Recently by Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers: US Embassy Japan + Nuclear Accident = Scandal
One might think that, from the title, this article is the script for some outrageous movie plot ala Rocky Horror Picture Show or even some modern day Japanese horror "splatter" film. But it is not. This is a story about America today. It is the story of a very sick society.
Week before last, I went to the USA to visit my ailing father. He is basically bedridden so he watches the TV constantly. That meant, to spend time with him, I had to sit and watch the TV constantly. Torture!
Oh, how things have changed in the USA over these last few decades and, most assuredly, not for the better.
I went to Jr. high in a town on the west coast. I suppose I went to the typical schools with typical school problems. As a junior high school student, I spent most of my time trying to avoid getting beat up by the jock meathead white kids and the Mexican-American kids.
The white kids generally left me alone because they thought I was white. The Hispanics usually left me alone because they thought I was half-Mexican. I allowed them all to think whatever they wanted as long as it allowed me not to have a bloody nose, bashed up head or getting pounded with any regularity.
I can say that my strategy worked throughout my school years for the most part, pretty well; I don’t recall ever having my butt used as a soccer ball.
The first day at my dad's house, while sitting in front of the TV and watching the local news with him, I struggled to keep my eyes open (it wasn’t just jet-lag either)… Suddenly, the newscaster came on and scowled. He proclaimed, “The trial of the murder of a transsexual jr. high school student in Oxnard that has captured the attention of the entire world… Up next!” Then it was on to a commercial about some processed foods that make American kids fat, sick and stupid.
I sat up. Did I just hear what I thought I heard? I asked my dad. He confirmed that I heard what I thought I had heard. “Transvestite jr. high school student? Murder? Captured the world? What!”
Flabbergasted, I said to my dad, “This country has gone nuts. Besides that, people in this country are so ethnocentric that they think the entire world revolves around what is going on in West Los Angeles. Well, I work in the news in Japan and I have never heard of this story before. So trust that not very many others overseas have either. I certainly doubt that most people around the world know this story (as if, for example, brown-skinned men, women and children in the middle east who have the USA and her NATO allies bombing their houses and killing their brothers and sisters 24/7 don’t already have enough to worry about and would actually care (or even comprehend) a story about some kid shooting another kid who dresses like a woman in Oxnard, California! Absurd!)
But I digress…
For the convenience of dear reader, let me bring you up to speed on this story.
In 2008, at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California, a then 14-year-old student named Lawrence King started showing up for school one day in dressed like a woman. He even did his fingernails in hot pink and wore makeup, women’s accessories and high heels.
Some of the girls at the school have been quoted as saying that Lawrence wore makeup better than they did. Even though the school has a dress code, it wasn’t enforced; teachers and administrators looked the other way.
Lawrence added to the outrageousness of the show by often chasing some of the other boys around the school grounds and making uncalled for sexual advances towards them.
One of the recipients of these regularly occurring unwanted advances was another 14-year-old student at the school named Brandon McInerney. After withstanding repeated advances from King, one day McInerney showed up for school carrying a handgun.
At about 8:30 am, during class study, McInerney stood up and pulled out the handgun and aimed it at King’s head and fired two shots. He then threw the gun down, pulled his hoodie over his head, and walked out of the classroom.
Lawrence King died two days later.
The media has had a field day with this case. They have said King was a 14-year-old gay. They have called the murder a "hate crime" and alleged that McInerney had "White-supremacist leanings" along with the rest of the circus side-show trimmings.
Since that time the case has gone to court and, most recently, a mistrial was declared.
(You can learn more about this case here.)
Intelligent commentators making opinions about this story should have a problem knowing where to even begin; Hate crime? White-supremacist leanings? A 14-year-old boy showing up for school in women’s accessories? 14-year-old gay? Murder? Junior High School!?
Read that last one again: Junior High School?
Utter and sheer madness is what is going on in America today. This news story ran over and over while I was in the USA. It was one of the big stories of the day.
The day after seeing this story for the first time, some of the nurses came over to attend to my father. Once again, the TV was on. Once again, this news story aired.
My father said something stupid like, “They ought to let that kid go! He was teased by the transvestite.”
The lady he lives with made some sort of snide remark about how he is a murderer and must pay.
I tried to hide my face as I rolled my eyes. It reminded me of the great writer Thomas Pynchon’s quote from Gravity’s Rainbow: “Get people asking the wrong questions and you don’t have to worry about the answers.”
The chief nurse, who is married to a Japanese American looked at me and asked me what I thought of all this.
I hesitated to answer. It’s been my experience that, nowadays, it is very difficult to deal with most Americans and it is often best to keep one’s opinions to one’s self. Not all, but many of today’s American’s are quite the opinionated group, especially on subjects they know little about.
Confucius says: “Never argue with a fool, he may be doing the same thing.” And, “The only person to argue with a fool is a bigger fool.” I try to, as much as I can, keep my mouth shut. It usually makes me the most intelligent person in the room. Please refer to the Value of Silence at Meetings.
But, once again, I digress.
The nurse asked me again. I did something stupid. I opened my mouth. I said my opinion. Here’s what it was concerning this mess:
1) Whether or not this boy should be guilty or innocent is, I think, looking at the symptoms of the problem and not the cause of the problem itself. I cannot comment on this one particular case. I do believe that this is a microcosm of a bigger problem. And that problem is that the USA today has become a sick society full of sick people because of big government policies that have eroded societies’ morals and the family structure. It’s amazing how bad things have gotten in the 27 years I’ve been gone.
Years of government programs that put people on the dole have created an entitlement society whereby people all think they deserve something for nothing. Nobody deserves anything and life owes no one anything. Yet, these social welfare plans have destroyed the family system. We have little crime in Japan for many reasons, but one big one is that, in many houses, the grandparents still live with their children and those children’s children. How many households in the USA still have three generations living together in them and learning about responsibility and caring for each other?
2) This has lead to a situation in the USA where people are not wont to examine their own shortcomings and failures and are always interested in other people’s problems and worries. Anyone can watch TV here for one minute and see that. People in the USA should take a cue from Japan and mind their own business.
3) On that note, what difference does it make to you or me whether or not Johnny and Ronnie want to get married? Who cares? It’s not your business or mine if two men or women want to marry. It most certainly is not the business of the government to make laws concerning such either. Are people happy paying such high taxes so that these clowns in government can spend their time legislating what kind of behavior goes on in someone’s house?
And that goes for many other things too. Take abortion, for example. If some woman wants to get an abortion (I like to think no one wants to get an abortion, but some feel a need too) then what business is that of yours and mine? It’s none of our business and none of he business of the central government either. An abortion is the business of that woman and her god and, hopefully, her husband or boyfriend.
Items 1, 2 and 3, above (among other things) have all contributed to make this country a politically correct nightmare that has no common sense and no basis in reality. That brings me to number…
4) This entire affair is a good example of just how nuts the USA has become in these last few years. In the USA, a boy can be expelled from school for wearing a T-shirt that is not flattering to the president, but another boy, in another town, can dress like a woman and tease and harass other boys and not get at least suspended? Don’t these schools have dress codes?
My local friends in the area tell me that there are dress codes, but when it comes to sexuality or morality, school officials are afraid to enforce. But that’s different than the huge problems that arise when kids exercise their freedom of speech rights and make political commentary on T-shirts! In that case, school officials know they must put their foot down! They also know they won’t get sued as America in 2011 is a fascist dream come true.
But a guy dressing like that character named Klinger (the transvestite played by Jamie Farr) in the TV show MASH? No way. He is untouchable. We wouldn’t want to hurt any one’s sensibilities, you know.
I could go on and on about what I see are the problems. But I won’t. I won’t because it doesn’t matter. For America in 2011, the debate is not heard, nor is it even desired.
The people are running around confused and wondering, “What’s happened to our beautiful country?” The power’s that be are satisfied with the situation as it is. When the people spend their time debating the wrong issues and asking the wrong questions, then, you can be sure, that the people will always be getting the wrong answers. And that’s, in a nutshell, what’s wrong with America today.
Finally allow me to show off my skills as a poet with this rendition of an old English favorite about the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers, who is rumored to have highly suspect morals. I have updated it for today’s modern American society:
George Porgie (USA version 2011) George Porgie pudding and pie, Kissed the boys and made them cry, When the boy came back next day, George Porgie lay with two bullet holes in the back of his head
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He is the president of an Internet & Cross Media advertising/marketing agency and a media production company named Universal Vision. He writes about marketing, the Internet and Social Media at the Modern Marketing Japan blog. His book, Schizophrenic in Japan, went on sale in 2005.