lost in translation 

supposedly today, i should be celebrating my 30th birthday. but it feels weird to do any celebrating amidst all the actions and ceremonies commemorating the 140,000 people killed in one instant by the US bombing of hiroshima. on the radio the other day, a japanese doctor who specializes in working with hiroshima survivors talked about how many of the survivors are still just as steeped in their memories of the bombing as they are with their often painful present. for them, the past has never passed. After 60 years, the doctor noted, many of the survivors still have never gotten through the mourning phase that people are supposed to naturally go through over time. it's so sad to think how many lives just vanished in such a hellish instant and how one hellish instant could permanently damage and change the lives of people still suffering from the after effects. Sixty years is such a long time to hold such a horrible memory.

When i see american perceptions of japan (i.e. sofia coppola's "lost in translation"), i get a bit sickened at how trivialized japan has become in the american psyche. people think of japan as this high-tech nation with trendy japanese girls adopting hybridized street fashion (yeah, gwen stefani). like so many "other" lands, it's become the oh-so-overused backdrop for white angst and disillusionment. when white people are lost and needing to find themselves, they go to japan and laugh at how much shorter people are and "hee hee" what the hell are they saying, anyway? what's really been lost in translation is how the T.errorist S.tates of A.merikkka can have the audacity to claim itself the world's "protector" against terrorism, when it's committed some of the most heinous terrorist acts in the world. but, who the fuck cares in this country, anyway? we're all rushing home in our humvees, waiting with bated breath for the next american idol.



human pin cushion 

tonight was my third week in a row laying half naked on a cold bed/bench with god knows how many needles stabbed into various parts of my body to prod it back into average health. the seamtress/medical intern doing the stabbing suggested i keep a health journal: tracking my diet, my body's physical state and emotional state. why haven't i thought of that before? i don't know if it would be much more cheerful than other journals i've kept in my life. it would probably be worse. any reader coming across it might be horrified at how little/infrequent i eat and how sorry my immune system is these days.

sample entry:

BREAKFAST: didn't have time to make oatmeal. just boiled an egg.
PHYSICAL: itchy. broke into more hives.
EMOTIONAL: itchy. broke into more hives. PETA activists get on my nerves. would they rather i bite their legs instead of a chicken's? cleanliness is next to godliness. i think i have PMS.

i thought i'd be the last candidate for acupuncture after fainting in the university clinic lobby years ago after getting blood drawn. what gets me through acupuncture sessions nowadays is that i make sure the intern never shows me the needles. i just look away and pretend she's pinching me cuz i'm dreaming.