Dance Dance J-Pop Grunge (or Why I Wear Polo Shirts)

Before you start reading, you should know that this article is one I wrote about a year ago for a site that’s no longer around, Gnorb’s UltraKitchy CyberXtreme iBlog. (Tagline: “Because one cliche is not enough.”) The site was dedicated to Japanese influences in today’s culture, especially J-pop music, movies, and video games. I’ve re-posted it here because the site is fully dead, not having been updated in almost a year. Oh well. Anyway as you read this, be forewarned that sometime around the halfway point this article takes a complete nosedive. Enjoy.

Monday: Tampa Bay Buccaneers #40/Alstott Jersey on top of a long-sleeve t-shirt, leather jacket, jeans, white sneakers, and a Bucs cap.

Tuesday: Buccaneers #24/Williams Jersey on top of a long-sleeve t-shirt, leather jacket, jeans, black shoes, and a Bucs cap.

Wednesday: Manchester United jersey on top of a long-sleeve t-shirt, leather jacket. jeans, black shoes, and a Red Hat cap (black).

This is what I wore this week. Now, looking at this wardrobe listing it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out the following:

1) I like sports jerseys. (They’re so incredibly comfortable!)
2) I seem to have an attraction to teams owned by Malcolm Glazer.
3) It’s too frigg’n cold at the office.

Add to this the fact that I haven’t shaved since Saturday, and you could safely assume that I’m just now jumping on the Grunge bandwagon. Good timing, too, because I think it’s coming back. In 2015.

No, no. In reality here’s what’s been going on: I’ve been focused on work lately. Really focused. The past few days have been really hectic for me. I have a massive deadline quickly approaching and I can’t be bothered with doing just about anything else other than writing. Well, except sleeping, bathing, eating, and playing Dance Dance Revolution. (Good exercise, if you’re looking for something fun to keep you physically active.) On the bright side, I’ve had a change to gorge myself on all kinds of hip and poppish Japanese music which, whether I like to admit it or not, has become the best way for me to concentrate on what I’m doing. Turns out that the generally fast beats combined with the Japanese language actually help me think faster.

Well, that and I like seeing all those nice colors they use in their videos, most of them. It’s not much different than watching MTV, at least when they still actually played music videos and not beach house reality shows.

(By the way, I’ve really been getting into Dragon Ash. They sound a lot like Smash Mouth, which works for me because they’re one of my favorite bands; just coordinated enough to put out a nice beat and music, and just out of sync enough to make their sound comfortable, not too perfect, but definitely not out of tune.)

Although I’ve been dressing like a total college student for the past few days, I gotta say I’ve been pretty comfortable. Too comfortable. It’s like I’m sliding back to the days before I worked as a writer. This is how I always used to dress back then, except I wash my clothes more often, so I smell better. (This is one of the advantages of having a wife. She doesn’t let me go out without first smelling myself.) But I know I can’t keep dressing like this. If I do I might end up hanging out at the FIU library, playing Magic: The Gathering with a bunch of geeks, trying to explain to them how to “get the girl”. And if they’re playing Magic, then they probably watch anime. And if they watch anime, they’re probably into Asian chicks. And if they’re into Asian chicks, I’m going to have to tell them the truth: that no Asian woman even remotely resembles anything they see in any anime. Well, some do, but none they actually stand a chance with.

And that, my friends, is why life sucks for them. (The geeks, not the chicks.)

Of course, in a strange twist of fate, I find that most American women are exactly like the women in anime: most have larger chests than the typical Japanese woman, they all have bigger eyes, most are generally polite without being subservient, and most are looking for a hero. (This is especially true the more vehemently they deny looking for a hero.) Oh, and they’re all ambidextrous, sword wielding, machine gun toting martial arts masters. Don’t believe me? Try to cop a feel.** In most cases, it won’t be 2 seconds before the blazing katana-like wrath of Yojimbo on steroids is tearing you apart, limb from limb, whether by physical action, psychological trauma, or more commonly, laser beams shooting from their eyes, focusing on your stomach, searing your skin and boiling you alive from the inside while they laugh maniacally and threaten to crucify you. Seriously, it’s a scary event. Mind you, I’ve never tried it, so it hasn’t actually ever happend to me, but I’ve seen it happen, which is why I know that the whole wrath part is as exciting to watch as it is to drive 120 mph through a hospital zone in a car that’s on fire while being chased by helicopters, tanks, and ninjas. And the helicopters are shooting missles at you. And the ninjas are on fire, too.

[**Note: Yes, I know this is the second time in as many days that I’ve refered to copping a feel. Remember, however, that I wrote this article over a year ago, so no, that’s not at all what my mind’s on. This is simply a coincidence.]

Getting back to the original point, this is why I wear polo shirts, because the grunge look would take me down a path I don’t wish to go. Also, it forces me to bathe at least daily, since there’s invariably nothing worse than someone who’s dressed with a nice polo who smells of body vinegar. You now also know why I only secretly love the otaku culture, most of it, including anime and even cosplay.

Addendum: For the record, I still don’t understand what the fascination with tentacles is all about. That’s just weird. And getting off a 12 year old anime girls’ white panties is just… can anyone say “hentai”? (Translation, “pervert”.) What can I say, I’m just not into tentacles or borderline ephebophilia. Luckily, most Japanophiles I know aren’t either. Not that I know of anyway. And no, I wouldn’t even want to know, thank you: I have enough problems already, I don’t need to know about other people’s psychological issues.

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