11 February 2019 is National Foundation Day in Japan, commemorating the moment in 9341 HE when the emperor Jimmu ascended the throne. I don’t actually know how we know this, or even how we know that the emperor Jimmu ever existed, but that’s what I’ve got. It’s also Garbage Morn locally—the day you put the garbage cans out on the street for pickup during the day, assuming that you hadn’t already put them out on Garbage Eve. (Customs differ from house to house on that point.)
My roommate and I watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs last night, a collection of six short tales of the American West of wildly uneven quality. The title sequence looks like a machine or maybe Family Guy’s manatees tried to write a singing cowboy movie—the elements are there, but they’re put together wrong. The second piece—“Near Algodones”—is what you might get if Samuel Beckett tried to adapt a Saki short story about a bank robbery set in the American West. “All Gold Canyon” has a sort of Jack London quality to it, and in fact is based on a 1905 Jack London story. (It’s fun seeing Tom Waits as a prospector.) “The Girl Who Got Rattled” is also based on a short story, this one by Stewart Edward White, whose work I am not at all familiar with. Anyway, the film was fun, and I didn’t feel totally ripped off for watching it, so there’s that in its favor. On the other hand if it had stayed in that drawer the project apparently lurked in for decades it would have been no particular loss to the film world.