I’m just too out of it lately to write a whole post, though I have one or two in the works.
Any time I watch a fictional account of Japan, the word “honor” comes up a lot. I lived in Japan for 5 years, and maybe it was because most of the people I was hanging out with were working-class people, punks and just plain fuck-ups, I never heard anyone say “I can’t do that, it would dishonor my family.” This could be because I can’t remember what the word for honor is (making me question whether or not I ever knew it, but I am pretty sure that I do, or did). It could also be that people just don’t really give a shit about that.
I suspect what people are mislabeling as conversations about honor is that in Japan, Dad is the guy that everyone is supposed to listen to. And what Dad is saying isn’t so much “don’t dishonor me” as “my house, my rules”. Not I don’t think sticking out is something people in Japan just do, or that people wouldn’t be embarrassed to raise a loser, it’s just that I don’t think it’s any more of an issue than it is here. Or maybe I don’t hang out around the right families, maybe wealthy important people care.
I remember reading that Paris Hilton lost her inheritance from her grandfather for being… Paris Hilton, but from what I read it wasn’t so much that her grandfather was embarrassed, he just didn’t want his money going to someone who was so clearly going to waste it like a fool. I think this is closer to what Japanese people actually believe.
I usually watch football two times a year- Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Day. I only know the names of the big stars. Since the Chargers are alternately awful or great until they reach the playoffs, I really don’t bother much with my local team even though I, like most of San Diego, was genuinely sad when Junior Seau died, at such a young age and in such sad circumstances.
Anyway, so I’m at best a fair-weather fan and I don’t get how people feel about football- I like watching a player outrun the people trying to tackle him. Or a well executed play. I even like watching a good tackle every now and then. But I don’t like watching people get hurt for my entertainment. And I don’t get this idea of “warrior culture” and how it should enhance my viewing experience.
I’ve been somewhat following this story of Jonathan Martin who quit his team because he was being bullied by a teammate and I like this response.
Because this — this idea that Jonathan Martin is a weakling for seeking emotional help — this is some room-temperature faux-macho alpha-pansy nonsense, and I am here to beat it bloody and leave it on the ground. Every writer who’s spreading this around, directly or by implication; every player who’s reaction-bragging about his own phenomenal hardness; every pundit in a square suit who’s braying about the unwritten code of the locker room — every one of these guys should be ashamed of himself, and that’s it, and it’s not a complicated story.
I don’t get how someone is going to side with his team, or his tormentor. I like the game, but there are things about it I just don’t get.