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things you cannot get used to
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ALX



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: The Big Hill

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that Japan was never a multi-cultural nation. It was forced to open up by Perry and his Black Ships. That event is still part of the national psyche. Japan only tolerates foreigners out of necessity. It is what it is I guess.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALX wrote:
Remember that Japan was never a multi-cultural nation. It was forced to open up by Perry and his Black Ships. That event is still part of the national psyche. Japan only tolerates foreigners out of necessity. It is what it is I guess.
Yeah, it is what it is. It's not right that Japan gives preference based on racial criteria, but that's the way it is.

However, to bring this back on topic, the title of this thread is "things you can't get used to." And apologists who defend racial discrimination (ironic since they themselves are being discriminated against) are something in Japan that I cannot get used to, which was my original point.

Even if I do not agree with a Japanese bigot, I can at least understand his viewpoint. I was a young man once, too, and had to compete with immigrants (many of which were illegal) for low-wage, low-prestige jobs. And when I finally got my first job, I was immediately taxed, and some of my taxes went to supporting those immigrants.

Did I go out and beat up an immigrant? No.

Did I vote for a far-right policitian? No.

Did I take to Washington, D.C. with a big cardboard sign and advocate a whites-only America? No.

However, I can at least understand a bigot's viewpoint even if I disagree with him. He's acting in his own interests. He just wants to survive.

Apologists, however, I simply cannot understand. They act counter to their own interests. They are the reverse of everything that Darwin and nature stand for. They are organisms that seek their own destruction.

As you said, Japan is what it is. And I am what I am a guy with a set of beliefs about racial equality and the right to complain about the lack thereof when one exists.
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ALX



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: The Big Hill

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be neither neither a basher nor an apologist. Be stoic.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALX wrote:
Be neither neither a basher nor an apologist.
I can agree with this. Both extremes are bad.
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ALX



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: The Big Hill

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:
ALX wrote:
Be neither neither a basher nor an apologist.
I can agree with this. Both extremes are bad.


For real. Taking those extreme positions means that you're always angry at someone or something. Do you really want to live that way?
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hagiwaramai



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 113
Location: Marines Stadium

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:

Apologists, however, I simply cannot understand. They act counter to their own interests. They are the reverse of everything that Darwin and nature stand for. They are organisms that seek their own destruction.

Not that it really matters, and I agree with most everything else you said,but I think you're a bit off the mark here. Apologists imagine themselves to almost be Japanese, which is one way to deal with crap when it's thrown at you and you feel too weak to respond, basically joining the bullies side and pretending, or trying to pretend, that it's not you who's being bullied. Other people maybe but not you. Kind of like the kidnapped and the kidnapper forming such a bond that the kidnapped sees the kidnapper like a friend and will actually defend them. Pretty common apparently. It may be hard to understand but it is a self-preservation technique, even though superficially it may not seem to be.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hagiwaramai wrote:
Rooster_2006 wrote:

Apologists, however, I simply cannot understand. They act counter to their own interests. They are the reverse of everything that Darwin and nature stand for. They are organisms that seek their own destruction.

Not that it really matters, and I agree with most everything else you said,but I think you're a bit off the mark here. Apologists imagine themselves to almost be Japanese, which is one way to deal with crap when it's thrown at you and you feel too weak to respond, basically joining the bullies side and pretending, or trying to pretend, that it's not you who's being bullied. Other people maybe but not you. Kind of like the kidnapped and the kidnapper forming such a bond that the kidnapped sees the kidnapper like a friend and will actually defend them. Pretty common apparently. It may be hard to understand but it is a self-preservation technique, even though superficially it may not seem to be.
On careful reflection of what you just wrote, I can see what you mean and may even agree. The apologist might truly believe (or at least his subconscious might believe) that the act of becoming an apologist is the surest path to survival.

This has been seen many, many times in history when people become "collaborators" with an occupying force. And as you pointed out, it is also seen in people who are kidnapped, and in people who are bullied.

I would still consider apologism a pathology, though, kind of along the lines of Stockholm Syndrome, battered-wife syndrome, or PTSD. It's a short-term survival mechanism that arises in response to something traumatic. They might increase an organism's chance of surviving in the short run, but are not desirable in the long run.
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ALX



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: The Big Hill

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologists are just constantly entranced with being in the land of anime, manga, and samurai.

Kinda like kids in Disneyland.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALX wrote:
Apologists are just constantly entranced with being in the land of anime, manga, and samurai.

Kinda like kids in Disneyland.
True, that is one type of apologist.

I think there are several different types.

The type you just described is the naive apologist. Some common traits of the naive apologist are:
- Either hasn't ever been to Japan, or has only been in Japan a short time
- Loves Japanese pop culture (indeed Japanese pop culture has produced many first-class things)

Eventually, the naive apologist will probably stop being an apologist. After getting screwed the first, second, or nth time, he or she will go on to become disillusioned and angry (a basher), or, in the case of more mentally healthy individuals, become someone with a balanced viewpoint.

There are definitely other types, too. But that is certainly one of them.

I'll admit, back in '06, when I moved to Korea, I started out as what I'd now classify as an apologist. I'd watched a glitzy Korean drama, met some beautiful and friendly Korean women studying abroad in America, taken a couple levels of Korean at the local high school adult education program, and chilled at night with my Korean co-workers on the night shift of my low-rung job in America. I had just arrived in Korea, and was introduced to the wonders of soju and makgeolli. It was a happy time. As far as I was concerned, Korea and Koreans just plain rocked.

At a bar with Koreans, I suddenly yelled out, drunk and exuberant, "Dokdo is Korean land!" in Korean. Of course, the Koreans around me loved that and gave me high fives, but I later realized, I was being an idiot. I was defending Korea's sovereignty claim over an island that I knew virtually nothing about. Is Dokdo Korean territory? I don't know. But what I do know is that I was a tool that night I was an apologist.

I also defended Korea's immigration policy. I had heard somewhere that someone could get an F-2 with seven years of continuous residence in Korea. "That's fair," I thought.

But then, in '07, my apologist worldview was shattered. First, a law office told me that the F-2 via seven years of continuous residence was a sham. Second, in June of '07, I was assaulted on the street by two drunk Korean men for absolutely no reason I was just walking to the convenience store, when one of them yelled "HEY WHITE PERSON!" and started punching me. I had never met the guys, had not done anything to insult or offend them, or anything. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Suddenly, my naivete was shattered. I was no longer an apologist.

I think that most naive apologists eventually have these awakenings.

However, the most dangerous type of apologist is the type that has something to gain by being an apologist. He may have been here for several years and moved up the gaijin totem pole. He doesn't want other gaijin to have rights, because he wants a monopoly. And those guys are really dangerous.


Last edited by Rooster_2006 on Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2578
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneJoelFifty wrote:
I'll never get used to fat_chris's warm regards.


Very Happy

Cheers...I think.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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ALX



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: The Big Hill

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:


However, the most dangerous type of apologist is the type that has something to gain by being an apologist. He may have been here for several years and moved up the gaijin totem pole. He doesn't want other gaijin to have rights, because he wants a monopoly. And those guys are really dangerous.


Yeah, I've met a few of those types last time I was in Japan. Thinking they were superior for whatever reason. I try to stay away from those types.

As for the naive apologists, as you said, it wears off. I was one during my honeymoon period. Then I gradually turned into a basher. It was like a 180 - all those things I used to love suddenly repulsed me.

Thankfully, the anger wore off too and by the time I left Japan, I had a more balanced POV. I hope that this time around I can maintain a positive attitude and walk the middle ground instead of going to extremes.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2578
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

teacheratlarge wrote:
fat_chris wrote:
teacheratlarge wrote:
....
delivery service - fantastic, with door to door as well as most conveneience stores offering it

public transport - convenience of going places, especially in Tokyo..



Very Happy

All of those are great indeed. The convenience stores are quite...er uh, well, convenient...as well.

Warm regards,
fat_chris


Perhaps you haven't visited some cities where the public transportation is less than reliable at times (London comes chiefly to mind, listening to annoucements about having enough water while waiting through a lengthy wait in a hot summer).
Delivery from convenience stores is not a regular part of life in most countries, in case you weren't aware of that (innocence perhaps? Cool ).


I lived in New York City for three years. I do know about public transportation that can be less than reliable.

Also, I'm fully aware that delivery from convenience stores is not a regular part of life in most countries (again, New York City in the US). I was talking about the ones in Japan, i.e., where I can have my books ordered from Amazon delivered directly to my convenience store of choice and pay COD.

I used tautology, hence, the "er uh, well" in my statement.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALX wrote:
Rooster_2006 wrote:


However, the most dangerous type of apologist is the type that has something to gain by being an apologist. He may have been here for several years and moved up the gaijin totem pole. He doesn't want other gaijin to have rights, because he wants a monopoly. And those guys are really dangerous.


Yeah, I've met a few of those types last time I was in Japan. Thinking they were superior for whatever reason. I try to stay away from those types.

As for the naive apologists, as you said, it wears off. I was one during my honeymoon period. Then I gradually turned into a basher. It was like a 180 - all those things I used to love suddenly repulsed me.

Thankfully, the anger wore off too and by the time I left Japan, I had a more balanced POV. I hope that this time around I can maintain a positive attitude and walk the middle ground instead of going to extremes.
Indeed, I went through the same phases you described, except with Korea.
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ALX



Joined: 19 Sep 2012
Posts: 36
Location: The Big Hill

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:
ALX wrote:
Rooster_2006 wrote:


However, the most dangerous type of apologist is the type that has something to gain by being an apologist. He may have been here for several years and moved up the gaijin totem pole. He doesn't want other gaijin to have rights, because he wants a monopoly. And those guys are really dangerous.


Yeah, I've met a few of those types last time I was in Japan. Thinking they were superior for whatever reason. I try to stay away from those types.

As for the naive apologists, as you said, it wears off. I was one during my honeymoon period. Then I gradually turned into a basher. It was like a 180 - all those things I used to love suddenly repulsed me.

Thankfully, the anger wore off too and by the time I left Japan, I had a more balanced POV. I hope that this time around I can maintain a positive attitude and walk the middle ground instead of going to extremes.
Indeed, I went through the same phases you described, except with Korea.


I think most newbies go through this phase. Unfortunately some of them end up getting sick or in trouble when the glitz wears off. If you feel that you're about to lose control in a foreign country, you should really consider leaving as it ceases to be worth it.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALX wrote:
Rooster_2006 wrote:
ALX wrote:
Rooster_2006 wrote:


However, the most dangerous type of apologist is the type that has something to gain by being an apologist. He may have been here for several years and moved up the gaijin totem pole. He doesn't want other gaijin to have rights, because he wants a monopoly. And those guys are really dangerous.


Yeah, I've met a few of those types last time I was in Japan. Thinking they were superior for whatever reason. I try to stay away from those types.

As for the naive apologists, as you said, it wears off. I was one during my honeymoon period. Then I gradually turned into a basher. It was like a 180 - all those things I used to love suddenly repulsed me.

Thankfully, the anger wore off too and by the time I left Japan, I had a more balanced POV. I hope that this time around I can maintain a positive attitude and walk the middle ground instead of going to extremes.
Indeed, I went through the same phases you described, except with Korea.


I think most newbies go through this phase. Unfortunately some of them end up getting sick or in trouble when the glitz wears off. If you feel that you're about to lose control in a foreign country, you should really consider leaving as it ceases to be worth it.
True. I don't normally say "if you don't like it, leave," but if a country has you so down that you're ready to commit suicide or just living there is giving you an ulcer and an aneurism, you need to get out for your own self-preservation.

I have actually known people like that. One attempted suicide twice, once by almost jumping off a church (in Korea), and then by attempting to drown herself in a river (in China, which got her banned from China). She actually ended up in the local Chinese paper on the second attempt! Poor woman. Her and living in Asia just didn't mix, as much as she didn't want to acknowledge it (she was a die-hard linguist).

I haven't heard from her in a long time. I tried e-mailing her, but her e-mail account has been deactivated. I wonder — is she still alive?

Got any stories?
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