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November 21, 2011 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Jeremy Thorn is an abusive, hard-drinking gaijin who will teach you Japanese while verbally berating you. He and his friends will also get drunk and teach you how to cook Japanese food in a similarly abusive fashion. Then he'll take you on a tour of weird Japanese signage, sights, and stuff. (note: MLYT; a lot of swearing is involved)

Jeremy Thorn has 289 foul mouthed videos for you to watch on YouTube.
posted by sixohsix (58 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
So not Jesse Thorn, then?
posted by OmieWise at 12:10 PM on November 21, 2011


Nope it's Jeremy Thorn, just like it says in the description.
posted by pwally at 12:17 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


guys when I came over you promised weed and girls and we're just getting drunk in your kitchen, playing with knives.
posted by The Whelk at 12:19 PM on November 21, 2011


Nope it's Jeremy Thorn, just like it says in the description.

Yes, I know. I was playing off the vast difference between the videos made by the different Mr.'s Thorn.
posted by OmieWise at 12:24 PM on November 21, 2011


a lot of swearing is involved

It's really just the same two swears over and over.
posted by axiom at 12:28 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


He's a good teacher.
posted by found missing at 12:35 PM on November 21, 2011


Look at that motherfucking video. Just fucking look at it. The author is fucking... I don't even know what he's fucking doing.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:35 PM on November 21, 2011


This guy is boring.
posted by dvdgee at 12:37 PM on November 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


I read it as Jesse Thorn as well as was very confused.
posted by brundlefly at 12:39 PM on November 21, 2011


an abusive, hard-drinking gaijin

Way to play the role, Jeremy. As much as Metafilter hates to stereotype, this one about gaijin in Japan was true way too often. If you worked in an eikaiwa, these guys were like 75% of your coworkers. There was no worse feeling than seeing the train car clear out when you and your loud coworkers board at the end of a shift and crack open beers on the train.

Whatever, I'm sure he's having fun and drunk kids are pretty funny sometimes. I'm just a bit sensitive about this shit still.
posted by Hoopo at 12:41 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


In fairness, most of my Japanese instructors were much like this. Oh, there was professionalism in the classroom but see them out on the town and they would drink anyone under the table. The way that you have to when 90% of your students are zealous anime fans who scream "kawaii".
posted by munchingzombie at 12:46 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


This makes me glad I didn't end up going to Japan to teach English.
posted by KGMoney at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2011


Fuckin' weeaboos.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 12:51 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good! Now, somebody do the same for Polish.
posted by LiteOpera at 12:52 PM on November 21, 2011


I thought he would be verbally berating me in Japanese. That's the real weak area in my Japanese vocabulary.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:09 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


As an instructor, and a sometimes drunk gaijin myself, I find his teaching style quite effective. My fucking notebook is almost full. Bitches.
posted by sharpener at 1:32 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


He'd be a good teacher if he'd get to the lessons, or at least be more inventive than "fuck," shit," and "bitch."

Also, I find the fear in his eyes that is typical of guys who need the need to have this kind of persona distracting.
posted by cmoj at 1:39 PM on November 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Dug the crime-busting poster from the police department in Neyagawa-shi, Osaka Prefecture (3.16, Warning Signs part two) that says, 気ぃつけてや あんたの車、狙われてまっせ (Watch out! Your car is being targeted) in Osaka dialect. Too bad numbnuts the narrator failed to point out this coolness. I guess we can conjecture that he lives in Kansai, though.
posted by Gordion Knott at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, it's like Al Swearengin and Jesse Pinkman both took a shit in the same toilet. Only all the funny got flushed and only a nasty smear remained on the side.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:46 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Watch out! Your car is being targeted) in Osaka dialect

Still not as cool as my souvenir phone card from the Kinki Regional Police Academy.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:48 PM on November 21, 2011


A lot of swearing includes, "not the first time you stabbed a bitch"?

No, sorry, I just don't think I can. I thought I could get through the vowel lesson; I truly want to learn the characters but could not tolerate it past the illustration of the first one. I know he's twenty-something and kids front bands with routines like this but it's just not working for him.
posted by Anitanola at 1:55 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is intensely boring. Done right, it could be pretty entertaining, but no.
posted by odinsdream at 1:58 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is pretty fucking terrible.

That guy should stop drinking, chill out, go home, work out who he really is and stop trying to be a hard man.
posted by awfurby at 1:59 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's guys like this--who are all over Asia, not just Japan--that make me so thankful that MeFi taught me the phrase, "Bless your heart."
posted by so much modern time at 2:03 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would like to mention that it's not just English instructors who go crazy drunk in Japan. I have several friends in both the tech and finance industries who also are happy to perform a Rampage in Roppongi.
posted by Metro Gnome at 2:17 PM on November 21, 2011


And here I thought Everything But the Girl was more lyrical...oh wait, that's a different Thorn.
posted by Chuffy at 2:20 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


This guy reminds me of the foreigners in Japan who complain that Japanese people treat them differently because they're foreign.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:28 PM on November 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you want polite, interesting commentary and photography of Japan, I recommend Lyle Saxon's site.

Nonetheless, I linked to that "pretty fucking terrible" kid because the Japanese lessons are well organized, effective, and short. If you can find similar quality instruction without the swearing, for free, please send me a link.
posted by sixohsix at 3:12 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


> As much as Metafilter hates to stereotype, ...

It's a stereotype that Metafilter hates to stereotype.
posted by sixohsix at 3:14 PM on November 21, 2011


Is he this guy?
posted by hexatron at 3:16 PM on November 21, 2011


This guy reminds me of the foreigners in Japan who complain that Japanese people treat them differently because they're foreign.

That's going to happen anyway so why not embrace it? When you're expected to be an obnoxious drunken lout, it's like a fraternity party that never ends!

[besides which, I'd bet on a Chinese businessman to drink these guys under the table any day]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:55 PM on November 21, 2011


"This is a rice paddy. Like a hamburger patty". Yeah...

These are much less good than I expected.
posted by anateus at 4:29 PM on November 21, 2011


He should really teach French because that way, when you go to Paris and try speaking your deplorable French and the Parisians mock and abuse you for it, you can be like "yeah, that's what I thought you would say", and it would be comforting.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:37 PM on November 21, 2011


Without fail, Western ex-pats in Asia think they are ten time more clever/charming/intelligent/talented than they actually are.
posted by bardic at 4:50 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, at least those who post youtube videos do.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:51 PM on November 21, 2011


I am ten times more clever and talented than I actually am.

This Jeremy guy, though, he needs a swift kick in the nuts.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:07 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


My mind started to wander about how this style would work in quantum or math class ... but the abuse actually pulled me back every time.

I guess I'll have to search back issues of Psychology Today to find out what lame-brain theories apply to this experience.

A- because he's just sipping that beer.
posted by Twang at 5:39 PM on November 21, 2011


I was perfectly prepared to dislike and not be amused by the disconnected-looking young man using sexist slurs, but when he berated the audience about having a notebook and not using it for other things, then kept popping up into frame like a wall-eyed shark, I must confess I giggled a lot.

AH EE OO EH OH
posted by winna at 5:42 PM on November 21, 2011


I have notebook AND IT IS FULL OF VOWELS. Evidently I need swearing at.

i have a paper to write tomorrow.Maybe I can put up an Ask and get swears all day long. Yay/woo.
posted by aesop at 5:51 PM on November 21, 2011


oh hey I've met guys like this

I don't spend time around them when an alternative option of any sort is available
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:52 PM on November 21, 2011


This bit about white guys being the only people who drink excessively in Japan is completely absurd. I took a day off yesterday, and on the way back from an amusement park at the foot of Mt. Fuji, at about 9 PM in Shibuya, I saw a salaryman vomit all over himself, people next to him, and the platform. Dumb bastard almost fell over onto the tracks. On a MONDAY NIGHT.
People in Asia drink hard. It's not just white people, it's not just Japan, and really, it's probably not even just Asia. Anyone here familiar with the Russians? They have something of a notoriety too.
(note that yes, this guy is in fact such a cliche of the people I've worked with here that I almost suspect he's doing his schtick ironically)
posted by GoingToShopping at 7:55 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have, as it were, a theory* about foreigners** here in Japan. Roughly speaking, most of them fit into three groups.

Group A is the short-termer, the kid fresh out of college who's in Asia because they have the chance to do it. They've got a one year contract. Maybe they'll stay for a year or two. Essentially, though, it's equivalent to the British gap year, something to do before you get serious and go back to the world. They're having a blast. They live in a culture where people don't "get" foreigners, and who, by and large, give them a lot of leeway. A lot of them are working eikawa/language school hours (classes start between 11 and 1pm, end around 8 or 9), so they don't have to get up too early. Many of them have no concept of Japan before they get here (or an entirely idealized version --Damn you, Sofia Copella), and spend their first three months here so enraptured with the country, telling everyone how wonderful it is. At about 3 months in, they start to notice things, and start complaining about things to anyone who will listen. They'll make loud, usually drunken statements that start with "Japanese people" and usually end with stupidity on the speaker's part. For Americans, the utterly blase attitude towards alcohol makes this place a paradise. You can drink anytime, anywhere. And they do. They get drunk, they act out (because no one will say anything, most of the time), and they go home after a year or two, after doing an excellent job of reinforcing the stereotype of foreigners that most Japanese people hold, that they are untrustworthy, loud, rude, and just don't get it, in the sense that it = living in a foreign culture, and not taking advantage of it.

Group B is mythical. I like to believe that they exist, and that I'm one of them, but just maybe it's all a myth, and I'm really in group C. More about that later. Group B would be former members of Group A who, for whatever reason, never went home. For the most part, they don't act like they used to, and they're sort of embarrassed about the stupid shit they used to do. Maybe they got married. Maybe they found a niche and are really loving it here. People in this group are trying to make a go of life here, and because of Group A, they have a lot to live down, and might be resentful of them. They're the older people at the bar, usually not interesting in listening to the group A person saying the exact same things (Japan is great, or the latter "Japanese people..."). Normal folk, they just happen to still be here rather than having gone home. Of course, the longer you stay, especially in teaching, the less you can do back home (12 years of ESL experience is essentially worthless, should I go home, again, largely due to the image of overseas teaching people get from watching youtube clips of Group A pigfuckers), so a lot of B's are just here because going home has become impossible.

Group C are long termers. The thing is, a lot of Group C are just... off. There is something weird about them, or some sort of personality issue that causes them endless problems back home. They just don't fit in. They come to Japan, and they think that this is a magical land where everyone is incredibly accepting (which, seriously, is the exact opposite of Japanese culture). The thing is, what a lot of these people don't realize is that because of Group A, and previous experience with other Group C folk, Japanese people think all foreigners are strange. It's just something to be expected, and most Japanese people (people without any close foreign friends, for example) just kind of accept that foreigners are strange, and try to work around it, if possible. This leeway gives Group C folk all the room they need to keep doing what they do, even if they could never get or keep a job back home, they can do so here.

I'd really, really like to believe I'm in the mythical group B, but yeah, I have my doubts, and sometimes I'm sure I'm in C. I'm trying real hard, Ringo, but still.***

Tl;DR, as a long timer here in Japan, I sigh, roll my eyes, and find myself reminded why I avoid Roppongi at all costs.


*(don't know how to do the TM mark)

** Honestly, it's mostly a theory about English teachers because that's, unfortunatel,y my subset.

*** Another hallmark of Group B: quoting films that were popular culture icons at the time they left their home country.

posted by Ghidorah at 8:08 PM on November 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's more or less the same in Korea, but Group B isn't at all mythical, and members of the worryingly large Group C can be either long-termers or not-so-long termers. The existence of Group C is why I very rarely socialize with other expats here (that and the facts that I live in the sticks and am not much of a social butterfly anyway).

There's also Group D, where I feel like I more or less am after my many years here, who have gotten to one degree or another out of the EFL/ESL game, or parlayed their experience into a Real Job making decent money, and are just professional people, expats, with ordinary lives that just happen to be lived in Asia. They run the gamut from totally ordinary folks to The Crazies, from cultural converts who think that their new home is The Very Best Place to those that hate every waking minute here but can't find a way to get out, people who engage with the culture around them or pretty much ignore it, and every stop in between. But that's also true for the B people and the A bunch as well.

Basically what I'm saying is I think the broad strokes of your breakdown aren't all that far off, but as always, it's more complicated.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:28 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stavros, of course, you're right about the existence of Group D. Thy are out there, and I might be edging my way towards trying to join them. A couple esteemed members here are solidly group D folk (hi there Woodblock and Flapjax, among others), and honestly, they seem much happier about being here than many of the English teachers I know.

One key facet I left out was the breakdown: A is roughly 90% of foreigners in the ESL arena, by my estimation. C is probably 9.9%, with B being sub .1%, and D looking like the inverse of one of those charts showing income equality in the states.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:38 PM on November 21, 2011


I'm off to visit a Japan-D next week. He did the ESL thing for a few years out of college, came back to the States and started a work life, fell in love with a Japanese woman and permanently emigrated to Japan. Two kids, professional career, hates his mortgage, and thinks that American food portions are way too big.

He will always be an outsider in Japanese culture though, and I don't think it has anything to do with A, B, or C. That's okay -- Japanese culture has a respectable place for outsiders in it -- but it's not like living in California where everyone comes from somewhere else so everybody is on even footing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:09 PM on November 21, 2011


I have, as it were, a theory* about foreigners** here in Japan. Roughly speaking, most of them fit into three groups.

No. There is only one type of gaijin in Japan, the type that is contemptuous of anyone with less time in-country than him.

Anyway, getting back to the topic.. You'd have to be an idiot to learn Japanese from a native English speaker. You want to learn Japanese from a native Japanese speaker. I always see this type of video series, pick an intermediate lesson, and then see how long it takes before it's obvious he doesn't know what he's talking about. This one lasted about 15 seconds.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:12 PM on November 21, 2011


Also, if you learn Japanese from your Japanese girlfriend, you'll talk like a girl and Japanese men will laugh at you.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:16 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, all my instructors were Japanese women, and everyone says I talk like a university professor.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:18 PM on November 21, 2011


Unless you're female, that is.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:19 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


No. There is only one type of gaijin in Japan, the type that is contemptuous of anyone with less time in-country than him

Dude.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:04 PM on November 21, 2011


I try not to respond to stuff like this, but honestly, I constantly find myself jealous of Group A folk. When my friends came to Japan for my wedding, they had their jaws on the floor most of the time they were here. Everything was so new and amazing to them, I found myself constantly using my announcer voice to say "Welcome to the future!" Personally, I miss that way of looking at this place, and am constantly on the lookout for things that will shake the jadedness from me.

I find myself jealous of Group A for all sorts of reasons, their schedules (I loathe waking up as early as I do) and their easy jobs that allow them constant room for social expansion. Seriously, being young and drunk in Japan is an amazing way to meet people. Staying in Japan for any length of time turns you into a spectator at a war of attrition as you watch long held friends slowly dwindling in number as more and more of them either head home or relocate in Japan.

As for the time in country as arbiter, honestly, it's kind of rare for me, even at 12 years, to have been here the longest. That doesn't mean I hold anyone over me in some kind of awe, or automatically scorn anyone who hasn't been here as long as I have. On the other hand, hearing a six month noob going on about how mean his/her manager is because they expect them to make students happy... I've been that noob. I've talked to dozens of them. I know how the story goes. Pardon me if I look at my glass and mention that I need another drink, but I'm pretty sure there are more interesting stories at the bar tonight.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:16 PM on November 21, 2011


Stavros, of course, you're right about the existence of Group D. Thy are out there, and I might be edging my way towards trying to join them. A couple esteemed members here are solidly group D folk (hi there Woodblock and Flapjax, among others), and honestly, they seem much happier about being here than many of the English teachers I know.

Given the "English teacher" context of the conversation I'm sure you didn't mean this per se, but there are obviously tons of Ds -- they just happen to be from other parts of Asia and don't teach English. Also, very rarely are they here with the same goals in mind as those English teachers; instead, their mindset is closer to "immigrant" than "transient worker / expat".

Although I've not been in Japan for a very long time, I do consider myself a "D" in terms of mindset, if only because I've spent so long immersed in the language and culture. And yes, there are plenty of annoying, short-term English teacher dumbasses (urban and rural) who give the non-Asian foreigner population in Japan a bad name -- but there are plenty of others who are just living their lives as they would anywhere else, but just happen to live in Japan.

No. There is only one type of gaijin in Japan, the type that is contemptuous of anyone with less time in-country than him.

Sounds like an attitude that isn't limited to Japan...
posted by armage at 11:48 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


As for the time in country as arbiter, honestly, it's kind of rare for me, even at 12 years, to have been here the longest.

And yet, you seem to know the time in-country of all your peers, and how you rank against them.

I am exaggerating to make a point here, this A B C D ranking basically comes down to who has been there the longest.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:20 AM on November 22, 2011


Armage, you're exactly right, my worldview is a bit limited, and there is a whole other world of people out there. I call them people with actual job skills. Most long term teachers, I'd imagine, are trying to find a way into jobs like that, or starting their own businesses, especially since the economy sucks and teaching salaries, benefits, and stability of jobs keeps dropping.

In other words, expat/self-employed is the brass ring, and the ABC thing is pretty much for English teachers. I'll revise the theory. I was talking about English teachers, and expats/professionals don't really factor into the 'just graduated, gonna see the world' set that most English teachers are in.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:41 AM on November 22, 2011


In other words, expat/self-employed is the brass ring, and the ABC thing is pretty much for English teachers. I'll revise the theory. I was talking about English teachers, and expats/professionals don't really factor into the 'just graduated, gonna see the world' set that most English teachers are in.

No problem, I figured that's what you meant -- after all, they are the majority of what I'll call "developed country expats", who are overwhelmingly white (though some black) and are immediately recognizable as non-Japanese.

For me, as someone who didn't come to Japan to teach English and has only done so as a part time job during university, it's difficult to understand that typical newly-arrived English teacher "mindset" as evident in the FPP. Sure, coming to teach English for a few years is fine, but you don't have to be an asshole while you're doing it. "It's okay to be rude to Japanese people / to take over the Yamanote Line on Halloween / to pretend not to know any Japanese to avoid the consequences of my actions / etc. because it's Japan" seems to be the reason most of these folks give, and it's damn tiresome.
posted by armage at 12:58 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have trouble seeing the point... The guy clearly isn't a natural swearer, he doesn't drop expletives every other word out of habit, he is constantly having to remember to jam them into sentences whenever he can. Extraordinarily bad acting.

I could sit through sweary racist misogynistic Japanese lessons from a truly foul-mouthed salt-of-the-earth gravel-voiced leather-skinned ex-marine. That's what I was looking forward to before I clicked. I can't sit through this.
posted by dickasso at 3:01 AM on November 22, 2011


Fascinating comments as to groups living in Japan. I wonder, however, if we might include two additional categories:

Group D (for "detatched"): These are the employees of Japanese branches of American or British mega-firms who've been dispatched to Japan for a two-year stint. They roam Hiro and live in expensive, multi-room mansions rented by their companies. They have little contact with Japanese people, apart from colleagues, and only superficial interest in their temporary home. They rarely make even a cursory effort to learn Japanese--why should they? Their numbers were greatest during the boomtime of the 80s; do they still exist?

Group E (for "evolved"): This is the category I'd place Ghidora, flapjax, woodblock and most of the Mefites into. They may have started in ESL, or still work in that field, but they're immersed in the culture and society. They speak and read fluently, live with a Japanese spouse, shoulder a mortgage, find themselves thinking about what it's like to retire in Japan. For many, they spend long stretches without meeting other foreigners or using their native language. Some are long term employees of Japanese companies, with colleagues who interact with them in Japanese and rarely, if ever, shower them with questions about their native land. Others are artists who have found that Japan aligns perfectly with their creative sensibilities; flapjax and woodblock are solidly in this category.

Members of Group E aren't expats, nor are they émigrés. They're immigrants. Japan is their home.
posted by Gordion Knott at 3:11 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know what group I would have fit into. I never did ESL, I never aspired to live in Tokyo, and I never managed have any lasting social interactions with people who spoke English with confidence. But I was only there for two years and I just had a tiny work-subsidized mansion. Maybe an E minus?

My main conflict with living abroad is that I actually like my family, and I don't like being 3 or 4 planes and and upwards of 24 hours away from them.

I've never been very comfortable with heavy swearing and drunkenness, though, so these videos are like the extreme of discomfort for me.
posted by that girl at 4:18 AM on November 22, 2011


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