Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Fucking Christmas

I’m about to take this opportunity to ruminate on some things I hate about Japan. If you can’t handle some intense negativity, I suggest you skip this one because I’m in a really negative place right now, and even things that didn’t used to bother me much are becoming really grating. For example, I’m so fucking sick of seeing dorky white guys with cute Japanese girlfriends. I hate the smug sense of self-satisfaction on their faces as they chatter in some kind of pidgin English-Japanese with their terrible accents learned solely from anime and making out: “Tabenai, Yuko? Pizza ga suki?”

And those girls wearing giant puffy coats with shorts up to their asscheeks. It’s freaking cold, man. Put on some pants. I get it, though, they don’t have boobs and they have to show something, and they also have nerve damage from years of wearing school uniforms that expose their bare legs to the elements. But they should at least have the good sense to not look amazed and ask me if I’m cold if I happen to be wearing something short-sleeved under my coat.

At the moment, my major point of irritation is the fact that I live in a society that works six days a week and shops on the seventh. On Sunday, traffic is impossible anywhere near a shopping center. And it’s especially bad now because it’s Christmas, and television tells them they should be buying stuff for some reason. Not gifts for your family or anything, just general consumerism. I don’t get Christmas here. Everywhere you go, there are Christmas lights and creepy Santa dolls, Christmas carols playing on the radio, employees wearing Santa hats, but it’s completely meaningless. I’m not a religious person, and I don’t mind that they don’t know that the day is supposed to commemorate the birth of Christ. Honestly, I’m a cynical piece of shit, and I kind of dislike Christmas. I can’t get into the cheesy songs, the rampant clichés, the terrible television. So much about Christmas inspires so much crap. Of course, there’s the BUY THINGS! BUY THINGS NOW! spirit that’s also kind of sickening. But all of the Christmas stuff that goes on in America at least is in anticipation of the one day that we spend with our families, and exchange hopefully thoughtful gifts. In Japan, it’s not in anticipation of anything. Most people aren’t even sure what day it is, but when it happens, they may or may not eat cake. I’ve also heard it’s a popular date holiday, like Valentine’s Day, but I’ve never met anyone around here who observes it like that, and some of them aren’t even familiar with that way of celebrating it at all. They’re obsessed with Christmas around here, with no substance to back it up, just because they think all the things I find cheesy and obnoxious are fun.

Before you peg me as a total hater, I should tell you that I love Thanksgiving. I like the idea of being with your family and eating good food. I’m also a firm believer in being good to people, no matter what time of year it is. That’s why it kind of bugs me that people think they need Christmas as an excuse to be nice. Just be nice. I know the stress and the consumer frenzy often bring out the worst in people, but at least there’s the idea that you should be nice. In Japan, I don’t think that idea is there. You should buy things, because there’s a sale, but I don’t think you give them to people. I never thought I would find myself actually missing the spirit behind Christmas, but damn. They take all the shit and garbage of Christmas, puke it out over the shopping centers, and ignore the nice bits like not laying people off right before the holidays. Happy Santa Tree to you too, assholes.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, you need to come home!
There's gorgeous glittering snow and ice all over the trees here (overlooking the snapped-off limbs), and an eight-foot Frazier fur just went up in our living room yesterday, suffusing the house with its aroma of evergreen dying. Yes, there are lots of shoppers out, but we've avoided them so far. It's going to be a fairly small and non-commercial Christmas for us here, save a little bit of schmaltzy interior decoration. Looking forward to seeing you! Please let me know what you'd like.
Love,
Dad

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about Thanksgiving. Especially since coming to France where everyone's like, what the fuck is up with this random holiday? What do you need it for? They try to come up with inaccurate ways to figure it out or box it in, like, oh it's religious, or oh it's being commercialized too, whereas in my mind it's becoming better and better in contrast to Christmas.

Things are swamped on weekends here too. The center of town is filled with the little stalls that make up the Christmas market (a German/Alsacien cultural import) which is nice but it's really hard to walk through there without wanting to hurt someone. But it is nice that on Sundays in December, stores are actually open. Even if it's hard to move in them.

-Eileen

3:01 AM  
Blogger GLE said...

I think the dorky white guys with hot girlfriends would annoy me the most.

I've been pretty good at avoiding christmas stuff. I did such a good job of avoiding it that I missed it and played christmas carols on the juke box for a few hous when I was working yesterday.

But damn, I can't WAIT for some turkey.

5:12 AM  
Blogger BilabialBoxing said...

Let's hating Japan!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Claytonian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Claytonian said...

Be honest: First paragraph about me? Pizza ga suki?

9:35 AM  
Blogger archipelagic said...

Haha, Clay. You are a dorky white guy, but no, the first paragraph isn't about you. It was actually brought on by observing some random people. Also, you don't have a girlfriend. But when you did, you were surprisingly non-smug around her.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Claytonian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Claytonian said...

I am indeed white and dorky; I have the caricature to prove it.

11:20 AM  
Blogger janamarie said...

hysterical.

here on sado the gaijin have a name for those white guys (who also usually have greasy hair and stubble on their flabby multiple chins) - we call 'em Schloe-moe. When they're not creaming their pants over the fact that they can (and do) tell everyone they know that they *live in Japan*, they're arrogantly ordering their lovely girlfriends about - which the girlfriends put up with. WHY??

9:12 AM  
Blogger AzzidisRidden said...

I was re-reading this, and I had a comment, but it got a little long.

http://genzaik.blogspot.com/

10:48 AM  

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