Carla and I took a one-week trip to Tokyo. It was my sixth visit to Japan's capital, and it was my favorite so far. For the next few days, I'll be writing about recommended things to do there. See them all here.
We got back to Shibuya after our day on Mt. Takao at about 5 pm. That gave us enough time to get cleaned up and have dinner in Shinkjuku's "yakitori alley" before heading to Kabukicho for the Robot Restaurant show.
The official name for the yakitori alley is Omoide Yokocho (memory alley). It's also known as Piss Alley, but I didn't smell any piss. The grid of narrow pedestrian alleys, crammed with tiny bars restaurants, was as clean as Disneyland's Main Street USA. We got there around 6:30pm and it was already crowded with people ready for beer and grilled meat.
We found a place with a couple of available seats around the counter. It was called Ucchan. We sat down and were greeted by a busy staff. We asked for sake and they served it in glasses of crushed ice. This was the first time I had it served that way, and it was wonderful. I noticed that the glasses of beer that people were drinking had ice in it, too. One of the staff spoke a bit of English and I asked for a combination of grilled meats. He said it was pork only, and I said that was fine. Carla is not a huge fan of pork, though. Read the rest
I first encountered Grant Morrison at the Disinfo.com conference of 2000, organized by Disinfo's founder, media magician, Richard Metzger [founder of Dangerous Minds]. As I walked upstairs from the basement hangout zone of NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom, at the beginning of his now legendary lecture, I heard Morrison's bone-chilling scream into the microphone, which reminded me of another Morrison, and thought "Who the fuck is this guy?' He then announced that he was drunk and had just eaten some hash and it was about to kick it in, all with a thick Scottish accent. Such punk rock antics won the rapt attention of the wild crowd, myself included, and over the course of the next hour or so, he voiced all the countercultural excitement of the moment. During that cold February day in New York City, Morrison's message was clear, Magick works, but you should not take his word for it, you have do it yourself to learn how it works.
What originally brought me to this two day conference was the fact that Robert Anton Wilson was the headlining speaker. Throughout the late 90s, and especially 2000, I was completely immersed in the works of three psychedelic philosophers, Timothy Leary, John C. Lilly, and most of all, Robert Anton Wilson. RAW was more than just a psychedelic philosopher, he was the greatest living writer that I'd discovered up to that point.
During his talk, Morrison exuded such optimism and joy that I immediately went out and read as many of his comics I could find. Read the rest