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Slow magazines - click opera
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Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 11:06 am
Slow magazines

At Kikuya Bookshop you can take time over your slow magazines, bring a ton of them to a cafe table and flip through them while drinking a matcha au lait, shoot photos of them, then put them back on the shelf. Exactly the sort of anti-materialistic slow life the magazines themselves endorse!



Keywords: life, slow life, LOHAS, organic, natural, huts in the forest, wooden furniture (with discreet Apple computers), simplicity, sleep, wabi sabi patina, hanging bare lightbulbs, the avoidance of ostentation, post-materialism, eco-friendly, baking bread, making your own clothes, having babies, Scandinavian coffee pots, plants, large-format photography, subtly faded, delicate colours, old American signs, Little-House-on-the-Prairie puritan style, gentleness, Okinawa, pleasantness, bathing, rustic food, holistic herbal medicine, French peasant produce, artisans, older Asian lifestyles from other Asian countries, female friendship, Tanizaki's "In Praise of Shadows", idealism, toddlers, quality coffee and tea, healthy green vegetables, cooking, sewing and beadwork, affection for the very old, tender-mindedness, urban longing for the rural, traditional Japanese values, leisure, relaxation, refinement, fertility, quality of life.

30CommentReplyShare


(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC)

http://www.heritage.scotsman.com/audio/001_A_021_2005_05_31.mp3


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)

http://www.heritage.scotsman.com/audio/001_A_021_2005_05_31.mp3

Nice song, very wabi sabi! Unfortunately, although my own land has wooden huts aplenty and lots of Slow Life traditions just waiting to be revived, its industrial masses are not yet quite as post-industrial as the Japanese public. Partly it's just numbers and wealth: Scotland's population is 5 million, Japan's is 125 million.

But it's also the fact that there just isn't as much life in which to slow down and take your time in Scotland. A Glaswegian male lives only 68.7 years, compared to a Japanese male's 78.3 years.

I dare say Tilda Swinton and John Byrne are bringing up their twins in their Nairn, Morayshire home in a style rather like the one featured in these magazines, but to find a similar sensibility in the West on this Japanese scale I think you'd have to go to Sweden.


ReplyThread Parent
niddrie_edge
niddrie_edge
raymond
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)

mmm..a wee bit confused...i get the population bit , but the wealth? not as rich per head or richer? of course "elites" can indulge in lifestyle change at the drop of a hat, but the "industrial masses" of Scotland are what?.. not rich enough, not numerous enough, not "post-industrial" enough?

unemployment in areas decimated of services and industry is almost third generation now..lots of leisure with a DIY attitude ..if not theres the chemical method of slowing down..

i often used to see Japanese cultural movements as trends or fashions to be dropped once people align professionally with the society

thanks to your blog i am encouraged to delve deeper and try and bring it all back home..


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niddrie_edge
niddrie_edge
raymond
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC)

ah i see...

"There are ways to be 'post-industrial' that the West will also eventually discover. They are not refusals of the West by losers, but refinements of the West by winners."

from your Slow Life link


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nomorepolitics
nomorepolitics
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
That's a nice string of keywords.

Makes me really miss Japan.

Since most of my ranting recently has been so opposing, I feel the need to let you know how much I appreciate your writing and art.

Gambatte!!!


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twoheaded_boy
twoheaded_boy
Saelan
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)

I think my favourite title is Navel of Life.

"I may be navel-gazing, but I'm gazing into the navel of life!"


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anti_peace_riot
anti_peace_riot
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)

I wouldn't mind a copy of Ku:nel, Slow Living, and Natural Life. Of course, I'd have to learn how to read Japanese first...


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darling_effect
darling_effect
Andrea
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)

I've bought a number of issues of ku:nel and never knew what it meant before now!


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akabe
akabe
alin huma
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)

matcha latte is lovely indeed. even to an espresso freak like me. and it's really taken off recently


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 04:43 am (UTC)
Just a Thought

I love the peice, and the ideas therin, but I can't help feeling that SlowLife is another fleeting subcultural movment in a country that is still very centered on work in connection with social status ( Having a fureta sun is no badge of honor for mom & dad), and economicly still quite industrial.-Jed


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
Re: Just a Thought

Well, you have to remember that magazines, as well as representing lived lifestyles, also represent aspirations, dreams and compensations for lifestyles they don't show. A leisure magazine with pictures of the countryside can speak of a productive life spent in the city, even if the second content is a hidden one.

And obviously there's a bit of a humourous paradox in the fact that non-materialist magazines want to be bought, and want to sell you things (they subsist on advertising, like other magazines), hence my joke about how the mags "endorse" my non-acquisition of them as purchased items.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
Re: Just a Thought

However, I don't agree that Slow Life is a passing fad. I think it's the beginning of "the next thing" after the industrial revolution, and pioneering it is a tremendously important thing to do at this point. How do humans manage a trajectory away from mindless (and highly damaging) economic growth? What's actually important, once you reach an adequate level of material affluence? These questions are not going to go away any time soon, and neither is the environmental damage that will focus our minds on them.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: Just a Thought

"What's actually important, once you reach an adequate level of material affluence?"

I suppose this is where the silver lining in my warey mind lies, in the fact that once people are satisfied as consumers and individuals, they will hopefully want something diffrent (i.e. Im sick of an industrial style economy that scars the landscape, I want an eco-friendly alternative). Let's hope, as you sugest, that people will start to notice the damages from the industrial system, and propel a post-industrial SlowLife into the future. What are you doing today?-Jed


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nato_dakke
nate
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
a po ro jii

Over at marxy, I've pooh-poohed the japanese slow life fad over and over. I still think its a fad, but I think you're right. I've watched slow life slowly creeping over the entire magazine rack for the last year or so. I think it's a more significant fad than I ever gave it credit for.

m(_ _)m

Moushiwake nai.


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akabe
akabe
alin huma
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 06:36 am (UTC)
Re: Just a Thought

but it should also be remembered that both the people producing these magazines and the ones featured in them do tend to work pretty hard and that the so caller 'creators' category is not really boho arty slackers but everything from electronics guys to aromatherapists (see feb. relax).


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nicepimmelkarl
.
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 12:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Just a Thought

french peasants can't afford a house on the prairie either. it's not easy to get the world organized.


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intergalactim
intergalactim
intergalactim
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 07:49 am (UTC)
Re: Just a Thought

The latest Cabinet magazine (themed "Ruins" and which arived today, & I've only read 5% of) has a feature on "sandal-wearing “cranks” in 19th-century England".

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/20/


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4oid
4oid
 
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 06:59 am (UTC)

dacafe's diary:
http://dacafe.petit.cc/

http://www.dacafe.org


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC)

"...having babies... toddlers... fertility..."

You're not trying to tell us something about you and Hisae, are you?


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
compelling

Thanks for this - I've been following the links all over the place, and find these ideas so compelling and wonderful. Would love more posts about these things, or directions to archived ones.
--Stephanie


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nicepimmelkarl
.
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)

skull and bones: out

happy: in


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stanleylieber
stanleylieber
Stanley Lieber
Wed, Jan. 11th, 2006 06:01 am (UTC)

Like pushing a button.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)

Unfortunately for Japan, none of these magazines could be considered "very popular," and they're all essentially targeted at the same narrow audience. Can Cam probably has more readers than all these combined.

I'm not sure anyone perceives these as "cutting edge" either. Just for late 20s/early 30s women who are out of the fashion rat-race.

Nice curation, though!

Marxy


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pressurised
pressurised
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)

If you are not obliged to buy the magazines... how do they keep going? What's the bottomline of the slowlife? (speaking as a would-be snail that is).


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davidcoulter
davidcoulter
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
slow food for a slow life...

I'm a relative newcomer to your site Nick, although we met years ago when we were both playing at The Albany in Deptford. I used to play with Holy Joy and Test Dept. Went on to play with The Pogues from '91 - '96 and am now MD for Tom Waits on The Black Rider and playing musical saw all over the place. Check www.younggodrecords.com. Based in Brixton and travel a great deal. Love Japan and tour whenever possible. Be great to hook up next time i'm / you're over. I've been an avid follower and practitioner of Slow Food and read this post with much glee. Took liberty of sticking a few links in... Itadakimas!

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2005/11/japan_the_slow.html

http://www.slowfood.com/

http://www.soilassociation.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/OtherDocs/le_editorial010404.html

http://www.slowfoodfoundation.com/

http://www.slowfood.com/eng/sf_cose/sf_cose_organizz_jap.lasso





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sybawrite
sybawrite
Plastic Measures
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
cute formalism

Just in case you didn't catch this NY Times article outlining some of the formal properties of cuteness: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/03/science/03cute.html?ei=5070&en=d694877296232dff&ex=1136955600&pagewanted=all

I think the bit about the political role of cuteness in Japan is particularly interesting. Have you encountered any instances of cuteness being used "to soften up the vertical society"?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: cute formalism

Oh sure, like this sign:



I thought the NYT article was doing the same thing, actually: pulling us in with a cute panda picture, then making us take on trust a whole lot of statements prefaced by vague appeal-to-authority phrases like "researchers say... evolutionary scientists believe... Madison Avenue knows... experts tell us..." None of these people were named or quoted directly, you were just supposed to take it all on trust. Cute!


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Jan. 10th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)

do these slowlife magazines have websites or some where to see spreads?


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Jul. 31st, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
spiritual/slowlife mag

Hi, wow Ive been a fan of Momus for quite some time, and how pleasantly surprised was I to come across this fine article after Googling 'inaka lifestyle' (i undertake such random searches during most of my free time lately). Actually, I gruadated from a Japanese university last year and based my undergrad thesis on the Japanese green spiritual subculture...lifestyles, philosophies, etc etc., and did most of my qualitative research on Yakushima Island, quite a hot-spot for these types.
Anyway, a mag you might want to check out is here:

http://www.el-aura.com
More spiritually oriented, but with green lifestyle suggestions (cosmetics, retreats, etc.)

Ive been living in stinky Bangkok for half a year now; yearning for Japan...mainly the inaka and onsen...which lead me to the initial Google search that lead me more.

peace-
JJ



ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Jul. 31st, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
Re: spiritual/slowlife mag

ps Momus/Nick Ive been enjoying your writings and thoughts ever since....5-6 years ago, when you did a reading/performance in LA. Youre a genius and inspiration to us with anthro degrees. enough of the gush.. :P


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