Saturday, July 7, 2007

Billy's Loot Scam

One of the truly endearing aspects of Life in J-land- at least for Gai-jin- is the pleasure of watching haughty Hollywierd Stars prostituting their talents in Japanese TV commercials for almost any product imaginable while chasing a FAT PHAT paycheck. It’s really almost inspirational to see how easy it is to toss one’s principles away in favor of the deliciously cold, hard cash.

Let’s see….at present we can at all hours, day and night, view-

Cameron Diaz desperately pushing her rapidly aging Empty-Headed Blonde Routine for a Major Cell Phone provider.

Oscar winner Tommie Lee Jones appearing hangdog and hilarious in a series of comic ads (which perhaps not so strangely, given TLJ’s chops, are actually quite funny!) for canned coffee.

Uma Thurman valiantly giving it her all in a trio of strange, slightly off-kilter makeup ads that may resonate with her J-fans but leave us scratching our noggins.

Mr. and Mrs. Angelina Jolie, she in a non-speaking makeup bit treating this Great Nation to those World Class tasty, tasty lips and he in a series of equally non-speaking but nonetheless well done spots where he saunters around India talking into his cell phone while looking MovieStarish.

And previous viewings brought us-

Bruce Willis sitting, standing and seeming almost lifelike while whispering his three word line, “I feel Legacy.”….??????....... for a car company.

J-Lo doing absolutely as little as possible while strolling through a shampoo spot. (This spot was previously occupied by Natalie Portman while she was in Tokyo shilling for "V for Vendetta")

Luscious Milla Jovavich (I know, I know…it’s stretching the Star category but what can I say? I’m in love with the woman.) shaking it for a digital camera firm.

Yes…..these are indeed Life’s Lottery Winners. Mostly modestly, modestly talented but generally genetically gifted persons who through chance, luck, skill, nepotism and sometimes real effort have managed to produce opportunities wherein they can cash in their looks, luck or skills and make MILLIONS of dollars for a couple of hours work (or more accurately sitting in a makeup chair, then sitting in front of a camera, but hey folks…these people are actors and we must respect their craft!) while on paid vacation.

And recently a new player has arrived on the J-Shores- Billy Blanks!
That Billy Blanks!!!

C’mon you remember a decade ago when "Billy’s Boot Camp" was all the rage (OK…Alright………..some kind of rage anyway) and you couldn’t flip on your TV without seeing Billy’s sweaty mug urging you to “Go for It!” or some other such vitally inspirational advice for the greater good of fat housewives and lonely singles everywhere.
What a wonderful 30 day ride it was.
Yes, Billy bagged his bank then rode off into the sunset and weren’t some of us at least a little sad to see that hyped up little Energizer Bunny of a man disappear from our public forum? Well?

Fear not because Billy ain’t dead yet!

For some crazy, inexplicable reason “Billys Boot Camp” is right at this moment the hottest selling DVD boxset across this particular 120 million strong Nation of consumer lusting shopoholics who are snapping it up like starved piranhas as Billy's beaming ebony mug- albeit a wee bit older and somewhat plastically altered- sweats up a brand new storm while urging, prodding, pleading and outright ordering Japanese women (and men surprisingly) to work their bodies as never before, and don’t forget to flex that credit card! His uplifting message of……of……...OK, I don’t really know what the message is………and his stapled-in smile are once again ubiquitous on Nationwide TV long after we attention span deficient Americans gave up on Young William and rudely cast him aside.

It brings a tear to my eye and joy to my heart to finally realize, deep down in my soul that you can be completely washed up and flushed down the toilet in one country and then, a decade later, land somewhere else only to be handed the golden opportunity to pursue your long ago dream of stuffing your duffel bags full of money before you get back on the plane.
God Bless Japan!

And Billy……..this time………………………………don’t be a Hero.

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