Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shedding the Vestiges of Democracy

[Enenews]: Atlantic: Japan in Uproar Over Censorship of Emperor’s Anti-Nuclear Speech — “Seemed to suggest that the nuclear crisis is not over” — Left out of all major evening news programs (VIDEO)

The Enenews headline came from an Atlantic article: "Japan in Uproar Over Censorship of Emperor's Anti-Nuclear Speech"

[Majia here] One has to read the Atlantic article, but the main point is that the Emperor of Japan acknowledged in a specific passage of his public communication that the Fukushima plant crisis remains out of control and that the contaminated areas are too dangerous for people to inhabit safely.

This passage in the Emperor's speech was delivered in an indirect manner but, nonetheless, was censored by the Japanese media. 

The Atlantic article analyzes the speech's nuances. It was authored by a Japanese producer, film maker and media personality, Michael McAteer, who inhabits Japan and New York.

McAteer explains the significance of the Emperor's remarks in the context of the Japanese tradition of understatement and he stresses the cultural significance of media censorship of the Fukushima passage.

From McAteer's analysis we come to understand that Japan is in full lock-down mode.

So easily does Japan shed its vestiges of democracy?

Michael McAteer has written also on Japanese punk music's resistance to the Fukushima crisis.

I love punk, but this band about which McAteer writes, the Frying Dutchman, is something else; it is incredible! One must watch the video for at least 4 minutes.

Frying Dutchman's song "Human Error" is part philosophy, part theology, and part pure performance.

I think it offers many truths.

However, I diverge from the song's lyrics in that I don't think we fell from grace. 

I think Frying Dutchman has too much faith in our origins myths: I don't believe there ever was a Garden of Eden.

Rather, I contend that a (scaled down) garden of Eden is what we are promised if we can learn to live in harmony with one another and our environment.

So, we should not be looking backwards, but instead need to be looking forward at what we need to fix quickly before it is too late to ensure our long-term survival.

Unfortunately, the story of the censorship of the Japanese Emperor indicates that we are simply unable to confront openly the perils we have produced because our governments and powerful institutions are so corrupted by greed and self-serving ends.
The denial of truth about a disaster of Fukushima's scale produces a literal and figurative cancer at the heart of society because it is a lie that demands ceaseless others, and each one further destroys our semblances of democracy.

1 comment:

  1. I would say Japan’s politically powerless emperor is more a vestige of the old monarchy than any democratic institution (like a free press, etc.) and I would also say that the Atlantic article might do more harm than good to the anti-nuke argument. Attempting to relate a story about public perceptions of “censorship” that have eroded the public’s trust in the media, The Atlantic commits the exact same offense.
    In laying the foundation of the article, the author claims the Japanese PM “never mentioned the nuclear crisis” when in fact he did. The webpage of the PM (http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/noda/statement/201203/11sikiji_e.html) includes a transcript of the speech he made that day stating: “The fight against the nuclear accident is continuing.”
    It would seem the censorship sword cuts both ways and two wrongs just don’t add up to a right. The Atlantic has done some fine work on exposing some of the hidden stories behind the leaking nuclear containment vessels in Fukushima but I'm afraid the article you cite here has more holes than a sieve and the last thing we need now is another leaky vessel.
    Much thanks for your insights on this blog and for giving me the space to express my opinion/rant my frustration.


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