News of the Weird
Japanese Porn and Insensitive Zombies
November 11, 2010 | 09:36 AM
REALLY DIRTY OLD MEN
About 20 percent of Japan's adult-video market is now "elder porn," with each production featuring one or more studly seniors and Shigeo Tokuda, 76, among the most popular. He told Toronto's Globe and Mail in October that he still "performs" physically "without Viagra," in at least one role a month opposite much younger women. His wife and adult daughter learned only two years ago, by accident, of his late-onset career (which began at age 60 when a filmmaker hired him for his "pervert's face"). Tokuda figures the "elder porn" genre will grow with Japan's increasing senior population.
LOVE ME GENDER
In Afghanistan, as in many less-developed countries, boy babies are much preferred to girls for economic reasons and social status, but some thus-unlucky Afghan parents have developed a workaround for "excess" girls: simply designate one a boy. All references to her are male, and she dresses as a boy, plays "boy" games and does "boy" chores, at least until puberty, when many parents of the "bocha posh" convert her back. In some tribal areas, according to a September New York Times dispatch, superstition holds that creation of a bocha posh even enhances prospects of the next child being a boy.
Although India has forbidden discrimination against lower-caste "Dalits" (so-called "untouchables"), rampant oppression still exists, especially in rural areas. In October, police were investigating reports that a higher-caste woman had disowned her dog after it had been touched by an "untouchable" woman. A village council in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh state had reportedly awarded the higher-caste woman the equivalent of $340 compensation after she witnessed the dog being given food scraps by the Dalit woman.
TRAGIC RELIGIOUS IRONIES
(1) Ten people were killed in an October stampede when a scuffle broke out at a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Bihar where 40,000 had taken their goats to be sacrificed for prosperity. (2) In July in Montcalm County, Michigan, four teenagers attending a Bible church camp were killed when lightning struck an umbrella they were huddling under on a field.
ONE BAD LAW DESERVES ANOTHER
In June, the Mexican government filed a brief in Arizona challenging the constitutionality of that state's proposed law that required police to check the immigration status of detainees, which, according to its Foreign Ministry, "violates inalienable human rights." However, a May USA Today dispatch from Tultitlan, Mexico, noted that Mexico has a similar law ("Article 67" of its immigration code) and that police allegedly harass immigrants from Honduras and other Central American countries. Said one pro-immigration activist, "There [the U.S.], they'll deport you. In Mexico, they'll probably let you go, but they'll beat you up and steal everything you've got first." (Bills to overturn Article 67 have been pending in the Mexican legislature for months.)
The charity Brain Injury New Zealand, organizing a community benefit in the town of Rotorua, decided in October to stage--of all things--a "zombie walk," inviting townspeople to shuffle around in support. The TV station TVNZ reported numerous complaints alleging BINZ's insensitivity.
BEG YOUR PARDON?
For months, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has been indifferent to humanitarian appeals on behalf of sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott, who were convicted in 1993 of luring two men to a robbery (total take, $11; no injuries) but who were each mysteriously sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. (The actual robbers got two years.) Beyond the questionable sentence is Jamie's extremely poor health (double kidney failure). Gov. Barbour's unyielding position is to direct the appeals to the state's parole board. In 2008, bypassing the parole board, Gov. Barbour independently pardoned four vicious murderers who were serving life sentences, even though none had claimed unfair conviction. The four had participated in a prison-sponsored odd-jobs program, helping out around the governor's mansion.
Two men robbing a Waffle Shop in Akron, Ohio, in October ushered customers and employees into the back and had them give up their cell phones, which were collected in a bag, with the plan to lock the phones in a supply room, retrievable only long after the robbers had fled. However, one robber walked out the restaurant's front door, which automatically locked behind him, and when the other robber walked into the supply room to drop off the bag, an alert hostage locked him inside (and resisted when the robber began "demand[ing] to be let out").
"Is it already the holidays? I just quit drinking."
- Woman staring forlornly at the seasonal decorations in the Kahului K-Mart
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