Why So Cynical? (and Other Rants)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic / Random Chit-Chat' started by TAG Manager, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. TAG Manager

    Executive Leadership

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    This is just a rant that I just need to write out, nothing personal for any of our members here. :)

    One of the most irritating things about living in Japan used to be the Japanese people and their amazement about such basic things that any foreigner achieves. (such as food, utensils, language, etc.) Now, I have just come to accept that when I'm out in the countryside or meeting new people, it's just a fact of life here and that is not going to change.

    Now, I find myself more irritated with some of the more cynical views of other 'non-Japanese' living in Japan. Outside of business dealings in a office environment, I have this knack for meeting some of the most cynical people living in and around Tokyo. These are the kind of people who obviously live in Japan (by their choice) but yet are so critical of everything that doesn't fit neatly in their little box.

    There are a few different types of expats living here that fall into a few different categories. This is between fitting into society here or just simply living in an expat bubble that cannot be penetrated by anything that does not fit into their little world.

    Admittedly, I have friends and business contacts that fill the spectrum from both ends. For today, I'm just exhausted from listening to some of these guys drone on about being here and how miserable they are. Instead of discussing new ideas and making progress, we circle back to how crappy things are for them.

    Like any good businessman, I strive to find new ways to bring in revenue that will eventually help bring more financial independence to my life. Sometimes though, in order to achieve the goals I want, flesh must be pressed. Which brings us to another fork in the road, trust. It's been incredibly hard to find people that you can really depend on and trust. Whether it be a simple project or sharing a business idea, it's been difficult to find people that will commit to something. Or, simply be trusted with an idea that is in development, where assistance has been requested... but yet, that trust is betrayed.

    This writing is not targeting one specific person or group of people, but just a general rant about some of the more negative, cynical people that do nothing more than just undermine someone's idea because they disagree (or maybe jealous?) with it.

    TAG is a good example for trust issues. It's been very problematic to find people to trust to help run this site. We want to do more and expand, to provide a better end-user service. Obviously, Eliah and myself are the core operators with very strong support from Meiji (thank you sir) and of course the ever disappearing Karen. (To be more clear, people that we have spoken to about assisting with the site, were more focused on getting access to user data, to which we do not provide access to except 3 people.)

    That concludes the Monday morning rant.

    The nugget of advice for today: Step back and look at how you respond to people. Would you be viewed as being cynical or too self-centered?
     
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  2. TAG Manager

    Executive Leadership

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    Wrote this pre-coffee this morning; not too shabby, but a few errors. :banghead:

    One more story to tell....

    There's this guy, probably about 50ish in age. I see him every morning when grabbing some coffee from the shop in the basement of our building. I'm not sure which building or office he comes from, never seen him in our elevators. (anyway, he works close by....) I suppose he comes in earlier than me and gets a coffee but later in the morning comes back down to get ice in the same cup from earlier (could be just the same cup everyday....).

    What makes this guy so special is how he just shoves his cup at the staff in the shop, never mind the long line of other coffee mongers looking for their morning fix. He doesn't bother to say thank you or exhibit any sort of verbal or physical acknowledgement, just stands there until someone pays attention to him. Maybe the staff are used to him by now.

    He has a pretty specific routine, so I'm not going to post all of that. In all honestly, he looks like one of these grouchy guys that just really needs to get laid. :whistle:

    That all said, the Japanese salary men are just as bad. (the guy above is white/Caucasian) The difference there, some of these take up two chairs with all of their sh*t and grumble (or ignore) a polite request for the chair, if it's not being used by a human.

    Ready for vacation? Yes I am. :rage:
     
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  3. KansaiBboy

    KansaiBboy Main Man

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    Rant on brother! It's better to get stuff off your chest then hold it in.

    People get annoyed anywhere they are. Everywhere I've lived there's something I've complained about at one point or another, but it didn't mean I didn't like living there.

    But being cynical brings everyone's mood down, so it has to be done in moderation.
     
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  4. bichan2

    bichan2 TAG Member

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    Maybe you should mention to him that maybe just a thank you would be helpful nice once in a while to the staff.
     
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  5. KeithOP

    KeithOP TAG Member

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    My experience with gaijin who just want to whine all the time is that they're out of their element and miserable, but don't have the gumption to better their situation. Usually they have extremely basic language skills and can only make a vague guess at what's going on around them every day.

    My policy is to stay as far away from them as possible. They're toxic waste and what they say is never going to be useful to anyone who isn't as jaded as they are. I think some of it has to do with how Americans especially have been trained to fetishize oppression, and feel like it gives them some chic.

    I could go on for a long time but I probably shouldn't. Out here in the boondocks I rarely encounter foreigners except by choice, so generally I don't encounter the attitude very often in person. That's also why I was impressed by this forum when I first started visiting, since it seems like people of that type either don't show up in the first place or are pruned out.
     
  6. TAG Manager

    Executive Leadership

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    Have some replies, will come back later.
    Today's schedule is keeping me tied up with actual 'work' today. ;)
     
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  7. R.O.B

    R.O.B The pals are not what they scream.

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    We feel your pain about 'the pain'. Been here over 30 years and have meet a wide range of people. Japan, and Asia in general, does attract a certain Western cretin. The guy - but I have met some women, too - who cannot function or fit in in their home culture but find a place here. They are often socially inept, insincere, abrupt or have anger issues. Being a 'gaijin' here you are immediate 'other' so no-one questions their nuttiness except other foreigners. Most expats avoid them (eventually). If they marry Japanese, they often end up divorced. I worked with one many years ago. Always negative, never smiled, self-centered, nasty drunk - ended up having a heart attack in a bar in the Philippines while on summer holiday. They would be miserable anywhere, but at least here in Japan no-one punches the suitcase outta them on a regular basis. Best identify and avoid.
     
  8. Panda989

    Panda989 Super Fantastic Member

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    I have to admit that for the first year i was in japan, i was one of them assholes, not because i was rude to the world, but more a case of refusing to get out of the expat bubble. it took me while to start to get in the swing of things, and once i got out of the bubble life became much more fulfilling for me in tokyo.

    i have to say i was lucky, about 9 months into being here i found a group of guys to hang with who had been here for decades, and they helped me make the transition, without them i dont think i would have ever made the change.

    i will say though that doesnt change the fact that there are things i hate about tokyo, but all in all its my first choice big city to live in anywhere in the world.
     
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  9. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    The good friend I had who moved to Japan is now back in Tennessee. He is officially schizophrenic. A total weirdo basket case. He went to Japan seeking to fit in but it just made him more crazy. I visited him in Kyushu and have never seen a more mentally disturbed person.
    For example, he lived there threw years and not once cooked a meal. His excuse was he didn't know how to cook with Japanese ingredients, which is weird as hell because I am in Japan sporadically off and on and yet I can make Udon, sushi, sashimi, tonkatsu, tempura, yaki tori, etc. He also lacked language skills.

    It's messed up, but I do accept one of his hang ups. It seems like Japanese men are very wary of foreigners. It looks like it's next to impossible to roll with Japanese buddies. Then again it could just be me.
     
  10. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    I first lived here 10 years ago and was still in the Air Force at the time. I was stationed in Yokota and I met a good mix of bad foreigners on base and people from other countries. I used to know this guy who was stationed there multiple times and still acted like a jerk to the locals at the gas station when nobody spoke to him in English.

    However, I will admit I am one of those guys that gets excited by something new that I do admit annoys people. Come on, not everybody can see a nice city from Tokyo Tower at night or in the day time. I was pretty giddy about it even though I grew up in LA. Tokyo just had this distinct feel you can't get anywhere else. I react to things more positively and that annoys people. I understand some people here are the same. But hey, not everybody gets this opportunity and I say it is better to react more positively than negatively than my buddies who was looking for the closest Mickey D's as opposed to getting a decent price izakaya. I attended a tea ceremony class and I was the only one that bothered going amongst my friends at the time.

    After my medical discharge, I came back to Japan and I was more exposed to other foreigners with my initial job as an English teacher through a private contracting company. Some people were cool, some jerk offs. The people who come here on JET in my experiences have been the most spoiled. They get paid good money (I was practically making the some money delivering pizzas back in high school at my job at the time) for practically doing nothing and showed up to work drunk and all that. They'd blow all their money in almost a week while I was barely saving because of shitty pay compared to them. I was living pay check to pay check without such recreational expenses. Thankfully I got experience, moved on up in teaching. Moved on from that to another job. Make good money in more ways than one, now have access to an inheritance that has me secure for the rest of my life.

    I still don't drink or smoke (which has actually pissed off people for some reason both Japanese and foreigner, and I have very personal reasons why I refuse to drink and smoke which I have explained; I lost friends due to drunk driving back in high school and I have lost people due to lung cancer as well in my youth).

    I will admit that I have made some complaints about living in Japan. I will admit what has pissed off my fellow gaijin about me has been my mix of libertarian and anarcho-capitalist views on things that pisses off both conservatives and liberals. Especially my health insurances rates, the increase in sales tax and the weakening of the yen.
     
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  11. KeithOP

    KeithOP TAG Member

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    My experience with making male Japanese friends is pretty similar to women - some of them are really happy to get to know a foreigner, and others not so much. It just boils down to individual personality. I even had an acquaintance of mine invite me out to kyabakura the other day but I took a pass.

    Of course having a very solid command of Japanese will help you immensely. I can't recommend studying Japanese enough. Once you start to pierce through that veil of incomprehensibility your experience will be much richer. Japanese people will be a lot more comfortable around you when they realize they can talk to you in either Japanese or English. You want to do everything you can to avoid getting stuck in the "bitter expat" ghetto forever.
     
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  12. Hamerare

    Hamerare Offa da street

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    There are some odd foreigners in Japan. U could say the same about n e where in the world, but Japan does seem to attract a very high percentage of weirdos.

    Some good comments on this thread, thanx.

    When u get ur Japanese up to a good level, u can start to make Japanese friends who are interested in u individually as a person, this can be male as well as female. Very common to find gaijins with a J-wife but no J-friends at all, still living in da ex-pat bubble after many years. I cross the road to avoid them
     
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  13. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    Growing up in LA, I can deal with strange people. When people hear I'm from LA, they just accept my personality that it's naturally who I am. I grew up not too far from Hollywood so it's just the way we are, I guess.

    Strange people is one thing, but assholes, even after 30 years, I still can't no stand matter where they're from.

    I just found the large percentage Japanese friends by enrolling myself in local traditional martial arts and modern MMA and kickboxing gyms. Been doing martial arts since my youth and I guess that foundation has made me easy to connect with a good number of Japanese people. I am usually the only foreign guy at the gym or dojo there and they don't treat me any differently than anybody else and I don't treat them differently from anybody else. They see it as me immersing myself in the culture.

    I have also met strange Japanese people as well as some total assholes. Like when I went to a championship fight last year, the surrounding Japanese in attendance around me were sitting down and acting like drunken fools when they were playing the national anthem not showing any respect. Even though I am not at all a Japanese member, I showed my respect by properly standing for their country and for the fighter representing their country as well as the fighters from other countries as well. I have also seen this shit at Japanese baseball games. I have never seen this when I went to a Dodgers game.

    I always found being involved in athletics that are more international in comparison to American Football was a good way to meet people and do cultural exchanges. Canadians and Northern Europeans living here invited me to play ice hockey with them on a number of occasions and I had fun. Playing some soccer is good way to meet some nice people. The only time I meet people from my mother's heritage of being a Pacific Islander is when I play rugby. I am small compared to the other ones but I do have a good time. Me being involved in athletics is another fraction of the reasons why I refrain from smoking and drinking.

    As I have said in other threads, I am about treating people the way you want to be treated and that has worked with me so far with the right people. Sadly, I still have issues with police hassling me for no reason all the time other than to see my ID when I did nothing.
     
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  14. R.O.B

    R.O.B The pals are not what they scream.

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    Some people just don't fit anywhere. This is a useful explanation of where the weirdos reside and where you may well be (not meaning the same place):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_scale

    Most are stuck in Denial or Defence.
     
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  15. Hamerare

    Hamerare Offa da street

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    Thanx for posting the Wikipedia stuff. I don't think its very well written but I can see what the author is trying to get across

    A big problem we can see in Japan especialy with the type of J women who like gaijin is that altho their English
    may sound good they dont got a clue about cultural difference. In fact a lotta people assume that linguistic fluency implies cultural knowledge but I reckon learning a foreign language is the easier part of assimil8ng in another culture.

    I dont been n e where in the world where people in general dont think their culture is better than others and that becomes the source of racist thoughts

    Many gaijins in Japan think if they take their shoes off in the house and got slippers to wear in the john then they r assimil8d

    Culture is like a computer program its very hard to deprogram
     
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  16. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Thanks for that. It's very interesting and relevant.

    Has anyone ever been in a fight in Japan? Who would be likely to start fights? How can we avoid them? How can we back down without things getting violent? And have you ever been the victim of violence because you were out with a Japanese female?

    I'm just curious because I have pretty intense PTSD, and I don't want to have an episode and hurt someone or get banned from the country.
     
  17. Hamerare

    Hamerare Offa da street

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    I never been in a fite in Japan

    Actualy seeing a fite is a rare occurrence in Japan and I go out a lot altho rarely after 1 AM. I have over the years stopped a few on trains tho b4 they got worse

    In the unlikely event u got in a situatin with a Japanese, u bow n apologize even if not ur fault

    I love Japan in that u can go out and relax without having to worry about violence

    Japanese guyz are remarkably relaxed about gaijins taking their women
     
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  18. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    That's interesting. Well at least that hurdle won't be present.
     
  19. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    Hah hah. I have only been in two. One with a fellow American guy who I thought was a friend and one with a Japanese. With the American guy, I can't claim self defense because I threw everything. With the Japanese guy, I could easily claim self-defense with the police and with all the witnesses and the security footage from the nearby Family Mart, it was proven I had no other choice.

    Hell, Japanese guys encourage me to get a Japanese wife all the time.
     
  20. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    How did that fight jump off?
     
  21. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    I told some details about the fight with the American in the crabs in a barrel thread. I had to run from the police and skip town and never look back on Matsuyama. Not like I plan on going back because if I do, I may end up killing some people. But I already told a small fraction of that incident.

    With the Japanese punk ass, it was in Ikebukuro 3 years ago going past down from the east exit. Some guy was freaking out and yelling at his girlfriend. I was with a female friend (not a girlfriend or anything like that) of mine and we had plans to eat at the Shakey's. We were passing by hopefully it was not that bad enough that we could easily avoid it. The guy was so loud that everybody was looking at him. A 15 year old young man was passing by him and the guy pushes him for no reason and the kid almost fell into me and I caught him. I asked the kid if he was all right and the guy just yells at me telling me to mind my business. I just told him he had no business pushing kids for no reason. The guy had to be like 23 or 24 and I had 30 pounds, MMA training and training as a former pathfinder in the Air Force on him. He pushes me and it doesn't budge me. I push him back into the tree behind him and he was easily telegraphing his right swing and I duck it and I just did a take down, had him face down on the ground and took his back. I could have gone for a choke and gone for a ground and pound, but there were a good number of people already witnessing it and I didn't want to be made the bad guy again this time. I already had control, I had won.

    I told my friend and the kid to get the police which was near the Don Quiojte by the entrance on the east side as I said. It was a good 7 minutes or so and he was crying like a bitch telling me to get off of him. The police arrived and the security footage from the nearby bank and the Family Mart proved I acted in self defense and all the people willing to talk to the police said he started it and I was in no position to escape the confrontation because of the crowd and all that so thankfully I wasn't charged with anything and I was let off the hook. I was forced to talk about my background and I know pretty well how to fight in a controlled sense and not have to hurt anyone.

    Apparently, he was just treating his girlfriend like shit in front of everybody for no reason and all that. Hopefully she broke up with that piece of shit.

    I had yakuza friends so if things escalated (like if he had friends that showed up), I knew people in the yakuza who actually owed me some favors in a kind of big way.

    I like to think I am the type of person that can fit into any country. I think anybody can assimilate to any culture. It's all about meeting the right people and putting yourself out there. I say if you're a shy person who doesn't give a shit about anybody but yourself, then hey, you can't even fit into your own country. Every country has their weirdos, their douchebags, their bitches, their nerds, their jocks or whatever. If you like to listen to rock music, hell, every country has those people you can connect to. If you like to play soccer, then I am sure you can make friends anywhere. I say just connect with the people in that country with whoever you would hang out with back in your country. Like if you went to the bars back home, then hey, go to the bars in wherever you are.

    New and things unfamiliar to me really do fascinate me altogether. I don't have the best people skills but hey, I do try and hope try to connect on a very down to earth and human sense. Life is simply meeting people, seeing things and doing things. I do my best to be open minded. If something is for me, then it's for me. If it's not for me, I will leave it at that.
     
  22. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    Pathfinder huh? 11- Bravo here, airborne.

    That's admirable that you didn't crush the guy though. I wish more people would just be happy with their victory and not beat folks to a pulp.
     
  23. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    My cousin may have been in the same unit as you but I never saw action with Combat Control. I wanted to do pararescue like my dad but shredded my ACL during try outs and got discharged. I trained hard 9 weeks for that in my free time for that like I was going to fight Tyson, Ali, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Fedor, Jones, all at once.

    But yeah, people who crush their opponent in their fights really don't have any training what so ever. That's the problem. If people just maintain control then you already won. My parents live in Arizona now and there was a street fight on YouTube at a gas station near their house. This is a perfect example if what we are talking about.



    I don't know the story that led to this incident, but the big white dude did too much. But it is also sad nobody did anything to stop it as well.


    I wouldn't call my situation in Ikebukuro life or death but it it what it is. I didn't start it and the guy went as far as pushing a minor. The boy's school was near by and a teacher actually thanked me later on for helping him.

    The incident in Matsuyama I know I can blame myself but a part of me does not want to. I was back stabbed and deeply hurt with what that person did to me and how he treated his ex-girlfriend at my expense and he flat out lied to me that just cost me a lot of time and money. Plus, I was going through a major depression at that time and what they did to me only just agitated it.

    Looking back on it now, I know maybe I could have pursued this matter legally, but I didn't have the time or money (thanks to him and his girlfriend) to do so and I move around a lot and those proceedings take years and my life does not allow it. I handled it in a way that maybe I shouldn't have by beating the shit out of him and spitting in his girlfriend's face (believe me, these two are poor excuses of human beings) but my only regret was the police and to show up. I managed to escape and skip town within less than 12 hours. That's only 0.0000001% of the story. Sadly, I didn't have any yakuza friends who owed me any favors yet.

    Other than that, I do my best to avoid fights after my experiences back in 7th and 8th grade and getting repeatedly suspended (and 100% of the time I didn't start it to the best of my recollection). I don't get what my parents were thinking when my brother got expelled from the same school and ended up in juvie. Then again, my parents were never really home most of the time either.
     
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  24. GoldenDalton

    GoldenDalton TAG Member

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    It sounds like you came out on top in the long run. I'm glad your shitty friends got what was coming to them.

    In Japan can you just skip town and lose heat like that? That's interesting.
     
  25. johnnyboy84

    johnnyboy84 TAG Member

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    I don't know. I grew up taking care of myself (that was the first time since I was 15 that I ran from the police and managed to get away) and I consider myself a street guy. I just skipped town, laid pretty low and I left pretty, pretty, pretty far. Matsuyama is liek on the opposite side of where I am now and I guess when the police came to me in Ikebukuro whatever happened in Matsuyama probably had a statute of limitations that expired lol I don't know.
     
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