Well, this question (or rather series of questions) weren’t submitted directly as “What”s up Loco?” questions but after reading them I felt it warranted entry and a thorough explanation.
So, question(s)#3 is from Kallisti, and it is as follows:
Uuhhh… A little surprised by the use of that particular video, I’m thinking “Wait a minute, is that..?” I can’t tell if this is some kind of joke or visual hyperbole. I know the point you’re trying to get across with the WikiLeaks video, and you’re obviously in pain, but come on. These are people who spent hundreds of hours to decrypt a highly top secret video, only to be used in this fashion? I can’t help but feel this use is outrageous poor taste, almost laughable.
An obvious vent sure, but geez, I’m no longer even thinking about the vent, my mind is filled with images of those two poor children in the truck, the men on the ground trying to save those who’d just been fired upon, innocent civilians laying dead in the streets, needlessly I just, what? Why? Why sully a perfectly good rant with this? Why sully such an important piece of history? You’re like a wounded animal lashing out, clearly.
Or perhaps it’s more like the Japanese are boys with sticks and you are the ant hill? You’re angry, I guess I just can’t understand taking it this far, because it’s really not worth feeding those emotions. I too have to wonder why someone would continue to stay in such a hostile environment, I read this blog because I don’t know how I’d justify it to myself. I don’t think I could. To be in such a state of mind clearly can’t be good for you, and I’m sure this isn’t the first time, is there a drive to fight it out? To try and change the minds of those around you? Have you really been shaped for the better? In what way does staying in that sort of environment benefit you? How does it feel knowing this won’t be the last of it? Do you get together face to face with other foreigners who are having to deal with similar issues or are you mostly alone? Is writing really going to help you keep things together or is this going to continue to eat away at you? I’m guessing it’s a little to do with not wanting to let the bastards win, perhaps, but jesus man, look at what it’s doing to you. 😐
Thanks Kallisti for your question(s).
You might be right. I don’t rant often (at least I don’t feel like I’m ranting often) so I’m a little out of practice and may have gone a bit too far.
But, I gotta ask you: how much experience do you have with hate?
If none, then I can understand the difficulty you might be having with how I can compare my feelings with those of the soldiers in that helicopter (mind you, while they still believed they were shooting Iraqis hostiles…not after they realized their grave error…btw. Don’t get it twisted!) That was why I used the video. Not to illustrate my willingness to kill innocent bystanders and children. I mean I’d feel like shit if I took out some Koreans or Chinese (or my girlfriend or basketball buddies or my kids at school) that might be among the little shits I was hating the other day by mistake. In my rant scenario, that is.
Now, to your questions, because I thought they were really poignant ones that others may share.
A- Is there a drive to fight it out, to try and change the minds of those around you?
You said you read my blog so you know I have many friends and co-workers I adore and who adore me. You also know I love my kids and my job (most of the time, though I could use some more money). In fact, my kids are my fight to change the minds of those around me. I mean, changing the minds of adults is almost a waste of time. they’re either open to new ideas or they aren’t. You know that like I know that. And, if their minds are open then there isn’t much fight to be driven. And, by open mind, here, I mean open to the concept of people not of Japanese descent being capable of feeling, thinking and living peaceably among them. I have open minded friends, so I know they’re out there. They’re just not in the majority in my experience (and this is true wherever you go, including NYC, so where the hell would I escape to? Where is this place where I don’t have to see the ignorance of the masses on the daily basis? Here the ignorance just happens to race-related, but back home there’s a whole different set of issues that just as infuriating and inescapable. I mean, geez, THE TEA PARTY!!! ) Anyway, did I answer that question? Think I did.
B-Have you been shaped for the better?
Hard to say. Jury’s still out on that one. I mean, on my self-assessment report card, I’d give myself an A for effort, B+ for increased patience and tolerance (you wouldn’t believe how much more patient I am than I used to be. Like a different person…kinda.), B+ for adaptability, A for perseverance, A for turning my challenges here into something creative and productive, C for restraint from the use of violence / physical assault against transgressors (had a few slip ups)…I don’t know. I could be doing better but I ain’t failing. I’ve grown more worldly, wiser slightly…I hate words like better.
Readers have I been shaped for the better? What do you guys think?
C-In what way does staying in that sort of environment benefit you?
Well if this book deal comes through I’ll give you an answer with a cherry on top, but for now I’ll just say it has lit a fire under my ass, or rather fueled the flickering dying birthday candle of a flame I came here with. I’m writing more now than I ever have in my entire life. Higher quantity and higher quality, as well, and I believe this environment has contributed directly to it. Life here is like kerosene for the soul and I’m a towering inferno now. And having fun, too.
D- How does it feel knowing this won’t be the last of it?
It sucks! I know you weren’t asking rhetorically. You just don’t get it. I got you. Ok, how about this: Remember in America when blacks moved from the South to the North because those crackers in the south were lynching people like crazy and there were more jobs and opportunities up North? There was still racism, though. Now instead of some rednecks lynching you, now you had cops beating your ass to death in the streets…still do. Damn, what’s my point? Ummm…it never ends for blacks…or for anybody for that matter. It only ends when you end it. How I respond to these challenges is my challenge, not finding some place where the challenges don’t exist, because I know for a fact (or at least I believe) that that place doesn’t exist. Can you feel me? I hope so.
Besides, I got my girl, and she’s allllll that and bag of Doritos. And did I mention my writing? (see question C for what this place has meant to my writing thus far), and basketball on the weekends with my boys, and…damn, I already said that too didn’t I?
E-Do you get together face to face with other foreigners who are having to deal with similar issues or are you mostly alone?
No you didn’t!!Gonna have to refer you to my first series, 10 ways NOT to go loco up in this piece, cuz rule number 6 is’ Avoid Gaijin!!!! At all cost! They suck. I’m serious. They really do. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. My boy, for example. He’s Chinese, married to a J-woman, happy, business owner…we’re going drinking tomorrow night. We kick it weekly. Play ball every weekend. Talk B-ball, talk these kinds of issues among other things, whatever. My other boy, black guy from DC, cool as fuck. we kick it, too. Play pool, talk smack, talk issues, whatever. Point is, I ain’t lonely for conversation, and I got SKYPE if I need a dose of home cooking. Besides I think I ran my mouth enough years before coming here to last me two lifetimes. Time to put my money where my mouth is (or something like that…you know what I mean. Time to be productive and creative and use my gifts as the Creator intended. I’m talking about writing…not socializing for the sake of socializing…)
F-Is writing really going to help you keep things together or is this going to continue to eat away at you?D-
Ooooh easy question. Answer: YES! It has and will continue to(not eat away at me but help me keep it together) god willing! Otherwise, hell, I’ll let it eat away. If I can produce something great and cherishable, something that will immortalize me and keep people reading Loco forever, something that will inspire generations to come and perhaps have some impact on forging that world that you and I don’t live in, but where the kind of shit I wrote about yesterday doesn’t exist?
Shit, temporary insanity or a partially digested soul is a small price to pay, I think. I mean, Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books and considered one of the greatest books ever written. And we all know J.D. Salinger had some serious issues. Not to mention Holden Caulfield.
Thanks for your questions Kallisti and please don’t let my video choice drive you away. I really like readers who ask questions and aren’t afraid to call me on shit. You know? Ask Chris! That boy will pull my coat in a second and say,”Loco, get your head out your ass and get back in the game!” That’s why I love the guy!
I could love you, too… (-; Loco ain’t got nothing but love (unless you’re Japanese…just joking) lol
And that’s what’s up!
PS’: Follow Loco!