Friday, 31 January 2014

This Racist Dolphin Spoke About The Comfort Women. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!


Join me as I go all out on a click-bait friendly round-up of the week in shitty Japanese media relations. Please join me. Please. I can’t do this on my own. Really. Probably best if you took away my shoelaces and any sharp objects as well. You don’t even have to hold my hand. Just be here and promise to call the emergency services if necessary.


Case One
The “Racist” ANA Ad


Was it really racist? Of course.
What’s with the scare quotes then? Dunno, a sop to those who think it was a storm in a teacup perhaps?
Why would you want to sop them? Oh, so sop’s a verb now, is it?
But I found it hilarious! It wasn’t racist at all! Then I’d suggest that a) your bar for hilarity is reeeally low, and b) you perhaps need to realize that your personal ethics are not universally applicable, and nor should they be.
Did it cause outrage then? Well, duh.
Was the outrage warranted? Most was, some wasn’t, as usual.
Let me guess, you find it less outrageous than tediously predictable. Yeah, how did you know?
We’re very close. Frankly I think your world-weary eye-rolling is worse than outrage. At least anger contains the hope for change, the assumption that the people who made this ad are thinking adults able to respond to criticism, as opposed to your patronizing condescension as though they were children incapable of operating in grown-up society. I suppose that’s fair. You really think things are going to change anytime soon though?
Umm… What was the second thing you wanted to talk about?


Case Two
The Taiji Dolphin Hunt


They’re killing easily anthropomorphosized sea mammals again? Yep.
And all sides are handling it with grace and dignity, are they? What do you think?
Does this attitude of ‘seen-it-all-before’ bored superiority you insist on projecting not get a little dull for you? Well, yes. But it’s not like I haven’t tried to engage with this before.
Wow, that post’s over two years old and still completely applicable! Thank you, glad you noticed.
Anything new this time around? Yes. The new American ambassador to Japan waded into things.
Literally? Not literally.
That’s a disappointment. I know. On the upside she did get invited to Taiji to watch dolphins get slaughtered.
Looks like I’ll have to raise my game for Valentine’s Day. It’s a step up from an Italian restaurant and a bunch of roses, that’s for sure.


Case Three
The new NHK chief says, well, just about anything.


Go on then, what did he say? He downplayed the comfort women issue.
Wow. That always goes down well. Doesn’t it just.
Japan needs to finally apologize for its wartime past! It has. Repeatedly.
It should pay compensation to these women! It did that too.
But they should apologize sincerely! The head of their national broadcaster thinks it isn’t important! He’s notionally in charge of the national conversation! Yeah. That doesn’t fill you with belief does it?
No. It doesn’t. This clown say anything else? Well, he tried to retract his remarks when he realized he was on the record, not off.
He’s not sure of the difference? I imagine he is now.
Isn’t that a fairly basic requirement for someone heading up a major media organization? How the hell did he get the job in the first place? He’s mates with Abe.
No relevant qualifications? No.
Experience? No.
Seems like he couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. Apart from the bit where he said that the primary role of the national broadcaster was to air the views of the government, which is arguably worse coming from a man in his position.
Isn’t that basically propaganda? Yep.
I bet the opposition parties are incensed about the lack of balance. Opposition parties? How very quaint.
How about the rest of the media? They must be up in arms. Well, they are, but mainly about the comfort women.
Oh. I see. Very clever. If stupidity goes far enough it can eventually loop back round to look like that, I must admit.
That would seem to be the take home point from all of this, wouldn’t it? Yes. Glad I didn’t have to spell it out for you.
Happy to oblige. We’ll have to do this again sometime soon. Yes. I rather suspect we will.


9 comments:

  1. Kids walking by and saying rude shit in mock-westerner accents is a somewhat regular thing, even when they're with their inattentive parents, so it's easy to see why grown Japanese people see nothing wrong with the ANA ad above. Where I come from, the moment some white kids start mocking some SE Asian guy minding his own business is often the time when about 5 other SE Asian guys come out of nowhere and are not interested in what you said or how you said it, but how quickly you can fucking run.

    Not even going to talk about the dolphin thing, other than to point out what others have said... when you're dealing with people so fucking stupid as to think Taiji is all of Japan you're going to get Japanese standing up, even if they are as sickened by the slaughter as those who criticize it from abroad, and saying 'fuck you, world.'

    The same argument goes for diplomatic relations with east-Asian neighbors; if China and Korea are too dumb to realize that criticizing Japan as much as they do will only polarize Japanese attitudes toward them further, and Japanese leaders are just not mature enough when it comes to geopolitics to just ignore the criticism, this shit will just go on forever...

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes to all. I've talked about this all before, hell, ,we've probably talked about all this before. When I started blogging I told myself that I wouldn't just churn out identical posts banging on about Japan's failings. There are enough venues that do that already and I'm not interested in doing it here. But the longer it goes on the more I come to have some sympathy: you can only work with what you're given, after all.

      That said, I can't remember quite such a coincidence of relatively low-grade idiocy happening recently, so I figure there's a bit of novelty here at least. Maybe.

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  2. You couldn't have worded it better.

    All of it.

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  3. You should do all your posts in this style!

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    1. While this, however, definitely has a double edge ;)

      Though in the interests of artistic integrity or something I should confess that it's pretty much a straight rip of this - http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/series/pass-notes

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  4. "I think your world-weary eye-rolling is worse than outrage. At least anger contains the hope for change... as opposed to your patronizing condescension"

    "How's that working out for you? ... Being clever." - Tyler Durden
    http://youtu.be/pIwToj3p3vM

    Hey, I'm as guilty, as anyone can read at my blog. What have you got left when being right all the time matters to exactly nobody with influence, or even most of your own peers? Being a smartass is the last step before isolating yourself. It's like thinking you're having an affair, but what you're trying to do is sabotage your marriage.

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    1. I am fully aware that I'm trying to have my own cake and eat it with this post. Trust you to be the one to call me on it...

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    2. Pots and kettles both come in black. Ha!

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