I wanted to do SWF, because that would sound more like that creepy Single White Female-movie with Jodie Foster correction: Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh (you are so right, Jeremy … I have no clue about movies). But then my husband would get upset and/or confused; and my mother in law would call. We would have massive levels of family drama and the gossip train would continue on down the rail line.

You know the drill.

So I stuck with MWF – Married White Female. I always look for MWF in the personal ads to see if anyone ever actually puts an ad in the personals when they are married. What would they look for? Friends? That’s sort of sad if you put out a personal ad for friends. I’m sorry if I just offended any of you faithful blog followers, I just think there would…

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Diverse Japan

Competition winner announced!

Competition is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood 4 OVA Collection Blu-ray/DVD Combi). Sadly, there can only be one winner.

And the winner is…

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Sid, Nancy, and Me

I remember the first time I heard the name Sid vicious I thought it had to be the coolest name in the world.  I remember being 9 or 10 and there being a buzz on t.v. about this thing called “punk rock”.    It wasn’t a discussion about fashion or music really, it was about a threat coming to the United States.   I remember there had been talk about them walking through the airport throwing up on people.  It was crazy, but exciting.  It was dangerous.  I didn’t know the at the time, and I certainly hadn’t heard them.  But I kind of filed that in my kid mind as something that was wild and dangerous.    I also remember when Sid died.  I remember because that name stuck in my head…

A few years later I was probably being about 15, and I had been exiled to live with my sister in Hoffman Estates because I had gotten arrested and was on probation.  The geographic solution, didn’t really solve my behavior issues, just kept me from doing time in kiddie jail though.   Anyways, there I was pretty shell-shocked, living in a really strange world were kids had a smoking area in highschool.  Where the stoners were these freaks who wore bell bottoms jeans and jean vests and black leather jackets.  These kids were the stoner kids but I had to laugh at their style, like what the fuck it was the eighties not the 70s in east Germany.    Anyways I didn’t fit in any where, kind of with the tough city kid crew, but I didn’t fit in with them really, I wasn’t into their style or music.  So I was a loner for sure, I talked to some people, but I mostly kept to myself.  At that point I was also really scared to get kicked out of school or get busted for some shit.  

So my sister gave me a pin, it was a black and white pin with a white  Sid head on it with his birthday and death on it and said Sid did it his way.  I thought that was cool at the time I was 65% sure it was for Sid vicious.  I wore it as a badge.  Nobody of the kids I knew at school had a clue who Sid was.  I at that point didn’t really have a clue who he was.  I don’t even think I heard the Sex Pistols at that point.  It gave me a little bit of identity when I didn’t feel I had any.  I stayed at that school long enough to pick a fight with an All State Wrestler who gave me the what for and to than got me kicked out of school.  I was sent back to city.

I remember reading later in the reader that they had performed a production of Sid and Nancy as a play.  When I saw that those old curiosity juices started flowing the same dangerous feelings returned.  I remember reading the review and it was in part about the controversy around Nancy’s killing.  I remember the image in the Reader was a white guy with black spiky hair standing over some blond chick in a bed.  I definitely remember thinking if I could see any play, not that at 15 did I ever want to see a play, but if could see that play that would be great. 

Than in 86 Alex Cox released his classic “Sid And Nancy.”   When that came out I was blown away.  At that point I owned a copy of “Never Mind the Bollocks”, I can’t remember if it was tape or an Album.  But between the movie and the record I was hooked.  I at that point  was still a loner.  But I want to say I was in highschool,  at that point I had been forced to attend Gordon Tech which was at that time one of those Catholic Testosterone temples of an all boys high schools that did its best to repress whatever feeling you had, good bad or indifferent.   I knew that rah-rah enviroment was for the birds, I knew that even though I was a loner that school was crap.  I remember walking around in black trench coat and combat boots.  I remember that they outlawed the wearing of combat boots at my school because of me.  I was quite the parody, me all in black with my Sid pin on my trench coat.  I guess I would have been sort of emo. haa haaa thank god they didn’t have that in the 80’s.   I remember when D.O.A. the movie played at the Music Box.  That was an event for me.  I got good and stoned and went to watch it.  That movie is a great record of the short career of the Sex Pistols but the really cool effect was that it had sub-titles because without them they thought nobody would be able to understand the lyrics.  Which is funny, considering the progression of Punk to Hard Core.  But the cool thing about the subtitles is that they were in bright colors.  Almost like chalk as I remember.  It also was quite a document of the real Sex Pistols, my first real exposure to the real people and the circus of a tour they had.  

I moped a lot in those days.  I spent a lot of time alone.  The Sex-Pistols when they sang No Future,  I heard it.  I definitely felt I had no future.  But the album Never Mind The Bullocks , was musically a really strong rock album.  It was melodic at times and abrasive. Its message was political in an anarchist sense.  As a teenage boy who was pretty confused and angry it was like Mozart.  It was an album that even though it was made in the U.K.  I felt it was for it was about my life.  At that time I was pretty depressed most of the time, some of the time suicidal.   It gave me a little power.  A little strength.   Even though it was more than a decade old, I felt it was fresh as hell. 

Later as I joined the local Punk Rock scene, I became exposed to more complex and better Punk.  I was able to identify Punk that approached the music with more advanced thoughts, that didn’t surrender intelligence in its message.  For the years I was active in the Punk Scene it was always a struggle between the Nihilist Punk and the more intellectual punk.   A biggest example of that for me at time prior to joining the “scene” was the struggle between The Sex Pistols and The Clash.  For me it was a  pitched battle, that the Pistols eventually was pummeled to the floor in.  The Clash won on many fronts.  And the Clash was replaced by other bands and my musical taste evolved.  

I now with time can look back and reflect on the real life of Sid and Nancy.  I can see them for the people who were suffering from mental illness and substance abuse that they were.  I see them in people I work with everyday as a social worker, minus the musical talent.   Sid was a junkie, who couldn’t get clean as was Nancy.   Sid was a scrawny kid, whose name “Sid Viscous” became a source of almost self parody for him towards the end of his life.  But the Idea he was just a punk.  Who never had a chance to get clean and see life in a different way, to see it as something that can be beautiful, is sad.   He like many people I grew up and who  saw their lives flushed down the toilet of nihilist self-destruction.  Its sad.  But even in the fact they didn’t  make it and in my case I did is a source of strength for me.  Like the line from that old Social D song “It coulda been me.”

Mas Aal Cliquers

Yakuza Tattoos in Japan

The sound of the word “Yakuza” may mean a lot of things to a lot of people. It could mean power, criminality and outlaws. The Yakuza is a term used to refer to the modern breed of Japanese outlaws associated with similar activities as the Mafia. Unknown to many, the Yakuza existed even before the Sicilian Mafia, which started in Italy. In Asia, people are often frightened with the word Yakuza.

 Yakuza Tattoos in JapanGD3445729@Shoko Tendo, daughter 5643 Yakuza Tattoos in Japan

Yakuza members can easily be spotted in a lot of ways. They have an odd way of wearing clothes and their hairstyles are distinctly peculiar as well. They also have a certain air and pride to themselves and exude negative social behavior. Policemen and other members of the society would often notice them because of their horrid acts. Another thing that identifies a Yakuza is their tattoos.

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 Yakuza Tattoos in Japan Yakuza Tattoos in Japanfull+body+tattoo Yakuza Tattoos in Japan Yakuza Tattoos in Japan

Although tattoos are considered as a body art…

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S.A.D. or why I celebrate Fredopalooza…

Well its that time of year again, when I find myself in my apartment with huge ammounts of anxiety.  It happens every year when things get dark, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or something like that.  I slowly start isolating a little more at a time, which isn’t hard to do if you are completely broke.    I  find myself wanting to stay home and avoid people.  Till it comes to a head and I recognize the signs of depression, which for me comes in the form of anxiety, self doubt, and sadness.    Its easy when you are depressed to look at your past and think that it dictates your future.  Its not true.  It only indicates  what you have overcome.  You also forget your friends.  Eventhough your friends may call you to hang out, you have a tendency to forget that they are there for you.  I have suffered from severe depression for years, I typically manage well enough.  But its this period where I feel the worst.  So 5 years ago on my 40th birthday I threw myself a party.  Thus the birth of Fredopalooza.  You see for me Fredopalooza is has become my innoculation to the winter blues.  Hanging with my good friends and sharing good times does it everytime.  So if you are in town check it out, come buy me a drink, and have a laugh…

What I Hate..

I hate kids getting shot down in the street over nickles and dimes.  I hate racism, and any ism which is meant to crush and suppress people.  I hate religions that are used as an exscuse to kill and maim people. I hate imperial wars that have kids killing kids for the 1%.  I hate that somebody can work thier whole life and contribute to a pension fund, and the boss or state doesnt contribute thier share and now that person doesnt have pension.  I hate that so many people are in prison for doing so little.  I hate that we have a successful prision system which puts minorities and specifically African Americans in prison at such a disproportionate number.  I hate that we invest so little in educaton for the poor.  I hate that vegetables are so much more expensive than a happy meal.  I hate there are only two political parties in this country both that represent the 1% exclusively.  I hate that social workers are paid so little.  I hate the fact that everyday in Chicago there is a police related shooting yet, there is never a report of bad shooting, cops are perfect…..

The Return of the Yakuza

Hello kids I’m back from my Hiatus I had to let some thoughts percolate.  What have I been upto you ask? I have my fullback piece nearly completed, I have one more sitting, I am going to be posting images shortly.   Alot of pain, I am sure any yakuza would be proud to style it.   I’m super proud of it…. Another Chicago Fire season ended with a wimper, ugh.  I’ll write some more about it,  we had a battle with some nazi hooligans, which we resolved in true style…. I also continue as working as an advocate for the voiceless, I plan to write some about that, great expericances…And I will continue to share some pages I like that cover Yakuza, pop kulture and humor ofcourse.  So hold on its  gonna be a great ride…

It’s not easy being a Yakuza boss

Engineering Evil

By Jake Adelstein — Oct 15

These days the price of a standard civilian hit-job can run as high as $2 million. That’s not the price to get the job done — that’s the price if one of your underlings gets caught. The whole inflationary spiral started with one dumb yakuza stiffing McDonald’s on the price of a cheeseburger in Kyoto a few years ago.

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In August of 2008, three months after countermeasures laws went into effect, the Yamaguchi-gumi boss found himself dealing with one of his low-ranking underling’s unpaid McDonald’s tab. That’s because Japan’s approach to its major organized crime groups (there are 22) is to regulate rather than ban. They exist in the open with office buildings, business cards, and even company songs. The yakuza are Crime Incorporated. And in Japan, the CEO has to take responsibility for the screw-ups under his command.A 38-year-old Yamaguchi-gumi member…

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Writing Echoes

After a month of waiting, it’s finally here! Jake Adelstein’s talk at TEDxKyoto 2012 (09.16.2012): “Everything I Ever Needed To Know In Life I Learned From The Yakuza Or The Cops That Bust Them”



The seven lessons:

  1. Know the difference between hearing and listening, and learn to listen to people
  2. Repay the kindness bestowed upon you, keep your code, all is good
  3. There are no small promises. A man’s promise should weigh more than his life
  4. It’s okay to be betrayed, just don’t be the betrayer. Betray others and you betray yourself. You won’t be able to trust anyone
  5. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. You can tell more about a man by his enemies than you can by his friends. A man with no enemies is worthless
  6. In life we only encounter the injustices we are meant to correct
  7. If you want to live well you have…

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