Respectful Insolence

Sadly, the meeting’s over, and I’m winging my way back home as this very post shows up on the blog for your edification. Because it’s Sunday and, more importantly, because I’m too tired to produce anything substantive, I leave you with this bit of Asian weirdness sent to me by my sister. It left me scratching my head:

My sister informs me that this is actually a parody of this band:

Wow. This is just…incredible.

You know, I really have to get back to serious blogging about medicine and science. I can hear my traffic plummetting after this. Oh, well. Perhaps people more in the know than I could explain to me just what the heck’s up with these videos, and I’ll get back to the medicine and science tomorrow.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul
    March 8, 2009

    What is that, the Japanese Menudo?

  2. #2 Annapolitan
    March 8, 2009

    From what I can tell by limited googling, “Genji Starlight” was a popular 1980′s Japanese boy band. Many of their videos on YouTube show them on rollerskates.

    Like Orac says, the first video appears to be a band called “Shikibu Love” and a parody of the “Genji Starlight”, which shows the singers on stilts instead of rollerskates.

    “Genji Monogatari” (or “The Tale of Genji”) is a highly acclaimed classic work of literature in Japan dating from around the 11th century. Its author was Murasaki Shikubu, a noblewoman. The names of these bands are undoubtedly a nod to this classic and its author.

  3. #3 Zeno
    March 8, 2009

    Yeah. Exactly what Paul said.

    They’re wearing American flags, though. Did we inflict boy-band “culture” on Japan? Our guilt is great.

  4. #4 Comrade PhysioProf
    March 8, 2009

    When it comes to Japanese pop music, there is no such thing as parody.

  5. #5 blf
    March 8, 2009

    I couldn’t work out at first why the parody group was using stilts until I realised the originals were on (some sort of) skates… No, I’ve no fecking idea what’s going on, but a least a small bit of it makes sense. Sortof.

  6. #6 Rae
    March 8, 2009

    Nothing surpasses the awesomeness of the “Yatta!” video.

  7. #7 Jennifer
    March 8, 2009

    It is a parody. They’re all comedians, and this is the idea of the guy in blue. He got really popular in Japan last year for his routine where he counts to 40 and “turns into an idiot” on every number with a 3 or a multiple of 3, (which you can see here if you’re interested. I think it works even if you don’t know Japanese.)

    The band that’s being parodied is actually called Hikari Genji (Starlight is a song title). There are lots of these kinds of groups, but they usually dance, not skate. They’re big, big business in Japan.

  8. #8 Blake Stacey
    March 8, 2009

    Wow. I’m having serious flashbacks here. It’s like I fell into a timewarp and emerged in 2001, when Yatta! was everywhere. Someone stop me before I start belting out “All your base” lyrics.

  9. #9 Marc
    March 8, 2009

    They’re like The Osmonds, only with props!

    Come to think of this, maybe these guys were single-handledly responsible for the Japanese economic collapse in the 90s. Maybe the Japanese looked at this, realized that this was what all that hard work and industrial planning inexorably led to, and they collectively gave up?

  10. #10 DLC
    March 8, 2009

    Ow. Japanese boy-bands. I should have known the cancer would metastasize. Is radical surgery called for, or should we stick with radiation and chemotherapy ?

  11. #11 Jonathan Dresner
    March 8, 2009

    I was in Japan when Hikaru Genji first became popular. Not only are they hilarious in themselves, in that “who-takes-this-stuff-seriously” boy band way, but the parody is spot-on funny, from the name of the group (named after the Heian-era author who wrote the book in which Genji Hikaru was the protagonist) to pogo-stick choreography, to the (hard to believe, but true) even more banal lyrics.

  12. #12 Dr Benway
    March 8, 2009

    You do not know Macademi Wasshoi episode 5.

    The story starts up about 7-8 minutes in.

    Warning: what has been seen cannot be unseen.

  13. #13 Daniel J. Andrews
    March 9, 2009

    Ok, Dr. B….I’m pretty sure posting that links violates your Hippocratic oath. :)

  14. #14 mandydax
    March 10, 2009

    日本の度メヌドですか。

    Oh, never mind, Paul beat me to it in Comment #1. XD

  15. #15 Jacques Hughes
    March 10, 2009

    ok Orac, 1st rule of Fight Club is… hang on, I mean Hippocratic Oath “Do no harm”. I mean, how could you? I thought we were your friends…

    Next you’ll be having anti-vaxxers accusing you of being a fun-monger, you don’t want that now, do you? Huh? Made my point?

    Good.

    Back to the science stuff.

    thank you.
    JH