Behind the mask

Look at these jokers. They think they are so cool. I found this photo on facebook after looking through the profile of one of the people on the "People You May Know" suggestions. That's the girl who was suggested, the one in the center with her eyes closed. I don't know her, but I have to admit that her super thick eyeliner and blonde hair sort of turns me on. HOW DID FACEBOOK KNOW THAT??

Anyway, what I am curious about, though, and have been curious about in Japan for some time now, is the use of masks. People wear masks here to cover their bad teeth or when they have a cold or when they think they are going to catch a cold or when they have allergies or when they don't want to catch a cold or when they just feel like wearing a stupid surgical mask and looking like a surgeon who got lost on the way to the hospital or like there is some SARS outbreak or worse.

But the thing that really gets me is that people have no shame in posing for photos with a mask, as can be seen here.

People talk about Japan being cool. Sorry, Japan. Wearing a gauze mask on your face is not cool.

Or maybe it's so uncool that it is cool? Again, look at these jokers. They obviously think they are the shit. (I'm not even going to mention their matching t-shirts or the fact that they are drinking ZIMA cause they are probably in a gang and will kill me.)

I am really getting tired of seeing people wearing surgical masks. Really. Not just on their faces, but pulled down under their chins while talking, eating, smoking a cigarette. Or hanging off one ear while chatting on the phone. And especially in photos, smiling and posing as if it is completely normal.


Toilet trouble

I hate this bathroom symbol cause I don't know which is the men's room and which is the women's. I am color blind. So don't tell me you can tell by the colors because the two figures on the left look almost like the same color to me. So imagine you can't see the color. Which is a man and which is a woman? I would think the one with the big pointy breasts is a woman, wouldn't you? And the one with the protrusion around the waist is a well-endowed man. I hate having to walk into a bathroom and look for the urinals to know that I am in the right place. It's embarrassing. Seriously bad design.


Dead tech

Saw this poster in a bar in Kichijoji. Remember when Japan seemed like it was ahead of the rest of the world because everyone used Mini-Discs? I even bought an MD player/recorder Walkman around 2000. MDs never took of in the US, and then came the iPod. Even though it's a dead format, they are sort of a beautiful piece of design, as this ad clearly wants to emphasize.



Eating enclave

I have heard of theme restaurants, but this going a bit too far. I assume because they have to emphasize that it is "happy dining" that they are not doing Jewish ghetto. Maybe it's more Harlem ghetto, which would be decidedly more upbeat and funky with no worry of pogroms.


Surely not a temple

I am confused by this church sign that I pass every Sunday on my way to my comedy group practice. The congregation appears to be mostly Filipinos. Obviously it is a Christian church, but why "Shalom," a Hebrew word that means "peace" and is also used as a greeting.