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    Posted by Sean at 06:25, January 23rd, 2006

    Well, it’s finally happened: they’ve arrested Takafumi Horie. I haven’t been writing about this latest Livedoor story because…oh, I don’t know. Atsushi is the business person in the family, and focusing on Japan’s diplomatic soap opera gives me enough to talk about. As of this morning, the questioning Horie was undergoing was voluntary; the Asahi‘s latest English installment outlines all the key points for those who are interested but haven’t really been following along:

    The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s questioning is apparently focused on Horie’s involvement in a number of dubious transactions, including the 2004 purchase of publisher Money Life Co. by Livedoor Marketing Co., a Livedoor affiliate.

    Starting in autumn 2003, Livedoor took over six companies, five of them through stock swaps, and then manipulated their stock prices, sources close to the investigation said.

    The profits gained through the manipulations were passed on to Livedoor in the form of fictitious transactions with its subsidiaries, the sources said.

    Livedoor also listed gains through sales of its own shares as revenue, instead of assets, they said.

    These maneuvers enabled Livedoor and its affiliates to window-dress their accounts, the sources said.Some said Livedoor had padded its earnings by about 9 billion yen.

    New Nago mayor opposes current US military restructuring plan

    Posted by Sean at 06:18, January 23rd, 2006

    …but so did his opponents, so that part of the outcome wasn’t really under dispute.

    The Governor of Okinawa spoke today with the head of the JDA on the restructuring of US military installations in Okinawa, which is an ongoing issue on which there seems to be little movement lately:

    Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine visited Japan Defense Agency head Fukushiro Nukaga at the JDA offices on 23 January. Of the mayoral election in the city of Nago, he stated, “The new mayor will be someone who acts in good faith, but all three candidates stood opposed to the proposal to shift [US military] operations and facilities from the Futenma Base to the coastal areas of Camp Schwab. It will still be a difficult issue from here on.” He went on to say of the Futenma restructuring issue that “from the Okinawa side, we will continue to act in good faith.”

    The JDA has asked for concessions from the US aimed at minimizing the burdens placed on locals where our bases are located. The Yomiuri had a good English-edition rundown of the election referred to above:

    In fact, Shimabukuro [ who won, BTW –SRK] is opposed to the relocation plan to which the Japanese and the U.S. governments agreed (under the agreed plan, the Futenma Air Station in Ginowan will be relocated to the southern coast of Camp Schwab in Nago). However, Shimabukuro wants to leave room for compromise should the plan be revised.

    Henoko Ward Head Yasumasa Oshiro said: “Those who protest against the plan say, ‘The money will be gone as it’s spent, but the base will remain forever.’ But these pretty words don’t feed people. What’s important is compensation.”

    Quite a few restaurants in the central part of the ward seemed to have closed down, others seem to be struggling, the English letters on their signs fading away.

    An elderly taxi driver said, “This used to be a lively quarter, full of U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, but now it’s deserted, with no young people coming in.”

    Oshiro is opposed to the current relocation plan, which suggests building the air station only 300 meters away from the closest civilian residence. He does not approve of the way the central government overruled the local governments when it agreed to the plan.

    Oshiro criticized the central government, saying: “We’re not interested in dugongs and seaweed beds. The government should have dealt effectively with the opponents and promoted the idea of building the airport on reclaimed land in shallow waters off Henoko. It was their delinquency that didn’t make it happen.”

    A few months ago, the US was the party pushing the original reclaimed-land proposal; local voters didn’t go for it, and it isn’t just a gambit by Okinawan politicians to shove the relocated facilities as far away from the locals as possible.


    Oh, and BTW, whoops!

    Several unmanned helicopters produced by Yamaha Motor Co. may have been passed on to China’s People’s Liberation Army, it has been learned.

    Suspicions have arisen that the helicopters, which are employed largely for industrial use but can be also used for military purposes, were illegally exported to China, investigators allege.

    Yamaha Motor has denied the allegations, but suspicions have arisen that the helicopters may have been passed on to the People’s Liberation Army. Police and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are investigating the company over its actions.

    Investigators said Yamaha Motor was involved in trade with an aircraft firm in Beijing. The aircraft firm’s Web site says Yamaha Motor’s unmanned helicopters have prospects for “wide use in civilian and military fields.” An unmanned helicopter is pictured alongside a People’s Liberation Army jet.


    Posted by Sean at 08:30, January 21st, 2006

    The bar where Atsushi and I were first introduced is one of those places with lots of shelves and niches full of stuff. The owner has a thing for Chinese culture, so you’ve got your gongs and your dragons and your red and gold things. He also brought in some books. Guys frequently take down and page through the ones about your zodiac sign or gay places to go in Singapore and stuff. Being a big dork, I frequently took down the one called 水生無脊椎動物 (suisei musekitsui doubutsu: “aquatic invertebrates,” which title appears on the cover as Aquatic Invertebrates of the World) and looked at color drawings of the various varieties of starfish and cross sections of sea cucumbers. This drew such comments as “Sean, you’re the only gay man on the planet who would sit at a bar and read a book called Aquatic Invertebrates of the World” and…well, that was pretty much the comment everyone made, actually. Until Atsushi. His comment was “Hmmm…,” which with him frequently counts as a full sentence, as I would discover later.

    You’re thinking this is yet another post with no point, but you are WRONG. Knowing the Japanese word for invertebrate means you know the character for spinal cord, and that means you can understand why Japan decided to reinstate its ban on US beef again today, after spinal cord was found in a shipment. The usual statements have been made. No more gyudon from Yoshinoya (again) until things are sorted out.

    More bang for your health care buck

    Posted by Sean at 03:25, January 21st, 2006

    You have got to be kidding me (via Ace Pryhill at Gay Orbit):

    University of Florida employees have to pledge that they’re having sex with their domestic partners before qualifying for benefits under a new health care plan at the university.

    The partners of homosexual and heterosexual employees are eligible for coverage under UF’s plan, which will take effect in February. The enrollment process began this month, and some employees have expressed concern about an affidavit that requires a pledge of sexual activity.

    Kim Tanzer, chair of the Faculty Senate, said she could understand why some faculty might view the affidavit as invasive.

    “I can see (Behnke’s) point,” she said. “If you ask married folks if they’re in a platonic relationship, that’s a personal question.”

    “Some faculty might view the affidavit as invasive”?



    And the rest are perfectly sanguine about having a “must fuck” clause built into their health insurance policy? Even Ace herself (“Okay, so while that sounds great, and totally could be used as ammo when one partner doesn’t think the other is giving up the booty with enough frequency, it’s really a stupid stipulation”) and North Dallas Thirty (in the comments: “True, but I can see their point…..DPs really are not meant to cover, as they put it, long-term roommate relationships that don’t involve anything deeper than shared space and bills”), both of whom are usually reliably reasonable people, don’t seem to see what an OUTRAGE it is to have bean counters passing judgment on one’s sex life.

    Because, you know? I really can’t see their point. Not even kind of sort of in a way. In fact, it’s so ludicrous that I clicked around the parent site a little just to make sure we weren’t being suckered by an Onion-style parody played straight. No such luck. Normally, I would be chary of interpreting “non-platonic” as meaning “sexual” to the bureaucrats interpreting it, but that’s how the UF people quoted sure appear to mean it. (And my understanding from people who have dealt with having their marriages observed for green cards and things is that even the INS only tries to determine whether you live together in an intimate way. If there’s some kind of bald sex requirement, it’s the one complaint about bringing a spouse back to the States that I’ve somehow avoided hearing.)

    This kind of thing is the perfect illustration of how the campaigners for gay marriage, with their squalling emphasis on achieving “validation” and “respect” and “dignity” through paperpushing, have been shooting themselves in the foot. If two people of undisclosed sexuality decide they’re never going to marry and want to be responsible for each other, why shouldn’t a domestic partnership arrangement cover them?

    I love seeing romance bloom, but I cannot for the life of me imagine having the effrontery to demand it of people. And when it comes to my own household, the only person whose business it is whether Atsushi’s being adequately serviced is Atsushi. I don’t even discuss what happens in our bedroom with my best friend.

    UF’s VP of Human Resources is quoted as saying he “had no plans to personally enforce the sex pledge,” which is nice, because even if the idea weren’t COMPLETELY CRACKERS to begin with, what would you do? Would a used condom with DNA from both partners suffice (in the case of men)? Or would they have to go for it right in front of a certified university employee who would then sign a confirmation that they both got off? And, for that matter, even if they weren’t really in a “non-platonic” relationship, couldn’t the benefits be good enough that gritting their teeth through one bone-dance session a year (if that were the qualifying minimum) would be worth it for two unmarried roommates?

    Unreal. Just unreal.

    Tell the leaves not to turn / But don’t ever tell me I’ll learn

    Posted by Sean at 23:02, January 20th, 2006

    Happy fifth anniversary to my wonderful boyfriend, who deserves a much better man but, luckily for me, has shown no inclination to look for one. Five years and a month or so ago, I would have said that long-term commitment and stability and stuff were great ideals. You know, for other people. For Atsushi’s part, one of the first questions he asked me when we started tentatively dating was “Don’t you think it’s pretty much impossible to have a lasting relationship with someone whose cultural background is so different from yours?” Glad we were both wrong.

    You reduce me to cosmic tears

    Posted by Sean at 09:22, January 20th, 2006

    John at TP with Page Numbers says something that one wishes wouldn’t have to be repeated quite so often:

    What I came away with from those broadcasts [while studying in the then-Soviet Union] was the view that the American press wasn’t reporting on the European reaction (mostly negative – we should have given sanctions more time). I used to tell people about that “missing” perspective a lot when I got back here. God, what a little snot I was. I like to think I’ve grown a lot since then. I was still in my “Americans are so provincial” phase, which I can partially forgive myself for, since I was the only person, outside of my college friends, in my social circle that spoke a language that wasn’t high school French or Spanish. If you judge me more harshly, I don’t blame you, though. I doubt most Europeans would speak more than one language if another language wasn’t as close to them as the state line is to me. And really, even children with Down’s syndrome can be taught another language. It’s not a sign of intelligence, although it is a sign of diligence, especially if you are in a large monolingual country such as China, Russia, or the US. Most of the pretentious Western Euros I know don’t speak the hard languages (non-Indo European, or even Indo-European ones that require a non-Latin alphabet).

    I think most of us are kind of snotty when we’re in our early twenties, and the “hard languages,” as John flatteringly styles them, tend to attract competitive know-it-all types. (Yes, obviously, I’m including myself–I’m aware of my flaws. Or at least aware of that flaw.) So I’m not inclined to judge him harshly, because he was willing to look and learn as he grew up. It’s people who retain the “Ooh, FRANCE! How learnèd!” mentality well after they’ve been around the block enough times to know better that drive me nuts.

    Of course, not all change is progress:

    And my, how things have changed in 15 years, no? The press is full of the European reaction today. As if American interests should be subject to the judgment of a bunch of snot noses who tear their continent apart every fifty to hundred years or so. My guess is that 15 years ago the old guys with a grain or two of sense, who came of age in the late 40s and early 50s were still around in the newsrooms to keep the Boomers in check, but now the Narcissist Generation is running the show according to the score of ’68. For which a lot of Euros happily produce new refrains.

    I rag on the Boomers myself, but I think it’s useful to note that they developed as their post-War parents, anxious to make everything safe and comfortable and pain-free after the first half of the century, reared them to. Not that all the fatuous navel-gazing was an intended consequence, of course. And plenty of Boomers in the mass audience, if not behind editors’ desks, wish the more pompous European commentators would go take a flying leap and probably ignore most of the yak time CNN provides for them. It’s still annoying that they’re deferred to so much.


    Posted by Sean at 05:20, January 20th, 2006

    I was going to post this immediately after putting this up about my trip to Taiwan. Then I just kind of didn’t and figured it was expendable. Then I read a few things that kept reminding me of the topic and thought–this is one of the bad things blogging does to you–Hey, I’ve still got that post I didn’t put up, and there’s still time to GIVE IT TO THE WORLD! So this is the other thing that struck me, not for the first time, over the weekend.

    I ended up staying at the apartment of the woman who runs the office there–my trip had been arranged pretty hastily, and I guess there are a lot of people trying to get things done in Taipei before the Chinese New Year. My flight was delayed by rain and fog here in Tokyo; when we got in at her building, we had a midnight supper (tortellini and green salad and beer–quick and casual but, for me, like la Tour d’Ar-freakin’-gent after the stuff on the airplane) and talked animatedly for a while before turning in. We had several other meals together in the next few days–we’ve known each other for years and have become friends, and food in Taiwan is yummy–and I went out for lunches and stuff in various pick-up groups with other people from the office. Some of it was shop talk; I was there for shop, after all. But a lot of it was just the kind of stuff you find yourself talking about with other foreigners who live in Asia (and with Asians who’ve spent time living in the West; the groups tend to be mixed).

    And I kept finding myself thinking how much I like the people I’m surrounded by and, despite my need to spend loads of time alone and my spiel about being a loner, how easy it is to talk to them.

    The sheer relief of being able to say that catches up with me at odd moments. Growing up, I never really expected to be in my element. Not that I expected to be a full-on hermit. I was a pretty unpopular kid, but I was never really, seriously, scarily isolated. I always had a few close friends. And they were real, serious friends. I’m only in consistent contact with one of them now, but there’s enough writing back and forth with two or three of the others that if by some chance I do go to our twenty-year reunion, I won’t be in the dark about which marriages and children and career paths go with whom.

    But without really verbalizing it to myself, I essentially figured I’d turn into one of those elderly bachelors who dote on their books and stuff and don’t socialize much and (needless to say) never really have even one serious romance. I genuinely love books, so I wasn’t too bothered. The implied lack of romance also didn’t disturb me, since my best efforts to get worked up over girls came to naught, anyway. And as I say, I always had a very small but genuine set of friends, and you can’t complain about that.

    Like most people who only really grew into their personalities in college and afterward, though, I found it a new experience to be able to talk to people–just people in general–without having that constant low-level hum in my head that I had to stay reined in so I didn’t give myself away somehow. Most of it, yes, was that I’d lost the subconscious fear of inadvertently saying or doing something that might make me look like a fag. (You kind of have to get over that if you’re going to call men “honey” as often as I do.) And yet it was a lot of other little general-personality things, too: Being around people who know what it’s like to want to move far away from where you grew up even though you love your family and the upbringing they gave you–that’s a big one. And having it just assumed in the background, so that you don’t have to keep explaining it all the time.

    This is turning into one of those posts that dissolve into purposelessness. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve written so many querulous this-article-SUCKS posts this week that I seem to be projecting a rather crabby mood and wanted to write about something positive. Atsushi can’t get back for our anniversary tomorrow, but we’ll be celebrating next week. Several friends of mine whose relationships ended last year are finding love…or at least fun distractions. The 300th anniversary of Ben Franklin’s birth was a few days ago. A close college friend is getting married in May. Things are good, even if a lot of people are saying dumb things about Japan.

    Japan in its dotage

    Posted by Sean at 11:44, January 18th, 2006

    Zak, who comments here frequently and has a good (if on-again-off-again) blog here, sent along a link to this article. It’s a response, in part, to a Mark Steyn column from a little while back. It also seems to think it’s offering a reassuring alternative to the standard line about how Japan should provide for its future, which is characterized thus:

    In response to the increasing average national age, money-minded people push for privatization, pension reform, greater per-worker efficiency, less protection, greater ambition. (Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is of this school. Whether he’ll call for immigration reform is another matter; some say Japan’s amazing new caring, sharing domestic robots have a less-publicized function: to forestall the need to bring Filipina maids and nurses into Japan.) In this view, changing demographics mean that life must get harder, more ruthless, more efficient.

    Harder and more ruthless? Well, okay, I guess you could put it that way. I don’t see what the crime is in increasing worker productivity, especially given Japan’s current level of same and the potential for technology to help. And privatizing social welfare programs does mean that people are more responsible for taking care of themselves. Some might find that more liberating rather than harder.

    Not everyone agrees. The soft approach is summed up by Japan’s burgeoning Slow Life trend. Ironically for a movement that seeks to shift the social focus from money to quality of life, Slow Life has its roots in marketing. In 2001 prefectural governments, chasing the “green yen” of eco-tourism, began advertising campaigns using the slogan “Ganabaranai! — Don’t go for it!” Attempting to lure stressed city dwellers to their rural regions (no doubt on high-speed trains sporting the Koizumite slogan “Ambitious Japan!”), the prefectures devised an eight-point Slow Life Manifesto that stressed nonacademic, noncompetitive lifestyles — walking, wearing traditional clothes and eating food made from local ingredients; durable and sustainable building construction; forestry; respect for the old; self-reliance and living in accord with the rhythms of nature.





    I’m not just saying that as a confirmed urbanite. Who knows? Maybe in forty years my idea of happiness will be living out in the sticks in a thatched hut with a firepit for a stove, communing with the crickets and affectionately straightening Atsushi’s obi before sending him off once a week to walk to the co-op for rice. Stranger things have happened.

    Additionally, the Slow Life movement, as described in the article, does make a few good points. Urban Japan is not just kinetic; it’s downright stressful. And Japan, for all its vaunted love of nature, hasn’t been kind to its own countryside in the process of industrializing and becoming rich. And the post-war economy stuffed as many workers as possible into an Organization Man mold that doesn’t fit many of them; understandably, many young people are deciding to trade down on money so they can get more leisure time (or do work they find stimulating). Japan is a mature, affluent economy, and it’s perfectly natural for people to start thinking about quality of life rather than subsistence and the reconstruction of basic infrastructure.

    But the idyll depicted in the article leaves a lot of key points out; and I fail to see how its origin in marketing is in any wise “ironic,” given the way it seems to wed a flashy surface come-on to a lack of substance. For one thing, third-rate countries may have delicious food and breezy, non-competitive lifestyles, but they also often have sucky, innovation-free health care (no small consideration in an aged society). Also, you know that rather large country over there? Yes, CHINA–that’s the one. No one expects it to attack Japan next week, but enmities in this part of the globe are ancient and deep-running, there are developing economies around that are competing for resources…and I’m not at all sure Japan will find itself able to do without a strong, first-rate defense system if it just announces to the rest of East Asia that everyone in the archipelago is going to devote himself to growing leeks and raking sand from here on.

    There are more basic problems, though. Momus (and, to the extent that he’s roped in, Ryuichi Sakamoto) seems to assume that we’re in a position to get complacent and say that Japan has Achieved Enough and we should just be happy with it and even pull back a bit. The article considers no factors that could be driving Japan’s current economy but competitiveness and money-madness–no natural human curiosity…no need for a variety of possible ways of life to be available for individuals to choose from…and no sense of the way people with funky, undemanding occupations still enjoy and depend on things produced by workaholics, or at least by people who are willing to take more structured jobs. Respect for age is a great thing, but many of the protections civilization provides against nature and human depredation come from rambunctious, thrill-seeking, resilient youth.

    Therefore, while whether Japan is doomed if its population decreases as predicted is obviously an open question, fantasies like those mentioned in the Wired article don’t seem likely to pan out:

    Some saw the Slow Life movement as a passing fad, but five years on magazine racks tell a different story. On a recent visit to an Osaka bookstore, I saw a plethora of new magazines using phrases like “slow living,” “self-sufficiency” and “natural life” in their titles, all stressing “lifestyles of health and sustainability.” As I flipped through them, recurrent themes appeared in the photographs: huts in the forest, wooden furniture (with discreet Apple computers), sleep, wabi sabi patina, simplicity, bare light bulbs, baking bread, little-house-on-the-prairie Puritan style [What on Earth is that supposed to be?–SRK], rustic Okinawa, bathing, artisanship, older Asian lifestyles, slow food, organic vegetables and a pervading urban longing for the rural.

    Ah, yes, “self-sufficiency.” It’s worked so well for the DPRK, after all. (Speak of population decreases!) And those Apple computers you can pay for with a truckload of home-grown eggplants and run on…uh, where is the electricity supposed to come from, exactly? We’ll need it for the lightbulbs, too, bare or not; but something tells me these Slow Life people aren’t big on engineering new power plants. And the robots, come to think of it.

    I think it’s wonderful that Japan is rich and that people are making trade-offs that allow them to enjoy life more. It seems to me to be going a bit far to act as if the decline in population were some kind of spiritual opportunity in disguise, though.


    Posted by Sean at 06:13, January 18th, 2006

    I can’t decide whether this discussion is interesting and revealing or just people talking past each other.

    I understand that people can’t control their visceral responses. It’s not as if no uncharitable thought about the Japanese ever flashed through my head. Sometimes what I’m getting crabby about really is a thread in Japanese culture that has meaningfully contributed to some of its past misconduct, in which case I might pursue the line of thought and perhaps post about it. But sometimes I’m just being crabby, in which case I don’t beat myself up for having stray nasty thoughts, but I don’t air them for other people as if they were meaningful, either. Pace this commenter, only half of the comparison he’s making works. “France balked at standing up to an enemy in 1940″ and “France balked at standing up to an enemy in 2003″ is a promising analogy.

    “Japan performed unaesthetized vivisections on captives and brutalized POWs in the 1940s” and “Japan is threatening to pull out of an agreement on whaling that it believes is scientifically unsupported and culturally biased” (my composite or summary of his and others’ objections, BTW, not direct quotation) may also prove fruitful eventually, but it is not the sort of comparison that can be honorably thrown into the middle of a discussion without defense. Hovering in there, there seems to be an implication that Japan’s conduct on the whaling issue is a manifestation of some kind of characteristic, long-standing Japanese untrustworthiness and manipulativeness that bears watching.


    I can see playing the World War II card in a discussion of history textbooks, shrine pilgrimages, immigration policy, or hiring requirements for civil servants. I do so myself–while I agree with the Japanese government that it has paid its debts and made its apologies as demanded by the victors and should not be called upon to keep officially groveling in front of its neighbors, that isn’t the same thing as saying it’s handling its history well. There really are instances when the position taken comes perilously close to sounding like “Well, sure, we raped Nanking and forced the Koreans into labor and tried to eradicate Taiwanese culture–but the A-bomb was dropped on two of our cities, and our capital was firebombed, and our emperor was demoted, so can’t we just call it even?”

    I don’t get the whaling connection, though. Japan believes the existing IWC ban on all commercial whaling is excessive, scientifically unsupported, and against its economic interests. The US used pretty much that rationale in not signing on to the Kyoto Protocols, and we’ve been accused of being cavalier, not being accountable to the “world community,” and blah blah blah, too.

    To my knowledge, Japan isn’t doing anything that violates the IWC ban. It isn’t underreporting catches, nor is it fishing–I’m pretty sure about this, but I haven’t been able to verify it with a quick-and-dirty Googling–in waters that have been declared preserves by the IWC. Perhaps it would be nice if Japan recognized that Australia’s maritime jurisdiction goes beyond twelve nautical miles offshore (or whatever it is; I think that’s what we use in the States) for conservation purposes, but I don’t see what’s duplicitous about its not doing so. Neither does the Australian court system, apparently, BTW.

    Additionally, recall that Norway has been exempted from the moratorium simply because it threw an official snit at its inception. Iceland, I think, is in the same position as Japan, though it’s been less vociferous in its push to have the ban on commercial whaling lifted. In any case, this isn’t just some funny idea of Japan’s, and in trying to engineer a vote in its favor and playing show-me-where-it-says-I-can’t when an agreement isn’t in its best interests, I can’t for the life of me see how it’s doing anything that every other majoy geopolitical player doesn’t do. You may approve or disapprove of such tactics, but you’d be hard-pressed to argue that they say anything about the Japanese particularly.

    It’s not for me to judge which peoples an individual should or should not sympathize with, but feeling free to trot out the WWII analogies every time Japan does something to protect its interests over the objections of others, in the guise of reasoned argument, strikes me as unseemly.

    I don’t want to be the sweeper of the egg shells that you walk upon

    Posted by Sean at 00:59, January 18th, 2006

    Most unnecessary book ever:

    In between intense writing sessions for her next studio album, expected in 2007, Alanis Morissette will spend this year working on a memoir.

    To which the only sensible response is “Good grief, woman–is there anything you haven’t told us already?”

    Apparently so. Look and be afraid:

    “It will be all the wisdom I’ve accrued in the thirty-one years of my life [Be VERY afraid.–SRK],” the singer-songwriter says with a laugh. “A lot about relationships, fame, travel, body-image issues, spirit — with a lot of self-deprecating humor peppered throughout, ’cause I just can’t help it.”

    I happen to like Alanis. Jagged Little Pill exploded the summer after graduation, when I was living with a bunch of friends for a last few months in Philadelphia and we were all excited about the future and stuff, so I have great memories of that record. Also, unlike a lot of other confessional-bitch singer/songwriters (Hi, Tori!), Alanis doesn’t mix in all kinds of fey and twee crap to convince you that she really is nice and cuddly after all. And she writes fantastic tunes–I’m a sucker for a good melody.

    An Alanis memoir, though? Kinda thinking I don’t really need it.