Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pacific Rim Diary # 1

This is my first 'entry' for the newly launched "Pacific Rim Diary" segment of The Madeleine Brand Show on KPCC/NPR--on the perils of trans-national comedy, especially in the YouTube era:

And here's my latest "Soft Power / Hard Truths" column for The Daily Yomiuri parsing the same:


greg said...

An excellent article. I very much enjoyed reading your perspectives in this morning's Daily Yo. I am moved to comment by one particular sentence that stands out as a superb encapsulation of the west's fascination with things Japanese. "...Americans... have been drawn to cultural artifacts..." Whenever I talk to friends who do not or have not lived in Japan about Japan I am constantly amazed at their knowledge of manga and anime, etc. In fact, one person actually expressed doubt that I even lived in Japan at an overseas dinner party when I could not answer any of her questions about some Japanese arcana. Japan is different from other countries, but at the same time basically the same. People getting upset about humor overseas, should really look at themselves first. I do not know how many times I have seen people on television in Japan in black-face; a major cultural no-no in the US.

It is too bad that you were not able to meet Stephen Fry over the QI flap. I read a Japanese language newspaper everyday (although I rarely watch TV news), yet somehow missed this scandal. I even live in Hiroshima! Hopefully, your meeting will happen sometime in the future.

One small pedantic syntax point: cancers can be radiation-induced.

I look forward to reading more of your columns in the future and seeing the results of your showing Stephen Fry around.

greg said...

I just listened to your segment on SCPR. I'm chuffed to hear that I am not the only one who has noticed the black-faced comedians.

Roland Kelts said...


Thanks for your kind and insightful comments. I winced at 'radiation-induced,' mainly because you're right, of course, and I apologize for the error. Your correction is not in the least pedantic. I didn't write the phrase, 'radiation-instilled,' but I did approve of the final draft via a 'last look.' My bad.

More columns are forthcoming. I assure you that I will be more attentive to the editing of them.