Friday, April 23, 2004

Hey Look: A Political Comment

Hey Look: A Political Comment

Vague as it may be.

The Borg Collective, or as they refer to themselves, the Nation of Japan, are pretty much my least favorite people on the planet right now.

Don't know why this struck me ill. But the three Japanese who were taken hostage in Iraq, including one who went to give aid and support to the people of the country, returned home from their ordeal to a really nasty welcome from the general Japanese public, and their own government.

"You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. The government, not to be outdone, announced it would bill the former hostages $6,000 for air fare.

You guys ever watch the Chappelle Show? Remember the Playa Hatin' Convention? Ice-T gives out the awards at a ceremony, and declares after telling one story: "Dayum! That's Hateful."

The Government of Japan is charging the people for their flight home.

Damn! That's Friggin' Hateful.

Here's the reasoning:

Beneath the surface of Japan's ultra-sophisticated cities lie the hierarchical ties that have governed this island nation for centuries and that, at moments of crises, invariably reassert themselves. The former hostages' transgression was to ignore a government advisory against traveling to Iraq. But their sin, in a vertical society that likes to think of itself as classless, was to defy what people call here "okami," or, literally, "what is higher."

Colin Powell said something basically right:

And so I'm pleased that these Japanese citizens were willing to put themselves at risk for a greater good, for a better purpose. And the Japanese people should be very proud that they have citizens like this willing to do that."

To my mind, anybody who's over there wanting to work together to build a better world, has my support and respect.

I don't necessarily agree with our reasoning for going over there. But I do believe we're ultimately going to leave Iraq a better place. To me, it makes the world a bit better. And that's a higher calling than looking toward the aims of the Nation of Japan.

So I think these Japanese, especially Nahoko Takato, deserve our respect. Because they're not getting any over in the land of the Rising Sun. For looking to an even higher power than the Japanese Society.

That's going against the grain.


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