Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Most Contrived Pose Ever

The Japanese company I used to work for had what must have been a thousand color, A4 size (about the size of a US letter sheet of paper), multi-page brochures made up during the years of the bubble economy. I'm sure it cost a fortune at that time to make so many large color booklets to hand out to customers, but they were produced back in the days when Japanese companies were buying up real estate in America and artwork from around the world. Everyone had money to toss down the crapper on frivolous expenses.

There were a few things which I will never forget about the brochure. One thing was that it featured a panorama shot of young foreign people who supposedly worked at the company in front of the skyscrapers in Shinjuku and that none of them actually worked there. Another was that the founder and president (at the time) was shown smiling on one page and had written some long-winded statement about the business. The rest of the booklet was liberally peppered with pictures of people supposedly working around the office. All but one or two of those pictures showed someone pointing at something. They were so exceptionally fake and unnatural looking that we couldn't help but make jokes about them.

It's not that people don't point at things. Obviously, sometimes they do. However, pointing in photos when there is no focal point always looks, well, stupid. It doesn't help when the people who are posing are clearly uncomfortable holding the pose for the camera. They know pointing at phantom objects for the sake of the camera looks lame. That leads me to the political flyer that was left in our mailbox:

Look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Godzilla!
(click on the picture to see a bigger version)

This brochure takes the whole posing and pointing concept to it's nadir. The three guys posing with hands on hips and one hand pointing in the air look more like a stiff chorus line preparing to do a jerky choreographed routine than politicians leading the way into Japan's new direction in the future.

The guy in the center is the son of a former Tokyo governer. His dead eyes and stiffly set jaw make him look like he's a teacher pointing at a badly behaved student and admonishing him for texting in class. The guy on the left looks like he's having difficulties holding the pose and the one on the right looks like he feels embarrassed and is just counting the seconds until the humiliating photo session is over.

I realize that all promotional pictures for politicians are contrived and posed for, but this is one of the funniest ones I've ever seen in Japan. I really want to find some outlet to post this picture and ask people to make up a caption for it as there is so much fertile capacity for making up ridiculous descriptions. I guess I'll have to settle for privately mocking it. My husband plans to take it to his school and talk about it with his students to get their take on how it looks. I'm sure their responses will be interesting.


Kelly said...

I wonder if Japanese students will think the same things we do? Or will they think it's normal!

Could you post back about their thoughts later? It would be interesting to read.. :)

Orchid64 said...

I'll either do an addendum or I'll post a comment after I see what the CH's students say. It should be interesting.

Sharon said...

You could always post a scan of it to Pundit Kitchen. Just crop out the text portions.

Orchid64 said...

I never heard of pundit kitchen, but I'll check it out. Thanks. :-)

Emsk said...

"I'm a little teapot, pour me out! Here's my handle, here's my spout."

Orchid64 said...

I love that, Emsk!