SCHIZO-ALIAS

Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

A Few Comments on the Situation in Japan.

I’ve been keeping up with news coverage on the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and now nuclear crisis since it happened, pretty much from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep.

Things have been normal out where I live, in the Western part of Japan’s main island. I’ve been going to work, and the students have been coming to school. I was in Kobe on Sunday and everything seemed normal, with the exception of people standing on street corners asking for donations to help the victims of this disaster.

While humor in the light of a dark moment can be good, there are some things that are simply not okay.

For one, anyone who says this crisis was “payback for Pearl Harbor” are uneducated and just outright ignorant. Uneducated because obviously you weren’t paying attention in history class when your teacher was telling you about the a-bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. You also weren’t paying attention to any incident occurring in the U.S. (ex. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina) in which Japan helped US out. Ignorant because obviously not all citizens of Japan were responsible for what a few military officials decided to do. You guys are the same idiots who think that all Muslims are tied to terrorism.

Next, with that douchebag writer from Family Guy, Gilbert Gottfried and that rapper who isn’t worth the two U.S. quarters in his name. How about instead of making jokes, you actually donate some money to help out? By the way, none of those jokes were funny; not only because this is a huge tragedy we’re talking about, but also because they weren’t clever in the least.

I’m watch TV and see Japanese people talking to the camera, asking for contact from their families and friends, looking for people who are still missing, and grieving. Smiles and laughter are good, but not when they are at the cost of someone’s loss or tragic misfortune. Have a heart–think about how you would feel if you were in this situation. I’m not saying be depressed 24/7 either. But making fun of tragedy is tasteless, childish (though even children would be more mature than that) and insensitive.

Next, for the scores of people overseas who are either worried about getting overseas radiation or about people living in other areas of Japan. Take the time to read this note that someone named Paul Atkinson wrote on Facebook about the current situation. In short, even in the WORST case scenario, the radiation is highly unlikely to spread as far as areas like China, California, and India. In fact, even Tokyo is not quite at risk as people make it out to be (though I completely understand evacuating that area for safety measures). Iodine pills in California is just plain ridiculous. It’s kind of sad how hysterical people will get about what they hear, instead of seeking more information about the facts of the situation. I understand the concern, but asking people who live all the way in Western Japan to come home is not necessary. Demanding exchange students to come home is one thing, but cancelling study abroad programs not happening for another several weeks is not necessary.

My own parents are concerned about me and have been contacting me frequently, but I am happy that they are actually listening to what I have to say and that they aren’t demanding that I come home because of something that just happens to be in the same country. Japan is small, but it is not microscopic. A disaster of Chernobyl proportions (which this is NOT) would prompt me to leave. But not this.

This “come home, U.S. is safer than Japan” attitude irks me a bit. I know that those who were living in the eastern region have made a perfectly fine choice by going home to the U.S. temporarily. But rest assured that other regions of Japan are okay, and should someone make the decision to relocate to the west instead of going home, please respect their choice and continue to support them. We are not ignorant to the situation. In fact, I’m sure a lot of us living in Japan is probably researching the news even more than you are. I have been doing so from dawn until dusk (except for when I’m teaching classes of course) and that is why I feel assured about my own safety.

Those of you in Cali, if you just bought a ton of potassium iodide supplements, you have wasted your time and money. Or while you’re at it, you can go ahead and put plastic wrap and duct tape on your windows and doorcracks to seal yourself inside the house, free of radiation and eventually free of oxygen 🙂

Last thing I’ll say is, if you care about the situation and want Eastern Japan to get back on its feet quickly, donate some money at http://www.redcross.org/ or http://www.globalgiving.org/.

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