Hamish Downie’s News Sushi #147: Morsels of News From Japan and Beyond

Hamish keeps serving the best News Sushi!
Hooray! More News Sushi for you to enjoy!
Editor Note: It is Friday, and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon-to-be Intergalactic Famous News Sushi from our very own Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました), Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

How’s everyone doing? I hope you are having a good Friday. It’s been a hot summer.


Things seem to be returning to normal. The Tenjin Festival had its first fireworks display after the pandemic. And the crowds came roaring back! I, the most unsocial society columnist, of course, just wanted to get home without the train delays (luckily, I managed it). I did hear the roar of the fireworks, and it made me feel like summer is really here (the good part of it).

Because Japan is still Japan, you might want to check out this article on Ice Cream Fondue Pizza… mushrooms and ice cream – together at last?

Link: https://japantoday.com/category/features/food/Ice-Cream-Fondue-Pizza-promises-great-taste-of-ice-cream-and-mushrooms-together?

In other news, I’m mostly cutting the streaming cord, except for a couple of LGBTQ+ streaming services (including LesFlicks), and mostly going back to physical media. I have plenty of unwatched DVDs, and they won’t get yanked or canceled like certain streaming services are doing at the moment.

Here’s a funny from TGGeeks favourite, Michael Chan:


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Michael has been killing it lately, so I hope you follow him on all his socials!

I went to swissotel in Namba for afternoon tea to celebrate my partner’s birthday. If I could have one comment… I wish there was one less sweet dish, and one more savoury dish.


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Of course it’s Michael! He’s been such a big supporter of this column!


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Well, friends, this is to be the final News Sushi. I’m sure you’ve read Ben and Keith’s statement, and I hope you join me in wishing them all the joy and happiness in the world.

I’m not sure when I first submitted a press release to TGGeeks, but I know that it would have been around 2015, when I was promoting the music video “The Last Time”, which would later go on the festival circuit as “Silence”. This short film/music video dealt with same-sex family violence at a time when any discussion on the subject was very much taboo. Some publications refused to talk about it as they accused me of “gaslighting”, or just saying that the timing was wrong when we should focus on Marriage Equality and sweep everything under the proverbial rug. Ben and Keith not only helped give me a voice, they also treated me with dignity and compassion during our interview (my first ever podcast interview).

They in fact treated everyone with the same dignity, humor, compassion and kindness. As Mike Jagger once said, “you should treat stars like ordinary people, and ordinary people like stars”, and I think Ben and Keith really embodied this both on the podcast and on the website.

I became a regular listener and commenter on the podcast (particularly one time when we got into a perpetual “thank you” cycle). The podcast has really changed my taste in books. While self-published books sometimes have spelling mistakes, and sometimes I wish there were Editors guiding the authors away from jumping the proverbial shark – I have really gotten a taste for books where I can hear the author’s voice. I think something can get lost when an editor comes in and cleans everything up. I’ve read all of the “Max and the Multiverse” series, including the spin off series (which I probably enjoyed more. I’ve read KD Edwards four books. “Murder at the World’s Fair” was a fun one. And Gini Koch (not an indie author, but the first book I bought based on a TGGeeks podcast), the Alien series, The Night Beat, the one about the Haunted Nursing Home. They have all brought so much joy into my life.

I think it was about 5 years ago when they first asked me to write a weekly column. I pitched the idea for New Sushi, and later it expanded to “5 Questions with” and “Hamish’s Movie Playlist” along with the Christmas articles. This has allowed me to help promote other indie creators, and some of them have said that the articles had helped them sell books, or even get on wikipedia. I know it has helped me with IMDb listings. It has also given me a lot of discipline, having to write something every week means I’ve developed a muscle where I can write scripts much faster than I ever could before. I’ve also been able to collaborate with people I’d met through the website. Keith has a small cameo in “Matcha & Vanilla”. Ross Ozarka animated my short film. Chris Rodriguez animated the opening titles for my film company. AJ distributed my short film, “Silence”, and directed one of my short scripts, “Night Disclosure”, Chris Watt wrote monologues for my short-lived podcast, Andrea Van Scoyoc and I have collaborated so much together (music, video, youtube) and many, many more. Too many to name. And there are still others that I hope to work with in the future, such as Richard Lee, Naomi MacDougall Jones, Contrarah.

Thank you Ben and Keith for the support behind the scenes when I was hospitalized. Thank you for always remembering my Uncle John’s birthday on the podcast, even after he passed away.

It’s hard to really put into words what Ben and Keith, the podcast, this website and their friendship has meant to me. Thank you.


And thank you for reading.

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