Mar 11, 2014

A Freezing Winter in Temporary Housing

This is the third of March 11th since the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Although many programs about the earthquake are broadcasted on TV, I can’t stand watching them well, because I am too upset. I could watch them before, but recently I can’t.

The disasters which hit victims of the earthquake were so overwhelming and tragic that I couldn't understand what really happened well. I used to watch TV programs about them, as if they were somebody else’s problems and a kind of myth.

I have seen the scene how the great tsunami went over a seaside town again and again, but I can’t still understand my feelings toward this scene.

In my entry “The J. G. Ballard's World” in March 12th, 2011, I wrote, “I can understand what happens in my head, but I can't accept that it is real in my heart. I'm living in the surreal world now.”

It is very cold this winter.

There are many victims who are still living in temporary housing. I really imagine how hard a freezing cold winter in such temporary housing is. It is not a huge tragedy, but a real hardship.

I deeply wish that they would move to their own houses before the next winter.

Feb 13, 2014

The End of the Good Old New York Yankees: An Impression of Derek Jeter’s Announcement of His Retirement at the End of This Season

Early this morning, I found Derek Jeter’s announcement of his retirement at the end of this season on his Facebook page. I knew that this day would come soon, but it is completely different between what I expected to be and what it actually comes to be.

I wrote about my love for the New York Yankees in the 1990’s in the entry “Goodbye My Good Old Yankees.”

The Yankees in the 1990’s was the most brilliant team that I have ever seen, so I was really happy to watch their games. Now I can clearly remember how Paul O'Neill, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter played in the Yankees Stadium at that time.

Of course, Captain Jeter is great, but young Jeter was more impressive for me.

In the twenty-first century, it was a bit sour to be a Yankees fan, because I had to watch the old good Yankees collapsing. Paul, Bernie, Andy and Jorge retired one by one. Although the Yankees bought expensive players instead of them, they were not the old good Yankees at all.

In the last season, Mariano was gone from the field, and in this season, Derek, the last old good Yankee, finally will step out. At the end of this season, I will also stop being a Yankees fan.

A farewell to Captain and the old good Yankees.

PS

Masahiro Tanaka MUST take Captain to the world series!

Feb 4, 2014

Reality Is Cruel: An Impression of Super Bowl XLVII

The football season is over.

I had believed that this season must have been Peyton Manning’s one, but in the end that didn’t happened.

Seattle Seahawks completely beat Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Seattle Seahawks didn’t allow Peyton Manning and the other members of Denver Broncos do what they planned at all. Everybody, including Seattle Seahawks themselves, didn’t expect this big win over Broncos.

Peyton Manning is one of the legendary quarterbacks. He used to play as a member of Indianapolis Colts and he won Super Bowl in 2007. But in 2011, he got neck surgeries, and Colts believed that he couldn’t play as well as before, so they kicked him out.

In 2012, he got signed on with Denver Broncos and he brought his team to the playoffs. This season, the 37-year-old Peyton Manning achieved the best performance in his life and got the regular season MVP.

I dreamed that Peyton Manning would win the Super Bowl title at the end of this season and it make his big comeback perfect.

But reality is cruel.

Seattle Seahawks literary destroyed Denver Broncos and my dream.

It is really painful for me to imagine how this defeat hurt Peyton Manning’s heart.

Jan 20, 2014

Al-Qaeda as “Bandits”

I’ve read the book Eric Hobsbawm “Bandits,” again.

In this book he wrote about the history of “Bandits” around the world. He insisted that groups that were called “bandits” appeared in the age between the demise of tribal societies and the formation of modern capitalized society.

He described the phenomenon “bandits” as follows.
Social banditry of this kind is one of the most universal social phenomena known to history, and one of the most amazingly uniform.

… this uniformity is not the consequence of cultural diffusion, but the reflection of similar situations within peasant societies, whether in China, Peru, Sicily, the Ukraine, or Indonesia.

… Socially it seems to occur in all types of human society which lie between the evolutionary phase of tribal and kinship organization, and modern capitalist and industrial society, but including the phases of disintegrating kinship society and transition to agrarian capitalism.

At the other end of historic development, modern agrarian systems, both capitalist and post-capitalist, are no longer those of traditional peasant society and cease to produce social bandits

… In a broader sense ‘modernization’, that is to say the combination of economic development, efficient communications and public administration, deprives any kind of banditry, including the social, of the conditions under which it flourishes.
When I read this passage, I was reminded of Al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda has two faces. The first is the globalized organization using the Internet to instigate terrorism, and the second is the aggregation of small groups revolving in remote areas, such as the tribal area in Pakistan and the mountain area in Afghanistan.

The second face of Al-Qaeda has many features in common with “bandits,” which Eric Hobsbawm focused on. His study showed that “bandits” couldn’t be wiped out by officials but they disappeared through losing their social and economic basis. In fact, Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan is surviving even though the U.S. Army attacked them using their modern weapons.

It might be more efficient to eliminate Al-Qaeda through realizing “the combination of economic development, efficient communications and public administration” in these areas.

Although I don’t know well about the progress of the study about “bandits,” it must be quite important to deal with Al-Qaeda, especially, the study about “bandits” in the globalization and the Internet age.



Jan 15, 2014

I Found Spring Coming in Cold Winter

Last weekend, it was really cold but sunny, so I took an hour walk to Mejiro-teien, which is a small Japanese garden.

Since I got started on Instagram last year, I have been enjoying taking photos. The sunny day was good for taking clear photos with my iPhone 4S.

When I arrived at Mejiro-teien, I couldn’t find anything to take a photo with. There were no flowers blooming and no leaves on the trees.

After I looked carefully at some details, I found a bunch of small buds on branches. I zoomed in on the buds as closely as possible to capture the vitality, which was condensed in them.



Spring was coming even in cold winter.

"If winter come, can spring be far behind."