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A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't

[A tradition], which was born early and stubbornly refuses to die, despite all the evidence to the contrary, regards jazz merely as a product of noble savages - music produced by untutored, unbuttoned semiliterates for whom jazz history does not exist. This myth was invented by early jazz writers who, in attempting to escape their American prejudices, turned out a whole world of new cliches based on the myth of the innate ability of early jazz musicians. Because of these writers' lack of understanding of the mechanics of music, they thought there weren't any mechanics. It was the ''they all can sing, they all have rhythm'' syndrome.
- from July 1988 New York Times article written by Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter, jazz critic and educator, under the title of What jazz is - and isn't.


The Upper Paleolithic painting in the Cave of Altamira

Toilet graffiti in an unknown U.S. city

When I launched this website nine years ago, I was still hopeful that I would make a bit of difference to the political discourse in and between the United States and Japan. But now that the implosion of America, to be followed by or to follow, the inevitable collapse of the American Empire looks to be a matter of time, anything we say or do will make little difference. I think it's about time to have disengaged myself from politics.

When it comes to the quantitative measurement of my web traffic, I've had to rely on Google Analytics because the built-in statistical functions of my blog tool (Geeklog) are quite limited. But as any GA user may agree, the brains of system designers at Google are all empty, or worse yet, filled with spaghetti. As a result, all I can tell is that my Key Performance Indicators are not that bad. The number of hits has topped 5.4 million in the last 104 months while the number of page-views is roughly estimated at 300,000 in the same period. But now I know that doesn't mean my efforts have been paying off.

At the beginning, I wanted to make my blog a venue for "interactive" discussions on political issues because I thought I would be able to attain my goal only by touching off dialectical debates. I had no intention to play the role of a catalyst, which by definition acts unilaterally as a change agent. A debate in the Platonic or Hegelian sense should be fought "without gloves" so a thesis is directly met with an antithesis and led to a synthesis through "sublation." It, therefore, takes both sides readiness to change along with some intellectual prowess that very few among my audience have. They are too used to the slapstick-type of talks such as ones they saw when the last leap-year farce was going on in the U.S. Now it looks all the more true that exchanging non sequiturs over this and that issues makes little sense.

Maybe I'll upload a small piece or two to follow up my last post on the Pacioli Revolution if and when time permits. But afterward I will focus more on nonpolitical issues such as culture. In fact, though, I am not very sure at this moment if we can discuss culture without using the dialectical method. For one thing, appreciation of art is quite different from consumption of goods. You buy a piece of goods, use it until you use it up, and throw it away. On the contrary, when you appreciate a piece of music, for instance, it should involve a dialectical interaction among all the parties involved: the composer, the musicians, and the audience, although you treat the medium, be it a CD or DVD, the same way you treat a commodity.

Four months ago, a Japanese man in his 50s contacted me from the northernmost island of the archipelago. He said he wanted to remote-interview me on what he thought was a big issue of our common concern. At the beginning I was reluctant to accept his offer because I know I have nothing to share with Japanese men. But since he was very serious about seeking an answer to his problem, I temporarily accepted the offer on certain conditions. I suggested that we make it a two-way interview in which nothing should be presumed a real issue, let alone the conclusion, before we talk it out.

Soon after he agreed to my counter-proposal, he sent me a copy of his privately-published autobiography which depicts an extraordinary story about an ordeal he had to go through in his childhood and adolescence. I thought I could expect from this guy something I couldn't expect from an ordinary Japanese. Perhaps I was wrong; he turned out to be yet another Japanese man.

We started off our mutual interview by defining the keywords to his problem. It seemed he had borrowed all these words, arbitrarily or opportunistically, from someone else's contexts. We had to redefine them so they fit into the particular context behind his personal tragedy. I thought that only by doing so, we could identify the real issue. When translating his super-high-context language into low-context one, I realized we had to discuss, first and foremost, various ways of communication before addressing the issue he had wanted to talk about. Quite naturally, that brought us to the very intriguing question: What art is - and isn't.

The average Japanese man is an avid music lover whose types of music range from classical music to Enka (see NOTE below), and every thing in between, be it jazu, J-pops, K-pops, Russian folk songs, American folk songs by Bob Dylan and the like, American country music, traditional Japanese folk songs, European pops by the likes of Sara Brightman, continental tangos, canzoni, or chansons. This guy is no exception. I said: "I'm glad to know you share the same value system with everyone else. But now I'm at a loss over what makes you feel so persecuted by or excluded from the community." He showed the guts to say, "You think most Japanese are hooked on Enka. But on the contrary, we Enka lovers are a small minority. Even so, I have difficulty understanding why you feel so disgusted at Enka that it almost nauseates you. There's no point, after all, in discussing personal tastes." He was just glossing over his self-deceptive attitude toward life by saying Enka lovers are a small minority as if he had conducted a nation-wide opinion poll, and by going back and forth between values issue and the matter of tastes.

NOTE: This video shows one of the most popular Enka singers singing an Enka classic. Although the musical scale, chords, orchestration, instruments, and wardrobes are all borrowed from the West, though with a lot of Japanese twists, the whining melody and narcissistic, self-pitying lyrics are the representation of the "real Japanese soul" as they always say. The singer looks to be a man, but the words are those spoken by a geisha or bar hostess missing the guy who has run out on the disposable woman. The perverse inversion of sex is commonplace in Japanese "art" as you can see in Kabuki where male actors play the roles of women.

In my second last mail to him, I summarized how I define art as against rubbish:

"The Upper Paleolithic paintings on the walls of the Altamira Cave are an invaluable heritage of the civilization, whereas graffiti on the toilet walls are nothing but its excrement. You are absolutely right when you say there's no point in discussing personal tastes. If you have a propensity toward scatophilia, a mental disease also known as coprophilia, that's it, it can't be helped. But let's not call it a form of art."

I added: "I think you store books, from Manga to Goethe and CDs/DVDs from Beethoven to Enka in neatly compartmentalized shelves and racks. But I can't visualize the inside of your brain that has to be modularized in the same way as if you are a cyborg. For your information, I don't have such a problem because Bach, Brahms, Bartok, Schoenberg, Prokofiev, Jazz from the Big Band Era (1935-55), bebop, and even traditional pop music of America all belong in one and the same family. It's only after the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969 that something that has very little to do with music started to bring 'impurities' from the contexts of the African and Hispanic traditions into American music."

In the total absence of dialectical response from the guy, I challenged myself, on his behalf, saying: "He has a good reason to deny my art theory because I have yet to clarify the fundamental difference between art and toilet graffiti so he is convinced Enka has more to do with excrement than with civilization." I don't think I can define art after so many philosophers and artists have attempted to do so. But I think any commonsense definition serves our purposes. According to the website of "The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy," Immanuel Kant, for one, defines art as "a kind of representation that is purposive in itself and, though without an end, nevertheless promotes the cultivation of the mental powers for sociable communication." This is enough for our purposes except I wonder what German word SEP translated as "sociable."

To pursue something which is "purposive in itself" in this world, you've got to be very different from ordinary people. And yet, a mental aberration is not enough for artistic creation. The social climate along with its historical background is the key to the development of an innate talent.

Wynton Marsalis, who is often called a "purist," wrote in another paragraph of the NYT article quoted on the top of this post: "That myth [about the innate ability of early jazz musicians] is being perpetuated to this day by those who profess an openness to everything - an openness that in effect just shows contempt for the basic values of the music and our society. If everything is good, why should anyone subject himself to the pain of study? Their disdain for the specific knowledge that goes into jazz creation is their justification for saying everything has its place." All in all, Marsalis wanted to say that in a cultural climate where due respect to genuine artistic creation is replaced with fanatical flattering to noble savages, musical art is doomed to die down. The same applies to any other genre of art.

Take Mozart, for example. I don't want to talk about his operas, not just because The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni is not to my personal liking, but because we see little trace of purification of his innate property in these operatic works. He is known for his scatophilic bent, which should be interpreted as the sign of developmental failure, shown not only in his private life but also in music. That means his talent came into full bloom when he could "sublimate" his mental aberration with the help of musicians, conductors, and most importantly audiences including his patrons from the nobility of the 18th century. If these people surrounding him had tried to suppress his socially unacceptable trait, instead of helping him sublimate it, he might have ended up as a restroom painter. I see a certain similarity to the sublimation of the mental aberration of Mozart in the process of dialectical sublation in our debates. To borrow Karl Marx's way of explaining the dialectical process of the value-creating chain, we can say, "a musical piece which no one appreciates is potentially a musical piece but actually it's nothing more than a string of notes." The only difference lies with the fact that unlike an industrial product, music is "purposive in itself."

Today, this painstaking process is all gone everywhere. If you are one of those dupes, you will say marketers of consumer goods are still willing to listen to their customers so they stay attuned to the market and can develop a new product or a new version of the old product that meets their changing demand. In theory, that should be true. But in reality, you are absolutely wrong. The fact of the matter remains that consumers' demand is artificially created by manufacturers. In the industrialized world, consumers addicted to allegedly new products always remain consumers without getting involved in the value-creating process.

This is especially true with Japan. As I have repeatedly pointed out, the propaganda about 和魂洋才 (Japanese spirit and Western learning) drove the Japanese people into the causeless and unwinnable war. But since the war defeat, the same mindset has taken another devastating toll on the Japanese culture, if it still deserves to be called one. There's no sign their enthusiasm to "learn" from the West will subside anytime soon. They keep importing art pieces from the West only to put them in practical use. There is a German word Gebrauchsmusik which means music for practical use. But to the Japanese, every musical piece falls on this category. A good example is the 4th movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. In the last half century, they have been substituting it for the second national anthem, especially in December, although they don't understand a word in the lyrics written by Friedrich Schiller. Nothing is "purposive in itself" in this country.

In other words, they are just consuming Western art the same way they consume commodities. There are no appreciation, no dialectical interaction, no feedback, no sublimation, no sublation. As a natural consequence, these conformists have turned their country into a cultural wasteland, which is full of shit.

If you have used public restrooms on both sides of the pacific, you are impressed to know the walls in Japanese restrooms are as clean as white snow when compared to those in U.S. cities. There are two reasons.

The first reason is the national disease, germophobia. I think all Japanese are pathologically obsessed with cleanliness because of the myth of homogeneity and their xenophobic fear that foreign visitors may notice they remain uncultivated despite their appearance like modern citizens. Besides, no other nation has a more suppressive culture than Japan. Day and night throughout the year, people are practicing the old wisdom that goes, "The nail that sticks out must be hammered down." This way, they try to nip the slightest sign of aberration in the bud. But it's an unattainable goal to purify the nation of all germs. Actually, the population of lingerie thefts and voyeurs is enormous here. And believe it or not, a good part of these perverts are well-educated people like university professors or company executives. But take it easy, every city across the nation retains a big crew of professional toilet cleaners. If you draw an obscene picture or calligraphy on the toilet wall, it will be wiped out by the end of the day.

Another reason public restrooms in Japan are relatively clean is because people don't have to vent their perverse frustration in the restrooms. This cultural climate always embraces un-sublimated mental aberration on the condition they act as noble savages who observe the basic rules of this society.

These are how I distinguish art from crap. In his last mail, the other end of our non-dialectical discussion wrote: "I assure you I'll come back as soon as I find time." I don't know if he finds time before I die. But I don't really care because if he will have realized by then art is something that "promotes the cultivation of the mental powers" and that Enka doesn't help him break his fixation to the traumatic past, that won't make any difference to the imperial shithouse we live in. I will feel contented, though, as a self-styled shrink, because what else could I have done?

I used to be a bookworm, but not anymore because my eyesight is quickly deteriorating. That only leaves me with music. That's why I'm extremely fussy about music. When I was younger (19 to 70 years of age,) I sang songs, played them on the piano, the guitar, and some other instruments, and danced to them. Now the only way I can derive enjoyment from good music is to listen. If I have a problem in that respect, it's the fact I can't afford to buy a CD or DVD, or have the broken removable-disk drive of my computer fixed.

A surprisingly large number of people say they want to die listening to Mozart, Oscar Peterson, or the like. It's laughable because love of music is love of life. Music is one of the few things that made my life worth living or will make my last days more tolerable. It has absolutely nothing to do with death. I'll stop loving music one day before I die. But until then, I'll look for good music.

Several weeks ago, I accidentally hit performances of a contemporary group of "Western swing" named "Hot Club of Cowtown" when I was doing video-mining on YouTube. (Look at the video embedded below.) I hadn't heard the name before, but it was a pleasant surprise to know that there still are a small number of people who carry on the tradition of the American music 44 years after the Woodstock disaster. Aside from the unparalleled virtuosity displayed by the fiddler, the guitarists (including Frank Vignola as a guest,) and the "slap" bassist, I was deeply impressed by their "zero-impurity" music. Each of them is enjoying the music, nothing else, while sharing the joy with other members and the audience. And the audience doesn't have to be urged to applaud. Real spontaneity we can never expect from noble savages and their followers is what their music is all about.

I think I will further talk about Hot Club of Cowtown in a separate post in comparison with "AKB48", Japan's most popular group of supposedly cute girls who sing and dance exactly as they are schooled.
 



TO BE CONTINUED TO THE FOLLOW-UP PIECE ·

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A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: Diogenes on Friday, April 26 2013 @ 10:29 PM JST
What a wonderful piece. Your example in the beginning, where you compare the cave drawings at Altamira, Spain and American toilet “art,” are one of the best juxtapositions I've seen in years. It could easily transition to the ideals of early governments, filled with high ideals, and then the inevitable decay and cancer, leading to the stench of death.

You mentioned the German term: “Gebrauchsmusik which means music for practical use,” and you also mentioned an approximate date when music as an art form appears to have ceased to contain any art. There is some evidence that this transformation was engineered “for practical use.”

An investigative reporter named Dave McGowan wrote a series of articles about the deliberate engineering of the so-called Hippie Movement, having its roots in Laurel Canyon, California.
http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/index.html These “hippies” appeared to come out of nowhere and this anti-culture/culture swept the country. Simultaneously, the alternative music movements emerged, challenging the swing and older forms of music. This does not include innovators like Elvis Presley, who borrowed from black singers like Big Momma Thornton's “You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog,” giving it a new life as rock and roll. But this new Laurel Canyon music was not rock and roll. While it might be traditionally sheltered under that umbrella, it was, according to McGowan's research, engineered to aid the House of War. Most of the musicians associated with the Laurel Canyon groups had family roots in the military, in other words, these were army and intelligence agency brats. And, not just some of the lyrics, but the behavior of the musicians were examples for the young and impressionable, with a green light given to challenging conventional morality, but also to consuming the simultaneously emerging soft drugs that induce feelings of peace and relaxation of ambition, as well as the hallucinogenic drugs that allow a person to literally escape, or as the saying at the time was: go on a trip. There was even a crude cult film staring Peter Fonda and bearing the title “The Trip.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trip_%281967_film%29 Induction of the avoidance of political reality was the goal, and it worked on most of the young people. (It's no accident that marijuana has now been legalized in several American states, and that Obama has ordered the Justice Department to lay off enforcement of federal drug laws. They have plans, and a population living in a drug induced euphoria will self-neutralize any resistance before it even gets inseminated.)

What McGowan describes is a period when the House of War—the Pentagon and their killer enablers in government—were getting some real resistance to their plans of global theft and rapine. The state had to neutralize this nascent movement that was growing more powerful every week, challenging the authority of the state. The problem was how. F.B.I. Director, J. Edgar Hoover used Operation COINTELPRO to subvert the black radical movements inside the country, but the bigger challenge was the growing threat to the state by average, as well as rich, white kids, who didn't want to be sent thousands of miles to a foreign country for no apparent reason. There was literally no threat to the U.S.--zero. It was obvious, and everyone knew someone who either had been killed or wounded and returned to tell their tale.

Then, there's the evidence of Paul McCartney being replaced by a double. If you examine this link, and go through all the evidence, it seems quite likely that the Paul we know today is really Faul (fake Paul).
http://www.checktheevidence.co.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=345&Itemid=83

American attorney and researcher Tina Foster hypothesizes that Paul had to go because he wouldn't go along with being an advocate for drugs, which was antithetical to the Laural Canyon groups' raison d'etre. She quotes him saying as much in an interview, which is linked.

What, you say, this isn't possible. It's madness to think that a whole society can be manipulated like you've described. Yeah, and it's just a coincidence that most people in the world wear jeans and T-shirts with ads on them, and wear Nike shoes.

The Hot Club of Cowtown reminded me of Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpmOTGungnA It's got the same feel to me. The AKB48 is equal to the vomitus of Lada Gaga and other music industry creations. I won't go into the intent of their mind control agenda, but it is just a pernicious as the '60s was, but for the most part, it glides easily under the threshold of most homes, infecting the young, vulnerable, and easily duped.

Finally, you might find this interview with jazz great Gilad Atzmon worth reading.
http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/silvia-cattori-with-gilad-atzmon.html Not only is he one of the greatest sax players in modern times, he also has a Ph.D in Philosophy and, like you, is a cultural critic of his former country, Israel. His book, “The Wandering Who,” is brilliant.
A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Saturday, April 27 2013 @ 07:06 AM JST

I really appreciated your informative, insightful and intriguing comments.

Especially your Laurel Canyon perspective is very interesting. In the next couple of days, I'll closely study Dave McGowan's site.

As for Paul McCartney, I couldn't care less whether or not the allegations made by the CheckTheEvidence.com is true. As I told you before, I didn't like the former Beatle in the first place. By the same token, I don't care, either, if the Apollo moon landing was a hoax.

Yes, I also see in the Hot Club of Cowtown something somewhat reminiscent of Django Reinhardt. But as you may understand when you reach my age, my frame of mind right now doesn't accept the melancholic scale particular to the Gypsy.

I'll also study the Gilad Atzmon interview on the website you gave us a link to. In the interim, though, I'm very skeptical about the idea that something really new will emerge by blending two different cultures. At the beginning of the interview, Atzmon says he is currently attempting to "integrate the oriental sound into jazz and vice versa." Many artists, including Toshiko Akiyoshi and our favorite Dave Brubeck, have tried this in the past, but no one has ever really succeeded. They all ended up with a jumble of incongruous elements or a potpourri. I've called it "the curse of multiplication." Like Wynton Marsalis, I am a purist, i.e. traditionalist. It's unimaginable that we can transcend the chasm between two different cultures which have their own histories. This is not to say a culture should, and can, avoid influences from other cultures.

Although we don't always view things in the same way, I hope you keep thought-provoking comments like this one coming in the future. I can always learn many things from intelligent people like you.

Yu Yamamoto
A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: samwidge on Sunday, April 28 2013 @ 10:02 AM JST

Mr. Yamamoto,

I can understand your idea that you have not made, "... a bit of difference to the political discourse in and between the United States and Japan. Nonetheless, you are wrong. You certainly have opened me up to new ideas on the matter. I have shared your ideas with others and you changed them, too. There is no doubt in my mind that there are thousands more who benefit as well.

You have often mentioned Gordon Chang. Mr. Chang does well at telling people how things are and he makes some personal profit at it. You, on the other hand, tell people how to ask questions. You encourage people to think for themselves. The world needs that far more.

You seem to do this in every dimension. Today you mentioned Enka.

Well. You did it to me again. You made me look it up. I heard new tunes and discovered a way of musical thinking that I had never imagined. Thanks for that!

And you startle me and make me study when you say things like, "... you are impressed to know walls in Japanese restrooms are as clean as white snow when compared to those in U.S. cities." I was amazed to realize this truth. In my late-in-life jobs. I have cleaned many restrooms and learned that Chinese restaurants in the U.S. have a terrible reputation for dirt. I foolishly assumed that Japanese restrooms would be the same. I searched and found wonderful restroom cleanliness in Japanese-owned restaurants. That is not so much germophobia as it is salesmanship of the highest order.

As a resident of an old folks' home I watch illnesses come and go. Failures of cleanliness in public restrooms seem linked to early deaths of geriatrics.

Once again, one of your short statements on Tokyo Free Press is sure to make somebody improve cleanliness habits. Thanks to you for that (despite your feelings about Japanese germophobia).

As always, your comments do not force people to think as you do. They force people to ask questions. Questions are the greatest gift.

In the case of AKB48, I was stunned to realize just how original some teacher is. If an American entertainer were to learn a few of these tricks, that person could double or triple his/her income. Those tricks can make us think for ourselves. I won't be listening to AKB48 at great length because the sound is aimed at very young children and I am not one of those. Nonetheless, this special marketing technique impresses me deeply.

Keep making me ask questions.
A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Sunday, April 28 2013 @ 07:19 PM JST

Thank you very much for posting the interesting comment when you are tied up with another question. (Or is it an answer?)

Yes, you are right, I've been advocating the importance of asking questions for many years. But you are wrong, because you forget my explanation about why asking questions is much more important than answering them.

Reason: A clearly identified question already includes the correct answer in it.

In this essay, for instance, I asked what separates art from crap. My own answer to that question is it's the same thing that separates the Hot Club of Cowtown from AKB48. So it's not that your answer is wrong when you say AKB48 is awesome. You think the Japanese kids are cool because you mistook my question. I talked about art such as the paintings in the Altamira Cave, but now you are talking about art of making money.

I promise I won't let you down in the follow-up post because I'm going to touch on that aspect, i.e. music as show business, as well. So look forward to it.

AKB48 is a cash cow for one of those talent agencies, which are more or less affiliated with yakuza syndicates. And as you may know, the most profitable line of yakuza business is the pedophilic exploitation of young women.

I don't know how easily you can buy cheap sex in your state, but as I said in this post nine years ago, prostitution in Japan is a subtly legitimized and highly institutionalized business because of the Anti-prostitution Law enacted in 1956 at the height of the syphilis epidemic. Just like the Prohibition Act of 1920 made Mafia business highly profitable in the U.S., Japan's Anti-prostitution Law has helped yakuza profit from TIP (U.S. State Department's jargon meaning trafficking in persons) more than ever. Now "prostitutes who don't think they are prostitutes" are everywhere in this country as a French correspondent once observed. The dozens of these cuties of AKB48 are among them, although unlike in the South Korean show business, these poor kids seldom sell sex in the open.

So I'm inclined to distinguish music as an art form from the art of making money. These are what I wanted to tell my audience. If you don't like my question and/or answer, it can't be helped.

Yu Yamamoto
A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: samwidge on Monday, April 29 2013 @ 07:05 AM JST

I like both your question and your answer. They are extraordinarily complex and I can only address parts, not the whole.

You said, "A clearly identified question already includes the correct answer in it." That's a very interesting idea! I shall spend much time absorbing this approach. I view questions (with or without single, correct answers) differently; For me every question has merit because any one question can have millions of answers and if there are wrong answers, even they can lead you to whole new ways of beneficial thinking.

Frankly, your "art from crap" is new to me. I view everything as having some kind of value, as having some kind of ability to please me while educating me. In my terms, life is just a long string of choices between good and better.

I've been viewing some black gospel music. The voices are cracked and stumbling. The faces are wrinkled and difficult to read.

Those are downsides (if there are any downsides at all). The upsides are found in fervor, rhythm and syncopation, style, cheer and also in community spirit.

For me, the best way to judge the strength of art comes in discovering its value to me. As an amateur photographer I can see a natural, preexistent thing and add art to it in the way I frame images with the edges of the camera's rectangular view. Nothing is ever crap.

I can appreciate your view that AKB48 is a cash cow and that the kids may be selling sex with their undeniable sexuality. Nonetheless I find pleasure in the entire assembled product. AKB48 is far more complex than any chess game and I can absorb the majority of it within three minutes.

There is little if any paid sex in Montana. Sex is as free as most art is free but not all sex is particularly good. Your observation of the pervasiveness of paid sex in Japan is very interesting. This is a big subject and I think that your readers will be very pleased to get more of your thoughts on those parts of sex that are art and those we treasure for pleasure.

In the case of your article today, you are correct in that you are, "... inclined to distinguish music as an art form from the art of making money." In other cases they cannot be distinguished. For instance with Disney there is Minnie and Mickey Mouse and the fact that the two characters are female and male in the entertainment business makes them sex and art for money.

Thanks for writing articles that make me think.
A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: Diogenes on Monday, April 29 2013 @ 09:41 AM JST
"As for Paul McCartney, I couldn't care less whether or not the allegations made by the CheckTheEvidence.com is true. As I told you before, I didn't like the former Beatle in the first place. By the same token, I don't care, either, if the Apollo moon landing was a hoax."

If you refuse to see the awesome implications of what this means, then it seems pointless for me to continue posting comments here. This kind of attitude is why the world is going to be screwed with a rusty nail and not know why.
A purist point of view: What art is - and isn't
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Wednesday, May 01 2013 @ 08:25 AM JST

At first, I thought I’d just ignore your second post as a slip of the tongue or fingertip. But on second thought, I realized it would run counter to my principle to wink at your zero-tolerance statements because they are as harmful as an unprincipled attitude that tolerates everything. So let me reply to your comments on the premise that these were deliberate statements.

1. In my reply to your first post, I wrote: “In the next couple of days, I'll closely study Dave McGowan's site.” I thought you gave us the link simply because you wanted to enlighten ignoramuses like me. Yes, you are right: as is the case with Socrates, all I know is that I know nothing. But without giving me the time to study what McGowan has to say, you now declare: “If you refuse to see the awesome implications of what this means, then it seems pointless for me to continue posting comments here.” This is unfair, to say the least.

2. We were talking about music, not politics, when I wrote: “As for Paul McCartney, I couldn't care less whether or not the allegations made by the CheckTheEvidence.com is true. As I told you before, I didn't like the former Beatle in the first place.” Now you talk about “the awesome implications” of this allegation that McCartney we see today is a double, without telling me exactly what implications are there for me, or my country, Japan. Despite the airtight censorship, we are more or less aware that secret elimination of members of the imperial family and other political figures has been commonplace in the last 13 centuries. More often than not, these conspirators have used doubles, and more recently, even a clone or two. Apparently, similar things have happened in the Chinese Continent and the Korean Peninsula, although our time is too limited to delve into the histories of other countries in the region. I wouldn’t call you an ignoramus just because you know absolutely nothing about the fact that we Northeast Asians are already fully immunized against the "enormous implications" of conspiracies in the last three millenniums. OK, just for argument’s sake, I admit I’m an ignoramus, and you are not. Now, please educate me on exactly what link you see between the allegation that the former Beatle has been replaced with someone else and undeserved suffering we Japanese have had to endure in the last one and a half centuries. And, tell me what exactly we can do to undo the consequences of these conspiracies. Equally important, you have to tell me what exactly has been done on your side to the same end thus far.

3. For the same reason, I ask you to educate me on exactly what has resulted from the alleged Apollo hoax in the lives of the Japanese people. Or do you think that doesn’t matter because the world is still revolving around the United States of America, or any other nation built by the descendants of “the double of Jesus of Nazareth” as McGowan seems to believe? Or is it all in the brain of an intellectual despot living in the cultural wasteland named America?
Just for your reference, I've never spoken for or against conspiracy theories. If you think I have, take a look at this essay I wrote one year ago.

Bear in mind the door to my website is always wide open to any level-headed person, until I "croak," that is, if I may borrow the fancy word from your mail.

Yu Yamamoto