Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Politics at the bus stop


When placed in a foreign land, at first the cultural and political landscape appears rather impermeable. One must follow the mindset of the people to understand their chosen avenue of expression, but this can be daunting without a guide. Navigating the world of Japanese society is a path fraught with difficulties, so I will explicate this particular instance of protest speech for the uninitiated.

This young man makes a rather cogent argument in t-shirt form, suggesting that it is the "public" that hates minorities, for "human" are relieved to "exist in majority." It is this characteristic of humanity writ large that makes them "such weak life." The sheer size of "PUBLIC" serves as a cry out against the immolating forces of conformity, and the desperation expressed in the final statement, "human is such weak life", should be viewed as embodied in the bold type itself. Taken as a whole, the shirt serves to both shock and inform, and performs admirably in both respects.

One only wonders, however, if this young man has anything to offer to this discussion besides criticism, and whether his cynicism might actually alienate others and contribute to the problem rather than allieviate it.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

one also wonders, however, if he understands the words he is so proudly wearing.

Luke said...

This is not really in question; there is no way in hell he does.

Ryan Baker said...

Not to overlook the inherent humor in Japanese people wearing socially critiquing t-shirts written in bold print and hacked english, but in terms of self-reflection your last statement about whether he has anything to offer sans criticism and is most likely contributing to the problem seems entirely too much like most of your views about things you don't like, i.e. religion and oblivious people with poor common sense.

(P.S. Next time you come back if you could bring me one of those shirts that would be friggin' sweet)