Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tokyo erections

Really, I don't like morning people.

I'm not sure what kind of noise ordinance laws there are in Japan, but I am frequently awakened from my slumber on weekends by overzealous go-getters, looking to seize the day before I would argue it should even begin. No, the yaki-imo guy is not trying to make a comeback, but as I have alluded to in the past he certainly is not the only one in Japan that finds it acceptable to roll around in a little truck with a big microphone.

No, this time around it is election season, and the propaganda trucks are out in full force. By propaganda trucks, I am simply referring to the campaign trail as seen in the 1950's of America and Back to the Future. Today is the big day for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections, so hopefully from here on out I will be able to sleep past 9am - these guys have been rolling by my place as early as 8:30 am almost daily for about the past week or two, and I for one am glad that it is all coming to a close. Incidentally, this will be the first time that my girlfriend has voted. The vast majority of Japanese that I know have little to no interest in politics, and that goes double for young people.

So why are Japanese political campaigns stuck in the '50's, you ask? Well there's some stupid law that says that they can't have advertisements on tv, so they have to resort to posters littered everywhere, enough pamphlets and handouts to overfill my mailbox was past the brim, and... little trucks with big microphones, what the hell.

You'd think it would irritate people, but then Japanese are so used to people yelling in their daily lives that I'm sure they just ignore with the rest as it's phased out into white noise in the deep abscesses of their minds. Whether it's the army of guys passing out fliers and trying to talk you into coming to his store in front of the station, or the people standing in the streets yelling outside stores about the "special sale" they have every single week, or the shop clerks constantly yelling 'irrasshaimase' as they walk through stores for 30 years, it must just be second nature to them to ignore some yakiimo schmo or Ichiro Blow politician in their noise truck.

Oh and for those that don't know, the Communist Party is alive and well in Japan with 13 representatives (of 125 total) already in the local assembly - I've seen posters around all over the place, and one of the 3 candidates for the district in which I reside is a pinko commie. Doesn't he look menacing folks? I'm sure he'd chew a baby's head off and spit it out like a piece of overchewed gum... or at least talk it to death.

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