January 28, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 65  

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Website of the Week


Japander is primarily dedicated to exposing the secret lives of Western celebrities. Apparently, Hollywood stars need to seek alternative means to afford luxurious condos and Armani clothing — possessions necessary to maintain that enviable star status.

The site offers two meanings for the word “Japander”:

1. A Western star who uses his or her fame to make large sums of money in a short time by advertising products in Japan they would probably never use.

2. To make an ass of oneself in the Japanese media.

And which celebrities succumb to such humility in the name of the sweet, sweet dollar? Cameron Diaz, Ewan McGregor, Mariah Carey, Mel Gibson... the list is seemingly endless.

Of course, it’s not simply enough to hear about these acts; Japander sets it up so that you can actually view these highly entertaining commercials. Rod Stewart uses his heavenly voice to sell Subaru cars, Charlize Theron interacts with muppets to sell Hondas and Richard Gere sings “No woman, no cry” to sell coffee.

Probably the most amusing aspect is the attempt to normalize the blend of
Japanese and English, as they coexist during the majority of ads. The entertainment level is also quite high when celebrities try to speak Japanese.

—Lori Mastronardi



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