Dialogue in the Workplace

“Gee whiz, Dave, you sure do look worried today. What seems to be troubling you?”

“Well, Joe, it’s just that I’m growing concerned that Bob isn’t taking his responsibilities as an auditor seriously.”

“Hmmm… Well, that is a pickle there, Dave. I guess all I can tell you is that we all have had similar concerns regarding Bob. Just know that, like feelings of love, your concerns will probably pass with time.”

“Thanks, Joe. I feel a bit better just knowing that you’ve acknowledged my concerns. I feel perceived and valued.”

“I’m glad I could help, Dave. That’s what I’m here for. Well, that, and watching out for Bob!”

Dave and Joe laugh heartily together. Having bonded over a shared workplace trouble, their dialogue is in no way a waste of company time or resources, so long as they don’t linger too long after the laughter subsides.

Babies of all Ages

One fun thing about babies is that all of their babbling and nonsense is entirely purposeful. They believe wholeheartedly that they have something important to say and are expressing it clearly; that the remote control truly belongs in the trash. They have important work to do.

Sadly, people rarely lose this perception of themselves, although some people do actually develop the faculties to communicate, think, and act effectively.

Many don’t, however. Like babies, these folks stumble on through life convinced they make sense and are doing important work.

Only now they can drive and own guns and stuff. Sometimes they run countries.

Random Historical Thought

The Allies did not win World War II.

Now, before you get all cunty about that, take a second and think. Sure they fought the motherfucker and beat the Axis. The Allies had the victory without a doubt. But at what cost? They didn’t win shit.

You know who won?

Switzerland.

The Swiss got the Jewish wealth of Europe piped right to them. All that money and gold taken from genocide, straight into their coffers. Scot free.

Not a shot fired.

Inverse-Dysmorphia and North Americans

My post last week about my Japanese student’s observation that most white people are the shape of Doraemon, the Japanese Garfield, got me thinking about something I noticed a while back while I was visiting my original home of Canada.

As someone who’s lived in Japan for over ten years now, I’ve found that most North Americans are suffering from a kind of inverse-dysmorphia. It is not like dysmorphia, such as anorexia, where they think they have a body flaw when they don’t, but rather that they think they are far less flawed than they are. Particularly in terms of weight.

Normal people are thought of as skinny; chubby people think they are normal; fat people think they are chubby; and obese people might, at a stretch, admit that they are fat. And the morbidly obese are now afflicted by a disability completely beyond their control

I observed this phenomenon at a big barbecue. One woman said to another, “No, I won’t have any cake, I’m trying to lose a few pounds.” Another woman responded with, “Oh, don’t worry about it, you’re just a little chubby.”

In looking the two women over, and everyone else there, I could not help but think:

“No, you aint chubby. The both of you are fat. Everyone here is fat. Ya’ll are real fat.”

Now, don’t get me wrong: I was and am fat too. So I wasn’t going to say anything and upset the whole delusional scene everyone had set up for themselves. But at least I know where I’m at.

And if I were to say anything, the most reasonable response to my observation probably would have been something like:

“Oh, but you’re just used to living in Japan were everyone’s too skinny. It’s not healthy being that skinny.”

No. Just, no.

The way people look in Japan is the way humans are supposed to look. Check out the family photo albums of your oldsters if you don’t believe me. People were not all shaped like balloon animals back in the day.

It is not like there’s some inherent racial reason that Japanese people in Japan are thin this way, either. I recall when my father was visiting us in Japan a few years ago, I was waiting for him to arrive in Narita airport. His plane was late, so I was watching other planes’ passengers coming through the arrival doors. Lots and lots of Asians, from all over Asia. All normal shaped. Then, a load came through the doors: about half East Asians, twenty percent South Asians, and thirty percent white people. Almost everyone was fat.

“Ah,” I said to myself, “this is the flight from Vancouver.”

Sure enough, it was my father’s flight. He’s also really fat, by the way.

I make all these observations not to be mean. It is simply a curious thing that North American society has collectively slipped into this mode of thinking that willfully ignores what is healthy for what is comfortable and comforting.

You can move the goalposts on what is normal, or beautiful, or natural, all you want. This will not change human physiology. Being obese is unhealthy. It leads to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and physical infirmity. It is also a major comorbitity in corona virus deaths.

Suit yourselves. Everyone has the right to abuse themselves in whatever manner they want. I do! But I’m not kidding myself about what I am. And it couldn’t hurt to pull our perceptions out of our bubbles once a while and find out how we and our culture are perceived by others once in a while, could it? Particularly when, in many people’s cases, their bubbles are delusional and killing them.

Just an observation.

Education

Me, reading or watching educational content:

“Huh, that’s interesting” or “Hmm, that seems fishy, I should check that out.”

Inevitable comment on the content:

“WHY THE FUCK WASN’T I MADE AWARE OF THIS IN SCHOOL?!!!”

For fuck sakes, get a grip, youngster. While I have no doubt that your education system has failed you, it is not the world’s responsibility to make you aware of every single piece of information and trivia by the time you’re old enough to get online to comment on stuff.

I know it must come as a terrible shock to many people, but there’s a lot of stuff in the world that we, as individuals, don’t know.

Just how entitled do you have to be to get angry at the world, society, or your teachers when you discover that you didn’t know something? It suggests you generally believe that you know everything.

Which, come to think of it, rather explains the state of America these days.

White People’s Gift

Tonight in one of my English conversation classes (here in Japan), we were discussing eating habits and weight gain. One of my students proclaimed that it’s okay to get fat; especially for white people.

“Most white people look Doraemon shape,” she said. (Doraemon pictured below for reference.)

“But,” she went on, “it’s okay. It’s a gift!”

What? Really? What do you mean?

“It is! it’s a gift! Their organs are so strong! They can eat so much bread and get so fat, and it’s okay! They are still alive! If Japanese people get so fat, most of us will die.

“White people’s organs are so strong! They can drink so much, drug so much, and get so fat, but still they are alive! It’s a gift!”

Well, lady, when you put it that way, I guess you’re right. White people certainly do appear to be quite gifted in that way these days.