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Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:51 am
Terror-triumph of the Tarako cuckoo-kewpie!

The cod, the haddock, the whiting and the pollock are gadids, northern hemispheric fish which produce millions of eggs and spawn in great numbers. I have always had my suspicions about these fish, which prey on smaller fish and crustaceans, but recent events in Japan, related to the arrival of a viral new variety of gadidae known as the Tarako Kewpie, confirm that they are much more dangerous than any of us could have imagined.

What could be more wholesome than a fish-egg flavoured pasta sauce, you say? And why not let a harmless jar of pasta sauce have its own mascott in the form of a red, poddy, blobby, egg-shaped doll?


Are you still unconcerned when you discover that the gadid Tarako kewpies invaded the earth by way of a spacecraft hovering above the sea?


Doesn't it concern you that the child featured in the Tarako commercial is obviously based on the alien children in the horror film Village of the Damned, those "beautiful youngsters behind whose firey, hypnotic eyes lurk the demonic forces of another world"?


Certainly these two little girls seem harmless enough as they infiltrate the pop charts with the Tarako song... but will you ever get it out of your head?


And so -- while you gaze, oblivious, at your keitai -- these dangerous mutants, hybrids of gadid and daruma, invade our cities.


They walk amongst us, recruiting.


They even infiltrate product shoots for other commercials.


They get inside our children's heads, forcing them to drink beer and make their own Tarako commercials featuring Taraka Tomy Toddling Baby Robots. And still you are not alarmed?


By hijacking your hard-wired parental instincts, the alien eggs distract you -- they are distracting you right now -- from your computer screen, and the serious work you should be doing there, work without which you cannot bring home the bacon or put pasta on the table before your own children.


Even after the phallic red cuckoo-fish oust you from your own nest, even after you become jobless and homeless, you find yourself with your nose glued to the electronics store window, freezing cold, but with a little flame of joy in your heart as you watch the deadly red egg-spawn army making new conquests, taking over the world child by child.


All is lost now. There is nothing left for you to do but join the stinky red tide. Go on, pull on the costume! Sing the anthem! Waddle and bounce down the street, rank on rank, like unhatched fish! Forget yourself, leave all your anxieties and doubts behind! Recruit! Recruit! Tarako! Tarako!

28CommentReplyFlag


(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 09:17 am (UTC)

This is deeply concerning. And I thought Emmerich's 2012 katastrophenporno scenario was something to be afraid of!

Taraaako, tarako... but it is a catchy song.

Say, why do the noodles in the adverts not have any sauce on them - in an advert for noodle sauce? Or is the fancy trick of Tarako that it is clear? I am not familiar with noodle sauces from countries that are not Germany, Italy, Sweden, Great Britain, Spain and Bhutan.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)

not members of the genus Gadidae? although there is a superficial solenaceous quality i'll admit

potatoes are solenacae too. as an engl;ishman, i have to defend my mongrel vegetable heritage :)


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)

by the way, this sauce is pretty good


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)

not members of the genus Gadidae?

Yes, in fact they are (see below). I've corrected my original text so as not to look too foolish in the red fish-eyes of posterity. Hush, let's keep this between the two trillion of us!


ReplyThread Parent
tjaq.blogspot.com
tjaq.blogspot.com
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
Rant?

I've been really enjoying your entries lately but this one was dissapointing, more so now when we know your plans (which I accept and very much understand). Been thinking a lot about Click Opera lately and one thing I now know for sure is that I will miss all your more personals entries more than I was aware of. You know Momus, the ones about your neighbourhood, your home, your pet, Hisae and so on. I feel I've come to know Neukoln (is it really Neukoln as in the Bowie song or am I getting it mixed up?!) and Berlin, obviously seen through your eyes but all the same.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

tjaq




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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

Neukoln in the Bowie song is apparently a reference to the band Neu, and the city of Koln or Cologne, not to the district in Berlin (which has a double L).


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

I don't think that's true - I'm sure I read an interview with him where he said he it was about a Turkish immigrant area. I think he just spelled it wrongly. Unlike a couple of his other Berlin-era tracks, this one betrays no Neu! influence.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

Found it: from a 1983 interview:

"I'll give you some background. Neukoln is an area of Berlin which is primarily Turkish and I had to work out a way of putting a Turkish modal thing into it. It was very hard for me to use that scale against the background, so that probably produced the humorous aspect." The squawking sax as opposed to the very ethereal basic track...? "Yes, and whole notes where one would take a half note, it goes into whole notes on the Turkish scale. So it was really difficult to keep it going. Yeah (laughs). There's kind of a lot of Ornate Coleman at the end of it."

Quite an interesting interview focused solely on his saxophone playing!


ReplyThread Parent
tjaq.blogspot.com
tjaq.blogspot.com
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:46 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

Here it is, a beautiful piece of music:


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

I'd love the track Neukoln to be about Neukolln, since I live here! But I don't think it is -- if you could locate that interview reference I'd be very interested.

When Philip Glass came to do his Heroes Symphony, the title was split into two words, becoming Neu Koln, which seems to suggest that it was a deliberate reference to the band Neu, who were from Koln. And we learn here that the title of the album came from a 1975 track by Neu called Hero.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:50 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

if you could locate that interview reference I'd be very interested.

http://209.197.115.99/Appearances/Press/1983/0500/saxophone.html


ReplyThread Parent
tjaq.blogspot.com
tjaq.blogspot.com
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

So I wasn't so confused then! I have also read somewhere that the title of the song was misspelled and that it is about Neukolln Berlin. So funny you didn't know that Momus!

Now I guess you just have to record an exclusive dub version of it for us poor Click Opera readers :)


ReplyThread Parent
tjaq.blogspot.com
tjaq.blogspot.com
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

Sorry for being lazy, but it is in Neukolln you live?


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
Re: Rant?

Oh, we cross-posted! You found the interview? Excellent! So now I can say I live in the district Bowie celebrated, and tell people he made up the other story (about Neu and Koln) just to cover up the fact that he misspelled it!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)

hmmm...wasn't the Tarako viral thing circa 2006 or is it back? It's worth mentioning that the pod-like shape I'm pretty sure is supposed to be cod roe, so it might be interesting to find out if it is instantly recognizable to Japanese people or only recognized by association with the product. Also how and what Japanese people associate with the Kewpie doll other than mayonnaise. Clearly the Kewpie doll a very old Western merchandising fad later manufactured in Japan perhaps helping to prototype kawaii. Here it's alive albeit with a definite undercurrent of nostalgia like YMO associate Koji Ueno's Showa jingle the girls sing and the time warped European kids.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)

Yes, I look at these things and see tomatoes, but they are actually meant to be cod roe; fish eggs. Japanese people see the shape and see fish eggs (the tarako name helps that perception, of course, because it means literally cod roe). Also, the pasta sauce has no tomato in it, but is a pinkish colour and is flavoured with cod roe.

There's a three-minute cooking show on Japanese TV every day (Nihon TV) featuring the kewpie mascott, which Japanese people do associate with mayonnaise. We have the standard squishy Japanese kewpie mayonnaise bottle in our fridge, and there's a human baby (kewpie doll) logo embossed on it.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 11:03 am (UTC)

On my second visit to tokyo i tasted this dubious sauce. Several hours later i was ill in a way i had never before or experienced since. My vision went & i felt a strong urge to vomit/purge, tho couldn't. I foolishly took this as a by-product of jetlag tho now know i was duped.

Nick when your blog is defunct who will warn us of these very real imminent dangers?
Are you sure you are fully aware of click opera's social responsibilities?
For those of us who turn to this site for reports of what's really happening out there (as opposed to spurious BBC news pages) a hexed day feb 10th shall be.

Steffan


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)

Well, there's always the possibility that I've been a mendacious Pied Piper, feeding you disinformation. The first draft of this entry, for instance, was full of tomatoes!


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)

ahh now i'm all red in the face!


ReplyThread Parent
eclectiktronik
eclectiktronik
eclectiktronik
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 11:27 am (UTC)

Hell's teeth! Save us from this mawkish, mass produced kitsch. What next, Anne Geddes takes Japan?!


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thomascott
thomascott
Thomas Scott
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)

I would love assist in this nefarious plan for world domination, but the Hypnotoad has already captured my devotion.
ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD!


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jdcasten
J.D. Casten
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
A Quick Tongue

Somehow I’m lead to the thought of independently self-referential realms doing the tango: not webs of meme echoes and tangled agent flies.



ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)

Absolutely the best work in the bio-horror animated pop video genre. In fact, the only work in the bio-horror animated pop video genre.


ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)

Ah yes. I recall being a bit disappointed when I went out and bought that in the 90s for, you know, £40 or something on DVD. Weird to see it end up as just another YouTube clip... with people scrawling OMG and IMO underneath it, no doubt.


ReplyThread Parent
jdcasten
J.D. Casten
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Dependency-Autonomy

Those videos were spectacular! (Although I preferred the Momus-Whimsy one)

Isn’t the world ruled by memes and architecture?



ReplyThread Parent
milky_eyes
milky_eyes
milky_eyes
Tue, Oct. 6th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
no limit

is this your companion piece to yesterdays? very nice.

If only vincent Gallow was a tarako tarako!


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Oct. 10th, 2009 10:16 am (UTC)

j'ai une boîte à musique tarako, acheté 500 yens dans une brocante dans la péninsule d'Izu. j'ai fait des jaloux avec. surtout, je n'ai jamais compris pourquoi les bébés kwepie avaient cette forme: sont ils des bébés pouces, des bébés penis ou des bébés haricots? en tout cas ils veulent envahir le monde.

Olivier


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Oct. 10th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)

C'est sur!


ReplyThread Parent