31 March 2006

Back in Japan

Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
But all the people can't be all right all the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
'I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,'
I said that.
I don't mind telling you that I have been completely fucked up since getting back to Japan. This always happens to me when I go home and then come back to Japan. It's like the Japanese cultural wall is waiting at Narita to slam me back into my place as a frustrated minority. Certainly, there are any number of great things I can learn from this, but instead, I'm taking my frustration out by shouting at Yoko, sulking around, and rolling my eyes. Yeah, I'm a winner, a real winner.

I guess I should take some of Joel Osteens's advice — "I'm a victor, not a victim." I should be more upset about people like Osteen, but instead, I think he's really nailed on the head the fact that religion is more or less just psychology. You get Joel Osteen telling you that God loves you and wants to open the windows of heaven to pour out blessing and you start to believe it. The same thing happened at my church last week: the worship leader getting everyone pumped for some inane song said, "Do you believe that God wants to meet you this morning? That his presence is real?" while pounding on an E chord. Yes, given that E chord and your encouragement, I can feel just about anything. Later, the Pastor took the pulpit to tell us all that that "thing" we "felt" but "couldn't explain" was "God." Well, count me in.

Sorry, that's all really cynical. Allow me to prophecy — something horrible is going to happen to Joel Osteen, more so than not getting a good parking space at Target, and the ministry is going to collapse when he finds out you can't just smile about everything.

I should apologize for quoting song lyrics which, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the least agreeable things to do on a blog.

Lastly, yesterday, I went to the library, pulled a book off of the shelf, and read it cover to cover. It was a good feeling. Now, I have another Japanese author to try to emulate.