March 25th, 2004


and my tears in league with the wires and energy and my machine

Japanese culture has consistently puzzled Western minds. The country used to be famed for its honourable ninjas, beautiful geishas and top-quality rice, but the twentieth century brought our planet dictators operating on an unprecedented scale and two world wars.

Post-World War II, the Japanese economy was exemplary on a global scale. The GDP grew almost exponentially, quickly rising to become the second largest in the world. During the eighties dear old Maggie Hilda was busy campaigning, fucking things up and systematically raping the souls of Britain's workers – meanwhile, far away from the hospital closures and decimation of the NHS, Japan was riding an economic bubble like that blue hedgehog in Sonic 2's Aqua Lake Zone.

After 1945 – with all the optimism and worldwide fraternity still floating about – Japanese culture began to permeate the rest of the world and likewise, they lapped up the products of our society with an earnest wish to dye their hair and grow up to marry an American (all despite those two nukes). Across those mountainous and earthquake-ridden islands, the kids were eagerly learning English, chewing bubblegum and learning to play baseball. While pachinko parlours' pulsing neon rainbows of hyperenergetic sensory overload and oceans of surging tobacco smoke were never likely to catch on over here, we certainly have our fair share of non-silicon Japanese imports.

You can now buy exorbitant raw fish in Marks and Sparks, everyone knows what sumo wrestling is and Judo has been in the Olympics for forty years now. We may not bother with traditional tea ceremonies, but we have animé and manga whilst even those who aren't fanfags play Pokémon and download hentai. Following closely behind the disturbing TV shows, subtitled Battle Royale DVDs and the bloody irritating ubiquity of all that Hello Kitty merchandise, was a chick who moved to London in 1998 and happened to be named Mika Handa.

Somehow, she gave rise to a crazy punk band known as Mikabomb. They've played hundreds of gigs throughout Europe, sound like nothing you've ever heard before and a Steve Lamacq quotation proclaiming them to be "the best band to ever come out of Japan" is repeatedly recycled on all their promotional material.

userinfoSam takes all the glory of discovering them for us (courtesy of some wanky book a relative gave him) and quickly lent the CD to Abu then me and then a bunch of other people with equally discerning musical taste. After finally finding the venue among Brighton's least reputable back-streets a bunch of chums first ventured out to see them play live exactly two years and three days ago.

Yesterday, on the day after userinfoSam's 18th birthday (a Wednesday that cunningly happened to my 18th birthday), a similar party of droogs embarked on an adventure up to London to appreciate the Mikabomb experience once again.

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When it was over we went home. Back at userinfoDavid's HOUSE, as my memory fails, I assume that we boned Catriona.


A few days earlier had been userinfoDavid's superb partay that took place due to his lands being devoid of p. units. It was ace although it was unfortunately marred and curtailed by my less-than-magnificent loss. Nonetheless, immense fun was had by all and the change was indeed refreshing as it happened to be my first night back home for some nine years. Highlights included the meeting of userinfoWammie, userinfoPolish Matthew, userinfoAndycallander, userinfoGraham, userinfoHeysteve, userinfoFjordy, userinfoDawstow, userinfoJadders, userinfoFiery Dean, userinfoCarlos, userinfoSaudi, userinfoNat, Woss and a userinfoScary Gay Dude and nine other mans, closely followed by peeing with Catriona and her pounding our crotches together on her bed. Also worthy of mention: the exchange of 'bone numbers with a cute girl named Holly (initiated by her, not I).


And then, Today by the Pumpkins came on Winamp 2.81 whilst a rainbow appeared outside my window...