Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stupid is as Stupid Does; Japan / US relations after Wikileaks

Anti-whaling shenanegans make things worse, not better.

Another circular point, but it's probably worth it to keep reading.

OK, real quick, one more time; "hey rest of the world, you can't tell Japan what to do." In the history of the world, Japan is a country that's only given into absolute ultimatums exactly once, and that case involved nuclear weapons. The retarded antics of the Sea Shep-tard are so painfully obvious as counter productive, that its South Park moment has come and gone, but much like the true power behind the one ring to rule them all, the mote that is the source of this particular stream of stupid are well hidden within cultural illiteracy.

The Not-Guilty Perspective

There is disinformation ging out on both sides, indicitive of a complete abandonment of any kind of sense of reality based compromise and have devolved into some slobbering conflict of absolutes. Neither side is going to be able to bring this to a quick end now. Anti-whaling forces would be happy if you conjoured up mental images of endangeres species being hauled up onto the deck of a boat and dismembered while their relatives are forced to look on while Cruella Deville looks on and cackles. Now, the hunding, killing, and processing of these whales isn't pretty, but two things to remember; 1) Minke are not endangered (and are also delicious), and 2) This criticism is coming from Australia. A country that spends government money encouraging people to kill and eat it's own national symbol. That's right, Australia, who doesn't like Japanese whaling and whale meat for an almost non-existant whale meat market not in Australia, is wholesale offering KANGAROO MEAT as fun for the whole family. I wonder what it looks like when they poke holes in their necks so the blood can drain out and then rip their skin off so they can bring us this:

Double Standard Alert! ...Fire up the barbie.

I'm bringing this up to show the absurdity of the notion that somehow a Whale outranks a Kangaroo in the "humans are gonna eat us" lottery, even when that animal has the status of a National Symbol goin' for it. It'd be the same as if Chick-Fill-A USA offered fried Bald Eagle and then sent idiots into Canada to tell them to stop hunting Caribu. Yes, it's exactly that stupid, and the reaction is going to be exactly what you think it is. Australia killes 2 Million Kangaroos for meat in a single year, where the number of whales killed by Japan and Korea in the same year is under 2,000. So it would seem that the life of one whale is worth like... 1,000 Kangaroos? Are we going by weight, or intangible animal souls or something?

The Guilty Perspective

Japan went through some very terrible times right after the end of WWII. Ever see the end of Grave of the Fireflies where those two kids starve to death? Yeah, that was happening a lot. In order to avoid that, the government was introduced to a great source of food that was easy to get. Whale meat. And guess which country provided the dessimated Japanese merchant navy with everything they needed to hunt those floating bento factories? Hint: it wasn't Mexico.

But does any of that really matter any more? No, not really. There's lots of other food to get, whale meat isn't popular and it's expensive, and in reality it's bad for you because of pullution in the oceans. The Japanese "scientific reasearch" excuse is such BS and everyone knows it. But like the classic Tail Spin episode where the Sea Duck was mistaken for a flamingo because of simply being labeled so, if it's labeled that, then it is that, even if it's not. That's how Japan works. Like many things Japanese the government turns a blind eye to (read this), the basic strategy was to just put aside some patient hope this issue will go off and die a quiet un-noticed death. ...and now the Discovery Channel has put this shit so far in the spotlight it's going to take 10 years for this issue to go back to where it was in 2005. It's become a high-profile, wedge issue that has entrenched itself into the Japan vs The World "Culture War" similar to the French and the battle over Foie Gras.

Kobayashi Yoshinori’s whaling manga (dead Kangaroos on the lower right).

Now, Kobayashi is a wing-nut moonbat who was probably driving one of those black van "expell the foriegner" protests that used to park outside my apartment on Yasukuni Dori (not for little old me, but because this was across the street). But his level of crazy is not the point. The point is that HIS point is powerful enough to push things to extremes on the domestic Japanese end while Paul Watson's douchebaggery is pulling the extreme on the other end. The end result is that this issue gets further and further away from a quickly feasable solution in a very Carl Rove like fashion.

The Peanut Gallery: How this relates to anime

The only reason I'm bringing any of this up, is that (I forget where I was, it might have been online) but I was involved in a conversation with an idiot otaku who said something along the lines of they were going to "stop downloading manga and anime" in protest of this Japanese whaling thing. That's right, in an effort to somehow hurt the Japanese economy, this person was going to stop STEALING from it. And this is the real problem that anime and manga face from the rest of the world. This otaku (and many others) are under the rediculous impression that their consumption, appreciation, and enjoyment of this media they acquire without paying for it, somehow in and of itself adds some sort of tangible value to the creators.

So here we have this person, who basically thinks they are taking some sort of tangible value away from a company that provided a property that they were consuming illegally. How exactly that was supposed to work, they couldn't articulate, but their head was still thick enough to resist actual logic and the realization that their fandom adds zero value and makes zero revenue to the vast commercial process of creating an anime or manga. The sense of intellectual vacancy in this kind of thing is overwhelming. This person hasn't vowed to not buy a Toyota, or pull their investments from Japanese firms... nope, just stop doing something that adds no value to the Japanese economy in the first place.

Otaku may have an emotional connection to anime, manga, and the various character goods that go with them, but you're not a customer if you're looking at scanlations, you're less than worthless to the manga artists, their assistants, and the publishing staff. You may as well be a Kangaroo, waiting to be blead to death and cut up, cooked, and served at a charity dinner to raise money to buy new equipment for the Sea Shepherd.


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