Remember when I went to try Heineken's super cold beer and felt like a gullible victim of false advertising? Well I am pleased to say not much has changed. I tend to shy away from lining up for things although it is all the rage here and really, how can you truly know the value of something if you don't have a line to judge it by? Let me tell you a little secret: I have my suspicions that people line up here because of the line. Everyone is dying for a little exclusivity so if you see a line here, well shit, whatever it is must be worth lining up for.
I do make an exception for beer that is chilled below zero. Asahi has set up a temporary standing bar smack in the middle of Ginza that is open until mid-August where they will be showcasing their Extra Cold Super Dry (don't you just love stringing adjectives together) for 550 yen a pop. And, gentle readers, let me tell you, it is tastay. It doesn't do anything exciting like burn your tongue off, but it is extra cold. If you like the sensation of your gums burning, I suggest you order their 3-kind mapo tofu dish and take a little spoonful of the one on the far right. I suspect they do this so that you will order more beer, and nothing the beau can say will convince me otherwise.
I will admit to being a fan of the show in public and a skeptical one of the first movie to you here, so it was only natural that I go see the second movie this weekend. I figured if it was terrible, I could simply severe its connection to the show in my mind, which is basically what I did for the first. In my mind, Sex & the City ended in the last episode of season six. This most recent movie was embarrassing. At first I thought the lack of laughs from the audience came from poor translation but in retrospect, part of it probably came from the simple fact that it wasn't that funny. Or sad for that matter. The movie's treatment of Islam was appalling and while I get what they were trying to do when they had Samantha throwing condoms around and gyrating in front of a group of religious men, it made me cringe. And then of course there was Carrie's wide-eyed little girl look as she took in the wonders of the Middle East, which wasn't dissimilar from the clueless look she had plastered on her face in Paris. I understand what it's like to be in a new country where you don't speak the language or culture, but these four women are shown to be completely out of fucking touch. I shouldn't have expected much, that's true, but given their age, salaries, lifestyle and purported wisdom, the SATC ladies look like a bunch of crass first-time tourists (not to mention they only hang out with white people at home). Props to all of you who visit other countries without acting like this and bigger props to those of you living in Japan as graceful as you can be as a foreigner. Lord knows it ain't easy.
After seeing the movie I couldn't wait to get online and read all the scathing reviews, which I have now done. I then moved on to Metropolis and this gem of an article where they round up four Japanese "versions" of the SATC ladies and interview them. Thank god they did, because the woman who was supposed to be Japan's answer to Samantha threw out this nugget of poop, the ramifications of which I am still considering:
Q: The women in Sex and the City have such melodramatic love lives. Is that true for you, or for your friends or Japanese women in general?
A: The characters' lives can't really be compared to the ones of Japanese women...My friends, or perhaps Japanese women in general, are more virtuous and have better morals than people would imagine.
Does this mean she thinks Japanese women are all thought of as floozy sluts willing to spread their legs for brand-goods? I would love to know what she considers to be virtuous and moral qualities in a person. Srsly. Funnily enough, I didn't encounter any women like this when I went for a pre-movie drink at the Oak Door bar in the Hyatt. I recall reading somewhere that the scene at the Oak Door was akin to that at Heartland but with higher monetary stakes. I would tend to agree with this wise person and add that not only is the financial standing of the men higher, but the age too. That goes for most of the local women there as well, who I'm sure were virtuously looking for some investment banker strange. Fun times.