Silly Grins

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"We need a dictator!"

She'd been angry at the politicians when she'd said it.

The above image lives here.

Who said that?



A few months ago. Before the summer break.

Does this concern you? 


Go on. 

What's starting to bother me, is the way all of this may be coming together. And it's not just me. While listening to the 'Japanophile's Satan', in an attempt to get a more balanced view of my environment...

Hang on. 'Japanophile Satan? What are you talking about? 

Apparently, that's what he's been called. And when I read this post, I looked around a little, and found

No institutional backing and no 'angels'?

Apparently not.

Okay. Your better-half says Japan needs a dictator. Why would this bother you? 

It's not the fact that Wifey said it, though she has a habit of saying things that do bother me. When I was talking with another fellow whose wife is also Japanese, I mentioned my wife's comment, and how odd it seemed.

This guy raised his eyebrow and was almost smirking. He then commented on how, well, he'd actually heard other Japanese folks making similar comments, 'dictator' being the key word here. 

What we got out of it is that people are so fed up with their government that they naively believe that a dictator will save them. 

The both of us also continued to talk about how, yeah, we are kind of concerned with the attitudes we're seeing a lot of at this time. 

And why does this bother you?

The bottom line is...

What Greg says

My bottom line, why this bothers me, is because I fucking live here.  Look, Dave and Greg may not get along, but at least they tend to talk about the elephant in the room. And they both live here.

Doesn't that bother you

Doesn't what bother me?

The dictator stuff.

Why should it?

Maybe because...

"Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people!"



  1. It is a not a democratic culture, to say the least. Except for students in the sixties and seventies - and even some of them went nuts on what little power they had ('Red Army' interrogations and murders in Gunma...) - they don't have the tradition. We have it in 'the West'. Bloodied, beaten, disrobed and raped, but we have the tradition.

    I could analyze why people are attracted to simplistic answers they ought to know turn out worse, but it is better to quote:

    "Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
    And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
    He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
    And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
    When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
    And when he cried the little children died in the streets."

    Epitaph On A Tyrant
    W. H. Auden

    1. Calling the culture what it is or, in this case, what it is not is still hard for people to grasp due to a lot of intentional/calculated PR. One of the things Van Wolferen's been saying is that this place is not a democracy. It ain't.

      "When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And when he cried the little children died in the streets."

      For some reason, I don't know if Auden's quote is related to the book I recently read, The Orphan Master's Son. But I think it may be.

      I was just daydreaming this afternoon that if there ever comes a time when expressing my allegiance or gratitude toward being in Japan is necessary for staying, it's time to leave.

      Wish people simply understood that strong leaders need not be dictators. Unless, of course, the lack of understanding is an indication of the weakness within the people.

      Participants in the J-focus group are concerned about the recent string of events. Although the "egocentric mega-star" (that Hashymowtoe) may not speak for all of Japan, I don't see grass-roots level efforts amounting to much.

    2. PS

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. That is one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard. Wow.Awesome editing too Pink Floyd? Full Metal Jacket and on and on one gem to awe....
    Non political as all the presidents Ford to Obama were shown since they are virtually identical. Fucking amazing.

    I got sucked outta your writing but into a happy place...thanks :)

    1. You are welcome.

      The 'Great Dictator' came as a surprise today. Never knew that Chaplin did any talkies. Was just hoping to find a moving picture of him in his mock-SS getup. Was expecting to see something ridiculously funny in a slap-upside-the-head-with-a-stick sort of way and was kind of blown away.

      Guess these themes we are all dealing with (having stuffed shoved down our throats) have been around for ages.

      I really hope we're not gearing up for another really bad cycle.

      (Closes eyes and thinks, "Happy place...happy place...")

    2. Chris, the black and white, and the audio, is the ending to 'The Great Dictator'. I have to admit in isolation it looks hyperbolic, but as an ending of that film... See the film sometime. Chaplin planned it through Hitler's rise, and started filming it during the outbreak of the European war (America not involved yet).

    3. I had seen that scene briefly but didn't bother really listening and the words from the past weaved with images from then till now are ...well...they grabbed my attention The editing was very good. The words timeless. Together....very nice!

    4. Isn't that odd. I have a copy of the great dictator on VHS sitting here in my office at work. For some weird ass reason my Iranian boss ordered it and it came with my name on it. It must have been when I told him that I am part jew.(Not a real one, just nationality-wise.)

      Great writing as usual will, I understood every word. At least I believe I understood ever word. but time will tell. Do japanese ever read books on WWII germany or russia during the cold war? It's not like they aren't educated over there.

    5. And it's also online for free (YouTube I believe).

      That's interesting your boss ordered the VHS for you. Wonder if he'll ever say exactly why. Or what you figure out.

      (Note: Due to a virtually outdated browser, my comments on your work have been somewhat delayed. I'll definitely be stopping by and leaving a response or two.)

      Do Japanese read books?

      Books are available. But from what I can gather, 'education' in Japan is not what people in the West believe it to be. In the near future, I hope to slap together another post that addresses this very issue. Although I'm not sure if I will be able to do it in a way that is easily understood, me's gonna try anyway. Rolls of scatter-thought rambling is easy, but getting that one clear shot at just the right time while shooting on the move...that takes an eye for detail as well an understanding of where I'm going and aiming in a forward direction.

      In Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' speech, he mentions the far reach of 'aeroplane and the radio', it's more like the Internet and the video.

      Although my want is to get a better focus on the creation of happiness, I never want to discount the necessities of shadows.

      Thank you for the compliment.

  3. That shit would go right in one ear and out the other...

    Ok, it actually wouldn't. In fact, if my girlfriend said something like that even half seriously, I wouldn't even say anything, just start packing...

    People here bitch about how these old guys keep fucking things up, but how many times was Ishihara re-elected?

    1. Yeah...I hear you. For better or for worse, the mother of my kids seems to fall in line with the group-sway, perhaps due to her educational training. Which is ironic, really, considering the fact that her mother and father were born in the Japanese Empire's occupied territory. The older generation doesn't like to discuss went on so much, but the information is out there and readily available. It's just that people appear to be so easily distracted and connecting the dots can be difficult for people who've been through a regimented system not conducive to critical thinking.

      "Ishihara, he may be an old guy, but he's our old guy"...maybe that's the way the voters like it. Kind of hard to hear the dissenting voices when they've been traditionally muffled, for the most part.

      I find people fairly passive in waiting to be given a choice as opposed taking action.

  4. Well, I've got nothing to add here that hasn't been covered far more eloquently, so I'll just echo the sentiment that it's not better leaders that Japan needs, so much as a better electorate.

    Though Mrs Will does appear to be channelling Harvey Dent a little here. Which would make you Batman, I guess?

    1. Is not the mindset of the voters a positive sign that social engineering, call it 'The System', is functioning as it has been designed to?

      Every time we are at the table and Wifey says something along the lines of "those fucking Chinese", I am careful to remind her that although her acerbic attitude may be something savored by 'The System' - I don't find it palatable at all.

      Thanks for clip.

  5. The editing of the speech from The Great Dictator with relevant images makes the speech hit home a lot harder. I watched it while on my break at work and I was moved. I had to wait to watch it again and comment on it today instead of yesterday.
    I try to keep my head buried when it comes to politics and major world issues because they deeply affect me. I have anxiety and bad dreams. I know stuff isn't quite right out there and if I dwell on it I literally start driving my self stir crazy.
    Thanks for sharing that profound speech that many people of a younger generation may not have be aware of.

    1. Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised at how well such a both depressing and inspirational. And kind of bummed that people don't seem to listen or get it.

      Thinking too much about politics and 'world issues' burns me out. I've been trying to retrain myself to look at what's around me and go from there. More often than not, that other stuff 'out there' is just a distraction.

      Yeah, the speech was a pretty cool thing to stumble across. And, given the context, chilling.