More microaggressive airlines

Remember microaggression? I wish I didn’t, but once again it rears its ugly head in the airline world, and this time it is Air Canada who put the boot in. I get on the plane from Narita to Vancouver, and the air waitress says "Welcome home!"

To compound the issue, the Japanese person in the seat beside is watching a movie featuring a Japanese person with an afro!

The in-flight beer (Molson) is nice and cold, however, so I think I’ll forgive them this time.

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98 Comments.

  1. @iago:

    Had to look at the link (it’s like a road accident) and saw this above from “curious”, lamenting his sad life as a way-too-close to the stereotype of the aging eikaiwa loser to believe is true, especially this:

    “Each and every day I walked from my home to the school, I got sour looks from over half of the elderly passerby’s. As if they were smelling something foul. Several of my neighbours were quick to distrust me, though there were a few kind ones. The police were also visiting me with regularity, asking many questions and always prying for personal details to write down in their books.”

    Either this guy is trolling debito, lying to get attention, or insane.
    Or maybe it’s all true and there are some serious lies of omission going on. Maybe he gets those looks because he dresses worse than a homeless guy (can happen quite easily here if you’ve stopped giving a shit), and the police questioning him all the time? WTF?! Is he an ex-con? I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a claim of regular visits and questioning from J cops from any sad sack gaijin.

    Though “curious” gives us a big hint with this

    “Could it be that we are NOT imagining things? Could it be that this site is one place where we can trade stories to help convince ourselves that being socially ostracized is NOT completely our own fault?”

    Take out that first big “NOT” and it’s spot on, or least spares him from debito’s replies.

    But seriously, trolling like this is not helpful. Too many on that side take it seriously. And then semi-legit journalists take it seriously, and then we’ll see “innocent foreigners are often subject to regular questioning in their homes by Japanese police” written in a Kyung Lah article someday.

    But of course the evidence that the whole comment is bullshit is just too plain to see. An experienced English-teaching professional would surely know that it’s “passersby” not “passerby’s” . Jeez. :lol:

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  2. This HAS to be trolling, surely:

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  3. This HAS to be trolling, surely:

    “You can state that your kids aren’t harmed by living in Japan ad infinitum, but I find that highly odd, since almost all (if not all) Japanese are in some way harmed by living in Japan. I mean, by having to subsume their individual identities in some group identity and having to be educated in Japan, both of which have clear negative results.”

    I mean, surely nobody ACTUALLY believes this?

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  4. @Taurus:

    Some people really do. It’s the liberal version of Arudism: to feel sorry for the harm “Japan” unavoidably does to its own people. I mean, look at the tragedy of Japanese education, compared to the titans of the US and UK.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading

    (I know these tables aren’t perfect, but I do feel like smacking some people round the face with them when they talk as if there’s some kind of ongoing educational holocaust in Japanese schools.)

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  5. @Taurus:
    I won’t automatically dismiss it as satire because, I’m ashamed to say, I could well have said the same thing during one of my more negative moods back when I was a FOB eikaiwa instructor.

    I’d lived my whole 23 years in the US and I was obviously fine (in fact, students were routinely telling me how much they admired me, so naturally I was a model to be emulated in all respects, right?), therefore anything in Japan that didn’t square with my wealth of worldly experience was plainly wrong and needed to be changed (or at least pointed and laughed at).

    Most of the time, I was enjoying living here to much to sink too far into the mindset of that quote, but I probably said something like it at least once while grumping into my beer with other eikaiwas after a hard 20-hour work week.

    To actually keep thinking this way after living here for more than a few years (or vice-versa) seems pretty unlikely, but I’m sure we’ve all seen some sad-sack old-timer in a dead-end job moaning about how everything here sucks, like they expect a reward for having suffered so long with what the rest of us figured out and adapted to ages ago.

    Or it could be they don’t even live here, and just like parroting the Wanklyns and Kyung Lahs of the world.

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  6. @Sublight

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions about English teachers. They are an infestation and a major stumbling block to real, hard-working immigrants being taken into the folds of Mother Japan.

    A lot of good, honest Japanese have confided in me that they find English teachers spoiled, selfish children, raping the fruits of the tree, and that they are only tolerated because of the unfortunate belief that Japanese people need to learn the blistered tongue to succeed in the world.

    A lot of the so-called marginalized people on debito.org are Eikaiwa schlumps in ill-fitting clothes or long term trolls, and the fact they both are easily as believable as the other is only an indication of the gutter that we now find our selves all sleeping in.

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  7. @iLikeDolphins:

    Right.

    But the problem, for me, with what you post here is that you provide for the same level of inane characterizations and churlish stereotyping as those you mock. In between your attempts to position yourself as something “other” than the “others” you so despise, as a regular guy doing blue collar work, you might want to reflect on how nerdy and schlumpish your online identity is.

    If you took out all the bullshit that you use in an attempt to entertain with your trolling, you might actually engender some more entertaining discourse. It is getting, to be blunt, fucking old.

    Yawn. Gotta go. The forklift does not drive itself (yet)…

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  8. Try looking up the word ‘nerd’ in an online dictionary geek.

    I don’t think you’ll find a picture of a strong, ruggedly handsome dude like myself.

    My man fingers are so meaty I can hardly type on this iPhone, meanwhile you drive a ‘forklift’ to your kindergarten classes?

    What’s getting old is your little club of Debido Arido bashing wimps, who pretend to be intelligentsia as they pick on one of their dorky own.

    If I was the ‘leader’ of this group of Internet tough guys, I would have taken you down to one of DA’s lecture appearances, and knocked him down to the ground so you could all take turns girly kicking him for real instead of in your online dreams.

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  9. Ho hum. Let’s compare some CVs:

    Person A
    Nationality: British
    Occupation: English instructor at a Japanese university
    Education: MA TESOL (currently studying Ph.D in Applied Linguistics)
    Other: Bilingual (Japanese and English)

    Person B
    Nationality: Japanese
    Occupation: English instructor at a Japanese university
    Education: MA Applied Linguistics (currently studying Ph.D in TESOL)
    Other: Bilingual (Japanese and English)

    Person C
    Nationality: British
    Occupation: French teacher at a British secondary school
    Education: BA French Translation, PGCE in Secondary Modern Languages
    Other: Bilingual (English and French)

    Person D
    Nationality: French
    Occupation: French teacher at a British secondary school
    Education: BA Modern Languages, PGCE in Secondary Modern Languages
    Other: Bilingual (English and French)

    I’d be genuinely interested in how people would rate these four people, from most to least objectionable (or from biggest to smallest leech on society, if you prefer). These aren’t hypothetical, by the way, but people I know (though none of them are me). Who is the most deserving of scorn, and why?

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  10. I think as interesting as the English teacher who becomes jaded and hateful is the hatred people like iLd have for the English teacher.

    A lot of hate to go around it seems. Are people just hateful, or does being an expat in Japan have an influence? This elitism can’t be normal (or healthy).

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  11. Oh my. A random selection of gaijin (plus a token ‘Japanese’) and surprise surprise, they all happen to be teachers!

    You teachers seem to be so blind to the outside world that you differentiate between what kind of schools you work at, or whichever different qualifications you got from the back of a cereal box, or even your comfort levels and remuneration. Don’t you get it? Teachers are lame. All of them. 

    Where is the diversity? The non-Japanese taxi driver or immigrant stevedore? 

    Are you all too scared to start from the bottom and work your way up? Your careers are flat, schlumping from one hack job to the next, all the while, eyes on the lottery of that great prize, a university teaching job, apparently. 

    Doesn’t it shock any of you that you all do the same thing? That your greatest enemy does the same thing? That all this is all a storm in an English lounge teacup?

    I came here because I’m always surrounded by cool and fashionable people and I wanted to understand how the other half lives and breathes, but I’ve only found more pretentiousness than you would ever find at a Tsumori Chisato shop re-opening. 

    It’s really just English teachers bashing each other on the head with novelty hammers and it’s been going on forever. Come over, teach English, meet frumpy, radish-thighed office ladies and choose a side! Japan-bashing or Japan-apologizing? Which one are you?

    All I’ve really learned here is that computer nerds call anyone they don’t comfortably agree with a troll. That’s what I get from extending a hand from the cool people into the musty world of Eikaiwa squealy girly fights and the weighty intellectual musings of cubicle dwelling mouth breathers. 

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  12. So…you missed the bit where only two of the people in my example are working in Japan? You didn’t bother reading the question properly? You went off on a tangential rant designed to provoke a reaction? How very…trollish of you.

    “Don’t you get it? Teachers are lame. All of them.”

    I don’t get it. I really, honestly don’t get it. Explain it to me.

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  13. I think iLD is lonely.

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  14. I think ild forgets a lot of people here aren’t eikaiwa teachers, including the founder of the site. Again probably tried to write the same thing at debito.org (where it actually applies) and it was censored, so he just put it here.

    I tend to confine my ridicule to eikaiwa teachers who decide that the bottom rung of the Anglo gaijin ladder is not only a comfortable place to be, but bitch about it how terrible their easy lives are, demanding more pay and lifetime employment guarantees and honorable status as if it were some sort of noble workers blue collar job..for example, driving an imaginary forklift.

    Though mostly just as a parody of debito’s strong sense of shame and hatred regarding the job, which is so ironic given his fan base.

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  15. Hey! The shy kid throws a peanut from behind the curtain!

    How are you VK? Still playing dolly dress up and having Angel cake tea parties with your kids every night? So sweet. 

    Look, only Ken and Level3 have established that they have real jobs at real companies rather than at BabyGooGooBoomBoomEnglish and the rest of you all mumble into your keyboards about teaching ALL THE TIME. 

    I would say 90% of you are English teachers, here to gang up  on one other self-hating English teacher who blames the Japanese for the fact he couldn’t hold down a real job for more than a year. “oh they won’t let me go to the toilet 5 times a day and wear jogging shoes to work, woe is me….”. 

    I do believe one of your number told me they were comfortable making a living working 20 hours a week and therefore had no obligation to try harder to do anything. 

    It’s the lack of ambition that causes disgust, to me, and to the entire Japanese nation. 

    By the way, I’m sure most of you look like this:

    http://metropolis.co.jp/features/upfront2/q-a/%E2%80%9Cour-man-in-abiko%E2%80%9D/

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  16. OMG James Gray is leaving the country. How will Japan cope. And poor old Debs, that’s half the people that comment going on one flight.

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  17. ILickedOlphins seems to have a strange obsession with toilet breaks at work. What he/she gets up to in there with a smartphone and heavy duty riggers gloves is anyone’s guess.

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  18. @Beanstalker:

    Well, that’s one approach to dealing with the loneliness.

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  19. These meaty greased up hands, thick with sweat and gunk, wrapped around two stiff 10-inch bolts scream determination and raw naked ambition, something you English teachers need a lesson in. 

    Oh Rob, do I have to take an unwarranted toilet break to explain to you that teachers are dorks? Go ask one of your teenaged children. 

    What I have come to realize though, is the natural discrepancy  between dorks and nerds. 

    Everyone loves nerds or has a bit of nerd inside them. They like star wars, anime, and rape comics. 

    But dorks, yes, dorks, and here’s the kicker, they don’t actually realize they are dorks!

    I didn’t know this. I’ve been cool all my life and I felt sorry for them, like they wanted to be cool but they just didn’t know how, or they had funny teeth and bad skin. 

    But it’s not like that. Dorks talk about cool people as fashion victims and believe themselves to be morally and intellectually superior. Which is all the funnier, given that I’m a blue collar factory worker and I soar intellectually over many of you. 

    Dorks don’t get that they are dorks and therefore they can never grow, can never change, and can never escape the dull chains of their own lethargy. And thus they gravitate to Debito or JT or other sites where social interaction is stripped of visual imagery and olfactory menace. 

    I always think of the poster, a Sunday Dad at the beach type, ice cream and hard on stiff in the wind, telling me that once you leave high school the distinction between dorkiness and coolness no longer exists, that we’re all just sincere, serious adults, never realizing that, in his board shorts and walk socks, people just no longer tell him that he is a dork to his face, even if they are clearly, clearly thinking it. Ask any teenage girl your hard on is pointing at on the beach. 

    Knowing how lame you really are can be a great motivator to do something with your life, you’re not the one ‘cool teacher’ surrounded by dorks, YOU ARE A DORK. 

    I just pray I can save some of you in time. 

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  20. @iLikedolphins:

    You could start saving everyone by telling them how you got such a cool blue-collar job!

    Sometimes I dream of finishing up at 17:00 ** on the dot, not working Saturdays, and probably still earning a very decent salary, probably working out better per hour than what I get now. (Though I suppose the uni English profs also work out to a higher hourly wage, too.) :cry:

    ** 17:00 seems to involve stopping work at about 16:20 and then pretending to clean up, very slowly. Lunch breaks that last until 13:20. 15 minute morning and afternoon coffee breaks last 30. And everyone over 45 years old is basically just standing around “supervising”. But this is just what I see in the construction field. Your employer may be more strict about people actually working.

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  21. Level3, you obviously are a respected member of society, slumming it down here for kicks like me, and I do often respect what you say, but dude, I don’t work in construction, I definitely work weekends when needed, and ‘supervising’ is what you do to the subcontractors.

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  22. We understand your situation iLikeDolphins:

    You earn 600万円 for 50 hours a week,
    that’s 2500円 per hour, low respect,
    and your work is Kitsui-Kitanai-Kiken.

    Teachers earn 360万円 for 30 hours a week:
    that’s 2500円 per hour, low respect,
    and their work is Easy-Clean-Safe.

    You still do not understand what your wage means.
    Society does not respect you more than a teacher.

    Eikaiwa & Blue Collar = monkey work anyone can do.
    Any person can quickly be trained to do your job.

    When your health begins to suffer, you’ll realize:
    low pay, low respect, low health level, stupid monkey.

    Why don’t you do a job that society values more?
    Ahh, right, because you have no further ambition.
    You’re just coasting, no kaizen, just like Eikaiwa.

    Society’s respect for you is low: 2500円 per hour.
    Go back to school, get some real skills, help society.
    Then, society will give you more money & respect. :!:

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  23. Would y’all *please* stop feeding the trolls?

    Every time something resembling intelligent discourse starts here, Zeke^WiLoveDolphins pops up and derails the proceedings.

    This is going to continue until he loses interest or until y’all stop giving him the satisfaction.

    Take the high road, fellas.

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  24. @Steve: I agree :!: :!: :!: But I don’t think ILikedAllFinns is Zeke as he could barely string two words together.

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  25. @Ken Y-N: Nah, same guy. Significant similarity in grammar and affected values between this current persona and the one where he was falsely claiming to be a former Marine.

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  26. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    ILD works in a factory? How interesting!

    For the record, I’m not an English teacher. And ultimately I wasn’t when I lived in Japan either.

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  27. The Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    By the way, happy Halloween everyone. Not that I’m into moral equivalence or anything:

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/566819/

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  28. For the record, I’m not your Zeke or your James Grey or whatever other phantom menace you geeks see in your wet blanket nightmares. I only recently found this site just as Tepido ended. So you can stop stroking your pubic chin hair and talking about ‘similarities in grammatical style’, so very English teachery and of course so very wrong, as one would expect from Eikaiwa muppets with a pocket calculator and a pedantic obsession with clean and safe vegetables (pocket geiger calculator possibly ordered online?).

    I sometimes feel like you’ve built yourselves a walled city within a city, and inside you think it’s perfectly normal for everyone to have the same job, and that minor variations in position equate to social divisions within your aging stratified community. You’re not outside people, you’re inside people, and those of us fiercely banging on the walls, trying to wake you up, are dismissed as minor distractions, explained away as dirty or dangerous and upsetting the status quo, or spies from the ‘other side’, the other side being of course, just across the room in your little sealed up space. In this topsy turvy mindset all industrial occupations are condensed into ‘factory workers’, lazy, slow-moving people, who are trained monkeys, existing to funnel products into the consumption tubes for the pale-skinned English Dream Navigators.

    You need to break down the walls.

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  29. Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    Japan is going to crap because kanji are smaller than hanzi on Hallmark’s 2012 offerings:

    http://www.debito.org/?p=10698#comments

    (Meanwhile, German words are bigger than the English, so I guess the anglosphere is receding in favor of its teutonic counterpart.)

    :facepalm:

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  30. @Chrysanthemum Sniffer:

    Are you suggesting that Hallmark did not, in fact, size their fonts based on an in depth study of the CIA World Factbook, together with sophisticated modelling of relative wealth and global political influence?

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  31. @CS

    That was funny.

    I just find these fools putting their faith in China (what happened to “Free Tibet”? what happened to opposing militarism? what happened to remembering imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winners? what happened to all those humanitarian values they often claim to have?) to be a both opportunistic and short-sighted.

    Especially ironic for “victims” of (their own expectations of) the Japan Bubble to not even consider the possibility that there’s a China Bubble forming right now!

    That bubble is going to burst. And a country that has a surplus of young males and a history of not minding killing off tens of millions of its own citizens “for the good of the People” that is indoctrinating them with hate for foreigners heading for such a collapse makes me… nervous.

    But not these China lovers, or should I say Japan-haters.. they’re cheering.

    Funny thing is, if China does start invading, and debito cheers them on, wouldn’t that make him a traitor to his country.
    Though he’s already cheering them on, isn’t he?

    Well, I guess it’s not really treasonous in spirit if one views a passport merely as an onsen ticket.

    Well, such people don’t have any sense of morality or standards anyway. Just me, me, me, I like this, I hate that. Spoiled kids who never grew up and still don’t eat broccoli, just out of spite because Daddy told them to eat all their veggies or they couldn’t have any ice cream when they were 6.

    It’s mostly based on hate, isn’t it?
    Hate the Japan that merely lived up to 2/3 of your wildest dreams, hate people who actually earned that 2/3 and found it very comfortable and label them “apologists”, hate America, hate different opinions, hate people with the same opinions if they’re richer than you, hate all the people who used to follow you, hate the family that raised you, hate hate hate

    What would Yoda say?

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  32. There is no try, only do or do not

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  33. @Level3:
    “Go home, Jar-Jar. Drunk you are.”

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  34. @Sublight:

    Nice joke, that is.

    Speaking of drinking
    Pop quiz
    Q: If you drink Japanese beer, does that prove:

    1. You are a Japan apologist
    2. Despite spewing hate and criticizing every act of Japanese people and society for years, you do appreciate some facet of the food culture and therefore most definitely can not be labeled racist nor totally biased against any and all things involving Japan.
    3. They don’t sell foreign microbrews in your town.

    It’s Sam Adams Winter Lager season. :cry:

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  35. Did I imagine it, or did Jim Di Griz get himself banned from here? :???:

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  36. @David Moss:

    That’s a slightly odd review. Some of the biggest examples of covering up the truth are not by Japanese but by the occupation authorities. Yuko Fujita is a long-time strong nuclear critic, not some scientist who went off message, and some heavyweight press, such as the Asahi and Mainichi, have been anti-nuclear; some cover-up. Also, TEPCO officials announced the possibility of a meltdown early on.

    It’s as if Buruma’s trying to find a connection between the occupation and how TEPCO behaved. Or something like that.

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  37. And now for something a little different.

    If you think DA has cornered the market on being a privileged white middle class male dick, check out his clone in a country far, far away.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-kepnes/why-ill-never-return-to-v_b_1241016.html

    My favourite quote?

    “Two of my friends lived in Vietnam for 6 months, and even they said the Vietnamese were rude to them despite becoming “locals.” Their neighbors never warmed up to them.”

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  38. Interestingly, when I was growing up they used to say the same thing about Norfolk.

    Probably still do.

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  39. Chrysanthemum Sniffer

    Jim is banning himself from Japan.

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  40. @VK:

    Although the guy brings up a few valid points, it just seems like another case of – If you ignore (or misinterpret) all contrary evidence, you can believe anything you want.

    Though he lost me right at the beginning. What kind of idiot would take a sightseeing cruise on a foggy day? I’m assuming he just made that story up, as well as the 100% Chinese Tour #2.
    Credibility is important..unless you already Want To Believe.

    I sense a theme.

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  41. Message For Jim Di Griz

    @Jim Di Griz

    Yes, I would rather be lied to than punched, and
    somebody who I highly respect, Bob Marley, said
    the opposite (he’d rather be punched than lied to:
    physical robbing is more honest than mental fraud.)
    Some folks (me) prefer living in a safer society.
    Some folks (Bob) prefer living in a more honest society.
    I don’t disrespect folks based on where they choose to live.

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  42. Your friend Jim Di Griz is a troll.

    Here’s the proof.

    http://www.debito.org/?p=10698#comment-360945

    And apparently I would know, if you accept the canard that being a troll means believing all English Teachers(tm) are donkeys.

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  43. @iLikeDolphins: @iLikeDolphins:

    Now that’s just sad. Poor old Jim. No one noticed his “clever” hidden lyric, so he had to have another one of him highlight it himself. Worried about his mentalism, seems to be having conversations with his multi-selfs in public now. He also getting a less consistent in his BS – leaving Japan and his wive 12x salary because someone noticed he was a whiteboi. Poor little Jimmy.

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  44. beneaththewheel

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m loving the JdG narrative. I’m not sure if it’s true (nor do I have any intention to think about that too much), but the implications of the story of moving back, with the kids going to a good international school and all are really fun to think about.

    It reminds me of many Japanese people I’ve met who’ve lived abroad for a year in their youth and decided that X (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Canada) is a much better place to live than Japan, enjoy meeting foreigners who have like-minded (read: colonial) opinions. Meanwhile, it doesn’t mix well with some young Westerners living abroad in Japan for a year in their youth who decide that Japan is the best place in the world due to Y. (I get the feeling they usually stay in Japan only a year before going to law school anyways, so they’re more common in the West.)

    If Westerners who immigrate to Japan don’t do so because they love the culture, or something, then they’re really being kind of dumb. They come from a Western country likely with an equally good or better standard of living. Why make sacrifices to be somewhere you hate? Perhaps I’m missing something?

    Sorry, I’m probably off topic.

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  45. beneaththewheel

    I also wish JdG wasn’t banned/didn’t spam/(whatever) here, to have direct conversation. I think I was alone, but I always thought he was a smart guy.

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  46. @beneaththewheel: When he doesn’t troll, he seems rather well-read, but he doesn’t seem able to maintain an adult conversation for any duration. If he posts, I’ll approve if he is constructive, but I’ll be quick to ban if he gets stroppy.

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