Daze of Infamy

Ordinary Americans respond to the tragic events in Japan last week via Facebook… An assortment of nasty comments extracted from Pharyngula as read by Geffel, a crusty ex-pat Brit (now an American citizen) living in San Francisco.

It never occurred to me that so many Americans could possibly harbour (no pun intended) such a deep level of resentment over a despicable military event that happened long before most of them were even born and then express their sentiments of hateful retribution and karmic vengeance in such a vile manner with respect to a natural disaster visited on the Japanese people 70 years later.

Yet another example, I’m afraid, of the dark side of the vaunted “social media” whereby every malicious twatwaffle and anonymous crackpot with an Internet connection can freely dump whatever toxic sewage happens to be polluting the nether regions of their amygdale at any given moment into the stream of public discourse.

Advertisements

17 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Wingnuts

17 responses to “Daze of Infamy

  1. …such a deep level of resentment over a despicable military event that happened long before most of them were even born…

    Huh? Are you referring to Pearl Harbor? If so, what was “despicable” about it (pace FDR’s pandering nonsense about the day “living in infamy”)? It was a perfectly legitimate prosecution of pre-emptive warfare, of the kind later perfected by America’s own neo-cons (and practiced by U.S. administrations long before Dubya’s, of course). As a humanitarian bonus, the attack was confined to military targets and was thus conducted with a discipline to which the U.S. has never even aspired, much less attained.

    The United States had imposed a crushing oil embargo upon Japan—and had thus effectively committed an act of war—long before the attack. Anchoring virtually their entire Pacific Fleet within striking range of Japanese aircraft was just racist arrogance (“Those yellow midgets ain’t gonna dare to touch us!”) wrapped up in imperialist hubris of Biblical proportions. Are Yanks some sore losers? You betcha!

    What was despicable was incinerating a second Japanese city before giving the Emperor a chance to surrender following the incineration of the first city, merely to show the Russians who was boss. Nevertheless, the cowards who crewed the Enola Gay were fêted as heroes. Champagne all ‘round, while tens of thousands of Japanese women and children were either mercifully vaporized or crawled to slow, excruciating deaths, merely in order to function as symbols.

    Now, about the vile commentary, one is reminded of the small handfuls of Arabs (lovingly broadcast by Fox News et al.) who danced in the streets after 9/11. Clueless Yanks woundedly asked, “Why do they hate us?”. They clearly don’t listen to themselves—which is odd, as they so love to hear themselves talk.

  2. Not surprising. Disappointing certainly, but not surprising.

    I had an interesting debate with an American in an Airport Bar on Super Bowl Sunday; I provacatively issued that I had not watched the Super Bowl in twenty-odd years (true) and that the reason for this was because I eschewed the hype and cultural overplay that has detracted from the virtue of the game (for games’ sake).

    All he could counter with was the fact that the Game generates billions in revenue – so my critique was baseless as the consumer had obviously spoken. So there you have it (yet again): if enough people want & “buy” it must obviously be good in of, and on its own.

    $’s generated = Virtue.

    Perverse.

  3. Love the Pharyngula blog. Should be required reading for the non-science-oriented.

    However, my experience with Americans is such that I suspect the negative social media comments are in the minority.

  4. jkg

    One of the commenters asked “where were the Japanese during Katrina?” I am really beginning to be more disciplined in my media consumption and my time in front of the computer because if I ever attained that level of ignorance, I would formally ask someone to prevent me from voting prior to my downward spiral. There is absolutely no good that can come from those dark depths of that sort of primal mind.

  5. I eschewed the hype and cultural overplay that has detracted from the virtue of the game…

    Yeah, it’s really sad that the spectacle of two over-paid gangs of steroidal simians moving an inflated piece of plastic, slowly, down a dandified pasture whilst attempting to inflict concussions on each other has been robbed of its inherent dignity. 😉

    Still, it’ll take me a while to decide whether the words “debate”, “American”, “Airport Bar”, and “Super Bowl Sunday” could ever appear together in a sentence describing something that has happened to me or could ever happen to me.

  6. One of the commenters asked “where were the Japanese during Katrina?”

    …being clearly unaware that the obvious answer, “Taking its cue from the American government by sitting on its ass and watching poor black folk drown”, in no way negates America’s moral obligation and self-interested motivation to help an energetic, competent, and concerned Japanese administration contain this disaster, the impact of which on the American economy may prove to be dire indeed, as Japan is America’s largest creditor.

    …if I ever attained that level of ignorance, I would formally ask someone to prevent me from voting…

    In a perfect world, perhaps. In our world, if you ever attained that level of ignorance, you would run for president—or, at minimum, graciously accept an invitation to fill the vice-presidential slot on a ticket headed by an incipiently senile Republican crank.

  7. SF:

    I guess I’m a little more proletarian than you … !

  8. ATY:

    Are the roads in your neighbourhood paved? Can you drink your tap water without having to boil it for fifteen minutes? Yes? Then you’re not more proletarian than me.

    Mind you, I do have a royal ancestor. Independent genealogical research places him three generations up from Mitochondrial Eve.

  9. pearl harbor?! oh, you’ve been trolled.

    yes, i know: what’s the differernce?

    KEvron

  10. Tea Party patriot

    It never occurred to me that so many Americans could possibly harbour……….

    Martin, how many American’s are you talking about here out of the 330 million in the country?

    Are you trying to label all Americans based on a few loons you don’t like or know?

    Martin, you are a piece of garbage.

    What the fuck does this have to do with Canada.

    I’m telling you bud that there are Americans with Canadian citizenship that would love nothing more than to watch you suffer.

    You are a piece of garbage.

    No wonder your wife left you, you rat.

  11. jkg

    I’m telling you bud that there are Americans with Canadian citizenship that would love nothing more than to watch you suffer.

    The irony of expressing puerile, melodramatic, and malicious intent on a blog posting, highlighting the dark side of internet media as it results in the expression of malevolence is most certainly lost on you. It is clear he was talking about how internet anonymity and the mere electronic environment can even compel a subset of people, be it Americans, Canadians, or otherwise, to express the most primal of proclivities. It is not hard to find many examples on the internet, and this is but one of many examples. But obviously, you were just looking for any pretext to troll much less express some misplaced frustration, which incidentally proved Red’s point.

  12. The Tea Party represents the scum of America.

    I guess I am a troll now ?

  13. I guess I am a troll now?

    There is not the slightest reason to assume KEvron was speaking of you, ATY. His sentence was marred by a vague pronoun reference and an ambiguous use of the passive voice, two stylistic enormities that cloud the clarity of blog commenting quite often—shockingly often, to be frank.

  14. “There is not the slightest reason to assume KEvron was speaking of you, ATY.”

    but i’d be willing pretend i was, if he’d prefer. no, i wasn’t even refering to his side of the argument. that is to say, “wtf?!”

    either catfish was a dark comedy, or i’ve become irreparably jaded….

    KEvron

  15. SF: Thank you for setting the record straight and rebuking me for describing the Japanese military attack on Pearl Harbour as “despicable”… You’re entirely right, of course, as I well know, but I felt it necessary to make that concession to the conventional historical narrative in this instance as I didn’t want to get sidetracked at the outset into a whole other debate that would detract from the main point I was attempting to make about the surprisingly vile nature of the commentary prompted by this tragic event – even if one views the attack on Pearl Harbour 70 years ago as being a “despicable” thing.

  16. ATY: The Tea Party represents the scum of America. I guess I am a troll now ?

    Or an ex-fundraiser for NPR. 😉

  17. TofKW

    The only real reason that Americans consider Pearl Harbor as a despicable act was because the bombing began without a formal declaration of war, thus it is viewed as a sneak attack. If I remember correctly, the Japanese delivered it 2 hours after their campaign began.

    However as Sir Francis pointed out, the hostilities began because the Americans invoked a naval blockade to prevent any oil tankers from entering Japan, and that in itself constitutes an act of war.

    Also, for those who missed great movies like “Tora, Tora, Tora”, the late Japanese deliverance of the declaration of war was a grave mistake on their part. They were trying to follow the old Samurai tradition of never attacking an enemy while they sleep, instead they kick them out of bed first and promptly slay them while still disoriented. The declaration of war was planned to be delivered a half-hour before the raid began.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s