Asians and Embarassment

April 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

I’d say the West is slow to learn.  Honor is probably lost completely in the modern world, due the role of the “barbarian”–and the icon goes back to the much-touted (and multiple, actually) Fall of Rome.  Stories like this about failure (of the satellite launch) reek of embarassment.  Loss of face is still a big thing there; it’s sort of a cultural imprint.  The white man is used to being an ass, I guess (speaking as one of them); our anger is generally short-lived.  When it isn’t, our doctors term it psychotic and our legal systems term it an imprisonable offence (along, apparently, with epilepsy).  If someone who can’t stand being embarassed is in the same class you are, and has the potential to be a real pain in the ass, and really doesn’t much like you in the first place–you don’t go out of your way to embarass him and not expect trouble.

Then again, what do you expect?  These guys are all out for the column inch, from reporters to supposed scientists.  Pardon me, their fifteen minutes in the golden sun of television half-life.


P.S.  Full disclosure:  I lived in Japan for two years as a child and for about three years as an adult my home port was there.  I had contact with actual Japanese outside the envelope of governmental dealings.  The average American has no understanding at all of how to deal with the average Asian, and consistently does things that could easily be construed as deliberate offences–constantly.

Entry filed under: current news, psychology, science, security.

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