So, I stayed in bed until 3pm today. You may ask why. Why Chris? Why did you stay in bed until 3pm today? Because I was hiding.
Hiding from what Chris?
Well, you see, I take Zoloft for anxiety and OCD and now as I've gotten older I've developed nasal allergies which make me snore; so now I take Claritin to combat the congestion. Apparently, when Zoloft and Claritin get together, they form some kind of hallucinogenic. So my sleep was troubled by bizarre waking dreams and then when I fell asleep, actual nightmares.
Chris, you ask, what "over-reaching angst" do you speak of?
Well, how about the deaths of some thirty-odd people including fourth graders in mass-murder gun violence? How about seeing a bumper-sticker on an Escalade of "Co-Exist" being spelled out in fire-arms?
I also have a problem with rabbit holes.
What is your problem with rabbit holes, Chris?
I sometimes get on the web and delve into some dark topic, like a conspiracy theory, say. Or like a creepy true-crime case or whatever...and then I get sucked into it and freak myself out and put myself in a days long funk. Like my latest one.
What is your latest "funk" about Chris?
Japanese War Atrocities.
What on Earth are you talking about Chris?
You don't want to know.
I can take it.
Yes, I think I can. But let's back up and start at the beginning. What happened?
Well, I was looking at my email and then some threads about narcissism on Quora. I scrolled down. There was a topic line: "Here's a historical fact you might not know about!" and below that was a black and white picture. I peered at it. Wait, is that a man being beheaded by another man with a sword? Why yes, it appears to be exactly that. And then I read on. And on. And on. I will not go into any more detail about what I read. If you're interested, start with a search of "Unit 731" or "The Nanjing Massacre." Proceed with caution. You can't unread it.
Now, I have been a Japonophile since childhood. I have always dreamed of visiting the land of cherry blossoms, Buddha statues and bright red pagodas. And as an adult: the food: sushi, sake, sashimi. Karaoke. Anime...not so much. Mt. Fuji. Godzilla. Bullet trains. Sliding paper doors. Rice mats. To say there were some "historical facts" I didn't know about is an under-understatement. I mean, I'm not naive. I know the Japanese did some terrible things during wartime. Every country does terrible things during wartime. And this is not some diatribe about the Japanese. I'm just reeling about some information that I did not know about. Shocking information. I think I'm not just shocked; but shocked that I could be this shocked. And surprised. Like, how did I not know about any of this. Why am I just finding out about it at the half a century plus six mark?
One of my first reports in grade school was about Japan. I still have it. I'll post some pics of it later.
So that's it. I've vented and I have to say I feel better. Do I still want to visit Japan? You know what? I'm not sure. Learning what I recently learned, it has changed my thinking about the culture. It's made me question my relationship; my feelings about Japan. If I win a trip there on a gameshow, yeah, I'll go. But I'm not going to put a visit on my bucket-list anytime soon.
Well, I couldn't find my report from the second grade on Japan. It's not where I thought it was; but it's around here somewhere. I just want to reiterate that my feelings are not anti-Japanese or anti-Asian. I just felt a need to express my profound disappointment with humanity. That human beings can do shit like death camps and human experimentation. Humanity has a long history of the cruel and unusual. And it's easy to say that, well...that's the past. Or that our barbarism is behind us. But I think it's also important to remember that these particular atrocities happened historically recently. I mean, these things happened in my parent's lifetimes and my parents are both still alive. I think we need to be vigilant in seeing that these things don't happen again. Because, sadly, we know they can and probably will.
What's happening now. We're sending our children to school where they have to learn "active shooter drills." There are people...our politicians...advocating the arming of teachers. Have our schools not become death camps? Is what we are doing to our children psychologically by forcing them to live with the threat of gun violence not cruel and unusual.
Is that not barbaric?