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by Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn
Japan By River Cruise

Land of the Rising Floodwaters (w/ Dr. Wesley Cheek)


After the unprecedented rain and landslides in western Japan, disaster sociologist Dr. Wes Cheek talks about the country's future, and how facing the climate crisis may require never-before-seen levels of "shikata-ga-nai."
Ollie recommends a climate change simulating cruise that is ALREADY behind the times.

Bobby throws some classic comedic misdirection in your face.

Topics discussed on this episode range from:

  • Whatever happened to all those RAINBOW HATS?
  • Updates with Ollie's continuing run of terrible luck at the Fringe, and how he's discovered that his pain is funny
  • Wes's wild journey from bourgeoise JET ALT to MMA Photographer to disaster recovery researcher, and how 311 (not the band) changed the direction of his life
  • Brian's in a bit of a mood
  • The JBRC Alumni network and Wes's work adjacent to previous guest Angela Ortiz
  • How we're funding the boathouse
  • The extreme weather and its effects on southern Japan
  • Wes getting caught in the weather in Kagoshima, Bobby being in it in Fukuoka
  • A brief description of rain
  • Exactly HOW severe the level of precipitation was and how this is creating challenges for areas that didn't see these challenges
  • How Japan's topography makes it vulnerable
  • Japan immigrant pessimism from Alex Kerr's 'Dog's and Demons' but how Japan's tendency to put concrete everywhere can actually be good
  • What are the extreme lengths Japan might have to go in preventative measures?
  • How Japan news media is reframing its approach to covering extreme weather stories
  • What does that "Once in hundred year" storm terminology actually refer to statistically?
  • A very clear illustration of why we invite people who are smarter than us on the show
  • What motivates politicians to gamble with disaster preparedness
  • Why politicians frame disasters as unforeseeable and what disaster researchers try to do balance that out
  • The inherent conflict between running day-to-day politics and caring about the long-term
  • Helplessness in the face of disaster
  • Geographical climate crisis triage
  • When should we give up?
  • Is there messaging that can get people to not adapt a shikata-ga-nai attitude towards man-made climate disasters?
  • The proliferation of "Bousai" (disaster preparedness) content in Japan
  • The effect of measuring the value of a society based on its GDP, and how that relates to who we put the responsibility for saving the planet on
  • Why Wes tells his children not to recycle (not really)
  • How is Japan positioned to face the future?
  • What sort of things should Japan concern itself with going forward?

As always, the extras are FANTASTIC, and they're like getting a whole extra show for free. Well, not for free.
For like 4 to 5 dollars a month.
You can get access to the extras by supporting the podcast for less than $1 an episode by becoming a member at http://buymeacoffee.com.

Topics discussed on the extras include:

  • How Ollie and Wes think that being able to edit podcast audio makes them fucking Keanu Reeves
  • How the new internet economy screws you guys, sorry
  • Wes gets a brief education on UK sitcoms before he SURPRISE SURPRISE moves to London. TWEET AT HIM ABOUT his soon to be defunct @ on twitter!
  • Wes's podcast Atticus Shrugged, covering US politics in the south
  • How the names of places work, and how Florida politics skew, plus a brief moment where Bobby pretends to remember college football
  • A definition of "florida crackers" that we were unfamiliar with
  • Why Wes hates thinking about good things
  • Once Wes almost ran for Congress against Matt Gaetz
  • Are there parallels between current US populism and Japanese political trends?
  • How legacy politics and elite association membership controls the relationship between politics and the media
  • The western tendency for people to define their personal/social identity based on their political affiliation and how that doesn't really happen in Japan at large
  • The US pulling out of Afghanistan, and Japan's reaction
  • The relationship (financial and otherwise) between Japan and Afghanistan over the years
  • Nakamura Tetsu
  • How Japan doesn't accept refugees, except they gave it to that Myanmar Soccer Goalie
  • The Utada Hikaru contradicition: How Japanese people choose whether or not they consider someone Japanese
  • How lots of countries will make "humanitarian" choices when it involves people who are good at sport
  • Should Kobe Bryant and Mike Tyson have been forgiven? (HOW THE HELL DID WE GET HERE?)
  • How the US rightwing is just trolling
  • Bobby's lighting fail when we made that Olympic video

Have something you'd like to say? Send us a fax at japanbyrivercruise.com - it works now.

or Tweet to us at @jbrcpod

Social Media Links:

Dr. Wesley Cheek: Twitter | Podcast-Atticus Shrugged

Ollie Horn: Twitter | Instagram

Bobby Judo: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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Some are affiliate links because we're sell-outs

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Episode 96

by Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn