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Holidays from being human - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
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Sat, Dec. 2nd, 2006 12:39 am
Holidays from being human

29CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Dec. 2nd, 2006 09:27 am (UTC)

I think it's worth saying that appearing cute -- either childishly or sexually cute -- is not just a direct appeal to our hardwired mammalian instincts to reproduce and protect the resulting offspring. It's also symbolic of an appeal to social power, and I think the reason cuteness seems a much less suspicious or denigrated value in Asian cultures is that they're more collectivist in outlook.

Whereas in the West power is often seen as having the "strength" to stand alone, to be a maverick individualist, or dominate other people against their will by force, in Asian cultures it's more likely to be seen as the ability to co-operate with and to charm other people. Power here is the successful ability to make others let you join their social groups.

So disguising yourself as an impossibly cute animal has this paradoxically human function: the act of dressing up as an animal reveals a desire to be integrated as a human. Maybe that's why, when I look at Sako's performance as a hamster, I see someone becoming even more of a twentysomething Japanese female than she is without the costume. Then again, I see us all becoming Japanese females eventually, if we know what's good for us. Because I think their definition of social power is not just a humane, but a correct one.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Dec. 2nd, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)

Interesting observation on what you perceive are these different concepts of social empowerment,if power and the need to dominate others is what rocks ones boat then certainly this Asian definition would conceivably- by dint of it's subtlety and inate diplomacy- perhaps be a more effective means of leadership than the authoritarian model you ascribe to Western culture.
From your experience of Japanese culture do you observe this former charismatic approach also being utilized by Japanese males or is it a uniquely female perspective on power?
Regards. Thomas.S


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sat, Dec. 2nd, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)

Well, when the dominant Japanese male role model is the host, when cute, slight, spikey-haired poppet Kotaru Koizumi pulls in more with a single ad campaign than his dad did for a whole year of being Prime Minister, Akihabara gets trendy and the last otaku becomes a metrosexual... something is happening to Japanese men.


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akabe
akabe
alin huma
Sun, Dec. 3rd, 2006 06:21 am (UTC)
us all becoming Japanese females eventually


an alien invasion or something similar might be required for all humans to become japanese females since that condition either presoposes the existence of a different ontological class or opens up an enormous space ripe for neomarxian paranoia and speculation.


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