Tuesday, March 22, 2011

an odd rumination

Kunstler | I have a peculiar fantasy about Japan. It burbled up in my mind even before the earthquake-tsunami-reactor disaster, and I conceived it in rumination upon Japan's weird twenty-year-long economic malaise, as the nation's population shrank, and its debt climbed to astronomical heights, and its young people lost heart, and it seemed just to go through the motions of whatever modernity required of them - ship the cars, package the robot parts, show up at the salaryman drinking contest, get stuffed into another late-night commuter train. I don't claim to be a Japan expert, but I think all this was getting to them in a deep, major way. I think they perhaps secretly longed to get back to something like an older traditional Japanese society - the one before car assembly plants, big steel ships, chain reactions, and fluorescently-lighted pachinko parlors, back to the society that blossomed and fruited in cycles of centuries on those beautiful rocky, sea-washed islands into a culture saturated in artistry - unencumbered by idiot religions or the bothersome neediness of other nations.

I can't shake the odd feeling that Japan was looking for a way to get back to the 19th century, and perhaps even deeper beyond that - to the dream-time before they made the fateful decision to industrialize. The earthquake-tsunami-reactor moment is their chance now to begin that journey. Frankly, I don't know what else they can do. Japan imports over 95 percent of the fossil fuels it uses (that would be oil, coal, and natural gas). Does anyone think they'll be able to continue that indefinitely? Sorry, I just don't see it under any circumstances. And, anyway, the geographic region where the bulk of the world's oil comes from is in the process of blowing up. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are like some kind of mansion where fire has broken out simultaneously in the kitchen, the conservatory, the media room, the master bathroom, the chauffeur's apartment over the garage, and the pool house, and whenever the flames are doused in one spot, they break out in another. Yesterday it was Syria and Yemen. Bahrain is under lockdown. The Egyptians are having second thoughts about the loss of a grinding stability, trouble is stirring up in Kuwait, Iraq is like a crazy person in the rubber room of history, and who knows what kind of spells the vizeer Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is laying out in his Kevlar sanctum. There is just too much tension in the world and it is demanding release in the most vexing ways.

So, I can see the Japanese people - a deeply homogenous society - veering toward an as yet un-articulated consensus: let's just get out of the modern world. Let's go back home. Let's don the kimono and the hakama, get us some horses, sharpen the katana, and kick back in the chaniwa garden with a bowl of green tea - and forget about all that dirty, disgusting, dangerous, heavy manufacturing-for-export (to an insane world) nonsense. History may record their industrial adventure as a weird blip of activity in a much longer timeline. As it will for us and everybody else, I believe. In fact, this fantasy about the Japanese shrugging off the toils of modernity is exactly what all the other so-called advanced nations of the world will find themselves doing sooner rather than later as we all take the road back to a world made by hand. The Japanese may just be the pioneering exemplars of the universal process. Fist tap Dale.


nanakwame said...

LOL - the nostalgias boat LOL RYFKM – Do you guys read the essays and literature of the youth and the great generation difference happening in Japan? Did you read how a novel was once banned, written by a young girl, who put Japan elitist into a novel and showed their draws and passivity? This reminds me of the concept that one brings their mood and meme to reading or an event without cleaning the mirror first, attempting to be unbiased of the now and the future present, of how a societies customs moves into the present. Human nature doesn’t change, consciousness does, going back and forward in space and time.
Japan has robots teaching in their day care, they are going to move so fast to more of these bots; it is going to blow the timid humans across the globe. Now why would they this, only unity I have with this self-absorbed article of one of the oldest and beautiful culture in the world, is the citizens are getting tired of the BS of the government and corruption which has happen almost perennial in Japan, especially since the Samurai class and the transition to the so called modern world. Their move to technate alternative has always been a plus for them; look after WWII, with their great animations and anime and of course production. Now they got machines to wipe an ass. Watch, if you think the youth want to go back to where women were in a noble submissive role, put down the pipe. And for techics you sure lame, this fantasy about the Japanese shrugging off the toils of modernityis to mix correctly the technical world and the best of human customs. And they have taken the lead many times, many times

nanakwame said...

btw - I agree that Japan has a healthier take on sex than we in the west, so do not read in to that - that would be a great topic. I think we are overloaded with sexual BS

CNu said...

Nana, you need to put down the pipe and excessive uninformed science fiction consumption.

Japan imports 85% of its energy and has less than 1/10 acre of arable land per person.

The only thing poor Japan is going to take the lead in now is fast collapse and die-off.


Big Don said...

__ Japan is at least tied for the lead, (if actually in it) in the willingness to get its citizens well-educated, put in hard work, percentage of in-wedlock births, and associated responsible behavior. It's called civilization. Regardless of any forthcoming population collapse, BD does not see any collapse coming in those parameters...

Dale Asberry said...

I'm with CNu on this... put down that pipe. The Japanese have a HORRIBLE take on sex. It's even more male-dominated than in the West, Japanese men aren't having orgasms and a significant number of married couples are not even having sex(more).

Dale Asberry said...

I'm wondering why BD doesn't move to Japan. Has everything he wants!

CNu said...


Being tied for the lead in an utterly unsustainable system of production is a decidedly unenviable position in which to find one's civilization, n'est ce pas? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC46eTGpf1M

Big Don said...

__Raw seafood sucks...

Dale Asberry said...

More than all the nonsense you bombard us with?? Lololololol... breathe ... lololololol. Lol.

nanakwame said...

Love you all

The question of sex is a good one http://japaneseliterature.wordpress.com/
I believe that men will have to look at sex as not some gift of g_d or just natural rights, but a social construct and there are men who if procreation is not important, then celibacy will emerge or your whims will be fulfilled including the social contract with Robots.
One of the problems for younger women is that the younger men are taking this attitude in Japan. Now for those who preach over-population I would think this was a phenomena to observe and speak about? And many Japanese women now are marrying out of their culture because of wanting children and careers. The face of Asia will change.
On the ending of Japan, I am patience my good friends, the 1939 Hologram is not here yet.
Lucidity of mind, like the rays of the sun, can have no effect except by the continuity of a direct line; it can divine only on condition of not breaking that line; the curvettings of chance bemuddle it.
Manners are the hypocrisy of nations.
Honore de Balzac

Uglyblackjohn said...

What's the story behind the graphic SeeNew?
I clicked it and it went nowhere.

CNu said...

Carelessness on my part. I was trying to wrap it up this morning so's I could get on with my morning chores and I didn't link it to anything appropriate.

It was, however, intended as an enlarged counterpoint to this graphic http://edwardcheever.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/feudalism.jpg?w=268&h=247 that I stuck into the equilibrium and invisible ideology post.

umbrarchist said...

The whole world is in a state of weird. We are at a cyber-chasm waiting for a cyber-crunch. A friend of mine is all excited about quad-cores and virtual machines. I am only somewhat interested.

The computer industry has the problem of getting us to waste enough processing power and download enough gigabytes so they can make money selling more cyber-dreck. But where does Japan fit into all of that. Yeah, population density is their problem. They need to make crappy cars so they can export their used ones. I read about some night where they put electronics out on the street. You can get good free stuff if you are LOW CLASS enough to stoop to pick it up. I read that and found it really strange. I have enough trouble with White boys that want to play ego status games with the junk they buy but even they don't put it out on the sidewalk. I have listened to them brag about how many cars they totaled though.

The ego-tripping nonsense of patriarchal cultures. But the physics and technology don't care. The planet can't take us making all this junk.

I'll worry about it after I build my dual quad-core with 64 gigabytes. Then I can really play Doom. LOL

But matriarchal cultures just have different ways of being absurd. So how do we create an optimum culture that is neither matriarchal nor patriarchal. No no, not Vulcan culture here on Earth. ROFL


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