At least the Harijuku girls from Gwen Stefani's 2004 still have job opportunities, "lavishing adoring (albeit nonsexual) attention on men for a hefty fee," or so says Hiroko Tabuchi, whoever she is. Even the New York Times has no idea who writes their articles anymore. She was editing the article live when I started blogging about it late at night. The spectacle is a tricky beast.
Let's review the sequence here Hiroko, are you with me? Allright. *whew* As of 3:48AM Pacific Time, you named the article "Young Japanese Women Vie for a Once-Scorned Job." The headline that originally caught my eye was "A Well-Paid Flirt". I liked the first title better. It's more affirming and humorous.
More eyes will read your story than mine. How did you get that fancy gig writing stories for the business section of the Times? Gakwer is too busy talking about pop stars inside giant bubbles right now. I guess that's more important than poking fun at your story.
;) Here's winking at you kid. You should totally leave the mainstream media bubble. It's much more fun on the other side. Maybe you can post one of those cool anime emoticons blinking back at me in my comments.
I have to say though, tagging this article with the key word "prostitution" is really going a bit too far don't you think, considering your initial disavowel about the "lavishing adoring (albeit nonsexual) attention" hostesses heap on men "for a hefty fee"?
However, with the women of Japan "neck deep in the recession" sex work (or sexy work) is gaining respectability and even acclaim. Hiroko tells us "more women from a diversity of backgrounds are looking for hostess work." And these non-sexual sex symbols are diverse to boot! The New York Times has really got some nerve though, rubbing their ridiculous paeans to heterosexuality in our noses like that.
Hiroko Tabuchi interviewed all the right people. But what did they say?
"'I often get fan mail from young girls in elementary school who say they want to be like me,' said Ms. Momoka, 27, interviewed in her trademark seven-inch heels. 'To a little girl, a hostess is like a modern-day princess.'"This is getting kinky. Since when did princesses (I mean children) start getting paid to flirt with older men? I thought they had to "pay to play" with the men, right? It's a good thing we left that whole dowry thing in the past. We wouldn't want to crush those poor schoolgirls dreams now would we? So what did the little girls have to say about that Ms. Hamada? Your photo was, after all, on the splashpage of the New York Times and it really drew my attention.
'"It's only when you're young that you can earn money just by drinking with men,' said Mari Hamada, 17."Oh I see, Hiroko, so the story that you're painting for us with this really "super" picture is that capitalism is in crisis, so Japanese culture is busy selling it's little children -- the younger they are the easier they are to get drunk, a lesson Michael Jackson knew very well -- to the rich financiers, who originally loaned America money to build and buy all the homes that started the recession in the first place. Was this story put on the front page of the Times Business Section to boost business travel to Japan, or is this a sick irony? On the bright side: hostesses wages are increasing! A receding economic tide lifts little girls skirts? Is this the takeaway financial lesson? Teenagers in America are having trouble finding minimum wage jobs because all the old people work at McDonalds now. Apparently, Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" are all more qualified for the job. Good thing those gray haired people are now paying into their own social security accounts.
Thank you for that delicious story Ms. Tabuchi, wherever you are in this great spectacle, but if you're in the Bay Area anytime soon, I can give you my number and I'll take you out for a really fabulous cocktail. Or is that too forward? And best of all, you won't have to pay for me to flirt with you. What do you say about two "Old Fashioneds" on me?!
David Bowie just sent me a tweet, he says he thinks Ms. Momoka "really made the grade. And the papers want to know whose [heels she] wears." Sorry, Hiroko, Bowie has a shoe fetish. You better get some pumps if you want him to buy you drinks. I'm just a good old-fashioned whore.