Tokyo Damage Report

Look where you’re going, Pokan-chan!!!


Concluding this week’s “SOLVING ALL JAPAN’S PROBLEMS” series.

there are two things I hate about walking here. One is, people walk fucking slowly. Two is, people NEVER look where they are going. Walking and emailing on their cellphone, walking and looking at their friends, walking and PLAYING A GAMEBOY, walking and staring up at the smog, walking as if in a trance, but NEVER walking and looking at any of the million people on the sidewalk going the other way.

At first I thought Japanese just LIKED being overcrowded, and were doing the whole thing to piss me off personally. Then I realized, no, that is dumb. Japanese people hate overcrowding as much as westerners, but they just have a different SOLUTION. They just Tune Everyone Out and pretend they are the only one on the street. Even motherfuckers who are NOT reading manga/ talking on their mobile/ gazing at the sky while walking will totally space out!! Of course, if you Tune Everyone Else out then you pretty much have to walk at a speed of 3 miles/week, or else you will collide with other fools who are doing the same thing. So, you slow down, AND everyone else slows down, and as a result?? IT GETS EVEN MORE OVERCROWDED, YOU BUTTHOLES! And as a result of THAT, everyone just Tunes It Out even MORE…. it is a bloody vicious circle of total retardation!!

It’s like these lightweights think two wrongs make a right. NO THEY DON’T. what if everyone walked at a reasonable speed AND ACTUALLY LOOKED? Is that too hard for you people?? This retarded behavior is very closely tied to ANOTHER only-in-japan phenomenon: the Girls Doing Makeup On The Train. Or the male counterpart, Guys Reading Porn On The Train. Or Kids Wearing Animal Costumes In Public And No One Even Looks At Them. All this, though superficially very modern, is part of the ancient tradition of Being In Your Own Little Fucking World.

And for this, I blame Earthquakes.

See, as people more scholarly than me have noted, japan has lots of them. Earthquakes. And because of this, in medival times, they discovered this : HOUSES FALL DOWN. What do you want falling on your skinny ass? A rock wall or a paper wall? Not exactly rocket science. So for safety, houses was all made with paper walls. The side effect of this, though, is you could pretty much hear EVERY FART from the next room. To say nothing of sex noises. Now, at that point, society as a whole was confronted with an Important Issue; in the name of Quality Sleepy Time, do we impose a total ban on farting and fucking? People who tried that, soon found out that everyone in the whole apartment would get stabby really fast. So they went with the other solution : Pretend You Didn’t Hear It. Again, not exactly rocket science. Even if it is like your brother screwing your boss’s wife, you gotta pretend you did not hear it.

And this is what led to the modern day custom of Being In Your Own Little Fucking World. Because as life expectancy improved and technology allowed totally huge cities to be built, shit got more crowded. As shit became unbearably more crowded, people started taking this Pretend You Didn’t Hear It Rule out of the bedrooms and into the streets. And city officials were like, “Great! People are so fucking docile, we do not have to make public parks or places where people can have actual privacy! Nothing but profitable real estate, woohoo!” and it became a DIFFERENT vicious circle. Unlike other major countries, there is no place in Japan’s big cities to Take A Break. If you need to relax and have some private time, there is no fucking infrastructure. So people do their private thing out in the trains, or on the sidewalk.

Maybe if the 500B.C. japanese had known how FUCKING IRRITATING it was to walk behind some asshole who is moving at a snail’s pace while playing videogames on his mobilephone and blocking the whole sidewalk, . . . maybe they would have risked the fucking rock walls!!

In their defense, Japanese would say, "Well, we don’t object to these behaviors because we are more polite than your dumb violent country. Fuck Bush." To which I would respond, "No, actually taking the trouble to LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING is polite. Ignoring the rudeness people in front of you do to you, while you do rude shit to the people behind you is called PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE. and also, Fuck Bush." Anyone who still thinks the Japanese are polite or even efficient has never seen kids blocking the turnstile at a crowded trainstation because they are saying goodbye to their friends for 10 minutes. the key to ALL this bullshit behavior is this: NO EYE CONTACT. if you cut someone off while looking at them, then you are (even to japanese) a バカヤロ; an asshole. but if you do the SAME THING while pretending you did not see them, then both parties save face. even though clearly you DID see them peripherally -otherwise you would have run into them!! i would not be surprised if even bank robbers avoid eye contact here. "yes, i just HAPPENED to have a gun, and just HAPPENED to walk away with all the money somehow, but i SWEAR i had NO IDEA this was a BANK! i was on my keitai the whole time, i must have been distracted." "oh, ok then, just don’t do it again."

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  1. […] the group and they become the most alienated people on earth.  I’m going to quote from a rant I posted back in 2005, “An only-in-Japan phenomenon: the Girls Doing Makeup On The Train. Or the male counterpart, […]

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