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|Saturday, June 11th, 2011|
|Monday, May 16th, 2011|
|Against the modern world.
I just found this...something I wrote back in Japan. By the tone I presume it was in the first couple years, when I was convinced everything was peachy. By year three my view would have been less starry-eyed about life in glorious Nippon, but still...
"In other news, I have decided why I adore this country so much: much like myself, it has some superficial contemporary trappings, but at the core is a joyous, unrepentant rejection of modernity. The self-destructive, enervating culture war that grips the West? No chance here. Racial tension, struggles for self-definition, post-modern anything? Never even heard of it. It is like this idealized Beaver Cleaver/Pleasantville world, but minus the sinister dark side. All the trifles we work ourselves up over, the Japanese just do not give a damn about. Religion? Just something you do when you have a spare moment if you feel like it, no big deal at all, certainly nothing to wave a sword or crash a plane or fight in congress over. Equality? Give me a break, people are different, do your best with the hand you're dealt just like everyone else does instead of trying to legislate your way to personal advancement. Violent crime? In a society where people are trained from a young age to actually consider others instead of worshiping at the graven idol of their own selfish, undisciplined freedom, oddly enough personal safety seems to increase. Crushing poverty and social inequality? Certainly not so bad if everyone can find work as a light wand waver at some pork barrel public works project. Expensive foreign entanglements and interventionism? No thanks, we don't give a crap about your internal affairs, just buy some more anime and toyotas and gothic lolita dresses and otherwise leave us alone.
I can walk down the street and not have to deal with the threat of robbery, litter everywhere, beggars aggressively accosting me, obnoxious rudeness from strangers, this or that bullshit special interest cult blocking traffic with their demonstration, etc. All symptoms of our supposedly superior "openness" and "social mobility" and "freedom". Sure, maybe we're just more aware of the problems that face us, and I don't think we should be wilfully blind to them...but it is just exhausting to be bombarded with all that crap 24/7 and here folks just don't dwell needlessly on things that they can't change.
Every time I think about going back, I think about all that, and realize once more that the only thing worth a damn in Cana-duh is my friends and family. That is seriously the only thing I miss even a little bit."
|Monday, April 25th, 2011|
「ONWARD TO VICTORY」
軍隊の関係。 もし可能なら、４０年代らしいの言葉を使ってみて下さい。 よろしく！
|Sunday, March 20th, 2011|
|Friday, March 11th, 2011|
|Monday, June 28th, 2010|
|Observations on life in France.
-Although it *is* in a fairly apocalyptic area, the ambiance of the "Stalingrad" Metro station does not exactly live up to its name.
-My clichéd plan to have a drink on the Champs Elysée got ammended to "generic ice cream thing at McDonald's", because apparently they're the only ones not charging like 6 Euro for something cold.
-Classical music in this huge Parthenon-looking edifice, but it is all Jesus-ed up within. For free. Of course this means tourists tramping around in squeaky shoes, clacking away with their cameras, flashes and that idiot superfluous shutter sound still on.
-A trio of French paras with loaded FAMAS patrol the square in front of the Louvre.
-The French let their dogs crap on the street and then just walk away. They also consider it appropriate to sit and chat on their cell phone on SOME GUY'S GRAVE. But, if you don't mind drinking plonk, alcohol is cheaper than fruit juice here, so there's that.
-Maybe when in the city I should navigate by map, not compass bearing, hmmm? Just "heading north" on foot from Carentan, looking for the swampy area the 101st Airborne struggled so hard to traverse, and I find it, alright...after skirting an industrial park and jumping some fences (for HISTORY), I end up wading through a tangled morass filled with stinging nettles. Almost roll my ankle jumping from one dry-ish spot to the next. Yet another "not in your tourist guidebook" experience for Jamor!
-Comic sight of the day: French woman bravely trying to push a stroller through the lunar landscape of Pointe du Hoc, filled with 20 foot deep craters from air bombing and the 14 inch guns of the USS Texas. It is preposterous, but her Gallic pride forbids any display of awkwardness or frustration.
-The ammount of irreplaceable WW2 hardware...tanks, guns, planes...just sitting there exposed to the elements, rusting away...it depresses me. Come on people, get that shit in a barn or something! It's not like we're going to miraculously happen upon a secret cache of Panzerkampfwagen V's somewhere.
-Bastard seagulls squawked and tried to crap on me on the cliffs west of Arromanches, where they built the great artificial Mulberry harbour. Piss off you, I don't want your diseased eggs. Verdammt Jabos.
-Some drunks in Arromanches want 190 Euro for an old, rusty Gew 98 barrel. In St. Mere-Eglise, it was even better: 3750 for a supposedly authentic SS pea dot camo tunic. Uh, yeah.
-Museum's use of the term "liberated" to refer to GERMAN towns captured by the Allies is...interesting.
-France: The Simpsons = Les Simpson. Rainier Wolfcastle = Renier Oolfquessal.
-Worrying restaurant name: "Yaki Sushi"...Yaki meaning, of course, "fried"...
I am doing OK...the heat is punishing and not being able to really communicate is wearing me down. Some days I walk my own Via Dolorosa, but it is something I have to do. When I just want to lay down and die, mad with fatigue, I feel this invisible, irresistable force propelling me onward, ever onward...
|Tuesday, May 4th, 2010|
|Observations on life in Britain.
-the Anglicisms start on the plane: "would you like a packet of crisps?" "do you have any rubbish?" "five pound-nought, please"
-I dodge a renewed cloud of Icelandic toxic ash by LITERALLY HOURS. It shut down Scottish airspace through my flightpath last night. Now I know that the gods favour me and smile upon this grand adventure I have embarked upon.
-as we finally pierce the clouds I crane my neck from the center aisle of seats to catch that first magical glimpse of the ancestral homeland. There is an idiot grin plastered over my face as I gaze upon a patchwork quilt of neat, green fields interspersed with little clusters of brick-and-timber houses, tiny white fluffs that can only be grazing sheep, aaaaaaand...an enormous nuclear power plant.
-the procedure at customs if you have nothing to declare? Just walk your ass on through a big, unattended open gate. Rock on.
-train janitor's trolleys here contain something titled the "Body Fluid Disposal Kit". RULE BRITANNIA.
-OK, it is official. Little kids with English accents are so adorable that I want to abduct them. A group of elementary-aged tykes frolicking in their school uniforms in a Picadilly public fountain does little to disprove this statement.
-dumbass teenagers skateboard irreverently in front of a huge war memorial cross, doing these suicidal kickflips directly in front of oncoming vehicles and sending their boards flying out in to the street without apparent concern.
-some chav tried to sell me marijuana on a busy public street, in broad daylight, while brazenly drinking a bottle of Stella and tossing the cap over his shoulder.
-there sure is a lot of crap American music here. However, the rock station the hostel has on claims to "turn it up to 11", proving that all England channels the spirit of David St. Hubbins to this day.
-there is an inordinate amount of gingers here. We are pretty close to the Welsh border. This indicates to me that there are some places in the English-speaking world where the blood of the Northlands still flows strong, and I rejoice. I am going to celebrate by going to a sticky-floored metal pub with a jukebox that plays Amon Amarth and maybe I'll get headbutted by a bald construction worker or something.
-I am so sleep deprived it is beyond belief. I'm pretty sure there are snakes writhing on the ceiling.
-in honour of May Day some Irish working class "let's change the world" proletarian hero at my hostel tries to turn me against capitalism. I smile politely. I LOVE CAPITALISM, GUY. My entire life would be impossible without it.
-comedy surplus item of the day: WW1 M1918 ear cut-out German helmet, with a very strange SS decal attached to it. Yeah, sure.
-time elapsed until first genuinely grotesque human beluga sighting: ca. 26 hours. Not bad, not bad.
-at the Hatter's Hostel, the floors are numbered and named. Like Canadian First World War infantry battalions. I'm on the 5th [New Order] floor. Panic Girl will be pleased to note that Morrissey is number one.
-People, this shit is out of hand. These are just cute little anecdotes, when I have time and less expensive computer access I'll do a more proper write up. Suffice to say I am just high on history and culture and enjoying the hell out of it so far.
|Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010|
|Wednesday, February 17th, 2010|
|Thursday, February 4th, 2010|
This will mark something different for me...a bit of fiction. I did a little background writeup for my Warhammer 40K RPG character, a bit of flavour text to establish the motive and personality, etc. I am not at all accustomed to writing prose, so it may not be the best thing I've ever done, but read it just the same. Cosmic terror, bloodshed, and cold aristocratic cruelty awaits...( critique welcomeCollapse )
|Monday, December 28th, 2009|
Well, things have been quiet as a tomb around LJ since the Russians took over. On the theme of formerly communist states, allow me to present my latest absurd club outfit:
I am...CONTRADICTION MAN! West German forage cap, East German pimp coat and belt. I also have an Austrian bread bag..now all I need is a Swiss canteen carrier, a Luxembourg map case, and a Lichtensteinian bayonet and I will have completed a clean sweep of the German-speaking countries.
Yeah, I've been listening to lots of Death In June lately. Does it show?( Two moreCollapse )
|Sunday, December 27th, 2009|
|Friday, December 11th, 2009|
イトを使っている。 新しい写真もあちらにアップしている。 もし日本にいる友達もあ
のサイトにいれば、CanadaのJamie Woodをサーチしてみてね？ 連絡切りたくないよ。
|Thursday, December 10th, 2009|
|The fly in the ointment.
So, it seems every time I go on a trip, some minor thing happens. California last month kept with this trend. While an inspirational and life-altering experience, I somehow managed to leave my Bundeswehr shoulder bag on a bus. My man on the ground tried and tried at the lost and found but it never did turn up. It had a cheap paperback [meh], some antisocial buttons and tags and an S-biner [dang], my Japanese cell phone that shoots a laser and transforms in to a mecha-crab and was full of compromising photos [dammit], discman [ouch], aaand...a CD booklet with a pile of my favourite records in it [gutted].
The thought of re-buying all these is pretty demoralizing. Also, a good portion are simply out of print and cannot likely be re-bought at any price. If anyone at all can help me get these back in any format, you will have restored epoch-defining, precious music to me. Even just a burned CDR is better than an empty case and a broken heart.
Opeth - Ghost Reveries
Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse
Gorgoroth - Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam
Dead Hollywood Stars - Gone West
Haujobb - Freeze Frame Reality [very painful loss]
This Morn' Omina - The Drake Equation
Skinny Puppy - Last Rights
Akira Death - Killer Family Business [will probably just have to contact the guys and have them send another from Japan, just annoying]
Converter - Shock Front [thankfully the first pressing metal case is still mine, just empty...]
Dead Kennedys - Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death
Gridlock - The Synthetic Form [one of the saddest and most beautiful records I own, OOP, and friggin' essential to my continued existence]
Mentallo & The Fixer - Where Angels Fear To Tread [ditto]
Snog - Buy Me, I'll Change Your Life! [it did]
Dead Can Dance - Toward The Within [essential life support]
Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter
Electric Six - Fire
Inade - Burning Flesh
Despair - Deserted Technology Riot
Form/Alkaline - S/T [good luck getting this back, I got it on a CDR directly from the artist:(]
Fiendflug - Vierte Version
Iron Halo Device - The Collapsing Void [dammit dammit dammit]
Lustmord vs Metal Beast
Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey
Sucks. While I try to be philosophical and Buddhist about such losses, and not live my life in fear, never giving up exciting new experiences for fear of what may happen...this really really hurts. If anyone can help me out in any way I would be very grateful. Current Mood: sad
|Thursday, November 26th, 2009|
最近ミクシーで皆さんのウインター・フロントのレポートを読んでいます。 やっぱり楽しそうですね。 残念ながら、今年カナダへ帰ってしまって、参加できませんでしたが、写真を見ると、私
も富士山の下に戦っているような感じがありました。 沢山のなつかしい思い出出ましたね。 日本でもこのすばらしい趣味が可能なら、私は嬉しいです。 いつまでも続いて欲しい。
トをもらいました。 ほとんどの読者は日本のリエナクトの事全然知りませんでした。 びっくりしたそうです。 私は始めての外国人参加者でしたから、一生懸命二つの世界の中で会してみました。 世界中にいろんな国の人いますけど、皆は同じ興味で併せられていますから。 それで太平洋の両側で友達ができました。 とくに、カリフォーにア州にいるAnders Hudsonさんという人。 彼はCHG 「California Historical Group」の役員、またはカリフォーにアの５．Kompanie/９１６．Gren
軍服、装備、乗り物、武器「本物！空砲撃ち」。。。完璧。 訓練、戦術、髪型、全部は４０年代の。 命令でもドイツ語で伝えます。 かっこいいなあ。。。
今年私はAndersさんに誘われました。 日本の戦友、中里さんも来てくれました。 まだフル・レポートできてないけど、とりあえず。。。信じられないすごかったです。 本物の戦争の一番近い雰囲気がありました。 不断などうどうと銃火、迫撃砲、土を鳴る本物の戦車、ハーフトラック、バイク、ジープ。
。。うわー、すばらしかった。 たまに真の恐怖感じたよ、最高でした！ ちゃんとレポートを出来るまで、この写真をご覧下さい：http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=262789&id=654740569&l=150f302cd7
イベントの後、Andersさんは「ね、ジェイミー。 お前の日本人ヒストリカル・ゲーマーの友達もこういうイベントを楽しむかも。 中里さんはいつもいい賓客だ、もっともっと日本人参加者来て欲しい。 誘ってみて。」だって。
だから、誘います！ Hauptsturmführerユンカーズ、Captain Sprinters,Obersturmführerパイパー、Luutnantti Flitz,ハイン・ワグナーさんたち、Oberleutnantサルツ、Gutfe
次のイベントは春。 ぴったり決まってないけど、決まったら教えます。 皆さんは日本の秘密の世界を見せてくれましたから、もう私の順です。 本格的さの件： ３５２師団はOst Bataillon「東大隊、旧ソ連軍捕虜の部隊」を持ちました。 ほとんどの部隊員は中央アジア人でした。 もうスタリンのため戦わないぞ！ それで行こう！ 普通のドイツ陸軍軍服をもったら、ちょうどいいです。 Ost Bataillonの兵隊たちはほとんどドイツ語話せなかったので、英語力なくても安
じゃ、結構早いですが、予告したいです。 気に入れば、連絡してください。 また一生に戦える時まで楽しみにしています！
|Tuesday, November 24th, 2009|
Note to those on Livejournal: apparently those using the ad-supported function of the site have come under attack by malware recently. An advert triggers a popup that attempts to deceive you in to installing bogus antivirus software. I've had this happen twice already. If this occurs, ctrl+alt+del out of there, do not even click on the close/X icon. Only users outside the US have been targetted to avoid detection by the administrators of the site. Apparently they're working on a fix, but might be wise to avoid the site for a week or so until things get sorted out. But then come back and read my last entry:)
|Monday, November 23rd, 2009|
|Wednesday, November 11th, 2009|
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
|Tuesday, October 13th, 2009|
|Rock and Roll music report feat. DETHKLOK
I so rarely do these anymore. Not because I'm not going to shows; not because I'm not enjoying them. The same reason I don't do my own music anymore: simple, unvarnished laziness. Why would I want to write about concerts you didn't go to, or you want read about them for that matter, when both of us could be collecting hubcaps or playing drunk chess in the nude, or whatever?
Well, I'll tell you why. DETHKLOK.
Now, in my time abroad, I missed out on many important cultural happenings in the West. Kanye. Hannah Montana. Various other omens of the death of our civilization [for reference, I am listening to Rose Clouds of Holocaust by Death In June right now, it may be colouring my perceptions]. Most of this bilge is eminently disposable and will soon enough adorn the pyre the modern-day Visigoths will light our night skies with, but for one noble exception. Metalocalypse.
I watched the entire extant series on my roomie's computer in the weeks following my return. Like many of these recent "cartoons for grown-ups", it experiences moments of pure auteur-ish self indulgence that would profit from some editorial intervention, but in general it is funny stuff. I can't for the life of me imagine how a studio executive green-lighted this project, considering that the large majority of those watching will not even register half of the humour, but the pop-listening public's loss is the head-swinging longhair's very considerable gain. Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth summed it up best in one of his hilarious, concise crowd interactions in the interludes between songs:
"We have to take the piss out of heavy metal, because it's ridiculous...but I love it."
As someone who, despite being a rivet for life, has not bought a single genre record in probably 2 years [and then only to fill holes in my collection of bands I already like, this new pissant tripe the kids get excited about has no effect on me], this struck a chord with me in more ways than one. See, after a decade of consciously eschewing organic sounds and listening to the most robotic, sterile, inhuman racket I could find, I have come full circle and find myself something of a teenage banger all over again. I guess the extreme emotional circumstances I have faced in the last year have given me a taste for something a bit more human and sentimental. Metal for many years represented underground music at its most brutish and unsophisticated, rage and frustration without eloquence, crude graffiti next to a De Sade novel. But that is a vast generalization. It is simply a different means of expressing the same basic emotions that my beloved bang-clanky googly robot arm music channels, minus most of the intellectual pretension. I still like the music better than most of it's fans, that is true, but you can't blame the fruit for the flies. There is much that is admirable about the culture that we rivets could learn from...a sense of brotherhood and shared experience, a vibrant contempt for moderation and compromise, and a purity of vision we never seemed to have. Metal bands aren't generally out to change the world or make grand artistic statements, they are simply out to be faster, heavier, and more brutal than anything that has been recorded before, in a constantly escalating shred war that obliterates any desire to appeal to anyone other than those who already get it. Industrial could benefit from that unity of purpose, but instead we prefer to muddy the waters with a constant Canada-esque struggle for self-definition as it all becomes more poppy and indistinguishable from simple dance music every year.
Bah, enough theory. Rock show.
After getting jacked up by security for my very threatening rubber safety spike wristband and jacket with four  safety pins, in I go. I could do more damage with my fingernail, but I digress. I didn't protest too vociferously, since I start working there in two days. Promptly lose friends in the press and watch some intolerable screamy metalcore band completely alienate the public. They made the appropriate rock faces and leapt about to general indifference. Fortunately for them a Canadian audience is usually too placid to throw beer or other substances at the stage. I go now to drown my dismay in the tepid pond water that is American lager in a plastic cup behind a chain-link fence in the back, which at least gave me pleasant reminiscences of the old Ministry "In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up" VHS that I used to have. Encounter the feminine entourage, am soon surrounded by the most beautiful ladies in the venue, which is admittedly not difficult at a metal show [which is no commentary on the ladies, because they are the most beautiful people pretty much anywhere they go]. Enjoy a moment of mirth as some chortling Australian yobbos chide me for "cutting them out of the circle" by standing between them and girls. Sorry, wasn't aware you were in this circle, gents, I was occupied talking to my friends. Idiots.
Mastodon. Previously, my only contact with this band was this:
Which, as stupendous as it is, did little to prepare me for what came next. Mastodon basically likes old Sabbath and marijuana an awful lot, and plays with a huge backdrop of a swirling starfield behind them as you go on a grand journey staring at the lava lamp from your couch. They do these massive, long stoner-sludge dirges with an old-school, slow-grind heaviness and minimal chugga-chugga. I just realized how gibberish that sentence would have been just fifty years ago. They must have played an hour and half, with like five encores, and it was quite good. Long and full songs busy with details, with just the right mix of changes and breakdowns and proggish bits without losing the main groove that the song is built on. You don't really headbang to this, just sorta rock back and forth and enjoy the psychedelic mental vista that scrolls before your eyes. This of course didn't dissuade a sort of slow-motion geriatric's mosh pit with stop-motion animation elbows thrown and globules of spit hanging suspended in midair for long moments, all of which I punctiliously avoided...kids these days don't know how to mosh anyway. More on that later.
One thing that metal bands have on the electronic people is they know how to put on a show. Even if they just stand there, they project more charisma and menace than the most agitated knob-twiddler. Mastodon has this sort of thing going where even they are amazed by the heaviness of the molten guitar lava they are pouring forth, so much so that they are bowled back by it and perpetually teetering on their heels, ready to be swept off the stage by a tidal wave of occult wizards fighting Satan for control of the souls of man and a bottle of Jack. Plus their mere appearance is a show in itself: left to right you have this uncanny menagerie of rock and roll characters. There is crazy hair angry Jerry Garcia guitar player guy, Metal Nickelback guy bass player, gay cop-'stache and mullet rythm guitar...no description of drummer available because no one takes any notice of them. Oh wait, he came out last to throw sticks at the audience and throw up the horns, I remember now...fitted t-shirt and big ear plugs sXe guy with a sensible haircut. They had panache.
Then DETHKLOK. Now, I'm fully aware of the absurd Spinal Tap element inherent in going to see a made-up band from a TV show, and I fully expected it to be just a big farce...something that would be funny for a half dozen songs or so and then peter out in a cloud of smug self-referencing rubbish. Well, I was in for a shock. You cannot fully parody something unless you also love it. For a made-up band they were tight and heavy and crazy as hell. However ridiculous the subject matter and whole image may be, it is clear they are serious about the music. Blazing fast and raucous and, well, for lack of a better word...brutal. Hilarious and topical video accompaniment with R-rated versions of the sequences from the show each song was associated with. Topless mermaids locked in a gory underwater hand to hand struggle with axes and saws and claw hammers, Toki Wartooth's flesh melting from his skull after being hit in the mouth with a flaming arrow, Eagle riding barbarians and dragons fighting for no reason, good clean fun for the whole family. From memory, they played Deththeme, the Amazon jungle song, Hatredcopter, Murmaider, Thunderhorse, the Duncan Hills Coffee jingle, a couple others...I can only surmise that so much shredding compressed in to such a short time span is very taxing, because they were probably on for only 45 minutes or so. Really, my only complaint of the show. As most know, I don't like doing anything in concert with others, but I unironically threw up the double horns after pretty much every track. Loudness - check. Anger - check. Beer-slicked concrete floor - check. Seizure-inducing strobes - check. Mouthfuls of greasy banger hair - check. METAL - check. It was fun, and I needed a cathartic release after all the fear and doubt of previous weeks. They had these funny little video interludes, the best of which was the talking skull guy who gives orientation for visitors and new Klokateers at Mordhaus giving a "moshing 101" public service announcement...basically an acknowledgment by the band that many of the people there know nothing about metal and need to be instructed that just wiping someone out in the pit and failing to help them up is, quote, "a douchebag move" that should earn you a karmic beatdown. The longhairs laughed uproariously and the ball-cap wearing tourists all stared at their sneaker tops and fidgeted.
Avoiding the stagefront melee like an old footballer with a gammy knee, this was the best photo I managed to grab. Brendan Small's pointing torso seems pleased to be floating atop a storm-tossed sea of Satanism.
The rock show was awesome. The crowd roared like a lion. Rock over London, rock on Chicago. Wheaties, breakfast of champions.
|Tuesday, October 6th, 2009|