It’s almost impossible to write about this story without referencing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the successful 2006 movie that did so much for Steve Carell’s career. In Japan, it seems, the proliferation of Andy Stitzers (Carell’s character in that movie) has become something of an active social problem. According to the Japan Times, “A 2010 survey by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research found that around a quarter of unmarried Japanese men in their 30s were still virgins — even leading to the coining of a specific term, yaramiso, to describe them.”
For anyone who is not in that position, the heartache of being in such a situation, a fully grown adult with little experience to draw on and few prospects to look forward to, can be a devastating psychological toll of failure. One 49-year-old whose name was withheld in the Japan Times article felt romantic and sexual feelings for a woman only twice in his life, and both times the woman in question rejected him. “It was devastating,” he said. “It seemed to invalidate my life and take away my reason to live.”
Shingo Sakatsume and his Virgin Academia textbook.
Statistics for a straightforward comparison across international boundaries are scarce, but a superficial look at the numbers suggests that the Japanese do have less sex than most western countries. For instance, a poll conducted by Durex found that 68 percent of Japanese respondents of the ages of 18 and 19 were virgins, whereas the typical figure for Germany was closer to 20 percent, in Turkey 37 percent.
To help alleviate this problem, Shingo Sakatsume, whose company White Hands specializes in finding ways for “people with severe disabilities find an outlet for their sexual needs,” has turned his attention to what he can do for those who are sexually frustrated for more parochial reasons. His motto is “Sexual maturity means social maturity. ... Even if the person has disabilities, one who recognizes and accepts his own sexuality tends to be able to build balanced relations with others. ... People who are not sexually mature tend to get timid socially.”
Sakatsume’s program for adult virgins has been dubbed “Virgin Academia.” One of the main tools for helping such men has been art classes, pictured here, with live models—without clothes on—in order to help them get more familiar with the female body. As Takashi Sakai, a 41-year-old virgin, commented, “The first time I did this, in autumn last year, oh . . . I was so amazed. Their bodies are incredibly beautiful. ... One thing I learned is that there are many different shapes of breasts and even genitals.”
As Sarah Cascone of Artnet reports, “The correspondence course comes with a 100-page textbook, Virgin Breaker!, and runs for a full year, with participants keeping a counselor apprised of their progress in their efforts to meet women.” Cascone continues: “The figure drawing sessions, which take place every other month in Tokyo, allows the yaramiso to encounter a naked woman in a neutral environment, free of romance and pressure to perform sexually.”
Here’s a report from AFP News Agency about the yaramiso phenomenon:
Veterans For Peace, a UK organization of war veterans, has recently set up a website in opposition to child recruitment of soldiers. Their mission is to raise the minimum UK recruitment age from sixteen to eighteen. The site makes its point with a set of (VERY) darkly humorous parody action figures: “PTSD Action Man,” “Paralyzed Action Man,” and “Dead Action Man.”
The site also features a set of (brilliant) fake commercials detailing the realities of war casualty.
Photo posted to Facebook of the scene outside the South Carolina statehouse during a brawl over the Confederate flag.
At approximately 7:15 PM on June 29th, a brawl broke out in front of the South Carolina statehouse between supporters of the Confederate flag and protesters seeking to have it removed from the statehouse grounds.
According to the Bureau of Protective Services, about 30 anti-flag protesters were on statehouse grounds when a group of fifteen vehicles carrying pro-flag supporters pulled up and stopped in the middle of Gervais Street, in front of the statehouse. Between eight and ten occupants exited their vehicles and began to engage in an altercation with the crowd.
One eyewitness claimed tensions escalated when a convoy of Confederate flag supporters began shouting “racist remarks” from their vehicles at anti-flag protesters.
According to another eyewitness, a Confederate flag was ripped from a passing car of hecklers. The car following behind stopped, and a passenger emerged, confronting the crowd, inciting the brawl.
Another eyewitness stated, “several people were fighting and it spilled into Gervais St, and some people started pulling over and getting out of their cars to join in. Police began separating the two groups and pushing them back onto the statehouse grounds, and then a small group charged the other group, a quick secondary scuffle broke out, and then the small group took off running with several dudes chasing them behind the capitol.”
One man was arrested at the scene and charged with disorderly conduct.
An amusing side-effect of the ‘90s post-Nirvana OMFG SIGN EVERY BAND WITH WEIRD CLOTHES RIGHT NOW moment was the attention given to quality strivers who would likely have escaped the mainstream radar altogether had the corporate music sector not taken to throwing entire scenes at the wall to see what would stick. And while yes, we had to suffer the temporary ubiquity of 4 Non Blondes and Crash Test Dummies, moments like this almost made up for it: sometime in the mid-‘90s, MTV took Melvins singer/guitarist King Buzzo mansion shopping in Beverly Hills.
I’m having trouble pinning down the actual date of this, but judging from Buzzo’s hair, my best guess would be between 1994-1996ish, give or take. (And I love the idea of Buzzo’s hair functioning as rock ‘n’ roll carbon-dating. Surely someday it’ll serve as an oracle.) This was squarely within the short period during which Melvins were on Atlantic records, but though they’d influenced very very successful bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden, the Melvins themselves weren’t really filling stadia in accordance with their accolades. Which, along with Buzzo’s natural charm and warped sense of humor (that ridiculous fake evil laugh gets me every time), is exactly what makes this video hilarious—America’s love affair with quality notwithstanding, he’s not a guy who’s ever going to be buying a Beverly Hills mansion.
Hanging with Kim Thayil? Cool, no doubt, but no mansion. Maybe a nice bungalow?
Hanging out with Kurt Cobain? STILL no mansion. Sorry, Mr. Influential.
And he hammers that point home at the end, attempting to pay for the place with indie-cred, in the form of magazine articles full of accolades for how influential he was. But of course, all that influence didn’t really make Melvins any real cash. The real estate agent, who took this shameless waste of her time in admirable stride, then proceeds to state the incontrovertible fact artists of all stripes have been trying to tell cheapshit clients for ages: praise and exposure for your work don’t support you if you don’t get MONEY for it. And really, in that era of overwrought and myopic Fugazi-purity, that it took a goofy prank on a real estate agent to point out something so screamingly obvious is actually kind of unsurprising.
By the way, Melvins are on tour, and Butthole Surfer Jeff Pinkus is serving as their bassist (he and BHS guitarist Paul Leary played on the last Melvins album Hold It In. If there’s a show coming your way, do try to make it out to see them. After over 30 years, they still bring it HARD.
Thanks, Rob Galo, for letting me know this exists.
Bootsy Collins is very much responsible for the insane cartoon pilot you see below. Named after his 1977 album, “The Name is Bootsy, Baby” is actually pretty fantastic; our titular hero uses his superhuman funk powers to surf through space (on his magical star bass, of course), fight crime, save hot ladies, and… battle vikings and dragons? He still makes time for the music and his legion of fans, but when some wannabe suit tries to jack his spotlight, Bootsy is forced yet again to battle the forces of anti-funk. Okay, so the premise is a little thin, but I remember 1996, and there were way more abominable attempts to sell merchandise and breakfast cereal than this one.
The cartoon wasn’t some two-bit operation either! Executive Producer Abby Terkuhle was responsible for some of MTV’s best animation—Aeon Flux, Daria, and Beavis and Butt-Head, just to name a few. Mike Judge, who gave us the voices of Beavis, Butt-Head, Hank Hill and more, lent his ridiculous vocal cords to the project. Bootsy voiced himself of course, and composed the music, but he also received a writer, director and producer credit. Obviously, “The Name is Bootsy Baby” never really got off the ground, but it’s rumored the cartoon was played before shows, making animated Bootsy his own opening act. That is some seriously meta-funkiness!
This had me on the floor laughing and crying, not the least because of the hilarious commentary coming from behind the camera which predicts what’s to come. But what happens at the end is just too, too perfect. Thank god for smartphones or else we wouldn’t be laughing about these dipsy doodles and their instant karma.
This is less than two minutes long, watch the entire thing and know that your time will be well-rewarded.
The mysterious tragedy of Tim Buckley: Julian Cope on the folk-singer who died 40 years ago today on June 29, 1975 from an accidental heroin overdose. (On This Deity)
Government Study Casts Doubt on Legal Definitions of Stoned Driving: Simulator tests also confirm that marijuana impairs drivers less than alcohol. (Reason)
NBC to Donald Trump: You’re fired! Trump’s the “new” Confederate flag, ain’t he? I thought he’d take at least a little while longer to implode. Asshole. (New York Times)
Mom Pleads Guilty to Killing 2 Kids Found in Home Freezer: A Detroit woman pleaded guilty Monday to killing two of her children, telling a judge that she had no remorse for beating and suffocating the “demons.” (ABC News)
Ted Cruz insists “religious liberty” is different from bigotry — but refuses to say how:“Bigotry is wrong,” he said, before telling NBC he’d dismantle the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage decision. (Salon)
Why Bernie Sanders Will Become the Democratic Nominee and Defeat Any Republican in 2016: It’s not the first time in recent memory that a challenger to Hillary Clinton was once thought of as a long shot. (Huffington Post)
If you haven’t seen that video of the disgusting pulsating “Frankenstein meat” then here’s your chance: How vegetarian are you feeling after that clip, eh? (The Mirror)
Coheed And Cambria Sings Justice Scalia’s Dissenting Opinions Coheed and Cambria perform an original song with excerpts from Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinions on the Affordable Care Act and Same-Sex Marriage. (Funny or Die)
NASCAR bans Confederate flag: Might even confiscate them from fans Dale Earnhardt Jr. supports: ‘It’s offensive to an entire race.’ (USA Today)
What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah?: A fracking boomtown, a spike in stillborn deaths and a gusher of unanswered questions. Earthquakes. Dead babies. Lots of money. What do these three things have in common? (Rolling Stone)
Meet Jeff Rense—The Velvet Voice of Conspiracy Theory Radio: He’s the “velvet voice” playing in your head deep into the night. He’s never rude. He never interrupts. And he seldom voices even the slightest hint of skepticism with his often weird, sometimes creepy call-in guests. Though the show sounds strange and oddly comical, pandering and providing goods and services to an aging population of mostly white, postmillennial conspiracy cranks is one of the fastest-growing cottage industries in America. (Alternet)
Below, a nineteen-year-old Tim Buckley sings “Song to the Siren” on ‘The Monkees’ in 1968:
This remarkable gallery of Mel Brooks making the most of his entirely rubbery face appeared in a 1982 issue of Best magazine, a French publication. Here’s a typical cover of Best, also from 1982:
Anyway, here was the spread as it appeared in the magazine. As you can see, Brooks is giving his impression of 12 core emotions, including fear, joy, astonishment, and sadness. In each case Brooks has supplied a little comment on what the emotion means. If you click on this image, you will be able to see a larger version.
Here are better views of the panels, with inexpert translations that were enabled in large part by Google Translate.
Hatred: I do not practice it.
Shyness: The very big girls
Seduction: I cannot go to the discos without locking myself in the bathroom because the women are so beautiful.
Joy: A girl named Sheila, against my expectation, gave me her address.
Love: A good book in the hand of a beautiful naked girl when I’m in a hotel room that she paid for.
Provocation: A waiter spills soup on me, I leave without paying.
Ennui: All the Jews who borrow money from me under the pretext that am one.
Fear: When there are many people at the table but they bring me the check.
Stupidity: Believing the promises of politicians.
This morning, my husband sent me the above baby Nick Cave photos for a chuckle (talk about a “bad seed” wonk wonk). For whatever reason, it became my mission, dear Dangerous Minds readers to find even more photos of rock starts (that was a typo, but I’m leaving it) as children. So, yeah, this what I’ve spent my morning doing. YOU’RE WELCOME.
These Mothers is crazy. You can tell by their clothes. One guy wears beads and they all smell bad. We were gonna get them for a dance after the basketball game but my best pal warned me you can never tell how many will show up…sometimes the guy in the fur coat doesn’t show up and sometimes he does show up only he brings a big bunch of crazy people with him and they dance all over the place. None of the kids at my school like these Mothers…specially since my teacher told us what the words to their songs meant.
Freak Out!, the 1966 debut album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention was one of the first two-record sets of the rock era (Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde beat it by a week) and it was definitely the first two-record debut by any group. Although the album wasn’t a commercial success, making it only to #130 on the Billboard charts, it immediately established the archly intellectual Frank Zappa in the very first rank of rock musicians. In fact, Paul McCartney was said to be so impressed with Freak Out! that the album apparently provided the initial inspiration for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album. At first there may not have been a lot of listeners, but most certainly the right people were tuning into Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s freaky vibe from the start.
Freak Out! was produced by legendary African-American record producer Tom Wilson, who also worked with Simon and Garfunkel, Sun Ra, The Velvet Underground, Eric Burdon and The Animals and Bob Dylan (Wilson produced three Dylan albums and the “Like a Rolling Stone” single). The story goes that Wilson signed The Mothers to MGM thinking that they were a white blues band. He had heard just one song. “Trouble Every Day,” when he saw them at a club on the Sunset Strip and incorrectly assumed the group was something like Al Kooper’s group, The Blues Project!
They were anything but. The Mother’s uncompromising sound was an unheard of combination of corny doo-wop (which Zappa both loved and parodied mercilessly), R&B, tape manipulations, musique concrète ala Zappa’s idol Edgard Varese, free jazz, shifting time signatures, classical music touches and trenchant satirical social observations (Zappa was nasty to both “straights” and hippies in equal measure, even his own audience had their noses tweaked by Frank Zappa, one of history’s ultimate non-conformists).
The story of the early days of the Mothers of Invention is a fascinating one, but basically, the Cliff Notes version is this: In 1965, Frank Zappa, a would-be film soundtrack composer, recording studio owner and rock guitarist living in the incredibly boring San Bernadino country city of Rancho Cucamonga, CA was invited to join a local rhythm and blues band called the Soul Giants. The band was renamed “The Mothers” (as in “motherfuckers,” indicating how good of musicians they were). The Mothers started gigging in Los Angeles and soon Frank Zappa was the “Freak king” of Hollywood. (Historical note here: LA’s “Freaks” were basically weirder hippies and they dressed differently from the way San Francisco hippies tended to dress, which in 1965-66 was far more “Edwardian” than it was tie-died. The LA vs SF, freaks vs hippies issue was a short-lived one, but a distinction that is important to note. The “Freaks” were the people (mostly Valley girls) who congregated around Carl Franzoni (“Captain Fuck”), teenage Szou and her “aging Beatnik” boyfriend (later husband) Vito Paulekas. “Vito and his Freakers” participated in sex orgies and went out to art openings and the clubs on the Sunset Strip enlivening every event they attended with their distinctive dancing. This clip, from the “mondo” film You Are What You Eat was actually shot at a Mother’s performance, but the filmmakers couldn’t get the music rights and used a song by the Electric Flag instead. It’s probably as good of a representation of Vito and his Freakers as exists).
In other words, there was a “built in” scene for Frank Zappa to take advantage of when the Mothers moved to Los Angeles. He came to town, looked around and he took it over. Quickly. By 1966, Zappa was a figure who loomed large over the Sunset Strip.
The first songs the Mothers (rechristened “The Mothers of Invention” at the insistence of MGM) recorded with Wilson were “Any Way the Wind Blows” and “Who Are the Brain Police?” In The Real Frank Zappa Book, FZ described the scene in the studio:
“I could see through the window that he was scrambling toward the phone to call his boss—probably saying: ‘Well, uh, not exactly a “white blues band,” but…sort of.’”
Wilson would champion Zappa’s creative vision to the label, securing him an unheard of recording budget for Freak Out! and putting his own career on the line for the ambitious young composer/bandleader. The album’s psychedelic cover art direction was a bit misleading, perhaps, but due to the freak “hot spots” map of Hollywood, the liner notes indicating all of Zappa’s “friends and family” and inspirations (David Crosby, Tiny Tim, Charles Mingus, Guitar Slim, Eric Dolphy, Igor Stravinsky and others are all there, now the subject of a documentary called The Freak Out List) and the fact that it was a two-record set gave his new fans something to immerse themselves in and obsess over (Zappa fans are an obsessive lot, trust me on that one). Zappa understood his audience well: Freak Out! was the rock music equivalent of getting into Marvel Comics and discovering that there was an entire Marvel “universe” to pour over. It was if Zappa and his freaky scene landed like Martians during the middle of the Lyndon Johnson administration. It was fortuitous timing, right as the world was about to go from B&W to vivid color.
Because Freak Out! was deleted from the MGM catalog in the early 1970s and was not in print again in the USA until Rykodisc released the Zappa catalog on CD in the late 1980s, it’s not really an album that tons of people have heard. It’s an album that should rightfully be held in the same high regard as the debut albums by the Velvets, Jefferson Airplane, Love or the Doors and is tragically less well-known than it should be (no, I’m not saying that Freak Out! is an obscure album, because it’s not, but how many people who are hip to something like, say, Forever Changes, have never heard even a single song from it?)
Although it can safely be assumed that the music on Freak Out! is indeed pretty freaky, it’s not at all inaccessible. The very first song I’d play for someone to introduce them to the album would be “Trouble Every Day,” the same song that intrigued Tom Wilson enough to sign the band on the spot. In it Zappa describes watching the Watts Riots on TV: