Silly Grins

Monday, June 4, 2012

An Old School Bad Boy

Ed, was difficult as a youngster. A troublemaker, some might say. Apparently, he was "expelled from every school he attended in his youth" for stuff like carving on his desk.

So, when he found his way to Japan, not really looking for trouble, he still managed to somehow... well... he still might be able to tell you better than I can even though he's dead:

I had been searching for these little objects for some 
time when I heard a number of shouts, as if of warning. Look- 
ing up I saw, at a distance of fifty or seventy-five yards, a 
number of hairy Ainus, in a row, shouting at me and gesticu- 
lating. I waved my hand in recognition of their call and 
shouted back to them a Japanese word, "Yoroshii" (All 
right), as they all understand a little Japanese, whereupon 
they became more violent in their gestures and one pulled his 
bow and arrow in a series of jerks in what seemed to be a 
threatening manner.
Sometimes people walk right into stuff without having a clue. And sometimes the brain kicks in... sometimes...
Then it suddenly occurred to me that 
they thought I was hunting for their graves, which they defend 
even to the extent of murder, and recalling the deadly poison 
of the arrow tips I reluctantly got up and walked away. With 
Professor Yatabe I visited the settlement from which these 
men had come, to inquire into the meaning of their hostile 
demonstrations and to explain to them that I was only hunt- 
ing under the leaves for little snails, when they....
 Please, bear with me...
explained that 
one of their men had been killed and eaten by a bear a few 
days before, and that they had set a bear trap with a huge 
poison arrow, and they were warning me that I might get shot 
if I did not get out. This the Ainu had tried to express to me 
by pulling his own bow. They were afraid of coming nearer, 
not knowing quite where the string was which would spring 
the bow; and I on my hands and knees crawling about like 
a bear with the hidden trap ready to shoot me! 
Eddy's work "caught the attention of Charles Darwin". Yeah, he damn near earned himself one of them coveted Darwin Awards. Last year's (2011) apparently went to.... (drum roll)... the envelope please:

Needless to say, our hero Mr. Ed (unlike the guy who got shafted) ended up living into his late 80's. Some might be tempted to call him 'wickied'. They say he died in Salem of all places. Betcha he didn't read his bible. 

I soooo want a t-shirt...
"In response, fundamental Christianity fell out public sphere, not to reappear until the 1970s."

If you want to meet the 'hero' of this unlikely story of the Bad Boy, Edward S. Morse, you can visit his wiki entry a little later.

(He was probably thinking, "Yeah, whatever. Take your goddamn picture.")

He kept an old school blog worth checking out: Ja'pan Day by Day, Vol. II. I actually came across his blawg while reading something that mentions cannibalism in Japan. Go figure. 

The cannibalism tangent starts out: 
There has been a long-standing myth of a monolithic Japan bound together by a “unique” identity, culture, and language (Denoon et al. 1996). Other peoples residing in Japan have been forced to assimilate into this dominant culture or risk not being considered “Japanese.” For over 100 years, physical anthropologists have been at the forefront of the quest to find the origins of the Japanese. Physical Anthropology in Japan
The Ainu and the Search for the Origins of the Japanese  by Morris Low
Oh yeah, Edward is probably most famous in the "J-nut-hugger" (personally, I prefer the genitiler term 'embracer')... he is most well know amongst the more ee-roo-dite J-nut-embrace-ores and embrace-ees for this:

He's still a fucking legend. And then he put his money where his mouth is after the big one:
He donated over 10,000 books from his personal collection to the Tokyo Imperial University. On learning that the library of the Tokyo Imperial University was reduced to ashes by the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, in his will he ordered that his entire remaining collection of books be donated to Tokyo Imperial University.
Funny thing is, he probably didn't speak much Japanese. 


  1. I hope folks get this. Most posts have been like crayola pictures for children and some are still not getting it.

    If anyone gets lost they should always use your post labels for hints.

    (I watched that vid 4 times. "Raged to Death"...and the old lady that blew him off and pushed the "close" button was an accomplice to a suicide......she surely wouldn't even care)

    We are such....such a terribly fucked up species.

    1. Than you. You read it well. The post labels are hints.

      Buried somewhere in Volume II is a very freak-out description of a 'centipede' encounter that puts the "Temple of Doom" to shame... well, almost.

      We the people, becoming a more perfect union, sure are a messed up species with a fatal case of optimism. Some people say it might be genetic while others adamantly insist that it is a curse from above.

      Glad I can still laugh.

  2. I think I'm one of those people that gets lost reading your posts. Now that chris told everybody how to cheat on the test I can follow along with everybody else. To be honest your words still zoom past my head at 100mph+.

    On that video with the guy going down the shaft, I dont know if I should cringe, feel sad, or maybe laugh? Does that make me a jacked up person to want to laugh at somebody being an idiot?

    Christ, I attempt to be an artist with my pictures, but your words are just on a different level.

    1. Cringe, feel sad, or laugh? Whichever you did is what you did. My guess is that, taken out of context, most people would laugh... at first.

      Sticks and stones may break bones and a little laughter never hurt anyone. But elevator shafts... that's a whole 'nother level.

      Some of the best jokes are funny simply because they take a while to 'get'. When I laugh at idiots, it is because I can relate to them. That I will admit to. Laughing at idiots a way of hedging my bets, a kind of insurance policy. Let me put it this way... if I ever realize that I've put myself in a similar situation and it's kind of too late, at least I've got something to laugh about on the way down. The shiny side of the Darwin Award.

      CFI: You said you thought you heard him making noises on the way down.

      Witness: Yeah... kind of like laughter.

      CFI: Some people should be so lucky.

      Truth be told, I got pissed off not too long ago. A quick, forceful burst of movement did nothing but damage me and no one or anything else. And now I'm paying the price as well as enjoying a little bitter-sweet return on that insurance policy mentioned above. First I cringed (cause it hurt), then I felt sad (for myself mainly), and then I had to laugh.

      Wifey thinks I'm an idiot. She's right. I still feel lucky.

    2. I just realized, after reading the sidebar on your blog, that English might not be your first language. Not that it matters. There's a fair amount of wordplay 'n stuff that goes on 'cause I'm trying to keep things in the vernacular.


    3. lol, that was a joke. I'm a southern california native with an overactive brain. My mouth moves before I can think of what I'm saying. English class in high school however was my worst subject. I love to use gigantic words to make myself seem smarter.

    4. Glad you found that funny.

      Southern California... I'd just recently listened to lo Nuestro Himno, quite a beautiful song.

      When I power-lift gargantuan words, they tend to drop with a thud. Never pretty. Too much grunting and sweat. (That was probably not funny)

  3. Yes, yes, yes. That's all very well. But 10,000 books and the rest?!

    Like Batman and Superman, all rolled into one. I may have a new hero.

    1. Books? Where we're going, we don't need books. We're backed into the future with an ever sharper focus on the past. Almost instant access. And keyword searches.

      While I have not read Vol.II in it's entirety, I can say that it starts out well.

      "They were all really intelligent-looking men, with their long, dignified beards, and it was impossible to realize that they were low, unlettered savages without moral courage, lazy, and strongly given to drunkenness, supporting themselves by hunting with bow and arrow and fishing. One of the Japanese with me asked them
      where I came from, and they answered that I was the same as the Japanese!"

      Oh, and the part about falconry. The way they would hunt Duck... Gotta have a way to feed the Japanese troops.

      Wonder if Morse would have known. Apparently, he wasn't too versed on how to ride, so he may have well been ignorant. Which would be somewhat of a surprise, considering when he lived. Wait a minute, he got booted from school for not paying attention... so it would make sense. Sometimes it pays off not to sleep through history class. Especially the gory parts.


  4. Thanks for the introduction. I hadn't heard of him, so I went to the Great Hall of Knowledge, otherwise known as Wikipedia, to learn a little more...

    1. As you may have noticed by the scaffolding, and the graffiti here and there, construction is kind of an ongoing thing. But work is getting done.

      Just so happened to have a key to one of the doors that is normally locked. Got to witness some notes of an interesting dialogue by a number of people sitting at the table. Cross pollination is happening and challenges are being met. As long as people are still able and willing to participate.

      We've all got our reasons for being here and doing what we do. I'm no judge. But I do see, so I've been told (thanks Bigg). For the most part, what is seen is observed through a number of discarded lenses. Burning-dog is slowing down on only three legs. He still gets me there though... eventually.

      These comments are relevant to the deeper theme of what we are actively participating in. We, those who log in. Unfortunately my access to one of the wholly chambers in the GHK is soon to expire (any day now). Next time I do need to get in, I may have to knock and hope that someone answers.

      Then again... I'm not sure I'll ever need to go back.

      Yours truly,
      Will the Embrace-or