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Author Topic: "Japan: It's not funny anymore"  (Read 10809 times)
Dice
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« on: March 03, 2010, 06:12:28 PM »

http://kotaku.com/5484581/japan-its-not-funny-anymore

Thoughts??

A sort of long rant about some of the things apparent but less talked about in Japan.  Some of it seems fueled by the writer's hate for what he's talking about, some of it can be said cross-culturally, but some of it actually makes sense.

I do love and respect Japanese culture, I admire its uniqueness above all else.  However, on the polar opposite of the peace and serenity the quieter areas of Japan emphasize on is the over-saturated aspect of its culture.  The part that buries itself in anime and manga, acting it out, spoofing, dressing it, etc.  Or the part that takes the maid concept and dresses up child characters in it, throwing them into sexually provocative poses.  Or at last the predictability, and therefore lack of element of surprise (to even a cultures that is as, at times, bizarre) of games and even anime (which seems to tweak its way into influencing real-life).

I think its an interesting thing to discuss seeing as how the world is on a sort of anime-boom.
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D-Rider
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 06:23:29 PM »

The point of that rant is hidden beneath a dozen layers of smug douchebaggery.
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Dice
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 06:35:03 PM »

Haha I agree for the most part.

I liked a lot of the sociological aspects though.  The "template conversation" was also of particular interest.
Quite frankly you can find a lot of things problematic and unique within many cultures.  I bring this one up since its "in" right now so to speak.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 07:55:55 PM »

Quote
By Tim Rogers

Fuck that shit :/

Also let's pretend that if I'm addressing anyone here and not actually specifying who, it's Tim Rogers.

Quote
The "template conversation" was also of particular interest.

Every culture does this and if it seriously bugs you that much... Tim Rogers is autistic. There. I said it.

Because in another post of his he was bitching about people always asking if he's okay when he's taking a shower and they hear something loud fall. I picture him, someday, lying in a puddle of his own blood with a look of smug satisfaction, because at least nobody came to his aid.

I mean seriously dude are you that perplexed by the concept of people worrying about you hurting yourself?

People say completely meaningless things just for the hell of it/sake of building rapport/conversation. This is why we have modern society. Deal with it.

Quote
TAPE

THERE IS A REASON THEY DO THIS AND IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. It's also not particularly uncommon in America either, especially in metropolitan areas where you're likely to be carrying stuff between stores because you're not driving. The alternative is having to stuff all your purchased things somewhere every time you enter a different store. Why are you complaining.

Of course, Tim Rogers probably never went shopping in America because he was too afraid that people would ask him how he was feeling or make some comment about how nice the weather was.

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CAN VIDEOGAMES MAKE US BETTER PEOPLE?

Do I seriously need to say it?
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 07:57:14 PM »

I'm going to be honest, as soon as I saw it was an 80 page thesis, I pretty much stopped about half of the way through the prolonged rant, primarily because it's so consistently anal about every little detail (several paragraphs on lard in bread?  REALLY?).  It also probably didn't help any that he immediately blasted anime in what was amusingly the only succinct argument in his tirade.

I'm going to preface my response with a lot of points that are going to be familiar with some folks, but eh, I always say full disclosure.  First, my undergraduate degree was in Japanese history.  I would love to be a historian over in Japan in the near future even if it ends up being only a scant few years.  Second, I have been completely and utterly inundated with Japanese culture since I was about 8 with video games.  Anime has more or less accelerated that process since I got addicted to the stuff back in 2001.  Third, I aspire to eventually be a Japanese history professor to show other folks just how wondrous (and horrible!) Japanese history has been and continues to be.  Fourth, I haven't lived in Japan yet.  You can only glean so much about anything from afar...even if almost everything you do is with that particular goal in mind.

So with that said, a lot of his gripes seem to mostly reflect his own overly demanding requirements.  Some people simply can't be pleased no matter what.  As a person who has never smoked and goes out of his way to avoid it, I find that particular rant to be also amusing.  You simply have to accept that for what it is.  Or you can throw a tantrum about it, as the author has opted.  If there's anything I can say about the Japanese in general, it's that it's difficult to make much of a generalization about anything in Japan other than a few points.  For a person with a clearly liberal mindset though, I can see that the author would have a tough time with Japanese society because it has always been so conservative (other than countries living under fundamentalist Islamic regimes, I'm not sure what country would be more collectively labeled as such).  However, the pressure to conform with company social events is certainly NOT exclusive to Japan.  My last two companies - my current one in particular - both have made it a de facto requirement to go to optional social events.  Missing them for whatever reason is akin to anathema.

In the end, every place has its own idiosyncrasies; Japan simply has more of them.
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 08:04:35 PM »

The point of that rant is hidden beneath a dozen layers of smug douchebaggery.
The point of that rant is hidden beneath a dozen layers of smug douchebaggery.
The point of that rant is hidden beneath a dozen layers of smug douchebaggery.

Can't quote it enough... and WTF I agree with Mesh.
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 08:41:38 PM »

Quote
A friend claims that his friend actually quit smoking when the Japanese rolled out a new mandatory cigarette vending machine ID proxy card called "Taspo": to get a Taspo, you have to go through this process of proving your age, supplying a photo, et cetera. You then receive a microchipped card that will allow you to purchase cigarettes from vending machines.

Quote
Way back when people first started suiciding abundantly in front of express trains, many train stations installed mirrors across the platform. They were supposed to force the about-to-die person to take a good look at themselves, and give up on giving up.

I found those interesting. Didn't know either of those fun facts. Read most of that long block of text. Found it sort of insightful.

Edit: I shouldn't say fun fact for that second one, though.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 04:03:21 AM by Miho » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2010, 08:45:24 PM »

Rant's a buncha shit. It overstates a lot of things, exaggerates, and focuses in on all the worst aspects. I've got Japanese relatives, friends who live and work there, and friends who have been and come back. None of them feel that way. Even my friend Celeste who's been there for 5+ years now is pretty happy where she is and has made a real life for herself. Sure there's all kinds of social differences, but nothing like what the guy describes.

Also, from what I've heard, a lot of the perceived weirdness is Tokyo-specific, being that it's so consumer-based. It's not universal to Japan.
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 08:52:37 PM »

Also, from what I've heard, a lot of the perceived weirdness is Tokyo-specific, being that it's so consumer-based. It's not universal to Japan.

While it's been awhile since I was last there, I agree.  Hiroshima was peaceful and very enjoyable.  Osaka, while big, didn't feel overly consumery.  Some sections did feel like a long mall, but since I'm not used to that sort of thing, I found it interesting and sorta fun.
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010, 09:26:20 PM »

Code:
I've lived in Japan for a long time. When I first came here, I liked living here. Now, I don't. I haven't changed. Japan hasn't really changed, either. Something else, however, has.

After reading what has been said throughout the thread I can already tell this article is a crock of shit, but that paragraph is enough to realize that this guy has no idea what he's really saying and is just on some crazy nonsensical rant.  If Japan hasn't changed, and he hasn't changed...why would he stop liking living there?  Because he fucking changed.  It seems like a small thing to nitpick, but that really gets at the core of his issue and to overlook that kind of makes this whole rant pointless.
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2010, 11:10:58 PM »

I got to the bit about comedy duos, and I must say, he has no fucking clue what he's talking about. Aside from that, every sentiment I have is already covered by almost everyone else here.
The point of that rant is hidden beneath a dozen layers of smug douchebaggery.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 11:40:32 PM »

Quote
but that paragraph is enough to realize that this guy has no idea what he's really saying and is just on some crazy nonsensical rant.

"Crazy nonsensical rant" should've been apparent by the time you got to "By Tim Rogers".

He wrote an absolutely wonderful Earthbound article and it's been a steady descent into suck ever since.
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2010, 11:41:59 PM »

The point of that rant is hidden beneath a dozen layers of smug douchebaggery.

Beat me to it.
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 02:43:08 AM »

Actually, I have to agree with the main points the guy makes. He takes entirely too long to get to the crux of the matter, but what he's saying is something that I've heard of before, a lot.

A lot of the people from the west have intensely misconcieved beliefs about Asia - not just Japan, the entirety of the continent. I find it kind of funny that people who have never been to Japan are saying this guy - who has lived in Japan for years - has no idea what he's talking about.
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 03:32:54 AM »

Quote
Also, games tend to pretty much always cost $100 on their release dates here.

Huh, I thought console games were somewhere in the 5000-7000 yen range? And music CDs 2000-3000 yen? Uhm, 1000 yen is something like 11,50 dollar... That's crappier than I thought, but not as crappy as he claims it to be.

I'm willing to believe the smoking thing though. People being burnt by careless smokers is surprisingly common in manga. But then again, many countries have people smoking everywhere. Atleast the Japanese have those portable ashtrays. Here in the Netherlands people just throw everything on the street.
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