Poison Island

Was that a good week or a terrible one? I think it was a good one, even if it did start with me missing my shift, dashing manically to work, buying some ill-fitting shoes and then getting fined for my sins. True story. Along the way, it took in my first Shinnenkai (Japanese party to celebrate the nascent year), where I tried horse sashimi with fiery wasabi and soy sauce. On Wednesday, I talked hip hop and Paul Simon with a colleague from Okayama and the owner of our favourite bar, and on Sunday, I went bouldering, an activity I’m determined to master one of these days. Continue reading “Poison Island”

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Cities Divided (Killer Whales Killer Whales Killer Whales)

I was chatting to a German guy on Tuesday morning as we shambled into town in the sunshine. We were holding forth on music, videogames, the merits of our various hometowns, the strange chaos of Japanese cities, and particularly on history. We spoke about the Berlin Wall, and how it created and still shapes the modern city. It arguably stopped Berlin from dominating Germany the way London does the United Kingdom, or Paris does France.

It came to me that all cities have a Berlin Wall, a dividing line that separates the city into two types of governance, two personalities, two essences. All cities have work attire and evening gear. All cities are transformed, lycanthropic and howling, at night, and wake up naked in the woods at dawn under the fading moon, with blood on their teeth. All cities are mixed metaphors. All cities are two cities*.

And why should here be any different?

Continue reading “Cities Divided (Killer Whales Killer Whales Killer Whales)”

Somewhere Close To The Door

To lift an opener from Che Guevara’s diary: this is the history of a failure. Not a failure of an effort, or a moral failure, but the failure of a theory to explain the world as it is. These are the kind of failures that drive scientific discovery, and self-discovery too.

Continue reading “Somewhere Close To The Door”