Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Small Adventure 51

A few days before Donald Trump's inauguration speech, one of the local TV stations started calling the English schools in Kagoshima, asking to interview teachers from the U.S. to get their opinions on the new president, to ask if anyone was going to listen to his speech, and to find out what part of the speech would be the most important to that person. The owner of my school asked me to participate in the hopes of getting the name of the school on TV for free, and I said, "ok." A day later, a small TV crew came to the school and set up in one of the classrooms, consisting of the interviewer, the cameraman and the guy to hold the overhead mike. The interviewer said that he'd be asking 4 questions, and I'd have the option of saying "I don't want to answer that," if so desired. He added that the station really wanted to have people from both sides of the argument, but that they couldn't find anyone in the city that supported Trump. The interview ran 15 minutes, and the questions were pretty simple to answer. Then, as the crew started putting their equipment away, the interviewer asked me a few more questions about what I thought the trade situation between Japan and the U.S. was going to be like, and after a few minutes, the interviewer told his crew to get the camera back out to capture my answers again.

I was told that the station was interviewing a lot of people and that my chances of being included in the broadcast were very slim. Because I don't own a TV, I went up to Bic Camera to look at the TVs they have on the floor. When the broadcast special started, they were interviewing someone else. A couple minutes later, I showed up on-screen, and I kind of dominated the special, taking up over 60% of the air time of the show. Which, granted, was only 5-6 minutes long in total, but, still. The station put up Japanese subtitles on the screen, and had some voice actor dubbing a Japanese voice over me. Made me sound very sophisticated. The next day, I talked to my students in class. Only one of them actually saw the interview, and her only comment was that, even in Japanese, I was using words that were too big for her to follow.

Such has been my 15 minutes of fame.

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