Silly Grins

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Box

First I was interested.
Then I was bored.
Later I was a little confused.
Then I was almost pissed off in a bad way.
At last, after watching everyone cry, I was hopeful.
But with a potentially angry twist.
'Cause it's all happening in that big fat now.

Last weekend was "B0xed Lunch D4y" - which doesn't sound all that exciting.
And normally it wouldn't be. Yeah, there's plenty of 'bento pr0n' out there on the net; this post ain't about that. Even if this hippy page approach turns you on, be forewarned... our BLD had the effect of a bent0 snuff vide0. For a number of reasons I'm still trying to work out.

Before jumping into this, some background info might help. 

It's all about marriage and, consequently, a family. 

Wifey is trying. She really is. Only she tends not to listen to me or take me seriously. Something husbands learn to joke about over time. The guys with the funniest jokes, tend to be the assholes who bragged loudest how that would never happen to them before getting hitched and actually starting a family. Don't laugh. It really isn't funny. Even if I was more of an an asshole once upon a time.

So, as Wifey has this condition that doesn't allow her to think I might have a clue as to what I'm talking about, she's learned to compensate. How she's been doing this recently is through attending lectures. She's kind of allergic to reading books and only seems to use her iPad for looking at recipes or reading blogs of Japanese mothers who are married to foreigners living abroad. She's actually a pretty darn good cook. 

In agreeing to participate in whatever treatment will work to help Wifey manage this chronic deaf-to-husband ailment, the both of us attended a four hour lecture for BLD (B0x Launch D4y).

This was our second let's-really-try-to-be-good-parents-and-sit-through-lectures lecture. The first one, by the way, blew our minds. We listened to a neurologist who knows his shit. Knows how to interrelate, communicate, and just plain muck with your matrix enough to get you to want to pay close attention to virtually everything. He's the guy who broke the news to Wifey that, yes, pastinko (a box!) is addictive because, like video games, it is specifically designed to be. Boxes withing boxes. Skinner's Box anyone?

See it. 

 (Press play)

 (kinda see how it applies)

Either way, all this talk of schedules of reinforcement is great. But just don't take away my illusion of free will. If I know it's a box, I'm not stepping into it. I've realized that virtual reality really can go screw itself. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.  This post isn't about Dr. Fruid-think and it's not about our first session with the Dr. Nero, the guy who gets to scan brains for a living.

Back to our second session.

Our second session, Session II (SII) was a two-part lecture. The first was almost infuriating (maybe tell you why in a few days... notes are not on hand and gotta verify what I think I know... which could very well make me look like more of an ass than I alrea... - wutever). 

SII Part I (S2-P1) was potentially irritating while being, at the same time, forgivable for the cause. Forget the potentially angry twist for now, and let's get on with it already.

SII Part II (S2-P2). Retired man comes in, his Power Point presentation (P-3) is already set up, he's got the remote in his hand... the lights dim and then the show starts. 

He confesses, early on, to having wanted to have been a filmmaker. Instead, he ended up teaching. But some people won't let their passion die. They keep looking at the world through several sets of lenses because maybe, just maybe, they know a thing or two about lighting, mood, and all that other shit we forgot since that time. Yeah, all that shit and beyond.

So, the Power Point is running and background music is playing. I'm too damn busy listing to what he's saying to be able to follow along with the text on the screen (surely Salaryman could have done it with his eyes closed)... I'm too damn busy being pissed off at S2-P1 - "I dare you to say 'sh1m4-guni' one more time... I double-dare you mother f@#.." and writing down how potentially angry I am to understand why everyone, like just about all two-freaking-hundred of the people in the room... I'm too distracted to understand why everyone is crying. 

Stop. You. Reader. Stop. Anyofthishitisnotclearandyoucan'tundertandandyourinterestedenoughtowanttoknow,that's whatthecommentsectionisfor...thisblogisflewidenough. Just ask.

So, like everyone is crying. Moved to tears... they... they...

So... like everyone is crying (enough already). And then, since virtually everyone except me is shedding tears, the speaker takes it all down another level.

You see, he's got them at their baseline or most vulnerable point, opening up. Wide open. 

Then he goes down, practically plunging. Jacks in to where Dr. Nero would love to go and take a look. He, S2-PII, is totally fluid. He's hitting people hard, giving them an unforgettable moment, a tears in your fookin rain moment. S2-PII sheepishly admitted at the beginning of the show (his P3) that he'd wanted to make movies, but had somehow ended up in education. 

Everyone was crying at the end of the story about Hana-chan, how her mother taught her to make her own lunch... and just in time too. As it turns out, Hana-chan's mom died of breast cancer. The story, the lead-up... his production worked.

(Begin tangent)

While it might seem like everyone is going on and on about longevity in Japan, almost as if repeating how high the current life expectancy is (or appears to be)... while it seems like people are going on and on about how healthy people are...

(End tangent)

So... nearly everyone is virtually open. 

Down another level. 

The creator of the bent0 n0 hi explains about the tears, who is crying, who has cried, and then... he gives his WHY.  His why is an explanation that shows a chill-side, that angry twist of potential. At least from my skewed perception.

Who is crying?

The sniffling audience, passing tissues left and right...

The audience, mostly young adults. They are weeping as the man explains something like:
"Very few, if any, of the children every cry when they are shown this. The numbers of cry-ers increases as the audiences get older. Almost all adults do. Why? You see, children are not humans. 子供はにんげんじゃない。"

'Children are not human' because they do not empathize. Essentially that's the message. 


I like what he's doing in terms of getting people to think about what they eat, spend more time together as a family and all that other stuff... he's doing good.

It's just the WHY that I'm not sure I agree with. For a lot of reasons. 

Maybe it was something she said in those five minutes when the world was silenced. 

So, children aren't human? Since when?

At least I can still understand why Son puked the other day. Now, if you'll excuse me... the crows are a little noisy.

Hope this is a good sign. 


  1. "'Children are not human' because they do not empathize. Essentially that's the message."

    Makes it easier to see why the system in this country lets a 19-year-old in this country murder someone and be free again in his/her early twenties...

    1. One could suppose the escalator still works, even if in a helter skelter way.

  2. Wait, back up... there are blogs by Japanese women married to foreigners. Makes sense but I'd never thought about that before. Do you have links? I need to read them - for Japanese learning purposes of course, not for LOLs.

    1. Uh...yeah. She also has a taste for Italy. You could also maybe look here. Wifey is comatose right now, so I'll have to ask her tomorrow where the good ones are.

  3. Are seminars the norm in Japan? I dont understand why they need to have a class to teach parents how to make obento. I get the reason for having bento day. its to help teach families togetherness, but I dont think the families they are trying to teach would care about it anyway since they would obviously not care about doing this either.

    1. Seminars... no, I don't believe so. Lots of
      lots and
      lots of

      A number of the families don't know... and, as the lecturer pointed out, there are even those who don't care. That might be why he spends so much time trying to reach out to the people who are still impressionable... try to get people to at least think.

      His way of teaching elementary school students is/was very active as opposed to the top-down approach. In some ways, he seemed to be saying, "You just got to do it... damn it!"

      He's definitely no fan of convenience stores or fast food chains.

  4. There are seminars that teach you how to make box lunches?

    Growing up if you didn't have a sub-par PBJ or bologna and faux cheese sandwich in your SACK lunch, it was a bean and cheese burrito. They didn't hold seminars on how to throw some food in a sack for your kid at school because you couldn't afford the school lunch.

    And children are not human, hmmm never thought of that. Don't have them myself, but I would have to venture and say they appear quite human to me. And they KNOW what empathy is, otherwise the two year old I watch from time to time wouldn't feel bad when he misbehaves and makes me 'sad'.

    1. From the bottom to the top...

      The bottom is a a splattered mess.

      Yeah, the children as 'not human' was something Wifey noticed and did not necessarily agree with. Unfortunately, she didn't appear to want to give it any more thought or discussion. Which is hard for me, being around people who hold thinkers in high esteem while not wanting to do so themselves. Path of least resistance, I suppose.Go with the flow...

      On top...

      For all the effort and energy that goes into it, I sure do hear lots of complaining about how tough making lunch is. It's as if the 'No pain, No gain' slogan has been twisted to mean pain=gain. That box... it's hard for some people to think outside the casket even when the solution can be very simple.

      Last night was almost the last straw. Came home and dinner was placed on the table. We sat down and the TV was still on. I got up and turned it off. And gave a short speech that started out something like, "If you would rather let yourself be hypnotized by the screen while sitting at the table, not looking at me, not looking at each other... I would really prefer not to be here. If it doesn't matter to you..." I got up and left. Went out to stare at the Pacific, enjoy the colors of the sunset, along with a few other souls. And I picked up a bag's worth of trash all the 'happy day campers' forgot-and-left on the beach.

      People don't seem to be aware. Maybe because they spend too much time mesmerized, unaware of the world around them.

      By the time I got home, attitudes had changed. We'll see.