I don’t know why I’m surprised that the Dead have a Japanese following: the Japanese have liked American music since the war (I have no backing for that statement) and rock bands have toured Japan since the Beatles; that the Dead never went there can be chalked up to a combination of their overall loathing of cross-border travel and a particular wariness of Japan’s notoriously strict drug laws.
But, then, it surprise me when anyone other than an American* loves the Dead. They’re specific, more so than Bon Jovi or Whitney Houston or anyone else playing Budokan.
To me, the Dead seems like the NFL: they don’t make sense unless you know a lot of other things, but, like usual, I am wrong and am reminded that there are weirdos everywhere, and that we are everywhere.
Let a Grateful Dead bloom in Hokkaido, with cherry blossoms instead of roses, and samurai instead of cowboys. Everyone deserves a Grateful Dead, and to make it their own.
*Listen, we all know my love for Canada and her hardy, brave citizens and industrious, territorial beavers: they are Americans in denial. Everyone knows this to be true, but we do not say it to be polite. “Canada” is a shared delusion among two or three million cold white people and we should stop humoring them and tax their moose.
None of that is true.
No, but out of all foreigners, Canadians are the most American. They are the least foreign a foreigner can be.
Is that why you like them so much?
Of course. I judge all people on how American they are. Now, obviously, they are not as American as I’d like–which is to say, “as American as possible, please”–but they are American enough.
Like, if I was going to the 7-11 and decided to get my yearly Slurpee and they didn’t have cherry, I would get Coke; it would be fine. I would have preferred greatly to have the cherry, but I’ll accept the Coke Slurpee.
The cherry in the analogy is America, and–
I told you stop talking.
–the Coke is…aw.