WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.I never thought anyone could make “The Jerky Boys” look like “Firing Line,” so I’ll give him that much. However, while not quite as rules-obsessed as Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore, Japan isn’t exactly known for tolerating flagrant lawbreaking — which has gotten Mr. Somali into a bit of a pickle. According to Sankei Shimbun, a national Japanese newspaper, the prankster was arrested after what I’m sure would have been a hee-larious viral video involving him blasting music inside a restaurant in Osaka last Thursday. “On the 2nd, the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office charged Ismael Ramsey Khalid (24), also known as Johnny Somali, a U.S. citizen who caused a nuisance at a restaurant in Minami, Osaka, with forceful obstruction of business,” the Shimbun reported, according to a computer translation. “According to the indictment, at around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 12 at a restaurant in Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka City, he interfered with the work of a store employee by recording video and playing loud music. The district attorney’s office has not announced whether it approves or disapproves. On the other hand, the charges of trespassing into a building in Nihonbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka City, where a hotel was planned for construction, were not prosecuted (prosecution was suspended). The district attorney’s office has not disclosed the reason.” Yeah, just in case you wanted to see that…
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language and disturbing situations some readers may find offensive.
According to English language pop-culture site Dexerto, however, Somali’s arrest has become a political football — except this time, the East is pointing fingers at the West, not the other way around like it was with Michael Fay. Hirokazu Matsuno the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, denounced Somali as a “nuisance” streamer who was “invading privacy” during a media briefing in September — before the arrest on the music charges, but after the trespassing charges. Yes, he’s racking up frequent flyer miles with the Japanese police, apparently! “Of course, we must ensure the freedom of YouTubers and other broadcasters, but within that, we must not violate the privacy of others or cause nuisance. Naturally, you must refrain from doing so,” Matsuno said. Now, mind you, the streaming community doesn’t seem to particularly like this guy either. “In the past few months, Somali had been attacked for racist outbursts directed towards locals and even harassed Twitch streamer Meowko after running into her,” Dexerto reported. At the very least, Somali — or Khalid; we might as well call this self-facilitating node of media offal by his real name at this point — could have faced up to three years in jail for trespassing in Japan. Yes, as you also may have guessed, Japan is not a soft-on-crime country, and “defund the police” rallies aren’t often witnessed. (In fact, it’s a miracle that Godzilla, Sailor Moon and Naruto have all managed to evade property destruction charges, to say nothing of Mario’s psychedelic mushroom habit going completely unpunished.) It’s unclear where his case stands — but, on Monday, Dexerto reported that he’s again facing the prospect of jail time for the restaurant/music stunt. Another streamer who goes by the moniker “Asmongold” said he should be spared the clink because, well, Japan can just deport him. Hopefully not to Singapore. Now, again, this isn’t an endorsement of caning or of turning America into a country where mere trespass can earn you three years in prison. This isn’t a piece about balancing behavioral deterrence and freedom in social contract theory or saying that Japan and Singapore know what’s up. Rather, it’s a condemnation of a certain type of American abroad who believes the world should tolerate his particular brand of malign idiocy because his home country exercises considerable laxity when it comes to vandalism, theft, malicious pranks and bullying for clicks. That’s not a good image for the Japanese — or any nationality, to be frank — to have of us. As U.S. citizens, we’re ambassadors of our country’s values. We should embody them. Sadly, from the little I can glean, these stunts are Khalid’s empty, noxious ethics. And the fact people absorb this effluence is proof they certainly don’t disapprove of it. Of all the American culture we manage to export, the Jake Paul model of thuggish social media mischief may be the worst by a long shot. Ironically, TikTok is currently the hot platform for this kind of inanity — even if Johnny Somali wasn’t apparently operating on it. (He’s one of the big names on Twitch’s livestreaming rival, Kick.) However that doesn’t erase the fact that the supernova of stupidity is TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance. If the folks in Beijing had set the CCP’s best coders and app designers to make a product that would have the rest of the world thinking young Americans were insouciant, privileged, mindless, arrogant hooligans, I doubt they could have ever been so wildly successful. It almost makes me wonder whether TikTok has reached out to Michael Fay about a possible partnership. Sure, he ain’t getting back into Singapore — but there are plenty of other countries that the OG ugly American troublemaker could make headlines in! Might want to save North Korea for last, though.
Video of Kick streamer Johnny Somali allegedly trespassing on a construction site and harassing construction workers pic.twitter.com/wSEMSzDMXE— Dexerto (@Dexerto) September 22, 2023
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.