MMX – or – On the Brink of Madness… This year I’ve listened to necktied businessmen bragging about their yachts, survived six months of room-sharing with an unnerving South-Indian Skype-addict, swayed to Bavarian music at the Oktoberfest in Munich, and started commuting in the rolling sarcophagi of the Tôkyô Underground melting into the millions of dead faces around me, leading to daily daydreams of UFOs, mega-earthquakes and nukes releasing me from this utter insanity.
MMX – and that is also true – The Bliss of Friendship. Bi-monthly reunions with my girlfriend with whom I share a deeper love than ever before, tons of energy from ARI and uni friends and from new friends at the Tôkyô Union Church (all of them, not the money keep me sane in this phrenesis), and of course the beautiful last days of university where I served as the leader of the Graduate Exhibition and finished my short film “Life on Sirius”, which later led me to an inspiring film festival.
The change that triggered everything was of course my moving from idyllic Kyôto to brain-melting Tôkyô. New life, new work, a new bed next to a three-storeyed highway, and on the horizon I see the SkyTree growing steel brace by steel brace to pour even more brain-melting TV signals to the zombie citizens. As weeks pass by I feel as if a neutron bomb goes off inside my skull, exploding in super slow-motion, peeling my mind away layer after layer. God has led me here to teach me the true values of kindness, relationships, individuality and faith. This is purgatory. I am here to learn and burn. Working at a Japanese company is getting me the insight into what makes this country tick, and what makes me tick. Being rejected at one church and accepted at another helps me clarify my positions. The days of Asian ambiguity are counted. In 2011, I will cut, I will state, I will underline. This country caught in lethargy needs beams of light (Stand up and fight!). There will be good – maybe not by the long-awaited UFO but by letting myself fall deeper into the scare of my Savior. He has helped me regaining strength in faith this year.
MMX – I use Facebook more than before, visited Germany and Holland for a business trip, received advice from Korean artist Lee Chang-Dong, spent a night at an internet café like the thousands of “cyber-homeless”, started reading Herta Müller and Orhan Pamuk, translated Tocotronic albums into Japanese, completed watching a thousand movies, and drank more Starbucks cocoa than ever.
And now the usual balance sheet:
Best Films 2010
“Kokuhaku (Confessions)” by Nakajima Tetsuya, Japan
“The White Ribbon” by Michael Haneke, Germany
“Inception” by Christopher Nolan, USA
“Shi (Poetry)” by Lee Chang-Dong, South Korea
“Redline” by Koike Takeshi, Japan
Best Music 2011
Tocotronic – Schall und Wahn
UNKLE – Never Never Land
Benjamin Herman – Blue Sky Blond
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngomi Ba – I speak Fula
Babylon Zoo – Spaceman
Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Pt. II, Return of the Ankh