Elaborating on the Mission Statement
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
For those who are more comfortable with Japanese text
I now know for sure that my days are numbered although I don't know exactly when and how death visits my doorstep.
Dying is not changing jobs. I have no intention to hand over what I have finished and left unfinished to anybody in an organized way. For one thing, I don't care too much about the fate of TokyoFreePress.
Yet at present, I'm preprogramming my death, just like I preprogrammed my life in the past, so the right person(s) can decode my programs when I'm gone.
To that end I am going to elaborate anew on the Mission Statement of this political blog below here.
Unfortunately not too many people have understood what exactly I meant by "taboo" when I used the word some 53 months ago. Although some knowingly grinned at me, they didn't look to have understood what I was talking about, because there's nothing to grin about in my combat against taboo.
For dissident bloggers facing the Great Firewalls in China, talking about Tibet, freedom of speech and representative democracy is taboo. Likewise, their Japanese counterparts have a smaller number of taboos, such as discussing the truth about the Imperial family and the Kisha Kurabu (Press Club) system. Americans have practically none. So, can we conclude that China is the most taboo-ridden society, Japan comes next, and America is the least taboo-ridden? Not really.
There is something I have named the Glass Firewalls in Japan, and in the U.S. to a lesser degree. They are much more invincible and formidable than the Great Firewalls because the Glass Firewalls are invisible from distance. Although I cried out time and again in the face of these walls, very few people took me seriously simply because it's not them, but me, that hit them. Over time, some in my audience may have started viewing me as a Chicken Little or the boy who habitually cries wolf. So it's a piece of cake for the Japanese media to contain dissidence; they just ignore it.
A third and the worst barrier for a taboo-free journalist is the inner firewall which even the Paris-based RSF (Reporters without Borders) hasn't noticed. Sigmund Freud based his theory primarily on his perception of this censorship mechanism. The inner firewall is the thickest and most "transparent" of all.
In short, censorship TokyoFreePress has been challenging is always threefold.
FIRST-HAND VIEWS ON SECOND-HAND NEWS:
This is not a pun.
I don't believe in the media at all because I can't imagine a news organization "without fear or favor" in the real world. This is where I really got stuck. How can I form first-hand views from false news available to me?
Key to solving this dilemma is simple; I have always refrained from answering the given question or presenting a solution to the given problem. Only by doing so, I could avoid walking into a trap of decoy issue.
When I am given a red herring, the first thing I do is to try to internalize it. If something doesn't click inside my skull, I just forget it. But if it does, I try to identify the real issue myself out of the false one. Otherwise, I would just be shuffling information on an ear-to-mouth basis, or eye-to-hand basis. Unfortunately, this site owner has a brain that can do a little more than the operating system can do - assigning different tasks to peripheral and builtin devises and different applications.
Actually, under the Constitution which grants you a nominal freedom of speech, you can answer the given question in any way you like. The real taboo, therefore, is to raise your own question.
Take the "issue" with the shrinking and aging population for example. You can exercise your FOS by saying, "Let's import starving kids from Africa, or youths being abused for the terrorist cause in Arab countries. This would be killing two birds with one stone." Or you can say, "Let's ban the production and sale of condoms."
What is really taboo is to say, "Declining birthrate is nonissue." All you need to know from the media is that your countrymen are having a big fuss over demographic changes.
USE OF ENGLISH AS LINGUA FRANCA:
As you can tell from those who constantly advocate preservation of the "uniquely beautiful" Japanese language, whose proficiency in their mother tongue is actually disastrous, there is no such thing as the genuine Japanese language. Historically, our language has been "saladized" since the early 8th century. That is why I ruled out the use of Japanese when launching this website. What I did, in effect, was to finally unlink my thoughts from my mother tongue.
It could have been French, German or any other foreign language other than Chinese and Korean to reestablish the long-lost link between thoughts and words, but I decided to use English because my writing skills in other foreign languages are too rudimentary. I knew there's a lot to be desired in my English proficiency, but I thought I could acquire top-notch skills through hard work, which I did in the last 53 months.
Why did I think my skills had to be first-rate? I opine that thoughts and words are inseparable twins. To me, there's no such thing as great thought expressed in mediocre words, and vice versa.
An added difficulty was that words are quickly losing their value because these professional Monday morning quarterbacks, and prophets alike, are untiringly indulging in word games, just like the U.S. dollar is losing its value because the FRB has printed too much money.
I have used a no-nonsense method to curb the further hollowing out of words. Here again, I have tried hard to refrain from flapping my jaws until I can fully internalize the issue at hand. Honestly, I don't really care about the predicament the Palestinians and the Israelis, for instance, are going through because I am too preoccupied with my own.
As a result of my self-restraint, my words may have become a little too "heavy" for my audience to digest. That's presumably why TokyoFreePress has betrayed its promise to be interactive. But I am contented with the numbers shown on the statistics pages of my Geeklog and Google Analytics. Today's reading of "Total Hits to the System" is 955,867. I have reasons to believe there is some overstatement in this figure. But just the same, hundreds of thousands of people have visited my website from dozens of countries and regions in the last 4-plus years.
I think I chose the right language.
CAUSE AND DREAM TO PURSUE:
Am I supposed to parrot the new U.S. President? No way. It goes against my principle to use beautiful and empty words such as peace, democracy, unity, diversity, reconciliation, affirmative action, multilateral ties, cross-cultural understanding, common values, etc. If I have to give you a buzzword of this blog, it's self-reliance. Internationally, every people has its own headache and heartache. So it's not the right thing for you to count on other peoples to help you out. The same can be said of relations with your fellow countrymen. Only crybabies beg for help all the time.
The problem is that on the other hand there are a growing number of busybodies who think they are obliged to take care of others when they can't even take care of themselves.
Do I not have a philanthropic cause at all? Yes, I have - perhaps much more than busybodies have. I am only saying that mutual support should not be institutionalized, like it is in Japan and it will be in Obama's America. Once we institutionalize spontaneous friendship among citizenry, we will be doomed to end up in a society where battered people wetnurse and babysit each other.
If I have to make it more visualizable, my dreams will come true only when some advanced (if not industrialized) nations go for E-Democracy. I used to take it for granted that the United States would be the first to implement such an edifice. Unfortunately, though, America is now drifting away from that course.
How did you enjoy watching the January 20 pageantry in Washington, D.C.? For my part, it really made me cry because it was as though I was watching the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics or mass calisthenics in Pyongyang with Kim Jong-il reviewing from the balcony. Now I suspect Digital Maoism has taken hold in America before it can seek E-Democracy. The likes of Michael Moore have paved the way for all this. This is not what Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of.
That's about it as far as my fading dreams are concerned.
TokyoFreePress after my death:
This is something I can't be sure of at this moment. And as I said, I don't care too much.
Here, let me express my heart-felt thanks to Dai Kashio for his technical support since the onset of this blog. Currently it looks likely that he takes over TokyoFreePress. An intelligent person, as he is, says politics is not his forte, but that does not really matter as long as he adheres to these principles and understands what I describe below:
As a French philosopher said a long time ago, man's activity or thought tends to be "totalized." He meant that one's personal pursuit and professional pursuit are inseparable. And when it comes to journalism, political issues, cultural issues, religious issues and all other issues are not really separable. Moreover, a political journalist cannot talk about foreign affairs without talking about domestic affairs - and vice versa. You can't cherry-pick. You can't get around any single issue, whether or not it's your forte.
Last but not least, I have really appreciated Gordon Chang's mentorship since the summer of 2004. As I said, I can't tell exactly when I perish, but at least until the time comes, let me use your picture on the top page of TokyoFreePress.
Neither can I tell if the person who takes over the website may want to rename it to his or her liking. ·