downtown mentioned in book "World War Z"

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I was just reading this book and came across a passage referring to downtown. Found it kind of funny so I thought i'd share it.

World War Z is not really about a war but about the world dealing with zombies after some unknown disease starts turning people into zombies. It's told through individual stories/interviews taken by a journalist after the "war", A little past midway through the book, there is an interview with a Japanese guy, here is the passage from the beginning of the chapter to the downtown reference (it's a bit long, the last paragraph contains the reference):


KY­OTO, JAPAN

[The old pho­to of Kon­do Tat­su­mi shows a skin­ny, ac­ne-​faced teenag­er with dull red eyes and bleached blond high­lights streak­ing his un­kempt hair. The man I am speak­ing to has no hair at all. Clean-​shaven, tanned and toned, his clear, sharp gaze nev­er leaves mine. Al­though his man­ner is cor­dial and his mood light, this war­rior monk re­tains the com­po­sure of a preda­to­ry an­imal at rest.]



I was an “otaku.” I know that term has come to mean a great many things to a great many peo­ple, but for me it sim­ply meant “out­sider.” I know Amer­icans, es­pe­cial­ly young ones, must feel trapped by so­ci­etal pres­sure. All hu­mans do. How­ev­er, if I un­der­stand your cul­ture cor­rect­ly, in­di­vid­ual­ism is some­thing to be en­cour­aged. You re­vere the “rebel,” the “rogue,” those who stand proud­ly apart from the mass­es. For you, in­di­vid­ual­ity is a badge of hon­or. For us, it is a rib­bon of shame. We lived, par­tic­ular­ly be­fore the war, in a com­plex and seem­ing­ly in­fi­nite labyrinth of ex­ter­nal judg­ments. Your ap­pear­ance, your speech, ev­ery­thing from the ca­reer you held to the way you sneezed had to be planned and or­ches­trat­ed to fol­low rigid Con­fu­cian doc­trine. Some ei­ther have the strength, or lack there­of, to ac­cept this doc­trine. Oth­ers, like my­self, chose ex­ile in a bet­ter world. That world was cy­ber space, and it was tai­lor-​made for Japanese otaku.

I can’t speak for your ed­uca­tion­al sys­tem, or, in­deed, for that of any oth­er coun­try, but ours was based al­most en­tire­ly on fact re­ten­tion. From the day we first set foot in a class­room, pre­war Japanese chil­dren were in­ject­ed with vol­umes up­on vol­umes of facts and fig­ures that had no prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion in our lives. These facts had no moral com­po­nent, no so­cial con­text, no hu­man con­nec­tion to the out­side world. They had no rea­son for ex­is­tence oth­er than that their mas­tery al­lows as­cen­sion. Pre­war Japanese chil­dren were not taught to think, we were taught to mem­orize.

You can un­der­stand how this ed­uca­tion would eas­ily lend it­self to an ex­is­tence in cy­berspace. In a world of in­for­ma­tion with­out con­text, where sta­tus was de­ter­mined on its ac­qui­si­tion and pos­ses­sion, those of my gen­er­ation could rule like gods. I was a sen­sei, mas­ter over all I sur­veyed, be it dis­cov­er­ing the blood type of the prime min­is­ter’s cab­inet, or the tax re­ceipts of Mat­sumo­to and Hama­da, 1 or the lo­ca­tion and con­di­tion of all shin-​gun­to swords of the Pa­cif­ic War. I didn’t have to wor­ry about my ap­pear­ance, or my so­cial eti­quette, my grades, or my prospects for the fu­ture. No one could judge me, no one could hurt me. In this world I was pow­er­ful, and more im­por­tant­ly, I was safe!
Thank kyon for the anecdote,

Its amazing how important to the Japanese culture Downtown seems to have become, at a point where they are cited with the prime minister and the pacific war in the same sentence.

I'm pretty sure there is an amazing number of Downtown references in books.

There was a reference to Gaki no tsukai in Gintama,episodes 200 and 201. Kagura says the same gaki starting sentence that hamada usually says: "Daikai...... shiki shiki ...." . there's also the title of the episode in a yellow background just behind her, just like in gaki no tsukia. :D :D
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I actually red that book before knowing about them, i guess i missed that page cause i think i would have remebered.
Awesoem book by the way, quite straight forward, not boring, pretty good entertainment
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@||---PEGO---|| - sir what episode is that in your siggy.
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