Japantastic

Japantastic

Japantastic

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Sept. 23 1998 3:30 AM

Japantastic

To our goyishe friends: Shana Tovah on white with mayo.

No. 110: "Japantastic"

By Randy Cohen

Fill in the blank in this comment by Kaoru Yosano, Japan's minister for international trade and industry, as he prepares Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi for Tuesday's summit with President Clinton: "Japan is not __________. It would be an interesting yarn if it were true, but it's not."

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by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday, Sept. 22 to e-mail your answer (newsquiz@slate.com).

Responses to the Weekend Special question (No. 109)--"September Song and Dance":
It's the first week of autumn, when the falling leaves, the falling Dow, and the falling heads of state are piled by the curb to be set ablaze by kids going back to school. At least, that's the photograph I expect on the front page of my local paper. Participants are invited to devise their own inevitable fall photo from the media outlet of their choice.

"New York Times photo caption: Gruesome 'city folk' scarecrows swing from makeshift gallows along the Taconic Parkway in another attempt by more rural folk to turn back the invading Manhattan 'leaf peepers.' "--Bill Franzen

"Annie Leibovitz photo, Vanity Fair: original cast of Hill Street Blues, naked and buried up to their necks in gourds and cornstalks."--Danny Spiegel

"The Seattle Times: a boy and a dog, frolicking in a public fountain. Oh no, wait, that was the front page it ran the day Yitzhak Rabin was shot."--Kate Wing

"Joyce Maynard home page photo: 'Jerry' Salinger in a muscle T-shirt, boxers, and sagging garters, frying eggplant with Chinese mustard in his kitchen; plainly visible on the table is the address on his utility bill."--Jim O'Grady

"Bill and Hillary, viewed from behind as they walk hand in hand through a grove of trees. (Look closely, and you will see a trickle of blood where Hillary's nails are digging into the back of Bill's hand.) House Republicans will call for an FBI investigation into whether this is an illegal attempt by the president to obstruct justice by swaying public opinion."--Larry Doyle

Click here for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up
In his very funny collection of essays Never Trust a Naked Bus Driver, Jack Douglas writes about seasonal change in New York--I quote from what I like to call memory--"I knew it was fall, because a guy leaned out the window and yelled, 'Hey, you son of a bitch, it's fall.' " But this year, I hardly register the autumnal equinox, distracted as I am, like most "News Quiz" participants and the New York Times, by the Starr report and TV miniseries. Neither Congress nor I can really focus on the continuing collapse of the Western financial system leading to global depression and the loss of my life savings, or on the most recent failed attempt at campaign finance reform leading to the continuing dominance of big money and the unrelenting appearance of Al D'Amato's big bald head on the television in my bedroom. I know I'm neglecting at least one new disco-nostalgia movie with its sentimental depiction of profit skimming and cocaine sniffing, and the terrifying likelihood that Liza Minnelli will come swanning in on Roy Cohn's arm. At least, I pray that's his arm. I can barely attend to the new TV season, although last week at Tom's Market I bought a bunch of bananas, each with a yellow ABC TV sticker, a perfect moment to make a TV Shows Aimed at Monkeys joke, but who can concentrate on that now? And yet, despite it all, I know it's fall, because I feel as if it's the first day of school and I'm already behind and in the wrong classroom and naked. And then some guy leans out the window and yells, "Hey, you son of a bitch, it's fall."

Usually Reliable Anonymous Sources Extra
All the following were quoted in a single section of today's New York Times:

  • one administration official;
  • one senior administration official;
  • a senior intelligence official;
  • another senior official;
  • one senior aide;
  • one longtime aide;
  • another aide;
  • one of her [Hillary Clinton's] close allies;
  • a longtime adviser to the president;
  • another longtime adviser;
  • another outside adviser;
  • this adviser;
  • an official of the governing party;
  • an influential NATO diplomat;
  • a spokesman for the group that controls the capital;
  • a spokesman for the Taliban;
  • one Orthodox Jewish leader.

What Won't Be Said Extra
"If the vote is lost in the General Assembly, that's not going to make people in Washington jump up and say, 'Gosh!' "--John Bolton , American Enterprise Institute

"We're not going to sit there and say, 'How' and paint our faces."--Jeff House , Oneida tribe spokesman

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What Will Be Done Extra
"She waved her arms and he mouthed the lyrics as they danced to the Marine band's rendition of 'Mustang Sally.' "--Elaine Sciolino, Times reporter, describing how the first family rocked out at Václav Havel's White House dinner.

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Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate's discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.

Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.