月別アーカイブ: 2003年5月

僕のオフィスの近所には2軒の大型書店と1軒の中型

■僕のオフィスの近所には2軒の大型書店と1軒の中型(?)書店がある。うち大型店1軒は33万冊の品揃えを売りにしているのだが、驚くべきことに洋雑誌を一冊も置いていない。英語のペーパーバックもノンフィクションは下らないものが数えるほどしかない。これが丸善なら半分の坪数でもクルーグマンなり、マイケル・ムーアなり、話題の新刊くらいは最低限置いてあるものだ。アーク森ビルの小さな丸善にはちゃんとあった。その5倍以上の広さがある大型店がこの軟弱ぶりでは、このオフィス街もそこそこ外国人はいるし、何より近所に外国人のたくさん住んでいる超高級賃貸マンションがあるのに、ずいぶんなめられたものだ。もしかするとこの大型書店がテナントとして入っているオフィスビルのオーナ企業が超保守的で顧客のニーズを読みきれていないからかもしれない。

‘Covering Islam’

■Now I’m reading ‘Covering Islam’ written by Edward Said in Japanese translation published from Misuzu Shobo. But the translation of some chapters is too bad to be understood. So I decided to buy the original English version in Amazon.co.jp. It seems to be very difficult for Japanese academic people to tranlate this kind of at once journalistic and academic books.
■I don’t like ‘Business Week’ at all. I like ‘The Economist’ far better than that. Recently I have chance to several copies of ‘Business Week’ because my German boss circulates the copies he personally bought so that his subordinates including me improve their English skill. He believes in order to increase English vocabulary it is the best way to read English manazines although my opinion is that it would be better for Japanese to listen to audio materials with textbook. When I read Business Week, I feel as if there is no Central and South America. As if there is no Africa. As if there is no Muslim states except for during warfare with them. What does the editorial of the issue on April 21, 2003 say concerning the end of Iraqi war? “The images are breathtaking — Iraqis tearing down a huge statue of Saddam Hussein and celebrating their freedom. They echo nothing less than the fall of the Berlin Wall. As these pictures of liberation flash through the Middle East and Europe, the opportunity for the U.S. to build support for its goal of transforming Iraq into a prosperous democracy is at hand.” How can they tout that kind of farce so much? Didn’t we laugh at the image of falling statue of Hussein? Because only a negligible number of Iraqis in Bagdad were involved in that childish play scripted by U.S. Do Americans really think they already made a success like the fall of Berlin Wall? I think all that they’ve got is a kind of chaos. How can they believe so easily that the democracy in Iraq is ‘prosperous’? What is this egoistic confidence of Americans? That’s why I don’t like Business Week. In every issue of The Economist, you can find every part of the whole globe. Indeed The Economist is pro-globalization. But they are so as long as the globalization is economically effective. Indeed The Economist is sometimes cynical and ironical. But it is far better than the imperialism propaganda.
■Yesterday I wrote an essay about the definition of ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ in the corporate management context. I’ve already received three feedbacks from my readers. Two of them agreed with my astonishment about the fact that this kind of basic mistake can happen in a Japanese large manufacturing company. And the other said that the students who major science and technological subjects have no chance to study Latin. I don’t expect science students have any knowledge about Latin. So it isn’t a problem. But Japanese companies, including the company I belong to and the recruiting ad company I mentioned in the essay, don’t consist of only science and techy students. We also have the students from foreign language and literature discipline. I wonder why they couldn’t notice a basic mistake of the definition of ‘mission’ and ‘vision’.

Iraq War BLOG

■In this weekend I watched a TV program of the state-run channel regarding a BLOG which provided information inside of Iraq just before the beginning of Iraq War. They said the BLOG got 500,000 access per month. The same program reported an American student who discussed with Iraqi students over video conference before the war and inclined to anti-war because of the feeling of personal relationship with them. During the war, he searched information which cannot be got through mass media. Peter Barakan, commentator of the TV program, insisted the possibilities of the power of the Internet against mass media. Another commentator, Natsuki Ikezawa, Japanese novelist, agreed with his opinion. I also agree with them. I think the Internet is the only way for ordinary people to communicate globally their idea. However, it is another problem how much the information on the Internet can influence the real world. This morning I appeared in my office after several days sick-in-bed and noticed everything goes as if nothing happened. By the way, the annual health checkup happened to fall on today. I was told for the first time in my life that I am hypotensive (= low blood pressure). It’s natural because the last week’s acute inflammation of stomach and intestine has obliged me to eat little these days. But I feel I’m recovering little by little.