has-an-awesome-consolation-prize/

http://www.stickboydaily.com/laughs/japanese-game-show-has-an-awesome-consolation-prize/
In this show, each contestant must say a tongue twister.  If he makes a mistake, he gets hit between the legs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS3tjP6Yh1w
 
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-stew/200807/an-american-japanese-game-show-what-took-so-long/comments
In this show,  men have to climb a ramp in order to throw a ball and break the panels between them and a woman showering.  So the objective is to see a naked woman.  If they slip on the ramp (and it looks like it’s been oiled somehow) they end up in a pool of tar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk4csBc7ymc 

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80942741/

Yeah at last one that doesn't involve demeaning women...  This game consists of contestants having to jump through a hole in a wall, matching the shape of the hole with their bodies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNfLnmiCn3s 


And these are just the ones I found after a quick Google search…
Daniel Murphy compiled a list of “The Five Most Insane Japanese Game Shows” for Esquire - and he's just included the 'clean' ones! Concerning the game shows, Murphy says:

If you were to judge Japan based solely on its TV shows, you would conclude the following: This is a fictional country. It can’t possibly exist. There can’t possibly be a place, let alone a modern-day superpower, where people eagerly watch these things happen, then have a laugh, shut off the TV, and climb into bed as though what just happened wasn’t a glimpse into a world that makes Pan’s Labyrinth look like an episode of Sesame Street (http://www.esquire.com/the-side/video/insane-japanese-game-shows).
Not sure about you but I find these game shows problematic (to say the least!).
But it gets worse... Any country that thinks it’s appropriate to objectify women on national television in order to raise money for charity (Aids in this case – spot the irony!) is SICK.  Yes, in my opinion SICK (and that includes the US if they copy the Japanese format for the show):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LGhHrxTbCw 


While these games may look like harmless fun (if you consider objectifying a human being and relegating them to nothing more than their genitalia, fun), but in 2008 one of the most prestigious universities in Japan was found to have a rape club which organised the rape of over 100 women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTxZXKsJdGU.  This video was produced by Australia's ABC, who suggested that "Japan's attitude towards women is under the spotlight following revelations that students at an elite university ran a 'rape club' dedicated to planning gang rapes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTxZXKsJdGU).  But was it really? The game shows are still dime a dozen, so what's changed? Is it possible that the organisation of a 'rape club' could the result of these ‘harmless’ game shows?   

What about the (often) sexually explicit manga?  Rapeman, a popular manga  created in the 90s, is a prime example of the normalisation of violence against women.  RAPEMAN???? What misogynist  thought up that title?  
 
http://myanimelist.net/anime/4714/The_Rapeman/viewinfo&m=friends

How can a country possibly support such sexism against HALF of their population.  Has Japan's self-appointed isolation contributed to their attitude towards objectifying their women? 

Imagine if EVERYBODY decided NOT to purchase ANY Japanese products until they start to treat their women BETTER... As a country that DEPENDS on its exports, it would hit them hard.  

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ashton Kutcher tells it the way it is...

I tend to re-post a lot of what I see on Upworthy, and this particular video is no exception.
As an actor, I've never really rated Ashton Kutcher.  I remember thinking that the Butterfly Effect probably would've been a better film if a 'serious' actor had been cast in the lead role.  Not that I don't think he's good at what he does... I have just never particularly rated it.  But my whole view of him has changed, thanks to his speech when receiving a Teen Choice Award.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/59883/a-takedown-of-ashton-kutcher-and-anyone-who-thinks-it-s-sexy-to-brag-about-yourself-on-national-tv
Now I think what his speech is profound... but as with everything, there are those who don't.
Elizabeth Plank, of Policymic (a-takedown-of-ashton-kutcher-and-anyone-who-thinks-it-s-sexy-to-brag-about-yourself-on-national-tv) is one of those who thinks his speech was "completely void of any humility or understanding of how society actually works." 

I disagree - I like his comments about not being bigger than a job.  As a teacher, I come across teenagers ALL THE TIME who think they are going to start their working life as a manager - there are no thoughts about working your way up to the position you dream about.  There's no acknowledge of how working your way up the ladder, will make you a better worker.  It's hardly rocket science.  (Well, to me anyway!).
"I've never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job. And I never quit my job until I had my next job ... Opportunity looks a lot like hard work."
I do think that Plank makes some very good points, especially those about the lack of an equal playing field out there:
"Ashton Kutcher is a white, heterosexual, able-bodied, and attractive cisgender male. His stardom is dependant on those very markers and have (at least partially) defined his success. To take all those things out of the equation is disingenuous. He's reaped the benefits from a culture that values all those things. By telling teens to stop caring about their looks or their position in society is putting the responsibility on teenagers to combat a culture that he actively perpetuates."
However in saying that, I still think it's a good speech.  And I still think it's nice to hear a celebrity telling teenagers than learning and being intelligent are important.  Hence my favourite quote from the clip:
“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap!”
Do watch it all, here's the link: ashton-kutcher-just-told-a-bunch-of-teenagers-how-to-be-sexy-in-the-smartest-way-ever
I know it's difficult to sit through teenage girls' screaming (can now totally empathise with The Beatles).

http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/12/the-sexiest-thing-in-the-entire-world-is-being-really-smart/

Come on advertisers... STOP PLAYING TO THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR

Ooh... came across this on the PBG Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/poweredbygirl?hc_location=stream).  They describe themselves the following way:
"PBG stands for Powered By Girl. We are a girl-driven activist movement that uses satire, humor, and a passion for social media to talk back to sexism and sexualization in media. We're working together to demand more creative, more diverse, and more positive images of girls and women."
So I came across their posting on the new ad campaign from American Apparel for their unisex wear.  Now most of us probably aren't surprised at the misogynist difference between how men and women models are depicted in the ads.  Let's face it, American Apparel aren't the first company to degrade women and objectify them for the purposes of selling their product.  What it does, for me, is add another name to the list of businesses I REFUSE to buy from - so, it's alongside BMW for me now.  Much in the same way I would refuse to buy a BMW due to their objectification of women in their ads, I will also REFUSE to purchase ANY American Apparel item.   

http://www.refinery29.com/2013/05/47091/american-apparel-advertising-controversy
Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now... here's the link: american-apparels-unisex-ads
Laurie Sampler, for the Business Insider, suggests the less-than-subtle trends at display in the ad campaign:
"While men in non-gender-specific shirts are shown modeling the clothing in innocuous poses — looking straight at a camera or smoking a cigarette — seem to forget their pants."
Here is an example 
http://www.businessinsider.com/if-men-posed-like-female-american-apparel-models-2013-5
 
http://doubletakesociology.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/the-continued-absurdity-obscenity-of-american-advertisements

Why a woman needs to be naked in order to model a unisex shirt is beyond me? The old adage that sex sells springs to mind.  But if it was ANY other part of society that was being demeaned the way women are, there would be hell to pay.  

Come on advertisers... STOP PLAYING TO THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR AND SHOW SOME INTEGRITY WITH YOUR CAMPAIGNS.  

Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency

I've been following Feminist Frequency (https://www.facebook.com/femfreq) on Facebook for a while now.
There is also a Feminist Frequency website (http://www.feministfrequency.com/).
http://www.feministfrequency.com/
I LOVE this woman! Anita Sarkeesian is intelligent, passionate, determined and absolutely on a mission.  She describes the site as being:
"a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces."
Not so long ago, Feminist Frequency posted this article from an interview with Wired.
https://www.facebook.com/poweredbygirl?directed_target_id=0
Here's the link to the full article: No More Helpless Damsels: One Gamer’s War on Sexism

The world in maps...

I remember seeing an article about how maps have always been skewed so that Europe is depicted central connoting that it's the centre of the world.  There's also been a tradition of Europe being presented as being larger than the likes of Africa, Asia and South America, with the obvious connotation being about who's more important.

But on Facebook I came across these maps...

maps-that-will-help-you-make-sense-of-the-world

There are forty maps in total, showing a variety of information for example, the number of researchers per million inhabitants around the world
http://crisisboom.com/2013/08/16/40-maps-world/
  • Where Google Street View is available
  • Countries that do not use the metric system 
  • Map of ‘Pangea’ with current international borders
  • McDonald’s across the world
  • Paid maternal leave around the world
  • The most common surnames in Europe by country
  • Worldwide driving orientation by country
  • Map of time zones in Antarctica
  • Global internet usage based on time of day
  • The world’s busiest air routes in 2012
  • Visualizing global population density
  • Map of alcohol consumption around the world
  • Map of countries with the most violations of bribery
  • Average age of first sexual intercourse by country
  • World map of the different writing systems 
  • The only 22 countries in the world Britain has not invaded
http://beforeitsnews.com/watercooler-topics/2013/08/40-amazing-maps-you-have-never-seen-2433780.html
The maps I have included are the ones that I found particularly interesting, but there are obvious a lot more there.

Speaking about maps... the funniest world map I have ever seen was in Germany.  Everything was normal except for New Zealand, which was upside-down - the South Island on top of the North Island.  Cracked me up as I'm the only North Islander in my immediate family, and they've given me hell about that for as long as I can remember.  However, this map made everyone of them a North Islander... loved it!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The First Rugby Champions Game of 2013

Watching the opening Rugby Championship pre-game broadcast and the following things have been made apparent:

  1. The Aussies haven't won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002 - that's 11 years the All Blacks have had it in the cabinet.
  2. The panel of experts (headed up Englishman Jim Rosenthal, with Englishman Jeremy Guscott, Welshman Scott Gibbs, and Australian George Gregan - wonder why there's no kiwi! Actually since watching rugby on OSN I've NEVER seen a kiwi on the panel!) speaking from Dubai's Media City, are as anti-New Zealand as they were during the World Cup.
  3. The panel like the fact that kiwi Robbie Deans is out and that Australia now has an Australian coach.
So far in the programme, the New Zealand team has been called "a beast", "old", "aging" while Australia are "young", "hungry."  An interesting difference in use of language.  Why? Well, (and I'm trying to be objective here, AND I'm not the only person to have recognised this) the panel always plays down New Zealand.  If Wales, Scotland, English or ANY other rugby nation makes an error - it's discussed factually.  However, if it's NZ that makes a mistake... well, get the claws out!

The panel has just been discussing the new scrummaging rules and the final words before the ad break, "please guys, no cheating."  It's not the first time I've heard the OSN panel call the NZ'ers cheats.  It's not rocket science (or a state secret) to acknowledge the different game played in the northern hemisphere as opposed to the south.  The southern hemisphere teams have always played a faster, tougher game of rugby - and this has often been called 'cheating' in the northern hemisphere.  Now if this was the case (and remember Mother England has said these things looking down her nose at us) why have they modified their game to be more similar to ours? The realisation that this is the way the game is (and should) be played these days? Being tired of losing to southern hemisphere teams? Let's face it, the aerial ping-pong of the northern hemisphere teams is the rugby of the 70s! The fast, running game (i.e. OUR game) is way more entertaining and in these highly commercialised times, bums on seats is what matters (whether those bums are watching from the stadium or at home). 

And what are they playing for?
First of all, there's the Bledisloe Cup:
http://www.espnscrum.com/onthisday/rugby/story/101509.html
And secondly, the cup that wears the name of the competition (well, this is a photo of the tri-nations cup, not sure if it's a new piece of silverware or not since Argentina has joined the competition):
http://www.lineoutcoach.com/tournament/tri-nations/
Well, the game has started... must watch!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Bachelor

I'm loathed to admit that I'm watching an episode of The Bachelor - the second one I've seen.

While watching, it suddenly struck me as funny... here I am living in a society that still has arranged marriages and here I am watching a modern, albeit bizarre take on the old arranged marriage.

These women (and yes, many do come across as bimbos whether they are educated or not) are declaring their love for Brad, the Bachelor, to the camera.  Now love at first sight is one thing - but love in the face of 12 women competing for the same man??? Hmm, excuse me for being sceptical.

Now I think it's natural for the women to be taken away in the moment - after all, if they're the last woman standing, they get a millionaire... no more scrimping and saving and having to work hard. 

Ooh, a new development... Brad the bachelor has a twin brother Chad.  Brad and Chad??? Really - that's the best the parents could come up with? The old adage, only in America immediately springs to mind!

The twins do the old twin trick of swapping places.  The reason being, all the girls have been claiming to have this wonderful connection with Brad, but if they can't tell the difference between Brad and Chad, it sort of shows them as being quite insincere.  Now rationally speaking, what sincere person would enter a competition to find a husband?  BUT is it any different to joining a dating service? (Well, apart from the competition bit!)

While this programme is better (morally) than Temptation Island (which I think is the LOWEST of the LOW), it's still pretty silly considering the state of the environment, the hardships some people have to live with... Imagine if they used the money it takes to produce the programme to feed the hungry - now that would be something (but perhaps not good television!).

Handsome Men's Club

Not sure if I've posted this before but it's jolly good: Handsome Men's Club

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/03/10/jimmy-kimmel-live-after-the-academy-awards-will-rebroadcast-in-primetime-this-saturday-night/44563/

Don't know about you, but I always like it when celebrities don't take themselves too seriously.  It's refreshing.  Especially in the business that they're in - one consumed with superficial ideals of what's important... namely physical beauty.

http://welt4.freewar.de/freewar/internal/fight.php?action=watchuser&act_user_id=89771

Enjoy!