About Me

Ikawa-cho Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan
I was recently accepted by the JET program as an assistant English teacher in Japan for one year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

90 yen to the dollar

the current exchange rate is 90 yen to the dollar.
i just got back from karate. there were only three of us there, so i got to go a lot of good fighting. tomorrow is the culture festival, and thursday is sports day, so my weekend gets moved to monday and tuesda. i tried to make curry again today, to redeem myself in my own eyes, and i think i used a little too much water, and the cut of annonymous beef that i bought was tripey and bad, but it came out ok and actually tasted like curry.
well, today is 9/11, a sad reminder that the neoconservatives tried to take over the country via mass murder and treason, and basically succeede, which gave us a black president. will rivers pitt basically summed it up in this article, which was depressing but true.
and of course, all of that is background for obama trying to give every american health insurance, so that america could be more like, you know, every other civilized, modern democracy on the planet. but then! THIS is just a background for this utter disgrace which is probably the lowest point in well, our modern civil democracy. i guess its good, in a way, to have insane, horrible moments like these, so that it can be extremely easy to know who is unabashadly ignorant. rahm israel emmanuel said it best, "no president has been treated like this, ever". it is sad that such an issue that i was following so closely had to be summed up in this moment, but i dont think there is any way to possibly overstate its importance, or its dead-on representation of a large strain of ideas in american politics. joe wilson is a racist. he worked in strom thurmond's office for years. strom thurmond fillibustered the civil rights act. joe wilson makes it much easier for me to say that if you oppose obama's healthcare plan, you are a racist. but what's so wrong with being a racist? isn't it your right to hate and feel threated by black people, by a strong biracial leader? it is, but such an attitude goes against the modern interpretation of the basis of our republic. so it's anti-american, in the literal sense.
but this blog is about japan, where everyone has health insurance, the medical establishment is strictly regulated, people visit the doctor like 5 times more often than in the us, costs are much less and people are much healthier, and they live far longer. but, on the other hand, japan is a country with one ethnic group (the japanese) and only like a year ago were the indiginous ainu in the northern island of hokkaido formally recognized as, well, indiginous ainu. i haven't experienced any direct racism as one of a few extremely white people on this small island, but people are very surprised that i like japanese food, that i can draw japanese style pictures, that i know about japanese movies and culture. i think that japanese culture survives and has become so strong and vibrant in part because of strong racism, of a willingness to stereotype not only foriengers but also themselves. so it isnt inherently a bad thing, unless it goes against the point of your country, like it does in america. but in japan, it's the accepted basis of social affairs, and im ok with that.

No comments:

Post a Comment