April Fool’s Articles

Jenna Bush Accepted to JET Programme

Spring 2007 “April Fool’s” Issue

CLAIR documents shared with JETAA NY in early April show that Jenna Bush, the daughter of President George W. Bush, has been accepted to the JET Program for 2007.

Bush, who like her father gained notoriety for her reputation for drinking and partying, will be working in Wakayama-ken.

While some in the JET alumni community are concerned that her association with the JET Program may be PR nightmare given her reputation as well as her father’s unpopularity due to his handling of the Iraq war, his failure to control the nuclear ambitions of North Korea, the U.S. Attorney scandal, the Gitmo prison, the torture scandal, the impending deficit, the Jack Abramoff scandal and countless other scandals caused by the liberal media, others see the development more positively.

“Going abroad always opens up your world view,” pointed out JET alum Alexei Esikoff.  “I think she’ll develop a more nuanced take on foreign cultures and hopefully pass that on to her father, maybe by keeping a blog so that he can keep up on how she’s doing. Ahh, who am I kidding? She’ll just end up partying and singing karaoke as much as I did.”  From Babe Ruth’s trip to Tokyo in 1934 to the national tour of the entire cast and crew of The Fast and the Furious: Toky Drift, celebrity visits to Japan have long been associated with goodwill and, increasingly, internationalization.  According to noted international trends analyst Kent Christian, “Celebrity applicants are not typically considered for JET due in part to the glitz and glamour factor outweighing the ideals of actual exchange, as well as the fact that some have behaved in a shameful and irresponsible manner in the face of gracious hospitality.”  A CLAIR administrator who asked to be identified as Himitsu-san recalls, “We kept getting calls from Suntory Whiskey about a certain film star who was trying to supplement their income in ways inappropriate to the JET contract.  I couldn’t tell you how many calls we received from the good people of Toyama-ken about the driving range he constructed on his roof.”

Another CLAIR official who wished to remain anonymous said, “You should see the list of just the B-list celebrities we’ve rejected.  I can’t name names, but the Naked Cowboy was one of them,” the offical confided.  “That’s not really a name, right?”

“The merit of inviting a Jenna Bush on a program as distinguished as JET is mixed at best,” said noted Tokyo tabloid columnist Frankee Sakitsumi.  “Clearly, JET wishes to avoid a repeat of the Bush Sr. vomit incident.  As the daughter of one of the world’s highest-profile politicians, it’s good from a diplomatic angle, but personally I wonder if Ms. Bush would have made a better candidate for the JETAA NY Sake Scholarship.”

FYI, Jenna Bush was not really accepted to the program.  C’mon.  The program’s standards are higher than that.  Plus, you gotta think you would’ve heard about this in a tabloid already.

JETAA NY to Establish $50,000 Sake Scholarship

Spring 2007 “April Fool’s” Issue

JETAA NY has announced that it will fund a new one-year scholarship for participants to live in Japan and study sake.  Known as the “JETAA Sake Scholarship,” this is the first-ever program of its kind, making JETAA NY part of a cutting edge effort in internationalization.

The scholarship was made possible by an agreement between JETAA NY and the Ministry of Agriculture’s Division of Alcohol, Foreign Affairs Section (MADAFAS) and will cover costs of up to $50,000 for living, including housing, travel and sake.  Only JET alumni are eligible to apply, and the scholarship will be awarded based on research proposals submitted by July 1, 2007.

“We’re obviously extremely excited to be part of this groundbreaking effort,” said outgoing JETAA NY President Jennifer Olayon, who played a major behind-the-scenes role in establishing the scholarship. “First our alliance with the Japan National Tourist Organization, and now this.  I know this will be great for JETAA’s profile, showing what we’re capable of doing and also giving us an edgy je ne c’est quois.”

Research proposals can cover any of a range of topics according to the scholarship’s guidelines, including: “…any topic or issue of opinion to concerning sake production, marketing or consumption about the fields of science, economics, sociology, scientology or anthropology.”

“It’s wonderful that you can really be creative in what you want to study,” said incoming JETAA NY President Rob Tuck who headed the scholarship guidelines drafting committee. “You could research the brand management of sake or the evolution of the chemical processes involved. Though as a judge, I’d likely look rather favorably on more consumption-oriented topics, such as which types of sake most quickly cause inebriation.”

Criteria for judging applicants’ proposals are available at www.jetaany.org/sakescholarship and include substance, relevance, creativity, practicality, writing ability and sake consumption ability. Fluency with Japanese is not a requirement. “It’s our sense that sake consumption tends to inadvertently improve Japanese language ability, even among people who say they don’t really know how to speak,” according to Tuck.  Applications will be judged by a panel consisting of MADAFAS officials and JET Alumni to be headed by former JETAA NY Social Chair Matt Jungblutt.

“We look forward to increased internationalization and promotion of Japanese sake,” said MADAFAS Director Yutaka Mitaka, who originally proposed the idea to JETAA NY in early 2005. “We wish JETAA NY members to be experienced experts on sake and will produce a great researcher.”

While concerns have been voiced that a sake scholarship may seem a bit frivolous and a waste of Japanese taxpayers’ money, former JET Alumni Vice President Katrina Barnas points out that the word o-sake is a very respectful term and concept, which is exemplified by its ubiquity in Japan and the high regard in which sake brewers are held in Japanese society.  “In Japanese communities the sake brewer is generally held in higher regard than judges and mayors,” said Barnas.  “And just as beer-dispensing vending machines are a common sight in the Japan of today, so too are that of your flush-faced salaryman enjoying himself in a very public drunken revelry, whether it’s during hanami season or after a long day at the office.”

JET Alum Brian Hersey echoed the sentiment.  “When you get down to it, alcohol is responsible for a lot of interesting behavior in Japan,” said Hersey.  “Without it, the entire J-pop, comedy and snack food industries would surely go to pot.  I mean, who wants to eat squid-flavored corn puffs sober?”

Portions of this article are completely made up.  Actually, the entire article is a completely artificial concoction.  Happy April Fool’s!

It’s Pronounced “JETAANY”

Spring 2007 “April Fool’s” Issue

In the first action taken by the newly-elected JETAA NY officers, the official pronunciation of the organization has been changed from “Jet-Ay-Ay New York” to “Juh-TAH-nee.”

“There’s always been confusion over how to pronounce the organization’s name,” said President Rob Tuck.  “We just felt we might as well give it an upscale feel.”

Vice-President Megan Miller echoed Tuck’s sentiment.  “You see all the names of neighborhoods changing these days.  I mean, what the heck is LoHo?  But you have to keep up with the times and the trends.”

Secretary Carol Elk cited a shift in the JETAANY community demographic.  “If you look at our community, it’s a lot of young, hip, edgy types who read the New Yorker,” said Elk.  “Our alumni community is just, like, totally JETAANY, y’know?”

While incoming Treasurer CJ Hoppel signed off on the pronunciation change, he also voiced concerns.  “Frankly, I just think justifying our new not-for-profit status is going to pose unique challenges with a name as darned cool and edgy as JETAANY.”

This article is chooouuu not true.  But go ahead and pronounce JETAA NY however you want.

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