Before I bring you another week’s worth of my brilliance, there is one important issue I would like to address. As much as it pains me to solicit all of you, I want you to send me your favorite YouTube videos. I assure you, this has nothing to do with any faith on my part in all of your abilities to find quality internet movies. The simple fact is that if you all send me videos, I’ll write a column on all of them, you’ll get to show all of your friends your name on a fancy, legitimate (sort of) web site, and a couple of hours of my life will be spared. So click the email link or post one in the comments and get your fifteen minutes.

Anyway, this week I bring you a group of people even more foolish and improvident than yourself. They earn this dubious distinction by willingly subjecting themselves to all manner of humiliations that are unfathomable to me on national television. If you haven’t figured it out yet (come on now, it’s in the damn title), I’m talking about Japanese game show contestants. I won’t try to explain their culture; I’ll just assume they’re still suffering from atomic radiation.

I don’t know what they’re doing here, and, honestly, I really don’t care that much. This is a show that I fully support. It’s like taking warning labels off of dangerous products—if you’re dumb enough to use a hair dryer in the shower, maybe electrocution isn’t inappropriate, and if you’re dumb enough to go on this show, you should probably be taking a mousetrap to the genitals so it’s that much less likely you’ll ever pass on your genes. I vote wholeheartedly for this to be imported as quickly as possible to the United States.

Godzillas: 4 (out of 4)


I understand this one even less than I understand the last one. Obviously one Japanese person is unable to count in English, but for some reason this leads to other people dressed like school kids in a classroom being beaten. I can’t imagine what the purpose of this is, why someone would sign up to count in English despite a complete inability to do so, and why Japanese people feel the need to dress in ridiculous costumes. That being said, I’m going to support this clip on the above principle that people who are idiotic enough to volunteer themselves are being beaten, and that’s good enough for me.

Godzillas: 3 (out of 4)


I guess this one isn’t so much a game show as a candid camera show, but I’m far past the point of being picky. The problem with American shows like Punk’d is that they are almost always just a series of malicious lies. While it’s entertaining to watch Britney Spears break into tears over something she didn’t do, wouldn’t we all rather see her shot naked (well, maybe not) on a rocket chair into the snow? The problem with American society is the lawyers—put Americans on this show and there would be repeated whiplash lawsuits. Put Ms. Spears on it, and there would be an emotional distress suit when her wig flies off and the person who catches it sells it online. Either way, not something that could last on American television, which is just a shame. On the other hand, though, maybe shows like this are the reason for inane cultural fears like Godzilla. After all, if you never know when you’re going to be thrown into the snow by what looks like a normal chair,you just might develop a few strange phobias too.

Anyway, I can’t say this enough times: when people are getting hurt for my amusement, even I can’t come up with too much criticism. A great video from a brilliant culture.

Godzillas: 3 (out of 4)


First, the single flaw of this video is that the build up is a little long, and after the first three I’m not accustomed to having to wait a full minute to see pain and suffering. That being said, these people can do no wrong in my eyes. In addition to all of the anguish and torment these people go through, this video adds gratuitous displays of chauvinism. Also, the valiant display of teamwork was quite something—one can only truly know one’s friends when they are willing to force suffering on you for their own benefit.

Godzillas: 3.5 (out of 4)


The Germans have a word that has no equivalent in English: schadenfreude. It means pleasure taken from someone else’s misfortune, and it is the very root of why this week I have finally been able to author a column that brings me at least a modicum of happiness. Everything I have seen has been brilliant, if only because it comes at the expense of the foolish. Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s time for me to move to Japan.

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