I lied.

Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond even my Mighty control, the Highlander 2: Renegade Version Podcast is hereby postponed until further notice. A multitude of factors went into making this decision, not the least of which: a broken Netflix DVD and various computer hiccups. I also moved into my new apartment (aka “The Pimp Krib”) this week, which is why this podcast is a wee bit late. I am now officially small pimpin’. One day I hope to graduate to medium pimpin’, or — dare I to dream? — big pimpin’.

 

Anyway…

The Punisher (1989) is the Greatest Movie EVER.

 

9 Minutes, 48 Seconds In:

The Punisher loves kids.

 

However…


Kids do not love the Punisher.

 

15 Minutes In:

WTF?

 

CLOSING THOUGHT:

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with Tonka’s newest line of remote control trucks…

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3 Responses

  1. having watched it again recently, Lundgren did a much better job then i remembered. I just don’t know how you have a punisher movie and not have a skull on his chest.

    The one big problem i have is: how is an ex-cop supposed to know where to get the military weapons that Lundgren uses in the film? How about the explosives? Frank Castle is supposed to be a ex-Marine Recon sniper for a reason.

  2. I recently discovered and have been loving this podcast, especially all the snarky comments and the discussion of nearly forgotten films.

    I did find something a little off about one of the things said in this particular episode, though. This episode is rather old, so for all I know it might have been corrected in some future episode, but I thought I might as well post here, since it is the relevant place.

    At one point, the Almighty Gooberzilla (I believe it was Him speaking) asserted that the movie demonstrated its lack of understanding of Japanese culture by having one of the characters be an adopted American child of a Yakuza member. Allegedly, it is legally impossible, or nearly impossible, for Japanese nationals to adopt American children, supposedly to “prevent miscegenation.” I happen to be an American living in Japan (though not adopted), and so this immediately piqued my interest, as I had never heard of such a thing. Of course, how accurate the portrayal of Japanese culture is in this movie otherwise is a separate issue, so my discussion is limited just to this more narrow point.

    I’ve tried Googling in both Japanese (which I can read fluently) and English, and I was utterly unable to find anything to corroborate this assertion, except perhaps insofar as it might require a bit more paperwork for Japanese nationals to adopt internationally and insofar as international adoptions are comparatively rare in practice.

    Searching in English, basically nothing shows up. I could only find discussions of the difficulty of adopting children from Japan (which appears to be possible, though a bit onerous, and presumably it makes more sense to adopt a child from a less economically developed country in the first place).

    Searching in Japanese, I find numerous discussions of the process of how to adopt foreign children (the thing that is supposedly banned). One example is a blog devoted to the subject here: http://yousiengumi.seesaa.net (in Japanese).

    Basically, the thing that Japanese sources seem to bring up again and again is that adopting a child does not automatically make that child a Japanese citizen. This implies two things: 1) it may be a bit more difficult to adopt internationally for Japanese nationals than for people of some other nationalities, but 2) there is nothing close to a ban on doing so, and there are actual examples of such adoptions, even if comparatively rare.

    In practice, it seems that for Japanese nationals to adopt a child from overseas it requires a ton of paperwork but is entirely possible. The child does not automatically become a Japanese citizen, so the parents must go to the immigration office and get a visa for their child (just as I periodically must go to the same office for my visa). This is on top of all the legal procedures that the adopting parents would have had to go through in the country overseas. The child would, it seems, receive either a visa as a “spouse, etc., [the child being the “etc.”] of a Japanese national” or as semi-permanent resident, depending on age and other circumstances. After a certain amount of time that the child resides in Japan, the parents would be able to apply for naturalization for the child, which, after several months and a lot of paperwork would end up with the child as a Japanese citizen, just like his or her parents. Even without going through the naturalization process, the child would still be able to reside and even (once old enough) work in Japan, simply having to get his or her visa renewed every few years. Apparently, the length of time before the child is eligible for naturalization is specifically shorter for minors, which the person being adopted of course would be.

    As to whether Japanese law or, more generally, society tries to “prevent miscegenation” in broader terms, I can find little evidence. Legally, Japan is a purely jus sanguinis country, meaning that someone can only be born a Japanese citizen (i.e., not talking about naturalization for the moment) if one or both of the parents are Japanese citizens, rather than by being born on Japanese soil. (Technically, one actually can become a Japanese national by virtue of being born in Japan if one’s parents are unknown or if they both are stateless.) However, there is nothing in Japanese law that specifically refers to race or ethnicity. Children of naturalized Japanese citizens that are not ethnically Japanese are just as eligible for citizenship at birth as children of other Japanese nationals, and simply being of Japanese descent does not automatically allow one to get Japanese citizenship, such as being of Jewish descent entitles one to Israeli citizenship. Constitutionally, all levels of government (but, depending on local ordinances, not necessarily private individuals) are banned from discriminating on the grounds of race or ethnicity in Japan.

    As for Japanese society, as opposed to law, I found the results of an opinion poll from somewhat interesting: http://www8.cao.go.jp/shoushi/cyousa/cyousa22/marriage-family/pdf-zentai/s2-1-3.pdf (in Japanese). The results don’t exactly paint the Japanese as super-duper-exceptionally accepting, but it hardly makes them out to be particularly obsessed with “preventing miscegenation,” either. Polling unmarried men and women in their 20s and 30s, overall 36.2% said they wouldn’t mind marrying a foreigner, with 28.4% of men and 46.3% of women saying they would be fine with it (15.5% of men and 12.4% of women were “not sure”). It should be noted that this poll asked if people would like to marry non-Japanese nationals personally, so many of those who were answered that they wouldn’t marry a foreigner themselves might be fine with it for other people to do.

    My own anecdotal evidence does not paint the Japanese as remarkably racist (though not necessarily remarkably un-racist, either), and I would note that “miscegenation” is quite common in popular Japanese fiction, especially speculative fiction, which the Almighty Gooberzilla seems to have quite a fondness for. As one prominent example, Asuka in Evangelion is supposed to be half German and half Japanese. Also anecdotally, I have met plenty of mixed-race people in Japan, so if the law is trying to prevent “miscegenation,” I’m not sure if it is doing a very good job.

    I’m actually quite curious about what led to the remark in the podcast, especially since it was challenged by the guests in the episode and then averred to be true. To be sure, laws and attitudes can change, and the podcast was discussing a movie from some decades ago. I would be genuinely interested to hear if there did, in fact, used to be some sort of restriction, so I would appreciate some enlightenment if this were the case.

    Anyway, I apologize for the excessively long comment, and I hope you keep up with the showcasing of the GREATEST MOVIES EVER!

  3. Pardon me, Nick, but I don’t exactly remember what I said on this episode. It was recorded over eight years ago. I may have misspoken, and I may have been misinformed at the time. I apologize if I stated a falsehood as a fact.

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