The kids started nursery school a few weeks back, and so hopefully you’ll understand why things have been a little slow on the blogging front of late. You’d have thought that getting someone else to
them out look after them all day would have provided us with a bit more
free time of an evening, but apparently not. Ah well, we always knew it was
going to be an awkward period of adjustment, just not quite like this.
To reiterate the key points: that’s an OPENING CEREMONY.
At which people wore SUITS.
For a NURSERY SCHOOL.
Our eldest is three years old. His little brother is yet to turn two. What kind of shitting fuckery decrees that kids who aren’t even old enough to fucking walk or speak coherent sentences or not shit themselves are going to benefit from sitting in a stuffy hall for an hour (ONE FUCKING HOUR) listening to people drone on about, well, frankly, anything at all? I’m in my fourth decade on this planet and have full control of my anal sphincter and even I had trouble paying attention to things. What chance did these poor fucking kids have? Sure, some of the teachers/carers tried to put on a little play with puppets and the like, but by that point the kids had been trying and failing to sit still for more than thirty minutes while the PTA avatar droned on about gaman or day trips or rice or whatever the fuck it was, and they were just lost. Fidgeting, whining, screaming and complaining all over the shop [hilarious kids/parents pull back and reveal gag goes here].
And guess what happens when you cram a lot of snotty-nosed kids and their families together in a hermetically sealed chamber for more than an hour during that climatically awkward boundary between winter and spring? People get sick, is what. Infection fucking central right there, and for the past three weeks we’ve basically been taking it in turns to hack up mucous of varying shades, all of which could none-the-less be described as ‘alarming’. I’ve never lost my voice before, not truly, and it’s something of a shock when a sizable chunk of my professional standing (and thus my ability to earn money and eat and live and stuff) is based on my ability to speak clearly and confidently in public. My wife and I have both managed to use up half our annual leave within the first month of the new financial year and the boys have probably spent less than ten days combined at this fucking nursery with its fucking ceremony and its fucking germs throughout the entirety of the first fucking month they were meant to fucking be there.
An opening ceremony. For a nursery school. Jesus fucking wept.
Still, at least our attendance or otherwise didn’t make the national news, unlike this poor teacher in Saitama, who declined to attend the opening ceremony of the school where she was employed (as Homeroom teacher for in incoming first-year class) in favour of attending her son’s opening ceremony at a different school. This obviously displeased various rentagob politicians and career bureaucrats who, having attended the ceremony (which for them involved nothing more than sitting on the stage with half-a-dozen other middle-aged men, mutely glowering at everyone there like a massed rank of stone heads – silent icons to the gods of conformity and inertia) mistakenly got it into their heads that people wanted to hear their opinions on “the responsibilities of educators”, or indeed anything whatsoever.
|Rigidly immobile representatives of a crushing and |
deadening social order, enforcing outmoded norms
merely through their silent and unmoving presence
I too have ‘opinions’, and fair’s fair, so here are some of points which Assemblyman Goto and Chairman Sekine may wish to consider the next time they feel moved to open their obviously mindless and ignorant traps –
1. Japan is currently ranked 105th in the world for gender equality
2. Japan’s population is now decreasing at the greatest rate since records began
3. Abenomics isn’t working and the Japanese economy continues to suck
4. Japanese female participationin the labour force in one of the lowest in the OECD
5. Japan needs more women in work and more children in general or else it’s fucked
(Bonus point - 6. Japan is probably fucked anyway)
All that being so, maybe you might want to offer working mothers a bit of support instead of laying into them for making completely understandable and laudable decisions that will benefit not only themselves and their families but ultimately that nation you’re supposed to be so bloody proud of? I know, I know, it’s not “the Japanese Way”, but how’s that been working out for ya for the last, I dunno, quarter of a century?
You know why the Easter Islanders died out, don’t you? You know Easter Island – the one in the middle of the Pacific with all the massive stone heads staring out to sea. Basically, making those heads became the thing to do, and to do it you needed to cut down a fuckton of trees for scaffolding and rollers and whatnot. So they kept at it until they’d cut down all the trees. All of them. Turns out that trees are quite important for other stuff as well as moving massive stone heads – they provide shelter and fuel, and mitigate soil erosion and surface water runoff allowing for cultivation and agriculture. These things (heat, housing, food) were ultimately considered less important by the islanders than making their stone heads because that was what they did; that was “the Easter Island Way”. They overvalued the importance of empty ritual and display to the point where they totally overlooked the more fundamental necessities for a successfully functioning society. And now they’re all dead.