Since my mass media class in college, i’ve become somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to television. I keep my mouth shut when watching reality shows (as to not upset people who believe them to be “real”), but a harder pill to swallow is the one that has me believe what i see on the news. Now, I like to be in the know somewhat in whats happening around the world and would like to believe that a portion of what is being reported is true. Unfortunately, like alot of other things (*church..cough!)…tv is big business and honest reporting takes a back seat to corporate agenda’s and bottom lines.
The news of the aweful events two weeks ago of course peaked my skeptical interest and have had me contemplating the situation on a number of levels since the news of the earthquake broke. On one end, like the events of recent week in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the news agencies had their men and women on the ground reporting on the horrid aftermath and providing up to the minute rundowns on the developments in a very fragile and potentially catostrophically global situation.
On the other end, feeds were coming through from NHK news, amongst others along with statements from the Japanese government and plant officials providing status updates (usually with incomprehensible graphical charts that had pretty colors). This is where my position as a sheep in front of the boob tube takes a turn.
Let me preface my statements by making sure that anyone reading knows that this is obviously and strictly my opinion and overall observation of the situation based on my own experiences and thought. Having said that…I think that the powers that be in Japan are playing a dangerous game. Its not that they are not telling the truth…its that they are not telling us everything. If you have watched even half of the reports or read the statements put out by plant heads and government officials, you may have already caught some of the contradictions but it goes deeper than that.
Nicole and I experienced Asian culture first hand and while much of our takeaways from the year and a half was positive, one aspect of many Asian cultures repeatedly baffled me. Pride. Asian’s retain a strong sense of pride, dignity and tradition in everything they do. This is very apparent especially in Japan cities like Osaka and Tokyo which are amongst the cleanest city streets you will ever see.Let me be clear, pride for one’s self is not a bad thing, however, too much of it is counterproductive and when dealing with the safety of your people and potentially the rest of the world, its downright irresponsible.
In Asian culture, failure is shameful, and the concept of admiting failure is a black mark on ones person that can carry with it a trail that is attached to ones family for generations, Case in point, Japan has had 5 Premier’s resign over the past 5 years, most leaving office due to a failure to produce promised results within a year of coming to power.
Not to sound overly paranoid, or make it seem like i’m attempting to create a wave of hysteria over the whole situation in Japan, but something is very wrong there. Miscalculations in data on a daily basis, evacuation limits set by Japanese officials that are less than half the distance recommended by the US, and the list of vague details coming out of Japanese government since that Friday make me very suspect. This situation requires a strong level of transparency not just to the people of Japan, but to the global community. If the situation at Japan’s nuclear plants reaches levels beyond repair, the Japanese won’t be the only ones to suffer.
Pride and judgment based on doing the right thing don’t always work together. I just hope that what’s going on in Japan right now is in line with what is best for their people and not what’s best for their image.
Thanks for readin, more happy stuff next time, i promise.