Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Asahi on a cloudy day

Attended a wedding Sunday at a golf club. I don't particularly like golf courses, finding them a misuse of land and water. Here in Japan the situation is especially insidious, like they've found the most beautiful spots in the country and purposely scarred them with courses. I could riff on this cosmetic surgery as being a natural extension of the mindset which created zen gardens. Instead I'll just say that I believe the Japanese have long lost their stereo-hyped affinity with nature. "Nature's Wisdom" my Aichi.

Anyway, I wasn't brought here today to talk about golf. I want to talk about the building. It was this huge sprawling expanse of right angles broken only by a few arches and turrets. All made of massive grey blocks, like a Lego rendition of a 19th century German castle. Complete with a ten foot tall coat of arms over the front gate. A real mad scientist fixer upper. Scattered about the grounds were dozens of angry looking stone eagles, just a dash of 1930's Germany for flavor. Inside it gets even weirder. Everything was on a simply gargantuan scale. The doors and ceilings, halls and stairways, sofas and tables were immense. (Aw shoot, I'm running out of synonyms.) Towering marble columns broke up the space. I put my hand on one, looking forward to the usual coolness, but instead found plastic. A hollow knock knock. There was nothing here built to human scale. Being lost in this expanse was enough to give one claustrophobia. Or perhaps agoraphobia. The little figures darting about looked hilarious, like extras on a Busby Berkeley musical set. To mex my mitaphors even more, I have to say that what it most reminded me of was the hotel in "The Shining". When the wedding began, I thought to myself, if the ring girls suddenly link hands and say "Redrum," I'm outta here.

On the turntable: Shakti, "Remember Shakti"
On the nighttable: Dan Millman, "The Warrior Athlete"

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