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25 April 2007

Gay Issues in America, what I learned

When it comes to homosexuality, the entire American society is softening up in recent years evidence of which can be seen in the revisions in the legal systems of several states that have made possible the union of gays in matrimony or some other partnership arrangement. Also, movies like “ Brokeback Mountain ”, which brings homosexuality to the fore for all to see, are getting rave reviews thus demonstrating a trend that sees the lessening of bias and prejudice.

I had lived in San Francisco, a city known to be one of the US’s most liberal cities, during a popular movement that would brand it as the Gay Capital . With most inhabitants of that city tolerating homosexuality, when I spoke harshly about gays usually they shunned me .
I met with some gay liberation activists in that city and asked the following questions.

Children cannot be born from gay sex, therefore, it is against the laws of nature and accepting it would imperil the humanity. What do you think of this?

Humans engage in sexual activity not for procreation but for pleasure. Sex without the intent of making children is practiced equally by heterosexuals as it is by people who have lost their ability to reproduce as well as those practicing birth control. Also, with the explosion of worldwide population in recent years threatening the very survival of humankind, all those “pro-lifers” now have it wrong.

Isn’t homosexuality forbidden by Christianity?

Christianity is but one of many religions and there are many followers of Jesus that are gay. In the Old Testament, it is written that sex between same-gender individuals is behavior punishable by death. However, in the very same book, it also says that those who work on the Sabbath Day and those who wear clothes made with a mix of different fabric are to be condemned. There are many “Commandments” that just make no sense in this day and age. The Bible in its present form was compiled in the Middle Ages and, since we know that Jesus Christ himself never said anything homosexuality, it cannot be definitely asserted that Christianity forbids it.

Isn't homosexuality mental disorder that ought to be cured?

In the US, psychiatrists and psychologists have agreed back in the 1970s that homosexuality is not an illness. The behavior itself is between consenting individuals and does not pose a threat on others. It is not scientific to brand perfectly sane individuals as neurotic only with respect to sexuality and nothing else.

Why do people become homosexual?

Many say that it is a product of the environment in which one is born, however, in actual fact, no one really knows why. This can also be said of heterosexuality. It is not scientifically proven why men love women and women love men. It is in the quest for a reason for this that one encounters the belief that homosexuality is abnormal behavior.

So, why is society regarding gays as outcasts?

A major factor is the fact that statistically gays are a minority. But aside from this, it is the general repulsion of the sexual act itself by society. Sex is regarded as impure not just between gays but also between straights. This is why virginity is revered as a virtue. However, if no sex occurs between members of the opposite gender, humanity will be extinct. This is where the notion that only heterosexual love for the intent of reproduction is accepted as holy and sex for the purpose of sheer pleasure becomes regarded as sinful. And, not only homosexual love but all sex performed with, for example, a condom or some other form contraceptive is also seen as a sin.

What do you think?

17 April 2007

Now "Bowling for Virginia Tech"

The horrible incident happened in the state of Virginia. Shooting on the Virginia Tech University Campus resulted in killing of 33 people. I deeply express my condolence to the victims.

This incident reminds me of Micheal Moore's documentary film "Bowling for Columbine (2002)"

The documentary explores the causes of the shooting incident that took place in Columbine High School in Colorado, 1999.

The main point was guns are not the main cause of the massive occurence of gun crimes in US. Nor violent video games, family crises.

The main cause is the culture of fear which the US traditionally has. It affets not only domestically but also internationally. Why the US attacked Iraq without sufficient evidence of weapons of mass-destruction and link with Al-Quaida terrorism? You are afraid of fear, always! Even though there is nothing to fear.

 Remember what President Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing to fear is fear itself."

09 April 2007

Short Novel: The Flight to Tokyo, Chapter 5

A story of a B-29 bomber pilot who time-travels from the war-time Tokyo to present-time.

Please read Chapter 1 to Chapter 4 first.


Sayuri laughed. “Hey, Jim, don’t tease me or are you out of your mind?”

She laughed not to take his words seriously to become ill.

“I am not teasing you. I am serious and telling you the truth, which you cannot believe.” Jim’s voice sounded very serious.

“You are right. How can I believe you? If you were the pilot of that time, you would be very old man. That air raid happened 60 years ago.”

“To me, just yesterday” said Jim.

Sayuri stopped laughing and said, “Jim, you should go back to the hospital and get counseling for mental disorder. You got problem by that fire. I want to help you.” Sayuri was so worried about Jim’s condition.

She thought she was obligated to do so for the savor of her life.

“I don’t need counseling. I am not sick. I am not going to be with you any way. I killed your people in that air raid and I do not regret that. You know what. Your army bombed Chinese cities killing so many innocent civilians. They also bombed our soldiers in Pearl Harbor without warning. That is why we showed no mercy to your people. That is the truth, too. I have to go.”

Jim’s voice was strong and disimpassioned.

“Where are you going?”

“Good bye.” Jim just ran away.


Sayuri stood silently for a while. She was confused by Jim’s words. Jim did not look psychopath. But his story was beyond normal commonsense.

Then she thought Jim still lost his memory and he might get some kind of paranoia by that fire mixing fictional story with real incidents. Unfortunately what he mixed with was her Grandma’s story and some stories from ex-pilot of B-29 bomber which he saw on TV when he was in US.


Was there any way she could help him? The first thing to do was to know who he really was.

She first tried to call burned apartment’s landlord to ask who the new dweller was. He should know but she could only get voice message from his telephone. She gave up.

She then came up with her American friend who was working in U.S. embassy. Her name was Nancy . She was an officer in the embassy. She just talked with Nancy in the civic hall before the ceremony started. She might be able to help find who he was.

But Sayuri had no clue to tell her. The only information she could give Nancy was his appearance and his name, Jim or James Austin which might not be true.

She wondered if she could find some clues in the rubbles of burned apartment house. She then went there.


Sayuri was looking for something in the site. It was getting dark. She had to hurry.

But things there were totally burned down. Nothing remained normal figure. She also wanted to find something that belonged to her. But she was disappointed. All the things in her apartment unit were totally burned down. Her clothes, her books, photo albums. Even a scratch of them was never found. She decided to get away. She did not want to remember what she lost.


A young Caucasian man was standing in front of her. He was standing there with his luggage. He looked like a traveler.

“Konnichiwa, hello, do you speak English?” said a young man.

“Yes. What can I help you?”

“My name is Charlie. I am a student from U.S. I am now looking for an apartment I am going to live. My agent arranged that. I’ve got an address and map to get there. I can’t find it. Is this address correct?”

Charlie showed her a memo with address and map.

She then said, “Yes. This is where you are. But I am very sorry to tell you. The apartment you were going to live was burned down by the fire incident last night.”

“What? Burned down? Oh no!”

Charlie got surprised and looked the site. Burned rubbles were around.

Sayuri suddenly had something to come up with Charlie.

“Are you American who was supposed to arrive here last night?”

“Yes, I am. But the flight was delayed by the storm over there. I cannot believe that. The apartment was burned down. I was lucky I was late. But how am I supposed to do? I have no place to live now.”

Charlie said and then Sayuri lent him her cell phone to call his friend in Tokyo .

Charlie talked with his friend for a few minutes. Then Charlie got away to go to his friend’s place.

Sayuri dialed her cell phone to call her friend, Nancy.

“Hello, Nancy , I’ve got something to ask you. I want you to find a man. He is American man named James Austin. He identified himself as B-29 bomber pilot in U.S. Air Force, 314 aircraft wing which existed 60 years ago.”


It was late at night. Only the street lamps shined where he was sitting.

He was sitting on the bench in a small park. Nobody except him was there. He had no way to go actually. He had no relatives or friends in Japan . 60 years have passed. He had no idea of how his American family and friends he knew were doing. He was alone in foreign country which was supposed to the enemy line for him.

“Jim, I’ve been looking for you. I know you had no place to go, so I guessed you should be around here. I am glad to see you again. Now I can help you.”

It was Sayuri who stood in front of him.

Jim laughed and said, “Did you find a way to help a psychopath?”

“You don’t have to worry. I found who you really are. You are what you told me, James Austin.”

Sayuri looked serious and confident.

“Now you are teasing me to get along with me. You can’t prove who I am.”

Jim thought Sayuri might be too kind to get along with his unbelievable story.

“Yes, I can. I checked the record of your story. There was a man named James Austin in U.S. Air Force, 314 aircraft wing which existed 60 years ago, which bombed the city of Tokyo. Here is a photograph of you” said Sayuri handing him a black-white photocopy of pilots gathering in the airbase.

Among several young pilots, James Austin was in it. Jim remembered when the picture was taken. It was a few months ago in Guam .

“How did you get that?”

“My friend in embassy helped. She called the Air force. They checked the old record and sent this photo with your identity record to us.”

Jim was surprised and then again got confused.

He then again thought maybe he was getting back to normal life from this wonderland. Or had it been a psychological test for POW done to him?

Jim asked Sayuri to make sure she was acting normal.

“You found who I am. Then what am I now in 2005?”

“You are recorded as killed in action in 60 years ago in Tokyo during the air raid. Your plane was hit by antiaircraft artillery. You and your crews were all dead although their bodies were never found. Actually you’ve been missing since that day.”

Sayuri talked very seriously. Jim realized she was serious and normal, not teasing and not testing.

“Wow, that is just what I experienced. I want to know what happened to my family. They were told I was dead. Now what are they doing? Are they still alive?”

“I checked that, too. Sorry to tell you that your parents were both dead. Your father died 40 years ago. You mother died 35 years ago.”

“Oh, no. No one left.”

“Yes, there is.”

“What? Who? No one should live so long. Even if I had lived from that day, I would be over 80. No one in my family could live…, oh god, she was alive.”

“Yes, your sister.”

“Oh my god. She was still alive. I thought she could not survive because she was very weak and sick.”

“So she might prove you really exist” said Sayuri seeing Jim’s face looking so happy.

Jim was really happy to know his sister Katie still live. That meant she got over her illness.

“I want to see her, again. I have to go back to America .”

“One more surprise to you, Jim. You do not have to go back to US to see her again. She is here in Tokyo . In fact, you’ve already met her.”

To be continued to Chapter 6.

22:55 Posted in My novel | Permalink | Comments (0)

01 April 2007

Waiting to see the cherry blossoms



The above photo was taken this afternoon. Many people are making line to buy a ticket to enter the Shinjuku Garden. One of the famous "Cherry blossoms to see" spots in Tokyo. This is also one of the imperial gardens and well maintained. The admission fee is 200 yen. Around 1.5 US$.

I wanted to enter but there were too many people trying to enter. I just gave up. Then I left there.

Last year I remember I could enter without waiting and enjoyed cherry blossoms in the park. You can see the photos taken in the album. 

18:50 Posted in Tokyo Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: Cherryblossoms, Park, Japan