posted on May, 1 2006 @ 12:08 PM
Nice work there HMITD...
You seem to have forgotten to mention the whole point of the podcast, however...which would be the following:
The issue of Japan being a controlled state, socially, economically, spiritually, and culturally, leads us to the question of whether or not this is a
precursor to similar ideologies and states of existence in other nations.
Is the police state of Japan going to set an example of efficiency and control for the rest of the world to imitate?
In my opinion, yes.
The example of Japan should be making the rest of the world think 'do WE want to live like that? do WE want to de-humanise existence to favour
efficiency and a technocracy?'
Nonetheless, technology aside, Japan has always been like this. Bushido, the unwritten Japanese Samurai code of honour and piety(sp?), also has a
negative side, in shame and dishonour. This tradition of self-governance, self-censorship, and shame in the face of non-compliance, is prevalent in
The existence of the Hikikomori-tachi in Japan, shows us that not fitting in is not an option, and that seclusion and hermitism is the only other
alternative to suicide. A Hikikomori is a youth who has locked themselves in their bedroom for numerous reasons. They close the shutters, refuse to go
outside, or talk to anybody else, or even get a job and education. They have reached such a point of anxiety and hysteria that their desire to
contribute to society, or even to exist in it, completely shuts down. Often the Hikikomori phenomena leads to suicide, or institutionalisation.
In Japan, even the alternatives to 'popular culture and society' are popularised and capitalised on. Those who tire of Japanese tradition and
society, can hang out with their friends who dress up and go to Harajuku on weekends, to pretend to be Americans, Chinese, even Nazi's.
Those young boys who aren't confident enough to meet girls, and have interests in Video Games and Anime, can congregate in their own little 'Otaku'
circles at Akihabara. They even have a name for their own kind, the teenage boys and 20-somethings who are known in English as 'Anime nerds', they
call themselves 'Akiba-tachi' and 'Ota'. (Akiba is an abbreviation of Akihabara, the tech and comic shopping district of Tokyo. -tachi is the
plural for people. Ota is the abbreviation for Otaku, which originally meant 'Home').
Japanese society even has a sub-culture of youths who would not be out of place at a Marilyn Manson concert, known as 'Gothic and Lolita'; they
dress up in dark make-up and clothes, while the Lolita fashion style tends towards something seen in the 'Alice in Wonderland'-ish fashions in the
Gwen Stefani video clip 'What you waiting for'.
The list of conformist 'non-conformist groups' in Japan, extends to nearly every alternative culture that can be thought of, and those that don't
fit into ANY subculture, usually become Hikikomori's, or obsess about and eventually engage in Jisatsu (suicide).
The Japanese OBSESSION with conformity, sets a frightening example for the rest of us in the world. Places like Myspace.com, where the 'emo' kids
and 'social outcasts' like to congregate, have become online versions of MTV, with 'indie bands' being capitalised on. (Myspace.com is owned by
NewsCorp, one of the major media sources in the world) With the abundance of the Internet in western culture (and spreading to the rest of the world),
people swept under the carpet of society can come out and express their opinions, ideals, and emotions. Unfortunately, humans LOVE to categorise
things that they don't understand, and tend towards the error of lumping all the non-conformists into stereotypical images of conformity. This would
not be as big of a problem if the people who were to be the targets of this stereotyping, were to IGNORE it, however, the obsession with conformity
also has a say in the life of nonconformists. People choosing to be 'different from everybody else' congregate and celebrate their differences. The
unwritten quote of "I'm going to be like everbody else and express my individuality.", certainly applies here. Are the people that want to be
social outcasts doing it because of being fed up with society, or simply because they are imitating others who have done the same?
In conclusion, Japan is not the only nation in the world where every niche of society is being manipulated to have the citizens conform, but it IS
setting a great example for those of us who wish to criticise the Sheeple Mentality of the popular culture AND counter-culture movements.
You have been warned.