|Parent to child at the library:||Shhh...remember what we said about being loud in the library?|
|Child:||We'll wake up the books.|
Ok kids, listen up. I’m about to explain to you, to the best of my ability, why there are 40,000 people protesting in Tokyo’s Nagata-cho as I type this, why it matters, and why you should be talking about it, too.
What Started This Protest?
The short answer —> Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a round-about way of changing Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which basically states that Japan will never go to war ever again. This constitution was written by US officials in Japan after WW2 and is actually more balanced than America’s own constitution in certain ways (there is equal pay for women, for example). There have been various Nationalist (think Japanese Tea Party-esque displays) public demonstrations supporting Japan having the ability to go to war again- usually subtly, or not so subtly, naming out potential foes such as China and Korea. But none of that compares to what’s going on right now in Nagatacho AGAINST any changes to Article 9. Last Sunday, a man sat himself on top of a bridge in Shinjuku, protested the changes, and then set himself on fire over all this.
(The man survived. He’s now being sued by the government for damage to public property)
The long, complicated answer —> Japan has had problems with its top government officials for nearly 10 years now. After a long string of PMs resigning, Abe (who was originally one of those resigning PMs) was reelected and has stayed in power this time the longest in the past several years. Until this issue with Article 9 came about, the biggest issue was the Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still hemorrhaging radioactive water to the point where workers have temporarily given up trying to stop it and recently told everyone that they were now ‘purposefully’ dumping contaminated water into the pacific ocean (although now the current plan is to create an “ice wall” - yes “ice wall”- around the affected ground water in an attempt to stop it. Somehow). TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), who owns the plant and has been responsible for the cleanup, has failed repeatedly to do their job and has consistently rejected outside international help for reasons, at this point, that can only be attributed to hurt national pride.
At the beginning of this year, Abe’s administration passed a ‘State Secrets’ law which forbade any publishing of Japanese ‘state secrets’ which conveniently included anything to do with nuclear sciences (this would included Fukushima). Not only is this bill extremely vague, leaving it open for the government to essentially call anything they want a state secret, but as I recall, about three days after this was passed, the news was suddenly reporting that all was well at the nuclear plant.
At the end of LAST year, Abe announced that he purchased some battleships- specifically aircraft carriers- that had actually been seen floating off the coast of different parts of Japan up to a month before they were publicly announced. On a personal note, I have seen those ships, and last month I saw one other as well floating off my local waters. Below is a picture I was able to grab while on the train:
While the state secrets law riled up academic circles who claimed that the government had just eliminated the right to free speech, it didn’t gain a lot of news coverage and eventually faded away. It might be worth noting here, too, that NHK (Japan’s BBC, essentially) is chaired by government officials- some of whom Abe seems to have personally appointed.
With the state secrets law now in place, which has limited what one has to assume are more ‘negative’ stories and updates about the Fukushima nuclear plant issue (which its admitted failure by the government would oblige Abe to step down as prime minister), we’re brought to the main course- significantly altering/reinterpreting/removing Article 9 of the Japanese constitution:"The Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution Chapter ii. Renunciation of War Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."
Now, Japan DOES have what is essentially a National Guard, which participates in non-combat efforts in both their own country and abroad, so Japan is not totally helpless here- they’re just confined to their own borders when it comes to personally rolling out ammunition (which happens whenever North Korea makes a missile threat where the path of the missile is supposed to go over Japan- the US military assists in this temporary defense bubble whenever it has to go up).
What Abe wants to do, however, is “reinterpret” this article in a way that allows Japan to expand and use their military like any other respectable country does. That seems fairly reasonable, right? Except that Abe’s chosen route to accomplish this goal is to go around the Democratic process, ignoring the public’s opinions, and holding what are basically closed-door votes amongst a group of people who are already on his side, instead of, say, passing an actual constitutional amendment instead. This has made people angry- people that might agree with having the military restored are angry because of how shadily it’s being done, and people who *don’t* agree are angry because they don’t want Japan to go back to war and they *don’t* like Abe’s tactics.
Then there’s the potential US angle to all this. Paranoia over China seems to have gotten so high that there’s the rather strong theory going around that it was actually the US behind the state secrets bill getting passed and that it’s the US again behind trying to restore military rights to Japan. While that seems like a giant big ball of irony and contradictions, this handy image popped up on Twitter:
(I’m so sorry- there’s such a rush of info going on right now that I’m not sure where this diagram came from but it makes a point.)
China, as many of you may know, has been relentlessly heckling neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, and The Philipenes over who has rights over tiny islands (some of them literally just rocks jutting out of the sea) that nobody lives on. Even the largest of these islands (Japan was particularly riled up over an island it has dubbed “Takeshima”) are uninhabited except for wild goats. Japan has unfortunately taken the bait over what has been a magnificently farcical dispute and decided to engage China over these useless islands.
At the height of the Takeshima dispute, NHK took to telling you the weather for the island with the regular forecasts (remember- nobody there but wild goats), and airing documentaries about the occasional Tokugawa-era fishermen who used to camp out for the day to fish there before going home again. One of these, which I caught, consisted of nothing but old guys sitting around talking while background footage perpetually looped showing nothing but these goats frolicking around on the rocky terrain of the island. That one went on for at least an hour. It was, in a word, ridiculous. So while China has even started going so far as trying to “reinforce” its claims and even “create” new islands by dumping sand in the ocean, Japan hasn’t exactly been mature about the situation either.
(“Stop war!” “Protect Peace!”)
Basically, guys……I could go on, but it would probably just end up going in one big circle. Maybe I’ve not presented this the best way possible, and I truly do apologize for that, but hopefully this has helped to explain a few things. What I will say, though, is that after everything I’ve mentioned above, things have piled up so badly and so messily that for at least the second night in a row, 10,000, and now reports say around 40,000 people have taken to protesting outside government offices in Tokyo, and other smaller demonstrations have taken place in at least Osaka and Nagasaki as well. They’re fed up, they’re chanting for Shinzo Abe to leave Article 9 alone and to resign. They’re calling him a facist. They’re mocking him with Nazi symbols.
Japan- today’s Japanese- which is a people of almost bottomless patience and calm and who will go out of their way so that you never have to feel awkward or uncomfortable about anything- these people are out there and they’re fed up. They’re doing these things which are radical for them because they don’t want this to happen. And the media here is in such an iron grip that the guy who set himself on fire on Sunday in Shibuya and these protestors are lucky to get even a brief mention on the nightly news. 40,000+ people out there. And they need more people to spread the word.
ALL PROTEST IMAGES (**EXCEPT for the individual being carted off by police- that one came from a friend who does not wish to be named) USED WITH PERMISSION AND BELONG TO @KjeldDuits AND @asianskys ON TWITTER. These two people are on the ground posting live updates so go follow them for more info and even more pictures.
＊＊＊＊UPDATE POST 9/27/14 :: >CLICK HERE<
wolfsheadwolfsheart said: I would just like you to know that you have single handedly drug me back into a fandom that I haven't participated in in years and years, but I just love your fic so much. I have Journey of the Whills open both on my home computer and my work computer and I may or may not have stayed up until four this morning reading...
Hurray! That is amazeballs. Welcome back! :D
I think you need to start a body count of those of us you’ve pulled back into the Star Wars fandom. *wry grin*
Hands up if I’ve corrupted you!
Tim Walker’s Pastel Cats
"A lot of people get confused when they see this image. They think it was done by computer, but we actually took pigment powder, mixed it with talc to get the right ice-cream pastel colours, and brushed it into the cats.
The owners were two proud members of the Persian cat club. I can’t remember how I found them, but they turned up in a van, covered in cat fur, and stood breathing down my neck as I took the picture. We were worried about putting all that powder into the animals’ fur, but they said, ‘Oh no, they absolutely love it.’ The cats were such vain creatures - they adored being touched and pampered.
We didn’t really think about which cats, or how many, should be done in which colours. We just did each one, and then they had to go back into their cat beds in the owners’ van. I think I lost count of how many were pink and how many were blue, but when we were finished they all came out and looked great together. There wasn’t enough light to do the picture indoors - but, by a fluke, all the cats seemed to gravitate to this clematis at the bottom of some steps. I didn’t arrange them. This is just what the cats did, and they all pretty much stayed where they were throughout. So it’s actually quite a naturalistic portrait - apart from the colour.
At the time, in May 1998, I had no idea how the picture would resonate with people. But it has been the image I’ve been asked about the most. For some reason, people are just fascinated with it - more than any model, house or celebrity I’ve ever shot. Everyone wants to know about the pastel cats.” -Tim Walker
Interview by Leo Benedictus
When women were campaigning for the right to vote, they’d go on hunger strikes.
And what the police would do would be to grab them up, tie them to a chair, and ram a feeding tube down their throat. The clamps and tubes they used tore up the womens’ mouths. Sometimes the tube would go into the woman’s lungs. Then the woman might die of pneumonia. After women dying in jail became distasteful, they’d let the ill women go for a short period to recuperate in the community, then come and arrest them again.
Also suffragette protestors were beaten. Viciously. By the police. There’s all these pictures of smiling suffragettes having parades— they were risking their lives, some of them died. The police would come and beat them and sexually assault them. There aren’t many pictures of that, the newspapers wouldn’t run them, or the local government wouldn’t let them.
They also chained themselves to shit, they set buildings on fire and smashed in windows, they followed politicians around shouting abuse, this one british woman threw herself under king george’s horse to be a martyr—they were violent. They were met with violence and they replied with violence. And a lot of them died.
Then black women had to fight the same fucking fight all over again.
Early evening Thursday posting because tomorrow may be insane.
(And frankly, cleaning crews are going to have to come BACK to my basement to deal with yet more oil, so I could use some cheering up via the screams of agonized readers.)
Congratulations, here’s one of them.
Dear fucking force, that was more than I was expecting.
From Ladies Who Read More Than I Do
The last time I tried to pick up a book from one of my favored genres (those being sci-fi, fantasy, noir, and historical fiction [with an emphasis on the sci-fi]) I was just totally underwhelmed by all the male protagonists and trite book jacket summaries.
SO I NEED HELP!!!!
need cravewant more than anything is a scif-fi noir novel with a lady protagonist. Or any original sci-fi novel with a lady protagonist. Or a noir novel with a lady protagonist. Or a fantasy novel… Well, you get the idea.
WHAT HAVE YOU READ THAT YOU LOVE??? I HAVEN’T FINISHED A NEW BOOK IN OVER TWO YEARS AND I SORT OF HATE MYSELF FOR IT! HELP MEEEEEE!!!!
These are kinda old, but I’m going for female protagonist where the book focuses on her. Most of these are gonna have a romantic subplot, but none as the main plot.
- Nimisha’s Ship by Anne McCaffrey, pretty much standalone novel who’s main protagonist is a spaceship designer and builder, who inherited the shipyard from her father, who specifically taught her skills. Orig. published in ‘98, it stood up to a recent re-read.
- Freedom’s Landing and its sequels, also by Anne McCaffrey, featuring a protagonist who is part of humanity displaced/enslaved when aliens invade Earth. The aliens do a Botany Bay with a soon to be colony - plans are made to re-invade that planet after the slaves have made a good way into colonizing; their piece of humanity starts making plans so that doesn’t happen. She isn’t the leader, but her input is valued based on her own actions, and the focus of the book is on what happens to her. (The original short story that this came from, however, is INCREDIBLY problematic. Avoid it.)
- Five Hundred Kingdoms series, starting with The Fairy Godmother, by Mercedes Lackey; a world where narrativium and story can dictate the path of your life, and the problems that arise when you don’t fit right. Energy needs to go somewhere, after all. Series books are pretty much standalone, but characters can reappear in later books.
- Beekeeper’s Apprentice and sequels, by Laurie King; Sherlock Holmes, retired to the country to raise bees, ends up training a teenager in sleuthing. First book is set in the midst of WWI, and she’s a bluestocking.
If you’re willing to read comics? My best friend has been raving about the new Ms. Marvel.
The Histoire de Curbes, Pulp Fashion Week Show(lle-de-France, France)
it’s nice to see people who look more like me on my dash.
I love to see the celebration of all women’s bodies.
This is VERY important
Tons of self-confidence here. The lingerie is pretty, the self-confidence is sexy.
I kinda wanna cosplay Shadow Girl E-Ko.
You still have your black morphsuit, right? If you don’t, I know where mine is, and I’m pretty certain we bought the same size.
Its horrible that we live in a world where this is happening
What do you know, FIRST TWO RESULTS:
Also, you google good Barbara Baker and her title? Top ten results are also debunkings and reposting of this shit. Not to anything detailing her.
The three pieces of advice aren’t bad. But dressing it up with a bullshit story? That’s been debunked SINCE THE SIXTIES?
I am tired of this bullshit.
Some of you are reblogging because you think its funny that programmers would talk to ducks. I’m reblogging because I think its funny picturing a programmer explaining their code, realizing what they did when they explain the bad code, then grabbing the strangling the duck while yelling “WHY WAS THE FIX THAT SIMPLE!? AM I GOING BLIND!”
AS A PROGRAMMER I CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU FUCKING DO WE HAD TO BAN THE DUCKS FROM MY CLASSES BECAUSE EVERYONE WOULD FLIP THE DUCK OR THROW IT AT A WALL OR SOMETHING WHEN THEY FIGURED OUT THE PROBLEM IN THEIR CODE
so that’s the function of a rubber duck
Oh. My. God.
NOW we know why Beast Wars Megatron is the most competent Megatron.
HE HAD A RUBBER DUCK TO EXPLAIN HIS EVIL PLANS TO.
Like the Evil Overlord List’s five-year-old child, except it doesn’t splatter all over the place when a transformer throws it across the room.
It gets better—the guy is deaf, and he taught his cat the sign for “food.” So the cat’s not just saying “put that in my mouth,” it’s actually signing
Not only that, but if you notice at the beginning, the cat *gets the man’s attention* as any person who wanted to talk to a deaf/hoh individual would (well, and vice versa IME). I’ve done sign since I was 5, and generally, w/o eye contact initially, you wave a hand or lightly touch the arm (if that’s ok with the person you’re trying to converse with, of course).
Generally, adult cats meow mostly to humans, but this cat has figured out that’s not going to work and has adapted. Animal companions! They are INCREDIBLE.
EVERYONE STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LOOK AT THIS CAT.
So I went to the Cincinnati Oktoberfest. For those outside the tristate area here… Cincinnati takes its German roots seriously.
Here’s what I had to drink and eat and see. Click the pics to see captions detailing what it actually was.
(As for the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest… I have no fucking clue.)
Why isn’t anyone talking about this?