Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 03:33 AM EST
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. What was available in books he could understand was inadequate, and the rest was too technical: studies of radiation biology based on people who had suffered high radiation exposure - victims of major explosions like those in Japan, and others who had died as a result of accidents in testing centers and runaway reactors - and the study of Marshall Islanders based on the testing fallout in 1954, or the people involved with the reactor that exploded at Idaho Falls. None of these provided a comparable situation. What had happened to him and Karen was closer to the small industrial accidents - about which there was very little information - like the case of the girls who worked in watch factories painting dials with radium paint and came down with symptoms of radiation poisoning.
. - from "The Touch" by Daniel Keyes (emphasis mine)
Takashi Hirose, investigative journalist
Abe demonstrates how safe it is to eat a slice or two of an octopus caught in the offing of Fukushima
Abe's grandfather Nobusuke Kishi
I'm glad that in early October I could make this website the first, and perhaps the last, one to have introduced the unabridged English text of Mr. Takashi Hirose's message to young athletes overseas, together with all the thumbnail pictures he inserted in it. In that respect, let me express my gratitude to Messrs. Randall Tillotson and Dai Kashio for their assistance in converting the original PDF file into a format publishable here.
Some of the intended recipients of the message may be skeptical enough to suspect the writer of the letter must be yet another crisis-monger who exaggerates the fallout of the meltdown of the reactor in the Fukushima Dai-ichi Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company. Even so it's inconceivable to me that any sane person takes a chance with his health when he can avoid the risk just by taking out a premium-free insurance policy offered by Mr. Hirose.
However, this is not to say Hirose's argument is convincing enough to the rest of us who can't directly relate to the issue of the Olympic Games which may or may not be hosted by the Japanese capital in seven years from now.
An insoluble dilemma over whether to love or leave
If you are one of those exceptional people who are still able to do real thinking before quickly brushing aside or swallowing Hirose's story, you will notice that there are some important logical flaws in it.
For one thing, he describes what he told in his letter as "a sad story." Yet he fails to tell exactly why he was saddened by the post-3/11 situation, when it's actually terrifying or infuriating rather than saddening.
Another question you may ask is: "Isn't Abe a born liar? Or did the Japanese Prime Minister become a mythomamiac only after 3/11 by a sudden mutation?" There's yet another: A professional liar doesn't lie unless it's absolutely necessary. So what exactly made Abe feel a compulsive urge to use his unparalleled skills only to bring the quadrennial circuses to his country? Needless to say it's the insane vanity on the part of the Japanese that made it necessary for him to resort to the "abEsolute lie" that "everything is under control" here. Our question in that respect is what made Hirose get around the pathological aspect of the problem?
Most puzzling of all, why the author of the letter attributed the "abnormal condition never before experienced by mankind" to "the accident" at Fukushima Plant No.1 of Tokyo Electric Power Company? Some of us already know Hirose has made it clear from the beginning that the Fukushima disaster was not a force majeure. Time and again he has pointed out that the earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the tsunami that followed it could have been prevented from turning into an unprecedented man-made catastrophe had it not been for people's inability and unwillingness to face up to the reality.
Let me ask you a hypothetical question: how would you react if your wife sent out the invitation card for a party you didn't want to throw for some compelling reason. Normally you would try further to talk her into sending a cancellation notice to the invitees. But what if you knew she wouldn't budge an inch on her plan?
Actually Hirose opted to subtly discourage the invitees from coming to the party, instead of trying to talk Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose into taking back his thoughtless invitation. He went for that option primarily because he didn't want to let them know something is fundamentally wrong with his home country. If he had directly overridden Inose's invitation, he would have sounded like whistle-blowing. But he knew that to be a whistle-blower, you've got to write off everything for good.
Since 3/11, the 70-year-old journalist has repeatedly said that the most worrisome thing to him is the future of his young grandchild he dearly cares for. To him it's out of the question to leave his fellow countrymen. It's because of his affection for people, if it's exclusively reserved for his kin and close friends, that he stopped short of hanging out their dirty laundry in public. Likewise he was well aware that there would be no point in deterring young athletes from participating in the 2020 Games if he didn't believe in the original spirit of the Modern Olympics.
I think Mr. Hirose did the right thing when he deliberately turned the causal relationship upside down by singling out the crooked Prime Minister and Tokyo Governor as if there weren't 100-million people behind them. By doing so he could avoid confusing the recipients of his message with intricate issues which are totally irrelevant to the Olympians and way beyond their comprehension.
Actually Hirose showed no mercy, either, toward the administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan.
Soon after 3/11, I came across a YouTube video which featured the "nonfiction writer," or the investigative journalist to be more precise. This was my first encounter with him because he wasn't a household name even after Fukushima took Hiroshima's place as the symbol of the haunted country.
In that video, he harshly denounced the then ruling Democratic Party of Japan headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Hirose expressly stressed that Kan's notion about "once-a-millennium disaster" was an absolute lie to cover up the fact that if Kan had observed the basic principle of crisis management and acted accordingly, the meltdown and the subsequent melt-through would most probably have been prevented. It's a matter of commonsense that in the face of a crisis, you must face the reality without wishful thinking so you are always prepared for the worst-case scenario.
The DPJ is nothing but a spinoff from intra-party factions of the Liberal Democratic Party. So it's no accident that Abe's predecessors, Yukio Hatoyama, Naoto Kan and Yoshihiko Noda were all former members of the LDP. It's no coincidence, either, that Abe, who came back to power as recently as December last year, is the grandson of Nobusuke Kishi, the main architect of the 1955 System.
Now it's obvious Mr. Hirose has long written off the entire political system of this country.
It is true that the Japan Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Japan are also advocating the total and immediate decommissioning of the 54 nuclear reactors in 17 locations. But they all remain "perennial oppositions" who show no signs of waking up from the reveries of the Cold War era. The same can be said of their right-wing counterparts such as the one headed by Shintaro Ishihara, the brain-dead former Tokyo Governor. These learning-disabled guys have also proved an important part of the 58-year-old System.
All along the media obscurantists, who Ian Buruma once called "political sandmen," have played a pivotal role in perpetuating the only showcase of the nation-building the U.S. government has pursued overseas for many decades by now. In 1993 we witnessed what Buruma termed "another fake dawn." By that time the media sandmen had realized that their conventional way of falsification wouldn't work anymore. Now that they had to change their rhetoric, they have since been resorting to something to be likened to Ninja's evaporation trick. Their audiences are once again being duped into believing in another falsehood that the postwar regime has finally come to an end.
"Awakened" people untiringly put the blame on the mass media for "dumbing down" their audiences. But their criticism is totally misplaced. How can you dumb someone down when you are also dumbed down yourself? Since the media are an integral part of the System, it's not only useless but also harmful to single them out as if these self-righteous participants in "alternative" and "social" media weren't doing essentially the same thing as their mainstream counterparts.
Let's face it: a nation which was meticulously built by foreigners can never be reformed from within.
In theory, no one but yourself can manipulate you. This is important, although in reality, highly suggestible, or even auto-suggestible people are in denial of this a priori truth about humanity so vehemently that a growing number of them now seem to be resorting to the trick of self-manipulation. To that end they have chosen to incorporate themselves in the System, either in the ruling class or the ruled, or even the unruled. They always "think," say and do whatever they "think," say and do as if in response to the operators of the System. There are no signs of creativity and spontaneity inherent to human beings. It's the same Ninja's trick used against themselves.
In early October I talked about my failed attempt to leverage the virtue of anger. In response, someone from the U.S. said in a roundabout way that my tactic would never work at least in the U.S. because of libel and slander laws. He added: "If an accuser goes too far in making such claims against someone else, then the accused may sue the accuser. Fines can be quite high. Those possible fines tend to intimidate us."
I was really taken aback because now I learned a supposedly well-educated citizen of the country, which was created by his ancestors as recently as 1776, views things upside down. Small wonder people in this country, which was founded by the son of the Sun Goddess on February 11, 660 BC, take it for granted that laws regulate people whereas the fact of the matter remains the other way around; it's always people that make legislation.
Not that the Japanese don't protest against things they don't like. Everyday, around the clock, they vociferate on Twitter or Facebook. At times they even hit the streets to chant all-too-familiar incantations such as "Genpatsu Saikado Hantai" (No reactivation of nuclear power plants) as if the issue of energy mix has something to do with Fukushima. Most recently they staged big rallies over the "controversial" State Secrecy Bill. It's as if they'd still had something to lose by the enactment of the law, whereas they have never had such a thing as freedom of speech in the last thirteen centuries.
The last thing the Japanese would learn is the obvious fact that things won't change as long as they refuse to change themselves. As a French thinker warned amid the bloody Algerian Independence War, any protester is destined to develop an addictive dependence over time on the very thing he protests. If he could achieve his goal by any chance, he would be at a loss over what to do for the rest of his life.
My interpretation of the French wisdom will be summarized like this: "Don't protest, and do create, if you want to be part of humanity."
By the same token, the Japanese don't hesitate to call the Prime Minister a liar or any other name. That will be quite OK because Abe isn't an Emperor. But they always stop short of giving thought to the fact that it's none other than themselves who have repeatedly elected these political racketeers to rule over their country. And they haven't voted for them at gunpoint.
Another example is Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose. Up until weeks ago he was a hero who brought the 2020 Olympics to Japan. But now he is in big trouble because of a series of revelations of bribery. This triggered public outcry to urge the hero-turned-criminal to step down. This is sidesplitting because as recently as one year ago, he was elected the Governor by Tokyo citizens with a record-breaking 4,338,936 votes. And as recently as early September, he was further elevated to a national hero. It's incredible that these voters couldn't tell Inose is yet another born criminal. You don't have to be an expert in physiognomy to tell that's what the ugly Japanese Chin is.
Here's a tip for Americans. If you are a con man, as every American well may be, you have the Midas touch in this nation of dupes. According to the statistics most recently released by the National Police Agency, those who have a full purse and empty head were defrauded of 38.3 billion yen in 4,258 cases in the first 10 months of the year.
Taro Yamamoto is a self-proclaimed maverick politician. But actually he is just one of those learning-disabled, change-resistant eunuchs. He claims to be pursuing the same end as Mr. Hirose's. Obviously he thinks he can capitalize on Hirose's arguments to promote his pointless cause. But unfortunately for him, the independent journalist has never been politically motivated.
Some weeks ago, the independent lawmaker volunteered to be one of the invitees of the semiannual Imperial Garden Party. On that occasion he reportedly handed Emperor Akihito a letter in which he plead for His Majesty's understanding of the truth about Fukushima. Without giving a glimpse at the plea, Akihito just passed it on to the grand chamberlain standing alongside the zombie. It was a farce because a couple of days later Yamamoto offered sincere apologies when he was censured by the Diet Speaker for his indecent behavior.
It is true that there are a small number of clear-headed scientists and journalists who address the Fukushima issue, with admirable perseverance but without politicizing it too far. It is also true they have a certain number of people behind them. But these followers are so gullible and superstitious that they think laymen can share the same scientific convictions with experts such as Takashi Hirose, Hiroaki Koide and Arnold Gundersen. In this cultural climate, most of them end up acting like gurus surrounded by a bunch of cultists.
These are the people Mr. Hirose has to deal with. To put it bluntly, they do deserve all the consequences of what is happening here. Small wonder he had to tell his "sad story" to young athletes overseas, knowing his dilemma will still remain insoluble as long as he can't solve the problem facing him back home.
The circenses angle
This once again brings us to the famous Latin words, Panem et Circenses. Panem (bread) is more or less irradiated, or tainted in other ways. No doubt about it. So let me focus on circenses (circuses) for now. I don't know the singular form of the word, but I think it's roughly synonymous with "game."
To me life is a game in the broadest sense of the word. I've lived my 78-year-long life like it's a game. On the contrary, most Japanese play a game as if it were their life. This propensity is considered to have a great bearing on everything Japanese, including movies. You always have a weird impression about the actor who plays a secondary role of playing his primary role.
In order to stay on the same page with my audience, I will have to talk about games only in the context in which Roman poet Decimus Junius Juvenalis, better known as Juvenal, is often quoted as saying the Roman populus was degenerated by them.
One year ago I wrote about the deluge of Manga in this country. Then in April, I wrote another piece under the title of What art is - and isn't in which I juxtaposed the paintings in Altamira Cave and graffiti in the public restroom. Each time I just wanted to find out if people outside Japan still can tell art from crap. In response, half a dozen people defiantly said they are fascinated by everything I'd called the excrement of civilization.
Obviously they thought I was yet another self-righteous person who advocates ascetic attitudes toward art and life. Actually asceticism is the farthest thing from my inclination. As I have said many times, I am an avowed Epicurean. I love playing a game or watching others playing it, be it an art piece, literary work, sporting event, or entertainment, as long as it entertains my creative imagination.
I don't care a bit if a certain number of people appreciate crap. It's none of my business. But it's a problem if they aren't exceptions. And actually they aren't.
It is true, however, not everyone is an avowed scatophiliac on either side of the Pacific. There are a smaller number of people on the fringe who claim to be different from these addicted people. This person named Thomas James Martin is a typical example. He laments over "a population so distracted with entertainment and personal pleasures" just like Juvenal deplored the Romans of his time. He seems to think there is something in common between the way the American and Japanese people are hooked on "mass distractions" today and the way the ancient Romans were distracted with their circuses two millenniums ago, in terms of exactly who does exactly what to exactly whom for exactly what purpose.
The way Mr. Martin, who claims to be a writer "best known for his creative nonfiction and poetry," generalizes on incomparable situations is an unmistakable sign that he is also under the influence of modern-day circuses, perhaps more than the first group of people are.
This was yet another confirmation that the intellectual decline in the two cultural wastelands is no longer reversible.
Throughout the last century, especially since the early 1960s, games were seriously contaminated. The Olympics and most other sporting events irreparably polluted with nationalism, commercialism and sports science that led to performance-enhancing drugs were only part of it. But at around the turn of the century, new strains of pollutant started to flood us. Now we are drowned in the deluge of even more poisonous games produced by a big battalion of crisis-mongers, doomsayers and truth-seeking conspiracy theorists.
The recipes these guys apply to their products meant for adults with developmental failure are as simple as the templates the likes of Nintendo use for their games targeted at kids. Although they invariably claim to be anti-media, you can see a striking resemblance between the two groups of people in the ways they pick sensational themes, oversimplify them most typically by politicizing what can't be politicized, demonize common enemies while cleansing the cause of justice-doers of all ambiguity, and finally "avatarize" these delusions into something visible and thus playable.
In short, they are the two wings of the same bird. But there's no point in deploring their fraudulent business model. As I always say, where there are no junkies, there are no drug dealers.
Once the player has familiarized himself with these rules, he instantly becomes addicted to the game because it's very easy to identify himself with his favorite avatar. He always generalizes and externalizes any situation so he can avoid individualizing and internalizing it. This way he will never really get over the adversity. But now he has succeeded to make it someone else's problem. And if he loses the game as Japanese defeatists always do, that is that. After all it's nothing but a game.
It's indisputable that the most popular theme of games since the turn of the century is 9/11. The basic assumption those who play that game must accept is that "the world is never the same again after the collapse of the WTC buildings." No matter whether it's spoken in the conspiracy context or from the al-Qaeda angle, the notion is hysterically laughable. At the same time I smell a sickening imperialist stench out of it. If the insignificant incident which claimed no more than a couple of thousand lives changed the world, Hiroshima had changed the entire galaxy fifty-six years earlier.
The most recent addition to the list of popular games is the 3/11 disaster in Fukushia. But let me leave it there for now. Hopefully before long, I will come back to this point in a separate piece to further examine the dilemma facing Mr. Takashi Hirose.
· read more (14 words)
The Olympic symbol caricatured by "Diogenes of Arkansas"
Make no mistake; this is THE ISSUE ABOUT THE GAMES, not A GAME ABOUT AN ISSUE.
On September 7 in Buenos Aires, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his final presentation to International Olympic Committee members. In his pitch he famously said: “Let me assure you, the situation is under control. There are no health-related problems until now, nor will there be in the future.”
At best this is a postdated check that becomes due seven years from now, which in fact means abesolutely nothing. But the IOC members with voting rights accepted Abe's offer. Which should mean what? Simply that means they had already received a little more trustworthy financial instruments - promissory notes underwritten by the BOJ, Japan's central bank.
You may ask if I can substantiate my allegation about the under-the-table deal. Don't be silly. I'm not running a criminology forum over here. But it's a matter of commonsense that where there are dupes, there always are swindlers.
This was the moment of truth for the Japanese, and the Americans as well. As I've pointed out many times before, Abe's maternal grandfather is Nobusuke Kishi, a Class-A war criminal who played the pivotal role in helping the U.S. government establish an eternal dominance over Japan, first as the main architect of the 1955 System, and then as an undercover agent of CIA. Without his collaboration, the U.S. couldn't have made Japan the sole showcase for its "success" in nation-building.
Later in the month Abe was invited by Washington, D.C.-based "think" tank Hudson Institute to receive the year's Herman Kahn Award. Kahn is the very person who coined the phrase "the Japanese Century." Six years after the first Tokyo Olympics, he wrote: "It would not be surprising if the 21st century turned out to be the Japanese century." Fortunately for him, the fat white swine, that he actually was, died seven years before the Japanese economy went into pieces. I think Jacques Rogge, whose term as the President of IOC expired soon after receiving the banknotes, should pray for his death before 2020.
Obviously Herman Kahn should be given credit for finding a lucrative business opportunity in Japan. The vultures such as Joseph Nye, Bill Emmott and Gordon G. Chang are just reusing the business model developed by the founder of Hudson Institute. Three years ago, when China was about to catch up with Japan, GDP-wise, Chang the Prophet wrote on Forbes.com that the Chinese Century would be even shorter than the Japanese Century because Japan would overtake China again by 2013.
Such a baloney still works with the learning-disabled Japanese who follow the same path over and over again while expecting a different outcome each time. And now the late comer Jacques Rogge jumped on the same bandwagon. Certainly he knew he would still find some leftovers in the backyard of the debt-ridden country.
It's against this backdrop that I uploaded this particular post. Here I just wanted to discuss the insanity of the idea to have Tokyo host the 2020 Summer Olympics in the wake of the deepening of the nuclear crisis and the strengthening of convictions among independent seismologists that another gigantic earthquake is imminent.
Wasting no time, the anti-hatred gentleman I talked about in my previous post started to entangle the thread with his unparalleled skills of selectively hearing what he had wanted to hear from me, and mixing up what I'd said and what I hadn't. I replied like this. But now the special type of troller has revealed what he really is.
The hater disguised as an anti-hatred advocate always looks around for a conflict to reconcile; he even creates one where there are none; he does all this only to gloss over the real issue. Even worse, while an avowed hater hates his enemy seriously, the disguised hater takes nothing seriously. When he realizes his tactic won't work, he falls silent as if he hasn't said a word about the issue at hand. Once again he did it. I don't know if he remains silent for good or until the weather changes here.
Fortunately, though, there still are a handful of clear-headed people regularly visiting this unpopular website. "Diogenes of Arkansas" is one of them.
In the last couple of weeks he provided us with interesting materials such as this article, the video embedded at the bottom of this post, and the caricatured Olympic symbol shown above. (The circle in the center is the internationally-accepted sign of radioactive hazard.)
I do know his way of viewing the fallout of the Fukushima disaster is miles apart from mine. But if we were in agreement from the beginning, what good would it do to discuss the issue? The only thing that really matters is that we are basically on the same page
And what exactly is on the page? Of course it's contamination.
Since the challenge from the nuclear disaster is multifaceted, it involves a variety of questions to be addressed. They include:
● Contamination of what? The body or the soul or both? ● Is it just a careless mistake or gross negligence or willful act that caused it? ● Exactly how far has the effect reached? ● Is the situation still remediable? ● If it is, exactly how? ● If not, exactly why?
Just set aside 15 minutes to watch the video embedded below. The good news is that Hiroaki Koide, Assistant Professor at Kyoto University's Research Institute for Nuclear Waste Management and Safety, is not alone. There still are some, if not many, level-headed scientists who have, with an admirable perseverance, delved into the effects of atmospheric, oceanic and other pollutions caused by nuclear waste in the last six decades since the crew members of Japan's fishing boat Daigo Fukuryumaru were seriously exposed to radiation from a hydrogen bomb tested on Bikini Atoll.
The bad news is that not a few cultist-minded people are quickly flocking around these scientists as if they could share the same conviction with these experts in nuclear engineering, oceanology or seismology. To these super-gullible and highly-suggestible guys the only important thing is that the outcome of scientific studies is usable to promote their cheap ideologies.
A week or so ago, Tatsuru Uchida, a fringe critic and martial art instructor, was quoted by a tabloid as saying the ongoing Olympic craze reminded him of the famous phrase "bread and circuses," better known as "bread and games" in the U.S. The words "panem" (bread) and "circenses" (circuses) were first used in combination by Roman poet and satirist Juvenal almost two millenniums ago. Certainly Uchida has a good point.
I am reasonably sure that now post-Fukushima panem is so tainted that the more you eat it, the more it eats into your body. But what about circenses?
You may think the Greco-Roman traditions of the Olympics and other sporting events are more or less kept intact, except that now they are even more tainted with performance-enhancing drugs, commercialism and nationalism. You may also say entertainment remains essentially the same thing as it was to the Roman populace, except that now we can't tell art from crap.
But you are wrong.
Guess what, in the last decade or so, we are flooded with circuses much more poisonous than the Olympics. These games, which thousands and thousands of crisis mongers, doomsayers and conspiracy theorists are untiringly churning out, are eating deep into your soul. Without exception, the battle between a villain and a justice doer, or between an unscrupulous criminal and an innocent victim is what these games are all about. The player can instantly identify himself with his favorite avatar without becoming really committed to it.
And what happens if the player loses? Absolutely nothing, because after all it's nothing but a game. This is the beauty of the circuses of the 21st century.
Of course it's all up to you whether or not you remain hooked on the virtual adventure in search of empty truth and justice. It's your life; that's none of my business.
The other day I found in my bookcase a novel titled The Touch. It was first published in 1968 but I bought its 2003 edition some nine years ago because the story of the "fiction" had been updated to incorporate knowledge newly acquired from the nuclear accidents in Pennsylvania (1997,) Mexico (2002,) and Canada (2002.)
The author Daniel Keyes has long been one of my favorite writers because he has a profound insight in humanity. But for some forgotten reason, I had stopped in the middle of the book. Perhaps I was just too busy. Now I'm half-blind. I can't read or write without enlarging letters at least to this size or using a magnifier. So it's an excruciating task to read a book. But now I felt an urge to finish with the reading.
Am I going to identify myself with the protagonist? Not at all. To me a good book is not a game. Then am I going to write a review piece? Neither is it what I want to do with the book. Whenever I read what the publisher wrongly calls a "fiction," I never try to find a "message" in it. If a writer wants to convey an idea that all boils down to yet another moral lesson or ideology, he doesn't have to, or even shouldn't, write a fiction, or nonfiction for that matter.
Take Kurt Vonnegut for example. His Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle are indisputable masterpieces. But if you want to hear an anti-war or anti-nuke propaganda from Vonnegut, my suggestion would be that you should economize on time by taking a quick glimpse at a short piece or two he wrote after he became senile, pick any phrase you like and pass it around as your "thought" endorsed by a great writer.
Unlike you, I am not suffering what I call "WE-THEY Syndrome." So my way of reading a book is quite different from yours. I never look for a moral lesson or an ideology. Instead I just want to see exactly how each character, in the face of a specific situation, whether it's fictitious or real, individualizes, personalizes or internalizes things, rather than generalizing or externalizing them as if it were someone else's problem. That's the only way I can broaden or deepen my perception of things based on the limited knowledge and experience.
All I can say about The Touch at this moment is that it's a real page-turner and it's worth your time to read it. For one thing it's more than just informative and thought-provoking to see how an engineer with whom the protagonist shares the same carpool reacts to the mishap that occurs in the R&D laboratory of the automaker they are working at. When a tracing machine that uses isotopes of Iridium-192 somehow fails, he quickly acts to prevent the radioactive dust from spreading around. And as soon as the dust seems to have settled down, the laboratory engineer says exactly what Abe and his predecessors have been saying: "We had the things under control, and no one got a bad dose."
This rings a bell. At the same time this makes me think about things we normally don't give a thought. For one thing, Tokyo Electric Power Company is NOT an automaker. That is basically why I'm neither pro- nor anti-nuclear energy. · read more (1 words)
Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 08:18 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.
In my previous post, I briefly portrayed one of the small number of regulars to this unpopular website as a typical anti-hatred advocate in the U.S. But I'm extremely reluctant to elaborate on the modus operandi this particular gentleman (hereinafter referred to as "AHA") has used as if it's his favorite pastime to derail our serious discussions over serious issues.
Since we are constantly swayed into off-the-topic issues, now it looks like my destiny always to return to the point where I started the last time every time I go on to the next issue. Nothing is more counterproductive and demotivating.
In the last nine years we've got almost six million hits to this website. But I suspect the abnormally high "exit rate" and "bounce rate," which are still on the rise, are attributable at least in part to my unusual writing style resulting from my effort to disentangle past threads. At any rate, I can no longer afford to waste too much time for anything that is not my primary concern at this moment.
Another reason I'm so reluctant to talk about AHA's attitude is that it runs counter to my principle to openly attack a specific personality. After all he may have just stumbled on the wrong website to promote his pointless cause. And admittedly I think an irrelevant response to my post is a little better than no response at all. Galileo is often quoted as having said: "I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."
Especially I don't like to criticize this particular gentleman because not once he has done me a favor since we got to know each other on an unlikely website - YouTube - some five years ago. We found out our areas of interest partly overlapped each other. Among other things, AHA is a self-styled writer who has privately published a book titled Tales of Our Germans. Based on his experience with the U.S. publishing industry, he gave me a lot of tips when I was still thinking about reviving my aborted book about the terminally-ill Japanese people.
He kept saying my "great idea" should be worth an exposure to the American audience. Certainly I felt flattered. But at the same time I felt there was something fishy about his lavish praise of my writing because he didn't give me a single specific reason for that. I still didn't know what looked like big-heartedness was yet another trick an anti-hatred activist habitually uses when he spreads around empty lip service so harmony prevails everywhere.
I wanted to publish it outside Japan simply because no one had ever attempted to reveal the truth about the foundation of my home country based on his experience living there for three-quarter century and working in Japan Inc. for a half century.
As I always say, Japan is the country where the East met the West in the weirdest and most unfortunate way. In plainer words, it shouldn't have modernized, industrialized or Westernized itself at all - or at least in the way it actually did in the last 1.5 centuries. As a result Japan has long been the "Orphan of Asia" and there's no way back anymore. I know the American people are so determined not to accept anything but all that myth they have created about their Far-Eastern fiefdom that they can't really visualize what I'm talking about.
For one thing, I love the Uzbek embroideries (above photo) very much because although you can see the influence of the West there, their artifacts remain genuinely Uzbek. Not that the Japanese don't have traditional artifacts of their own, such as the sophisticated bamboo craft you can see in some areas such as Oita Prefecture of Kyushu island. But the fact of the matter remains that aside from modest commercial values these artifacts carry, Japanese craftsmen are primarily seeking the recognition of their "artistic values" by the UNESCO, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, or the like. That is where lies the fundamental difference between this cultural wasteland and Uzbekistan.
This is what AHA has failed to understand or even hasn't tried to understand. I was really taken aback when I learned actually he didn't give a damn about my arguments at all. Every second time we talked about Japan, he didn't fail to automatically repeat his unconditional admiration toward these "terminally-ill" people.
At one time, he wrote in his mail:
"Years ago, my wife and I hosted several Japanese travelers and students. I particularly remember a young air conditioning repairman who sat with us in a park playing his guitar. He thought his voice was 'dirty.' Nonetheless, all the Americans were absolutely delighted. He deserved a big career in music with one exception; He was singing Kingston Trio songs and when he came to Tom Dooley, it came out 'Tom Doorey.' For the same reason that nobody could think to help him in music, nobody thought to help him with his pronunciation of the letter L. We were too shy to help."
Surprisingly enough, AHA thought his impression of a young Japanese repairman invalidated my arguments based on firsthand experience with thousands and thousands of fellow countrymen in the last seven decades. To him the only problem facing Japan is its people's inability to pronounce the L-sound correctly.
Increasingly at a loss over what's going on in his brain, I uploaded a post last month about Tokyo's bid to host 2020 Olympics in which I deliberately called the Japanese the only people uglier than the Hottentots. Needless to say I'm not blogging to communicate with AHA alone, but I wanted to see, more than anything else, how he would respond to my provocation. His comment went like this:
"You said that you, '... disrespect the Americans at large.' With your high IQ, a certain amount of disrespect for everything is justified. Nonetheless, rest assured that we respect everything and everyone Japanese."
As always AHA didn't think he had to give me a specific reason he respects the Japanese while at the same time respecting this blogger for his contempt for the same people.
More recently I uploaded a post in which I raised the same old question about the Emperor from a fresh angle. In the piece I concluded the enigmatic figure is nothing but the double of a phantom because historically it has proved neither a tyrant nor a puppet. You may disagree to my unusual way of describing the Emperor, but without precisely defining it in one way or the other, you will never really understand this country. It's no accident that Japan has followed the weird trajectory in the past and still stays there.
And what did AHA write in response to my post?
"You said, 'In Japan you are not allowed to possess a firearm unless you are a soldier, cop or yakuza gangster.' That is funny, of course, but valid. Though any US citizen can own a firearm, our leaders make a point of arming and training officers of our ostensibly gentle government organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency," and blah, blah, blah.
Most recently I wrote that I'm increasingly turning to the virtue of serious anger because when you are mad at me, at least you are taking me seriously.
And what did AHA said? He wrote:
"You said, 'I see an unmistakable sign that you take me seriously.' That is the understatement of the year! We definitely take you seriously. I think that it is fair to say that our responses are not always logical because you present so very many competing polemics with each post. I imagine that each of your readers focuses on something different." (Emphasis mine.)
Obviously AHA must doublecheck the meaning of the English word "serious."
"The things you like are things you like immensely. The things you don't like are things you hate. Like a schizophrenic, you seem to always be at one pole or the other."
I said to myself, "Maybe he is right; I'm more or less schizophrenic." But I thought it was totally unacceptable to give such a diagnosis without a single specific reason, and without a license for practicing psychiatry. I replied:
"DSM-IV says one is diagnosed as a case of schizophrenia when 2 or more of the following symptoms are observed: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms, i.e. affective flattening, alogia, avolition, social/occupational dysfunction, continuous signs of disturbance. To be honest with you I will appreciate it very much if you specify the two or more symptoms you think I’m showing."
Then AHA got back saying:
"No! The concept of schizophrenia is a cloudy idea at best. As originally posed, Dr. Freud saw the the people of interest as being of two minds. That is born out in a number of my friends who are schizophrenic manic-depressive. Unlike you, they have the real disease and are happy/capable one day and almost non-functional the next. Real schizophrenia is extreme. You are not extreme. The great Stephen Foster, a distant relative of my third wife was schizophrenic. Sometimes he was a genius capable of great wonders and at other times he was angry and spent his time hiding from his peers. I am definitely not diagnosing you as schizophrenic. Each person has a little of everyone else in him or her. That is what I meant."
I refrained from striking back simply because I couldn't afford to make a battlefield for plain idiots and half- or full-blown schizophrenics out of my blog, which is the only thing this poverty-stricken man owns on this side of the Styx.
The anti-hatred gentleman always thinks that there is no reason for a serf in America's Far-Eastern fiefdom to feel insulted by his ill-defined words and muddled statements. In order to stay uncommitted to any idea but "harmony," he seldom uses singular pronouns. It's always WE and THEY. (I call it "WE-THEY Syndrome.") And like most other Americans, he is a personality that is very easy to get hurt and unable to notice it when he is hurting others. (I'm inclined to call it "Infantilism.")
In the last couple of weeks two silent visitors decided to unsubscribe from my website. One of the two is a typical Japanese who lives in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of this archipelago. He explicitly said although he had to admit I have an "unparalleled intelligence," he was getting increasingly sick and tired of my "self-righteousness." The other lurker, an American who has comfortably settled down in Yokohama, the second largest city of the Far-Eastern colony of his home country, sneakily left us presumably for the same reason. I'm totally at a loss over how to understand their logic, or complete absence thereof, that essentially says an intelligent person can be self-righteous, or a self-righteous person can be intelligent.
Now that I have lost the two regulars at a time, AHA looks all the more irreplaceable here despite his trolling habit. I wouldn't have thought about writing this long had it not been for the fact that he is an ideal specimen to represent the average American and his Japanese counterpart at the same time.
The timing the two locals unsubscribed from my blog suggests that they can't wait to see the Tokyo Olympics 2020 which they believe will mark the beginning of another Japanese Century. If you didn't know it, the first Japanese Century began in 1964, the year of the first Tokyo Olympics, but was aborted in a matter of 26 years when the bubble economy burst. All this makes it an open issue for me. I'll continue seriously discussing it in the next post. · read more (12 words)
Tuesday, September 24 2013 @ 10:47 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum. (I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am.) - Rene Descartes
All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. - Thomas J. Watson
Undated map showing atmospheric contamination
Oceanic contamination as of August 21, 2013
Oceanic contamination 2,276 days after the disaster
No one openly denies the ability to think is the only thing that distinctively differentiates man from the ape. Although most people even think the notion is a mere truism, very few seem to know exactly what steps are involved in the process of man's thinking.
Just in case, let us be reminded that the first step is to break up the link already established among things by someone else into the smallest possible elements. Then you sort them out in the second step, finally to reconstruct a link in your own way.
Sometimes I suspect the reason the average American often shows a sign of irritation at the neutral word "ape" is because he is intellectually too lazy or apish to go through the time-consuming process every time he discusses an issue at hand. Just like his Japanese counterpart, he constantly shuffles secondhand information purely on an ear-to-mouth basis.
With each one of them I intended to prepare my predominantly American audience for the next post. But it was evident from the comments I got online and offline that most people thought I'd selected these subjects just on a whim. Most of the time they failed to see the link I'd tentatively established among these topics. Needless to say, they never dreamed of reestablishing a link on their own. An automatic comment-posting software would have outdone these people.
In short, they didn't take my arguments seriously.
In the last nine years since I started blogging, I have used two ways to make up for the inability to think on the part of my audience. One of them is to turn to visual aids, as I do here again in this post. But photos and videos seldom worked as I had expected. Most of the time images failed to provoke people to think. Sometimes they even made them stop thinking instead of stop to think. At best, their effects were quite limited.
Take a look at the undated picture embedded at the top of this post, for instance. Aside from the inescapable question about its authenticity, you don't normally ask specifically what radioactive materials are causing atmospheric contamination shown on the map of the Japanese Archipelago, and what about the groundwater and food chain.
The other two pictures show the results of computer simulations made by a German institute named GEOMAR (Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.) It seems the wine color shows the density of Cesium-137, the most hazardous substance. But are they really reliable? Of course they aren't because the numerical data available to the German scientists were all sourced from the habitual liars at Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The only thing that is more or less self-evident from these maps is the fact that the temperate westerlies have prevented the worst-case scenario from happening here, just like Kamikaze (Divine Wind) from a ferocious typhoon blew the invading Mongolian fleet against the rocks in 1274 while Japanese had been freezing in total inaction.
Over time I've realized there is a little more effective way to approach my audience through the backdoor: FAN HATRED with inflammatory words, such as Black Kenyan Monkey, male Japanese macaques or narcissism of the Hottentots.
I used to hate a lot, but not anymore. My hatred was almost always directed to the enemy of my loved one. Whenever you become committed to someone, you share the same animosity with her. Now at the age of 77, I have no one to get mad at. But as an old Frenchman would say, a life without hatred is something like an egg without salt.
Do I hate the Kenyan monkey or Japanese macaques myself? Unfortunately that is not the case at all. How can I hate such dregs of humanity? These despicable guys don't deserve my hatred because there's no such thing as hatred without a sense of awe. But now I know how to turn my inability to hate into an advantage. If I were a hater myself, I would never be really hated. That should mean I can leverage my ability to be hated to make my audience take me seriously. Not that I do something wrong with the visitors to my website. I just intend to make them misdirect or redirect their disoriented anger to this blogger.
It's for this reason that I love to be hated these days, if not more than to be respected. The most important thing here is that when you are mad at me, I see an unmistakable sign that you take me seriously. This has made my blog one of the world's most hated websites. Not a few people seem to get so indignant that they will never come back. But that's it; I don't care too much because it can't really be helped.
Paradoxical though it may seem, I've recently found out that the easiest target I can invite anger from is one who claims to be an anti-hatred advocate or activist. It's always fun to fan his hatred this way - unless he goes too far to mess up this website.
In recent years there are a growing number of anti-hatred advocates/activists especially in the U.S. Although they don't notice it themselves, they all cling to the archaic idea laid down in Japan's Seventeen-Article Constitution (see NOTE below) which was promulgated by Prince Shotoku almost 14 centuries ago.
NOTE: Its Article 1 goes like this: Harmony should be valued and quarrels should be avoided. Everyone has his biases, and few men are far-sighted. Therefore some disobey their lords and fathers and keep up feuds with their neighbors. But when the superiors are in harmony with each other and the inferiors are friendly, then affairs are discussed quietly and the right view of matters prevails.
Actually anti-hatred people and hate-crime doers are the two wings of a same bird, whose brain is either empty, or stuffed with shit. To remain an anti-hatred advocate, you always have to look around for a conflict because if you don't find one, you are at a loss over what to do for the rest of your life. That's why they even create one discord after another, where there are none, so they can play the role of arbitrators until the end of time.
There is a catch, however. An avowed hater has a principle and some guts, for better or for worse. On the contrary a hater, who says and does whatever he says and does under the guise of an anti-hatred advocate or activist, is the most unprincipled and gutless type of person. The only thing he can be is an adamant denier of humanity. How can I expect from him a genuine hatred accompanied by a certain sense of awe? · read more (56 words)
Wednesday, September 11 2013 @ 01:11 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING. "Right now, we have an emergency." - Shinji Kinjo, the head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force, quoted by the Reuters on August 5, 2013
Belgian Count-turned-thief Jacques Rogge
Japanese macaques in ecstasy
It's not just the massive leak of radioactive groundwater.
On January 27, 2012, CNN reported: "The team, from the University of Tokyo, said there was a 75% probability that a magnitude seven [or higher] quake would strike the [metropolitan area] in the next four years."
The same report also said: "The government says the chances of such an event are 70% in the next 30 years." As usual, the government's forecast is much more optimistic than the prediction by independent seismologists. And yet, it should mean Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics was supported by a mere wishful thinking from the beginning.
Time and again essentially the same thing has happened in the past, but never in such a big scale. In the late-1990s, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. offered members of the International Olympic Committee monetary and non-monetary gifts to buy the right to host the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. But the United States Olympic Committee didn't have to raise the ante too high because there wasn't a risk factor as huge and real as radioactive contamination or an imminent earthquake. These guys at USOC would blush if they learned how much their Japanese counterparts have paid, and promised to pay, for their vanity project.
You may call the IOC members recidivist thieves. True, that's what they are. But it's not only useless but even harmful to point a finger at Jacques Rogge, outgoing President of the IOC, and his fellow thieves. Aside from the fact that their wrongdoing doesn't constitute a crime in the light of any national or international law, the fact of the matter remains where no one voluntarily falls victim to a theft, there can't be a thief.
Just think of the deal between a drug dealer and his customers. He thinks it's a juicy business just because the junkies are badly in need of the substance which is otherwise a worthless thing. And who would decline it when someone offered a handsome amount of money in exchange for a small favor? If the Japanese weren't dupes as they actually are, Rogge under the mask of a noble Belgian Count and his fellow thieves wouldn't have done what they did in a hurry before their terms in office expired.
To them it was a piece of cake. All it took was the ceremonial vote which was conducted "electronically" before TV cameras. It's laughable; the vote count wasn't shown real-time on the big screen. Instead, part of the results of the elimination vote was verbally announced minutes later; and the final result of the runoff was made known by Rogge one hour or so later.
All along, tens of millions of Japanese stayed up until dawn, holding their breath just like junkies with serious withdrawal symptoms were awaiting the arrival of the stuff. And the moment they knew their burning desire for international recognition had been fulfilled, they went into raptures as usual.
From the way they are fully determined to host the Olympics at any cost, it now looks as though the Japanese are waging another causeless war against an invisible enemy. They don't give a damn if it's an unwinnable war, which would most probably end up with another nuclear disaster and/or destructive earthquake. That is why they went into ecstasies over the initial success in Buenos Aires just like their parents and grandparents did at the news of Pearl Harbor.
Although very few among my audience seem to have been convinced of the basic premise of my arguments, any human being, by nature, can't be manipulated by others. So if you keep spreading the false idea that we are manipulable, as you always do, you are just encouraging the Japanese to keep manipulating themselves until the end of time. · read more (3 words)
Monday, September 09 2013 @ 03:33 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.
Last night I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. Oh, how I wish he’d go away.
- from a popular rhyme composed by William Hughes Mearns
Let me reiterate the single most important fact about humanity:
No one but yourself can manipulate you.
Surprisingly many adults in America refuse to accept the self-evident proposition which a kindergarten kid wouldn't have difficulty understanding. Some of them even insist this is something you have to prove, but can't.
Kenzo Okuzaki (right) at the tomb of his fallen comrade
It's as though they are saying that when a human being comes into existence, his identity has to be proved by someone else. Actually he already knows for sure that he is what he is. What he has yet to learn is something else.
Here's a simplest example. When a TV commercial made you think about buying the fancy product, you normally say, "I selected it from among other alternatives." You never say the product selected you. You even brag about the fact that you picked the right one. But once something went wrong with it, you would start to complain that you were deceived by the ad, although deep inside you can't deny it's none other than yourself that deceived you.
In 2001, a stupid white man made a fortune from the book about stupid white men he wrote for stupid white men. He was a notch smarter than these kindergarten kids because at least financially he was a little savvier than them. Since the beginning of this century, we've seen thousands of fraudulent writers and speakers emerging from obscurity using the same formula of Michael Moore. These crisis mongers, conspiracy theorists and doomsayers have invariably based their arguments, either explicitly or implicitly, on the false premise that human beings are manipulable. This is exactly how they could "dupe" millions of gullible Americans into buying bogus merchandise from them.
I'm not really concerned about the intellectual vacuum quickly spreading all over America. It's not my job to cure their refractory mental illness caused by developmental failure. What really concerns me is where my fellow Asians, especially Japanese, are headed.
In that respect, one question has long haunted me: What is this thing called the Emperor?
Is it a tyrant? The answer is "No." A plain idiot can't have a supernatural power to manipulate the hundred million subjects at a time as Hirohito did and his son Akihito is doing. Moreover, if Hirohito had been a dictator, then he must have been executed by the people before Douglas MacArthur acquitted him of the responsibility for driving the 3.1 million people to sacrifice their lives in the unwinnable war. Then, is it a mere puppet which is manipulated by someone else? The answer is also "No." Once again nobody can manipulate others. And if Hirohito had been a puppet, it must have bowed out as soon as these puppeteers were sent climbing the 13 steps to the gallows.
In 1947 MacArthur formally ordered Hirohito to step down from deity to become "the symbol of national unity." Time and again in the past, I have tried to explain to my audience the Japanese Emperor isn't a figurehead in the sense it's defined in the dictionary. American Heritage Online defines a figurehead like this: "A person given a position of nominal leadership but having no actual authority." If it were just a figurehead, even the super-generous Japanese taxpayers wouldn't be willingly shoulder an annual 20 billion yen to feed it, its kin and servants.
By now I have concluded it's just a phantom which isn't actually there. It's invisible, and yet it's always being felt by the Japanese people as if it were existent. Asian peoples, especially the Chinese and the Koreans can still visualize what other peoples can't. But my way of explaining what it's like to live in the haunted imperial shithouse has never really worked with my predominantly American audience. That's why I have often had to turn to visual aids.
There is another barrier facing me in that respect. My audience has all been brainwashed most typically by moviemakers in Hollywood to believe in the stereotypical perceptions and images of the Japanese. More than anyone else, the legendary film-maker Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) should be given credit for the total falsification. The truth is that although he was a well-built man (6 ft 00 in,) Kurosawa was given an exempt status from the draft because his father was in a position to influence a high-ranking officer in charge of conscription. He not only dodged the draft but also avoided facing the reality of the haunted country. These are why he kept sucking up to mindless movie distributors in the West throughout his career.
With all this in mind, I strongly recommend you watch the documentary film embedded at the bottom of this post if you want to learn the untold truth about this country, and you can afford to spend 2 hours viewing it. Since I'm completely in the dark about cinematography, I can't tell whether this 1987 movie titled The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On meets the standards of cinematic art. Yet, I'm sure unlike Kurosawa's baloney, it tells you the undistorted truth about the haunted people - their effete, self-pitiful, self-hateful, self-deprecating, self-destructive, mentally disintegrated, overly apologetic, and sometimes narcissistic attitudes. And beware you shouldn't expect yet another cheap story about a man who chases wartime superiors to bring them to justice. FYI: You can turn on English or Spanish caption by clicking the white icon placed at the bottom of the screen.
The protagonist is a Pacific War veteran named Kenzo Okuzaki. He was one of the handful of survivors of the suicidal New Guinea campaign. After he returned home in 1946, Okuzaki attempted to avenge himself on several people, including wrong ones. But his ultimate target was Emperor Hirohito.
On January 2, 1969, thirteen years before the shooting of this film started, he attempted to hit Hirohito with four "pachinko" balls (lead pellets) fired with a hand-made sling shot, for which he served a 1.5-year term in prison. This incident leaves you wondering what exactly Okuzaki was aiming at by his seemingly farcical attempt of symbolic assassination. Some of you may even suspect he was a psychopath. But actually no prosecutor, judge or courtroom lawyer ever thought he needed to take a sanity test.
The real question to ask is why he didn't kill Hirohito despite the fact that it would have been a piece of cake to get him. He had everything necessary with him - the resolve, the motive, the weapon, and the chance. In Japan you are not allowed to possess a firearm unless you are a soldier, cop or yakuza gangster. But it's evident that Okuzaki knew where to get one. In the mid-1980s, he visited the home of one of his former superiors carrying a real gun. When he knew the target wasn't in, Okuzaki fired a shot or two at one of his family members at point-blank range. He served a 12-year term in prison on charges of attempted murder. It should also be noted that he could approach the balcony close enough for the sling shot attack when his target stood on it. In those days, the balcony wasn't walled with bulletproof glass because it was totally inconceivable that Hirohito might be assaulted by its subject.
My answer to this question is as simple as that he knew his Hirohito wasn't there, or to be more precise, the weird thing waving its hand to the crowd from the balcony was nothing but a double of the phantom. His real target was deep within himself. It seems to me Okuzaki couldn't find a workable way to kill the "inner Emperor," as anti-establishment Japanese often put it, until the last day of his life. He died on June 16, 2005 at a Kobe hospital. The local news coverage was next to nil. But according to a foreign correspondent, his last word was "バカヤロー" (Fuck you!). He shouted out the same word over and over as if he was suffering a serious aphasia.
Admittedly Okuzaki was an uneducated man. He didn't have the ability to conceptualize things. Small wonder what the protagonist of the film says and does is more often than not incoherent. To make it worse, the director and the producer of the film don't seem to have understood his real message. So they keep the cameras running when these characters are talking about irrelevant things such as cannibalism which was commonplace in the jungle of New Guinea.
From late Saturday night through early Sunday morning, every fourth Japanese was glued to the TV to witness live the pretentious ritual taking place in Buenos Aires to select - through rigged vote - the city to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. The moment Jacques Rogge, outgoing president of the venal International Olympic Committee, announced Tokyo was the winner, the entire nation went into raptures. In the last couple of months these self-deceptive people had acted like drug addicts showing serious withdrawal symptoms. But now the 128-million junkies got everything they need in the next seven years.
You can't imagine what it feels like to spend the last days of one's life surrounded by these haunted people who now hope to see their imperial shithouse emerging as a viable nation toward 2020 with its land miraculously decontaminated of radioactive materials. · read more (17 words)
Wednesday, September 04 2013 @ 01:11 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
OUR GOAL HERE IS TO MAKE YOU STOP TO THINK, AS WE ALWAYS DO, RATHER THAN STOP THINKING.
MOTOMAN making pancakes
State-of-the-art system called SAP Management Cockpit
As I have said many times before, my only concern is whether humanity has a future. That's the only thing that will make a great difference to my last glimpse of the people and things I leave behind. Paradoxical though it may seem, I am cautiously optimistic in that respect because of my MEism which is something 180-degrees different from egomania.
From my MEist point of view, any doomsday scenario is not only counterintuitive but also logically flawed. So many people say "we" have no future because "they" have successfully manipulated "us" so "we" are headed for ruin.
Simply this is ridiculous. If "we" were really doomed, certainly some of "them" who outsmarted "us" would be able to survive "us" and other groups of "them." And there would be no reason to deny the winning part of "them" the right for survival because "they" now proved the fittest. "We" would have to bow out as underdogs.
I know I am not manipulable. You can manipulate apes but I am a small part of humanity.
At the same time I hope I'm not alone in understanding no other creature puts itself in mauvaise foi (bad faith.) That should mean that some of these "I's," if not many of them, are aware that the word "conformism" should not be defined in such a conformist way as so many of "us" and "them" casually do. I know these "I's" agree to my heretical way of defining conformism. Let me reiterate this: conformism is not an ism, but a disease caused by developmental failure. Sometimes you might be able to remedy it, as you always should try to, but you can never correct it. It doesn't make a bit of sense to discuss whether it is correctable.
Actually the more quickly "they" or "we" degenerate as doomsayers argue, the more likely it is the narrowly defined humanity goes on evolving. It doesn't matter anymore if these "I's" are the smallest minority.
I was ruminating my optimistic view of humanity when I received a mail from Diogenes of Arkansas. He is one of the small number of visitors to this website who are always willing to share their thought-provoking ideas with us. In his mail he alerted me to a full-page advertisement placed in the August 30 edition of the Wall Street Journal. As usual I appreciated the input from Diogenes because now he brought in a new perspective to the issue we have been discussing in the last couple of months.
My take on the recent development in robotics has very little in common with the way most people in the industrialized countries view it. I was impressed by the ad in two different ways.
Firstly, I now learned that managers and technologists in America's service industry are quickly getting used to the idea that practically everyone working there can be replaced by machines. In a sense it is encouraging to know they no longer take it for granted that providing junk food, or other worthless products and services to one another is what man's economic activity is all about.
On the other hand, it's amazing to know the gap lying between technologies and social systems still keeps widening at an accelerated pace. In Britain the Luddites movement was started in the early 1810s. These artisans in the textile industry had a good reason to rise up against the newly-introduced labor-saving machinery. But the union-backed minimum wage initiative by EPI (Employment Policies Institute) is yet another confirmation that there isn't the slightest sign American workers and consumers are waking up anytime soon from their 200-year-long sleep. Small wonder they have chosen the Black Kenyan Monkey as their leader and still let him propagate the absurd idea that jobs are something that can be artificially created out of thin air.
As a result of the yawning gap between technologies and sociopolitical systems, contemporary Americans in every walk of life have become unable to do things any better than a robot. Now it's next to impossible to find a whitecollar or bluecollar worker who can't be replaced by an AI-equipped machine. You may even find one which is able to write a book titled something like The Coming Collapse of China. Another writing robot may publish a book about "the 9.11 hoax".
The MOTOMAN robot was developed by Japan's Yaskawa Electric. But the company has carefully refrained from promoting it locally. Instead, Drives and Motion Division of its U.S. subsidiary Yaskawa America, Inc. is manufacturing the specific type of robot. Obviously the management of Yaskawa made the right decision. On the one hand the company developed MOTOMAN by leveraging Japan's leading-edge technology in robotics, while on the other, the company has been marketing it in the U.S. where practically everything can be automated.
As the company's management is well aware, the cultural climate of Japan is diagonally different from America's. Although the Japanese people are suffering the same mental illness the Americans are suffering, i.e. conformism, its symptoms are quite different between the two peoples. For one thing, the clinical history of the Japanese is three times longer, to say the least. It dates back at least to the mid-19th century. As a result, even today the Japanese value face-to-face contact over modern forms of communication. It's the single most important thing in this "close-knit" society. It's evident from this trait that technophobia always goes hand-in-hand with its reverse side, which I call technology fetishism. And that is why Japanese technologists concentrate on making friendly robots such as Toyota's companion robots, animal robots and those who play the violin for you.
Japan is considered one of the most advanced countries in robotics, nonetheless. I hypothesize that the reason behind Japan's superiority in this area can only be explained by the behavioral patterns of its people which are quite similar to those of robots. These people have always proved as subservient as robots. Not only that, they are sometimes even more efficient than robots. I don't know which is the cause, and which is the consequence, but it seems as though people try to emulate robots as much as robots do people. Either way, it must be an easy task for robotics engineers here to develop robots who are good at mimicking human beings.
All in all, the last thing the Japanese would think about is to replace human beings en masse with AI-enabled machines. As I told you in my recent post about the insanity of Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics, Masao Yoshida, former chief of the Fukushima Fifty died on July 9 of esophageal cancer. Even today we know absolutely nothing about the fate of the Fukushima Fifty, or Fukushima Forty-Nine, because of the total media blackout. And not a single individual has come forward to say something like this: "Tokyo Electric Power Company should have assigned robots to the suicide mission. At least TEPCO should immediately replace all of them with robots." It's all the more inconceivable that someone insists the entire TEPCO management should also be replaced.
In the last ten years or so, my former employer SAP has been selling what it calls "Management Cockpit" (photo) which shows the company management all the necessary information derived from the SAP proprietary "Business Information Warehouse." At least in theory, the state-of-the-art system can kick all these executives out of their high-paying, cushy positions.
Even in the era of the Internet, there are many other allegedly important tasks which can't be taken over from human beings. Just to mention a few, even the most modern robot can't perform the following tasks:
● Offer sincere apologies for what is not his fault, let alone dramatize the situation by bursting into tears on his knees. ● Deceive himself. ● Constantly be duped into doing anything in unconditional compliance with the order from above or pressure from peers.
Last but not least, the robot never kills himself when he has to kill someone else, instead. Since the war defeat, Japanese individuals, more often than not, have substituted a symbolic suicide for actually performing the ritual of Seppuku (disembowelment,) but what Ian Buruma calls a "Death Cult" still remains there essentially intact.
The most relevant question, therefore, comes down to this:
"How would the Japanese have acted if they had been able to develop a suicide machine in the last days of the Pacific War?"
Without a doubt, they would still have continued the same Kamikaze tactic if Yaskawa or any other company had been able to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle that outperformed the V-2 rocket of Nazi Germany.
As I told my audience more than four years ago, researchers at Japan's Aeronautical Research Institute, including my father, were strongly discouraged, or even prohibited from working on UAVs simply because when it came to the show of loyalty to the Divine Emperor, these young living pilots were considered irreplaceable by anything else.
It's very hard for me to remain optimistic about the future of humanity when most people constantly manipulate themselves and claim they are the innocent victims of a real or imaginary crime. · read more (18 words)
Thursday, August 29 2013 @ 03:33 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
"Don't ask me where we are headed?"
"The Japanese response to Western ideas was similar [to their response to Chinese ideas] but less traumatic, or at least it was traumatic in a different way. Japanese intellectuals, too, used the face saving formula 'Western science, Japanese essence.' ---- They also knew that their political system, and the principles upon which it was based, had been imported from China, and there was nothing to stop them from borrowing from somewhere else when the old order was no longer working."
- from Inventing Japan - 1853-1964 by Ian Buruma
I got a hunch, with some good reasons, that not a few Americans went past my previous post, thinking: "It must be a total waste of time to listen to the same old lecture on conformism the old nutter has been repeating in the last nine years." But hold on. Do these salauds américains really understand what the word "conformism" means? It's permissible these uneducated guys do not understand the ontological connotation of the French words. But it's a laugh to know that those whose mother tongue is English don't know how to define the English word.
With that post I never intended to tell you such a stupid thing as "conformism is bad, nonconformism is good." I just wanted to remind my audience that no human baby is born a conformist. Conformism is a disease, not an ism. Sometimes you might be able to remedy it but you can never correct it.
Let me elaborate some more on the description of the illness. It is an extremely intractable disease because it's caused by developmental failure. But as is true with most other clinical cases, there is only a fine line between conformism and nonconformism, and there can't be one without the other. You can't be 100% conformist, and at the same time, you can't be 100% free of it.
When you start to learn a language, the first things you have to familiarize yourself with are the generally accepted definitions of basic words and the grammatical rules. At this stage, you need to conform. Many people say one's learning ability hinges on his adaptability and faculty to memorize. But I think they are wrong. What really counts is self-discipline and the sense of commitment. At the advanced stage, on the other hand, you have to redefine every word in your vocabulary so it fits into your own context, not someone else's. That's where anyone with developmental defect fails.
Honestly I didn't feel resentful at all at the poor response from those who can't do anything more than defining the word "conformism" in a conformist way. My goal as a blogger has always been to make people stop to think rather than stop thinking. There's no wonder it's extremely unpopular among those salauds américains.
When French philosopher Sartre published his autobiography in 1964, he titled it Les mots (The Words.) He thought words were what his life was all about and they were the only thing that allowed him to talk about it. Although you may not admit, this holds true with most of us who are not factory workers or farmers. Throughout his life, Sartre paid due respect for words. He thought that a word should be redefined in his own way every time he used it. No other writer or speaker, that I know of, has ever taken the two-sidedness of the words more seriously.
It's only the wrong people that thought Les mots would deserve a Nobel Prize in literature. Obviously these gentlemen suffering serious developmental defect mistook the reason behind this title as if it meant the author had come back to the tradition of "literature for literature." That's why the French philosopher flatly rejected the offer from the Swedish Academy.
This once again brings me back to the ordeal I went through in 2008. I was working alternately with two Americans living in Yokohama who claimed to be experienced in copy-editing. At one time when I didn't like the way one of the idiots corrected my choice of words, I sent a mail to Gordon G. Chang to ask if he would agree to my statement that words and ideas are inseparable twins. I thought there can't be a genuinely new idea expressed by worn-out words. Likewise there can't be brilliant words to express a mediocre idea. This had long been my conviction since 2004 when I launched this website. At that time I was wavering over what language to use. I finally concluded the use of my mother tongue was out of the question because as long as I stayed with the Japanese language I would never emancipate myself from the Japanese way of thinking. I just settled for English simply because I wasn't good at any other foreign language such as Swahili.
Chang got back to me saying: "You are wrong. Writing and thinking are two different talents, and few people possess both. Just think of the reverse of you: the world is full of ill-conceived ideas that are communicated flawlessly. If I had to choose between the two, I would prefer to have great thoughts than great writing skills. Language can always be tuned easily. Bad ideas, on the other hand, are not so easily remedied." This simply indicated the prominent pundit was a scum.
After Chang separated the inseparable, his literary agent named Rosalie Siegel took over. When I sent her an outline, the bitch started to nitpick over my English writing skills. She said: "The long sentences are indeed part of the problem with your English. The very first sentence raises red flags to an English language reader. This is what we call a 'run on sentence'." The Siegel broad added that I should hire a native speaker as my editor as if I hadn't told her previously that's what I'd already done at a barely affordable cost of 80-100K yen.
That's how the scum and the hag succeeded in keeping at bay the harmful idea from their Far Eastern fiefdom.
Originally I thought someday I would return to Japanese. But now it seems too late for me to relearn it because there isn't the slightest trace of the language I used to use anymore.
These days, I see long queues of Japanese people in Yokohama Chinatown or everywhere else. Most of the time I can't tell what the line is formed for. Sometimes I ask one of these penguins, "What's going on over here?" More often than not the flightless bird grins embarrassedly and says in an apologetic tone: "I'm sorry. I don't know exactly, either."
The other day I overheard one of them talking to his friend in the same line. He was saying something like this:
"Oretachi ga korabo (collaborate) shiteru tokoro wo sumaho (smartphone) no apuri (application) de puromo (promotional video) ni shite netto (Internet) ni appu (upload) suru nante ii ai-dea (idea) kamone." (It must be a good idea to use the application on the smartphone to make a promotional video showing how we are collaborating with each other, and upload it on the Internet.)
This is no longer Japanese, English or any other human language. It's amazing that even the mainstream media use the same "language."
As Ian Buruma observed, this is not the first time the Japanese have flooded themselves with a foreign language only to destroy it over time. In the meantime, the genuinely Japanese language from the prehistoric Man'yo era has also been gone.
The lack of self-esteem inevitably leads to the lack of respect for words, and vice versa. Now I'm totally at a loss over what language to use until I croak. · read more (31 words)
Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 01:11 AM EDT
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you google for quotable words on conformism, thousands of search results will come up. But it won't take long until you realize it's a waste of time to click on them because most of these advocacies of nonconformity are fake from the diversity cults of the 1960s. It's evident from the way they advocated nonconformity that self-styled gurus such as John F. Kennedy and self-righteous rebels such as John Lennon were conformists, themselves, just disguised as something else.
Perhaps, Rita Mae Brown is one of the few exceptions. She is quoted as saying, "I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” She has a good point; she convinces us with a short sentence that self-hatred always underlies conformism, or vice versa.
On the other hand I do not necessarily agree with Emerson. It's a long time ago I read his essay about the principle of self-reliance. So I am not very sure, but to me the words quoted above sound a little too dogmatic or narcissistic. Actually to remain "yourself" is not that important when you have to change yourself constantly as Henri Bergson suggested.
According to my mother's diary, I was born at 7:30 AM on December 25, 1935. But my birth certificate says I was born one week later - January 1, 1936. In those days the Japanese people were even more group-oriented than they are today. The birthday of each individual did not count at all because everyone was supposed to grow one year older on January 1. That's why my parents decided to cheat the municipal office so I wouldn't be treated as a 1-year-old when I was actually 1-week-old. From the very beginning of my life, therefore, I was made something else than what I actually was. I think the gap kept widening, rather than narrowing, toward my early adulthood.
Since I don't have a good memory, I don't remember what happened to me in this one-week period when I was officially nonexistent. Not only that, I can't recall how life treated me throughout the rest of my infancy except what I learned in later years from family members. And yet, I can still recollect the elusive sense of angst which was left behind long after everything sunk into oblivion. It's hard to explain exactly what it was, but I seemed to be feeling extremely uncomfortable with my own existence throughout these years - and well beyond. Deep inside I felt I had been born to a wrong place where I didn't really belong. This sensation continued until I could overcome it almost two decades later. I think my intransigent trait of nonconformism has its origin in the early days of my development.
Aside from the early experience of my own, one question lingers on over the human behavior: Why does a human baby cry at birth unlike a new-born cub of other species? He may stop crying as soon as he is breast-fed. But that does not mean his problem is finally solved by lactation. I hypothesize that the reason he cries at birth is because being forcibly given birth is as hard to tolerate as facing death, or even harder than that. Like a dying person, he doesn't have the slightest idea about what situation he is going to face, let alone how to cope with it. The only premonition he's got is that in all likelihood, it's a hostile world. It makes little difference whether or not his parent has a pathological bent for child abuse.
Very few people have really understood the ethics of Jean-Paul Sartre, my lifetime philosophy teacher. He based it on his ontological observation that "existence precedes essence." In plainer words, that means you are nothing until you choose to be someone or something. But it's important to note he never meant to say you can become anything you want to be. You are always conditioned beforehand by things and people surrounding you. Sartre just wanted to say you should try to "make something out of what you've been made into." A character in his play "No Exit" says, "L'enfer, c'est les autres," or "Hell is other people."
When one attempts to overcome constraints imposed on him, what he needs first and foremost are knowledge and skills with which to effectively deal with the given situation. This brings us to the issue with education. So many disguised conformists have disseminated a myth that something is fundamentally wrong with the current education systems because they are tainted with indoctrination everywhere. It's as though there could be such a thing as education that is not aimed at helping the young grow into "the fittest" by closing the inherent gap between individuals and society.
Doris Lessing is quoted as saying:
“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.'”
As the sober-minded British writer observes here, what's really at issue is the very fact that there are so many self-proclaimed nonconformists who have been brainwashed to believe indoctrination is an issue. The fact of the matter remains that those who don't have an extraordinary talent to educate themselves have no choice but to accept the ordinary indoctrination system. And that's what I did.
I don't want to repeat the same story about the abnormally Spartan way my father educated me. I later called it a double-edged sword. On the one hand, he taught me never to go with the flow because that was the surest way to mediocrity. But on the other, he forced me to get on the fast track to the exempt status from sacrificing my life for the Divine Emperor in the unwinnable war. Torn between the two contradictory principles, the helplessly dim-witted kid, that I was, finally collapsed when I was in my late-teens. Now I know what exactly made it possible for me to pull myself together. It was none other than my innate trait of nonconformity.
There's very little in common between Thomas J. Watson, Jr., who is dubbed "the greatest capitalist in history," and me. Yet I think, there is a certain similarity between his feud with Thomas J. Watson, Sr., de facto founder of International Business Machines, and mine with my father.
Time and again Watson, Jr. stressed that the single most important founding principle of his company was that it would never try to tame the "wild ducks." As to conformism, he is quoted as saying:
“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
Financially, my life has never been really successful, but nevertheless I am proud of myself because I have never been flattened by conformity. That's exactly why I didn't stay down for too long. I could overcome all the adversity in part because of my respect for professionalism and discipline, and sense of commitment I could develop during the 16 years of being indoctrinated.
More importantly, I have owed these charming and intelligent young ladies more than I could possibly repay. They not only taught me something I couldn't have learned in school, but also made my life really worth living. I am not exaggerating when I say my life must have been "much ado about nothing" without them. To me they were comrades before anything else.
Perhaps I was a little less ugly than I am today, but I have never been a handsome and sexy guy. So the question is why on earth I could have so many unforgettably fruitful relationships with these ladies. My own answer is that it's because I always took them seriously and never attempted to have them subordinated to me like slaves. You may not be aware, but some of these young ladies still retain their innate resistance against being assimilated into the society perpetually dominated by male macaques. You may ask me how I could tell them from those who had already been incorporated. Actually, there is no secret. To anyone who isn't a conformist himself, a female who still retains the biological, psychological, and even ontological instinct against conformity always looks to shine unlike others. And on your part, the most important thing to note is that in a civilized world, it doesn't really count how much pheromone you secrete.
The only mistake I have ever made in my lifetime is when I married the woman with whom I fathered two SOBs. I don't think they were wearing a wide grin from ear to ear at birth. But in a matter of years, they became fully assimilated through something to be likened to bacterial infection, rather than a deliberate indoctrination.
When I started what I call a zoology museum on the web nine years ago, I thought it was necessary to collect a wide variety of specimens to exhibit in the showcase or the cage. But I was wrong. Soon I realized that the country named the USA is a monolith even to a greater extent than Japan is. There are only a couple of types of people among whom conformists, either avowed or disguised, are the overwhelming majority.
Conformism is not an ism. It's a disease. Even worse, unlike cretinism or moronism, it's highly infectious. American conformists are getting used so quickly to the Twitteresque way of discussing matters that they no longer understand it's necessary to give a logical reason to support or refute an argument. They think, "Why the hell do we have to explain the reason every time we speak for or against someone's opinion? Most of us think more or less in the same way."
For example, an American specimen, who flip-flops his position every second day, responded to my previous post about narcissism of the Hottentots like this: "I'm [favorably] impressed by everything and everyone Japanese." I was anxious to know the reason because he was now brushing aside, with a single short sentence, my observation of the terminally-ill people living in this cultural wasteland, which I explained to my audience with 400-plus posts I've written in the last nine years. But he replied, matter-of-factly: "There are no reasons for this. It is custom to adore the Japanese. Your people do the same. As an example, you are the one who revealed the Japanese oddity of venerating our President without knowing him. ('I rub Obama.')"
Obviously this particular specimen is one of those who were "flattened by conformity and stay down for good," or at least until the inevitable collapse of the worst rogue country in history. I will refrain from chasing him too far in part because it would run counter to Bushido (chivalry) to step on a person already flattened on the floor. But more importantly, it's one of my responsibilities as the curator of this museum to keep him alive in the showcase, or the cage, which carries a signboard that now reads: un salaud americain.
Recently I've found the French words very useful as well as usable because an uneducated person never understands the real connotation of the ontological pejorative. Thanks to these words, I can prevent my sympathetic nervous system from sending my blood pressure soaring to 200mmHG or even higher. · read more (40 words)
A Japanese chin though he may look like, 猪瀬直樹 (Naoki Inose) is the Tokyo Governor. In his July 3 presentation to the IOC members, he screeched in what he thought was English:
"This [$4.5 billion we've set aside] is CASH IN THE BANK. Ready right now to pay for all new permanent venues and infrastructure.”
When the fear of self is mishandled, most typically because of the lack of courage, it causes a refractory disease symptomized by the ambivalent feelings between self-hatred and narcissism, as is the case with the "modern" Japanese.
Some couple of decades ago, Japanese Ambassador to Argentina named Kawarazaki said to the effect that the Japanese are the only species uglier than the Hottentots. Since he deliberately said so in a prepared speech, I think he'd somehow felt irresistible urge to stir up controversy by playing devil's advocate. Although the honest man fell short of telling his audience that the ugly physical appearances of the Japanese are nothing but the mirror reflections of their rotten souls, his suicidal speech eventually cost the outspoken diplomat his job. I don't know if Kawarazaki thought he was an exception to the accurate description of his fellow countrymen. But it doesn't really matter. What's wrong with the Cretan who said all Cretans are liars?
The Hottentot comparison is intriguing in many ways. Among other things, it leaves you wondering if there is such a thing as narcissism of the Hottentots. Actually, you don't have to be a Narcissus to be a narcissist. On the contrary, an unattractive person is much more likely than one with irresistible charms to develop what psychoanalysts call "compensatory narcissism" because an obnoxious egomaniac always needs to "cancel out deep feelings of inferiority and lack of self-esteem."
If you look at the history of the "modern" Japanese without preconceived ideas, you may notice there is a distinctive feature in the way the yellow Hottentots redirect inward their deep-seated love-and-hate sentiments toward the peoples in the West, especially the Americans. The creepy creatures innately know there is absolutely nothing to be admired in their own appearances and guts. That is why they have developed burning desire for international attention and recognition they don't deserve. In a book Ian Buruma coauthored with Avishai Margalit, he called the pathological trait Occidentalism.
Over time they have learned that they can always count on the dupes living on the other shore of the Pacific for issuing the certificates of stereotypical Japanese virtues, such as politeness, cleanliness, diligence, discipline, spirit of self-sacrifice, inventiveness, and samurai spirit. Against this backdrop, you can safely assume the 6-decade-old partnership between the two contemptible peoples will never be terminated until death do them part.
Last Thursday, in the middle of the midsummer Bon holidays (see NOTE below,) the entire nation observed the 68th anniversary of the war defeat in the same old format of Shintoist ritual. To the best of my knowledge, no other people commemorate their war defeat this long. If you have difficulty understanding the weird habit, you should know they never call August 15 敗戦記念日, or the day of the war defeat. Instead, they are taught to call it 終戦記念日, or the day that marked the end of the war. Not that they just don't want to call it that way. Deep inside they feel they were the WINNERS. This can't be a delusion, because if that's what it is, they couldn't explain why the same imperial family is still at the helm, and why the same media organizations are manipulating people's hearts and minds. These bastards survived one of the bloodiest wars in history only at the cost of the lives of 3,100,000 臣民, or the sheepish subjects. And yet their bodies weren't hung upside down in the street of Tokyo in August 1945 like Benito Mussolini's corpse was in Milan several months earlier.
NOTE: Bon, or o-Bon, is a period in which the deceased, including the war dead, are believed to take their regular homecoming trip here to have family reunions with their descendants, who still show weak vital signs. This is something more than just a superstition; they actually meet and talk with each other. At the sight of their unique way of renewing the bond, you got a surreal sense that you can't tell the dead souls from the living ones.
Not a single historian has dared to unravel the profound mystery of the Pacific War. To really understand the unfathomable behavior of the Japanese, it's far from enough just to label them defeatists with a strong bent toward self-destruction. Only compensatory narcissism can explain why they went into war with the Allied Powers, while knowing very well it was an unwinnable war. To those who were dying for international recognition, the war was a great success. Pearl Harbor was only part of it.
In his book titled Inventing Japan - 1853-1964, Buruma quoted Kotaro Takamura, a prominent poet at the time, as saying:
"[I felt] as if a heavy load had been lifted from my shoulders,"
when he learned about the Imperial Army's spectacular success in Hawaii. Buruma also quoted another literary figure Sei Itoh as saying:
"I felt as if in one stroke, I had become a new man."
We already know Pearl Harbor was a cheap trick set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Previously he had moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego presumably to save the cost to have been involved in the decommissioning of these obsolete vessels. But that didn't prohibit the 100-million terminally-ill people from experiencing a consummate sense of euphoria.
When the war ended with Fat Man and Little Boy detonated over the wrong cities, they still saw no reason to feel it was necessary to take a hard look into their real selves so they could drop the childish behavior. Douglas MacArthur later called Japanese adults 12-year-olds. The general felt that way simply because they were too immature to do some soul-searching when it was absolutely necessary. To begin with, if you have no soul inside, you can't examine it.
The Fukushima disaster of March 11, 2011 was a windfall opportunity because it put these people in the international spotlight once again. But as the memory of 3.11 was gradually fading away, they resumed looking around for something else that would show they still deserve international attention. On June 22, tens of millions of Japanese across the nation were holding their breath before their television sets. In the fancy liquid crystal screens, the final deliberation was going on over Japan's 10-year-old proposal to have Mount Fuji recognized as UNESCO's World Heritage Site. And the moment the chairman banged the gavel, saying, "The motion adopted," the entire nation went into raptures. More than seven weeks have passed, but the state of ecstasy is still lingering on. It's as though the 3,776-meter-high mound of soil has instantly turned into a sacred mountain which is supposed to mirror the Japanese spirit. It's a different issue whether there is anything to be called a spirit inside these people.
What's next? Of course, it's the Summer Olympic Games they have desperately wanted to host in 2020. There is a myth that says the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 gave this country a jump start for its "miraculous" rise to center stage as the world's second largest economy. They will never forget how it all started in 1964, but they choose to forget how it ended in 1990. As Buruma reminded his readers, the abridged Japanese Century was a total illusion from the beginning.
Former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, dubbed "a Neanderthal" by an Australian journalist, hasn't shown the slightest sign of waking up. Encouraged by his fellow apes in Japan and the U.S., including Gordon G. Chang, who is an ardent admirer of him, Ishihara made a bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics to reinvigorate the economy while boosting patriotism at the same time. But it failed four years ago when the International Olympic Committee announced Rio de Janeiro would be the next venue.
Then, Inose, the former right-hand man of the Governor, took over Ishihara's silly aspiration. The new Tokyo Governor has exerted every possible effort to convince the IOC that Japan's capital would be the best choice. To that end he has stressed that Tokyo is much safer than other candidate cities because unlike Istanbul, its citizens will never rise up against any initiative from the government, and that Japan is fiscally sounder than Spain. He is telling the truth when he talks about the unparalleled docility of the Japanese. But it's an outright lie when it comes to the fiscal soundness as you can see in my post about the Pacioli Revolution.
On July 9, six days after Inose's presentation at the IOC meeting, something quite unexpected happened. Masao Yoshida, the former chief of the Fukushima Fifty, died of esophageal cancer. If you didn't know of the Fukushima Fifty, they were covertly ordered to stay on inside the crippled nuclear power plant to work on the suicide mission. In September 2011, the Spanish government gave the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord to these Kamikaze pilots of the 21st century, calling them the “heroes of Fukushima.” Needless to say this particular recognition by the foreign government wasn't appreciated at all here. Since the media practically ignored it, most Japanese don't even know the feat.
As a nonfiction writer puts it, if Yoshida had stopped pumping seawater into the most seriously damaged reactor in compliance with the orders from then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and the TEPCO headquarters, a wider area including Tokyo must have turned into a Chernobyl in a matter of days. But it was a piece of cake for the media to practically hush up the news. Most of them placed microscopic obituaries and some related stories. But nation's leading newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the world's largest circulation of more than 10 million, followed suit only two days after Yoshida's death. It's obvious that during the 48-hours time, Yomiuri reporters stationed at Kisha Kurabu attached (in every sense of the word) to The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan were trying to minimize the impact the news would have on their audience, in close consultation with their bosses at the editors' room, government offices and the FEPC. Their primary responsibility was to prevent Inose's vanity project from being adversely affected by the death of the 58-year-old martyr.
They have more or less succeeded to manipulate the post-3.11 situation by glossing over the enormity of the pollution resulting from the meltdown of the reactors. Anyone with commonsense can tell the entire food chain has been irreparably poisoned in this country. But as usual, while they quickly white-list relatively safe food items, they never disclose the blacklist on a timely basis. Certainly they know how to immunize people. For one thing, as recently as a couple of weeks ago, the government and TEPCO announced matter-of-factly that they had learned that 300 tons of contaminated groundwater is draining into the ocean everyday. They added although they didn't know exactly when the massive leak had begun, it couldn't be ruled out that they had been unwittingly dumping this much of the groundwater into the briny since Day 1 of the disaster.
Don't take me wrong, however. I don't particularly want them to stop lying. It can't be helped because it's their job to keep telling lies. Moreover, I have never been a truth-seeker myself. Truth is nothing more than something one does not think is false. So if and when they changed their mind and coughed up the true story, all I could say would be: "Oh, is that so? And so what?" It does not make a bit of sense to reveal an empty truth when the entire population is drowned in one of the most malign types of mauvaise foi - narcissism of the yellow Hottentots.
Now that it seems somewhat likely the venal guys at the IOC buy into Tokyo's second bid on September 7, the day that falls on Japan's Judgement Day, all I wanted to say in this post is that it's too obscene an idea to give the international athletes a big treat of Japanese food contaminated with Iodine-131, Cesium-137, and other radioactive materials, just in order to entertain Japan's insatiable appetite for international recognition.
Many researchers have revealed that among other monkeys, apes that have no tails can recognize their real selves in the mirror. In that context Kawarazaki's statement was an undeserved compliment for these male Japanese macaques including my own biological sons, siblings, friends and neighbors. I don't know if I am an exception, but at least I always try hard to become one. · read more (39 words)