Thursday, November 16, 2006

God Hates Trailer Parks and The Media Hates Americans

So I just finished looking at and their big story is that a tornado ripped up a trailer park on the East Coast. That means two things: A)Its a slow news day. B)God Really Does Hate Trailer Parks. It really does seem that every tornado seems to hit a trailer park. Why? I wonder if its because there are a high frequency of them within the tornado belt and the odds are just better or what the deal is exactly? Its just odd.

As to the other part of my title to this post, I was watching one of the videos that my company puts out for us to play in class as a warm-up to the lesson and on most of the videos have a segment where the characters magically travel to the United States to see what life is like there. These segments make me cringe. In all of them, its like the guys making the video found the weirdest, ugliest people they could find and interviewed them and fed them canned lines for the interview. I smell conspiracy. What I think actually happened is my company had a secret meeting and decided it was best for Japanese kids not to want to travel to America so they used weirdos in the videos to scare them away from our portion of the North American continent. For example, in one segment they go to LA and interview public bus drivers in the city. Okay, we all know that most bus drivers tend to be on the peculiar side. Now factor in the LA part and you have some really creepy looking molester types speaking to Japanese children. Some of the guys didn't want to be interviewed and it kind of showed. Overall, in that segment, the guys came off as slightly creepy jerks. In the segment I watched today, somehow the camera crew winded up in the backyard of a family doing yard work. The father was "mowing the grass" with an old school motor-less push mower from the 50's and the yard was much too big for a push mower. Not to mention, very few push mowers are used anymore so what is the relevance in showing it to these kids? My only answer would be that the old fashioned mowers would be quieter and not drown out the dialogue as much, too bad the dialogue sucked.

The mom was down in the garden by the house planting flowers. This is not a bad thing and Americans do indeed plant flowers sometimes but this lady was scary looking. She was pretty large and it looked like she wanted to eat her daughter who was helping her out. Admittedly, Americans are getting to be on the pudgy side but man, they could have picked another person to play mom in this instance. She frightened me.

Americans in the news here seem to come off as very odd creatures. I think I know why and we, as Americans do it to ourselves. The media in American knows that the only thing that sells ads and attracts viewers is violence, death, and tragedy. Therefore, that is pretty much all you see in mainstream media. Fox News covers wars and CNN covers scandals and disasters. Local newspapers print what is fed to them by the AP and Reuters and then fill in the good space of the papers with local tragedies. Good things are relegated to smaller sections in out of the way places within the publication. In Japan, if there is something in America the Japanese feel like talking about, they usually rip the feed from CNN or Fox and dub over the English. This means that all the Japanese, and probably the rest of the world for that matter, hear about Americans is bad. That kind of makes me sad.

I know Americans are loud and obnoxious. I know that usually, we make very poor tourists. And I can't help but to be reminded everyday that our President is somewhat of a special needs child. But deep down, I know we're not all are monstrously fat, creepy, violence driven, molester types; I just wish the rest of the world saw that.

I may be a bigger guy but I am not huge, other than that, I do not think I am a typical American. I try to be very nice and outgoing and I try not to be super loud and obnoxious. The loud part is hard for me though, I have one of those voices that carries. I have had people tell me I am one of the nicest, more intelligent Americans they had ever me met and that makes me happy. I do try to set a good example and represent for my country. However, I refuse to tell people I am Canadian like some Americans I know here do. If people are going to give me crap for being American then screw them, I will let them see the aggressive side of American culture that they always hear about.

Anywho, just thought I would rant a bit. On another note, one of my kids threw the coolest tantrum I have ever witnessed a child throw. She is a three year old girl named, Honon and she is one of the cutest kids that I teach. She is adorable and has a very funny personality to match the size of her chipmunk cheeks. Now having said that, this kid has a temper and the weirdest things set her off. Yesterday, she was building a tower out of blocks with me. I can always make these really big towers by balancing the blocks and she loves to see how high I can make them. My all-time record for highest tower made from single one inch thick by several inches tall blocks stacked end to end is just over five feet, by the way. Anywho, she was getting frustrated that she could not make a tower as tall as the ones that I was building. She would put a block up and then another and it would tip over. With each tower, she grew more and more angry and I kept letting her build because I wanted to see what she was going to do. After a few towers, each time one fell she whimpered a little bit. Pretty soon, I had to sit her in my lap to calm her down. I was finding all of this entertaining, as were the rest of the students who are older than Honon. Finally, after a series of failed towers she let out a scream, stood up from my lap, picked up the basket of blocks, dumped all of them out on the floor, threw the plastic basket, and then seeing that the blocks were not scattered as far as she would have liked, kicked the pile of them to make sure that her trail of destruction spread far and wide. The coolest part of the fit was the look in her eyes. This was not an infantile spat in which she lost control of her temper, she had control and knew exactly what she was doing throughout each segment of her outburst. She was calculating all of it behind those squinty brown eyes of hers and you could just see that her mind was screaming, "Screw this, screw these damned blocks, and screw you all for laughing at me". To her dismay, I could not help but to laugh out loud at the mess she had created; it was just too funny. Little scenes like that make me never want kids, while at the same time making me wish I had a couple of my own.

Children are just odd and wondrous creatures.


At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah a lot of people put Americans in stereo types and all. I got a question after reading the thing I felt kind of confused. Like are you American living in Japan? Or do you half blood or something? Because when I read it, it feels like your telling the story from both sides.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Mogwai said...

I am an American living in Japan. Not a mix, just a big white guy kicking around the sticks in the middle of the island. My degree is in Japanese history so I know quite a bit about their culture and can relate to some of their feelings toward Westerners.

Anywho, thanks for reading! I am not sure who you are or where you found me from but the more readers the merrier.


At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Steph said...

"And I can't help but to be reminded everyday that our President is somewhat of a special needs child."

thanks, choked on my coffee after
that. Any coverage in Japan on the US elections last week? I was amazed to find how much it was all over the news in Europe, even the local stations in smaller towns.

Re: Hononzilla, I so want kids for those very reasons. I laugh the whole time, it's the way their little mouths scrunch up and their fists clench.

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous tony's mom said...

Hey, I'm fat! I plant veggies and roses and my neighbor has a push mower for enviromental reasons. Sometimes I want to eat little kids becasue they are so cute! Sometimes I hate little kids that are brats. So,what are you going to do about it? Huh,huh,huh? LOL

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loud, big, and a bad tourist?

Yep, I resemble those remarks. Aren't stereotypes great when they're true?? ;)


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