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Author Archives: Robert Brady

That Thing in the Middle of Your Face

One amazing phenomenon a Western visitor to Japan may not notice, mainly because the most amazing thing about it is that it doesn't happen, which right off the bat makes it hard to spot, Read More »

Letter from S. Paine, Calling Democracy To Victory

My fellow patriots, we stand at a crossroads of American history, where we must decide the course of our country. If George W. Bush is elected for the first time on Nov 2, it will be the worst result of an American national election in our lifetimes, perhaps in the history of America. Read More »

Looking for Japan

If you’re looking for Japan, you’ve certainly come to the right place at the right time. Just a couple of eras ago, a mere second in geological terms, you might have drowned. Read More »

Far from the Lemming Crowd

I'd refrained for years from using portable music while commuting to Osaka and back, not because nobody my age in Japan wears earphones in public, but because of the vague misgiving that it would be insufferable to perceive rush hour from the glory level of Coltrane; intolerable to be pinned against train windows with Nine-Inch Nails; devastating to crush through the business district with Nirvana; heartbreaking to arrive at my office with Concrete Blonde. Read More »

Slow food in the fast lane, or: You put that on your sushi?

If you’ve spent any time in Japan and so have tasted genuine traditionally brewed shoyu (soy sauce), there is of course no returning to the mockery that is LaChoy. Read More »

Getting Home

Already it is clear that the innocent foreigner, in his rigid territoriality, his righteous sense of individual liberty, is no match for this mass progress. You perceive that few Western governments have ever understood this. Read More »

The Virtually Automotive Jello of the Civilized Whitebread Television Now

This explains that secret calling you've been feeling from out there in the dark beyond the edge of your career... Read More »

Cubist Cuisine

For Picasso, the question of steak and potatoes was essentially architectural. In his earlier meals, the entire flavor range suggested a gastronomic palette of geometric leftovers Read More »


To the disimagined, imagination is not essential to living or to life, may even be detrimental if practiced in excess. We have Hollywood to do it for us. That's like saying if you pay us to breathe, you don't have to. Never before in history has imagination been so threatened in the young. Read More »

Bobby Hatfield Sings Forever

Upon reading that Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers had died (he was born the same year as I), I went immediately to my musical archives and put on Unchained Melody and let it just repeat. Like any classic, that performance never ages, just gets better as you grow enough to sense the nuances that were there all along. Read More »