MAGIBON IN THE NEWS

24 03 2010

http://metropolis.co.jp/features/upfront/q-a/magibon/

(For background on Miss Magibon, see my earlier blog entry “What Is Magibon”:

https://nightman1.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/what-is-magibon/ ‎

(Among other things, she’s a meme more significant than it looks.)

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WHAT IS MAGIBON ?

6 08 2008

LLLLL

The question seems a bit off the beam, since Magibon is a woman, not a thing. But her videos are also a major phenomenon on YouTube, so “What” fits the phenomenon, if not the girl. Go to her channel, here, and see the phenomenal numbers of views her videos have gotten:

Magi’s Channel

What does she do to get all this interest? If you’re thinking talk sexy or shake her booty, you’re wrong. Booty shaking is rife on YouTube, as exemplified here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Lilstuart07

and here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ndnboy500

And these sites and many others like them have only moderate numbers of views at best.

No, Magibon offers us something different. I suggest that you go look at a few of her videos and then come back and I will try to explain her popularity. Luckily I am Old and so have nothing better to do than try to get to the bottom of cultural phenomena like this.

…time allotted for perusal of some Magibon videos…

Magibon is a cute American girl of 22 with immense eyes. You could get lost in them. And although in most of her videos she just stares at the camera and speaks in Japanese (her main intended audience) while various pleasant expressions flit across her pretty face, it is hard not to keep watching. Why?

Well, for me and some other guys I’ve talked to, experiencing a Magibon video is like coming home after a day spent up to your elbows in shit and leaping into a cool blue pool. She is the place where sweetness negates the sourness of everyday life; apparent attention to you and your feelings negates the world’s indifference; and fantasy involvement with the spirit of a gentle woman negates the grinding utilitarianism of the American economic world.

What man could resist? Or, rather, what OLDER man could resist? We Oldies can love her right away because she answers to a type in the back of our minds that has never died. The Young, on the other hand, may have more trouble.

I’ve known for years through online discussions that many American men want Asian wives, even to the extent, in the case of some old, affluent guys, of going to, say, the Philippines to get one. And I’ve always thought that of course we would! And Magibon, though she is not Asian, exemplifies the precise reason why.

Today in the US media women are generally portrayed as attractive or sexy in a “formidable” way — physically beautiful, desirable, highly competent in whatever she is portrayed as doing, but a bit unreal and distant, seldom displaying anything that could possibly be called “sweetness”. I think this situation has arisen because the industrial manufacturers of our popular culture decided to support the womens’ liberation program some years ago, and, being incapable of subtlety, they have done so by just giving us countless images of beautiful women being tough like men. (Query: How many women of a degree of beauty that you know damn well would never be found in a police station have you seen portraying cops on TV?) Our standard of beauty has become founded in this slightly Gorgonesque type.

But I would bet anything that it is natural to many, perhaps most, men to be drawn to someone who looks and is gentle and sweet instead! I know I am. And I know that way back in the 1960s that was what most men wanted for sure.

I think this disconnect between current American culture and the natural preference of most men is why Magibon is so popular here. No one else on YouTube comes across as that gentle and vulnerable! (At least no-one who is an adult and has limpid eyes you could get lost in!)

But, interestingly, many young American men who comment on her videos are furious at her. I believe that is because they have come to expect formidable women in the real world and in-your-face-sexy women on YouTube, and they “know” that that’s what they prefer. Then they find Magibon and they can’t stop watching her videos because she is giving them something they’ve always wanted but didn’t know they wanted.

Every new medium creates the opportunity for new kinds of art within it, and by creating such a new kind of video Magibon has illuminated a chasm in the public culture of the USA that the mainstream media are probably blind to and, even if they are not, would never mention or manifest on their channels because to do so would highlight their manipulativeness.

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PS: Here’s a great interview with Magibon. I learned a lot from it!

http://pingmag.jp/2008/12/26/magibon/