Japanese prime minister smitten with Zuckerberg?

A report suggests that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was "star-struck" when meeting Facebook's chief executive. Could that really be the case?

Why didn't he just wear his hoodie? James Martin/CNET

I tend to believe everything I read on the Web.

So I was moved to reverent silence when Reuters today informed me that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was "star-struck" on meeting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

It may well be that the mere presence of the world's most famous nerd -- bar those chaps in "The Big Bang Theory" -- created such a commotion in Noda's being that his heart was all a-flutter.

It may also be that something was lost in translation.

As Reuters describes it, Noda said to Zuckerberg: "It's a funny feeling to see you here because I watched the film," referring to "The Social Network."

The boy ruler then reportedly replied that he was very different from the heartless automaton portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg in that movie.

But this purported difference might have been a disappointment for Noda, just as much as it might have been a source of excitement.

The real George Clooney, one imagines, is just as much fun as the characters he portrays. The real Steve Jobs was surely just as entertaining as all the legends that were told about him.

It is possible, though, that the real Mark Zuckerberg isn't as scathingly funny as his screen version. Which just might have created, for Noda, a "funny feeling" of disappointment, rather than of star-struckedness.

Zuckerberg is clearly a reluctant public figure. Some might say this is common to several of those who enjoy wielding a little power. But it might have surprised the prime minister a little to see that, though the Facebook CEO had donned a suit and tie, the latter was dangling beneath an open top shirt button.

Perhaps Zuckerberg felt a little hot. But why put on the suit at all? It's as if he wanted to present a rather different version of himself than the real.

Yet, on Facebook, he rather insists that everyone is as real as possible, so that advertisers can know as much about them as possible.

In any case, shouldn't it have been Zuckerberg who was star-struck in Tokyo?

Here was the prime minister of a country that has brought so many wonderful and tasteful things into the world. There is surely far more value in being the inspiration for tuna poke than for the Facebook poke.

 

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