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March/April 2009

The BT Guide to Political Correctness


globe 2-3 people 4-6 music &movies 7-8

bulletin board 10-13 stories & comics 14-17

message from the editors:

BLACK TAXI

contents

We at the BT try our best not to offend. Despite a high frequency of "That's what she said" oneliners and an affinity for the word "Vagina', we'd rather not make anyone uncomfortable. As Japanese society is rooted in politeness we see crudeness, bluntness and all things tacky as an affront to the community we live in. And yet...we feel the urge to wear t-shirts that show a little collarbone and wear outdoor shoes inside. So, in honor of April Fools Day, we encouraged you to mock the politically correct lines we straddle (that's what she said), in Japan and around the world. We hope you find this month's issue informative and instructive. Happy Reading!


Globe

what the world needs now is manners

By Jessica Tisch

GLOBE

Sotsugyo Shiki Shimane Styles

Want to submit to the Black Taxi? E-mail your articles, news, poetry, rants, comics, photos and reviews to shimane.blacktaxi@gmail. com we’ll publish your submissions wether we like what you wrote or not. how’s that for customer service?

At exactly 8:30am Kouchou sensei and Kyoto sensei entered the staff room as usual, only Kouchou sensei has traded his standard “Go For It” Gotsu Koukou blue jacket and 5cm-too-short beige cargo pants for a tuxedo with tails (of course with the usual white ankle socks and slip on sandals). The meeting takes longer today - around seven minutes and then I ask what we’re supposed to do until the ceremony starts - I’m told to just sit and wait. Over the next hour everyone else changes out of their matching “Go For It” jackets into their drab black suits and ties. Luckily I’d heard that horror story (fact or fiction I’m not sure) of the ALT who turned up to Graduation Ceremony wearing a pink skirt, and knew better and wore my black suit, with black underneath, just to be safe. At precisely 9:40am we depart the staff room for the gym and take our seats in the appropriate place. The gym was freezing as per usual, but they were out to impress and had hired some blasting gas heaters which were kindly parked near the parents and PTA – but nowhere near the teachers or students. I’m sure you all know what comes next, after attending two identical ceremonies at different schools on consecutive days I’m confident they must be the same everywhere, well at High Schools at least. We started by singing the Japanese National Anthem, which I had practiced the night before singing along to the You Tube version and had written out in Hiragana on a piece of paper that I clutched. After a series of bowing to the PTA, students, teachers, flag, kouchou sensei each graduating student got to stand up after their name was called and shout “Hai” before a representative went and collected their certificates from him. This was really different to my own high school’s final prizegiving where every graduating student walked across stage to a stadium full of warm applause, cheering and whistling. There were no rewards for academic, cultural or sporting excellence, nor scholarships awarded, and the climax of my own school prizegiving – the announcement of proximate accessit and dux – was nowhere to be seen. It appeared the student representative who spoke made quite a moving speech and from what I could understand spoke a lot about how baseball has shaped his life and made him a better person. I don’t really see that this applies so much to the other 99 graduating students though. The rest of the ceremony included a few more speeches and Omedetou Gozaimasus from the PTA members,

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GLOBE

Globe

what the world needs now is manners

Sotsugyo Shiki Shimane Styles Cont.

singing the school song and clapping the students out of the gym. The only sign of any rebellion was the one student who punched his hand into the air as he walked down the aisle out of the gym. You should’ve seen the scowls on the faces of the teachers surrounding me. After five minutes of clapping it was over and the teachers wandered back to the staff room and I wondered what to do for the next seven hours until we could start drinking. If I had my say I would’ve called wine o’clock straight after all the parents and students had left the building, but no, there was club to be had as usual and other important looking tasks to be done. I joined in on my graduating Englishcourse students final home room class which was far more personalised and definitely a more emotive environment – lots of laughing, clapping, crying, reflecting and plenty of cameras lined up for photos. When I asked the students what they would do to celebrate, they said they were off to Wille for dinner (the only buffet restaurant in Gotsu – 3rd floor of Green Mall). I can’t remember what we did on the night of my school’s final prizegiving – but I’m pretty sure it would have included a few sausies on the barbie and cask wine drunken from disposable cups. This was preceeded by an official cocktail party for teachers, students and parents. When the end of the day rolled around we headed to the nearest function centre for the enkai (there’s only two places in Gotsu big enough to seat all the staff – the other, Wako Hotel we used in November last year for another event). We were in a stuffy, oversized bland room with faded patterned carpet and seated in an arrangement reminiscent of a wedding. The four homeroom teachers were at the bridal table and the guests were seated according to a pre-arranged seating plan. The

guests’ round tables also appeared to be ordered with the more important people toward the front next to the non-drinkers, the boozehag table midway (yes, that’s where they put me) and the loud, drunken more mature male teachers at the far back. The rest of the night went much like any other enkai – people getting up mid-meal to go and talk to the bridal table; pouring drinks left, right and centre except their own; and generally being anywhere but in their seat – lucky for them it was washoku, so no chance of the food getting cold. I however, sat in my seat for the entireity of my meal and made my moves at a more appropriate time I thought – timed nicely with a necessary trip to the ladies. With only half an hour left of drinking time people started downing them quicker and despite my depleating enthusiasm, had to remain on the ball to ensure my tablemates drinks were never below the three-quarters full capacity. I think they had a harder time keeping up with me than I did with them. Lengthy speeches then came from nearly every staff member and when very little time remained Miyahara sensei announced that the last speech would come from Jessu! I nearly fell off my chair, and my insistence on my tablemates to quickly come up with something appropriate to say in Japanese failed. So I stood and said all I could come up with at that stage of the night “Omedetou Gozaimasu. Nijikai ni ikimashoo!!” So in the party bus off to the nijikai we went …

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PEOPLE

People

keeping your comments inoffensive

A woman has 3 kids. 1 named Rose, 1 named Daisy and 1 named Brick. What did the leper say to the prostitute? One day, Rose asked her mother, “Why is my name Rose?”

Her mother replied: “It’s because when you were a baby, we were in a garden, and a rose petal fell and landed gently in your hair.” The next day, Daisy asked her mother, “Why is my name Daisy?”

Her mother said: “It’s because when you were a baby, we were in a garden, and a daisy petal fell and landed gently on your forehead.”

Keep the tip.

- Greg Ferguson

Why can’t Helen Keller dance? Because she’s dead. - Trixie Cordova

The next day, Brick says to her mother, “Mmmmmuurrrrhhh”. . - Lauren Trimble

Jokes for polite company

George Washington, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are in a sinking boat.

le boy see Why couldn’t the litt the Pirate Movie? RRR. Because it was rated AA -Kristin Powers

George Washington yells out, “Women and children first!” George W. Bush yells, “Screw the women!”

Bill Clinton says, “Would we have time for that?!” - Anonymous

Why don’t women need umbrellas? Because it doesn’ t rain between th e kitchen and the bedroom . - Anonymous

om?

aper a bathro

allp oes it take w d n e m y n a How m slice thinly Three if you s - Anonymou

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PEOPLE

People

niceness is as niceness does

Slap the Other Cheek By: Declann Harris

The moment I read about the Naked Man Festival, Hadaka Matsuri, in the BB I knew this was some sort of crazy madness I had to get involved with. And I have no regrets that I did. Wearing a sumo wrestlers underpants has always been a boyhood dream of mine. I just couldn’t let the ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity slip me by, whether it be cold, freezing. The ride out to Okayama with Megan and Jess was somewhat sedate in comparison to the whole weekend. Although we did experience some strangeness. A Toyota Hilux laden with the biggest ghetto boom-blaster speakers you have ever seen in your life came blaring past us, several times. The best part is it was playing the greatest selection of polyphonic tunes heard by mankind. We also saw a truck overloaded with bicycles. It didn’t take long after arriving in Okayama to get that trusty Dutch courage in me. I needed it, to calm my nerves of steel. The Dutch courage soon morphed me into a stumbling oaf, just about the time I had to don my fundoshi (all video evidence has been destroyed). From there on the evening melds into a long sequence of broken events:

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Running through the streets of Okayama wearing a glorified g-string shouting whoshi-whoshi. Butt slapping. Running through freezing water (apparently it’s purifying. I thought it was cold and muddy). Butt slap! Whoshi-whoshi! Another whoshi-whoshi and a butt slap. Into the Saidaiji Temple. A quick butt slap before arms up. Bodies swaying and being crimped. The skin on the top of my feet being sanded and ground off (I still have scabs). Bodies crimped and swaying. “Ok, time to beat it!” Lights out. “Damn!” Most serious body crimping. No 50 million Yen stick in sight. “When is this going to end?” And then all of a sudden a sense of relief ran over my body as the palpable tension started to abate. It took a while before I found our gang and we started sharing our war stories and battle scars (scratches count). The beers, sake and soba noodles were sweetened with Blake’s victory of securing a bundle of the sacred lucky Shingi sticks. Well done Blake! It was about this time I decided the camaraderie and fellowship in this pseudo battle I shared with these sterling gents would make it totally worth it next year. Brent, Yukes, Dan, Jeff, Paul, Tadashi and Blake. I look forward to our rendezvous next year.


PEOPLE

People

and now, Regina Durr tells you her reasons for ::

Justifying Another Year

I am at a crossroads. I, like most other JETs, signed a letter in February committing another year of my life to the countryside. I am a city girl, through and through who has yet to commit to anyone on Valentine’s Day. I like my heels and shops, having Thai one night and Spanish the next, attending a dazzling acrobatic show before hitting the town at night surrounded by people my age, sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop on a lazy day, and always having something to do with someone new. What the hell am I doing? I don’t even remember the name of my favorite mixed-drink. And everyone that I know knows everyone I know. Eight months in and I have already done everything on my ‘To Do List’. I saw the over-hyped Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, the nearly diseased deer of Nara, Osaka Castle complete with its elevator, and rode on camels in the sand dunes of Tottori. I ran a marathon in a less-than-expected time, soaked in all sorts of herbal onsens, and went to practically every summer festival within an hour radius. I know the best place to get frozen fruits, fresh vegetables, and apple wine in Matsue (three different shops each of which is on the opposite side of town). And yes, I could probably tell you how to navigate around town without hitting any traffic lights- because yes, that is how iinaka we are. So, 16 more months? What the hall am I doing? And how the hell have these people before me survived? This was a puzzling list to create, after two pointless movies later I finally had an idea. I am going to do some stupid little things that I want to do at some point in my life. I have the time. I now plan to attend a horserace as if it were the Kentucky Derby, get pumped up for a baseball game, and grow some balls attending a Formula1 event. Throw in hiking Mount Fuji, eating noodles from a stream, and something called ‘shower climbing’ and it’s going to be a great year. Maybe even finish what I started in America- skydiving. While we all are scampering to find a way to justify another year personally, I challenge you to do something unordinary or ordinary. Get a few people and just enjoy living in Japan. Sure some people might not float your boat, but it’s better than sitting by your lonesome. They might even end up surprising you. In the words of my 3rd year students: Ganbatte minasan, you can do it! -Regina On a side note- let me know if you want to come with!

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Movies

all the best PG films out there

Les Maisons en Petits Cubes Reviewed By: Greg Ferguson

MOVIES

&MUSIC

No man is an island, so the saying goes, but in writer/director Kunio Katô’s “Les maisons en petits cubes,” loneliness quite indiscriminately sets each of us adrift. At first, the titular houses (maisons) look like icebergs, peeking – or peaking – ever-soslightly out from the surface of a large body of water. Then we see an elderly man, alone, sitting in a warmly-lit room at the top of his own house, perched like an ice fisher over a trapdoor in the floor by his fireplace with a fishing pole. After a quick glance around his lonesome place, it begins to dawn that he is a widower. Sometimes he scoots about the surface by boat, collecting materials to aid in a towering bricklaying project he’s got going on top of his house, but most of the time he investigates the depths of the hole in his room. Eventually finding the gumption – if not the necessity – to fit himself into a wetsuit and plunge way down, the man, to his surprise, finds himself in

ahead for him? I like to think that the film is gentle reminder that though we may enjoy the company of people for some length of time throughout our lives, we must all at one point occupy a lonely room in a house with nothing but a rising sea of memories to keep us afloat. Just as the body is mostly made up of water, so too are we mostly made up of our memories in the end; enough to drown in, if we’re not careful, and in constant need of being replenished if we’re to endure. Perhaps by pouring an extra glass of wine, a drink that only tastes better with age, the man is taking special care to preserve the memory of his wife, the one person it would seem with whom his past is inextricably braided. I don’t much know myself – I can only speculate – but I certainly felt a strong desire to find my loved ones after watching this film and tell them how much I care about them. I jumped ahead of myself and began to miss the things and people I haven’t lost to time yet. One day I may be a lonely old man with a fishing pole and decades of water, but until then I have a life to live and cherish. Katô, who until now had been a total unknown to me, has just now become the deserving recipient of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his work here. By the looks of things on YouTube, he has already produced a relatively short yet fascinating filmography and has amassed a devoted following of animation fans. Hopefully this recent recognition will open him up to an even wider audience. “La maison en petits cubes” is a remarkable film and it would be a shame if it and Katô were themselves ever lost in our collective memory.

the last home he previously occupied, flooded with water and flooded by memories. It too has a trapdoor leading down to another old house, and on and on stretching all the way back to his beginning. With an animation style similar to that of “The Triplets Of Belleville,” Katô’s humble story also regards human life with a certain degree of frailty. As the man delves deeper and deeper into the abyss and further and further back in his memory, the sense of loss is staggering and, poignantly, inevitable. Children are meant to grow up to raise families of their own, and one spouse most always has to pass away before the other. It’s not entirely clear just what the man is thinking or feeling as he revisits his past. Picking up a framed photograph of his wife, he quite visibly misses her and their married life, but as he lifts the hatch on his childhood, he appears surprised by what has been buried and waterlogged by time. The ending is even more puzzling as he emerges from the water and sets the table for dinner. Pouring not one but two glasses of wine, we’re left wondering what he has concluded, and what does he believe lies

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Music

the most innocuous tunes we could find

Emily the Album Whore

By: Emily McBride

MOVIES & MUSIC

Hi Shimaneans, Emily, the album whore here with you again. Unfortunately, the album whore has a MASSIVE backlog of fantastic music that she wants you to know about, so she will let you know little by little, as that’s all she can manage. She needs time to listen to her albums dammit. Enjoy this installment.

Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke (Australia) Modular Records New Zealander is my new favourite singer speak. Ladyhawke a.k.a. Pip Brown is HOT, in an offbeat, 80s non-trend way. Plus I love her hats. Ladyhawke and Agyness Deyn would make a great couple…or best friends. Maybe they are… Modular can be proud of this one. Although, they can be proud of all their artists (its no secret, I’m having a long term love affair with Modular Records). Nonetheless, Ladyhawke is a great (relatively) new artist, who has already come and gone to Japan. Her 80s style indie/dance music is taking everywhere by storm, with some fantastic remixes flowering from it. He band still possesses that raw guitar sound, while adding a bit of electro tickle. Pip’s vocals are very natural and a little sexy, which adds to the simplicity of her music. Highlights include My Delirium, Paris is Burning, Dusk Till Dawn, and just about everything else really. This album plays like a soundtrack to a good 80s teen movie (yes, they are good), with the final track Morning Dreams perfect to end with the credits rolling. Full credit to Ladyhawke. Worth it? It’s so uncomplicated…get it. Empire of the Sun – Walking on A Dream (Australia ) EMI This is the perfect match we’ve been waiting for! A couple of issues back we looked at Pnau’s self titled craziness. Since that one haunting track with Luke Steele’s mesmerising vocals, a real phenomenon has formed. Luke of Sleepy Jackson fame, and Nick Littlemore, the Pnau of latter days, have teamed up – for real – as Empire of the Sun (named after the 1984 novel). Together, they toss a bowl of electro, dance, alternative, indie and ballad.Would you like dressing with that? Maybe on my second helping. The first is plenty to fill me up. The actual verdict? I screamingly love it! Not only are the songs unique, but so are their music videos, first two being filmed dressed in futuristic outer world gear in the outlandish areas of Shanghai and Mexico. You really ought to see them. It’s fantastically ridiculous. Anyway, enough of that. These guys are worthy, and the stand out tracks for me are Standing on the Shore,Walking on a Dream, Half Mast,We Are the People and Without You. On a side note, I couldn’t understand Luke’s lyrics, but I fell so hard for these guys, I HAD to look them up. Is it right now, for two people to become one…? Worth it? I. Am. In. Love. End.

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Bloc Party – Intimacy (UK) Wichita Some may argue with me, but I think this is a “Bloc hard” album. Solid. I have to say I was a little disappointed with a Weekend in the City (only a little). After a great raw sound from Silent Alarm, I felt the second album was a little jaded. My love for the boys has never failed though. However, my full complete faith has been restored with this wholehearted raw electro rock-edged sound. Bloc Party never fails to surprise me with their ever fresh sound, like nothing we’ve heard before. I feel Kele has bottled teenage angst in a vile and injects it through his veins every time he beats out the next tune. The old sorrowful undertone is still there in all their sounds, but with the added electronic beats. The band says that electronic music and recent club culture influenced them a lot on this latest work of art: Something you can dance to. Certainly true, I say. I honestly love every track on this album. It’s hard to pick favourites but if I HAVE to (because I have to), I get so much fierce energy from Ares’ screaming guitars, drums and lullaby sounds, and Signs make me feel so involved. Worth it? Repeat.Yes.


BULLETIN BOARD

Bulletin

everything you want to know, and everywhere you need to be

SWM seeking voyeurs that like pointy objects and appreciate a good ride ;)

Ok, ok, so maybe he won’t be there. But come out to Tsuwano for the annual Yabusame event! Join YamaguchiAJET for this annual event of camping in Yurt-style tents, followed by horseback archery in a beautiful cherry blossom setting! Saturday, April 11th - Sunday, April 12th In Ato, Yamaguchi and Tsuwano, Shimane Cost: 2000 yen e-mail shimaneajet@gmail.com by Sunday April 5th to join in on the good times.

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BULLETIN BOARD

Bulletin

everything you want to know, and everywhere you need to be

www.fmylife.com

We here at the Black Taxi are all for product placement. If we were a television show we’d be sippin’ Aquarius in front of YouMe town, all while sporting that top-selling Anpanman backpack/lunch box combo. Our favorite thing of late is a little website called www. fmylife.com Heard of it?

It’s a website comprised of 1-3 sentence submissions by any and all readers. Some are clearly written by high school students, others by old married farts. Each entry recalls something pathetic, sad or just messed up, and is completed with the 3 letters FML = f**k my life.

Today, I was teaching a swimming lesson to 6-7 year old boys and girls. I recently broke up with my boyfriend so I haven’t been taking care of my bikini line. While I was demonstrating how to do a whip-kick out of the water one of the boys said, “You have a beard coming out of your bathing suit!” FML

Today, I received my passport in the mail. They got my birth date wrong. Then I picked up my birth certificate that I had sent in with the application. Turns out my parents have been celebrating my birthday on the wrong day for 16 years. FML

The stories told have elicited the following reactions from this BT editor: “Eww, that’s sick.” “Awwww, that’s just mean.” “Oh SHIT that’s HELLLLA funny!” And of course, “Oh HELLLLL no, that’s FUCKED UP.” And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are my top FML picks. Enjoy.

Today, I went to a birthday party for my friend’s daughter. I picked up a gift for the girl and another for her parents. I got the mother a cute little garden stone that read, “What our children see in the world depends on what we show them.” Later, I found out her daughter is blind. FML Today, I was talked into having sex with my boyfriend of 4 years. I had always wanted to wait till marriage but my boyfriend convinced me otherwise. Once we were done, he said he could never marry me because I was no longer pure. FML

Today, this really attractive woman that I’ve known for years told me that when I can have sex with her standing up, she’ll have sex with me. I’m confined to a wheelchair. FML Today, I had to make a family tree for one of my classes. When I was going through it, I realized that both my parents have the same last name. So, I asked them about it and they told me that they are second cousins. FMLToday,

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BULLETIN BOARD

Bulletin

everything you want to know, and everywhere you need to be

I went to my first strip club for my friends birthday. I also found out what my girlfriend does for a living. FML

Today, my fiancee broke up with me. Via a myspace message. While we were in the same apartment. FML Today, my mom walked in on me looking at a 1978 playboy. She asked if I found it in the basement. I said yes. Then I realized she was the centerfold. FML

Today, I went on a walk with the guy I like. He held my hand, so I decided to tell him that I had feelings for him. He said that he had feelings for me too. I smiled and leaned in to kiss him. He put his hand on my face and pushed it away, and said “until your acne clears, we are NOT together.” FML Today, I was going down on a girl. When I looked up she was texting. FML

Today, my parents gave me a shirt from Banana Republic for my birthday. It looked like one I had bought for myself a couple of days earlier but I thanked them and went to hang it in my closet. An empty hanger hung where I placed the shirt I had purchased. They gave me my shirt for my birthday. FML

Today, I decided to tell my mom about my choice to wait to have sex until after marriage. Coming from a very christian family I thought she would be proud. Instead she laughed and said, “is that your excuse for not being able to get laid?” and walked out of the room. FML Today, I was walking along the street and passed a young couple. Over my shoulder I heard the girl say to her boyfriend “Would you still love me if I looked like her?” FML

Today, my girlfriend dumped me for someone else. An hour earlier I had just gotten permission from her dad to propose. FML Today, I got a text message. It said, “I’m so drunk. What you up to, girl?” It was my dad. FML

Today, I came home early from work to surprise my son with a new mountain bike for his birthday. To keep it a surprise I carried it quietly up to his bedroom. As I opened the door I heard my son say “Oh man, you’re gonna make me cum” to the nice girl he was on top of. He just turned 14. FML Today, my mom decided to tell me about her new boyfriend. I know him. I’ve slept with him. FML Today, I realized that my roommate has been using my loofah to clean our toilet. I’ve been cleaning myself with the shit of four college boys for the last six months. FML Today, I was volunteering at a nursing home and I was calling bingo numbers. And one woman stood up and started making noises, I asusmed she had won and I started clapping. She then fell on the floor and died of a heart attack. I essentially applauded her death. FML Today, my boyfriend gave me a card for my birthday and told me to open it 10 minutes after he leaves. I waited 5, in the card it said “it’s not working out, but here’s 20$”. FML

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BULLETIN BOARD

Trixie's Travels when you need to get the f--k outta here!

April’s Recommendation: Masuda

Sushi is obviously a cultural staple in Japan. Raw fish? Seaweed? Sticky rice? It’s not for everyone. But for many of us it’s a delicious, quick meal available practically everywhere. Plus, you’d have to be living under rock not to be on the receiving end of the seemingly patronizing question, “Do you eat sushi?” If your answer is “Yes, I do”, than look no further than Yasumasa in Masuda for the best sushi around.

Located conveniently in front of the Masuda JR train station, Yasumasa serves the tastiest kaiten sushi in all of Shimane. Hell, EVER. Yes, I said it. As a Sushi Thursday regular, I’m gonna have to give a big gomen to Sushizou in Hamada. Yasumasa serves cuts of fish that are fatty and good, with plates starting at 136 yen. You’re seriously missing out if you don’t order the “Aburi Hotate Negi Mayo” – baked scallops with green onion and mayo. Yummm. The restaurant owner is one of the sushi chefs himself, and enthusiastically serves up anything you ask for. Once in awhile you’ll see silver or gold plates make the rounds. These bad boys will set you back up to 650yen a piece, but I’m sure its well worth it.

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Yasumasa is open in the evening from 5-2am, yes, 2am, so head on down to Masuda and spend a day in one of the biggest cities in Shimane. Not sure what to check out? Why not hit up the Grand Toit to check out the latest art exhibition, and buy some new threads at 1 of 3 UNIQLO locations in the ken. When dinner’s over, drive up to Manyo Park for a spectacular view of the city. Finally, top it off with some dessert at the most glamorous, 2-story McDonalds you’ll ever see. Seriously. Happy eating!

Want to tell us about your travels? e-mail your articles, news, poetry, rants, comics, photos and reviews to s h i m a n e . b l a c k t a x i @ g m a i l . c o m


STORIES &COMICS

Stories

all the PC and not so PG material to save you from boredom

Pride and Prejudice The Facebook Newsfeed Edition By: Katia Ostrowski

Mrs. Bennett has become a Fan of Wealthy Eligible Bachelors.

Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, Lydia, and Mrs. Bennett plan to attend the Event Welcome Ball at Meryton. Jane is now Friends with Bingley. ---------------------------------------Jane is sick.

Elizabeth has joined the Group Mud-stained Petticoats and How to Clean Them.

Miss Bingley has added “books, music, and belittling social inferiors” to her Interests. Elizabeth has thrown an Insult at Mr. Darcy: “you have a propensity to hate everybody”. Mr. Darcy has thrown an Insult at Elizabeth: “yours is to willfully misunderstand them”.

Mr. Collins has added “riding the coattails of my patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh” to his Interests. Wickham has become a Fan of Subterfuge and Blackmailing. ---------------------------------------Elizabeth, Jane, and Lydia are now Friends with Wickham. Mr. Collins has sent an Engagement Ring to Elizabeth. Elizabeth has ignored the invitation. Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas are now listed as “engaged”. Lady Catherine de Bourgh thinks ladies of poor rearing should keep away from her nephew, Mr. Darcy.

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STORIES &COMICS

Stories

all the PC and not so PG material to save you from boredom

Pride and Prejudice Cont. Elizabeth thinks Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a bitch. And Mr. Darcy isn’t faring much better… Mr. Darcy has sent an Engagement Ring to Elizabeth. Elizabeth has ignored the invitation. Elizabeth and Jane are no longer Friends with Wickham. ----------------------------------------

Elizabeth is merely at Pemberley to take in the scenery, NOT to scope out the homestead of Mr. Darcy.

Jane has tagged Elizabeth in a Note: “Lydia eloped with Wickham. No word on actual marriage. Reputation of both sister and family in severe jeopardy”. Lydia has added London to the Cities I’ve Visited application.

Bingley has sent an Engagement Ring to Jane. Jane has accepted the request. Elizabeth: I alone will determine my happiness, regardless concerns for class-consciousness. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are now listed as “married”. *Thanks to McSweeney’s for the inspiration*

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STORIES &COMICS

Stories

all the PC and not so PG material to save you from boredom

Ronnie and the Devil By: Lauren Trimble

Ronnie wore his shirtsleeves long, even with the heat like an iron laid direct on his face, to distinguish himself from the bicycling Mormons. He liked his hair long too, and his beard, a protest against the clean-shaven, blue-eyed men. His parishioners told him he looked like Jesus and, all pretenses to the contrary; he wasn’t disinclined to draw the comparison. After all, he was Jesus’ biggest fan. He made T-shirts to this effect, which he sold from his minivan to burgeon the sickly Sunday offerings at his Baptist church, one of a tiny handful outside Salt Lake. His wife Beth Anne told him not to. “You think those Mormon mother fuckers won’t bust you for selling illegally? This place is crawling with crew-cut-whistle-blowing-pieces-of-shit.” The day before her 34th birthday, Beth Anne fell 6 feet off a ladder while decorating the church with lights for Christmas. She remembered her fall in stop and start motion, like a flipbook of Charlie Chaplin she owned when she was little. There she was tripping off the ladder, centimeter by centimeter, driven by invisible skyhooks. Flip. Flip. Flip. The fall damaged her pre frontal lobe, drawing new bits of personality to the surface and subverting others. Where she’d been soft spoken and kind she was angry, her language befouled with a startling creative force. She felt distant from life in Utah, detached as a wayward parade balloon. Though she wouldn’t admit it, she didn’t love her husband anymore, nor did she feel capable of love. In their 13 years of marriage,

Ronnie and Beth Anne had never had children, a fact Beth Anne once grieved. The shortcoming to her once blissful marriage was the only thing she’d come to terms with since her accident, “If you hadn’t always worn those stupid fucking tighty whitey underpants, maybe those lame ass sperm of yours could have huffed it up Pussy River. Not that I wanted a fucking rug rat staining the carpet with piss anyway.” Her condition freed her of something she began to suspect she’d never really wanted. In the three years since Beth Anne’s accident, Ronnie played the part of the stoic spouse. He regarded her accident as a G.E.O, a grace earning opportunity. He asked his parishioners to forgive her swearing and pray for her recovery. Ronnie puffed up somehow, like a bird on the edge of a bath before is starts to preen, as though his life had only needed the right cause, the right hardship. With the exception of a former churchgoer Beth Anne had publicly dubbed “Ilene ‘cum dumpster’ Brown,” the community was sympathetic. As outnumbered and lacking as they felt by mormon community, it was hard to justify ill will. Insult aside, Ilene had her own reason for leaving: unrecognized jealously turned to suspicion. That such a handsome, affable preacher could have such a disagreeable shrew for wife hinted at dark, subtle flaws in his soul. Sometimes, Ronnie let a twin thought flit sparrow-like, hunting crumbs through his brain. He wrote it off as Satan’s meddling.

To Be Continued... 16


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