But the other thing I realized is that the angry bitter entries aren't that fun to read. Now, if we could write angry bitter entries like Brian Clevinger, then they might be fun to read, but that would probably be a bad thing. But anyway, that kind of makes things difficult, because I learned something on Friday that I think might be interesting to write about, so the thing I need to keep in mind is not angry bitterness (and it really isn't how I feel), but sadness for the man who is missing out on so much because of racial bias.
Some of you who have been keeping up may be wondering if Steve ever got around to reading Fruits Basket. Apparently he took our lending volume 1 to him as a challenge, and so took it with him on his last business trip. And when he called on Friday to let us know what the deal was with Pirates of the Caribbean, he told me that he had read it. Expecting I already knew the answer, I asked, "Really? How'd you like it?" He said it just wasn't his thing. He also called me on the fact that I couldn't have actually expected him to like it. I told him that I thought if he had gone into it with an open mind, he might actually like it. I think both of us were right on.
He said he did try to have an open mind, but it just wasn't his thing. That's understandable, not everybody likes everything. But this is Fruits Basket we're talking about, and everyone we know who's read or seen any of Fruits Basket likes it a lot (except for the one guy, who said it was too girly, but he also happened to have been dumped by a girl who really liked it), so we figure unless someone has some weird prejudice for some reason, they'll at least like it a little. And that's where the truth came out.
Steve said he liked the story about Kagura, but that one thing the author said in the notes just disgusted him--the part where she says she thinks it's the highest form of love to beat someone. I said, "That was obviously a joke." We discussed it for a while, and finished with me saying, "But if an American had said that, you would have known it was a joke," and him saying, "You're probably right." In his defense, his reasoning was that the note came right after Kagura said she'd love Kyo even if he cheated on her, and that's so much like the Japanese female mindset (to his observation) that he ended up taking the author seriously.
On the bright side, the other thing he mentioned was that he couldn't figure out why they would be using the term "yankee" in such a derogatory way. I thought there was a footnote in there about that, but I explained to him that it refers to juvenile delinquent types. He said he figured it was that she looked so foreign, because she's so tall and has light hair. And so! we looked up the origin for the term "yankee" as it is currently used in Japan on Wikipedia, and it became a learning experience! Yay!
Apparently, it started with a lot of punk kids in the Kansai area who would end their sentences with the (I think it's read) Kawachi dialect "-yanke." So the punk kids were called "yanke-ii" ([guy who] says 'yanke'), and the term got shortened to "yankii," now spelled yankee. The person who wrote the article says there might be some connection to "yankee" meaning someone from America, in that the original yankee fashion started with the kids wearing Hawaiian shirts. And now you know.
Today I'm thankful for having an (at least partially) open mind, being able to enjoy Fruits Basket, learning experiences, lemons into lemonade, and Slurpees.