Old Japanese Photographs When we moved into our awesome (very) old Tokyo house, I was half-expecting to find interesting leftovers in some of the thousands nooks and crannies of the place. It turned out to be spotlessly clean and empty.

However, in the process of turning our room into a giant LED-lit wonderland yesterday, I happened upon a small worn-out paper bag, tucked in the small interstice between the wall and the hook-supporting wood panel near the ceiling, filled with a bunch of black&white photographs…

The first photographs, in smaller format, seemed to have been shot at some formal event (a wedding?), featuring close-ups of a younger lady in kimono. Hard to pinpoint a date, but easily more than 40 years ago. By that point, I was already pondering whether I should turn over these heartwarming mementos to the landlady (whose family presumably were the last tenants, some time before we moved in), or could claim prescription and keep them in good conscience…

Then I flipped past the first few and understood why these had been carefully hidden behind a wood panel in a corner of the bedroom…

Porn Photo Stash

Yes: I had found one of the previous owners’ secret porn stash from the 70s.

I guess I might hold off on contacting the charming little old lady I pay rent to every month.

Update: I originally abstained from posting the non-nudie pics on the off-chance that they would incriminate some long-retired (/long-dead) philanderer somewhere. Upon further reflection, the odds that anybody in a position to personally recognise them would ever land on this page being astronomically low, here they are:

Japanese Dinner (there are about 5 or 6 more, all near-identical re-shoot, with slightly different angles)

When I first glanced at them, I surmised a wedding dinner or some such. In light of accompanying material and upon further review, I would say it is clearly a much less family-oriented event. My guess is “business” dinner at some onsen retreat. Whether extra “services” were provided by the female personnel, or the pictures merely fueled the secret fantasies of our pin-up collector, we probably will never know…
It is also hard to tell from my crappy keitai copy, but these shots are quite crisp and detailed for amateur photographs, leading me to think they might be a little more recent than the pin-ups (early 80s?).

After years of sensing it, without quite putting my finger on it, I have finally uncovered the ultimate truth about mediocre art and its root causes.

It is all about sex.

Sex and sexual desires, are solely to blame for every single one of those nights you spent attending overpriced, underwhelming, “art” performances. You know the kind: some friend-of-a-friend-of-an-acquaintance, half naked, banging on pots, ululating while playing the electric guitar with an egg beater and a 2000W amp or just exploring the relation between art, space and materialistic consumerism by slithering in a kiddy pool filled with mashed potatoes while their partner sprays them (and the first two rows of the public) with milk and coke.

To be fair, most art is about sex, great art included. When masterpieces do not straight up depict sex, they are most often about their author hoping to get laid, or consistently failing to.

On the other hand, mediocre art is all about keeping your existing sexual partner(s) happy. Sex is the glue that keeps together delusional twenty-something “experimental” artists, long after the last of their friends have faced up to their talentlessness.

Behind every over-affected improv actress, is a bored but madly in love partner. Behind every shitty garage rock band, is a dedicated girlfriend ensuring none of her friends ever miss a gig. Behind every pointless expressive dancer’s performance, is a poor sap playing a detuned violin with a hammer, too busy checking her ass to wonder if it really was worth enduring 15 years of classical training for this. The fecund fields of experimental artistry are littered with people who would have long given up inflicting their fumbling on a sine-wave generator to the public at large, were it not for a support base, spinelessly ready to dish out all sort of undeserved praise and support, as long as it grants them VIP pants access.

And please do not come telling me this is a victimless crime: my eardrums and psyche, battered by hours of uninspired pseudo-stream-of-consciousness drivel recited to the sound of glass rim music, beg to differ.

(as the movie we’ve been watching together is rolling its credits…)

Her: [Looks up suggestively and moves hand across bed]

Me: You do realize this is quite possibly the worst pre-coital movie. ever?

Her: [Keeps silent and smiles a wicked toothy smile]

Me: That’s it! stay the hell away from me!!! I’m sleeping on the floor tonight.

(awesome movie, otherwise)

Dave: So things didn’t work out with D.?

Michèle: Nope. I really have a hard time with relationships, these days… Girls are so fucking complicated.

Dave: You mean boys are easier?

Michèle: Of course. You guys are so easy. [makes brain-switch-off motion] So unchallenging it is restful sometimes.

Dave: Alright, then stick to guys.

Michèle: Meh. Girls have nicer ass.

Dave: Right. Plus sometimes guys wanna cuddle after sex.

Michèle: Yea, what’s up with that ?