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September 11, 1998 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-11

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 11, 1998 - 9A

'Small Stuff' teachings produce no sweat

Magna Entertainment

Shlnya Tsukamoto delvers a powerful punch In "Tokyo Fist."
Tokyo Fst

By Adlin RosH
Daily Arts Writer
Shinya Tsukamoto, director and
mastermind behind "Tokyo Fist" is
best known for the cult favorites
"Tetsuo I and II." Through the
"Tetsuo" movies, he disturbed and
shocked many with his vision of
what would happen if a man was
slowly turning into a biomechanical
freak. The gory and often disturbing
"Tetsuo" movies quickly earned
Tsukamoto notoriety and he has
often been hailed as Japan's answer to
David Lynch.
In his latest offering, "Tokyo Fist,
Tsukamoto attempts to bring us his
softer side through a tale of a love tri-

angle between a
Tokyo Fist

boxer named
Hizuru, Tsuda
a mild man-
nered insur-
ance salesman
and Tsuda's
g i r I fr i e n d,
Tak uji.
Through
strange cir-
cumstances
and coinci-
dence, Tsuda's
life is turned
up side down
when Hizuru
comes into his

for thinking that Hizuru is more
physically attractive.
With such a soap opera like
premise, it is easy to think that direc-
tor Tsukamoto was truly trying to
show us his softer side. Yeah, right!
What ensues can only be described as
"Melrose Place" meets a Nine Inch
Nails music video and is not for the
faint of heart. Throughout "Tokyo
Fist," Tsukamoto manages to do what
he did best on the Tetsuo movies. He
manages to make you loath being in
a shell of flesh and blood. All the
physical blows in the movie is taken
to its ridiculous extreme and blood
runs free throughout the movie like a
raging river coming down a hill side.
The seemingly linear storyline is
quickly brought to its many odd
twists and turns.
Tsuda begins to get morbid visions
and in the end remembers a violent
piece of memory that bonds him to
the boxer Hizuru. Hizuru himself is
plagued with all sorts of strange
problems of self esteem and physical
abilities. Takuji is not spared in the
mental circus that Tsukamoto spins
as she too succumbs to a twisted
fetish of physically manifesting her
pain in being in the love triangle.
Through his twisted tale of love,
physical appearance and boxing,
Tsukamoto once again proves his
understanding of the violent tenden-
cies that result from the limitations of
being human in both flesh and mind.
Jumping from telling the tale of a
biomechanical freak in the "Tetsuo"
movies to a tale of a love triangle he
does indeed show Tsukamoto's softer
side. What the viewer will discover is
that his softer side is about as gentle
as brushing your teeth with a barbed
wire bristled toothbrush.

Don't Sweat The Small
Stuff ... and it's all
small stuff
Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
Hyperion
In a society that is becoming increas-
ingly neurotic, shelves of bookstores
overflow with self-help books. Although
many people could greatly benefit from
such books, the vast majority shun self-
help literature and think it cannot possi-
bly be taken seriously.
With mounds of self-help books
thrown in the face of all Americans, it
becomes impossible to decipher which
are worth reading. There is a fine line
between a useful guide, and a book that
is written as an outlet for a neurotic
author to share his neurosis with a coun-
try. Richard Carlson, author of "Don't
Sweat the small stuff... and it's all small
stuff" has artfully mastered the craft of
self-help. His book, while not eloquently
written, shares wonderful insight and
steps on how to become a more peaceful
and content person.
Carlson is a psychiatrist and is obvi-
ously neurotic. Iut frankly, so are a lot of
people. While degrees of neurosis vary,
all people, even those who are quite nor-
mal, can benefit from this book. Carlson
shares 100 aspects of life that he took too
seriously, and introduces the steps he fol-
lowed, and still follows, to become a
more peaceful person. His chapters
include steps on how to become less of a
perfectionist and how to lower your tol-
erance to stress.
The informal style with which he
writes makes this book an extremely

easy read. He is not overly preachy and
shares some interesting insights that
hold the reader's attention until the last
page. He does not proclaim that this
book will be life-altering, but he does
raise the readers attention to such a
heightened level that
all emotions andk
thoughts are recog-
nized. This allows
the reader to
understand why he
is feeling a certain
way, and thus can calm
himself to react in a more
rational manner.
This book is chock full of
metaphors and imagery that help
to elucidate Carlson's points. One
maxim in particular is quite inspiring.
It is the chapter titled "Imagine
Everyone is Enlightened Except You."
Carlson invites his readers to pretend
that all those they come in contact with
throughout their lives exist solely for
the purpose of teaching them some-
thing. It is a world where all are enlight-
ened except for the reader. For example,
an obnoxious driver who cuts in front of
another driver on the road is there sole-
ly to teach that person patience.
Therefore, all one's interactions, both
positive and negative, both with friends
and strangers, are a learning experi-
ence. This allows people to make the
best of all situations and learn from all
they do.
Carlson's book is full of inspiring
quotes that emphasize his points.
Quoting such people as John Lennon,
Mark Twain and William James makes
the reader realize the universality of such
teachings. Carlson, in quoting Mark

r

Twain, sums up his whole book. He
quotes, "I have been through some terri-
ble things in my life, some of which
actually happened." This humorous
quote sheds light on how easy it is to
blow things out of proportion and over-
react. When one takes ,an
objective look at his life
he realizes he must live
in the present moment
and focus his atten-
tion on what is cur-
rently happening
instead of wor-
rying about an
occurrence that
might arise.
Such a process
will afford one with
much peace and comfort.
In superficial summation, Carlson
turns the Buddhist Eightfold Path into
the modern American 100fold path.
Most of his maxims are merely an exten-
sion of the age old Buddhist wisdom.

But his modern twists make it such that
all can relate to what he is teaching. This
book is not solely for neurotic people, it
is for all people who at some point in
their lives, sweat the small stuff. While
some of what Carlson writes is a bit
fluffy, for the most part he cuts to the
chase. Each of the 100 lessons are a sep-
arate chapter only one to two pages long.
Being so concise allows for his points to
be emphasized. But he is sometimes too
terse, not fully explaining how to achieve
the goal about which he writes, thus
leaving the readers frustrated at their
lack of guidance.
While Carlson will not change the
world with "Don't Sweat the Small
Stuff" he most likely will have an impact
on all those who decide to read his book.
For college students everywhere dealing
with the constant stress of grades, fami-
ly and friends, this book is an especially
useful tool that teaches students to sit
back relax, and not sweat the small stuff.
- Corinne Schneider

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life and begins to lust after Tsuda's
girlfriend, Takuji. Hizuru's pursuit of
Takuji quickly sends Tsuda into feel-
ing body conscious and Tsuda loses
his self confidence as he does not
possess a similar physique to
Hizuru's boxer's build. Takuji is quick
to become the center of conflict
between the two men from here as
her relationship with Tsuda quickly
dissolves after he begins to loath her

I '

F ice.

J

9

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