COMMENTARY: Dunst’s Foray into Asia a Mess


Can somebody call Kirsten Dunst’s agent for me? I would prefer it be from someone high up in her talent agency so they can kick her and whoever is her manager out. I really don’t understand how her latest foray into Asia was expected to do anything but hurt what’s left of her celebrity image.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about her latest work. Dunst played the starring role in a music video, a cover of the 1980 hit song “I’m Turning Japanese” by The Vapors. The video features Dunst dressed like a bubble-gum school girl with hair only a Troll Doll could love. She dances through hentai, masked dancers, and a guy dressed like one of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s” Oompa Loompa’s as she sings the infamous ‘80s song.

So let me get this straight: We have a song with an “Oriental theme” that, on a basic level, is already pretty insulting to Asians. But in addition to that, the song is a thinly masked euphemism for the face people make while masturbating. How is this not understood to be an offensive song that should never be brought up again? Who thought it would be a good idea to pull this ridiculous stunt?

McG? Oh, now that makes sense. Only someone with the prowess of directing the “Charlie’s Angels” remakes would know what to do with yellow fever and Kirsten Dunst.

But directing aside, who would think to produce such a horrible piece? Wait, is that Takashi Murakami in the Oompa Loompa suit? Suddenly this all makes sense. The modern-day Andy Warhol of Japan decided to package Dunst and McG, two people that clearly don’t know what they’re doing with their lives, to create some kind of Orientalist bastardization of Japanese culture and the West’s fascination with otaku culture. I can understand why they used a song about masturbation now. Murakami, at least, seems to have a fascination with it.

In any case, this is an insult to the Japanese. And why no one in Japan is trying to rectify this by rectifying Murakami’s rectum is beyond me. Otaku culture is not the product of some whore in a miniskirt waving a magical wand around — especially not Kirsten Dunst. Murakami and the others who committed this affront to my eyes call it art (much like how “My Lonesome Cowboy” was called art). Whether this can be truly called “art” or not, it certainly points in a negative direction as to what the Western world thinks of Japan.

Tomo Hirai, a Nichi Bei Weekly contributing writer, is a graduating senior at UC Davis majoring in communications and Japanese. He has written a vast amount on anime and manga.

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