Episode 28.5 – Censored


You often hear about censorship and propaganda when discussing Communist countries like Vietnam, but you never really see it in action.  But last Sunday night in Hanoi, I watched it take place before my eyes.

Not all censorship is as forward as the incident I describe in this add-on to episode 28 of the podcast.  There are other ways that conversation is curtailed and a world view is shaped on a regular basis – like the tape delay of cable news channels like CNN and BBC World, or laws which prohibit saying certain things about certain historical figures.

My biggest takeaway is that we fail to understand the gravity of the words “censorship” and “propaganda” when we throw them around trivially.  To truly appreciate these words, you have to look to places where they form public policy.

It’s important to not let this one part of my Vietnam visit take away from the incredible experiences I had with so many people in the country.  But, I’d be failing in providing context to my trip if I didn’t talk about this.

Free Fun at Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival

After a fun (but expensive) Saturday at Tokyo Disney Resort taking in D23 Expo fan festival, keeping Sunday cheap yet entertaining was a priority.  So when Chris read on Time Out magazine’s website that there was a big music festival going on at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Sendagaya – and that foreigners (as we’re politely called in Japan) got in for free – our plan was set to go check it out.

The Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival is a three-day event which shone a spotlight on different types of popular Japanese music, along with offering merchandise for fans, sponsor kiosks and a food festival.

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Tokyo is Yours

Shinjuku Saturday Night

Another weekend is upon us, and I wanted to give you a taste of what it’s like outside Shinjuku Station on a typical Friday or Saturday night.

Bands like this one make a point of setting up outside the busy south gate of the train station in an effort to play to the biggest audience possible.  The music ranges from rockabilly – like these guys – to world beats, classical, pop idol-wannabes… really, if you can think of it, they play it.

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