Factoids in the Political Realm
Today, looking back at recent events in the west. My mind is filled with a deep hope that the Labour party lead by Jeremy Corbyn can usurp the evil leadership of the Conservative party. If they achieve this it could give millions of people in America some more inspiration to unify and collaborate to get rid of Trump from the helm of their government. What has struck me recently has been how those in power have distorted the truth to maintain and enhance their control. Recent nefarious practices, such as the abuse of data can be seen to have bought the British democracy. Undermining it by equipping the propaganda machines of the right with enough information about voters, so that they could feed the population facts that distort the truth. The noun for this type of information is a ‘factoid’ a piece of information repeated so many times that it starts to attain the appearance of the truth. This has already caused a catastrophe of epic proportions. Brexit is entirely a construct and conclusion of the power plays within the conservative government. The decision to leave the European Union was engineered in this space of greed, self-interest, and the cult of money. David Cameron, Boris Johnson, George Osborne, and the likes of Nigel Farage have all lived with such luxury and distributed such views. That, I hope eventually their unethical actions come back to haunt them through the rest of their existence – these people that made the UK poorer.
From oligopolies lobbying to Members of Parliament expense claiming. You might try and compassionately reason and suggest, ‘Perhaps, if I was in such a situation, if I was offered the chance to claim for money – by just showing ones receipts. Then maybe I would do the same.’ This hints at one of the biggest factoids the legitimisation of entitlement, of ownership. We are not supposed to inherit rights, rather we are meant to be born with them. But, under the Neo-liberalist project that gained steam since it was fuelled by the socially damaging governments of Thatcher and Reagan. Our rights have suddenly become surplus to requirements. Trump’s idiocy, ineptness, and overall hideousness shows clearly how those with vast wealth simply do not care about the majority. It does not matter if we destroy the planet… or, if you literally remove the rights of those with different appearance or belief. What matters to Trump is business and his ability to exercise control through profit. The inability of democracy to not completely safeguard itself from corruption does not have to be it’s downfall if we are more aware of it. Team Trump’s use of factoids to give the orange haired child in the room confidence in his own bloated existence and his repertoire of lies. The attack on decency and the visual explosion of hate from the masses towards the ‘other’ (itself a potential factoid?). The murderous Murdoch mafia’s desperate attempt to slur the honorable socialist Corbyn, and disrupt free speech with it’s rank drivel should also be snuffed out. How do we stop people like Robert Mercer and his company of Cambridge Analytica?
Let’s hope Trump is impeached, and Corbyn’s Labour is elected. Then perhaps certain Factoids: climate change is a myth, profit is not a filthy world, market competition drives progress, and capitalism will last forever can be made to match the facts they are enhanced from? In the future how do we keep the two separate, a fact from it’s potential steroids?
Muriness: a Japanese word that I created!
Not completely unrelated to the above, yet certainly detached is an event that brought me great personal joy. Recently, my job in Tokyo has been rather debilitating. The reason for this is because I am an English teacher in a conversation school in Japan. So yes, of course, in my lessons I do not speak Japanese because I do desire the Asian people I see weekly to learn my language, and have been working hard to achieve this. Since I started two years ago my company has expected me to abide by certain rules – to a large extent I have out of respect for the opportunity to work and experience living in a different country. Yet, in the last couple of months I have come to realise just how unhealthy this strict regime I am forced to maintain is. This is okay, I only have two more months of work here, but one of the saddest, most negative things that will stay with me is my own inability to have adapted myself to the environment of Tokyo. This means that rather than fluency, I speak a broken Japanese that stays somewhat too simple. This frustrates me because I am a social person, I do enjoy spending time with people, and up until very recently I deeply desired to speak a second language fluently. This is still too vague… let me describe in more detail how I have felt working full time in Tokyo. 3 days a week I finish work at about 10:00 pm, I leave the school at around this time. Adding this to the commute via train I arrive home towards 11 at night. This does not leave much time to relax and spend time with my housemates. Or, even prepare a wholesome meal.
Anyway, this post is not about ungratefully bitching on the company that gave me my first full time job. Although, I am frustrated and annoyed at how I have been treated – and the behaviours I have forced to perform. Notice how I am not naming the company this is out of respect for those I work with both fellow foreigners and local Japanese friends. Who have helped me enjoy my time here… What I want to share with you today is the Japanese word I created to describe this frustration and anger I suddenly felt toward the type of capitalism that exists here in the biggest city in the world. The word is Muriness, a hybrid between the Japanese Muri (impossible) and the English ‘ness’ (quality of) so you can use it to describe a feeling/sense/quality of impossibility. So, what in my experiences living in Japan could be seen to have Muriness? Let us go through some examples. The Japanese language itself is a huge language – if you are good at singing then you might find this language easier to speak. You pronounce absolutely everything there are no unvoiced syllables. It’s written form is slightly more challenging, but if you have time, desire, and commitment you can do it. For me the muriness of acquiring Japanese as a second language is it’s formal context specific qualities. These things stand in sharp contrast to my mother tongue. I find myself not being able to express myself both accurately and creatively enough when I try and communicate in Japanese.
The Japanese government is also in contention for being labelled as having muriness. This is due to prime minister Abe’s support of Trump and the administrations conservatism that is very much a perspective in favour of a nationalistic past. Contrasting with the image of modern Japan as a passive, peaceful, and welcoming country. One normal encounter with Muriness, that every normal individual or salary-man/woman regularly encounters is the experience of rush hour traveling on the hundreds of trains. Sometimes the train is so full you literally have no space to move. Discovering, or contemplating the “meaning” of existence I would also say has a potential for Muriness because this assumes the importance of meaning. I would like to imagine that one day this bizzare little creation will enter the Japanese lexicon and be used by Japanese people in conversations in both Japanese and English. For now, I am content that I made something that allows me to describe how I feel having existed in a far eastern capital city. Please… Japanese readers please use this… when you feel like something is impossible, but do not know if it is actually impossible.