Object of Derision
Sunday. I heard something on local radio recently that put these weird off the wall Japanese television “police procedural's” (I guess you'd call them) that normally begin the series of Japanese language programs I've been watching (with some effort) on Saturday nights. They're very simplistic, as if they were written for children and used as an educational tool to convince them they should trust their local sheriff. And there's nothing wrong with that, we do it here (Dragnet and a thousand others come to mind), and as a middle class white guy raised on these things I wouldn't think a minute about being pulled over by the local sheriff walking toward me with his hand near his firearm. African American friends have mentioned without going into detail a middle class black guy would be significantly more careful under the same circumstances .
What I heard on the radio and what I had not understood is that well over ninety-nine percent of all arrests made in Japan lead to convictions and when they arrest you there's very little messiness about giving you access to a lawyer or working you over for a few months to extract a confession, a confession in Japan evidently considered in their culture a bed rock proof of guilt no matter the means used in extracting it. Nothing run by humans is ninety-nine percent accurate and they obviously put a great number of innocent people behind bars, the Japanese police force evidently a remnant of an old Imperial Japan where government officials pretty much did as they wished with the populace.
So that explains for me some curious aspects of these programs. For all the bowing and scraping and “we serve the people” wailing, there were still scenes that seemed off kilter, the police interrogations depicted leading to a “confession” didn't quite make sense given the “we're servants of the people” tone of these programs and I'm sure the Japanese viewers know this to their core and watch these programs with a different appreciation of what's happening. Strange, but interesting; otherwise I'd not, I suspect, be watching.
Overcast, this morning, the weather forecast partly cloudy today, the chance of showers tomorrow, the high sixty degrees, the low fifty-two. Miserable winter weather out here, my friends, I'm sure you're sympathetic.
Puerile little man.
Some things you just never outgrow. The traffic sucks, the place is expensive, but the weather is nice and George Bush is a universal object of derision.