This morning, friend Amy Stein sent me a link to this bizarre site in Japan that reminded her of my "Staring Contest." The purpose of the video is to teach shy men in Japan how to feel more brave in the face of beautiful women:
Japanese companies are always looking to meet the needs of the "niche-ist" of niche markets. For example, top-selling record label Avex has discovered a new way to reach extremely anti-social sets — the NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training), and the most reclusive of the recluses, the hikikomori. Most believe that these groups’ refusal of social participation stems from their lack of social skills. The hikikomori almost never socialize with other people and prefer to spend their time in their bedrooms, completely locked away from the world. The total numbers of NEET and hikikomori may have been overestimated in the past, but they do exist to some extent and are mostly male.Thanks Amy, amazing stuff (and incredibly creepy!)
"Avex is trying to reach these groups with a new DVD — part "corporate social responsibility," part traditional content delivery, and part talent blog/model promotion. The DVD is called Miteiru dake (Just Looking), and it features various talent/models just staring straight ahead. That’s right, the models on the DVD do very little other than stare straight at the camera. According to the website, the idea is to get young males who aren’t used to socializing with women to become more accustomed to making eye contact and/or handle the fact that a sentient being sits across from them and awaits interaction. The DVD hopes to cure those afflicted with shyness so that they may rejoin society."
Later on, I headed down to Hyde Park to see my friend Erik and a show that he had recently helped to curate at The Smart Museum. Afterwards we grabbed lunch, talked a lot about art and headed over to his studio to look at some new work. Erik's one of the smartest people you'll ever meet and it was great to have so much time to catch up. While hanging out, Erik told me about this hilarious video from Adult Swim's, "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!" As you can see from the two videos below, sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction: