I’m Political

At least Momus seems to think so (from his latest Click Opera entry):

The photos in this entry are of cafes linked by Tokyo Cafe Mania. The link comes, naturally, via Jean Snow’s blog. Now, people who read both Jean Snow and Marxy, asked which is the more politically progressive, might be tempted to say “Marxy, of course! Jean never writes anything about politics! Marxy’s always talking about rising nationalism in Japan, analysing the limitations of Japan’s likely next prime minister, or tracing the influence of the yakuza.” But I’m not so sure it’s that clear-cut. Jean Snow not only blogs about Japan in a much more Japanese style than Marxy does (in itself a political gesture), he’s even a bit of an organiser and agitator: he’s started a series of regular discussions at Cafe Pause. Like keeping a curbside garden, setting up a friendly LOHAS cafe, or caring for an injured cat, this is a political act. Jean’s site is also filled to the brim with information about the doings of Japan’s most progressive artists, architects and designers — in other words, he’s paying attention to the best elements of Japanese society, not the worst ones. This “textural intelligentsia” — rather than the fusty political class — is the likeliest source of progress in Japanese society. Hell, in any society.