"

街で見知らぬ人とすれ違う時、目が合うと笑顔を見せる国とそうでない国があるように思います。例えば、日本人はまず笑顔になりませんよね(笑)。私の少ない経験でいうとアメリカ、オーストラリア、韓国の方は自然にほほ笑み返してくれる感じでした。一方、フランス、ベルギー、中国の方は、こちらがほほ笑んでも「何笑っているの?」といったふうに真顔でした。お国によってどう違って、またその背景には何があるのか知りたいなぁと思いました。

http://alcom.alc.co.jp/articles/show/100

"

Should we ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’?

everydayanalysis:

Over the last few years the phrase ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ and its associated logo have been ubiquitous in the UK, appearing on mugs, tea towels, t-shirts and greetings cards. Variants such as ‘Keep Calm and Bake Cupcakes’ or ‘Keep Calm and Go Shopping’ have also become widely familiar. What, though, does this message mean in our current situation, and should we follow its advice?

The original poster design featuring the slogan was produced by the British Government in 1939, as part of a series designed to maintain morale during war with Germany, but never widely distributed. It was rediscovered in 2000, before gaining wide popularity as a tongue-in-cheek symbol of British stoicism. It is, then, originally a slogan which signalled resistance to an external threat, insisting on the maintenance of some form of ‘normal’ (conventional, conservative, ordered) life in the face of a radical, violent fascism. It carries a fundamentally anti-revolutionary message, but one which in the context of the Second World War had some potential value, signifying the possibility that everyday life itself might serve as a form of opposition to militarism and destruction.

Our current context, however, is very different. The threat we now face is not external, but internal, part of the system in which we live, as the banking crisis demonstrated. Many in recent years have warned of the dangers of a return to ‘business as usual’ (though generally with little effect), a formulation which indicates that the ‘usual’ is no longer a form of resistance, but rather what must be resisted. In this context, the injunction to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is not a sign of opposition, but of submission to the status quo. This was already an insight of the German cultural critic Walter Benjamin, writing in the years before 1939: ‘The concept of progress must be grounded in the idea of catastrophe. That things are “status quo” is the catastrophe. It is not an ever-present possibility but what in each case is given’. Catastrophe for us, as for the Germans of the 1930s, is not something that might happen one day, but the state of continuing in our current condition. For Benjamin, this is what the illusion of an ever-improving society, summed up in the concept of ‘progress’, conceals. Even if we admit that progress benefits some, it is already a catastrophe for others, such as factory workers in the developing world, or anyone concerned by the ongoing degradation of the environment. The injunction to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is therefore an apparently harmless, ironic message whose actual content is an embedded ideological interest in maintaining the current state of affairs. Its power comes from its residual association with Britain’s wartime history, allowing it to preach actual submission under the sign of imagined resistance.

Artwork by Alex Cavanagh 

wordoor-chinese:

Wordoor Chinese - Characters # Do you always see this character? Can you list some characters contain this character?

A really nice tumblr blog for people starting out learning Mandarin. They have a whole bunch of translated joke-comics as well which are nice bite sized bits of reading practice. 

wordoor-chinese:

Wordoor Chinese - Characters # Do you always see this character? Can you list some characters contain this character?

A really nice tumblr blog for people starting out learning Mandarin. They have a whole bunch of translated joke-comics as well which are nice bite sized bits of reading practice. 

"In my ignorance I though salaries in Japan were huge."

Professional salaries for people in banking, insurance or IT can be reasonable, but they are not easy to get. I see full time English teaching jobs advertised now for about twenty thousand dollars a year.

secretcinema1:

Head of Lenin, Romania, 1994, Josef Koudelka

secretcinema1:

Head of Lenin, Romania, 1994, Josef Koudelka

urashimajoe:

If you shop carefully groceries are very cheap in Tokyo. It can take some hunting but you can probably live on half as much as Australia. Or even a third.

Which is good because the minimum wage is about a third…

If you shop carefully groceries are very cheap in Tokyo. It can take some hunting but you can probably live on half as much as Australia. Or even a third.

"

How best to communicate to this café owner that his refusal to hire a hire a black barista was wrong, Australia asked itself? With a steaming hot serving of fresh racism, of course.

As the Daily Mail slyly noted in its report, Steven is himself a relatively recent immigrant, hailing from Shanghai.

It should have been a minor footnote but for some of those joining the throng of angry voices, it became the incident’s key detail.

"

https://newmatilda.com/2014/08/19/outraged-coffee-shop-owners-racism-aussies-respond-well-racism

ecue:

"stand your ground" lol

"protection against tyranny" lol

Only if you’re white.

"

An Asahi Shimbun newspaper poll in June asked Japanese about accepting immigrants to “maintain economic vitality.” Twenty-six percent favored the idea. Sixty-five percent opposed it. And the likelihood of substantive changes in immigration policy took a major hit, experts said, when Kan’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan saw setbacks in parliamentary elections this month.

Political analysts now paint a grim picture of a country at legislative impasse. Foreigners such as Paulino find it difficult to get here, difficult to thrive and difficult to stay, and at least for now, Kan’s government will have a difficult time changing any of that.

"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/11/AR2010071100380.html

jespru said: What’s up? :(

I was on a student visa that was going to expire. After getting the run around from a bunch of people at different offices, I found out there was indeed a job hunting visa I could get. I had to get a letter of recommendation from my university. When I do get the letter and take it round to immigration, I find that because it didn’t specifically say to let me do “extra activities” I can’t do any part time work while on this visa (!??!!). So I had to request another letter of recommendation from my university for this, and go in again to submit it. Now I am told that because -this- letter is not specifically addressed to the chief of immigration, it is invalid. Now I need to ask for a 3rd letter, just so I can get permission to work a few hours a week. More postage. More waiting. Yet another trek to the dept. for immigration.

Goddamn you bureaucracy. 

Tags: whimper

"Oh, my cousin spent eight years collecting parts from the flea markets to build his own TV (in the late 60s to early70?) It was smaller than a shoe box, with a coarse wooden frame. He actually threw it away when he eventually bought a huge colour one! I would have paid the price of his colour TV to keep his old one. But then he evidently did not have any sentimental attachment to that hardship period."

http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2013/05/04/whats-wrong-with-china-hint-its-not-the-government/

From the comments.