Silly Grins

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prologue to a blog...

So focused on a far off future that there never is a now.
I’m alive.
Fuck it.

Maybe blogs are easy because they are so much like talking to ourselves. We don’t need to worry about explanations to get points across because we can follow our own thoughts (usually).

Just got through a few servings of  “Raw Like Sushi” today.  Now I am starting to realize the extent to which this form of media has taken.  Attracted to the light, I gravitated toward Loco and his solar system. Over the past two years, I believe I’ve witnessed the birth of a star that has burned oh so bright. Although that shining star is soon to implode, as it has been created as such. In the wake of such intense confessions, a lot has happened.  What I find comforting is, that instead of a black hole, there is already a collection of planets that have come together through this nexus of sorts. 

Reading a certain piece in the 1990’s helped me in dealing with a very non-sugarcoated reality. During the initial part of what I imagined was my short-term visit to Japan, I came across a book whose author I thought was too good to be true.  Although I do not appreciate any of the work the guy has done since his Shadows of the Rising Sun: A Critical View of the Japanese Miracle, the writer makes what can be understood as astute observations.  He cautions: 

“I must warn those foreigners who wish to commit love suicide with Japan: this is a country in which a non-Japanese may stay only for a time, where he will never be more than a foreign guest. Anyone who attempts to violate this unseen principle will be spiritually and psychologically crushed.”  

So, this is what it’s like to live in a cultural universe that seems to have a face-saving habit (addiction?) of trying to convince people that they don’t, or at least imply that they shouldn’t, exist. 

When everyone who was anyone in business and finance was gushing about the next best thing, like how the world should be emulating Japan Inc.’s just-in-time inventory strategy, quality circle-jerks and whatever… a native-born foreigner was daring to speak the truth about a butt naked emperor-culture.  This was at a time when all of the 'professionals' were puckering up, standing in line, hoping for their chance to slip some tongue into what they had been told was Asia's economic miracle.  She appeared to be in her prime twenty years ago; now there's a lot that's sagging. As for attitude?  Kind of hard to overlook that now the honeymoon is over. Though the author's statements came in the early 1980’s, in some ways I’m not sure a lot has really changed (although my view of the author definitely has). 

Raw… people are hungry for signs of life. 

In terms of raw, this blog may live up to at least a few of the definitions. We’ll see.


  1. To say Japan is doomed is to totally understate the problem. This out of control locomotive doesn't even have a driver. They are busy calling Kan a liar (They being the ones Hatoyama/Ozawa who's foolish courtship of China helped seal this countries doom)

    The red carpet treatment for a leader of a country that doesn't even recognize some basic human rights (China) was made possible by those 2 fuck ups. Ozawa is most certainly one of the most damaging figures in post WW2 Japan's history. Every second spent (2 years of seconds atleast) has been time that wasn't spent on saving a disaster of an economy or blunting China's approach to the West. The fucked up....they fucked up soo soo very badly. Their emergence was like some kinda karmic fuck you....could these characters have come along at a worse time?? thinks not!

  2. Poetic.
    There seems to be a mutual understanding between the two nations on what is meant by 'human rights' on a level that does make me feel uneasy at times. There is a lot of looking the other way when it comes to the employment of 'guest labor' especially where the work is quite physical. I've seen it, but only when I haven't had my head buried in the sand (work).
    When I first came over here to work, it was as an ALT, courtesy of the government. The experience went beyond anything I would have imagined in terms of what was going on, but it wasn't necessarily a happy story. Perhaps the title of that chapter would be something like: Officially Invited (But Not Really Welcome).

    Here's to trying not to get crushed, 'cause I think I'm here for the long haul.

    Thank you for doing what you're doing. Thank you for your time.

  3. This is going to be interesting. I will be watching you closely. I hope there will be little of the "Japan this, Japan that" stuff on these pages (either positive or negative), because the grand statements have long lost their luster. Will you tease my brain?

  4. Over the past year, a lot of thought has gone into how to approach writing about being here. Thinking about it too much won't do any good...'learning by doing' is the best way to find out. Last Friday was the tipping point, which came some time after reading your "Something Old, Something New" (think that was Friday) and later attempting to listen to the song Chris had posted. All of this appears to be happening in real time, so keeping up will require a somewhat focused mind for the first five posts (that had originally started out as one - the first four which are complete... the last one is going to take some thought after seeing what works). The 2nd one just slipped in there because of the news I'd received this morning.

    Corrine had mentioned in her interview with Loco that she enjoyed creative writing in school and it helps keep the brain working...keep the brain working while dealing with stress.Yes.To that I can relate.

    This or that in Japan? Not too sure I understand exactly what you are saying. Although I don't like to disappoint, I wouldn't get my hopes up. As for being a tease, guessing by the number of blogs followed under your profile, I don't imagine my anecdotes could be anything out of the ordinary (except that they are mine). I'm not much on sizzle, but I'm hoping to deliver a little steak.

  5. Pleased to learn that I somewhat contributed to your tipping point.

    Yes, I myself am pretty surprised by the number of blogs I put on my roll. I find them equally interesting, and I read each post.

    I started out very mellow, had not thought about the format at all. But I found myself getting boring pretty soon. Still seeking out the direction I want to go. I guess that is part of the process most people experience. Just start writing!

  6. Corrine: Thank you.

    Big: At the moment, I cannot stop. Outside the I-V, there is a two-part that will deal with the beach, the first half of which has already been done.